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Grocery Chains to Shun Iowa ‘Farm’

Animal abuse video persuades Costco, Safeway, others

Yet another gut-wrenching undercover video from a factory farm. This one shows piglets being kicked around, thrown about, and slammed to the floor at a facility that’s been patronized by some of the biggest grocery chains in the country: Kroger, Safeway, Costco and Hy-Vee.

The video was captured at Iowa Select, one of the largest pork producers in the country, by the animal protection group Mercy for Animals.

The company claims to follow “practices and procedures that will safeguard the environment and ensure quality of life for future generations” and whose website portrays pigs wandering happily on green fields stretching into the distance. But the reality of life and death at Iowa Select shows a very different picture.

You can watch the video here. Be aware that it is disturbing. But when we buy meat from grocery chains that do business with factory farms, we should also be aware of the cruelty that’s involved. Iowa Select is just one of many factory farms that routinely abuse animals in this way.

The woman who said she shot the undercover video told the Des Moines Register, “I saw things that will haunt me the rest of my life.”

A Costco vice president quickly announced that his company will no longer buy or sell pork from Iowa Select. And Kroger and Safeway say they’re no longer doing business with Iowa Select, either.

Another cruel practice used by Iowa Select in the confining of mother pigs in “gestation crates” so small that the mothers cannot even turn around or lie down. This is so patently cruel that the practice has been banned by the entire European Union, New Zealand, and the states of Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine and Michigan – but not Iowa.

Meanwhile, at the behest of factory farms, Iowa legislators have been trying to push through a bill that would stop whistleblowing rather than stopping the cruelty. The bill would make it a crime to record video or audio inside these facilities without the owner’s consent or to lie to enter or get hired at a farm. A first offense would be a misdemeanor, the second a felony.

When confronted with the latest video, Democratic state Senator Tom Rielly, who introduced the bill, said this “is exactly why we need a bill like this.” He said that Mercy for Animals is “creating these salacious images to put this important industry to Iowa in a bad light.”

What do you say? Do you buy meat from the big supermarket chains like Safeway, Kroger and Costco? What would you need to know to stop buying meat from grocery stores that do business with factory farms like Iowa Select? Let us know in a comment or on Facebook.

What you can do: Let State Senator Tom Rielly know what you think of his attempt to make it a crime to capture undercover video of animal abuse at factory farms.