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The People Have Spoken: YES! on Prop 2

Friends, take a bow. Open the window and give out a whoop. Don’t hold back. Let fly the corks.

In big, bold, indelible letters, you just wrote history. Proposition 2 passed with an overwhelming majority (now more than 62 percent, with 40 percent of the vote in), despite a massive, multi-million dollar campaign by the opponents.

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© iStockphoto

Life is going to get better for millions of farm animals.

And that’s thanks to so very many of you—those of you who voted for California’s Prop 2, those of you who donated time and money and support in the campaign, as well as the countless others of you who cheered from other states. This is the most ambitious ballot measure for animals ever undertaken. The energy that propelled us to victory was incredible—and that’s not overstatement. From the thousands of people who helped gather the petition signatures to put Prop 2 on the ballot to those who staffed the phone banks and knocked on doors to get out the vote, this was a show of grassroots might.

As a result, you’ve brought forth a new, more compassionate age.

Giving farm animals a little extra room to stretch their limbs, to move like animals should, is a small matter for us humans. But it’s a very big thing for a hen who would otherwise be confined with a half-dozen other birds in a cage about as big as a filing cabinet for her whole life. It’s a really big thing for a sow who would otherwise be stuck in a crate so small she couldn’t turn around. It’s a way big thing for a calf who would spend life chained inside a miserably tiny crate.

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With hundreds of  Prop 2 supporters gathered in Los Angeles.

Prop 2 will phase out those inexcusable confinement systems and usher in a new era. No state in the U.S. and no Agribusiness titan anywhere in the nation can overlook this mandate: people do not want their farm animals treated with wanton cruelty.  photos © Tony Chang

This proposition follows less sweeping but still significant ballot measures passed in Florida and Arizona in recent years. The trend is unmistakable, and it’s time for agriculture and those other businesses in the food chain to drop the last of their opposition and implement the future, starting now. That’s what animals deserve; that’s what voters insist upon. At The Humane Society of the United States, we’ll be ready to go to work tomorrow to make it happen.

Let me say plainly: We’ll engage constructively with farmers and businesses that take responsible steps to improve the welfare of animals. The others, unfortunately, will learn their lessons the hard way—beginning with the wrath of consumers. There is no valor in defending the abuse of animals.

For now, though, grab someone close by and give them a hug. In disturbing economic times against a deceitful, fear-mongering $9 million campaign directed by the regressive egg industry, millions of California voters chose stewardship, responsibility, mercy, care and selflessness.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animal Welfare: Oprah focuses on California’s Proposition 2

 “I believe how we treat the least of beings among us determines our own humanity!”  …Oprah said in opening remarks on her show about the treatment of farm animals

 

The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday shined a spotlight and her support on Proposition 2, the California ballot initiative that will determine how animals are raised. 

Reporter Lisa Ling visited both free-range farms and “factory” farms to show viewers the differences in how animals are raised. On the set of the program, Oprah stood next to replicas of cages and crates to show the size of some animals’ quarters in large-scale farm operations. Those who support California’s Proposition 2 say these animals have a right to more space during their lives. Opponents claim the new law would drive up costs, put farmers out of business and end the egg industry in California, and deny consumers the right to choose less-expensive food. 

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told Oprah’s audience that he supports Proposition 2. “This is just about basic decency,” he said. “It’s about, if animals are going to be raised for food – and that’s certainly the case in this country – then the least we can do for them is allow them to move. I mean, what’s more basic that allowing animals with legs and wings to move around and treating them in a humane way? Californians do the right thing and vote ‘Yes’ on Prop 2.”

The show, however, was not one-sided. Opponents of Proposition 2 also had their say. Ryan Armstrong, a third-generation egg farmer from California, told the audience that if Proposition 2 passes, it will make eggs produced in California too expensive for most consumers, creating the possibility that eggs will be imported from places without these animal housing laws.  (However, in several other states the changes are already being made). 

A couple that now raises range-free veal calves successfully, says that in the long run, it is actually cheaper and less labor intensive to allow them to live freely, with their mothers. 

Another farmer who raises range free pigs and chickens says that food is all about energy, and the energy emitted from abused animals affects all of us who eat that meat in a negative way. 

Listen to AgriTalk’s interview with Illinois Farm Bureau President Phil Nelson, who invited Winfrey to travel outside of Chicago and visit a farm in downstate Illinois.

Listen to AgriTalk’s interview with Matt Kellogg, a hog farmer from Yorkville, Illinois who was featured on the program and talked about the experience.

Source: Drovers

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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