A recent YouTube video created by online news site Vox uses footage from Mercy For Animals and Humane Society of the United States’ undercover investigations to discuss ag-gag laws. Currently present in seven states, these laws increase consequences or make it completely illegal to record undercover footage and apply for a farm job under false pretences while also putting a time limit on reporting abuse to police. “These videos can broadcast completely legal, standard industry practices that Americans simply don’t know about,” the video notes, explaining that battery cages, veal crates, cutting off piglets’ tails without painkillers, and force-feeding geese for foie gras are just some of these common practices. While showing undercover footage from animal-rights groups, the video also explains the lack of protection for many farm animals under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the common exemptions under state laws. Americans have become increasingly detached from the food production process, especially with such an emphasis on fast and cheap output. The video concludes, “It’s easy to stand against clearly gratuitous abuses, but the battle over undercover videos is really a preliminary fight in a much larger question: Should the American public know how their food is made, and once they do, will they accept it?”
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