Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Animal Abuse in Agriculture

Disturbing animal cruelty.

Tonight, I watched an absolutely horrible undercover video showing the abuse on a dairy farm in Texas. Tears rolled down my face as I watched the way the monsters in this video treated the baby calves on this dairy farm. The people in this video must be held accountable for their horrible acts.

Although thousands of people will watch the video from Mercy For Animals I want you to know that there are thousands or farmers and ranchers that do not treat this animals this way. The thought of animal abuse doesn't even cross our minds.

This is a new calf on our
farm. Read my sister's blog
to learn about her.
The beef calves and cows on my family's, the Boy's and the Boy's family's farm are not treated this way. Neither are the dairy animals raised by our neighbors.

Last weekend, the last cow on the Boy's farm calved. Once the calf was born, we ensured that she had a dry, warm place. Yesterday morning the Boy texted me said he was "frozen to death." That's because he spent all morning in the frigid rain putting out bedding for the cows and calves. He put his animal's welfare before his own. Those cows and calves depend on us, and as farmers and ranchers we'll do whatever it takes to make sure they receive the best care possible.

But what about animal abusers?

Well first of all I wish that Mercy For Animals would have reported this abuse the minute they saw it, not two weeks later, like all other animal rights activists. Do the people recording this footage really care about the animals. I could barely watch this. How could anyone stand there in real life and watch this.

At the end of the video Mercy For Animals gives you a solution - Veganism. Veganism is not the answer to animal abuse. I'll give you another solution. Talk to farmers and ranchers. Get to know the people that you are buying your food from. At the end of the post I have listed some other Farmer and Rancher blogs, and there take on animal abuse and raising food. Don't be afraid to ask them questions.

Haley Farms - they raise Simmental cattle like my family. And you have to check out Mike Haley's video.

Ray-Lin Dairy - Ray is a second generation dairymen. Him and his family milk around 500 cows in California

Agriculture Proud - Ryan Goodman is a young rancher, raising beef cattle

Two Maids a Milking - I love this post called our Cows Are Ladies.

Doing a quick google search for Dairy Farm Tours these are just a few that I came up with. I encourage you to do your own search and go see where your milk, cheese and yogurt comes from. And if you are a farmer or rancher reading my blog, and would be willing to open up your farm let me know. I'll list to you too!

Hinchley Farm Tours, Cambridge, Wisconsin

Kreider Farm Tour, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Shamrock Farms, Phoenix, Arizona

Klausmeyer Dairy Farms, Clearwater, Kansas

And don't forget if you have questions you can ask me too!


  1. How awful! I agree - people don't need to become vegan they need to talk to farmers and ranchers and know where there food comes from! We have a sheep operation in SW Colorado and are VERY willing to open up our farm!
    Thank you for this post Crystal.

  2. Of course you know this is a plot by the vegans to eliminate farming and ranching all together. Together with PETA they want to make all animals free- horses, sheep pigs goats etc...I call it Terra-Ecto Fundamentalism. WE know that most animals raised on farms are well cared for, but 'city folk' only want to believe what they have been told- it lessens their guilt about having opposable thumbs...

  3. Very Good Crystal! We raise farrow to finish hogs here in Indiana - we sell 2000 fat hogs a year and everything is treated humanely - our animals welfare comes first - without them we don't make a living! It isn't all I write about on my blog but I do write posts on hog production. We also have a facebook page for our farm: https://www.facebook.com/CampbellGrainAndLivestock
    check out our facebook page, keep up on what we do and "like" us.

    People who want to know the truth should check out local family farms - http://jentsfrontporch.blogspot.com/

  4. Oh my gosh - I could not watch that. After 10 seconds I was crying and turning my head. I don't understand how anyone could film that and just stand back and watch it happen!

    People think that farmers - especially ranchers who raise meat are heartless and cruel. I don't understand why. The ranchers that raise our meat care more for their animals that most people do for their children. This video is the exception - not the rule. Saying that all farmers are like this is the same as saying all mothers drown their children in the bath tub (that woman years ago who drown her 5 children in the bath tub).

    I wouldn't be suprised if Mercy for Animals were the "undercover workers" inflicting this horrible abuse.

    Sarah from The House That Ag Built

  5. Nice post Crystal! I may link mine on this topic to yours for additional information!

  6. Such a sad day for livestock farmers across the US. I also wondered how someone could stand there and film for more than 2 seconds. I would have gone tearing down the road, screaming my head off. I think 1 day would have been just as sufficient as 2 weeks of "investigating". And an excellend point Sarah makes - do the few crappy parents out there reflect how we "All" treat our kids? Same for the farmers.

  7. Amanda MatthewsApril 20, 2011

    Its terrible to see what one individual does affects the rest of their peers in Agriculture. But as Temple Grandin says, we need to invite those who have questions about agriculture to our homes and ranches to see that not everyone is cruel and we love our cattle, sheep, hogs and other animals just as we love our own family.

  8. I did not see the video. I have never had any ranch friends that abused any of their animals. Most of us put our animals before ourselves for sure. In this case I wish they would throw the book at this farmer. Being vegan is not the answer. Most of the world does not want to go vegan. The answer is to buy from farmers with good reputations. I could go on for hours on this topic...

  9. Thanks so much for all your comments, and I know many of you have shared this post with others. Thanks for believing in us farmers!

  10. Great information - it's always unfortunate that it's the abusers who are put in bright lights and the conscientious and caring ranchers are tossed to the side. Vegetarianism - I don't think so

  11. Here is the other side of the story.


  12. Thanks for sharing our post. I can't even get myself to even start watching the video. How could you sit back and watch (film) someone abusing an animal. Just makes me sick!

  13. Will you post a comment from an opposing viewpoint? Contrary to what Vaquerogirl says, not all vegans are "city folk", and we don't think that all farmers treat their animals this way. However, no matter how much you love your animals, you still send them to slaughter, don't you? Do you know that it is very possible to live without eating animals or their products? As for the Mercy for Animals undercover agent, I can assure you they were NOT the perpetrators of those awful acts, but bore witness to the horrors in order to inform the general public. Many such undercover workers have post-traumatic stress from witnessing the cruelties that they see, but if someone doesn't do it, NO ONE will know about the bad farmers out there. Obviously -- since even none of you "good" farmers knew that it existed. Take pride in your humane treatment of animals, and band with the rest of us against those who give farmers a bad name.

  14. Rebecca, thank-you for your comments. I respect your decision to not eat meat. Eating meat is a personal choice, but a choice that should be made after researching the issue. That means researching both sides of the issue.

    I the livestock I raise are for food purposed. However, before the end of the their time on Earth it is my responsibility that they have received the best care possible. I take great pride in treating my animals humanely, but I will NOT band with a group who's sole goal is Veganism.

  15. I wouldn't say that Mercy for Animals' sole goal is veganism, Crystal -- although that is the inevitable outcome of their mission to end the commodification of animals for humans' purposes. But we must all find our own path. I happily ate meat and used animal products (preferred them, actually) for 51 years -- until I realized I could no longer reconcile my love and respect for animals with denying them their God-given freedoms and lifespans. I understand that you and your friends who post on this blog take good care of the animals in your charge, but I will never again believe that altering their bodies without anesthesia, denying them their natural behaviors, or housing them indoors for virtually their entire lives (which are made woefully short by HUMAN hands) is ever in their best interest. I hope you keep doing the best job you can to care for those in your charge, and peace to you.

  16. I agree, veganism is NOT the answer. Talking with the ranchers and farmers is the best solution, most of them are happy to share with you how the raise the animals and their knowlage of the industry.

  17. I became a vegetarian the day I realized I could never look an animal in the eye and take its life. Why would I pay someone else to do so?

    And, I'm not a city girl. My brother owns a hog confinement facility; my father is a cattle rancher; my grandfather is a dairy farmer. And, I feel very uncomfortable with the way their operations are run. Even though they are good people, a confinement facility is still like hell for pigs. Standing in your own feces in a feedlot is no life for cows, and separating calves from their mothers after a day or two and placing baby boy cows in veal crates is inexcusable. I've spent extensive time in 3 slaughterhouses and I think the old adage that "if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarians" is also true.

    I'm disturbed by the number of people commenting who aren't condemning the actions of the people in the video but are rather condemning Mercy for Animals for not coming out sooner. People need to know when these abuses are happening. They won't if the video footage isn't taken. What's scary to me is that MFA has randomly chosen 13 farms and found hideous abuses on each and every one of them. I think many of these abuses--horn cutting and castration without anesthesia, for example--are undeniably the industry standard.

  18. I have finally put up a blog about the video, although not as well done as yours or Celest Laurents. I hope that it makes my colleagues realize that we need to keep an open eye and know that things like this are happening and we need to make sure it stops.

    I would like to address one of the comments above me. I can appreciate that you are a vegetarian, I have friends with the same lifestyle. I grew up on a small farm where I was raised knowing that animals were meant for food. My first 4-H project was a goat that I helped butcher. My parent's wanted me to understand that taking care of and loving our animals is all a part of the life process and that eventually the animal that I loved would be consumed.

    Growing up and being educated through various camps and programs, I have been on the inside of slaughter houses and know that their practices are human, I can say that in good knowledge because I have seen it.

    However I do not think that the ranches in these videos are chosen by random, and I would hope that you have more faith in your society to be better then that.



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