Because of the graphic depiction of animal cruelty, YouTube has banned Mercy for Animals' undercover video of animal cruelty at the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas.
Shot in March of this year, the video begins with employees bashing in the heads of calves with pickaxes and hammers. The rest of the video? I couldn't watch most of it, but MFA says it depicts employees "dragging them by their ears, standing on their necks, burning them, and neglecting them to die without proper veterinary care." It ends with the group's website and the message, "Boycott animal abuse. Choose vegan." MFA has turned the evidence over to local law enforcement authorities so that the violations of Texas' animal cruelty laws can be prosecuted.
In banning the video, YouTube told MFA, "It's not okay to post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional educational or documentary context and information."
But MFA points out that YouTube still allows videos that glorify hunting and other animal exploitation. In an open letter to YouTube, MFA Executive Director Nathan Runkle replied, "YouTube seems to be sending a message that hurting animals for fun or profit is acceptable but speaking out against such abuses is not . . . Without open dialogue in a free society, broken systems remain unchallenged and unchanged."
YouTube has allowed undercover animal cruelty videos in the past, but I'll admit that this one is more disturbing than most. However, I think the educational context is there, and I totally disagree with YouTube's removal of the video.
The removal of the video comes as three states - Florida, Iowa and Minnesota - consider making it a crime to shoot an undercover video of a farm. This can only mean that the videos are effective and the industry is scared.
Although the video has been removed from YouTube, you can still view it via Vimeo on MFA's website.
- Undercover Calf Cruelty Video - Warning: Graphic Animal Cruelty
- Interview with Nathan Runkle, Founder of Mercy for Animals
- Factory Farming FAQ
- What is the solution to factory farming?