A documentary filmmaker has found a way to get around the great lengths factory farmers will go to to hide the disgusting practices happening on their farms and the ridiculous ag-gag laws that protect them: use drones
Mark Devries, who directed the film “Speciesism: the Movie,” released footage yesterday that was collected by drones flying over Smithfield, the largest pork producer and processor in the country.
What he found was “massive, open-air ‘lagoons’ of manure, as large as two to four football fields, behind the barns themselves,” Salon reported.
Devries told Salon,
“I had previously seen these giant open-air cesspools of toxic manure from thousands of feet up in an airplane, so I got a little bit of an idea of what it looked like. But with these drones, for the first time, I was able to see close-up how massive these facilities are, and how close they are to people’s homes.”
Devries said his intention is to bring these conditions to the public sphere, while the farmers are working harder and harder to keep them hidden.
“These facilities go out of their way to stay hidden from the public, to make it difficult for the media and the public to see what they’re like,” Devries said. “They plant trees all around the cesspools and farms and they often have large barbed-wire fences, sometimes several, around the facility, so that it is very difficult to get a close look these lagoons.”
Devries said that he is concerned the companies he filmed will go after him for trespassing, but he thinks “that would be of benefit to the project, because it can only get more attention through that they’re trying to hide.”
Watch Devries’ drone-collected footage.