So gut-wrenching are the images cows being shocked, turkeys being stomped, horses being burned with chemicals, piglets kicked like soccer balls that the videos recorded by animal rights organizations at factory farms are almost impossible to watch.
That, though, has helped make them effective tools in the fight against illegal and cruel treatment of farm animals. It's alarming that a number of states have bowed to pressure from agribusiness and enacted laws to criminalize this useful undercover work.
Other states that are considering following suit should think twice about whether the best way to deal with the important issues of how animals are treated and food is produced is to keep U.S. consumers in the dark. Six states in the West [including Utah] and Midwest have enacted legislation cracking down on the undercover videotaping of animal facilities that has been the foundation of investigations by organizations including the Humane Society of the United States and Mercy for Animals. So-called ag-gag bills are pending in six other states.