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Stossel: No Filming on Farms

Oh, my God. Oh, my God. A woman records what appears to be a live cow being pushed by a bulldozer. On that bulldozer? Yes. He’s alive. She was filming from public land. The farm owner drove up and confronted her. You cannot videotape my property from public property Why are you concerned about being filmed if you have no problem, you think this is a legitimate business? It is a legitimate business. Utah prosecutors charged the woman with “agricultural operation interference.” Am I free to leave or am I being detained? You’re being detained. But she was on public land. They dropped the charges several months later. [Cow mooing] But what if she’d sneaked on to a farm to record what she considered animal abuse? More than a hundred such investigations have been done. Activists pose as farm workers and secretly record the way animals are treated. An animal rights group released this undercover video of the dairy farm. It shows workers hitting, kicking, and throwing young calves. We are not showing the most disturbing parts of the video. Farmers, upset up about these recordings, are persuading politicians to essentially outlaw these undercover investigations. The controversial Ag-Gag law the sixth state to pass an Ag-Gag law. There are activists stalking farms to try to capture something that the public doesn’t understand. Kay Johnson Smith speaks for a farm group that supports the ag-gag laws, though they don’t call them that. We would call it farm protection. Farm protection. What about everybody else? Why do you get special protection? The agricultural community is the only business community that this sort of tactic is really being used on right now. I’m an investigative reporter, I can’t do my job if there are laws that prevent me from showing things. Nobody believes it if you don’t see it. These activist groups want to eliminate all of animal agriculture. Brittany you’re holding a dead body This group livestreams its protests on Facebook. You saw a dumpster with hundreds of dead birds? Many of the activists stormed into the farm. Some stole some of the baby ducklings. We were just able to rescue almost 30 baby ducks. Others chained themselves to the entrance of the farm [Music] Later the activists released this video of the 30 stolen ducklings, adding music, and showing the birds running around, apparently happy [Music] They stole these ducks after seeing this earlier undercover video of injured ducks at the farm. Mercy for Animals says their undercover investigations have led to criminal charges. Ag-gag laws often prevent such investigations– which is why farm states pass them. A bill making it illegal to apply for a job in a farming operation under false pretenses. But what about free speech? Ag-gag laws chill speech. Lawyer Amanda Howell speaks for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a group that says ag-gag laws are unconstitutional. And they did get several states’ laws struck down. Iowa, then, just passed a new law. Ag-Gag 2.0. A bipartisan bill trying again to stop people from lying to get onto farms. These groups are exposing issues that are happening. If they really cared about animals, they would stop it right then. Instead, they go weeks and months without reporting anything to the farm owners. That’s true. This investigation went on for months. Agriculture groups now are pushing laws that would force activists to report abuse quickly. Why don’t they? They want to make their movie. They want to make their sensational video. It’s because they care about the animals that they want to show that that’s something that happens every day on these farms Consistent, constant, abuse A company can say, “This is a one-off.” This is not just discrete actors. This is company policy. They say they don’t want to just correct the abuse on that farm. They want to change all farming practices. What they really want is to stop people from eating meat, milk, and eggs. Do you want people to stop eating meat? I want people to act in their conscience. But you didn’t really the question. Do you want people to stop eating meat or eggs? I think that… again … I… I… [laughs] Are we asking… sorry… Are we asking me personally or asking the Animal Legal Defense Fund? She never did give a direct answer Workers in a turkey farm abusing the birds Animal rights activists have exposed things that need exposing. Wal-Mart now taking a stand when it comes to the treatment of farm raised animals. How else would you have made these changes without sneaking into your farms? Well, that’s to say that farmers can’t be trusted and I think that everyone- And in the past, some could not. There are bad apples in every industry. However, I would say 99.9% of farmers in America They do the right thing every single day. Farming isn’t always pretty. [Farm sounds] People have some right to privacy, no? I think we should all be worried when corporations are supporting laws that impinge our right to free speech. We should worry, whatever you think of the activists, and I have problems with many of them, government shouldn’t pass special laws that prevent people from revealing what’s true.


  1. NPC 69541 Author

    Halt farm subsidies, allow legitimate farm inspections from legitimate groups, prevent artificial price controls and end these radical vegan groups criminal actions

  2. Existential Hangover Author

    I really do understand both sides. I hate animal cruelty too. But if someone were to film my tiny farm there would be days where I appeared to be cruel as well. Compassion for all living creatures is a human trait. When a chicken gets sick the others peck it mercilessly. They don't "care" in the slightest.
    Tending your own garden or farm is the answer if it's possible, make it happen.

  3. Phoenix Franks Author

    Government shouldn't pass unconstitutional laws.

    One of the problems here seems to be that once one of the AG Gag laws is struck down, the state just creates a new one which must then also be legally challenged until it is struck down, and the process just continues. There is no mechanism by which law makers are censured or prevented from repeatedly making unconstitutional laws.

  4. Biff Henderson Author

    I am against laws of farm secrecy. That is a perfect example of how a strong lobby can force government to behave in a manner that is not in the best interest of the public.
    There is undoubtable extreme good and bad treatment of animals. Each of those should be praised and condemned. While the video shows a few cases of obvious brutality, the true problem is the gray area. Can I slap a cow on the butt to get it to move? Can I brand a cow as my property? Can I dock baby pigs tails to keep other pigs from biting them off and risking infection? Can I forcibly take milk from a cow without the cows consent? These wackos would say "NO". Wackos may not understand farming or how mushrooms are grown in horse manure but good farmers certainly do. Good farmers can also recognize very bad treatment of animals. Good farmers condemn extreme bad treatment of animals and have no problem exposing those who do such things. In the video, it appears to me to be a few bad employees rather than an entire farm. Farms are a workplace just as any other workplace. There are bad employees and good employees. Bring it to the owners attention and the bad employees will be fired immediately.

  5. Earthlights Music Author

    Upton Sinclair lives. Maybe we will pay more for our meat and eggs if it means the farmers will slow down and not throw the animals around like that. They can advertise that their products are free of stress hormones.

  6. Pike Stance Author

    I really wish people stop using the 99.9% stat. Its disingenuous and weakens your argument. If you do not know, then find out for yourself. The law is ridiculous. If that women agrees that the treatment is bad, then self- regulate the "bad apples out rending the activists as unnecessary.

  7. Bill Author

    So, the choice is unconstitutional regulations to protect the unscrupulous from scrutiny or hyper-zealot fringe-o activism to victimize the entrepreneur.

  8. CaptainDuckman Author

    Big problem with all those videos is that there's no way to know whether anything they show is even real, isn't a setup with actors. Say one of the activists hits the animal while the other films, then scream that the farmer is abusing animals.
    Which is a very real problem.

  9. None Yourbiddness Author

    I dont acknowledge currupt laws that go against the United States Constitution and Neither does the Court. Hence …. No Charges! Keep doing what you doing. If you Abuse Anything For Profit Then You Will Be Filmed Eventually.

  10. William Griffith Author

    You losers , that tenderizes the meat and now I'm hungry, and you couch warriors that don't eat meat are mostly fat asses. Stossel can't be trusted too

  11. RedBaritonePlayer Author

    So according to this bought and paid for witch, its the protestors fault for not reporting the farms to the farms? You really expect anyone who isnt retarded to buy that?

  12. Hercule Holmes Author

    There are two sides to this story. First of all, a lot of things in farming may seem strange to people who don't understand what they are seeing so you shouldn't automatically assume that it's animal abuse. For example, I love foxes but I understand why farmers eradicate them; they are absolutely vicious predators. Crows too; those birds will peck the eyes out of newborn lambs.
    There are often reasons for the way things are, and I am very cautious of these kind animal rights videos because it's very easy to create a false impression.

    But on the other hand, clearly there is widespread and appalling abuse of animals in farming. IMO all factory farming should be banned. not only should it be banned, it should be a criminal offense. It is EVIL. Period. There is no need for it in America; if meat costs even twice the price or three times the price to give animals a decent standard of living, no American will ever go hungry as a result. They might have to cut down on their burgers.

  13. Barry McGeorge Author

    While I think most of these "animal rights" groups are nuts, there certainly shouldn't be any law preventing them from recording what goes on. Obviously they should be prosecuted for trespassing. I'm not sure that a law should keep them from lying, though I think that would open these groups to a bad faith lawsuit. It's also pretty clear from her non answer that they do in fact want people to stop eating meat, eggs, and milk. That's fine if that's what they want, they just need to go about it in a different way. Same for the farmers. Stop trying to get laws passed that infringe on constitutionally protected rights.

  14. Angry Alan Rants Author

    These “activists “ are out of their mind.
    And law enforcement just empowers every one of them. Chaos. Chaos encouraged

  15. Jon Lanier Author

    Hey Stossel, tell that to the Air Force and Area 51. There are laws keeping you out… and there are laws keeping people out of private business.

  16. Jon Lanier Author

    Same people upset with the farmers are the same people who are okay with killing a child in the womb. Messed and miserable people.

  17. professorquarter Author

    If they are just filming it's good. When they steal animals that is a different story and I am not going to get worked up about states coming down especially hard on such cases.

  18. Daniel Earl Author

    And what is the root of this? The State. The Sad thing is, both sides aren't that different. Both sides are seeking to use the gun of the State to force you to do what they think is right.

  19. UltimateBargains Author

    When you censor someone, you are conceding defeat of your ideas.

    "Evil does seek to maintain power by suppressing the truth." — Leonard Nimoy as "Spock" in the Classic Star Trek episode "And The Children Shall Lead"

    "Only bad ideas require censorship in order to be maintained." — Dave Cullen

  20. Greg Nulik Author

    Why can't animal rights people just be nice, ask to check on farm animals (at no cost to the farmer), and then talk to the farmer about possible improvements the farmer can afford (either through normal ag dept ways or with non-govt help)?

  21. jsudlow12 Author

    "I think we should all be worried when corporations are supporting laws that impact our right to free speech" now lets ask her if conservatives should be banned or censored on youtube, twitter and facebook, lets see what she says then

  22. Joel Bento Author

    why do they want to control other people??? i eat what i want, you go and eat whatever you want, leftist dictators. cheap meat people know about that for years , but poor people cant aford 20 dolar steaks.

  23. Drew Freeman Author

    In Pennsylvania, a one party consent state, filming activities in public view is perfectly legal. Don't let anyone tell you any differently, especially a cop.

  24. Grady Philpott Author

    Animal abuse makes me angry.

    Animal rights activists also make me angry because, like all leftists, they use causes to further a more sinister agenda.

  25. Tablet One Author

    If you apply for a job specificly to defraud the employer then the person is running afoul (pun intended) of the law. If a law is passed saying you can't say, film or expose X then the law is Unconstitutional. Pretty simple math…

  26. JustaDumbFarmer Author

    but yet special laws seem to be given to activists because none of them ever get prosecuted for trespassing or for stealing, so something is definitely going on with that.

  27. tap1983 Author

    This may be the most balanced piece on any difficult subject I've seen on YouTube. I don't always agree with Stossel, but damn do I respect this video.

  28. bowlinglefty Author

    Google "Animal Legal Defense Fund" and then check their website. These people are extremists. They freely admit that they are trying to enable animals to sue their owners in court for mistreatment. They openly want to give animals the same rights as human beings. They're crazy.

  29. kevin shaughnessy Author

    “These activist groups want to eliminate all of animal agriculture” agreed! So don’t make their job easier by abusing the animals instead of humanely putting them down

  30. Charles Forbin Author

    Animal abuse is Never ok but what a 'tell' when she couldn't/wouldn't answer Honestly Stossel's question…her Non answer spoke Volumes….these activists for the most part exploit these abuses Not to change laws or to improve conditions but to END these industries because They don't want You doing something They object to. They are Extremists, Fanatics and Dishonest….Win at Any cost is Not a Win.

  31. Brianna Long Author

    99% of farmers do they right thing. Well then I guess unicorns are real too. Both these ladies are implying we're dumb. No, I understand when an animal is allowed to engage in it's natural activities, it's even more delicious and nutritious. If you've ever tasted a pasture pig or cow you'd understand. I hate the these laws, i want every factory farm to be shut down. Im sick of paying for inhalers to breath polluted air or having to use an RO machine to treat polluted water do to these industrialized torture facilities. Iowa is home to 33 million hogs and the majority live in tiny crates because Iowa land is used to grow fuel crops.

  32. Green Jihad Author

    A lot of times the groups, like PETA, who release the videos edit them or use footage from other videos as well. The laws prohibiting spies from getting hired and filming on farms prevent them from committing fraud. The so-called animal "rights" groups are committed to shutting down all animal-related food production and ag-gag laws are one way to stop them.

  33. David Millis Author

    I think it would be reasonable to be required to report animal abuse to government officials before disclosing it to the public therefore reducing the possibility of angry mobs doing more harm than good..

  34. U Homeschool Academy Author

    Honest farmers like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms invite the public to visit. Over the years we have been invited to visit a dairy farm from the farmer herself, Da-Le Ranch, Primal Pastures, and our local organic farm…these farmers have nothing to hide and want to share a positively healthy farm operation with the public.

  35. drattler1946 Author

    City people belong in cities. Farms and ranches are cruel places where animals are not pets a fact that is sensational to urban dwellers. So farms and ranches will move to Mexico ? Animal health is in the best interest of everybody not just Emotional women. Good job John I respect your work.

  36. John jon Author

    Hmm, why not sneak into the abortion farm, you know, the place where they butcher children.  Oh,  busy with the ducks.. I guess they have their priorities.

  37. Asa Dolbow Vann Author

    If property owners don't want people to film on their property or film their property that's their right end of story, the far protection bills are just the government protecting their private property rights (for once).

  38. hayral Author

    These "farmers" deserve to be treated at least as bad as what's seen, such morally corrupt individuals don't inherently deserve to be treated as human, you may as well put the related law makers to the same category. These are the scum of the human species.

  39. Surreal Engineering Author

    I love how this report is not choosing a side and instead exposes the ugly faces behind the moral facades of both parties. Good work!

  40. Andrii Shumskyi Author

    The public does not understand that being lied to is bad and that inhumane treatment of sentient beings must not be supported. Organizations that farmers create are pathetic, they cannot even start a grown-up conversation with society.

  41. Andrii Shumskyi Author

    There are laws that must arrest people (including activists, duh…) who do illegal things, period. The special treatment of farms shows how corrupt everything is. Just look at how the US Government subsidizes animal agriculture.

  42. william baikie Author

    Farms should have employees sign a document stating they are not animal activist or have any other agenda than employment. This would give the farm legal recourse. Why the farms can't detect and fire these covert video-makers tells me they have poor supervision in general and perhaps that's why there are animal abuses occurring. EAT MEAT! 🙂

  43. asvvampire Author

    oh no, they are hurting our food…. so what?, doesn't make it taste worse or cost more. Humans are the apex predator, stop feeling bad for the animals. Too little meat in your diet means insufficient brain power. Humans learning to cook MEAT is what caused our brain power to surge in our evolution. It's natural, not barbaric.

  44. Lolla Bells Author

    As someone who was raised on a farm, has family who STILL farms & lives in a farming community AND as someone who is STRONGLY for animal rights, let me just say a few things here – farming IS NOT a beautiful thing, and there may have been an explanation as to WHY that farmer was pushing that cow 1) it could have been bitten by something and become unattainable – that happens 2) It may have diseased, and needed to cut off from other cows and people 3) it may have been DEAD – that is a VERY short video to make a determination, I am NOT SAYING that is how we would have done it, and people DON'T HAVE TO AGREE – but unless you WORK, LIVE and have been raised on a farm PLEASE DO NOT MAKE JUDGEMENTS!
    Now, these activists come in under FALSE pretense and they DON'T SAY A WORD until they have their footage, YES if they cared they would report it IMMEDIATELY! I'm sorry but there is NO WAY I could go for a month being around abuse like that and be a hard core activist like these people claim to be. People who have a soul could not stomach that! As Kay Johnson Smith said there are absolutely bad apples in EVERY PROFESSION, but MOST farmers and the way I was raised we would NEVER treat animals disrespectfully! And the reason why the attorney didn't answer the question about the ultimate goal – BECAUSE THEIR ONLY GOAL IS FOR FARMS TO COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN! They do not care about the people working, the jobs that would be lost, they only care about their OWN SELF INTEREST!
    We have a new age of "humanitarian activist" but their activism is more about fame, lining their pockets, self interest. As I said above, people who care could NOT STOMACH being around abuse for long, they would out themselves – instead these people make their movies, post on youtube, file their lawsuits, – see the pattern? Yet they are AGAINST reporting the abuse early, why? BECAUSE THAT CUTS OFF THEIR REVENUE! So just think about that.
    I have chronic illness, that may not matter to most of you, but one of ways I manage it is through diet – I don't eat processed foods, foods that have been sprayed, animals that have been pumped with chemicals, and I absolutely know the meat, eggs & cheese & milk is ALL FREE RANGE and organic because when you know where your food comes from, it's also a health factor, so for me its not just about animal rights – which is ALSO IMPORTANT its also about MY HEALTH. Being Vegan is NOT HEALTHY for me, eating a balanced diet, WITHOUT CHEMICALS IS. I have no problem exposing those who are cruel to animals and they SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO OPERATE, as for the activists, REPORT THE ABUSE STOP WATCHING AND PROFITING OFF OF IT!

  45. BaresarkSlayne Author

    Truth: Activists want to see the end of all animal agriculture.
    Truth: Some farms abuse the animals which should be illegal (if it is not). They should be treated with respect despite the fact that they being raised for slaughter most of the time.
    Both of these things can be true at the same time.

  46. joanofarc33 Author

    Bloody hell why doesn't she just say yes? I would respect her more if she did! What it shows is that she doesn't care about how the farms are run, she's just trying to force her vegan shit on people.

  47. Wartler Author

    Do some of these activists go too far? Yes; the fact that she couldn't answer the question about not wanting people to eat meat says it all. Many of them are militant vegans; HOWEVER, you can still be a meat eater and believe that the animals shouldn't be abused. You can still be horrified by the treatment of animals in their videos and agree that that is unacceptable, regardless of your diet. The world will never go 100% vegan. There will always be meat eaters making up some part of the population. At the very least, we can still raise animals in a humane manner and slaughter them painlessly. Ag-gag is wrong and we should be able to see how evilly the animals are treated.

  48. zachary stotz Author

    I can't say I am against filming of farms. It's all supply and demand. I live out in the country and know what it takes to take that cow from the field to market, so I am fine with however the farmer has to make that happen. These video's are only going to cause a blip in the trend of food usage in America. People have to eat and burgers and steaks are awesome!

  49. Baux Sedai Author

    I disagree with most content on this channel. The way they protect corporate interests, worker exploitation and wealth aggregation is pretty vile to me. But in this case they make a good point. Everybody has a right to know what they consume and how their streak or chicken wings are made.
    The fact that the corporate meat industry is paying to influence policy and curb journalistic freedom is nothing short of disgusting!

  50. Dominique Heino Author

    Keeping people ignorant is no way to stop craziness, on either side. I would say free speech is good to uphold, that openness is a good policy, and that if the public don't understand farming practices that's somebody's fault. We should be doing things for our communities and being proactive about what we believe. Being a pain in the butt is part of that sometimes, but not being criminal

  51. s rico Author

    Devine justice will fall heavy on those who continue to propagate hate in there lives. I for one am still guilty for eating meat and I ask you lord for a better more Humane way to live and to forgive my sins by directly keeping these cruelty farms in business by buying from local groceries.

  52. Rick Sanchez Author

    I friggin hate most of the PETA types, but I'm telling you those bastards throwing veal cows like that aren't farmers. There is no Republic without transparency.

  53. shadfurman Author

    They're both retarded.

    Punching a cow isn't abuse, they're insanely tough animals. But most of the abuse isn't caused by big ag that reduces competition through cronyism. It's often cheaper to buy a local cow and have a local butcher cut it up themselves, that should be evidence that big ag isn't competitive, otherwise that cheaper (and usually much higher quality) meat would be on store shelves.

    Cow aren't sentient. It's like complaining you're abusing bacteria. We have compassion for animals because WE are sentient and WE care. We shouldn't abuse animals because what it says about says about our own empathy. But until we stop abusing humans, I'm really not concerned about animals.


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