Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are you voting Yes on Prop. 2?

It took today's New York Times Magazine article The Barnyard Strategist to get me to finish reading up on Prop. 2, which would eliminate battery cages for hens and give chickens and other animals room to stand up and turn around in their cages. At first I was undecided, since if this proposition passes, it will cause the price of a dozen eggs to increase from 12 to 24 cents and be costly for California egg producers to implement. But after reading this article, and seeing that everyone from Wolfgang Puck to the United Farm Workers supports this ballot measure, I'm pretty sure I'll vote yes. It's not a panacea -- the chickens still won't really be free-range, and consumers may well decide to buy lower cost eggs from out of state if prices go up. I'd prefer if the free market could persuade farmers to do the right thing, but Americans are pretty used to paying rock bottom prices and not worrying about where their cheap eggs, cheap beef or cheap t-shirts are coming from or what the conditions are like where they are made, so perhaps the government needs to step in. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I want to vote yes, but it just seems like yet another California measure that has good intentions but horrible results. I have to vote no because in our economy today, I just don't think we can afford (literally afford $$$) to enact stuff that will make it harder for people to buy fresh ingredients. I'd rather a poor family be able to buy a dozen eggs than to have the animals allowed to turn around in their cages. It's a nice idea, but just not practical with what's going on today.

eightfoldrabbit said...

I'm voting yes. I think current large scale factory farming practices are somewhat inhumane. I don't want to support that with my dollars. There's a reason my family doesn't eat much meat - we can't afford to get the really good stuff from places that buy from family farms. That's ok with me. I'm not really entitled to steak!

So in that vein, I'll pay more or use fewer eggs if I have to. It's so worth it to know that things will improve for animals.

Doran said...

I'm going to vote yes. I think allowing enough room for the animals to turn around and/or lie down seems perfectly reasonable. Also, the scare tactics used by the opposition has totally turned me off.

Michael said...

Vote No!

City Slickers do not know farming but want to tell farmers how to farm. Do you think that Farmers are cruel like beastmasters? No, farmers care for their animials. They have to. If they don't, they will be out of business. But Farmers know that farm animals are food. They are not pets. Big difference. If this prop passes, your food bills will go through the roof.

jon said...

vote yes.
the people lobbying against this are not family farmers with straw hats from green acres. they are big corporate entities and they don't care about health of animals or humans- only profit.
i'd rather pay a little more knowing that the animals are having a better existence. i am not a vegetarian but i believe animals should not lead lives of torture just to save a few bucks.
stop eating eggs if you can't afford them. they are not required eating. i can't believe anyone could see photos of how these chickens live out their lives and vote no for this.

solson said...

Corporate factory farming is not farming, it's an industrial system and it is inhumane. I think if Americans were shown videos of how animals live in factory farms they'd be willing to pay more for their eggs. I've seen videos of chickens literally living on top of each other, in some instances living on top of dead cage mates. Many are so sick they can barely function. I've seen videos of pigs that are locked into cages that don't allow any movement. Pigs are highly intelligent and will literally go mad in these conditions. Then of course most of us have seen the video of "downer" cows being forced to stand by use of fork lift. Not only are these practices deplorable, but when one thinks that these sick, abused animals are also in the food supply, it becomes disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Just say NO!
Who cares about the humane, or not, treatment of a GD chicken. This is an industry that provides food to feed humans of the world. If you want to raise a pet chicken, and live in a place zoned for it, fine, do so, but don't get in the way of the chicken, or any other industry meant to feed people.
This proposition is really trying to convert the world to vegetarianism, period!

Esther said...


Absolutely! Cheap food based on inhumane agrifarming gives a false sense of what the food should really cost. Just like buying cheap clothes made in India by child labor, or cheap t.v.'s from China.

At some point the cost of living cheaply by exploiting other people, beings and the planet will catch up to us. Prop. 2 is a step toward creating a more humane and sustainable culture. This is not an issue that can be decided just based on money.

These animals are sentient beings. There is no reason for them to live in such misery except greed and callous indifference.

We can do so much better, for ourselves and others. This is not a decision that should be made just based on the bottom line, without taking into consideration the price in suffering.

Just because a cow can't perform heart surgery, doesn't mean that it doesn't suffer when it lives in a 4 x 4 cage that it can't turn around in, standing in it's own filth every day of its life.

Humans are the gods of the planet - we can inflict misery so thoughtlessly when we don't think about consequences of our actions, or we can give comfort to each other and other beings so easily, if we only take a moment to reflect on how much power we hold and how we would want to be treated by those who might have power over us.

Vote yes 2.

jon said...

this is not about vegetarianism.
carnivores should be more concerned than anyone. wouldn't you rather eat a happy, healthy chicken than one who lived in disgusting, unhealthy conditions.

anonymous - i'm surprised you don't identify more with chickens as you are afraid to use your own name.

Vanilla Chunk said...

ah, geez. it's tough. making protein more expensive for poor people, but aren't we judged by how we treat those weaker than ourselves?