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In Victory for Animals and Their Defenders, Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law


In Victory for Animals and Their Defenders, Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law

Jon Queally, staff writer

In a victory for animal rights advocates—and the animals on factory farms they seek to protect—a federal judge on Monday ruled Idaho's controversial "ag-gag" law unconstitutional in a decision that said banning the filming of agricultural operations and undercover investigations of livestock abuse a crime violates both free speech and the equal protection clause.

"The facts show the state's purpose in enacting the statute was to protect industrial animal agriculture by silencing its critics." —U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill


This is a great outcome, big props to all the activists who put themselves on the line in this fight on behalf of workers, animals, and the Earth.

We need to completely end rampant empowerment of corporations, or they will endlessly keep creating such fights. We need to shut down the blatantly anti-democracy ALEC and sharply rein in the corporate sector.


Here’s to you Upton Sinclair!


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A great move in the right direction. The ‘Ag-Gag’ law should never have passed from the beginning.


A truly great decision. Obviously correct but still a long-needed positive development in the fight against the systemic animal cruelty that tars and shames this country. As founder of The Zen Practice Foundation, I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Foundation’s first check to the ALDF goes out today. I admire the courageous lawyers who took on the meat industry and their purchased legislators and succeeded in getting this mean-minded law erased from the books of the great state of Idaho.


The filming of abortions and the videos of soldiers on the battlefields would lead to an end to the culture of death in America. Embedding reporters means silencing the truth of war.


Good on ya zenpractice. It is a great decision.


Totally disagree. We are all in this together. The idea that humans are somehow separate from and superior to our cousins is a delusion. Our skin doesn’t divide us from our cousins it connects us with them as does our breath. As Bob Marley said, “One love, one heart. Let’s get together and be alright.”


Why I stopped being a vegetarian:


Andrew, you’re a splendid example of human arrogance and superiority. I wish for you in a future life a reincarnation as a factory farm animal.


“Animal agriculture sends more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere than worldwide transportation. The waste and flatulence from livestock are responsible for creating at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock causes 65 percent of all emissions of anthropogenic nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide. Crops raised to feed livestock consume 56 percent of the water used in the United States. Seventy percent of the crops we grow in the U.S. are fed to animals. Eighty percent of the world’s soy crop is fed to animals. It is a flagrant waste of precious and diminishing resources. It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk.” Chris Hedges


Yes, years ago I read books by Adele Davis, I know some of her ideas are probably dated by now, but she warned people that if when eating only a vegetarian diet, they be sure to seek ways of getting all essential nutrients into those diets,especially essential amino acids.


Thanks for your reasoned response. I was expecting aggressive responses from vegetarians.


Of course there are more important issues than animal rights. But this country slaughters ten billion animals per year and that fact is dismissed as being unimportant only by callous people who don’t have empathy for animals. Please tell me that as a progressive you are not one of those people. By the way, it’s not just an animal rights issue: The slaughter industry has a huge impact on global warming and there are significant human health issues as well since meat consumption causes multiple health issues according to the AMA and many other health care authorities.


This is a great win for our team and a big loss for ALEC and the Heritage Foundation. We need a lot more of these. But, Hedges is correct, too. The real answer is to have less eaters, of course. But Mom Nature is about to take care of that part of equation. Did you know the Italians are growing foodstuffs in the shallows of the oceans, under glass, and getting great results. Is that the sound of a giant bus coming this way? s/


If a vegetarian diet is insufficient in essential nutrients, why do vegetarians, on average, live longer than animal eaters? Meat eaters apparently spend a lot of time looking for reasons, however suspect, to justify their unsustainable lifestyle. For example, a Christian told me that Jesus put animals on this earth so that we could eat them and by not accepting such gift we were insulting him. And now we learn that we are missing out on seven essential nutrients. Good grief.


Recent post supporting your claim:

The latest study shows that meat abstainers have lower blood pressure

There’s nothing wrong with eating meat if you’re doing so in moderation (I for one, will never give up the occasional cheeseburger), but research does show that vegetarians tend to be healthier overall, and even live longer.

Now there’s another health perk vegetarians can boast about. A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looked at data from seven clinical studies and 32 other studies published between 1900 and 2013 where participants kept a vegetarian diet and found that vegetarians have lower blood pressure compared to people who eat meat.

Here are some other reasons vegetarians may outlive meat-lovers.

  1. Low blood pressure: In the latest study, researchers found that not only do vegetarians have lower blood pressure on average, but that vegetarian diets could be used to lower blood pressure among people who need an intervention.

  2. Lower risk of death: A 2013 study of more than 70,000 people found that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with non-vegetarians. With none of the saturated fat and cholesterol that clogs arteries, vegetarians may be at a lower risk for chronic diseases overall.

  3. Better moods: A 2012 study randomly split participants into a three diets: all-meat allowed, fish-only, and vegetarian no-meat. The researchers found that after two weeks, the people on the vegetarian diet reported more mood improvements than those on the other two diets.

  4. Less chance of heart disease: Another 2013 study of 44,000 people reported that vegetarians were 32% less likely to develop ischemic heart disease.

  5. Lower risk of cancer: Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied different versions of the vegetarian diet and cancer risk among people at a low risk for cancer overall and discovered that a vegetarian diet may have protective benefits. Although the study is not the final say on the matter, vegans had the lowest risk for cancers, specifically cancers most common among women, like breast cancer.

  6. Lower risk of diabetes: Studies have shown that vegetarians are at a lower risk for developing diabetes. While the diet won’t cure the disease, it can lower an individual’s risk by helping them maintain weight and improve blood sugar control.

  7. Less likely to be overweight: Research shows that vegetarians tend to be leaner than their meat-eating counterparts, and that they also tend to have lower cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). Some data suggests that a vegetarian diet can help with weight loss and be better for maintaining a healthy weight over time.

People who don’t eat vegetarian can still be very healthy, and a vegetarian diet comes with its own health risks. For instance, research has also shown that vegetarians are at a higher risk for iron deficiencies, and some experts question whether children who are raised vegetarian get the right amount of nutrients for their growing bodies. Making sure you get the right amount of nutrients is important, and keeping your physician in the loop about your eating habits can make sure you’re meeting all the requirements for good health.


Free speech and compassion rule the day.



I was weaned, so to speak, on Adele Davis! I think you will find that her advice has stood up pretty well. For example she stressed the importance of folic acid for pregnant women in the forties! It took at least thirty years the idea to catch on.