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  1. #21
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwall View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I can't believe that in the U.S that there are no state or government inspectors that visit farms and check what farm animals are fed on and their welfare on the grounds of a public health if nothing else.
    Of course there are. There aren't enough of them, arguably, but that's a different issue.
    I think you might be surprised to learn how the USDA actually works. Only some industries are regulated (beef and dairy are highly regulated), and only some are "inspected" by regulators.

    Note that I'm talking about USDA, not local or state department of health bureaus. Health departments are task to maintain public health, and can shut down an operation that threatens the public.

    Back to the beef industry, which has rules about what constituted "good," "choice," and "prime" meats. USDA inspected beef has a USDA inspector on site a certain percentage of time during operations, and the federal agency collects fees for those hours that ends up paying the inspectors.

    Naturally, the inspectors have an incentive to protect their jobs, and shutting down the facility isn't the way to protect themselves.

    Granted, I've met a number of inspectors, and I honestly don't think any of them are "on the take" to let stuff go by. The several I've known are trying to do the right things, and individually I think they're a reasonable group - probably with a few bad apples in the bunch. But the system itself is flawed in how it is structured regardless of the moral character of any individual employee.

    The USDA oligarchy, there I go with that word again, has incentive to keep the folks paying them happy. Now, you tell me that gigantic meat packers aren't greasing the palms of high powered government officials, and I'll look at you like you have two heads.

    The whole system is suspect.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    It sounds to me like they are trying to make privacy rights which would otherwise only be enforceable in civil court into public responsibilities that can and will be enforced by the state.
    Yes, that is it exactly. And if the big food processors can get the state to protect their interests this way, then what's to stop other politically-influential interests from trying to do the same?

    The threat of a civil suit for trespass probably wouldn't be much of a disincentive for people involved with PETA. Even a criminal prosecution for trespass wouldn't be much of a threat, especially in jurisdictions which don't impose serious criminal sanctions for trespass (like Canada where daytime trespass isn't even a crime).
    It's not just trespass in the usual sense--activists and investigative journalists try to get jobs in these places to gain legal access, as Upton Sinclair did in the Chicago meatpacking plants over 100 years ago.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelbsc View Post
    Granted, I've met a number of inspectors, and I honestly don't think any of them are "on the take" to let stuff go by. The several I've known are trying to do the right things, and individually I think they're a reasonable group - probably with a few bad apples in the bunch. But the system itself is flawed in how it is structured regardless of the moral character of any individual employee.
    Indeed, usually the problem is not with the guys in the field, many of whom are career civil servants and are just trying to do the job they signed up for. It's the administrators and appointees who set enforcement priorities, make the rules, and control budgets. Often they come from the industry or are looking for a job in industry. It happens to some degree or another in practically every government agency.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    On the other hand,why do some photographers think because they own a camera they have the divine right to take pictures without permission on private property ?, if the animals are being mistreated in any way on the farms it's up to government agency s to prosecute the owners, not the general public to photograph it.
    If that is the case they are guilty of trespassing. Hasn't to do with cameras, nor should it. Trespassing and photography are separate activities. One of them is illegal, and the remedy for an aggrieved party is clearly to pursue prosecution of the illegal activity, not pass laws against innocuous activity. The premise that one illegal activity must penalize another perfectly legal pursuit is a logical fallacy, and a slippery slope that will lead to all sorts of implied causality regulations. Rock music causes sex and drugs you know.
    Last edited by JBrunner; 05-09-2011 at 05:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by semeuse View Post
    The point is, regulation and treatment are all nice, but I think I'll go take pictures at the organic local farmer's place and join him later at the local bar for a beer and pizza. If I know my producers and they know me, we tend to build a better trust.
    I don't disagree with anything you said, but it doesn't scale well to a large society. For those of us who have locations compatible with living like this, and the time and resources to do it, it's great---but for much of the suburban middle class it doesn't work too well, and for the urban poor it's just out of the question. How to get safe, healthy, affordable food to cities full of people, without unacceptable levels of environmental damage or animal abuse, is a REALLY hard problem.

    To a casual visitor it looks as though Europe does this better---every city seems to have a million small produce shops squidged into the little side streets. They have a "farmer's market" look to the American eye, but maybe that's just an illusion and the produce really comes from a giant industrialized supply chain there too? I wish I knew more about the alternatives to the US food system.

    Um, obligatory photographic content...I've been taking pictures of my kumquat and pomegranate trees lately. Does that make it on-topic? :-)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #26
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    If that is the case they are guilty of trespassing. Hasn't to do with cameras, nor should it. Trespassing and photography are separate activities. One of them is illegal, and the remedy for an aggrieved party is clearly to pursue prosecution of the illegal activity, not pass laws against innocuous activity. The premise that one illegal activity must penalize another perfectly legal pursuit is a logical fallacy, and a slippery slope that will lead to all sorts of implied causality regulations. Rock music causes sex and drugs you know.
    +1

    To a casual visitor it looks as though Europe does this better---every city seems to have a million small produce shops squidged into the little side streets. They have a "farmer's market" look to the American eye, but maybe that's just an illusion and the produce really comes from a giant industrialized supply chain there too? I wish I knew more about the alternatives to the US food system.
    When I used to live in France most of the meat I bought (chicken, beef) at the supermarket (a major national chain) was labelled with the name of the farm/farmer who raised the animal. A lot of accountability there, and I think (at least from my perspective) an understanding from the general populace what goes on a farm, and a farmer who is not embarassed or shameful of the way they raise and treat their animals. What are the CAFOs in the US trying to hide? Trade secrets? Highly unlikely. Although I don't live in the U.S. I would be suspicious of big businesses trying to criminalize something that already has laws in place to protect them against trespassing, slander, and libel.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  7. #27

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    There are a lot of posts to an OP that really started a troll thread. Without a reference or a case to demonstrate his point, there are a bunch of lawyer juniors replying.

    I will wager that I'm one of maybe a couple here that has ever put my left arm up a cows ass to palpate it's cervix to deposit previously LN2 frozen semen in a straw into it's uterus with my right arm. I would have loved somebody to take my photo doing that with the caption "It's not as much fun as it looks".

    Factory farming sucks but it's what you eat.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacarape View Post
    There are a lot of posts to an OP that really started a troll thread. Without a reference or a case to demonstrate his point, there are a bunch of lawyer juniors replying.

    I will wager that I'm one of maybe a couple here that has ever put my left arm up a cows ass to palpate it's cervix to deposit previously LN2 frozen semen in a straw into it's uterus with my right arm. I would have loved somebody to take my photo doing that with the caption "It's not as much fun as it looks".

    Factory farming sucks but it's what you eat.
    There are always those idiots who would be offended by your procedure. My two brothers worked for a dairy farm in South Los Angeles in the late 1950's early 1960's as teenagers. They were amazed that you didn't need the bull in person to inseminate a herd of dairy cows. If he had to do it naturally, the poor bull would be exhausted by a herd of demanding ladies.
    Michael Cienfuegos


    If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.

  9. #29
    kwall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    ...all sorts of implied causality regulations. Rock music causes sex and drugs you know.
    So that's it! I knew there was a connection. And here I thought my drug use caused sex. Well, maybe it did, 'cause that's the only way I can explain how a 2 at 10 becomes a 10 at 2.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacarape View Post
    There are a lot of posts to an OP that really started a troll thread. Without a reference or a case to demonstrate his point, there are a bunch of lawyer juniors replying.
    Well, I didn't mean to start a troll thread. Several states are proposing laws that expand the use of state police powers with regards to the act of photography. It seemed reasonable to discuss this. It may be that none of are personally going to experience this particular circumstance, but you know how these things go: if this law can possibly be used against you, it will. Perhaps no one else thinks this could grow as a threat to photography, then never mind.

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