Now, Factory Farming Secrets May Never Be Exposed Again

New laws are making meat production crueler and more dangerous than ever.

Mar 9, 2014 at 11:00AM

This week, it emerged that a lawsuit against Kroger (NYSE:KR) regarding misleading "humane" labels on its meat may become a class action suit. At the end of February, Idaho joined a disgraceful club when it passed what's come to be known as an "ag gag" law. These two developments are related, and they spell nothing but trouble for consumers and investors alike.

Gestation

Source: The Humane Society of the United States.

Wilbur's a pork chop now?
It's no secret that over the past few decades, Americans have grown further and further removed from the origins of their food. More and more people are fundamentally ignorant of the mechanisms by which nourishment arrives on their dinner plate each night. As our backs have been turned, the conditions of many meat- and dairy-animal operations have devolved into such horror that we would run screaming if we only knew.

Seriously, it would be hard to exaggerate how appalling these facilities can be. Rolling Stone recently published a piece that every non-vegan American should read. We as a society reacted with absolute shock to the things Michael Vick did to dogs, but that guy is Dr. Dolittle compared with some of the folks in charge of livestock.

In the face of such madness, activists have worked tirelessly to expose these abuses to the light of day, often at grave personal expense. Again, read the Rolling Stone piece to see what genuinely principled sacrifice looks like. These activists' efforts have exposed atrocious conditions in the supply chains of such titans as Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN). Indeed, regarding gestation crates -- an issue related to the humane treatment of pigs -- Tyson Foods faced such a backlash from consumers and investors that the company had to alter its policies. The current lawsuit against Kroger is just the latest iteration of this struggle.

More and more consumers and retailers are demanding change from meat and dairy producers. So what do these producers do in response? They lobby like mad to get "ag gag" bills passed, in direct opposition to the changing tide. These bills, which have passed in a few states now and are poised for further adoption, essentially gut activists' ability to conduct their investigations and reveal what's really happening in these facilities.

Watch the video below to hear more about what would make Sinclair Lewis spin in his grave, and why it's such a terrible idea for both consumers and investors.

Don't worry: There's good news, too
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Sara Murphy and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers