The broadening deployment of UAVs for rapidly diversifying purposes in recent years has allowed operators to get eyes on – and in – places that were previously inaccessible, when not intentionally shut away from outside observers. Among organizations that have taken to the skies for closer looks are animal rights activists, who now operate drone missions to obtain video evidence of inhumane treatment of livestock on massive “factory farms.”
The most recent example of that work by animal rights activists was a highly effective and very disturbing drone video of an enormous dairy farm. After an opening shot of three cows feeding in cramped plywood stalls, the video gradually pulls away to expose countless more of the creatures standing in similar conditions over an area so vast the UAV’s camera can’t frame the entire space. Closing footage from the craft backing away features a giant body of liquid beside the complex – almost certainly a manure lagoon whose normal healthy greenish tint has turned a sickly pink.
Whether typical of industrial livestock practices, or just one of the cruel outliers that animal activists continue catching in the act, the drone video should suffice to inspire pity and disgust in even unapologetic meat and dairy product consumers.
The exposé was uploaded to a few Reddit subreddits, and generated over 13,000 variously lamenting, revolted, or outraged comments. One contributor sourced the video to rights group Mercy for Animals, though the organization doesn’t include it amid the other drone investigations it has produced. The group’s webpage says it operates 13 UAVs that have gotten elevated shots of 46 different factory farms, generating footage seen 23 million times on social media.
Whether the group was behind the video or not, the post does attain the objectives it’s after when it takes to the air.
“Mercy For Animals’ drone investigations provide a whole new perspective on factory farming’s devastating impact on animals, the environment, and rural communities,” the Mercy for Animals site explains. “Equipped with high-tech video cameras, our drones fly above factory farms and slaughterhouses, capturing the nightmarish scale of these facilities… (and) open-air cesspools of toxic animal waste, piles of animal corpses, and massive warehouses in which thousands of animals suffer intensive crowding and confinement.”
The organization is one of many animal rights groups flying drones to video inhumane industrial farming practices. Others included Dominion, Drones for Animal Defense, and the Protection for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ aerial captures of cruelty to livestock on such facilities, as well as brutal practices of hunters in the wild.
Are those drone-generated additions as effective as the on ground images that undercover animal activists have shot after penetrating factory farms in the past?
“Factory? That’s a goddamn death camp,” responded YungestBongs.
“I had to go dairy-free while breastfeeding my newborn and I am NOT going back thanks to this video,” added menstrualfarts.
“Yeah, I’m going completely dairy free as of now,” pledged CaspinLange.