In episode #1014, we focused on the benefits of moving toward a meatless diet and basically ignored the topic of animal suffering to resonate with those who don’t feel as motivated to change by animal rights as others. So, we flipped our activism on its head as well by focusing on the impact of Ag-Gag laws on humans.
Thanks to Big Ag lobbying and money in politics, we are all at risk of losing a critical piece of our first amendment rights because of Ag-Gag laws. As you’ve heard today, Ag-Gag laws usually contain one or more of three provisions designed to suppress whistleblowing:
- the ban of photography or video documentation on facility premises
- the criminalization of securing a job under “false pretenses,” and
- mandatory reporting of documented abuse within a short and arbitrary timeframe
Though a number of states have struck down or overturned these laws due to pressure from animal rights defense groups and federal rulings, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Utah, Missouri and North Carolina still have Ag-Gag laws on the books. These unconstitutional laws threaten animal welfare, workers’ rights, food safety, and the environment - but they also take away whistleblower rights across the board. Ag-Gag laws actually help set precedents to punish the worker or undercover journalist who exposes neglect and abuse at a retirement home, or misconduct at a daycare center, or spying by our government on its own people. Then these laws go one step farther by protecting the illegal practices and the company that performs them.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Ag-Gag action allows you to send a message to Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Utah, Missouri and North Carolina to demand that these laws be repealed. Those who live in these states will be routed to their state representatives, and people outside of these Ag-Gag states will be routed to the governors of all seven states. Visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund website at ADLF.org and search for “take action to stop Ag Gag” in their search field, or click here, to find the action page and send your message.
So, if protecting the first amendment and whistleblower rights is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about how to Fight Anti-Whistleblower Ag-Gag Laws via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
In the end, Ag-Gag laws force us to fight for our rights and our health, something the animals at the mercy of Big Meat will never be able to do for themselves. The irony shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
Write to legislators and governors in states with Ag-Gag laws via Animal Legal Defense Fund's “Take Action to Stop Ag Gag” and demand they be repealed.
Sign the Last Chance for Animal's Change.org petition to fight Missouri's Ag-Gag Law
Sign the Food Integrity Campaign's petition to fight Ag-Gag Laws
No More Exposés in North Carolina (via NYTimes.com)
In the Belly of the Beast (via RollingStone.com) (WARNING: THIS IS IMPORTANT, BUT GRAPHIC)
Ag-Gag Legislation by State (via ASPCA.org)
Undercovered: 'Ag-Gag' Laws - How Big Agra Tries to Muzzle Journalists (via Mediate.com)
Big Agriculture Bullies and Lobbies to Keep Americans In the Dark (via Forbes.com)
Groups Sue Over North Carolina's Ag Gag Law, Saying it Violates The Constitution (via ThinkProgress.org)
Mercy for Animals Legal Advocacy (via MercyforAnimals.org)
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #1014: "The Human Impact of Animal Agriculture"
Written by BOTL Communications Director Amanda Hoffman.