Monday, April 18, 2011

On being "found in a compromising position"

My daughter is 3, and she's in that funny developmental stage where kids begin to appreciate the value of diversionary tactics when engaging in some forbidden activity, but they're not very sophisticated about it yet. Say she has a piece of candy that she's been told she can eat, but not until after lunch. She wants to eat it now. The solution is to take it in the bathroom with her and say she needs privacy to go potty. You know what's gonna happen as soon as that bathroom door closes. Or say she has a library book that she reallyreallyreally wants to color in with her markers, but she's already been prevented from doing so. Her solution at this point is to say "Don't look at me Mom! Go over there." And this tactic is so transparent that it's kind of cute and funny. Because she's 3.

On the other hand, when full-grown adults engage in these kinds of tactics, it's not really that cute or funny, although it's still pretty transparent. For instance, agricultural associations in several states (Iowa, Florida, Minnesota) are pushing through legislation to prevent images and video of abusive agricultural practices and Chickens in a battery cage, with injuries caused by the crowded conditionsconditions from reaching the public. The proposed legislation would make it illegal to "produce, distribute or possess photos and video taken without permission at an agricultural facility" and, in some cases, make it illegal to lie on an employment application for an agricultural job if the employee's intention was to gather information on abusive farming practices. Because producers don't want to be "found in a compromising position."

In other words, the full-grown adult representatives of numerous grower's associations are straight up saying to the public "Don't look at us! Go over there." Instead of changing your practices so that you don't have anything to hide, just become better at hiding it, or use the politicians you've already bought and paid for to do it for you. No need to be sophisticated about it. No need to behave like mature or, for that matter ethical, adults. No, the diversionary tactics typical of 3 year-old children are perfectly appropriate here.

If you don't want to be found in a compromising position, then don't do things that have to be carefully hidden from public view. It's as easy as that.

11 comments:

  1. Meg'n4/18/2011

    Oh gawd. How predictable. And depressing.

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  2. Of all the ridiculous tripe you've written, this takes the cake.

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  3. Is that right? I'd love to hear a viable defense of the industry position. I assume you think it is defensible?

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  4. I love how male readers so often come onto feminist blogs and criticize the blogger's argument while offering not a shred of counterargument. Privileged much?

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  5. AssMan4/18/2011

    How do you know BJ is a "male reader?

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  6. seems pretty obvious

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  7. You know, I think it would be really good for the industry if producers opened their doors to anyone who wanted to see how their food is produced. Having an open door policy is actually what would build consumer confidence in big ag. Of course, they would have to change how they did things, but that's a whole nother story.

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  8. Michael4/19/2011

    You mean like small local growers already do? And that's the difference right there.

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  9. Anonymous4/22/2011

    If you don't want to be found in a compromising position, then don't do things that have to be carefully hidden from public view. It's as easy as that.

    Refreshingly simple and obvious.

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  10. Anonymous6/11/2011

    Sorry I'm new to your blog and so this comment is late, but I'm just confirming that you are, in fact, a vegetarian/vegan? Otherwise, you're probably supporting the industry you're criticizing. In any case, thanks for the post. Leave it to the ag business to stomp all over the first amendment in the name of making money...

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  11. Anonymous,

    I don't eat factory farmed meat for this very reason, which of course means I don't eat much meat at all. But I think for most consumers this is a really hard choice to make. And it's not possible on a deeper level. I would like to avoid all factory-farmed foods, but that's not really feasible. So you make the best choices you can, but our current system of food production and distribution does force you to make concessions that you would rather not have to make...

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