Do you channel-hop between the three major evening nightly
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news networks like I do? Well, finally, I have decided I am
going to stick with ABC which I consider to be the only one
of the 3 major networks to cover all newsworthy happenings.
For me what happens to animals is important, and ABC seems
to be the only network to cover them and to expose farm
animal cruelty. I would especially like to thank Brian Ross
for covering what must be for him and his crew horrendous
events involving farm animal cruelty.
This viewing of animal cruelty made me realize the gross
injustice to the animals of those states wishing to adopt
AgGag Laws. Today, in looking up material on this infringement
of people's right to videotape animal cruelty, I found a post
on the internet written by Cindy Galli and Randy Krieder.
Their beginning sentence reveals what I and so many other
people have sadly read: "Legislators in six more states are
seeking to ban or limit the use of undercover camera
investigations by animal rights groups that expose animal
Isn't this shameful? - that a simple act of videotaping what
happens in a CAFO to our innocent animals is considered a
crime? If the animals are treated compassionately, what
have the owners to fear? By virtue of these AgGag laws,
aren't they admiting that animal cruelty does exist in their
operations? Obviously too, the USDA is not doing its job
properly. And if they say they don't have enough manpower for
this job- then shouldn't they be the ones to be installing video
cameras or at the very least -coming to the defense of the
wonderful compassionate people who do?
This octogenarian has long become disenchanted with government
generally and even with my church which does nothing to help
suffering animals. I hope the present Pope who took the
beautiful name of Francis - not only emulates him in his
love of simplicity and the poor - but also in his great love
for all of God's creation.
I am not ashamed to admit that I joined the Third Order of
St. Francis years ago believing that they also cared about God's
animal creation. Sadly, I found that they did absolutely nothing
in this regard. They even refused to acknowledge my homepun book -
"Blame it On Peaches" in which I speak of my concerns for animals.
Needless to say, I left that chapter of the Third Order- though
I believe that none of them are working to alleviate animal
suffering in any way. For me, they were not embracing what I
believe to be the beautiful charisms of St. Francis. For that
matter, I don't see anything coming for this apostolate from
any Franciscan priests or nuns either.
As regards the AgGag legislation, Galli and Krieder mentioned what
Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman who authored an AgGag bill in
Indiana said about his views: "We don't need a vigilante group out
there with cameras and video cameras taking pictures of things
that we just don't like."
My immediate thought was duh? -too bad he doesn't like to see
pictures of animal suffering. In my opinion, it says a lot about
his lack of compassion. In reality, isn't he saying that it is
all right that CAFO animals suffer -just so long as he and others
don't see it? I think very little about any legislators who
share his sentiments. I hope the majority of people in Indiana do
Six other states have also introduced legislation which would ban
or restrict undercover taping on farms. Why do they call them
farms? Aren't they the big CAFOs- (Confined Animal Farm Operations)
which are nothing like the small farms of earlier times? Here
our poor animals suffer horribly in cages, crates, and factory
barns- unable to enjoy the sun's rays, fresh air, or even the
company of their own families.
Along with Indiana -Nebraska, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
and California have scheduled hearings on AgGag Bills. May
wise and compassionate hearts prevail and that these assaults
on freedom to expose animal cruelty be crushed and fade away.
Last year ABC News reported that Mercy for Animals had shot
undercover footage of chicken, turkey, pig, and dairy farms
around the country. They and the ASPCA, the Humane Society of
the U.S. and 24 other groups have opposed AgGag bills calling
them an assault on many fundamental values and a threat to
health, safety, and freedom of the press.
I agree. Do you? If so, please let your legislators know-
especially if you live in a state where bills are pending re the
adoption of AgGag laws. They would benefit no one but the people
who don't care what is happening in these horrible places where
our animals "live." No- strike that. They are are not "living"
in these places of cruelty - they are merely existing so that
we can enjoy cheap eggs, milk, and meat, which by the way are
not especially nutritious. Plant-based foods are.
Happily, I do consume a plant-based diet. I have been vegan for
over 35 years. Yes, I am proud of this record, but more, I am
thankful to God for leading me to this compassionate lifestyle.
I even lovingly "blame" my first puppy- Peaches, for teaching me to
be compassionate. I am surprised that more people who say they
love their dogs haven't learned the same compassionate lessons
I have from Peaches.