How Not to do Activism #3

The March e-newsletter of the organization Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) included the following section:

FARM’s PPV Van Will Defy Ag-Gag Laws

Last week, Iowa enacted the first-in-the-nation “ag-gag” law, which criminalizes photographing and video taping the atrocious conditions in factory farms and slaughterhouses. This week, we supported efforts to successfully stop the bill in IL.

FARM will not let animal agribusiness intimidate us. And the very videos that animal agribusiness is trying to ban will be shown on our Pay-Per-View van (currently under construction) equipped with 8 touch-screens to handle up to 32 viewers at one time.

Put a sock in it, FARM. Iowa’s passage of the nation’s first-ever successful “ag gag” law was a serious blow to the humane movement, and it sets a disturbing precedent. (Expect “ag gag” laws to become the “hunter harassment” laws of the 21st century.)  Your “Pay-Per-View” van (which will pay members of the public $1.00 each to view a short montage of factory farming and slaughterhouse scenes) is not “defying ag-gag laws.” Ag gag laws don’t prevent the showing of animal cruelty footage already taken, but seek to halt the collection of any new, potentially embarrassing footage in a state’s factory farm facilities. If FARM were openly entering Utah’s animal factories with video cameras, they could make this lofty claim. Instead, stop pretending to do something you’re not, be straightforward about what your PPV van can and can’t do, and please help overturn Utah’s investigation – quashing law.

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