Agribusiness Calls Undercover Investigations “Staged”

2009 has probably been the biggest year yet for undercover factory farm video investigations. Now, with zero evidence, producers are claiming the videos are staged. The TwinCities Pioneer Press has a long article all about it, quoting almost exclusively from the agribusiness side of the aisle.

The piece ends by advancing what I’ve long called the big lie of agribusiness, that farmed animals need to be happy and comfortable in order to be productive. Marcia Endres, an Assistant Professor of Dairy Science at the University of Minnesota says:

A cow that’s not healthy, she wouldn’t be producing, she’d just be dying — what’s the point of that? That’s why I don’t understand when people say these producers are mistreating their animals. That’s bad for business.

Bullshit. Dairy cows are bred to produce so much milk that their health is greatly compromised. From my book Meat Market:

Today’s dairy cows also experience numerous infirmities due to their enormous milk yields. Each year, about 20 percent of dairy cows develop either clinical mastitis or milk fever, and both conditioins have grown increasingly common as cows are bred to produce ever-greater amounts of milk.

And let’s not even get into what’s done to battery hens. They’re doubtless incredibly productive, but can anyone sincerely claim they experience even a moment of comfort? (Via Hawthorne.) Link.


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