Thursday, May 27, 2010

If This Could Be A Felony Charge...

This is one of the problems with state anti-cruelty laws - they almost invariably exempt farmed animals and, if they include them, the penalties are often less harsh and restrictive than if the animals was someone's dog or cat.

One of the workers shown severely abusing cows and calves on Conklin Dairy Farm has been arrested. The charges? All misdemeanors.

Think about that. This is a man who is so angry, so depraved that he breaks tails of other sentient beings, stabs them with pitchforks, twists their necks and legs so that he can beat them, punches and kicks animals in the face and sensitive udder...and all he faces are misdemeanors. This is a dangerous person. As of yet, not even the agribusiness industry can step up and defend anything that went on at this farm.

The farm was visited three times last year by the state. 

Conklin is a 4th generation dairy farmer. He is the owner. He wrote a statement decrying the abuse seen in the video.

He could not comment on the footage showing him kicking a cow who could not get up several times. When your boss kicks the cows, why is it surprising that workers would do it too?

Sure, this may be atypical, but how are consumers supposed to know? How is your average citizen who is worried about paying bills, feeding their family, supposed to know whether or not the milk they drink comes from a farm where workers stab pitchforks into animals' bodies?

Here are a few faces of the dairy industry from the sanctuary:

Nicholas Looking Handsome
Nicholas. He is a male dairy calf. They don't produce milk. They are sent to auction and sold for $3-15. Farmers do not make money off of them. They are raised for veal or backyard slaughter.

Pretty Sadie
Sadie developed mastitis when she was 5. Very common on dairy farms. Not so common on cow-calf operations raising calves for beef. Producing too much milk has some negative consequences for the animals. Mastitis is one of the primary reasons dairy cows are sent to slaughter. She's 12. We treated her mastitis. So far, she's exceeded the dairy farm cow's life span by 7 years. She never nursed or groomed her calves. When the calves arrived from auction, she was in mom heaven.

Calf cuteness attack
Summer and Freedom, two more male dairy calves. They exhibited abnormal and stereotypic behaviors commonly seen in maternal deprivation and social iso studies involving cattle - cross-suckling, inappropriate nursing, compromised immune system, etc. They turn one in a few days. I remember holding them the day we rescued them from auction. They were so small and frail. The workers used paddles to move them along, even though they could have easily been picked up. They are not so small anymore. :)

And now back to your normal programming. ;)


YesBiscuit! said...

I agree they should be felonies. But if he does get the maximum 90 day sentence for each of the 12 counts (plus fines), that would be far greater than the typical (non)punishment for equivalent behavior with pets.
I just hope law enforcement refuses entry to this guy.

Houndward Bound said...

If these charges were felonies I think it would follow that harsher punishments would be given for animal cruelty against 'pets' as well. I don't think we'll see a day when the legal system punishes acts of cruelty against 'farm animals' more than 'pets'.

Jennie said...

Thanks, as always, especially for the tie-in with the rescued bovines. I hope we'll see the day where this treatment receives the same felony punishment no matter what the species of animal (humans included!). Maybe it's a long shot, but if we start by saying "I doubt there will ever be a time when they're punished equally," we preempt failure.

Houndward Bound said...

You read my statement incorrectly. I do not say we will never see a day when all animals are treated equally and punishments laid the same.
I was responding to the previous suggestion that charging this man with felony crimes would give preferential treatment to farm animals over pets (terms used loosely). I disagree that could ever happen.
I am confident a future society will not separate between the suffering of different species and agree if you don't believe in change it can't happen.

YesBiscuit! said...

Houndward Bound, you are misunderstanding my comment. I meant nothing like what you said above. Sorry if I typed it in a confusing way that lead to the misunderstanding.

Houndward Bound said...
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Houndward Bound said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Houndward Bound said...

Oops I didn't realize it would show every time I deleted a comment (typos).
I apologize for misunderstanding you YesBiscuit, I hope I didn't offend.

Jennie Bailey said...

Thank you for the sweet pictures. I switched to soy milk yesterday. Milk and cheese were the last holdouts from my childhood vegetarianism. Gone now. Soy ice cream will be bought next week. That video yesterday just did it for me. I'm done. I don't want to ever think I'm contributing to that suffering by purchasing their products or things made from cow's milk. I can't live with myself after watching that.