The Treatment of Farm Animals ballot issue in California affects more than just chicken or veal producers and more than just the state of California. Essentially, HSUS and Farm Sanctuary would use a win on this issue to gain momentum towards efforts in all states and against all sectors of the agriculture industry. They won’t stop until they reach their ultimate goal of forcing a vegan society. This viewpoint was well articulated in an editorial by Feedstuffs magazine.
I’ve posted the Feedstuffs article below:
California dam must not be breached (Editorial)
A CALIFORNIA ballot initiative this fall concerning housing for hens, sows and veal calves is actually an initiative that will affect all of livestock and poultry production across the entire U.S., if not North America.
All segments of production, including packer/processors, grain producers, suppliers and those in the business of selling food, must recognize this and understand that they have a dog in the fight.
The initiative, taken to the ballot by a coalition of animal activist groups led by Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and called “Treatment of Farm Animals Statute,” would effectively ban, beginning in 2015, cage housing for hens and stall systems for sows and veal calves in California (Feedstuffs, March 13 and April 14).
As previously reported, even most cage-free housing would fail to meet the requirements of the statute, wiping out 95% of California egg production (Feedstuffs, May 26).
However, the initiative is not about hens or sows or veal calves, and it’s not about California. It’s about defending modern, science-based animal agriculture — and beef, pork and poultry production — in the U.S.
For one reason, Farm Sanctuary and HSUS will not stop with a win in California — they did not stop with initiatives that banned sow stalls in Arizona and Florida — but will use their California momentum to get similar initiatives on ballots in other states and to justify legislation banning certain kinds of animal housing to legislators at state capitols and in Washington, D.C. Farm Sanctuary and HSUS have millions and millions and millions of dollars to do this.
They also will not stop with hens, sows and veal calves, which are just the “low-hanging fruit” that is easiest to pick off. If there are cattle feeders or chicken growers or hog producers out there who do not think that they can become the next victim of the animal activists, there is still some swamp land they can buy.
They also will not stop with animal welfare. There are ethical and humane reasons for cage housing and stalls that are supported by animal ethicists and scientists. However, animal activists debunk them in pursuit of their true agenda, which is a vegetarian nation, which activists readily acknowledge and which is outlined on the HSUS web site.
Their view is obviously a long one. Nevertheless, by winning bans on methods of production that are scientifically sound and that produce abundant and affordable food while protecting the health and welfare of animals and safety of food, they can, over generations, exhaust meat and poultry production. Activists are driven religiously and socially to do this.
So, everyone tied to meat and poultry production has a stake in the California initiative, and everyone needs to ask whether it’s right to let California egg, pork and veal producers fall on the sword or if it’s time to mount an agriculture-wide, nationwide defense of the food production system.
California is like a dam that the activists want to breach to flood feedlots, chicken houses and hog barns across the country, and everyone has a responsibility to protect the dam.
The initiative is five months away, so there is little time to get this done, but the time is now.