September 19, 2008

California 'Prop 2' egg battle

by pawlitico

Here in California we're having an egg battle. We're not throwing eggs: We're throwing comments back and forth between factory farmers and humane-farming advocates.

In the middle is the future of millions of hens and the California egg industry.

Laying hens stuffed into battery cages, where they can't stretch out or lie down
When humane Californians vote YES! on Proposition 2 in November, they'll be ensuring that California eggs will be cage-free eggs.

In other words, 'Yes on Prop 2' voters will be casting a vote in favor of enforcing the cage-free ethic for all egg farming.

Opponents of Prop 2 say this'll kill the California egg industry. No way! We believe those who say this'll convert it to a more profitable industry. We say this knowing that many of us in California — both we pets and our humans — already consume only regionally-produced cage-free eggs.

Here's an egg-cerpt about the egg battle from a piece by The CA Majority Report's Donald Lathbury. It's entitled "No on Prop 2 Campaign Funded by the Same Out-of-State Egg Producers that the Campaign Claims would Benefit if Prop 2 Passes?"

Surely out-of-state egg producers are chomping at the bits to see Prop 2 passed then, since they anticipate a flood of new business as California's egg producers are put out of business, right? Curiously, no:

"Thirteen Iowa companies have made nearly a quarter of a million dollars in donations to 'Californians for SAFE Food - No on Prop 2,' a coalition organized to fight a ballot measure amending the state's health and safety code in relation to the confinement of livestock."

Ok, I'm confused. Riddle me this, factory farmers: why would 13 Iowa egg producers dump a quarter million dollars into an opposition campaign to a California proposition that would increase Iowa egg producers' market share? If the No campaign's talking points were true, Iowa egg producers (along with donors from factory farms in Nebraska, Maine, Colorado, Utah, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, and well, every state in the country with battery cage egg production), if anything, would be giving money to the Yes side. That's business, right? Make your profits where you can by digging into the markets of your competitors.

Something doesn't fit here. Maybe, just maybe, the outside egg producers that have dominated the finances of the No campaign are afraid that the old adage, 'as California goes, so goes the nation,' applies in this situation.

And if that's the case, then far from exporting our egg production to other states, Prop 2 actually exports our more humane farming practices to other states, hence the fervent opposition from folks who love to squeeze as much profit as they can from stuffing six-to-eight hens in cages so small that they cannot turn around or expand their wings. . . .

Howl, we want California to export humane business ethics, thereby promoting humane farming practices everywhere.

Under the Prevention of Farm Cruelty Act, pigs and veal calves will be humanely treated too.

Now's the time for conversion to cage-free production.

A happy cage-free hen!
California humans, paw-leeze end the inhumane-ity and the egg battle: Cast your YES vote on PROP 2!