The American Veterinary Medical Association doesn't think people like Pete are "criminals." The AVMA issued a letter April of 2011, stating that animal rights activists currently provide the only meaningful oversight animal enterprise has. Here's an excerpt form that letter:
"Too often, those in the industry seem more concerned about attacking those responsible for producing the videos than addressing the abuse depicted in them, and that attitude has got to change. Attempting to shift the blame is a denial of the real issue. If producers were treating the animals in a humane manner, there would be no need for undercover filming. Frankly, we can't understand why responsible producers would object to being filmed, and would encourage producers, as Dr. Temple Grandin and others have suggested, to install cameras in their operations to show the world that they are treating their animals humanely."
You can read their entire statement here: https://www.avma.org/News/Issues/Pages/AVMAs-response-to-videotaped-abuse-of-animals.aspx
@mary tully Precisely! If meat producers have nothing to hide, why are they so deeply invested in keeping their procedures out of the public eye? We don't see farmers of grain/fruits/vegetables hiding their operations behind the same cloak of secrecy. They are PROUD to show you how they tend their crops which feed our country: "Wanna see how kale's grown/harvested? Sure, please take a look!" And some of the farmers have actually converted from formerly raising animals for food, realizing the unsustainability of that industry, as well as the inherent cruelty involved. There is simply no such thing as "humane" animal agriculture.
Firstly thank you so much to Nat Geo for showing this, please continue to expose the truth. Secondly thank you to all those who do this undercover work - without you it would make our mission much harder Any human who sees a problem with undercover work and calling is criminal is just as insane as those committing the abuse - perhaps you find pleasure in watching this?. So let me ask, if an undercover person in a child porn trade did the same kind of exposure would they also be criminal? It is bad enough that people are exploiting these precious beings by using them for their own selfishness and greed let alone making their misery even worse. The only healthy and compassionate way to life for all humans is a vegan lifestyle.
I was thrilled to see this show get past the gatekeepers that always keep this information out of public view. This is brave and wonderful, no matter how much it disappoints Charlotte.
Truly disappointing. I had high hopes that there might be real investigative journalism when I heard that the broadcast would include an interview with an expert in animal agriculture. But alas, no. What were you thinking? This guy 'Pete' is a criminal, a fugitive, no matter what his "cause" is - he even described himself and his feelings of weakness and powerlessness that drew him into this endeavor. Didn't you see it, hear it? He has found 'compensation' and is issued a halo for it. Your lack of hard questions, the fawning, was embarrassing on national media. Pete is the "bullied Bully'. Any reasonable investigation of the main actors in the Animal Rights movement would show people with a laundry list of emotional and psychological disorders and personality defects - just think about it for 5 minutes, and you will realize that their goals, the vegan quasi-religion, is unsustainable, because it violates all the Laws of Nature. Ecology 101: Something must die for something else to live. The world that people like Pete and Matt Rice live in is a battle with reality, and a constant circle of contradictions. They cover their internal life struggles with concern for the lives of animals, yet their professed way of life creates intense cruelty, violence and fear. Only humans have the capability to rationalize, choose this way of life, yet this movement insists that animals are somehow 'the same' as people. They seem to want it both ways. Please, give it 5 minutes of thought, you seem like intelligent and thoughtful people.
Another issue is the lack of any meaningful investigation into the main topic, these mis-named "ag-gag" bills. Admit it, you didn't read a single one, did you? If you had read one of these bills, you would know that there is nothing new that "makes undercover videos illegal" - you were simply parroting the phrases AR activist groups keep repeating. Any serious investigative journalist would be expected to do some background, some in-depth research on the topic. If you did, it doesn't show - which means you have no objectivity. There is a big difference between "whistle blowers" and these "undercover" investigations. (I am not a farmer or rancher, but I do have a background in evidence handling for law enforcement.) These videos are already illegal under existing laws, because these people broke all kinds of laws to get in the door, no matter what their intention. Did Pete tell you how many attempts he makes a year to get film of abuse? Did he tell you how he determines the farms he will apply to work for? Clearly the number of hours of tape he collects shows that what abuse he documents is - although horrific, disturbing, made me heartsick - somewhat less common than he leads us to believe. It's because of this editing, and that they release them to the media instead of authorities, that these bills were written. The abuse of animals in these videos is not a problem of animal care - it is more likely a problem with lack of respect for low-wage WORKERS, whose cultural background and job frustrations are miles away from ideal, modern animal husbandry methods.
But Ag-Gag laws or not, the videos are already out there and can be shown over and over and over again. Every single day, more and more people are "getting it". And you are so wrong about how these undercover heroes find their spots. There are never tips. They are told to get a job wherever they can and they ALWAYS find egregious cruelty. Always. If these operations are so upstanding, why are they all opposed to camera surveillance systems? They don't want the public to see what goes on. Remember, when it's considered a crime to expose those who commit real crimes then you are ruled by criminals.
@Charlotte Allmann "Any reasonable investigation of the main actors in the Animal Rights movement would show people with a laundry list of emotional and psychological disorders and personality defects - just think about it for 5 minutes, and you will realize that their goals, the vegan quasi-religion, is unsustainable, because it violates all the Laws of Nature"
Oh, boy, I don't even know where to start. And the people who kill/abuse other beings for food, fashion, superstitions, screwed up traditions (rodeos, bull fighting), satisfy their tiny egos (trophy hunters) and those who justify it as laws of nature are all sane people without any psychological defects, eh? Nice try. On the other hand, you might have a point. To have pyschological defects, one needs to have a brain and emotions in the first place. Those who justify animal abuse clearly don't have either.
@Charlotte Allmann Wow you are one ignorant person, but please keep talking you are just removing all doubt of that ignorance to any intelligent ration human!
Thank you so much National Geographic for showing this tonight! I hope and pray that more stations will be brave enough and humane enough to show people what they are supporting when they eat meat. I stopped eating meat about a year ago and will NEVER go back! Just think of the animal's eyes! Can you look in an animal's eyes and say you will be a part of making that animal suffer? I have seen footage of other organic farms- the animals suffer even on the organic farms. In the end- the animal suffers. I will never make an animal suffer for me! Thank you National Geograghic!!!
I’m glad to that Prather Ranch is featured as an example of a beef producer who utilized low-stress cattle handling, but I wouldn't use the word “unique” to describe their handling techniques. Low stress handling is very much the standard within the industry. It’s far easier on the animals, the handlers and the facilities if these 1000 – 1400 lb. animals move smoothly, efficiently and quietly. We maximize our profits by providing our customers healthy, well-handled animals.
@Patricia Johnson Agreed! Most growers adhere to these standards, and care deeply about their animals. Those who aren't part or the industry simply cannot understand!
@L E "those who aren't part of the the industry simply cannot understand"???
The Animal Rights Movement is filled with defectors from the animal exploitation industry (myself included) so we understand plenty because WE USED TO BE YOU.
For example: Howard Lyman is an ex multi-generational cattle rancher who is now an author and vegan animal protection activist. John Robbins (of Baskin Robbins ice cream) understands the dairy industry so well that he gave up his due fortune and is now an anti-dairy, health and environmental activist and one of the most influential authors and speakers in the world. And then theres Dr. T. Colin Campbell. He was raised on a dairy farm and now speaks out against the inherent cruelty of dairy farming and otherwise. He also authored "The China Study"which is based on his research - the largest epidemiological study on diet and health and the direct link of animal proteins to disease. He also did a great movie called Forks Over Knives.
@Marie Newman @L E Spot on, Marie! Another notable "convert" to add to your list is Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a cardiologist. He also starred in the Forks Over Knives documentary, and is a leading proponent of a plant-based diet. He grew up on a cattle ranch!
Judging by the responses on this page of those who are "part of the industry", it's obvious that they're deluded and defensive. On some level, even if deeply buried in the subconscious, there must be an internal conflict of instinctively recognizing that what they're doing is wrong. They must keep their defenses up in order to maintain their illusion of righteousness.
Part of this industry???????? Good grief - has the excess meat blocked your brain cells as well as your arteries? How can you say you care about the animals? What you care about is your bloody wallet that is all. Do you think the animals want to die for humans to fill their fat guts??????
@Patricia Johnson While the animals raised and killed for food at Prather Ranch may lead "low stress" lives, they nonetheless go to slaughter, meeting a violent death. They do not willingly lay down their lives to satisfy the pleasures of humans' palates; their lives are taken from them forcibly. It's nice to see animals living a comfortable life, but killing them unnecessarily -- and for profit -- is unconscionable. I realize there are others who believe differently. For many of us, though, we believe it's wrong to harm others for our own pleasure or profit.
@Miss Lisi Most cattle in the United States do in fact, go to slaughter, though I would contend that for most of them, their deaths are neither violent or forcible - like any industry, the meat industry values efficiency. For all of us - you, me, my cattle - death is inevitable. There are few things as cruel as a natural death - mother nature is unkind to the injured or aged animal. My obligation to my cattle, and to any and all buyers of my cattle, is to make sure that they are healthy and well-handled, and to make sure that their deaths are free from fear, from discomfort and from pain - not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it makes my business profitable.
@Patricia Johnson @Miss Lisi BINGO! You said the word profit - I call it blood money. No if you really cared about your 'cattle' you would not send them off to their terror and torture so you can make a pretty penny, the dr's who benefit from all the sick humans can afford another yacht - yeah keep feeding the population animal products that are killing us off too.
@Patricia Johnson @Miss Lisi
<their deaths are neither violent or forcible> Jesus H, what planet do you live on? Getting hoisted up by one leg and having your throat slit isn't violent? I've seen cows shaking in terror while waiting in line to get into the kill box. They absolutely know what's going to happen to them. Stop trying to paint a completely B.S. picture so your propaganda can work for the masses that live in their bubbles. Pathetic!
@Patricia Johnson @Miss Lisi
You have obviously never set foot in a factory operation before. Cows are still squirming throughout the skinning process. And this is the bulk of what's feeding this carnist nation, not the alleged "certified humane" ranches. The majority of people can't afford that not even have the capacity to search for it.
@Miss Lisi So please enlighten us, what should we eat? What could we possibly eat that results in zero loss of life? What should we all do for a living? How should we farm and ranch in a sustainable manner that does not violate your idea of right and wrong? What is your expertise and what experience do you bring to agriculture that would allow us to feed a hungry world without ever killing a single being? And how should we pay our bills and raise our families while feeding the world, all without making a profit?
@L E @David Munoz @Miss Lisi
<Or should we just keep them in pens and feed them until they die from natural causes> The obvious and intelligent answer here is to stop breeding them. Not that hard to figure out.
Anyone that is involved directly in the arena of animal agriculture has one thing and one thing only on their agenda. A profit. Stop pretending that a) what you do is a honorable living and b) that anyone NEEDS the flesh of another being to live. It's scientific fact that vegans are healthier from any perspective. NO ANIMAL WANTS TO DIE.
Now let's move away from cattle and look at the conditions and death for pigs. Castrating babies without anesthetic, thumping their head onto the ground to kill them, boiling live pigs, the beatings, electrocutions, kicking, stabbing -- it's all just a day's work for the industry and the psychopaths they hire. IT'S ALL LEGAL. Doesn't make it okay.
So nothing is killed in plant based agriculture? Or just nothing large? When did the life of large livestock become more valuable than than the lives of rabbits, squirrels, or bugs for that matter? If a life is too precious to take in the name of food, then that means all life. Do you know much about Prather Ranch? Do you know about it's Certified Organic practices? And what would you have people in animal agriculture do with all of these animals. Stop utilizing them immediately and turn them loose? That would be great for the environment. Or should we just keep them in pens and feed them until they die from natural causes (if your paying for that, I hope you have deep pockets).
And my question, what SHOULD we do for a living, is just trying to get at the idea that we don't all have to live in cities and work in little offices! Most people in rural America don't want that life, but feel like we are being attack because we are a minority. Animal agriculture aside, people raised in cities have a very skewed view of what life should be like, and we don't fit that mold...nor do we want to. We like being able to enjoy nature, look at the stars without smog, and take a walk without bumping into other people. There is so much more a stake for us than eating meat. We have a life that you may not understand, but we love. Try living rural for a few years and maybe you could begin to understand.
I am a firm believer in the philosophy that I am not gong to tell you how to live your life, and you shouldn't tell me how to live mine. Just because you choose a plant based diet does not mean I should have to. We live in a free nation, and we need to remain that way. Part of what makes this country great is the ability to make our own choice. If eating an animal is truly immoral, then I guess I will answer to the Lord when I pass, but I can tell you that your morals and mine are very different and while you see some sort of immoral activity, I see what we do as providing the best possible life for these animals while they are here. We love our animals, and we love working to feed a hungry world. If you want to change agriculture, be part of agriculture. If you are going to preach with no real experience or expertise, then stick with your vegan life and leave the rest of us alone.
Oh, by the way, when I want advice about a computer, I'll ask Bill Gates. When I want advice about agriculture, I think I'll ask an expert in that field.
@David Munoz @L E @Miss Lisi Thank you, David! You've made many of the same points I was preparing to make, regarding sustainability, world hunger, animal abuse, human health. You are absolutely correct, and your claims are well-documented for those willing to look at the abundance of supporting evidence. Here's something I was going to add: Argentina, long renowned as one of the top meat-consuming/producing countries in the world, has seen a notable decline in cattle-raising, and an increase in vegetarianism. Many ranchers have converted their operations to a much MORE LUCRATIVE (L E, you were concerned about losing your profits) business of growing soybeans. This was reported in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/business/worldbusiness/02iht-farm.1.8984704.html?_r=0
And here are two articles, one from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and one from the NY Times, about the investment of venture capitalists, including Bill Gates, in the future of more sustainable food production: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-21/silicon-valley-embraces-innovation-in-sustainable-foods
The writing is on the wall, and it's clear that our world has evolved to a point where eating animals -- or their excretions -- is unnecessary for survival. In fact, the earth's survival now depends on reducing/eliminating animal agriculture.
@L E @Miss LisiWhat you should eat is a plant based diet, it is humane, healthy, and sustainable. Eating a western meat based diet is the reason America is the fattest population on the planet, and leading the way in deaths from heart disease. Your method kills over 100 Billion animals annually, and over 1 Trillion fish and sea creatures. Your way is destroying this planet. The western meat based diet is NOT sustainable and immoral. Modern Research proves the healthiest diet for humans is a plant based diet! So the only thing you are qualified to do is to kill for a living? That is sad! What you could do is grow high quality organic produce, there would be a high profit in it for you since organic produce is sold at a premium. As far as feeding people efficiently with limited land resources, you have to agree that comparing how many people can be fed based on one acre of farm land is much better for a produce farm than a meat based farmer. What makes something right or wrong to me and other vegans is this, is there a way to get the same nutrients without exploiting and killing animals, if there is we will take that route! the route of compassion. In the ability to feel pain you and I and the cows you kill are EQUALS. Look up the term sentient beings, those are the ones that deserve our respect and compassion. There have been MANY studies done and if the world ate a Vegan Plant Based diet there would be NO hunger on this planet, there would be more than enough to feed everyone on the planet. If the trends on meat consumption continue at current levels the entire food producing system will collapse in the next 50 years or so, due to the demands on natural resources from the meat and dairy Industries! Eating meat is what is UNSUSTAINABLE. The United Nations, and even Bill Gates states the future is a Vegan Diet!