Fair Oaks, which has been described as the 'Disneyland of agricultural tourism', made headlines last month after undercover footage released by Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) showed animals being horrifically beaten and neglected by staff. It was also revealed that the farm had been lying about not selling bobby calves for veal.
After the footage was made public, the farm's founder Mike McCloskey admitted it was 'a shock and an eye-opener'. He added that it showed 'five individuals committing multiple instances of animal cruelty and despicable judgement' and that an investigation was underway.
Despite McCloskey admitting the footage revealed horrific behavior of Fair Oak's workers, some in the industry have defended it, including one farmer who calls herself 'The Farm Babe'.
She made a video in which she described the suffering and abuse shown in the undercover footage as 'awful'.
She then added: "But here's the deal guys. These videos, these animal rights groups, they have an agenda. Basically their goal is to get people to stop eating meat, to stop drinking milk, to stop eating any sort of animal product and that is their whole goal."
The dairy farmer defended abuse revealed in this footage
She added: "If they did really care about the animals, why do they continue to let the cameras roll? I know that if I had an employee that was hurting my cow or something, I wouldn't be sitting there filming it. I would be throwing my camera to the ground to run over and kick the guy's ass.
"I've been to Fair Oaks and I think it's a wonderful, wonderful place. They are the poster child for transparency and for showing the real truth of what happens on dairy farms.
"I think they are doing a great job and it's really unfortunate that this video has surfaced."
In his video, Earthling Ed reacts to The Farm Babe's comments, saying: "Everyone has an agenda with everything they do, an agenda just means there's a purpose to the action you're committing.
"To try and insinuate that an agenda is somehow nefarious or deceitful is kind of misleading. And in fact she also has an agenda. She's making her video now with the agenda to discredit the investigation and make people question the violence that happens to animals."
Earthling Ed debunks the video
Speaking about the activists filming the abuse and keeping the cameras rolling, Ed said: "This is a completely redundant point. Investigative journalism is always about raising education to the wider masses rather than stopping the act of violence in that moment. If you stop the act of violence, it doesn't mean the violence won't happen again.
"But if you educate everyone else about the violence that's being committed, then you actually have an opportunity to stop this from happening. Would she say the same to war photographers who go and take pictures of the brutality of war...Their job is to raise awareness."
Addressing the issue of Fair Oaks being a leading farm with open practices, Ed said: "So the poster farm for transparency was lying to the public about what happens to the animals on the farm. So the poster farm for transparency was also caught lying about the fact that they actually sell their calves for veal even though they claim that they don't. So it's kind of ironic to say they are the poster boy for transparency when they were literally caught lying to the consumer. That's the complete opposite of transparency.
"She's actually sadder about the negativity that the farm are going to receive as a consequence of the investigation than she is about what's happening to animals on this farm and indeed on every farm around the world...she doesn't care about the animals."
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.