“Unless you’re an expert, it’s hard to tell the difference between anything,” astutely observes the narrator of a Daily Show segment on ag-gag laws. That man wearing a hockey mask, the one with the large knife? He could be a licensed surgeon. Or he could be, you know, Jason.
But Emily Meredith of the Animal Agriculture Alliance tells correspondent Al Madrigal the same line pro-farm protection law advocates always spout: That undercover investigations of slaughterhouses and animal farms need to be outlawed because the public doesn’t know what they’re looking at. Consumers are led to believe that standard practices are cruel; it’s not that they don’t want to blow the whistle of true instances of animal abuse.
Or, as Madrigal puts it, “You’re protecting the animals from the people who are trying to protect the animals.” Meredith says yes.
Because, really, groups like the Humane Society of the United States are just part of a multimillion-dollar industry, and the ALA is just sticking it to the man by lobbying for ag-gag laws. And The Daily Show agrees, the narrator saying, “Animal activism is a huge business—one that’s almost somewhat completely dwarfed by the U.S. agriculture industry.”
But HSUS doesn’t escape any satirical ire here; Madrigal likens their work to someone pointing out that people are peeing in the pool. We all know it’s happening, but we don’t want to know that it’s happening. Because what do most Americans want? According to Madrigal, “Cheap, hot meat—no matter how we get it.”