Humanitarian or Eco-Terrorist – this is the question many in legislature are being faced with. There has been a battle between animal rights activists and the practice of factory farming for years. But only recently has legislature begun to fight back.
The Factoring Farming industry is a booming and burgeoning business in the United States. Nearly a third of the US population worked in food production and farming a century ago; but as the country transitions from our agrarian past to the genetically modified, mass-produced age of food ‘production’, that figure has dropped to nearly one percent. On Inside Secret America: Animal Undercover investigative journalists Mariana Van Zeller and Darren Foster dive head first into the debate of Factory Farming. They will take a look into the secret world of factory farming and the undercover investigators who are fighting the industry as well as the legislation that’s vying to protect it.

Inside: Secret America aka Undercover USAEpisode 5: Animal UndercoverNGCUS Ep code: 9297NGCI IBMS Code: 040791On Prather Ranch, a certified humane cattle ranch in California that prides itself on open pastures and low-stress handling of animals, Mariana and Darren learn about traditional farming methods. A far cry from the factory farm model that is currently leading the industry, Prather Ranch is the exception, not the rule in modern agriculture.

Factory Farming is a much different model. Not to geek out on anyone who reads this, but the definition according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary for Factory Farming is, “a large industrialized farm; especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost.”

 

Aside from the already inhumane environment Inside: Secret America aka Undercover USA Episode 5: Animal Undercover NGCUS Ep code: 9297 NGCI IBMS Code: 040791that the factory farming model is built upon, many animal activists are concerned with the grueling amount of additional abuse these animals endure while exposed to such environments. Mariana and Darren meet animal rights activists like “Pete” who volunteer as undercover investigators in these Factory Farms around the country; in order to accrue footage of such instances of abuse on film to be used in criminal cases. This sort of animal rights investigative work faces criminal charges of its own as new legislation, known as Ag-Gag laws, makes undercover filming of businesses that involve animals punishable by law.

Inside: Secret America aka Undercover USA Episode 5: Animal Undercover NGCUS Ep code: 9297 NGCI IBMS Code: 040791Agriculture activists would argue that this system of factory farming is ultimately better for the consumer; Factory Farming eliminates the concern of food safety and knowing where our food comes from as well as making it more readily available to a larger amount of people. It is believed by many in the Animal Agricultural Alliance that agriculture, just like any other field of science, evolves and is ultimately better using new technologies that can ‘enhance the system.’ Kay Johnson Smith, president of the Animal Agricultural Alliance pictured above, asserts that her primary objective is to protect America’s farming families that are under the strong criticisms of animal rights groups.

On the other hand, there is an iron curtain that surrounds industrial farming that the government and agricultural advocates seem intent on keeping tightly closed. Go undercover with Mariana and Darren on Inside Secret America: Animal Undercover tonight WED JUL 31 10PM ET on National Geographic Channel

Comments

  1. Brian persinger
    Ohio
    July 31, 2013, 9:21 pm

    Watching this factory farming Is very disturbing I own and operate a family dairy farm we are know where near a factory farm we run our farm with nothing but family and the people we hire are friends. This is the problem always the bad never the good on tv I have never done anything like this to my animals. You do this you lose money ,and obviously the owners of these operations do not pay attention to there farms ,because animals being treated like this do not produce to the way they should. It is just sad that is what someone who has know idea wher there food comes from sees instead of someone who does it the best and most humane way you can

  2. Karen Sies
    Maryland
    July 31, 2013, 10:03 pm

    how can we stop the industry from animal abuse. How do we keep the right to video these cruel acts.? How do we keep the industry from exploiting illegal immigrants?
    How did we lose sight of compassion?

  3. Barry
    United States
    July 31, 2013, 11:53 pm

    This show was made me aware. Of the horrible things this country and others do to produce food for the masses. I think I can live without eating another chicken, turkey , cow or pig . There are many choices for milk replacement.
    I can’t believe our government wants to lock up people for showing the cruelty that takes place in factory farming.Money and votes are iall sthat matters to the people in that industry and their local / state supporters. We need to change our ways and have some humanity/diginity in ourselves again . This is a tragic display of just how barbaric we have become as a Nation.

  4. eileen mcgovern
    el cerrito CA
    August 1, 2013, 12:22 am

    Kudos to National Geograghic for showing this documentary!!! I pray for the day that humans cannot bear to treat animals this horrifically any longer! This was so hard to watch but it was such a great documentary! I quit eating meat for good about a year ago because I did not want to have any part in animal suffering. I will NEVER go back to eating meat! It was sometimes hard to completely stop eating meat at first but whenever I was tempted I though about the animals eyes. Can you look in an animals eyes and be a part of making it suffer? Never! Thank you National Geograghic! This cruel industry needs to be exposed – what other stations are brave and humane enough to follow suit? I hope many will follow!

  5. JT
    August 1, 2013, 1:51 am

    Thank you for discussing and airing this important show. The more light that shines on the abuse, the faster it will disappear.

  6. Myndy Holbrook
    Macdoel, CA
    August 1, 2013, 9:16 am

    I was excited to watch this show last night. One because my husband works for Prather Ranch and two, I was expecting to see a good light shine on farming and ranching. I was sorely disappointed. This show did not portray food production in a good light at all. The focus of this show was on the few large corporations that abuse animals. I am not blind to fact that this goes on, but your show made it out to be that all farms producing food treats their animals poorly. You also did not give equal coverage on the humane treatment found at Prather Ranch, and if you did more research many others around the country. I think that your friend “Pete” has no morals if all he can do is video tape inhuman treatment of animals for money. Who’s kidding who? I would like to see you as a network now give equal air time to the majority of the farming and ranching world, the world that does treat animal humanely. Free range chicken and pork farms, dairies who send their cows to the “spa” when being milked. Pig farms who have temperature controlled barns and barns you could eat off the floors in. All the thousands of 4-H and FFA kids who raise animals in the most humane way possible for the best quality meat. I challenge this network to start looking into these areas of agriculture. There is bad in every industry. But I think you need to start focusing on the majority, which is good. Because without farming and ranching and the farmers and ranchers who love what they do, America would not have food. God Bless the Farmer.

  7. C J Lisa
    New Jersey
    August 1, 2013, 10:00 am

    Is this show being repeated — sorry that I missed it. I was made aware of this cruelty from reading Animal Factory. It’s disgusting what is happening to our food supply and also affecting the land and environment where these “farm factories” are situated…. I’m also concerned about GMOs and the fact that nothing is labeled to advise you of these freakish vegetables and fruits.

  8. C J Lisa
    New Jersey
    August 1, 2013, 10:01 am

    Is this show being repeated — sorry that I missed it. I was made aware of this cruelty from reading Animal Factory. It’s disgusting what is happening to our food supply and also affecting the land and environment where these “farm factories” are situated….

  9. Betty Koehn
    east lansing Mi
    August 1, 2013, 5:00 pm

    I was horrified when I saw this.Part of me wanted to change the station,but I knew I needed to watch for the animals sake.I was tormented all day of what I saw. Nice job exposing the real truth. We as a society need to boycott all meats until something can be done about this. Those held accountable may they face their own agony in Hell.

  10. Marla Shuman
    Iowa
    August 1, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Thank you for this program. You have certainly changed my thinking.

  11. Richard Pendarvis
    Florida
    August 2, 2013, 11:35 am

    Why not air the program in prime time? Our children need to understand these truths even if the parents do not care.

  12. Roberta Ford
    New Jersey
    August 2, 2013, 8:58 pm

    I am so glad this topic is getting more air time and more people are being exposed to the sad situation our factory farmed animals face on a daily basis. As bad as it looked on this show, I’ve seen worse – it’s out there on the internet and many films exposing abuse. PLEASE STOP EATING MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS – EAT LIKE YOU GIVE A DAMN!

  13. F
    michigan
    August 3, 2013, 10:39 am

    thank you Nat Geo for airing this – a huge thank you to the young man who had the guts to obtain this upsetting footage. I think we were all under the impression the animals were being treated better than this – who wants to be processed while STILL ALIVE ? There is NO REASON why any animal should be tortured. Any legitimate farms out there will need to come forward to be a certified cruelty-free facility to re-gain our trust. We will definetly be exploring the organic farms… and never eating ham again.

  14. [...] Humanitarian or Eco-Terrorist – this is the question many in legislature are being faced with. There has been a battle between animal rights activists and the practice of factory farming for years. But only recently has legislature begun to fight back. The Factoring Farming industry is a booming and burgeoning business in the United States.…See all stories on this topic [...]

  15. Tim
    United States
    August 5, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Killing animals is wrong. Don’t buy into what the meat industry shoves down your throats. We don’t need meat to survive. Go vegan, save our environment, and be at peace.

    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals – Mahatma Gandi x

  16. Ashley
    United States
    August 7, 2013, 3:36 pm

    Thanks for the post. You bring up some good points about factory farming, there is no reason animals should be mistreated. It takes more effort to abuse an animal than to not.

  17. KR
    August 8, 2013, 11:20 am

    All I have to say is that this show did not give equal time to the other side. There is an agenda behind it and most here who have posted are against “factory farming”. Not every person wants to be vegetarian nor can they be. Not every person can eat substitute protein products because they are allergic. I can say this because I am one of those people. If you wish to be vegan than that is your choice but don’t take away my choice on what I can eat.

    This show only showed the abuse that goes on by people that have no clue about animals. That is part of the problem for the agriculture industry is there is no great big pool of people to pull from because of the hours that are involved and the wages aren’t always the best. However, if you are doing this and actually care and have the knowledge of the animal then you aren’t going to “abuse” that animal. Not every farmer or rancher is cruel to their livestock. There are many numerous places that use low stress cattle handling methods. As an agriculture industry we need to be heard more and we need to get out there and educate the masses. The animal rights people are only showing the cruelty to enforce their agendas and that is not right. As for that guy wearing his shades and filming the cruelty and not stopping it, you are wrong and there is something wrong with you as a person to allow the cruelty to go on. Filming it is BS. Be a man and step in and say something.

    Nat Geo now you need to find some air time to show the other side for a full hour and it still won’t even begin to show what really goes on. Can you do this??

  18. KDL
    October 11, 2013, 7:09 pm

    It always bewilders me that people are “okay” with eating meat that is produced in this way. It is unnecessary to abuse animals that are raised only to be killed. Their lives are already deprived enough, why make them suffer anymore?

  19. Hannah
    Tennessee
    October 28, 2013, 10:21 am

    Interesting post, It amazes me that some people knowingly support this practice and are okay with consuming meat that has been processed in this way.

  20. Tatvia Manuel
    United States
    April 15, 4:22 pm

    I believe that Factory farming is wrong in general. The animals are treated terrible. No one should buy meat from any grocery store because that is where most of our meat comes from. Buying meat from Whole Foods or any farmers market will be the better choice

  21. Janna
    Canada
    June 17, 7:39 pm

    Hello, please sign my petition to help end factory farming forever.

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/555/200/821/end-factory-farming-forever/