Mark Devries is a filmmaker known for his short documentaries that expose animal agriculture for what it is. Now Devries is using a new tool to reveal the horrendous state of farms across the world; drones.
He’s the first to conduct an investigation into farming conditions using a drone having previously done welfare investigations for charities such as Mercy For Animals.
Writing about what his filming has uncovered, he says: “The animal agriculture industry spends millions on deceptive advertising to persuade consumers that farmed animals roam freely on bucolic pastures.
“But I’ve been piloting drones over animal agriculture facilities for several years, and the video I’ve captured tells a far different story.
“Nearly all animals raised and slaughtered for food in the U.S. live in factory farms – facilities that treat animals as mere production units and show little regard for the natural environment or public health.
“Instead of creating widgets, these factories confine, mutilate, and disassemble animals who feel pain and pleasure just like our dogs and cats.”
While filming with drones to grasp a new perspective he’s able to show that farming isn’t open fields with happy animals. It’s instead dark, dingy metal cages.
He said: “Each confined thousands of intelligent, sensitive pigs who spent their lives on concrete floors in crowded pens.
“The footage also reveals what appear to be red lakes but are in fact giant, open-air cesspools. Waste falls through slats in the pigs’ concrete flooring and is flushed into these massive pits, which sometimes have the surface area of multiple football fields.
“To lower the levels of these cesspools, many facilities spray their contents into the air where they turn into mist and drift into neighbouring communities.”
Devries also details the extent to which factory farms harm local communities and neighbourhoods. Some areas have seen heightened collective blood pressures and increased asthma symptoms from the spraying of cesspit contents in the air.
He adds: “I spoke with neighbours who described walking outside and falling down in their own front yards because the stench of these factory farms made it so difficult to breathe.”
He says: “Drones have put to bed the myth of Old MacDonald’s farm. Armed with the truth, we must take responsibility.
“The practices exposed only exist because people purchase products of factory farms.
“Each of us has the power to stand up and vote against this industry by simply leaving animals off our plates.”