The “Ag-Gag” War

Behind the scenes of the death match between Big Ag and undercover animal-rights activists.

As she would later tell independent journalist Will Potter, she noticed "a live cow who appeared to be sick or injured being carried away from the building in a tractor as though she were nothing more than rubble."

Meyer took out her cell phone and started recording. A Smith manager called the police, claiming Meyer had trespassed. But a Draper City officer allowed her to leave, believing she had remained on public land.

Two weeks later, city prosecutor Ben Rasmussen charged Meyer with "agricultural operation interference," a crime under Utah's new ag-gag law. She became the first person in American history to be ensnared for the crime of filming cows.

Cody Carlson
Samuel Zide
Cody Carlson
The scene at Country View Family Farms in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania.
Mercy For Animals
The scene at Country View Family Farms in Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania.

In April, Potter posted the tale of Meyer's travails on his website, Green Is the New Red ( The story went viral, attracting hundreds of thousands of readers before the site crashed from the volume.

Within a day, Rasmussen decided Meyer didn't make a very good criminal after all and dropped the charges.

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Michelle Parsons
Michelle Parsons 1 Like

What about Texas slaughterhouses? Since we are a city in Texas, I'd like to see an article addressing our own slaughterhouse problems, as I'm sure they exist here just as they do in the cities mentioned in this feature. I'd like to know what Governor Perry is up to in this regard as well...