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posted: 4/10/2013 4:40 AM

Amid athlete abuse, don't forget animals

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Amid athlete abuse, don't forget animals

A university coach was fired for abusing players. His job loss came only as the result of a media broadcast of footage exposing the abuse. A reporter commented, "it is the culture of the game" and, "only the media can really expose such abuse with any hope of subsequent action to stop it."

Concurrently, America's meat and poultry processors are fighting to make it illegal to expose animal abuses in video or photography. Across the nation, it could become a crime to record any agricultural operations.

ALEC, a collaborative association of legislators and corporations dedicated to creating and passing legislation that eliminates corporate regulation, has labeled those who interfere with animal operations "terrorists." ALEC appears to endorse hiding abuse for the sake of profits.

For the most part, instant video and photography have become valuable tools to report crimes and assist authorities and agencies charged with protecting society. While the basketball players lost their voice through intimidation, subjected to the complicated physiological issues of bullying, animals have no voice. Abused and tortured animals rely on the protection of caring humans to provide a voice and to petition, through the laws of the land, for humane treatment.

While animal abuse videos are deeply disturbing, can we risk turning our eyes away and allow suffering for the sake of our commerce and appetites? If we do, what does that say about us as a people, a community of omnivores? Gandi said, "The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals."

The farming industry should embrace proof that their practices are humane and that the few who might run inhumane operations are prosecuted. Abuse is unacceptable for humans and animals, and all of society should demand any type of exposure to report and end abuse.

Gail Talbot


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