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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 10:19PM #1
comradesoul
Posts: 111
Got this in the mail today. This looks it might be a milestone. Great work PeTA.

Victory: First-Ever Felony Charges of Cruelty to Factory-Farmed Birds
Posted at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

In a huge victory for animals, a grand jury has issued 19 indictments for cruelty to animals against three former employees of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc. And it gets better—11 of the indictments are on felony charges. This marks the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds.

These indictments are the result of PETA's undercover investigation at Aviagen's factory farms in West Virginia, which uncovered workers stomping, kicking, throwing, and killing turkeys in unimaginably cruel ways. Our investigator's video footage was seen by the West Virginia State Police, whose investigator then conducted his own prompt and thorough investigation, leading to these indictments in Greenbrier County. Next stop: Monroe County, where we anticipate additional charges to be filed for similar acts committed there.

It's great to see the authorities take this case seriously. But Aviagen itself? Not so much.

As you may recall, a couple of weeks back, a whistleblower told us that some of the turkey torturers were still employed by Aviagen, despite the company's promise to fire all the workers caught violating its purported animal-welfare policies. PETA's letter to the company president about this has gone unanswered. And Aviagen has refused to give any specific details about the actions it claims to have taken. So, as far as we can tell, Aviagen hasn't yet implemented even one of the seven improvements we suggested to them. If you're as riled about this as we are, please take a minute to ask Aviagen executives to stop sitting on their thumbs and take some specific steps toward preventing the continued torture of birds in the company's sheds.

Bet these indictments have got them sitting up and paying attention, though. And not just at Aviagen (I'm looking at you, Butterball, Pilgrim's Pride, and Tyson). And I suspect the charges might make those drumsticks a little harder for some folks to swallow too.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 1:42PM #2
solfeggio
Posts: 8,514
Comradesoul -
Nice to see you back again!

I found a link to the AP story on the abusive workers:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art … gD965MVF81

I was very pleased to read that these despicable employees have been indicted.

Nice job, PeTA!  I am so glad that you are out there looking after animal interests.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2009 - 4:38AM #3
comradesoul
Posts: 111
Thanks Solf,

The site has a new look and a much cleaner feel. New owners maybe? No longer barraged by constant ads which made coming here in the past a form of torture for me.

Thanks for the link. A small step into the cruelty of factory farming but and important first one.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2009 - 11:44PM #4
Shihulud
Posts: 1,360
We need to have the same laws protecting farm animals as we have protecting companion animals. If only people could see that they have the same feelings and right to life as their precious pets.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2009 - 2:35PM #5
solfeggio
Posts: 8,514
Good point, Shi -
I think the trouble is in the term 'farm animals,' which is similar to talking about farm implements or farm machinery.  It's all about being a useful commodity - and nothing more. 

Cows are used to produce calves and milk.  Later on, after perhaps three years or so, when they don't produce so much milk anymore, the cows are slaughtered for beef.  Therefore, a cow is seen as being a very serviceable animal, capable of making money for the dairy farmer.

The same goes for pigs, of course, chickens, and sheep.  These are all creatures which are not only money-makers in themselves when their bodies are sold as meat, but they can also be used adventageously to produce more bodies that can subsequently be sold as well.

The fact that cows, pigs, chickens, and sheep have the same feelings, emotions, and desires, and the same desire (and right) to live their lives as cats and dogs means nothing to the farmer, who only sees these animals as a way to make a profit.

Where money is concerned, human greed knows no limits.

And, if you happen to mention these things to the average farmer, you get answers like this:

'They're just dumb beasts.  Anyway, we treat them well.'
'My father and grandfather before him were farmers.  We don't know any other life.'
'We've got a right to make a living, just like anybody else.'
'It's nature's way that we should eat them.'
'God created the beasts of the field for humans to use.  It says so right in the Bible.'
'Jesus ate meat.'
'We have to raise animals for food because people need the protein.  We're doing a service.'
'Humans domesticated animals.  Therefore, we have a right to do what we want with them.'

And, finally, and probably most commonly:
'Who the hell are you to talk to me about what I do?  You're one of them damned vegans, I bet.  Get lost.'
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 7:39PM #6
Shihulud
Posts: 1,360
solf, my father-in-law is a butcher and came from a farming family in a farm community. He usually just gives me that "your crazy" look if I mention anything about animal rights or being vegan. Using animals like mindless things has become so ingrained in their culture that any other way just seems completely alien to them. It's hard to win a fight against that. But as our entire culture evolves compassion for animals spreads.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 7:39PM #7
Shihulud
Posts: 1,360
solf, my father-in-law is a butcher and came from a farming family in a farm community. He usually just gives me that "your crazy" look if I mention anything about animal rights or being vegan. Using animals like mindless things has become so ingrained in their culture that any other way just seems completely alien to them. It's hard to win a fight against that. But as our entire culture evolves compassion for animals spreads.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 9:25PM #8
solfeggio
Posts: 8,514
Shi,
I was just watching a piece on the news about the 'ripple effect' that the economic breakdown is having on America.  People aren't going out to eat as often as they did, and this means that the people in the restaurant business are being laid off - and it even extends to the butchers!  In some meat processing plants, butchers are losing their jobs because the restaurants aren't ordering as much meat.

I was very pleased to see this!  Wouldn't it be great if all the butchers lost their jobs?

It's probably best if you don't try to have a conversation with your father-in-law because he just doesn't understand what is going on where animals are concerned.

You are right to say that it is part of our culture to the point where most people can't imagine anything else.

We saw an ad for a food programme on TV the other night, and the show was going to be about extreme diets.  Well, what do you suppose they included in the ad to show an extreme diet?  Yes, they had somebody talking about vegetarianism!

Extreme?  People stuffing their faces with meat three times a day are the extreme ones!

But, if you have cable and get the Food channel, you'll have seen that almost everything they feauture is some sort of meat/dairy recipe.  That's what the average person considers food.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 8:36AM #9
becca97
Posts: 2,562

solfeggio wrote:

Shi,
I was just watching a piece on the news about the 'ripple effect' that the economic breakdown is having on America.  People aren't going out to eat as often as they did, and this means that the people in the restaurant business are being laid off - and it even extends to the butchers!  In some meat processing plants, butchers are losing their jobs because the restaurants aren't ordering as much meat.

I was very pleased to see this!  Wouldn't it be great if all the butchers lost their jobs?


just to play devils advocate a little -- what about butchers loosing their jobs helps animals in any long term manner?

bx

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 9:04PM #10
solfeggio
Posts: 8,514
becca -
I'm not sure what you're getting at here about butchers losing their jobs.  Do you mean that the occupation of being a butcher doesn't have that much to do with animals in any important way?  Are you saying that, in other words, since butchers only deal in the dead bodies of animals, this would mean that they are not responsible for the deaths of the animals and as such are not truly a part of the animal agriculture industry?

It's true that they are not the people actually raising the animals, and they're not the people actually slitting the animals' throats.  But they are the people who are selling the end product of all of this, and they are doing it to make a living.  In a way, they are the middle man between the producers and the consumers.  So, they do have at least some responsibility for causing the deaths of animals.

Nothing happens in a vacuum.  Everything depends upon something else.  If there were no butcher shops selling meat, or meat counters in supermarkets, then people would have to buy something else to eat.  They'd complain at first, but in probably a very short time they would adjust and learn to make veggies the centerpieces of their meals.
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