Humane Society Uncovers Unconscionable Animal Cruelty in Kentucky
The object of posting this undercover exposé isn't about shock value or sensationalizing an activist cause, rather, it has been published to convey a sad and simple truth—unspeakable animal cruelty heavily permeates America's food industry.
Warning: The following video contains graphic material that may be unsuitable for some viewers.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) video was released Thursday showing pigs trapped in cramped cages known as gestation crates being fed ground up intestines from 900 piglets that had died over a two-day period from a highly contagious diarrheal disease, according to a Humane Society press release.
This investigation, conducted in January at the Iron Maiden Hog Farm in Owensboro, KY, revealed the illegal feeding practice which appears to be fairly widespread within the industrial sector of the pig industry.
The HSUS has called on the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission, created to "establish, maintain or revise standards governing the care and well-being" of farm animals, to end gestation crate confinement and to review the practice of feeding diseased piglets to surviving pigs on the Iron Maiden farm.
In addition, the HSUS is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to examine the practice of feeding dead piglets to mother pigs, which also occurred at the Kentucky farm.
The investigation at Iron Maiden Hog Farm also documented:
- Animals locked in cages so small they couldn’t turn around for essentially their entire lives.
- Sick and injured sows left without care, including one sow who suffered from an extreme uterine prolapse for nearly two days before finally dying.
- Lame sows—whose hind legs became too weak from strict confinement to support their weight—"hobbled" to keep their legs from collapsing. Their legs are bound together so they canw stand in their crates.
Several exposé videos have surfaced over the last year, forcing companies like DiGiorno Pizza and Tyson Foods to cut ties with farms throughout the country that routinely tortured cows, pigs and other livestock.
The Idaho House is ready for a floor vote that will likely send Senate Bill 1337 to the desk of Republican Gov. C.L. Otter for final approval, reports Food Safety News.
If passed, the bill would make clandestine filming of agricultural operations illegal.
With a 13-1 majority vote, the House Agriculture Affairs Committee sent the Agriculture Protection Act to the House floor Thursday with a “do-pass” recommendation.
Roughly 130 people signed into the hearing, which brought state and national animal-welfare activists face-to-face with influential Idaho agriculture representatives who support the bill.
HSUS sent its top public policy manager, Matt Dominguez, to Boise in a last-minute attempt to prevent SB 1337 from reaching the House floor. But Dominguez, who grew up on a farm, and the HSUS Idaho director both ended up being grilled by committee members.
To show how pigs can reshape people's perspectives on animal rights, check out this Esther the Wonder Pig slideshow that explores a couple's transformation from meat eaters to vegans.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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