Scroll down for for the actual video. Be aware the 'disturbing images' warning at the start of it is no joke.
In the midst of the all oil spill all the time coverage out there, you may have missed this truly horrific story of systematic animal cruelty perpetrated at Conklin Dairy Farms in Ohio. Mercy For Animals ran an undercover investigation into what was going on at the dairy and came away with some of the most disturbing footage I've ever seen of people abusing cows and calves.Again, you've been warned: This is seriously disturbing, even if you've see plenty of photos or video of factory farm conditions. If you watch only the first 15 seconds you get the gist of it, but the fact that it just keeps going, and going, and going makes it all the worse.
Thankfully, at least one of the four people abusing animals in the video, 25-year old Billy Joe Gregg, has been arrested and charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty. Assuming he's found guilty on all counts--I can't imagine how he could ever defend his actions--he faces a maximum jail term of three years and a fine of $9,000.
By the way, CriminalDefenseLawyer.com tells me the average sentence from someone convicted of felony assault and battery in Ohio is a fine of $50,000-200,000 and 15 days in jail. I haven't checked other sources on that, so take it for what it's worth as a quick comparison.
For its part, Conklin Dairy fired Gregg and is cooperating with the police. On Wednesday it said in a press release, "We will not condone animal abuse on our farm. We have launched our own internal investigation into this matter and will be conducting interview with everyone on our farm who works with our animals."
Which really seems like the least you could do...
Please, Please, Please, Know Where Your Food Comes From
It's all just craziness. I can rationalize that Gregg and the others don't view these animals as even being alive, capable of feeling pain or emotion, but it just feels empty. Even if you just view these cows as machines to be exploited, why would you behave this way towards them? Do you stamp on your computer when it crashes? Do you take a crowbar to your car when something goes wrong? And then grin and smile about it?
There's an easy plea here of "Go Vegan!" but beyond mentioning it just then, I'm not going to make it. But at the very least, for the love of life, if you eat dairy, if you do eat meat, know where it's coming from. Know who you're buying it from and how they raise their animals--thankfully, not everyone behaves this way towards their livestock. If you don't know them personally, research the operation so you can be assured everything is done as humanely as possible. If you don't know this positively, don't eat it. Please.