Yet another undercover video produced by animal rights group Mercy for Animals surfaced recently, and I have to ask myself one question: How on Earth can Mercy for Animals not be ashamed of this?
Not only should the group be ashamed that whoever filmed this probably did so by not being truthful about who they were and why they were at a poultry production facility, but there’s one other thing. This video is really poorly produced.
The video, titled “End High-Speed Cruelty” features footage from a poultry facility, but it was not identified whose facility was filmed or where it was located. In a blog on the Mercy for Animals website, it only said the footage was shot in 2019 and the facility filmed was a supplier for Sam’s Club. The gist of the film, as the name indicates, is to get people’s emotions flowing and to encourage them to tell their senators and representatives that poultry plant line speeds are too fast.
The video is narrated by actress Alicia Silverstone, who has been an outspoken advocate for the animal rights movement. I’m not familiar with Silverstone’s recent work, but she is probably best known for her roles in the movies “Clueless” and “The Crush,” as well as appearing in an Aerosmith music video.
In all three roles, Silverstone characters may have been kind of nice to look at, but they were not people of much substance.
I don’t think things have changed that much. In the Mercy for Animals video, it seems like Silverstone is still trying to work the eye candy angle, given her choice to wear a blouse that I wouldn’t exactly describe as modest. At the same time, it seems like substance is still lacking.
The serious tone she speaks in comes across as unconvincing and insincere. Special emphasis on words like “agonizing” and “factory farm” seems forced.
The footage itself is so dark, it’s hard to really get a grasp of what is happening in the plant. You can get a feel for how fast the line speeds are and it might seem like one worker may be hanging chickens with more force than necessary, but with video editing technologies and animal rights groups' reputations for seeming to avoid honest and ethical behavior if it furthers their cause, some might wonder if the footage was sped up.
The line speed conversation
It is clear Mercy for Animals has issues with current line speeds in the industry, and earlier this year it was one of a number of activist groups that sued the USDA over poultry plant line speed waivers.
I believe appropriate line speeds at poultry plants is an issue that should be periodically revisited for worker safety and animal welfare reasons. But the people driving that dialogue need to have industry experience or related scientific knowledge. People associated with a group that is against animal agriculture should not have a seat at that table. And we know Silverstone is the latter, because says near the end of the video: “You can help farmed animals every day. It’s as simple as choosing plant-based meals.”
Hmm. It seems she wants line speeds down to zero birds per minute. Sorry, Alicia, that is not an option.