Tuesday, October 14, 2008

California, Vote Yes On Proposition 2

If you are a resident of California, then you have probably heard amongst all of the election-day hype that there is a measure on the November 4th ballot that calls for the ethical treatment of our farm animals. Proposition 2 effectively demands that all farm animals are given enough space to move around and stretch their limbs/wings, instead of being confined to small cages, sometimes a half dozen at a time.

The language of the ballot initiative is pretty basic, and it is a wonder that this hasn't been a standard in California for a long time. Essentially, it states that animals must be given room to move around and stretch their limbs for most if not all of the day. The massive corporate interests opposing the measure state that except for a few isolated incidents, farms adhere to the regulations set forth by their industry in regards to the confinement of their animals. Another argument against Prop. 2 is that it will drive most animal farmers, and in particular egg farmers, out of California because it will increase the cost of caring for the animals and cut into their profit.

Yes, Prop. 2 will increase the cost of caring for the animals, because farmers will have to invest in larger cages to give the animals more room. And yes, Prop. 2 will probably cut into their profit margins because they will not be able to keep as many animals confined in one space, and will therefore lose production. But prop. 2 isn't making farmers let their animals sleep in the farmhouse with them or frolic in the sunshine all day; all it does it allow these animals the freedom to move around in their cages.

Prop. 2 by no means intends to put farmers out of business or take food off of anyones table. It is a small step to changing those "industry regulations" that the farms adhere to that allow them to confine chickens 4 or 5 to a cage or pigs to a tiny wire enclosure. So to take that small step, to tell the massive industrial farming complex that we're paying attention now and we don't like what we see, vote YES on Proposition 2. And if you won't do it for me, do it for this little guy:

I know. Heartstrings. Being. Tugged. It came as a huge shock to yours truly that our esteemed news outlet, the San Francisco Chronicle, endorses a NO vote on Prop. 2. C'mon guys, really? To help everyone realize what is actually at stake here, please watch this report from ABC 7 aired on Monday, October 13th. It is hard to watch, as it should be, and demonstrates rather harshly why this bill needs to pass.

Thanks for voting!