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Twenty-five-year-old Amy Meyer was standing on a public road in Draper City, Utah, watching the cows at the Dale Smith & Sons Meat Packing Company.

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.

Cody Carlson said of his undercover experience at New York’s largest dairy farm: “It’s incredibly overwhelming. Your brain can’t process seeing this many animals crammed together in one place”
Sam Zide
Cody Carlson said of his undercover experience at New York’s largest dairy farm: “It’s incredibly overwhelming. Your brain can’t process seeing this many animals crammed together in one place”

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.

In April, Potter posted the tale of Meyer’s travails on his website, Green Is the New Red (greenisthenewred.com). 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.

E-mail Pete Kotz

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