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Don’t Get Caught Looking Through the Toilet Paper Tube

December 11, 2010

When I was little my siblings and I used to pretend to be pirates, looking through toilet paper tubes as telescopes, and searching for treasure. However, the toilet paper tube would hinder our vision, rather than having the effect of an actual telescope. I’ve come to learn that looking through a “toilet paper tube” so to speak when one is dealing with issues eliminates important facts and pieces of a story.

More often than not you can find disturbing images of producers abusing their livestock, or videos of unsanitary and cruel conditions. Sometimes there are producers who are a “bad apple” so to speak, but why should we let one bad apple ruin the rest of the basket? Also as consumers we must be aware of those who edit images to create a different picture entirely.

The Humane Society United States recently released a video depicting “cruelty” at Cal-Maine Foods, the nation’s largest egg producer. The HSUS stated that there were dead birds, some who appeared to have been dead for several days or weeks, in the cages. Birds trapped by their legs, and birds with bloody feet and bodies, and eggs covered in blood and feces.

These allegations are very serious, and very disturbing. However, one thing to remember when viewing reports done by undercover investigators is that these reporters want to find negative material.

The undercover operative from HSUS was Tony Guillen Guzman. The complex manager that hired Guzman said he seemed to understand what was going on, and talked extensively of his naval service. Guzman also signed a code of conduct form which stated that he “was to honor his word that he would correct and/or report any conditions that were adverse to the health and welfare of the hens in the houses.” According to the complex manager Guzman never reported any conditions that were shown in the video.

The picture on the left is a zoomed in version of a hen in a nesting box. Close up it looks like this hen is confined to that little square. However, when the entire picture is shown one can see that she has free reign to be in or out of the box.

Videos and pictures don’t lie, I won’t argue with that. However, when one doesn’t know the entire story it’s easy to believe what you’re being told. With the information age upon us today, we are hit with a barrage of information and multimedia. But before we believe something that someone who may have ulterior motives tells us, maybe we should try and get the whole story. After all you never know what you might miss when you’re looking through a toilet paper tube.

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