184: Heart-wrenching Tales of Undercover Investigations with Attorney Cody Carlson of Mercy For Animals

December 26, 2017

Cows, pigs, and hens are sentient beings, just as intelligent as we are. They feel loss, love, pain, shame, fear, and solidarity. They want to be free, nurture their young, and play. Yet the factory farming industry is built with total disregard for these animals’ needs. It’s all about maximizing profits. The good news is that there are amazing people doing ground-breaking work to expose animal abuse and change legislation. Listen now!


Cody Carlson heard about Mercy For Animals when he was a private investigator for a business intelligence firm. Moved by their work, he reached out to the founder, Nathan Runkle (check out his episode). Before he knew it, Cody had quit his job, grown a goatee and become an undercover animal rights investigator.


It was a wild ride. Working undercover as a farm hand is exhausting physical work and emotionally intense. He witnessed how over 4,000 cows were kept constantly pregnant, saw newborn calves torn from their mothers and left to die, or sold for slaughter. He saw how much the animals wanted to play, to be loved. His footage of workers’ cruelty and the atrocities committed in the farm was broadcast by the media and resulted legislation that changed how these animals are treated. And that was it. He was hooked. He went to law school and is now one of Mercy for Animal’s attorneys.


Part of the work Cody is doing with Mercy For Animals is overturning ag-gag laws. Instead of reforming, the animal farming industry lobbies to amend legislation and keep their inhumane practices within the law. From around 2010, ag-gag laws made it a crime to conduct undercover investigations that reveal what goes on in factory farms. Mercy For Animals is winning the fight against ag-gag laws, but some states still have them: MontanaUtahNorth DakotaMissouriKansasIowa and North Carolina. If you’re a resident of one of these states, you can help overturn these laws by contacting your local representative and encouraging them to speak out.


Are we ever going to see a world without slaughter houses? YES! With the rise of plant-based milks, dairy profits are plummeting. With growing public support, a radical movement away from meat and towards plant-based eating, changes in legislation and corporate policy, and delicious plant-powered options, we’re going to see the end of factory farming in our lifetimes. Additionally we can all be healthier, protect the environment, help the animals, and feel better than we’ve ever felt by ditching factory-farmed meats and adding more plants to our diets.



What can you do today to help the animals?

  • Contact your law-maker and encourage them to speak out about animal cruelty and ag-gag laws.
  • Join an animal activism group. Mercy For Animals is the leading international farm animal protection organization. You can sign up on the website and check out how you can get involved.
  • Share Cody’s video of footage of how dairy and animals are produced in modern farms. You can check out the viral video at http://www.whatcodysaw.com/.
  • Join Hen Heroes to take part in animal activism.
  • Reach out to the Oink writers’ group if you want to get involved with writing letters to the editor and raising awareness.
  • If you’re a California resident, you can help get legislation passed that would change the game for animals raised in California. Half a million signatures are needed—you can volunteer at PreventCrueltyCA.com/volunteer to sign up. Please share the link with your friends!
  • You can also donate. Donations help Mercy For Animals run undercover investigations and petition for real change in animal protection legislation.



Cody and Leslie’s tips to eat healthier and plant-based wherever you live:

  • Veganize your meal when you eat out (for example, you can order Denny’s scrambled egg platter and swap the eggs for potatoes).
  • Stop eating processed foods.
  • Eat real, whole foods.
  • Always look at the ingredient list. If it doesn’t read like a recipe, put it down.



This is our last episode of 2017… happy almost new year!! And we’re super excited to announce 4 events for 2018!!

January 12th – 14th Releasing What Weighs You Down Wellness Workshop
Allison will be speaking at the Releasing What Weighs You Down Wellness Conference with JJ Flizanes on January 12th – 14th in Los Angeles. Allison will be speaking on how to transform your trauma into triumph and your pain into purpose. There are only a few tickets left for the live event, but you can book a virtual ticket and take part online. A great gift to give yourself or a friend! Coupon code 10OFF will get you 10% off!

January 21st – The Indie Film Showcase & Cocktail Party in Park City
Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States and Suzy and Alli will be there interviewing documentary filmmakers who are using cinema to make the world a healthier place! Come see Allison LIVE at The Indie Film Showcase speaking on the panel and then have cocktails with us at the after party. Tickets are free!
February 8th – 11th – Podfest Multimedia Expo Podcast Conference
Join Allison in Orlando at Podfest MultiMedia Expo with Podcast Fave Katie Krimitsos. If you’re interested in podcasting, want to meet influencers and change makers, grow your brand and maximize your income, then you can’t afford to miss this. Coupon code BWR will get you $20 off.

June 2nd-9th The Ultimate Vegan Italian Getaway on the Amalfi Coast
Infinity pools, wine, Italian faire, relaxation, hiking, vegan cheffing & memories that will last a lifetime…  What more could a girl want? Join us in Italy in 2018! It’s going to be an amazing, delicious, beautiful, healthy retreat in a villa above the Amalfi coast, the most gorgeous place in the world. You’ll enjoy cooking lessons with vegan chef, Leslie Durso, hiking, exploring, and building life-long soul connections. The villa has an organic garden, natural spring grotto, and an infinity pool… and all the Italian charm you’ll ever need! Go to Foodhealsnation.com/Italy for all the info!



What you’ll learn in Episode 184:

  • What got Cody started in animal activism
  • How Cody got his first undercover job
  • What happens to newborn calves
  • Why milk is liquid meat
  • Why grass-fed meat is a myth
  • How you can help fight ag-gag laws
  • How to emotionally deal with witnessing animal cruelty
  • Ways to get involved with animal activism
  • Why we find it so hard to give up cheese (and how to give it up!)
  • The most vibrant, healthful diet we can eat
  • How a vegan diet teaches us to cook
  • How to never get bored with what we eat
  • The truth about gestation cages
  • A heart wrenching story about a mother sow’s solidarity



Our favorite moments:

@10:50 It was a wild ride

@15:19 Dairy is liquid meat

@40:44 You guys are amazing!

@41:50 Better than real cheese!

@59:49 Google it right now!

@1:01:40 The sweetness of doing nothing





The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness




Being hailed as “Sex and the City for Food,” The Food Heals Podcast brings together experts in the field of nutrition, health and healing to teach you the best-kept natural secrets to being a hotter, healthier, happier YOU!

The Food Heals Podcast is hosted by Allison Melody and Suzy Hardy – two self-proclaimed natural chicks who will rock your world and change your beliefs about health! This sexy, savvy duo provides eco-friendly advice on a variety of issues including the healing power of nutrition, living authentically, turning your passion into your career, choosing the best natural health and beauty products, the benefits of a plant-based diet and so much more!

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