Class 21: WED APR 15

  • Ag-Gag Arguments

  • Should Activists Be Targeted with Ag-Gag Laws?
    • A Brief Video Debate over the Ethical Treatment of Animals turns to a Debate over the Ethical Treatment of Farmers and the Ethical Treatment of Activists.
      • Farmers say: Activists bolster their false claims of animal cruelty inside animal farms with doctored and manipulated footage.
      • Farmers say: Activists’ real agenda is to close all animal farms and force vegetarianism on the country.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Undercover footage has led to criminal charges against meat producers and food safety recalls.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: We’re not green kooks. The Teamsters, the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union and other legitimate organizations have joined us in opposition to Ag-Gag laws. .
      • Farmers say: Releasing footage of presumably cruel treatment to the media instead of giving farms a chance to take corrective action demonstrates that activists want to harm farms more than help animals.
      • Farmers say: Waiting “even a minute” to gather a body of evidence of abuse instead of “turning it over” immediately proves activists don’t sincerely seek change; they seek to harm the farms.
      • Farmers say: Compiling months’ worth of tapes into provocative gross-out videos to release under a DONATE NOW button proves the disingenuousness of the activists’ motivation.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: What we gather is evidence of criminal behavior.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Sadly, much of the abuse in meat-raising farms is institutionalized abuse against animals NOT PROTECTED by a single federal law.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: The government doesn’t protect animals, and farms are understandably secretive about their operations, so undercover video is the only chance Americans have to see how their food is produced.
      • Farmers say: The last thing farmers need is to be policed by activists whose goal is to enforce a Vegan World.
      • Farmers say: We police ourselves. Workers are required to report abuse to the managers. Quality assurance officers, or some sort of managers, review footage from cameras in the processing plants.
      • Farmers say: 98% of US farms and ranches are “family-owned.”
      • Farmers say: It’s not in the best interest of farms to have allegations of abuse made against them.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Ten billion birds are slaughtered for food every year on farms that in many cases have 100,000,000 birds on one farm. The entire enterprise is massively industrialized, unsupervised, unrestrained by government regulation an oversight.
      • Moderator says: McDonalds restaurant chain fired Fargo Farms after allegations of cruelty to chickens brought to light by undercover video. [shows video]. How will Ag-Gag laws stifle this activity?
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: There is no other way to document and expose cruelty on farms that don’t invite scrutiny. The same day farm workers plead guilty to criminal animal abuse, the State legislature criminalized the kind of reporting that led to those convictions.
      • Moderator says: Why shouldn’t investigators who film abuse be required to turn that evidence over within 24 hours?
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Evidence of a single case of abuse doesn’t provide evidence of a PATTERN OF ABUSE. Prosecutors will ignore single violations. But they have to address systemic abuse if it is documented.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Low-level employees cannot be expected to risk losing their jobs by reporting abuse.
      • Farmers say: The activists are shirking their real responsibility by running to the media to “expose” the employees engaging in “standard industry practices.” They just want to raise money by releasing shocking video images.
      • Farmers say: Nobody has a right to videotape on private property without permission. Farmers need protection against clandestine investigations.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: If I were abusing animals in my home for their entire lives, I wouldn’t want anybody videotaping and documenting that behavior either.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Corporate farmers write the Ag-Gag laws and have muscled legislatures to criminalize any news gathering organization that documents their hidden behaviors.
      • Animal Rights Advocates say: Farms are closed to reporters. Employees are sworn to secrecy. Government doesn’t oversee the operations. And when farms hold conferences about denying access to oversight, they ban credentialed reporters from covering those events.

Small Task: Review and Annotate One Source

  • I will assign each of you a source to Review and Annotate.
  • We’ll use Zoom’s Chat feature to record who was assigned what.
  • Publish your work as a Reply to this Agenda page.
  • Title your Notes: Ag-Gag Notes.
  • My notes above may not be a perfect model for you since mine examine a video debate. Use whatever format seems most appropriate to your medium
  1. Law Declares Reporting Abuse to be Terrorism
  2. Laws Turn Activists into Terrorists
  3. Gross-Out Videos as an Activist Technique
  4. Raising Animals for Food
  5. Taping Cruelty is now the Crime
  6. Open the Slaughterhouses
  7. Warning, Graphic: The Meat Video (What Cody Saw)
  8. Foie Gras Is Not Unethical
  9. Two Videos on Gavage: Force-Feeding Geese
    Cormorant Swallowing Whole Fish

If the topic intrigues you, here’s another link I found during class:
How Big Agriculture Completely Controls 96% of Chicken Production

Task: Annotated Bibliography

21 Responses to Class 21: WED APR 15

  1. j6128 says:

    Ag-Gag arguments
    Task: Annotated Bibliography
    You can do private chats with classmates or talk with everyone in zoom
    A Brief Video Debate over the Ethical Treatment of Animals turns to a Debate over the Ethical Treatment of Farmers and the Ethical Treatment of Activists.
    10 billion chickens raised in the U.S every year
    Purdue doesn’t own the farm but controls the whole operation and owns the chickens
    geese store excess food supply in their livers; which farmers force feed them or let them over eat (Foie Gras)
    You only have to rewrite one paper out of the three arguments, post each three arguments, one rewrite and annotated bibliography into one portfolio
    Annotated bibliography due April 22, need at least 10 sources
    Choose a broad range of sources
    Reflected statement is part of portfolio as well

    • j6128 says:

      Ag-Gag notes

      New Laws Turn Animal Abuse-Exposing Activists Into ‘Terrorists’

      A new wave of Ag-Gag bills have been drafted or enacted in approximately one dozen states in order to punish activists who expose the suffering of animals or depict instances of cruelty at factory farms and other agricultural settings
      Humane groups say that if lawmakers succeed, the collection of wide-reaching laws will effectively make it impossible to collect evidence of animal abuse in the future
      There is no doubt that the public has seen one or more exposés in the last few years depicting deplorable conditions and animal cruelty
      There are videos of sickly pigs suffocating in gestation crates
      More videos depict bleeding and injured animals, piglets being thrown into dumpsters
      Many of these are shot by videographers working with the Humane Society
      The evidence is presented to authorities which has historically ended with prosecutions, fines and even reform amongst producers
      Ag-Gag bills require whistle-blowers to submit their video footage to authorities as soon as its collected
      Advocates say that this measure prevents whistle-blowers from accumulating any detailed or significant body of evidence which is typically gathered over a long period of time by someone working undercover at a farm where abuse takes place
      Lawmakers argue that the quick turnaround give authorities more leverage to enforce the law
      There is also the added benefit of demonizing producers and avoiding inconvenient PR nightmares
      According to Indiana lawmaker, Don Lehe “That property owner is essentially guilty before they had the chance to address the issue”
      However that is the main point- to hold those who are traditionally excellent at unaccountably to be accountable
      Factory farmers and lobbyists argue that many of these videos that purport to be exposés are depicting regular life on the farm and routine slaughter
      They’re just arguments against eating meat, not depictions of abuse
      They’re basically just smoking out the vegans in their midst
      The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act outlaws photos and video taken by anyone seeking to “defame the facility or its owner”
      Anyone found guilty of taking these kinds of pictures also faces the prospect of criminal charges, of course, but will also have their name added to a “terrorist registry”

  2. alyse816 says:

    We learned Ag Gag by looking at farmers and their opinions against the filming of their farms
    We watched a video debating the point of view of farmers and animal rights activists
    We are assigned to annotate the Ag Gag of our own video/writing
    I learned that 98% of farms are family owned, but that does not mean that 98% of the chickens that we eat are from those farms
    We will work on our white paper
    For our white paper we will have an annotated bibliography, we will paste our websites that we use an say how we used it, along with a background (15 sources)
    We only have to rewrite one of the three short arguments

  3. nayr79 says:

    Today’s class started with Ag-gag arguments. I like the Farmers’ claims about how animal rights activists only have one agenda, being to create a vegan world. I thought that sounded funny. It covers a dispute over animal rights advocates and farmers. We then discussed eating patterns of geese. If you wanted to eat goose liver in the winter, when geese naturally fatten up, that’s ethical. Eating it any other time of the year is unethical since that goose was fattened up forcefully. The rest of the class went over the annotated bibliography, which I dread doing since I’ve decided to scrap all of the work I’ve done so far and start anew.

  4. rose1029 says:

    Comp Class Notes 4/15/2020
    We discussed…
    – Ag-Gag Arguments
    – Review and Annotate One Source
    – Assigned: Annotated Bibliography

    I learned that….
    – Working through your argument and organizing all of the specific points you want to cover in your article
    – It is possible that most of the chickens raised for slaughter are mass-produced at corporate farms (including “family-owned farm”)
    – Responding in a way such as the Animal Rights Activist did towards Farmers, their several different points were proven even when not presented with a real question or response from the Farmer.

  5. gossipgirl3801 says:

    4/15/20- Today in class we discussed Ag-Gag laws that were introduced last class. We read professor’s summary of the first article and discussed it as a class. Then everyone got assigned a different article about Ag-Gag Laws and were asked to annotate the source. Lastly we got assigned a portfolio task of an annotated bibliography due next week. It needs a minimum of 10 sources and a max of 15 of sources that relate or that we used for our research project. We need to write a background and “how I used it” for all the sources. Our 3,000 word research paper will be due on April 29th, our portfolio will include 3 1,000 short essays, 3,000 word research paper, annotated bibliography, and the final reflection.

  6. harp03 says:

    Class Notes 04/15/2020

    Ag-Gag Laws:
    -Read professor’s summary of the video debate with a moderator, Animal Rights advocate, and farmer
    -I was more on the Animal Rights side of the argument

    Small Task:
    -Listen to the two videos, review and annotate them
    -Submit as ag-gag notes under reply field

    Annotated Bibliography:
    -Background of the source + How I used them
    -10 sources as min, 15 as max
    -Due next week by Wednesday, 22nd

    Research Paper w/ 1 revision due on the 29th!!

  7. nayr79 says:

    Ag-Gag notes
    Grub Street’s article focuses primarily on Iowa Select Farms, which produces pork for the country. The author can’t seem to agree or disagree with activists and while the writing implies the author is taking a side, that side is unclear. Saying “however, horrifying consumers doesn’t accomplish nearly as much as stopping these atrocities from the top down” and “has been ‘pressuring’ grocers to halt purchases from the farm, and it’s already worked in some cases. Good,” implies two standpoints. The article also points out that farmers are pushing for laws to protect them from these videos being made, while the author of this article says activists are wasting their time with minor fronts to get people talking rather than actually solving the problem.

  8. bmdpiano says:

    Ag-Gag Notes:
    – An undercover video produced revealed the illegal acts of burning horses’ ankles, abusing pigs, and snapping off the beaks to chicks.
    – All three offenses were charged and lost costumers.
    – About a dozen state legislatures had a different response: “They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups.”
    – Legislatures also say that, “drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately.” Activists say this will ruin the undercover element of what they do.
    – “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”
    – Measures made in certain states like Iowa and Utah make it impossible for going undercover.
    – From the other perspective from Kelli Ludlum (American Farm Bureau Federation director of Congressional relations): The videos may seem troubling to someone unfamiliar with farming, but they can be like seeing open-heart surgery for the first time.
    – In Indiana, an expansive bill drew a heated opposition from labor groups and the state press association. It was said the bill violated the First Amendment.
    – Livestock companies: say that their businesses have suffered financially from unfair videos. They see the videos as an opportunities to persuade consumers to stop eating meat rather than protecting animals.
    – Whistle-blowers: advocates for the meat industry say that they are protected from prosecution by provisions in some bills that give them 24 to 48 hours to turn over videos to legal authorities.
    – The Humane Society voluntarily turned over Video shot in 2011. “By the time the video was publicly disclosed, federal prosecutors had filed charges. A week later, they announced guilty pleas from the horse trainer and other workers.”

  9. dancestar10 says:

    Today we talked about ag-gag law
    we were assigned a task to summarize an article
    we also also what a annotated bibliography and what are assignment was
    bibliography is due next wednesday

  10. shaquilleoatmeal2250 says:

    AG-GAG NOTES (Article 4)
    – Humane society released undercover footage of Virginia breeding facility owned by Smithfield Foods on their cruelty to animals living
    – Author talks about how piglets were tossed into dumpsters, crammed in cages, and being jabbed at by employees
    – Work goes completely against company slogan of “Good Food. Responsibly”
    – Complaints to the company was nothing new, but the report renewed focus on them
    – Mark Bittman said people should just avoid factory raised meats in general

    – Kenji Lopez took a trip to a foie gras operation in Hudson Valley and came away with the conclusion that its not bad like opponents say
    – Says it’s “Not” the horrible operation people say it is
    – Author says the results seem to similar so their not sure if it’s going to sway opinions anyway
    – He says the people may need to come to terms that the process of getting our meats is a process we need to come to terms with
    – Says Halal Slaughterhouses is as humane animal-killing gets and we could either buy from them if against these operations or just go vegetarian, but its your own opinion

  11. shaquilleoatmeal2250 says:


    – Learned Ag-Gag laws from a example from Prof Hodges
    – Learned how to annotate the writings we do and what were looking for
    – Assigned our own Ag-Gag law to annotate
    – Ag-Gag laws are made to protect animal producers and slaughterhouses from the outside world and reports

    – Many pieces of work for portfolio due in next two weeks
    – Bibliography to where we need 10-15 sources for our final paper
    – Rewrite 1 of the 3 short arguments instead of 2
    – Final paper due the 29th
    – Reflective paper at end of semester

  12. gossipgirl3801 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes: Warning Graphic The Meat Video (what Cody saw)
    Growing up, Cody Carlson always loved animals. He remembers seeing people on the news suing a fast food company for animal abuse but wondered why they were so afraid to show the world the truth. A few years later he remembers seeing a video of harsh treatment at a farm that someone recorded undercover, after seeing that he decided that he would get jobs at farms and wear a hidden camera so he too could be an undercover investigator. Cody says he was curious if things were really as bad on farms as in the video that he watched, and he says what he saw working on the farms changed his life. He first shows videos of cute and happy pigs, he says they are smarter than cats or dogs and have dreams when they sleep at night and understand their names like dogs. The video quickly shifts into gruesome displays of slaughters and cruelty he witnessed while working at one of the farms. He says they are born into dirty areas and no one cares about any of them, they die quickly and are thrown out like garbage. Cody says they are kept in tight areas and had their throat slits like it was nothing, he claims this happens at every farm. He then goes onto say that after that job he became a vegetarian and so did his family. Cody then shows us videos of little chicks and chickens happy and cute like the pigs and then quickly shifted to what really happens to them in factory. Just like the pigs they get thrown around and slaughtered like they are garbage. They are placed into very tight areas with no where to move and with no veterinarian to help when they are ill. Chickens, hens, and turkeys are genetically motified and even seared alive. After Cody got attention from the news with these undercover videos he says these so called Ag-gag laws were put into place by farmers making it illegal to film on their property. Cody then moves onto showing us when he worked on a dairy farm because he believes that it is our right to see these gruesome videos. He begins telling us how good of a memory cows have, how they too have best friends like we do, and showing us footage of cows in meadows eating green grass. Quickly shifting to harsh videos of cows being abused by farmers, them in tight quarters, getting kicked and stabbed. He says the babies are left to freeze death and he even made friends with one, feeding her and petting her, when he came back later he says she was dead. Cody then moves onto telling us fish get treated terrible too, they feel pain just like every other animal but they don’t have the vocals to scream. They are raised in crowded waste filled water with no where to move and are skinned alive. Cody goes on to say that his days as an undercover investigator are done because he now has a family, his wife Kim and his daughter Bo. He says that being an investigator changed his life but then he decided to go to law school and be a lawyer fighting on behalf of animal rights. Cody says that being a vegetarian in this day and age is so easy with restaurants having vegetarian options and eating ethnically from Mexican, Chinese, and Italian food places. He says that knowing your choice to become vegetarian changes the world for the better is a great feeling, especially since we all want a better world for our children (as he plays videos of his toddler daughter dancing and smiling). He says that we can live happy and healthy lives with out killing animals and enjoying delicious meals that don’t contain meat. He lets us know that we can start small by cutting poultry from our diet and then cutting meat, dairy, and eggs and on from there. Cody tells us it was one of the best decision of his life and he feels it will be one of ours too if we try it for a few months. On his website he asks us to sign a pledge to go vegetarian by putting in our email address and postal zip code. He says for more information on how to go vegetarian go to

  13. harp03 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes

    Force-Feeding Geese:
    In this video, geese are huddle together in divided stalls, being fed one-bye one through a feeding tube. The video seems really harsh at first, and although I don’t believe geese should be enclosed and force-fed, by the end of the video I came to realize that the geese appeared to not mind it. Instead, they voluntarily opened their mouths and did not immediately try to flee. This could very well be because they are so used to being force-fed that it has become normal, plus it is their only way of acquiring food. But they had to be forced forward after eating, almost as if they wanted to stay for more.

    Cormorant Swallowing Whole Fish:
    In a similar manner, the cormorant also had to swallow food straight down their esophagus, but it was not forced. In this instance, the bird endured a natural process in order to consume its food. It made me think about why some birds swallow food whole while others do not (such as geese). However, I do know that it is not natural for geese, so just because on bird swallows their food whole does not mean all birds are able, nor they should be forced to.

  14. dancestar10 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes

    article 1 talks about how factories are hiding the cruelty of animal and how its is an act of terrorism if anyone tries to talk about or investigate the cruelty of animals. Then the ag-gag laws were introduced which prevented people from exposing the unethical practices in factory farms.a bill was then passed after 9 factory were charged of animal cruelty. videos were found of the cruelty. these laws turned the investigators into criminals since the laws were mostly in favor of the factories. Since laws don’t protect farms animals it leaves vulnerable to being killed and raised for food.When consumers learned about the cruelty of the animals 99% of then agreed that we should focus on strengthening animal cruelty laws instead of focusing on prosecuting the whistle blowers

  15. a1175 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes
    Article #5
    -videos of animal cruelty were seen in Tennessee and Wyoming and prosecutors charged the farmers who were in charge of the cruelty
    -other legislatures made bills that make it illegal to videotape in farms
    -if people were seen videotaping on the farms, they would have to register as a terrorist
    -a new bill was made that has employees charged with criminal trespass if they are doing more than what their job entails
    -livestock companies have said that their businesses have financially suffered from the videos because the animal rights advocates aren’t so much protecting the animals, more of telling people to stop eating meat
    -undercover workers can’t determine whether managers condone animal abuse just from one or two days worth of videos

  16. rose1029 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes
    New Laws Turn Animal Abuse-Exposing Activists Into ‘Terrorists’
    – New Bills that punish any activist that exposes the suffering of animals taken on factory farms were implemented in about a dozen states.
    – Humane groups say that this causes major issues for any evidence of animal abuse to be collected in the future.
    – many past animal abuse videos have been filmed by members of the Humane Society, which have been reported to authorities and resulted in prosecutions, fines, and reforms.
    – The newly implemented Ag-Gag laws are requiring video takers to submit their footage immediately after being taken, rather than collecting several pieces of evidence over a period of time and submitting them all at once.
    – Activists say that this prevents them from gathering significant evidence
    – Lawmakers claim that the bills will give them more control and will allow them to better enforce the laws.
    – Lawmakers say that this is a more efficient way of accusing someone of a crime before that suspect can try to cover up what’s happening
    – Farmers say that these videos are just showing what normal farm life is like and that Activists are simply trying to influence everyone to eat meat
    – The “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” outlaws photos and videos taken with the intention of disgracing farm owners – Anyone found guilty of this will face criminal charges as well as have their name added to a “terrorist registry”.

  17. sixers103 says:

    Ag-Gag Notes

    Force Feeding Geese/Cormorant Swallowing Whole Fish

    the people grab the goose by its neck and than proceed to shove a feeding tube down their throats
    it looks like they feed them wet and mushy corn that would help the goose stay healthy
    the geese yelp and cry aloud when the tube is being put into their throat
    force feeding geese is inhumane on so many levels since you are taking the natural right of the geese to find food on their own
    the person doing the feeding in the video seems to show no remorse for the geese
    it is not the way it was intended for geese to eat
    the geese are kept in cages with cold floors and not much warmth 

    the cormorant is forcing itself to swallow the fish whole and not eat it in multiple bites
    is there a difference between the cormorant swallowing a fish whole and a goose being force fed
    cormorant is in its natural habitat and is use to probably swallowing a fish whole
    it is a much slower process than being forced fed
    the cormorant does not yelp when swallowing it just continues on with its life

  18. alyse816 says:

    Supporters Perspective
    The author says that the results are to similar so it might not sway opinions
    Kenji Lopez went to Foie Gras in Hudson Valley and said it is not bad like the opponents say
    They say it is “not” as horrible as people say it is
    Says that the process of how we get meat is a process that people need to understand
    Halal Slaughterhouse is as humane as it gets with animal-killing
    We could either buy from Halal Slaughterhouse and come to terms with it or go vegetarian
    Activist Perspective
    The Humane society released videos of animal cruelty in how they are living in a breeding house in Virginia owned by Smithfield Foods
    The company got complaints before, this wasn’t anything new
    The author goes to say how the piglets are treated by being caged in small cages, put in dumpsters, and hurt by employees.
    Mark Bittman said people should just avoid factory raised meats in general
    The work that goes on is against the company slogan of “Good Food. Responsibly”

  19. tenere84 says:

    Notes 4/15

    Ag-Gag Laws

    The Arguments by defenders of factory farms vs. those by animal rights activists boil down to:
    – The farmers believe the animal rights activists are disingenuous about their goals and simply want to harm farms and force vegetarianism upon the world. They release doctored or manipulated footage of animal cruelty to bolster their cause. Because “most” family farms are family-owned, it’s not in their best interest to have allegations of criminal behavior made against them. Reporters and journalists are not needed; employees and managers are expected to report abuse.
    – The animal rights activists say their undercover footage of animal cruelty has been successful in leading to charges of criminal behavior within their farm. It’s not just to force journalists to release footage of the inside of animal farms within 24 hours because single incidents of abuse receive no attention; meanwhile, they do not prove that patterns of abuse–which are much more likely to receive attention from prosecutors/legislators–exist. Low-level employees cannot be expected to risk losing their jobs as a result of reporting abuse. Farmers write the Ag-Gag laws and keep credentialed reporters out for the sake of hiding their criminal abuse of animals.

    Annotated Bibliography
    – This assignment is like your white paper, except it documents the sources you actually used and how you used them. (Not how you will use them!)
    – The minimum is 10 sources, the maximum is 15.
    – Sources must be scholarly, though they can be on simple mediums like news articles from credible organizations (e.g the New York Times).

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