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Animal Rights Groups To Be Uncovered On Nat Geo Series

National Geographic's 'Inside: Secret America' to focus on animal rights movement, undercover videos and farm protection legislation.

Published on: Jul 24, 2013

If you're inside agriculture, you may want to tune in or record the National Geographic Channel's "Inside: Secret America" series at 10 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 31. Animal Agriculture Alliance's President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith will be featured in a segment titled "Animal Undercover."

Early this year, the Alliance – a coalition of farmers and organizations focused on animal ag's role in the economy  and food supply – was approached by series producers and investigative journalists Mariana van Zeller and Darren Foster about a segment regarding animal rights groups.

The segment was to focus on the animal rights movement, undercover videos and farm protection or "ag gag" legislation. Foster and van Zeller were drawn to the topic because of the seemingly deceptive, sometimes extreme tactics that can be employed by activist groups.

ON THE RECORD: "Animal care is the highest priority for both large and small farms", contends Smith. "Standards for animal care should be based on the expertise of those who work with farm animals daily."
ON THE RECORD: "Animal care is the highest priority for both large and small farms", contends Smith. "Standards for animal care should be based on the expertise of those who work with farm animals daily."

Johnson Smith sat down with van Zeller and discussed the real motivations behind the animal rights movement and its undercover videos.

"We were pleased to be contacted," she says. "It's important to engage with journalists – even on such controversial topics – so that agriculture's story isn't told by detractors."

Yet the threat of unfounded regulations is rising, maintains Johnson. Unfortunately, she notes, such impositions will only "increase food prices and boost the volume of products shipped from areas with inferior food safety records and produced by those with lower husbandry standards.

"[The American public] really doesn't have any firsthand knowledge about how food is produced, so they're very susceptible to videos presented by activist groups," adds the Animal Agriculture Alliance executive. "Legislators in many states have stepped up and recognized the importance of agriculture, and have decided to protect our nation's farm families."

Van Zeller and Foster also interviewed several members of animal rights group Mercy for Animals, an organization that uses undercover video footage to disparage animal agriculture.

Add Comment
  1. susan carter says:

    For cryin out loud. Who cares if an animal is "mistreated?" They don't have feelings. Kick them. Hit them. Stab them. Shoot them. Who cares?

    • Thom Katt says:

      Suzy, it isn't nice to be a troll. Why don't you post a sensible comment?

  2. Hawthorne says:

    @ TXTumbleweed - No arguments about the disaster that has been the Vilsacks (or for that matter, Sunstein, still not replaced that I have heard), but please, please, do NOT characterize their destructive positions as being 'liberal'. If that's the case, how do you account for Rick Perry's persecution of dog breeders? What about Rick Santorum? Animal Rights is pure insanity, no question, but it is *bi-partisan* insanity. The left has no monopoly on that one.

  3. TxTumbleweed says:

    Well, hopefully our viewpoint won't be edited to kingdom come, but I don't have a lot of confidence in any "journalist" interviewing, or spokesperson/ interviewee who offers themselves up as representing ag. Lately I've been too disappointed with various "farm" organizations willingness to cave on comprehensive immigration reform and several other hot issues. It seems that National Farm Bureau and National Cattleman's Beef Assn are about as removed from the reality of possible outcomes as our DC pols these days. When you have national organization spokespeople reminiscing fondly about how wonderful things were when they were growing up on the "ranch" 50 years ago, with wet-back (slave) labor, and actually expressing a belief that with the right new laws in place those days can ever be recreated, you are operating in a world of such colossal naivete or random lack of sophistication as to be an embarrassment to all of agriculture. Ag's saving grace has always been our willingness to innovate. Looking backward is for reunions. Thanks for the piece - it beats the heck out of regurgitation of USDA's latest politically soaked propaganda. Vilsack is turning out to be quite an adept tool for the Leftist regime, isn't he? Just sickening!