Freedom Friday: Farms want to turn information into a crime

The Big Food producers are sick and tired of all those embarrassing photos and videos of abusive and disturbing practices at their factory farms, and they're finally ready to do something about it.

And if you're thinking, "they're going to make farms better and produce safer food," you're obviously not thinking like a food industry boss.

Nope... that would be much too hard, not to mention expensive. Here's a much easier solution: Ban the photos and videos, and have anyone caught taking them thrown into jail.

No more pictures of drug-crazed animals living knee-deep in their own feces moments before being slaughtered and shipped off to your dinner table... no more problems.

Out of sight, out of mind. Wasn't that easy?

I'm not exaggerating here. Just take a look at the industry-backed laws making their way through statehouses across the nation. A proposed law in Iowa, for example, would make it illegal to own or even possess a video secretly obtained at a factory farm.

In Nebraska, anyone who gets a job with the intent of checking out a farm operation would be guilty of a felony. In Utah, taking a single photo or even recording a bit of audio on a farm without permission would be a crime.

One bill in New York would make photographing animal abuse on a farm a much bigger crime than the actual abuse of the animal!

But if any industry needs more whistleblowers and more investigators, it's the factory farm industry.

Those places are festering stink-pits where animals are raised in the most deplorable conditions imaginable. It's so bad that cows and pigs have to be constantly pumped full of drugs just to survive the experience.

This isn't just an animal welfare issue. This is a human health issue, because those drugs end up in the food and on your dinner table.

Even worse, the antibiotics used on factory farms are creating a new and powerful wave of frightening superbugs -- and any day now, I fully expect one of them to cause a major outbreak among humans.

That's why even I -- a card-carrying carnivore -- won't touch the "meat" that comes from these joints, and you shouldn't either.

If you want steak, visit a quality butcher who gets his meats from an organic farm. And for more on the proposed laws -- and what you can do to stop them -- visit the Web site of the Alliance for Natural Health.