One Utah farm-owner decided to share goodwill on during the holiday season when he released 100 turkeys to animal rights activists — including a few who face felony charges due to investigating his massive turkey farming operation.
The rescue of the turkeys was “the result of an unlikely friendship between Wayne Hsiung, founder of the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), and Rick Pitman, owner of Pitman Family Farms,” according to a statement by DxE.
Now, local animal sanctuaries allow the birds to live their lives.
Thanks to Facebook Live, DxE streamed the unconventional event:
The activism was led by Wayne Hsiung.
Pitman had purchased the plant earlier in the year.
But the activists are facing felonies that could result in years in prison for rescuing three birds who were sick.
“In my 20 years of investigating animal abuse, I’ve never seen conditions this horrifying at a corporate farm,” the former law professor, Wayne Hsiung, shared with Glenn Greewald at The Intercept. “We saw animals that looked dead but were still breathing; animals, languishing, who had virtually been pecked to death; many animals collapsed on the ground in their own feces and filth. It was as bad as it gets.”
Pitman is not an advocate for the felony charges and decided to spare a hundred birds with employees and locals this past Monday.
The activists additionally shared vegan food while filming the event.
The DxE statement added this heartfelt event posed a very different picture compared to another group’s activity in the state which also led them to felony charges:
“After DxE released an investigation exposing horrific animal cruelty at Smithfield’s Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah—the largest pig farm in the U.S.—FBI agents raided farm animal sanctuaries searching for piglets removed from the farm by activists. Six activists were later charged with multiple felonies, including a racketeering charge, punishable by up to 60 years in prison.”
The rescues started as part of a grassroots animal rights conference which gathered over 600 activists in Salt Lake City, the Animal Liberation Western Convergence, from Friday to Tuesday.
This past Tuesday, Cromwell, Hsiung, along with a crowd of activists hand-delivered dead piglets into Utah’s State Capitol Building.
The group hoped it would encourage state officials to drop the charges against animal rescuers along with probing Smithfield’s treatment of the animals.
“By offering a year-end gift to a supporting 501(c)(3), you’re ensuring that DxE activists (and the animals we save) are prepared for the challenges to come.” the group’s Facebook donation page states.
Proceeds will go to animal care, investigations and research as well as education and media.
To help with DxE efforts in animal activism, you can click here to donate.
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