Also featured on the tape: A USDA inspector warning Pete not to tell him about the most egregious violations, since it would force him to shutter the plant.

Both cases reflect the reluctance of some authorities to fight animal abuse. Meanwhile, Big Ag still hopes to criminalize the few people willing to expose it.

This past February, it bagged its first catch.

Scene from Country View Family Farms
Mercy For Animals
Scene from Country View Family Farms
“One of my colleagues called it ‘pulling carpets,’ because they stuck to the bottom of the cage,” says Cody Carlson of how chickens were kept at Rose Acre Farms.
Samuel Zide
“One of my colleagues called it ‘pulling carpets,’ because they stuck to the bottom of the cage,” says Cody Carlson of how chickens were kept at Rose Acre Farms.

Details


Watch the undercover animal cruelty videos that spurred Big Ag's censorship crusade.

Twenty-five-year-old Amy Meyer was standing on a public road in Draper City, Utah, watching the cows at the Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Company.

As she would later tell independent journalist Will Potter, she noticed "a live cow who appeared to be sick or injured being carried away from the building in a tractor as though she were nothing more than rubble."

Meyer took out her cell phone and started recording. A Smith manager called the police, claiming Meyer had trespassed. But a Draper City officer allowed her to leave, believing she had remained on public land.

Two weeks later, city prosecutor Ben Rasmussen charged Meyer with "agricultural operation interference," a crime under Utah's new ag-gag law. She became the first person in American history to be ensnared for the crime of filming cows.

In April, Potter posted the tale of Meyer's travails on his website, Green Is the New Red (greenisthenewred.com). The story went viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of readers before the site crashed from the volume.

Within a day, Rasmussen decided Meyer didn't make a very good criminal after all and dropped the charges.

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