Congress is considering modest legislation that would set standards for egg laying hens, and standards for labeling eggs. That might seem like a no-brainer to anyone with the slightest concern for animal welfare or food safety, but the ag industry is in an uproar.
As Politico reported: “…powerful pork and beef cattle lobbies are up in arms, fearing the precedent, they say, of Congress dictating housing for livestock.”
In response, Iowa Rep. Steve King wants to repeal every voter-approved animal welfare reform that states have enacted. You read that correctly. As the Humane Society’s Wayne Pacelle notes, he wants to wipe out the reforms that voters have made law. [click to continue…]
There’s a vibrant national protest movement reviving “direct action” tactics of civil disobedience. And groups like Cascadia Forest Defenders have been so effective that now lawmakers are calling them “terrorists” and trying to pass new laws criminalizing tree-sits.
The bills even single out the Elliott State Forest campaign by name and allow corporations to sue protesters for costing them money.
Just as the ag industry is trying to create a crime of “animal agriculture interference,” the forest industry is trying to create a crime of “interference with forestland management.”
My latest article for Vice investigates these bills and the resurgence of forest defense in the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s an excerpt: [click to continue…]
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has vetoed a bill that would punish whistleblowers who expose animal welfare, environmental, and workers’ rights abuses on factory farms and slaughterhouses. It’s a huge victory for Tennesseans, but it also has national significance. The tables have turned on Big Ag, and corporate front groups are desperately trying to pick up the pieces of the worst PR blunder in the industry’s history.
The governor’s office received more than 5,000 phone calls and 16,000 emails, nearly all of them opposing the bill. My petition on Change.org alone has more than 100,000 signatures opposing ag-gag.
The opposition in Tennessee came from clergy, the ACLU, unions, the Humane Society, whistleblower groups, prosecutors, environmental groups and more. [click to continue…]
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has been inundated with calls and emails for him to veto “ag-gag” legislation that aims to silence whistleblowers who expose abuses on factory farms and slaughterhouses. He received more than 15 thousand emails. And of the 5 thousand phone calls, more than 90 percent urged a veto according to Nashville Public Radio.
More than 33,000 people have signed an ACLU petition against the Tennessee bill.
More than 75,000 people have signed my Change.org petition against the bills, nationally.
More than 300 ministers and clergy have urged Governor Haslam to veto. [click to continue…]