Paul Solotaroff covers the efforts of animal-rights activists to expose and change living conditions for livestock:
If you want to perform your version of “euthanasia” by hanging downer pigs execution-style from a forklift – as an Ohio farmer was fond of doing till being filmed by an [Human Society of the United States] agent (a judge later found him not guilty, ruling that Ohio has no standards forbidding the strangulation and hanging of farm animals) – by all means do so without fearing a knock from jackbooted federal cops. If you want to mislead the public, as Perdue is accused in a class-action lawsuit of doing with labeling its Harvestland brand of chickens as “humanely raised,” feel free, knowing that no regulator will call bullshit on your claims.” …
There are laws in every state barring cruelty to house pets, but almost none that safeguard farm animals. To the extent that prosecutors can bring charges, they’re typically misdemeanors that call for small fines and a ban on taking farm jobs in the future. “Despite everything we know about animals now – that they think, they feel, they form connections – we still treat them worse than dirt,” says [Mary Beth Sweetland, who is the investigative director for the Humane Society of the United States.]
The recent Dish thread on animal cruelty is here.