retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports that "Nestle's Northbrook-based pizza division, which makes DiGiorno and Jack's frozen pies, has cut ties with a Wisconsin farm after an animal rights group released a video of dairy cow abuse."

According to the story, an animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, went public with a video showing "cows being beaten, stabbed, dragged by a tractor and dangling in the air after being hoisted up." The video reportedly was shot at Wiese Brothers' Farm in Greenleaf, Wis., which provides milk to Foremost Farms, also in Wisconsin,which makes cheese for Nestle pizzas.

Nestle said that it is committed to animal welfare, as detailed in its Responsible Sourcing Guidelines. Foremost Farms said that it will no longer buy milk from Wiese Brothers, while noting that it is just one of 1,800 farms from which it sources milk.

Wiese Brothers released a statement saying that it is "shocked and saddened to see a few of our employees not following our farm's policies for proper animal care. We have zero tolerance for animal abuse. We are committed to providing optimal care and ask all our employees to demonstrate ongoing respect for every animal at all times."
KC's View:
Beyond the fact that such treatment of animals is utterly appalling, it is hard to imagine what someone must be thinking when acting in such a fashion. How were they raised? What were their influences? Who were their parents? The perpetrators of these abuses are poor excuses for human beings, and there is a part of me that thinks the most appropriate punishment would be for them to be beaten, stabbed, dragged by a tractor and dangled in the air.

But here's the other thing. Wisconsin law, the story makes clear, "doesn't require two-party consent when recording — so it's legal to record someone in many instances without their knowledge." That's not the case in a number of other states, where the laws have been changed to make sure that such videos cannot be produced, and if they are, that the people who expose such abuses will themselves be brought up on charges.

Such laws are as appalling as the behavior they are designed to protect.