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Are Celebrities More of a Citizen Than You?

April 23, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhenever an issue makes the news it seems there are celebrities who exercise their right to share their views, and others willing to give it extra emphasis because they’re celebrities.

I’ve shared before about the “ag gag” bills, as they’re called, that have been presented in several states.

In Tennessee, it’s in the news because Carrie Underwood doesn’t like it. The bill:

Animal Cruelty and Abuse – As introduced, requires a person who records cruelty to animals as committed against livestock to report such violation and submit any unedited photographs or video recordings to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the photograph’s or recording’s creation. – Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 44.

This was amended before passing:

AMENDMENT #1 rewrites this bill to require a person who intentionally records by photograph, digital image, video or similar medium for the purpose of documenting the offense of cruelty to animals committed against livestock, within 48 hours, or by the close of business the next business day, whichever is later, to:

(1) Report such violation to a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the alleged offense; and
(2) Submit any unedited photographs, digital images or video recordings to law enforcement authorities.

So after it passes, Carrie Underwood took to Twitter:

“Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”

Really? There’s a problem with submitting unedited photos, images, recordings to law enforcement why exactly? Is it because after editing they show a different picture? Surely it’s not to let the abuse of animals continue?! Yet that seems to be the case. See, it’s justified if it’s for the good of animal rights to use that footage to promote a vegan diet, and Ms. Underwood has been prominent in that support.

I wonder if the paparazzi were to take a job as a worker on her team, then secretly  taped her for weeks, condensed it into 2 minutes then said “this is what the music industry is like” – would that be ok? Would it be a betrayal to pick out the bad parts only? Surely she’ll do that – what does she have to hide?

Here’s the other thing – in Tennessee there have been accusations of ‘abuse’ for cattle grazing in the rain. There have been activists steal calves out of fields then not know how to care for them. Yet when it’s pointed out the missteps and ignorant actions, it’s said that’s not normal. When abusive situations happen, we’re told we’re all like that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow’s that again? Increasingly farmers ARE transparent. Yet no matter what we show it’s criticized or not enough. The simple requirement to promptly turn over evidence is a point of protest. What do undercover activists have to hide?!

It seems odd that in talking transparency and keeping people in the dark it’s around a law that requires fully transparent evidence – unedited, allowing for prosecution of animal cruelty.

How is that hiding anything?

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