April 29, 2011

YouTube Bans MFA's "Shocking" Calf Cruelty Video

e6calfdragging.jpgYouTube, the popular video-sharing website, has banned MFA's latest undercover investigation video depicting egregious cruelty to calves raised for the dairy industry at a E6 Cattle Company in Texas.

In an email notification, YouTube stated: "It's not okay to post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional educational or documentary context and information."

In response, MFA's Executive Director Nathan Runkle has posted an open letter to YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar writing:

"MFA strongly agrees that videos of cruelty to animals are shocking and disturbing, but in the context of helping to expose and eliminate animal abuse they are extremely important. Consumers have a right to know how their food is being produced, especially when the production methods are shocking or disturbing, so that they can make informed choices. MFA's "No Mercy" video opens a critical dialogue about animal use and abuse in our society as well as pressing social and consumer issues. Without open dialogue in a free society, broken systems remain unchallenged and unchanged."

The letter continues:

"It seems an obvious contradiction that YouTube censors MFA's efforts to expose and eliminate cruelty to animals while continuing to allow highly sanitized meat, dairy and egg industry propaganda videos that promote killing animals for profit and countless sensationalized pro-hunting videos that glamorize gleeful hunters mercilessly maiming and killing animals for "sport". YouTube was awarded a 2008 Peabody Award and cited for being "a 'Speakers' Corner' that both embodies and promotes democracy." Silencing one side of the debate over how farmed animals should be treated flies in the face of democracy. YouTube seems to be sending a message that hurting animals for fun or profit is acceptable but speaking out against such abuses is not."

After pointing out that MFA's investigations have a long history of leading to successful criminal prosecutions of animal abusers, raids of factory farms, corporate animal welfare policy reforms and increased legal protection for animals - all testament to the crucial role these videos play in preventing cruelty and educating consumers - Runkle concludes with:

"The "No Mercy" video posted on YouTube is part of MFA's important mission to educate consumers and bring justice to animals who are routinely tortured and killed in factory farms and slaughterhouses. It is vital to our efforts to hold the E6 Cattle Company and its owner accountable for egregious cruelty to animals that the public be able to access and disseminate this video. We respectfully request that the "No Mercy" video be reinstated on YouTube as soon as possible."

To read the entire letter, click here.

To help MFA continue its vital mission to expose consumers to the reality of modern animal agriculture, please MercyForAnimals.org/Calves and share the E6 investigation video (now hosted by Vimeo) with your friends, family and coworkers.
 
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