Last month, Governor Ted Strickland brokered a deal between animal advocates and hamburger lovers that will require Ohio’s livestock farms to kindly ease off their use of torture devices over the next several years. Included are plans to keep sick animals out of the food supply, set up rules for killing them, and to do away with various types of cages.
But while the pact bought silence from the Humane Society, it’s having a somewhat less measurable effect on Mercy for Animals, the militant vegan group with an unnatural passion for making barnyard slasher movies. You may recall the one from this spring in which cows on a central Ohio farm were kicked and beaten by carefree laborers.
The group’s latest epic features a variation on that theme: It depicts veal calves on a Wayne County farm chained in tiny crates and covered in their own crap. They released it last week with a festive press conference in Cleveland.
Why the lingering beef in the wake of Ohio’s planned changes? For one thing, they’d like to see the changes — scheduled to take effect over the next seven years — to happen on a somewhat tidier schedule. For another, they hear that the state’s Livestock Care Standards Board — the group charged with implementing the changes — is considering whether to blow off the governor.
“Robert Boggs [Ohio’s director of agriculture and chairman of the Livestock Board] has already said they don’t have to go along with it,” says Mercy spokeswoman Arathi Jayaram. “We just want to make sure people continue to be aware of this and continue to pressure [the board].”
So stay tuned for October’s upcoming feature: Baby Ducks in Distress 3-D. — Anastasia Pantsios