The Tomato

Systematic vegetable abuse found in greenhouses across Ontario

Photo by Mico Mazza

A hidden camera investigation has brought to light allegations of serious, systemic vegetable abuse at an Ontario greenhouse.

The shocking video shows employees spraying water at tomato plants tied to stakes, a method of water torture condemned by the international community.  It also shows tomatoes being poked, prodded, and finally plucked from their vines.

One tomato that fell off the vine was unceremoniously squashed underfoot by an employee.

The undercover operation was organized by Mercy for Vegetables, the sister group to Mercy for Animals.

Mercy for Animals recently released its own hidden camera film called Turkey Torture.  The film shows turkeys at an Ontario farm factory suffering from wounds and infections without veterinary care, being beaten to death with shovels and metal rods, and having their spines crushed.

“That’s nothing,” said Jack Beanstalk, spokesperson for Mercy for Vegetables. “Our video shows tomatoes being fertilized by mushroom compost. That’s practically cannibalism.”

Mercy for Vegetables also alleges that greenhouse temperatures were lowered to unliveable temperatures in order to save on hydro bills, and suggests that the greenhouse conditions amounted to “vegecide.”

“There was dirt everywhere,” said Beanstalk.  “And the lights were on all the time, just to make the tomatoes grow faster so they’d be ready for the market. That’s torture.”

When asked what ethical practices should guide food selection choices, professor of ethics Jane Wright dismissed organic food as a better alternative to factory-produced greenhouse tomatoes.

“Calling a tomato organic is like calling a turkey free-range, if you know what I mean. They both end up on the plate, and they have no say about how they get there.”

The Green Party is considering drafting legislation to enshrine the rights of vegetables in Canada’s constitution and ensure equality for root, stem-leaf, and fruit-flower-seed vegetables.

An insider suggests the Conservatives are ready to table a bill specifically targeting vegetable abusers that will ensure offenders receive mandatory minimum sentences of two years to life.

The NDP is calling for a tomato boycott until an investigation into tomato-growing conditions can be completed.

Meanwhile, the Tomato is organizing a petition called Stop Tomato Torture Today.

“At the Tomato, we want to give a voice to all the oppressed and brutalized tomatoes of the world,” said editor Ponyboy Colautti.  “After all, I have devoted my entire career to a publication named after the vegetable that is as important to society as the vegetables themselves.”

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