Today's Washington Post editorial page provides a beautifully written and deeply affecting editorial about the despicable recent efforts of a number of state legislatures to pass "ag-gag" bills to prevent the American public from knowing the truth about the horrifically abusive treatment of animals in factory farming operations.
Six states have enacted these bills already and six more are considering some version of them. There is no suggestion ever made by the proponents of these bills that the undercover videos made in these agribusiness operations demonstrating the stomach churning animal abuse are not truthful. The legislation's purpose is simply to ensure that the public is not permitted to see these abuses for fear that it might drive them to vegetarianism (OMG, we have a lot of rights but the right to be a vegetarian in not one of them apparently!). This is not only a shocking display on the part of elected representatives of callousness to animal suffering but also an appalling disregard of our first amendment rights.
We are deeply grateful for the great and courageous work that the Humane Society of the United States has done to document the awful realities of the cruelties to which animals are subjected in these agribusiness operations and for their laudable successes in achieving change for the better. It is of course those successes that are really behind these efforts to prevent the public from seeing and knowing the truth. As Justice Brandeis said "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." Please read the editorial and help us to promote sunlight on the conduct in factory farms.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.