Though we just ended our month-long challenge to go vegetarian, an increasingly common piece of proposed legislation has us diving back into the meat-eating debate today. In a piece from yesterday called "Banned From the Barn," New York Times food writer Mark Bittman covers several recent bills proposed in Florida, New York, Iowa and Minnesota whose core purpose was always the same: To make it illegal for people to take photos or video footage of agricultural facilities. In other words, our farmers don't want us to see what they're doing.
Why so secretive? Just watch the above (and very graphic) video for the answer. It was filmed at the Iowa Select Farms pig facility in Kamrar, and it depicts conscious piglets having their genitals and tails removed without anesthetic and conscious pigs being smashed headfirst into the concrete by sadistic handlers. This is how meat is made on factory farms in America, and it makes sense that meat producers don't want you to see this stuff—would you want your bacon coming from a hellish nightmare like Iowa Select, or the dozens of other factory farms that commit similar abuses day after day?
This certainly isn't to say that all pigs raised for food are treated this way, but millions are, and Americans should be able to know that. Even if you eat meat, you should fight tooth and nail against legislation that would prevent people from seeing the insane cruelties committed in the name of their sausage and hamburgers. The truth, like a fine steak tartare, should always be raw.