President Obama,


I’m writing to you in regard to yesterday’s passing of Senate Bill 1337 (S 1337), which Idaho’s dairy industry lobbied for and helped push through. It’s one of many so-called “ag-gag” bills that make it a crime to film inside CAFO factory faming operations facilities. Frankly, I’m shocked that these bills are being acknowledged, let alone passed.


Rather than properly regulate a clearly broken industry—one which has time and time again demonstrated extreme negligence when it comes to the humane treatment of animals raised for livestock—we are now going to prosecute those who wish to document and make public these heinous crimes. This is wrong on so many levels, the most fundamental one being simple, human decency and democracy.


How are you allowing this to continue? These laws are becoming more and more widespread, and the rest of the world is now starting to follow our lead. What must happen is the enforcement of proper regulations, and consequences for those who fail to meet them in the meat, egg and dairy industries. Instead what we have is a clamping down on whistleblowers who are merely attempting to do the job themselves, without compensation.


As undercover videos have exposed, dairy cows have to be routinely raped (“rape-rack” is the industry term), and their day-old calves are snatched from them. Collective mourning cries of mother cows could keep whole towns awake at night.


Males calves are considered “agricultural waste” and are either dumped in the garbage heap alive, or even worse, are half-starved and tightly confined for 14 weeks and then killed for their veal meat. Male chicks in egg industry are also considered agricultural waste, and are either thrown away in garbage heaps alive, or ground up alive to be fed to their mothers.


Slaughter is supposed to be humane. But according to sworn affidavits of meat-workers, each week thousands of cows are, “Skinned all the way to their necks. Their legs have been cut off…and they are still conscious. They make noise. They look around. Their eyes look like they are popping out.” They are the victims of lax inspection and an overly fast assembly line process. Numerous pigs and chickens are boiled alive every week.


I have mentioned only a small portion of the abuses that occur every hour of every day on factory farms around this country. Please, *please* stand up for the basic, humane treatment of animals.


Evan Shamoon


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