There’s a television program that many of you have probably seen that places unwitting people in ethical scenarios. Actors are used to set the stage while hidden cameras roll. The premise of the program is to show viewers whether normal people will step in or mind their own business when put in situations that set the internal moral compass spinning.
The announcement and release last week of an undercover video taken at a hog farm in this country brings this television program to mind, as I question the indefensible and malicious behavior of people charged with the care of animals. As a person of animal husbandry, the display of animal abuse I saw on that video sickens me to my very core. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. I didn’t even realize that I was crying until the tear dropped on the hand that I had placed over my mouth as one does when one bears witness to shocking behavior.
I have seen videos in the past where anyone with knowledge of animal agriculture and editing abilities can see how and where the “film” has been doctored, making things appear much worse than they actually are. The video I watched had been edited, but the mistreatment of the animals that I saw was very real. It was rife with suffering animals and bad actors.
The Humane Society of the United States released the video that had been taken last month by an undercover investigator on the HSUS payroll. According to its announcement, HSUS received the tip three months ago and sent an investigator to the farm to gain employment and video the facility during the month of April.
If it really were about the animals, why did the undercover investigator do nothing to stop the abuse while it was happening? If it really were about the animals, HSUS would not have dallied around and wasted time. If it really were about the animals, it wouldn’t be about positioning and power and money for HSUS.
Which brings me back to unwitting people placed in situations where they have a choice of doing what is right or what is wrong. Why did the anonymous tip go to HSUS instead of to the county sheriff’s office? I find it hard to believe that there was such a veil of secrecy surrounding the happenings at this farm that no one came forward and reported the abuse to local law enforcement.
We often ask why anti-animal agriculture and animal rights groups are recognized and influential in determining how animals are treated on farms. We wonder why it is that those who don’t eat meat and don’t want us to eat meat have a voice in how meat animals are fed, watered, handled, sheltered, transported and processed. If we were all more vigilant and aware of what is happening in our own back yard, animal rights groups would have no place in our world.
I have always believed, and still do, that those to whom the animals belong are those most likely to know what is best for those animals. We have a few bad actors on farms the same as there are a few bad actors teaching 5th grade, performing open heart surgery, and preaching the gospel in churches on Sunday mornings.