From 2009 to 2010, Cody Carlson worked undercover in factory farms, witnessing horrifying cruelty to document it and expose it to the public through Mercy for Animals. Cody has since been interviewed by TIME magazine, VegNews and The Atlantic, and today he took to reddit.com to take questions from users about his life as an investigator.
Cody thought the worst cruelty he had seen involved battery egg laying hens:
They're bred to lay so many eggs that commonly, they "prolapse," which means that their oviduct basically inverts and spills outside of their body. It's a very painful condition, one that's common to animals that are intensively bred; I've seen it on dairy and pig farms before. However, with egg-laying hens, this organ can get tangled in the cage wires, causing extreme pain while depriving them of the ability to get food or water. So they basically starve or get trampled to death as their organs are slowly pulled out of their body.
When asked how this has changed his personality, Cody had this to say:
I think it's made me a little more pragmatic in my activism. These animals are not statistics - they're individuals with personalities that are suffering really, really badly. We may not see them, but they're out there, and they need our help. Anything that helps relieve their suffering, even a little bit, needs to be doggedly pursued.
Abolitionists sometimes struggle with the idea of supporting “free-range” animal products, knowing that there is still cruelty, death and ownership involved in the deal. But thinking of those individuals in such strict confinement leaves me no alternative. Gestation crates, veal crates and battery cages need to go, and there is tremendous momentum towards making this happen.
You can view the rest of the reddit discussion here.
Photo credit: Reddit