Rebuttal Exercise-abcdefg577

Supportive 3 (Beef article)

Claim- With 98% of farms and ranches in the U.S. family owned and operated, I know that today’s food is grown by people who care about the animals, the environment and the final retail product.

The author believes that the simple fact that the majority of farms are family-run plays a role in the ethical and safety practices of the handling of animals. If these small, loving, family oriented businesses truly care about the animals, there should be no reason that a push for ag-gag laws is being made. Transparency is often very effective in the improvement of conditions in business settings. For instance, the publishing of radiologists’ records in catching mammograms has driven down rates of missed cancers. This same sentiment logically applies to the meat industry. Whistleblowers should be allowed to use video evidence to expose the deplorable conditions in slaughterhouses and on farms, so in turn these supposedly loving family farms will be shamed into stopping their mistreatment of animals. Evidence is already copiously across the internet that reveals this dark side of animal treatment. Google “Mcdonald’s chicken abuse” and then take another look at ag-gag. The name of these laws themselves is very suspect, as if something is trying to be hidden by an intentional gagging. The abuse of animals and the intentional suppression of these activities does not look to me like today’s food is grown by people who care about the animals. Rather, it makes me question if the Manson family is in the shadows running our nation’s meat industry.

Supportive 2 (agweb article)

Claim- The farmers take immediate action when they learn of any mistreatment and do not want to hire anyone who doesn’t have the animals’ welfare always at the top of their mind.

Ag-gag advocates and farm owners are going to great lengths to make sure that activists, or anyone previously affiliated with activist groups, are not hired to work on the farms. Criminal action can be taken against someone who fails to report prior association with an animal activist group upon being hired to work in the slaughterhouse or at the farm. These are exactly the people who have the animals’ welfare as a top priority. In some states, reporting abuse can be considered acts of terrorism. Labelling those who are worried about the animals’ conditions as terrorists and refusing to hire anyone who is or ever was an activist is the exact opposite of wanting to hire workers who care about the animals. This is obviously the businesses looking out for their reputations, forcing silence and removal of those who might taint their image, which is already quite low due to the efforts of the people that they failed to gag.

Antagonistic 2 (lcanimal article)

Claim- Although each state’s Ag Gag legislation is different, they are all written to ensure abuse on factory farms are left unreported and hidden from public scrutiny.

The origin of ag-gag laws is reasonable: to deter people from setting animals free or destroying slaughterhouse property. Unfortunately, ag-gag opponents have warped the intent of these laws to appear to be silencing all whistleblowers and allowing animals to be mistreated. Animal advocates put blinders on and ignore everything else but their goal: to destroy the companies they deem to be against their interests. The videos that have surfaced, claiming to expose the cruelties to animals inside these farms, are often simply footage of regular slaughter. The sad reality of eating meat is that the animals must be killed, and this is apparently antagonistic to the activist agenda. These whistleblowers attempt to rile up the public with their footage and media campaigns. The ag gag laws are meant to prevent these predatory practices that are intended to destroy our nation’s farms. In no way are they what they have been described as: laws meant to silence all opposition to the meat industry.

Antagonistic 1 (alternet article)

Claim- In other words, these laws turn journalists and the investigators of crimes into criminals.

Ag gag laws are not trying to vilify journalists or criminal investigators. This statement attempts to appeal to emotions and change the intended purpose of the laws, painting these two groups as victims of categorical injustices. Infiltrating an establishment on false pretenses to expose the visually disturbing yet normal practices that go on there should not be allowed. Businesses will have to live in fear and trepidation whenever hiring someone new, worried over whether or not this person will launch an attack and media frenzy after filming the animals inside and misrepresenting what goes on as abuse. Ag-gag laws are meant to give farms privacy to go about their operations without the nuisance of prying eyes and cameras trying to capture any misstep that could be taken.

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