Agriculture

Idaho Legislators Want to Outlaw Videos of Men Sexually Abusing Cows—But Not for the Reason You Expect

It's not an animal-porn law, it's an ag-gag law.

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The Los Angeles Times reports:

Milk Cow Blues
Mercy for Animals

Striking back at a proposed Idaho law that would ban undercover filming at farms, an animal rights group released video Tuesday of a dairy worker sexually abusing a cow.

The graphic scene, recorded in 2012, was not initially released when Los Angeles-based Mercy for Animals pushed authorities to investigate animal abuse at Bettencourt Dairies in Idaho. The original video showed about two minutes of lashings, beatings and stompings suffered by cows.

The dairy quickly fired five people after that video was released and installed surveillance cameras throughout its facility. The man seen fondling a cow's vagina in the newly released video eventually spent 102 days in jail.

Idaho lawmakers have proposed legislation to punish people who cause damage or videotape farm work after entering through force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass. It would be a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail or a $5,000 fine—the same as convicted animal abusers.

Just to be clear: Trespassing is already illegal in Idaho. The bill, like other "ag gag" proposals, targets the trespassers' speech (and also the speech of whistleblowers who arguably were not trespassing). For a detailed case against such laws, which also often contain the seeds of bizarre unintended consequences, see Baylen Linnekin's Reason articles here and here. His arguments might not move the bill's most vociferous supporters, who have been calling the people who make such videos "agri-terrorists" among other stupid overblown rhetorical flourishes. But I suspect that other readers will find Linnekin's case compelling.

As for the footage released this week, you can watch it here. Don't worry, it doesn't feature man/cow intercourse. But it does show a guy fingering a cow's genitals and making various lewd remarks, so it's probably NSFW and it certainly isn't for the squeamish.

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle Says Let's Hear It for Price Gouging

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  1. Moo Moo
    I love you
    I know you are a cow
    But anything will do
    Ooohwee
    Can’t you see
    I wanna make love to you

    How now, brown cow?

    1. Milk, it does a body good.

  2. But it does show a guy fingering a cow’s genitals and making various lewd remarks…

    Pass.

    1. Same. Count me among the squeamish.

  3. It’s not clear to me, were the cameras placed by third parties or the farmer?

    1. A third party.

  4. “a guy fingering a cow’s genitals and making various lewd remarks”

    Pfft, just the kind of thing they did in Rush Limbaugh’s fraternity, what’s the big deal?

  5. Come on, look at that picture. The cow was begging for it.

    1. Look at the tits on her!

      My father had a probationer on his case load who was arrested for molesting the family’s dog in the back yard in front of lots of neighbors.

      The father of the probationer decided to represent his kid instead of the county defense lawyer. According to my dad the court had to recess for an hour after the father tried to paint his kid as a good person with the line “He helps out in the community, he goes to church and he loves animals.”

  6. Sigh… that’s like 30 miles from where I live.

  7. To be fair, it’s not exactly SEXUAL abuse, in the sense that the guy himself is actually getting off, he was just making stupid sex jokes. The extent to which you’re actually violating a cow when you… let’s say manipulate its genitals isn’t as great as you’d think; it’s common practice for farmers and their vets to shove their whole arm right up in there or up their butt for all sorts of various like checking the digestive tract, artificial insemination, checking on developing fetuses, etc.

    BTW, how fucked up is our economy or modern agriculture where it’s supposedly so monetarily worth it that it’s considered necessary to shove your hand up a cow’s ass? God damned, they didn’t do anything like that for 7,000+ years raising cattle, but for some reason nowadays it’s necessary? Something’s wrong, either land use laws and taxes force an overly high level of production out of the farmers and/or farmers are severely undervaluing how much they should get paid for shoving their hand in cows’ asses. I mean god damn, shove your hand in its ass and push out all the poo?

    1. The extent to which you’re actually violating a cow when you… let’s say manipulate its genitals isn’t as great as you’d think; it’s common practice for farmers and their vets to shove their whole arm right up in there or up their butt for all sorts of various like checking the digestive tract, artificial insemination, checking on developing fetuses, etc.

      Yeah, I know, and it’s not as though the cow can understand what he’s saying. Still. It’s sexual, and it gets pretty physically abusive.

    2. Yeah my dad was a mixed practice vet and that is how you preg check a cow, you shove your entire arm up in their ass then feel around to see if you can palpate a calf. Then there are pro-lapses which are relatively common and require shoving a bag of parts the size of a basketball back up their vagina. Then there’s calving which often requires shoving arms up in there… oh and artificial insemination…

      Really that scene is just offensive to us not really abusive. I think there’s a bit of a rural/urban disconnect here. Even most of the rest of it I’m kinda meh about… you try moving a 1200 pound cow by asking it nicely…

  8. Don’t worry, it doesn’t feature man/cow intercourse.

    THen what was the point of posting the link? HitnRun just another *ck tease.

  9. I think it is very important that cowhands should not be allowed to speak lewdly to a cow. Just in case animals really can speak English. As for massaging its genitals, that is terrible. 102 days, at least!

    Although, we do kill cattle quite regularly in pretty horrible conditions. And, for that you get nothing.

    If I were an animal I would probably prefer my genitals get massaged than be cut up into steaks and chops.

  10. So we can butcher them, stick items in them for artificial insemination, but handjobs are a no-no? If I were the cow, I’d prefer it the other way around.

  11. Wasn’t this part of the Starr Report?

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