California’s Proposition Number 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, is on the ballot as an initiated state statute and will be voted on November 6, 2018. The ballot launches new values for the confinement of specific farm animals and bans the sale of egg and meat products that do not comply with those values. The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, based on square feet, created new minimum space requirements for holding breeding pigs, egg-laying hens, and veal calves. Proposition 12 also states that after December 31, 2021 all egg-laying hens must be raised in a cage free environment and the State of California is to issue implementing guidelines.
I support California’s Proposition Number 12 and I am going to vote yes.
The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative is going to have a major impact on animal welfare. The way society has treated farm animals inhumanely is heart breaking and we should feel disgusted with ourselves. We do not treat blind, death, or mentally ill people like they are second class citizens.
We do not force our house pets to live in a small and dirty cage their entire lives. So, for us to treat farm animals, the food we are eventually going to consume, the way we have been makes so sense at all. It is wrong to cram an egg-laying hen in an overcrowded cage for her entire life. The over compacted cages can cause the hens to develop fractures which could impair the product. Hens need to be able to stretch their wings. They are forced to sleep, eat, lay eggs, and go to the bathroom in the same tiny cage every day.
It is wrong to confine breeding pigs and veal calves in cages so small that they cannot even turn around. I could not imagine what it would feel like to not be able to move around. Also, breeding pigs and veal calves have even crushed each other to death due to the crammed conditions. The barns ventilation systems that the farm animals are held in are weak. They receive little to no fresh air and sunlight. The fear of caging must have a negative impact on them. Fresh air and sunlight does a lot for me when I am feeling stressed. I am sure it would help the farm animals out as well. They should be able to behave in natural behaviors. It is unbelievable that we expect our farm animals to thrive under these conditions.
The inhumane treatment and caging of farm animals their entire lives compromises food safety. Food safety should be the governments number one priority. The utilitarian approach can relate to this. We should be taking the interest of others before our own. We need to be thinking about the ethical consequences of raising farm animals the way we do and what the outcome could be from each of those actions. Non-supporters of the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative believe it is more economically resourceful to put a larger number of hens into a cage and tolerating a smaller output per cage. Ethically, when you put it that way, there is no link between humane animal welfare and being resourceful. The animals are living in unnatural conditions so even though output may be high, those animals are suffering.
Proposition 12 will reduce the risk of people getting sick from food poisoning. The cages and pins farm animals live in are disturbing and we plan on eating those animals. Breeding pigs feces can pile up in there pins and bad toxins are floating around in the air. Those toxins can be harmful for the pigs and the employees working on the farm. Salmonella is sometimes found in eggs from hens and this is caused from the hens having to go to the bathroom in their cages. Then flies carry the disease to neighboring hens. We need to start thinking about the consequences of our actions.