FROM Wayne Pacelle
Factory Farms, Cruelty to Animals and the Food Supply The preparation of food in America is a major industry. The New York Times reports that 9 billion animals are slaughtered each year. That’s hundreds per second, making animals a continuous stream of raw material—and making the treatment of individual creatures almost invisible. While cruelty to animals is a crime, in some places it’s also a crime to blow the whistle on animal cruelty in the agricultural industry. Undercover video of ghastly mistreatment have led to federal and local prosecutions. Factory farms have lost big contracts due to consumer outrage. But many states are making it illegal to record those videos, or to mislead employers about one’s intentions when applying for a job. We hear about privacy and property rights, animal rights and the implications for both food safety and the public’s right to know.
States Seek to Ban Undercover Videos of Farm Abuse Sometimes shocking images showing how farm animals are mistreated have led to meat recalls, slaughterhouse closings and even criminal convictions, along with apologies from executives of agricultural firms. In Iowa, Florida, Idaho and Minnesota, the industry is fighting back with efforts to make such investigations illegal. Wayne Pacelle is president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States , and author of The Bond : Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.
Proposition 2 Proposition 2 on next month's statewide ballot would set new standards for confining farm animals, including pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal and egg-laying hens. Veal and pork aren't big business in California, but eggs are a $337 million industry, which involves some 20 million hens. Prop 2 would require that calves, pigs and chickens be confined only in ways that allow them to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Violations would be misdemeanors with penalties including fines up to $1000 dollars and/or 180 days in jail.
Vick Indictment Draws Attention to Pit Bull Fighting Michael Vick has been indicted for sponsoring illegal dogfights across state lines. Even the Humane Society says the practices involved were unusually brutal. The indictment against the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons says losing dogs in his operation often died in the pit or were electrocuted, drowned, hanged or shot. The National Football League calls that " cruel and degrading ," but points out that the charges have not been proven. Wayne Pacelle is president of the Humane Society of the United States .
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."