Carrie Underwood Sounds Off About Tennessee ‘Ag Gag’ Bill
Carrie Underwood is furious about a new bill that has passed in Tennessee — and she’s not afraid to say so in public. The ‘Blown Away’ singer took to social media Thursday (April 18) to denounce the Tennessee state legislature for passing the so-called “Ag Gag” bill, which many critics say will help factory farms get away with abusing animals.
“Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill,” Underwood posted to Facebook. “If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”
According to the Nashville Scene, the bill makes it illegal to videotape animal cruelty or abuse and then fail to turn the evidence in to authorities within 48 hours. While the agricultural business has steadfastly claimed that the bill’s goal is to prevent animal cruelty, its opponents have claimed that the real goal of the legislation is to silence whistle-blowers within the factory farms, since it creates a scenario that would prevent them from documenting enough evidence to prove a pattern of abuse. Under the new bill, farmers could conceivably brush off any allegations of wrongdoing as a one-time mistake and face no penalties.
While the bill was passed by the Republican-dominated Tennessee legislature, two Republican lawmakers staunchly opposed the legislation. Murfreesboro Sen. Bill Ketron argued with his colleagues that Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy were cruel to animals when they were little, while Senate GOP leader Mark Norris said those who backed the bill were not truly concerned about animal cruelty.
“If you’re truly concerned about animal abuse, deal with the root cause not what people do after they see it,” Norris stated. “The implication of this bill is that it’s OK to abuse animals. It’s all right.”
According to USA Today, there are similar bills pending in nine different states. “These measures are designed to curb modern-day muckraking by preventing the recording of abuses and compelling whistle-blowers to identify themselves to the government,” the article states. “The quick time frame for reporting makes it impossible to document sustained abuse.”
Underwood is usually not one to get publicly involved in politics, but she is an outspoken animal lover. In an episode of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music,’ she revealed that she became a vegetarian as a little girl after watching her parents castrate calves on the family farm.
“I couldn’t eat those precious cows — they were my babies!” the singer said. “I bottle-fed some of them.”