Madravenspeak manure

Cassie King, Direct Action activist, is covered in animal manure to protest Trader Joe chicken conditions at their egg farms.

“The real criminality is the systemic torture and slaughter of billions of animals in the cruelest, filthiest, most sadistic conditions.” — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, co-founder of the Intercept, Glenn Greenwald 

On June 6, Democracy Now aired a segment about Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and its rescue of ducks from one of the largest factory farms in California, Reichhardt Duck Farm. Over 600 activists organized to chain themselves at the entrance, with some entering the slaughterhouse and freeing dozens of ducks hanging upside down. Some put the U-locks of the slaughterhouse line to their own necks to show solidarity with the animals.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of DxE, defends that action: “And while that might seem an extreme act, when you see just the systematic brutality, when you see animals being ripped to pieces alive, animals languishing and rotting on the grounds of factory farms and slaughterhouses," he concludes that the direct actions of Greenpeace are models that draw attention. In this rescue, a worker started up the belt, threatening the lives of the activists and nearly asphyxiating Thomas Chiang who was wedged up against a metal pole with the belt moving. He was nearly decapitated and was taken to the hospital and treated for nerve damage and severe pain.

When this dangerous action was reported to the police in riot gear, they did nothing to address that human life-threatening action, but arrested 98 duck rescuers instead.

DxE has active membership all over the world, including in Madison and Milwaukee. The Madison chapter has demonstrated at Whole Foods and the World Dairy Expo.

Wayne Hsiung is a former law professor. He faces 17 felony charges for actions across this country, and if convicted, he and many of these self-sacrificing activists could face decades of prison time.

He said they targeted the factory farm because despite years of complaints about cruelty at Reichardt, no investigations have been initiated.

Reichardt Duck Farm slaughters a million animals every year. A whistle-blower reported ducks with gaping holes left to suffer and rot. Hsiung cites human hypocrisy, noting that if a puppy were stabbed and left to suffer and rot in our home, it would clearly be animal cruelty. These farms do 1,000 to 10,000 times these atrocities but because they are big political donors, they are not monitored or held to humane standards. Hsiung cautions that the birds come down with diseases that could endanger surrounding communities and the people who eat them.

He recounts another 2018 action at Sunrise farms growing “cage-free” eggs: “Our activists were in this farm as recently as a couple days ago, and you see animals with huge sores on their heads, going blind — animals collapsed on the ground in feces, rotting to death. And this is standard practice.”

“And people don’t realize this is a farm that supplies Whole Foods and Amazon. Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. They’re shipping animal cruelty to 300 million households across the world. It is one-click cruelty. And it’s time for this one-click cruelty to stop.”

What’s for dinner? Suffering, putrification and lies — sanitized, packaged and shipped. To enrich billionaires.

Below I list some familiar companies and the Direct Action Everywhere campaigns, but there are also bunny, lamb, quail, pig and turkey rescues as you scroll down: 

Chipotle chicken farm expose: What they found here is so graphic that one has to click “uncover video” to see it.

Costco’s Graveyard: “Drone footage of a Costco farm revealed over 20,000 hutches designed to imprison baby cows and separate them from their mothers. When activists walked onto the farm to see up close, they found a mass grave of dead cows alongside thousands of suffering calves, surrounded by toxic cesspools of waste.”

Land O' Lakes: Zonneveld Dairy Farm, a member of the cooperative:  “The investigation revealed row upon row of small, wooden hutches, each housing a single baby cow. The calves were provided with no bedding, no enrichment, no space to move, and no love from their mothers. Many were sick and some had already died. Activists rescued Roselynn, one of the calves who was covered in diarrhea and maggots.”

Trader Joe’s Wasteland: “Activists discovered piles and piles of feces at a Trader Joe's egg farm. Many birds were trapped in their waste, forced to eat their own excrement to survive. 300 million hens suffer in toxic conditions for Trader Joe’s ‘All Natural’ eggs.”

Ridglan Farms raises beagles for lab research: “Julie was born at Ridglan Farms … She was blind and confined all alone in a small, metal cage. When investigators found her, she was spinning frantically in circles, a condition commonly seen in animals who have been deprived of stimulation. Julie, along with two other dogs, was rescued from the facility. Activists are now working to pass Julie's Law — a law which would ban experimentation on dogs and, eventually, all animals.”

A goat rescue from one of the most “humane” farms that raise animals for slaughter, showing there is nothing humane about animal slaughter.

It is worth opening your eyes to what is going on. Connecting the dots for you: This affects the future of our planet. Billions of captive animals are raised in horrific conditions. According to the United Nations, this creates in transportation, refrigeration, packaging, energy and deforestation, more global climate change than all transportation — as much as 50 percent cause. We are at a critical point of extinction of wildlife replaced with slaughterhouse animals.

If you are eating animals, it is your responsibility to look at these conditions and know the costs — your health, unimaginable suffering and fast-track to a hot, dead planet.

Action Alert:

  • Petition to Governor Evers to end running dogs on bears in Wisconsin.
  • Petition supporting Julie’s Law. Ask Congress and the federal government to issue an immediate moratorium on all funding of experiments involving dogs or other companion animals. 
  • Dairy’s graveyard: Petition to save the baby boy cows who are a by-product of dairy and are taken from their mothers at birth and slaughtered in 12-16 weeks. 
  • U.S. government conservation programs that protect tigers, elephants, rhinos and countless other species are at risk under Republican cruelty. Many risk extinction now. Petition to help fund them

Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. madravenspeak@gmail.com or www.wiwildlifeethic.org

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