Earlier this week, YouTube pulled the video of Mercy For Animals’ latest undercover investigation, which showed graphic cruelties occurring at E6 Cattle. MFA immediately rehosted the video with Vimeo.
MFA founder Nathan Runkle just sent a great two page letter to the CEO of Google’s YouTube subsidiary:
MFA strongly agrees that videos of cruelty to animals are shocking and disturbing, but in the context of helping to expose and eliminate animal abuse they are extremely important. Consumers have a right to know how their food is being produced, especially when the production methods are shocking or disturbing, so that they can make informed choices. MFA’s “No Mercy” video opens a critical dialogue about animal use and abuse in our society, as well as pressing social and consumer issues. Without open dialogue in a free society, broken systems remain unchallenged and unchanged.
It seems an obvious contradiction that YouTube censors MFA’s efforts to expose and eliminate cruelty to animals, while continuing to allow highly sanitized meat, dairy and egg industry propaganda videos that promote killing animals for profit, and countless sensationalized prohunting videos that glamorize gleeful hunters mercilessly maiming and killing animals for “sport.” YouTube was awarded a 2008 Peabody Award and cited as “a ‘Speakers’ Corner’ that both embodies and promotes democracy.” Silencing one side of the debate over how farmed animals should be treated flies in the face of democracy. YouTube seems to be sending a message that hurting animals for fun or profit is acceptable but speaking out against such abuses is not.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turns out that YouTube took down the video in response to complaints strategically initiated by factory farming interests. Link [PDF].