|Here's looking at you, kid.|
So, is an "Ag-Gag" law a First Amendment issue, a cruelty issue, a harassment of farmers or of filmers, a regulation issue? I grew up on a farm and know that few know what the life is really like and lump all "farmers" together. I also NEVER witnessed anything like these videos document. A photographer I know wanted to photograph a neighbor's farm animals for art's sake, but the farmer was reluctant because he thought any photo could be twisted to show "cruelty." An argument could be made that frequent unannounced inspections could protect farmer and animals. But a Big Question for our time--how can regulation be affordable, efficient, AND respect the rights of all? (Maybe the Question is--can it get by the lobbyists?) In the arty photographer's case, there was nothing to expose. If only that were always true at modern mega-farms. Unless someone like Bittman secures our attention, the "undercover" work on mistreated animals is an issue known to few, so such laws often pass under the radar. For more views on the topic, see environmentalist Tom Laskawy's column and the New York Times editorial, "Hiding the Truth About Factory Farms."