Patterico's Pontifications

11/1/2008

Yes on Proposition 2: Free the Chickens!

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 5:38 pm

For some reason, conservatives tend not to be champions of animal rights. Or, at least, we’re not seen that way.

Let’s show the world that conservatives can care about animals.

To me, California’s Proposition 2 is a no-brainer. It does not mandate that chickens (and pigs and calves) be “cage free.” But it does mandate that they be housed in conditions that allow them to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely.

That’s just basic decency.

If you’re considering voting against this proposition, you might consider watching this video:

The awful conditions of the hens depicted in the video will not all be solved by Proposition 2. But if you skip ahead to around 4:04, you’ll get some sense of the overcrowded conditions that this proposition is designed to outlaw.

We’re told that there are health risks from Proposition 2. It appears clear to me that there are potential health risks from eating eggs that have been covered in blood due to untreated prolapsed egg vents; or eggs crawling with mites due to the filthy conditions of these cages; or eggs laid in cages filled with the rotting corpses of hens, or filled with sick hens with untreated open infections.

All this is shown in the video.

Overcrowded cages can even lead to cannibalism:

“Laying hens confined to battery cages are not able to lay their eggs in the privacy of an enclosed nest box. Without a secluded, protected space in which to lay her egg, a hen is exposed to potential vent pecking and cannibalism by cage-mates, and this may be a cause of the cloacal hemorrhage depicted in the video.” [The quote is from researcher Sara Shields -- P]

In fact that is exactly what [an egg farm worker known only as] Aaron encountered on Sunday, August 24.

“I found a hen in a top cage with a large prolapse dripping blood. There was one other hen in her cage who had a bloody beak, indicating that this bird had been cannibalizing the prolapse,” he wrote in his diary.

We’re told that compliance will be too costly, and that is clearly the most persuasive argument. One study shows the cost at a penny per egg — and producers have until 2015 to comply — but others argue that upgrades will cost millions.

Again, watch the video and make up your own mind whether the cost is worth it.

Polls appear to show that the measure is likely to pass. Good. It should.

88 Comments

  1. Higher food prices during a recession? Sounds like a great idea to me…

    I care about ending animal cruelty, but now ain’t the time.

    Comment by h2u (3bc08e) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:50 pm

  2. How does 2015 sound to you, then?

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:54 pm

  3. The added cost of providing clean, healthy food might be offset by savings in medical costs from contaminated food.

    Comment by DRJ (cb68f2) — 11/1/2008 @ 5:55 pm

  4. I think there are more important issues on the ballot. ‘nuf said.

    Comment by h2u (3bc08e) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:01 pm

  5. No offense, Patterico, but a lot of the process of how plants and animals become food is unattractive. I don’t believe in regulation by voter initiative. If I still lived in California, I would vote this down.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:07 pm

  6. Yes on Prop 2.

    You wanna know WHY your poultry has to have antibiotics etc?

    Cause a single cough can wipe out your flock in those conditions

    Comment by Techie (62bc5d) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:07 pm

  7. No, Patterico, we need egg reform before chicken reform.

    Comment by Official Internet Data Office (184273) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:13 pm

  8. I think there are more important issues on the ballot. ‘nuf said.

    There may be, and I plan to blog about them . . . but what point are you trying to make by saying this? That we should oppose it because it’s not the most important proposition on the ballot?

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:19 pm

  9. No offense, Patterico, but a lot of the process of how plants and animals become food is unattractive. I don’t believe in regulation by voter initiative. If I still lived in California, I would vote this down.

    I expect many here to disagree and I take no offense. However, please recognize that the problem described in the video is not one of “unattractiveness” but of unsanitary and inhumane conditions.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:20 pm

  10. OIDO #7 is the winning comment.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:23 pm

  11. I would vote this down, too. I am not going to accept that “consumers” care more for the source of the farmer’s livelihood than the farmer does.

    Comment by nk (95bfab) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:24 pm

  12. Not only can you vote for the proposition, but make your voice heard by purchasing eggs that are cage free. It really does only cost a little more per egg, and unless you consume hundreds of eggs a month will not jeopardize your budget. If more people purchase eggs this way, producers will be encouraged to make the changes even faster than 2015.

    Comment by yourlilsis (095089) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:37 pm

  13. We already do that. But I see no valid reason not to legislate it.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:37 pm

  14. Sure, I’d vote for this.

    Of course it would be nice if the chickens would reciprocate in some way, but we should not demand a quid pro quo.

    So, what else is on the ballot out there? Are heterosexual roosters allowed to marry each other, or is that right limited to homosexual roosters?

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:40 pm

  15. Patterico, I was telling people ON TOP OF legislating better conditions, demand it with the mighty dollar! Don’t purchase eggs unless they are from chickens that are cage free. You send the message from multiple fronts.

    Comment by yourlilsis (095089) — 11/1/2008 @ 6:42 pm

  16. That we should oppose it because it’s not the most important proposition on the ballot?

    No. That we should oppose it because it would increase food prices in California and put a larger burden on low-to-middle class families.

    This proposition can be revisited when our economy is in better shape.

    Comment by h2u (4a7c7f) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:01 pm

  17. My father-in-law had layer houses (20,000 hens). He owned the houses, and provided labor; the egg company owned the rest. For which he got a pittance of the price of eggs, about 4 cents/dozen back then, and nothing when they weren’t laying, but still needed feeding. He said it was the only way he found he could make enough to support a family on a small farm. I talked to the hens, and they were quite happy. None complained about lack of privacy.

    Your “hen-house reforms” would doubtless put him out of business.

    Comment by Dave Brown (2c96aa) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:11 pm

  18. From one cent per egg to one dollar per egg. How’s that sound? Eggs are in about every prepared food you eat, so eat well now. Soon it will be as the ‘chosen one’ decreed, you won’t be able to eat all you want, keep your home at 72 degrees year round and drive your big automobile. In other words either 1863 or 1929 is coming, carefully planned and courtesty of the democrat party. Either way there will be two classes of people, those with nothing and those with everything. Kind of reminds me of commnism to the max.

    Comment by Scrapiron (dda662) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:19 pm

  19. Question from a nonCalifornian.
    Why is this being legislated through a ballot initiative, instead of through the legislature. I mean, there is a reason it’s called the legislature.

    Is this one of those things that was blocked in Sacramento and therefore is being pressed as an endrun around the legislature?
    We had a similar proposal here in Florida, regarding pregnant pigs. Of course, it passed. Are you going to vote against a pregnant pig?

    Comment by kishnevi (58c790) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:28 pm

  20. I know plenty of egg farmers here in so cal. All this Proposition will do is raise the cost of producing eggs in Ca. Guess what? All those businesses will move out of state or go out of biz. The end result, higher cost of eggs that are all imported from out of state. No “crowded” chickens in Ca, just in other states. Patterico, you should know better. Geez.

    Comment by Bruce in SoCal (971977) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:29 pm

  21. Funny, but these arguments sound strangely like the same arguments made against the minimum wage.

    Anyhow, won’t this proposition give mom and pop egg farms who’re already good to their chickens a better chance to compete against the big industrial egg producers? Decentralized production, more smaller egg farmers, healthier chickens and healthier people. Win win.

    Free the chickens!!

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:49 pm

  22. I will vote no on 2. Not because of anything it does directly but because I have watched the courts in California “interpret” the law to please the personal biases of the judges. Within a decade, the courts of California would produce interpretations that will generally say that Prop 2 should be applied with guidelines as produced by the ALF.

    If you no longer desire farm animals in California, vote yes on 2.

    Comment by Ken Hahn (e62d83) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:57 pm

  23. Dave Brown:

    I talked to the hens, and they were quite happy. None complained about lack of privacy.

    Maybe they just didn’t want to mouth off and wind up as the evening meal.

    Just sayin’.

    Comment by Peter (e70d1c) — 11/1/2008 @ 7:59 pm

  24. Comment by Peter — 11/1/2008 @ 7:59 pm

    They can mouth-off all they want, as long as they keep laying.
    A productive chicken is never dinner.

    Comment by Another Drew (7e8922) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:14 pm

  25. That’s just basic decency.

    So’s not killing them, but apparently we’re skipping that part… :)

    Comment by Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:16 pm

  26. I’m voting no on this.
    It’s ill-conceived because it isn’t about what kind of eggs, etc, can be sold in CA. It’s only about how CA can grow eggs and other food. It puts CA food producers at a disadvantage at a time when people are pinching pennies.

    What next? Legislation for rat-friendly rat traps? Laws against killing the gophers in your yard?

    Comment by MayBee (3114aa) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:18 pm

  27. Am glad to see you are big on basic human decency.
    Missed your video on dismembered babies during the abortion process.

    Comment by Lydia (76db97) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:21 pm

  28. Another totally misguided and useless waste of taxpayers dollars and time

    for one – California is THEE most regulated state (I know we had a food processing plant there) in the Union.

    Trust me – chickens which lay eggs have short unhappy lives – thats always the way its been

    Chickens are also nasty vicious creatures and for the safety of the workers must be confined or they will kill each other they are territorial both females and males

    Yes the odds are that soup you are eating or that buffalo wing you are munching on is probably coming from a chickens whose civil rights might have been totally violated – ewww

    Comment by EricPWJohnson (47b9ab) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:28 pm

  29. Already voted no on Prop 2.

    Try being an owner of an Egg farm for a year or two then come back and let me know how you feel about Prop 2. Also try looking a little deeper into this Prop. Your description is not even a surface description.

    Stop giving the Government more control over the Free Market.

    Comment by Todd (417ae6) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:51 pm

  30. Am glad to see you are big on basic human decency.
    Missed your video on dismembered babies during the abortion process.

    Sounds to me like you’re wrongly assuming I’m a big fan of abortion.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 8:58 pm

  31. I’m glad to see others are voting no on this… and I’m disappointed to see that my hero Patterico has so poorly researched this issue… and let his emotions get the better of him.

    I assure you, no one here loves chickens like I do. I have 25 or so, and they all have names. I don’t eat them, but I do eat their eggs.

    This proposition will not help chickens, or egg farmers, or consumers. California chickens will be slaughtered, California poultry farmers will leave the business, and eggs from other states and Mexico will be sold in California.

    As others have noted, those of you who don’t like the way chickens are kept should do is buy cage-free eggs.

    Comment by Susan (12c250) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:19 pm

  32. While I agree with you, free range hens will also peck an outsider to death. Chickens aren’t people. Let’s not get all mushy about chickens.

    Comment by Kate (8556d5) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:47 pm

  33. Maybe they could instead just slap a sales tax on non-free-range chicken and non-free-range eggs. That would address Susan’s concern, I think.

    Comment by Andrew (3b0903) — 11/1/2008 @ 9:54 pm

  34. But I see no valid reason not to legislate it.

    I’m surprised to hear a conservative say this!! Stunned, actually. It’s creeping statism, Patterico!

    First they came for the cigarettes. Then they came for the fats. Then they came for the chickens.

    Didn’t you say you or your wife was a vegetarian? I think that’s the ultimate goal with this proposition.

    Comment by Patricia (ee5c9d) — 11/1/2008 @ 10:24 pm

  35. The connection you cite linking cannibalism with cages doesn’t hold up. Chickens, basically very “un-nice” critters that cheerfully will engage in cannibalism, caged or not.

    I wonder how many of the cited researchers have ever had to deal with chickens outside of the academic setting…..

    Comment by Bill (b8d1ba) — 11/1/2008 @ 10:42 pm

  36. First they came for the cigarettes. Then they came for the fats. Then they came for the chickens.

    I’m a fan of smoking bans, too. I think I’ve upset you with my support for those before.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:09 pm

  37. No, that was Sharon.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:11 pm

  38. This proposition will not help chickens, or egg farmers, or consumers. California chickens will be slaughtered, California poultry farmers will leave the business, and eggs from other states and Mexico will be sold in California.

    That’s the argument. I’m not convinced it will happen. I think the threatened costs are overblown. And the Center for Food Safety supports it, which says to me that these eggs are safer.

    If the cost is a penny an egg — and people know that means it’s less likely that the egg was hatched in the awful conditions described in the video (that I don’t think a single one of you arguing with me has watched) — I don’t see that as driving the whole industry out of the state.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/1/2008 @ 11:23 pm

  39. ________________________________________

    For some reason, conservatives tend not to be champions of animal rights.

    In turn, look at all the liberals who get wobbly-kneed over the plight and welfare of animals but are strangely nonchalant about, if not bored by, the issue of abortion.

    Compassion and do-goodism have become so warped through the years that nowadays a lot of people believe they’re expressing big-hearted civility because they shed tears for the household dog or cat — or for the horse whose owner wants to sell it to a rendering plant for meat (a practice, btw, which was outlawed by voters in Calif in the late 1990s) — while wanting underaged girls to have the most permissive boundaries possible when seeking an abortion.

    There’s a very good possibility (based on polls) that the people of California, in their infinite wisdom, will vote “yay” on Proposition 2 but “nay” on Proposition 4. If so, truly a case of what can be called ass-backwards sentimentality at the ballot box.

    And to remind people that a love of animals (not to mention vegetarianism) doesn’t mean a damn thing in terms of a person’s decency, kindness and humanity:


    “I love animals, and especially dogs.”
    - Adolf Hitler. January 25, 1942. Section 125, HITLER’S TABLE TALK

    “I am no admirer of the poacher, particularly as I am a vegetarian.”
    - Adolf Hitler. August 20, 1942. Section 293, HITLER’S TABLE TALK

    “One may regret living at a period when it’s impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there’s one thing I can predict to eaters of meat: the world of the future will be vegetarian.”
    - Adolf Hitler. November 11, 1941. Section 66, HITLER’S TABLE TALK


    ________________________________________

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:41 am

  40. H2U, the provisions of this proposition don’t go into effect until 2015. Presumably the economy will be in better shape by then.

    Comment by aphrael (9e8ccd) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:46 am

  41. Patterico,

    The cost is certainly an issue. If it were profitable someone would already be doing it and advertising the heck out of it so you and the other over-the-top animal lovers could pay .12 more a carton. But since that isnt happening the market has determined that producing eggs in a “humane” manner is too costly to compete. So cali farmers will be legislated out of the market.

    Comment by Chas (5b920c) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:51 am

  42. Chas, that only works if the cost of shipping eggs in from out of state is lower than the cost of complying with the initiative. It’s not clear to me one way or another if that’s the case.

    Comment by aphrael (9e8ccd) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:57 am

  43. either way the cost of food is going to rise in cali.

    Comment by Chas (5b920c) — 11/2/2008 @ 1:27 am

  44. This is one of the most frustrating blind-spots conservatives tend to have and too often it prevents us from expressing greater compassion, even when doing so would cost us so little (hysterical cost increase estimates notwithstanding).

    Our pride so often buzzkills our moments of dawning mercy. I don’t get it. It reminds me of the frustration sooo many feel when they see Jewish people line themselves up for punishment thinking doing so will impress their tormentors and thus end their suffering. WHYYYYYYYY?!

    I. Don’t. Get. It.

    But I digress.

    Patterico, if I could vote for those extremely small, extremely basic, extremely easy to grant minimums to the very beasts who give their all just to prettify my breakfast, I would.

    It is one thing to sacrifice an animal to eat them, that is part of the order of life on this planet. It is a part of the conservative ethos to spare suffering, to reduce suffering, to alleviate suffering. Why else do we insist on killing as humanely, as swiftly as possible.

    It is quite another to make any creature suffer, utterly needlessly, on top of it.

    The protest that now is not the time because of the economy is not a new argument. Businesskind routinely trots out that old gag every time any improvement in their industry standards might result in the sparing of suffering, as opposed to continuing to turn a blind eye. See slave trade, forty hour work week and car air bags.

    The next favorite is that the creature has a bad personality, or is unintelligent, and thus does not deserve our compassion. These are tricks the speakers play on themselves to help them cope with the cruelty they, we, not only tacitly bless, but subsidize. As long we can look down our noses at a fellow earthling, for the wrong reasons or right reasons, then, it’s ok. If we keep using that rationale, then we have to consider doing “something” with Sean Penn for his crummy personality and Michael Moore for his missing forehead.

    As I told some friends a few days ago, conservatives are the original compassionates. We tend to think past the sentiments and consider consequences more regularly than liberals tend to. Liberals too often are flash and fire, no stamina or sacrifice. But, maddeningly, conservatives too often draw arbitrary limits that defy logic. You heard me, logic.

    Many of us think logic means cold clinical detachment or it cannot be logical. Cue Descartes. Brilliant mind, lousy human. Think it through, for longer than a few hours or even days. Ask around of people who don’t just tell you what you want to hear. Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourselves. Don’t worry, this isn’t some not-so-subliminal psycho-juju being perpetrated by one of the ones for The One.

    I agree with you Patterico. You are not alone in your belief in this, and I hope that soon we will have more voices join us in support.

    It is the least we can do, it is not asking too much.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 1:53 am

  45. Sorry, I meant to add that the cost of food in Cali rises when:

    (a) the illegal immigrants [keep reading] go back home when the season is over or, as in now, our economy tanks [keep reading] and we do not reduce demand;

    (b) duly documented and thus welcome resident aliens, migrant workers and work visa holders go home and we do not reduce demand;

    (c) the cost of foods imported from South Africa, Guatemala, Columbia, Spain and Bumfrikistan is more than Cali foods; or

    (d) We The People Continue To Pay The Government to Pay Agri-Business to -a- artificially keep the real cost from being passed directly to the tax-payer, thus faking us out, and -b- artificially produce LESS so demand always outpaces supply, thus keeping the prices artificially higher than usual under natural capitalism, thus creating a false sense of costs-more-but-not-that-much-more. See Got Milk.

    I’m not an economist, but I play at it on the interwebs once in a while… I least I hope it makes sense… I’m tired…

    Goodnight….

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 2:24 am

  46. One word caught my eye, “inhumane”. Well we are talking about chickens/livestock here right?

    Animals that exist for a single purpose, to provide their natural products for the consumption of humans. A supposedly humane species.

    I have been involved very directly with the raising of animals for pure consumption, and some of the processes involved in such. NOBODY cares more for an animal that is providing their living than those deriving such from it! Period PS the end! NOBODY!

    You think grabbing a chicken by it’s neck and giving it a twist is wrong, behead it then chase the blood spurting thing around the yard! I’ve been involved in both, and chasing a blood spraying chicken in full run is not fun, or clean! Twisted neck with some after death jerks, OK. BTW after the first rotation, the chicken/turkey, pheasant, quail ect, is dead!

    The emotional videos came to you from a facility that probably houses 10′s of thousands birds, they wouod and could be much larger, except if one house happens to get something, it will spread, so wise farmers keep separate locations for the birds, (sumptin about eggs in one basket her applies).

    I love the animal rights nuts, almost as as much as the anti hunting nuts, but there is but one or two in 300 plus million that object to the annual spraying of malathion to rid our hoods of mosquitoes are there? They as well deserve to live their lives don’t they? Even less that get depressed about the number of bugs they wash from their own windscreens.

    No, I do not care that YOU may get west nile, or full fledged malaria from sharing your world with them, they are a NATURAL part of our world, take yer chances!

    I’ll say this, anybody voting for this measure is in full support of ALF and the destruction of property and even lives that organization has caused. Might as well elect Ayers as some sort of a cohort and buddy list him. A vote for this is a vote for the illegal actions of the ALF!

    This has nothing in the world to do with being a conservative or liberal! NOTHING! Sans conservatives do view a REAL world vs. the world of bringing all the lost puppies home. They can separate the emotional killing of bambi with the need for meat on the table. (see one is a fable, the other is survival).

    “In turn, look at all the liberals who get wobbly-kneed over the plight and welfare of animals but are strangely nonchalant about, if not bored by, the issue of abortion.”

    A totally awesome statement! Usually a dinner conservation while ordering a steak or shrimp, or both.

    Hey Patt, you contribute to the conviction of men and women that will be sent to prison, and hence will probably be subjected to some behavior they would not normally be involved in. Is that a humane behavior on your part? Knowing somebody is probably gonna git…… and YOU sent them into the place of personal risk.

    Learn to separate animals from humans. Else be willing to become thought of as just another animal, chicken, goose, or maybe even just a moose!

    Comment by TC (0b9ca4) — 11/2/2008 @ 2:45 am

  47. While love of animals doesn’t automatically translate into love of humans, the conditions for these livestock are often horrendous and unhealthy. I support Prop 2. To house these animals the way that is portrayed is sheer animal cruelty and has no place in modern life.

    Comment by eaglewingz08 (98291e) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:11 am

  48. NO ON 2 WE DONT NEED WHINNY ANIMAL RIGHTS JERKS AND THEIR IDIOTIC POPPYCOCK PROP 2 IS THE RESULTS OF MINDLESS BLABBERING OF STUPID IDIOTS I FACT SOME DIM-BULB WROTE A REALY STUPID LETTER IN THE SACRAMENT ZOMBEE SAYING CHICKENS HAVE FEELING PROVING SHE IS A COMPLETE IDIOT

    Comment by Krazy Kagu (ddd85d) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:44 am

  49. You are allowing the government to “run” a private business, Patterico! This is bad. How can you justify this? We are killing animals to eat them! Eventually CA will be a place of the rich, with only government-sanctioned activity allowed, and lots of poor people to service them.

    Oh, wait, it already is.

    Comment by Patricia (ee5c9d) — 11/2/2008 @ 8:11 am

  50. I repeat, the killing of animals in order to eat or in self-defense is the natural order of life on this planet. I do not believe Patterico ever said he thought eating animals was wrong, and Prop 2 does not even go there.

    And I repeat, to make the animals who will end up giving their all suffer, to compound their misery with pain and agony is not only completely pointless, it forces you to thicken your heart, and reduce your world to just your selfish fears.

    Small minded people with callous creeds do not elevate us, they hold us back.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:00 am

  51. I repeat, the killing of animals in order to eat or in self-defense is the natural order of life on this planet. I do not believe Patterico ever said he thought eating animals was wrong, and Prop 2 does not even go there.

    And I repeat, to make the animals who will end up giving their all suffer, to compound their misery with pain and agony is not only completely pointless, it forces you to thicken your heart, and reduce your world to just your selfish habits.

    Small minded people with callous creeds do not elevate us, they hold all of us back.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:06 am

  52. (Sorry very sorry, I do not know why my above comment posted twice, the first being a nearly done draft. Excuse me while I go beat my fingers.)

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:09 am

  53. From TC:
    No, I do not care that YOU may get west nile, or full fledged malaria from sharing your world with them, they are a NATURAL part of our world, take yer chances!

    How would you like it if you watched someone like you tell your daughter that, and in just that way, to her face?

    I am your daughter.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 10:14 am

  54. “I love the animal rights nuts, almost as as much as the anti hunting nuts, but there is but one or two in 300 plus million that object to the annual spraying of malathion to rid our hoods of mosquitoes are there? They as well deserve to live their lives don’t they? Even less that get depressed about the number of bugs they wash from their own windscreens.”

    “How would you like it if you watched someone like you tell your daughter that, and in just that way, to her face?

    I am your daughter.

    Comment by alexa kim — 11/2/2008 @ 10:14 am ”

    Right off the bat you are NOT my daughter, you are possibly another specie entirely. I will add that if my daughter got so far off the track then it might possibly do some good for another member of the village to provide a smack down to her as a reminder of what her standing in the world is.

    She might cry, but she probably would be better off learning something new.

    On the other hand, it’s the natural world right? Deal with it!

    But screw all that, vote yes on prop two, so those in CA can move their industry out of your state and you rich callies can pay a $1 an egg!

    Comment by TC (0b9ca4) — 11/2/2008 @ 11:32 am

  55. Avain enablers theyre everywhere

    Comment by EricPWJohnson (47b9ab) — 11/2/2008 @ 11:51 am

  56. Someone on the left mentioned that legislating this sort of thing is akin to setting a minimum wage. On that score, if not the way to vote on it, I agree. I oppose the minimum wage because I believe that the market, and debate, persuasion, etc., should determine who pays what for what.

    If folks are persuaded through the market that the provisions IN prop 2 are good, are worth a bit more money, then they will pay it. If they aren’t, I don’t believe it is the proper role of The State to force them to pay it anyway.

    Comment by Mitch (5330d4) — 11/2/2008 @ 12:08 pm

  57. I don’t need to watch the video. I don’t think I could handle it. Animals should be treated with basic decency and respect. I say this as a practicing carnivore.

    Comment by Jim S. (be64e3) — 11/2/2008 @ 1:52 pm

  58. This stuff is legal? I’ll bet that farmer cheats on his taxes. He should go to jail for animal cruelty. Right now.

    Comment by David Brown (29ac89) — 11/2/2008 @ 3:19 pm

  59. Brilliant! After prop 2 passes, Eggs in CA can have an additional cost included of shipping them in from other states.

    So the real question is: do you want to pay more for food?

    Comment by Brian (9a684d) — 11/2/2008 @ 3:37 pm

  60. It is obvious to me that most of you voting for Prop 2 have never been involved with farming. I worked on farms for 10 years raising cattle, pigs and chickens among other things. What you saw on that video is the exception rather than the rule. Dirty, crowded cages are counter productive and cause a severe decrease in revenue for the farmers. Farmers who allow the conditions to become unsanitary, too crowded or to confining have increased instances of early death from disease and slowed growth rates for the animals.

    Lets take the case of keeping sows in farrowing crates. If the sow is kept in the farrowing crate for too long, the sow loses muscle tone, has a more difficult pregnancy and has fewer piglets that survive. However if the sow is not put into a farrowing crate before birth, she will typically lose several of her piglets because they cannot get out of the way when she lays down and therefore get crushed. Most farmers that I worked for put the sow in the farrowing crate one week prior to their due date and move them to regular cages after 2 to 3 weeks. More piglets survived to reach market increasing the farmers profits. The sows did not stay in the crates long enough to be adversely affected by the confinement. Also, whether you know this or not, sows to morn their young who die. So helping to keep her young from getting crushed until they have grown enough to be able to get out of the way also helps the sow.

    Cattle confined to small pens do not get adequate exercise so do not gain weight as fast. This increases the length of time required to get them up to market weight therefore causing the farmer to spend more money on food per animal. Also the lack of exercise causes the cattle to be more prone to sickness, again causing the farmer to spend more money per animal and decreasing his profit margin. I believe the statute is aimed at the farmers who grow calves for veal. Kiss veal dishes goodbye if you pass this initiative.

    Chickens kept in too small of a cage do not grow as quickly, causing increased costs for food, and decreased profit. Allowing too many birds into a single cage causes the birds to fight and kill each other. Typically, you will find cages with 2 to 4 birds per cage. The cages are typically 18″ to 24″ in height and about 30″ x 18″. This does leave room for the birds to move around but is small enough to allow as many birds as possible per building. The larger the cage, the more likely that the birds will fight. Again, dirty cages increase chances for disease and the potential for the farmer to loose his entire flock. Not many farmers are willing to take that chance.

    Farming is hard work. It is also one of the most competitive jobs you will ever encounter. Each farmer is trying to maximize his profits and minimize his expenses. If he scrimps on cage size, cleanliness, quality of feed, over crowding, then he will lose money. It is as simple as that.

    If you find cases where a farmer is intentionally keeping his animals in bad conditions, there are already statutes on the books that allow him to be charged with animal cruelty. Use them.

    Comment by Jayman (8f6541) — 11/2/2008 @ 4:24 pm

  61. Well said, Jayman. I suspect this, and the goose liver ban, is really aiming at promoting vegetarianism.

    Comment by Patricia (ee5c9d) — 11/2/2008 @ 5:00 pm

  62. Jayman,

    It adds such a layer of practicality and authenticity to hear from one actually working on a farm (as also from Susan in #31). In light of your sensible points, do you then just attribute the horrific undercover videos of pigs and cows being brutalized at Norco farms as anomalies in this business as obviously such behavior wouldnt’ not produce an optimum product but rather the opposite, which I would then assume translates to less profit?

    Also, do you believe that Prop 2 originated from an emotionally driven stance with very little to do with the practical or a consideration of ramifications of it actually passing? (Often those who know little about specific matters want to be the ones to initiate and change a common practice).

    Comment by Dana (658c17) — 11/2/2008 @ 5:20 pm

  63. #62
    The undercover videos typically show employees of larger farms or corporations. What you have is a situation where lower wage employees with a sadistic side are not being adequately supervised. The problem is not the person or corporation running the farm as much as lazy or incompetent supervisors not monitoring operations as they should. Animal cruelty is something that should never be tolerated. The people caught should be prosecuted and punished severely.

    All that being said, I believe that Prop 2 probably originated from the very fringe of animal rights activists. Most of the really dedicated activists are vegans, would never work on a farm where animals are being raised to be eaten so have no concept of how farms are typically run. They are the ones who do things like take dogs and cats from the animal shelters and then turn them loose to fend for themselves, knowing full well that most will starve to death because they don’t know how to forage for food.

    And does anyone else remember the PETA group who killed the animals that they were supposed to be trying to get adopted?
    PETA kills animals

    Comment by Jayman (8f6541) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:45 pm

  64. TC spake thus:

    “I love the animal rights nuts, almost as as much as the anti hunting nuts, but there is but one or two in 300 plus million that object to the annual spraying of malathion to rid our hoods of mosquitoes are there? They as well deserve to live their lives don’t they? Even less that get depressed about the number of bugs they wash from their own windscreens.”

    That is not the quote to which I addressed my comments. The quote of his that I did use is as follows:

    “No, I do not care that YOU may get west nile, or full fledged malaria from sharing your world with them, they are a NATURAL part of our world, take yer chances!”

    And then TC does properly qoute me:

    “How would you like it if you watched someone like you tell your daughter that, and in just that way, to her face? I am your daughter.
    Comment by alexa kim — 11/2/2008 @ 10:14 am ”

    Now, I qoute TC further:

    “Right off the bat you are NOT my daughter, you are possibly another specie entirely.”

    Oh come on Dad, lighten up.

    “I will add that if my daughter got so far off the track then it might possibly do some good for another member of the village to provide a smack down to her as a reminder of what her standing in the world is.”

    Perhaps it is a veiled threat suggesting another commenter slap me around and put me at the end of the food chain, where I “belong.” I dunno’, I’m guessing. Up until a little bit ago, I was hoping against hope (all the name calling being a barometer I shouldn’t ignore) that there would be a civil exchange amongst us. As in exchange. As in back and forth, good naturedly, with respect for each other’s opinions and ideas. [What? This IS good natured? Ah, ok, got it. Aye caramba.]

    Dad of the Year adds:

    “She might cry, but she probably would be better off learning something new.”

    This way, Dad won’t have to do the dirty work. Instead, he’d like to pay some parent credits.

    But then, he softens and let’s his inner humanitarian peek out:

    “On the other hand, it’s the natural world right? Deal with it!”

    How come nobody told me that Dad’s a psychic? He knows where I live, how much I make and that I think eggs are too cheap:

    “But screw all that, vote yes on prop two, so those in CA can move their industry out of your state and you rich callies can pay a $1 an egg!”

    So why does he keep missing the Point #1, Reduce Suffering, part of my POV? Nobody’s perfect, I guess….

    D’oh! His arguments, facts, citations, sources, and cred are so persuasive, so irrefutable, so compelling that WHAT AM I THINKING?! Of COURSE he’s right! He’s so right, I just HAVE to be wrong– right? I fall upon my swor–, er, my keyboard, crestfallen and defeated. Someone, please, throw a chain around my ankle, hoist me to the overhead tractor rail and tell everyone I did the best I could. Goodbye cruel world!

    I keed.

    But, to paraphrase some unknown country philosopher, I don’t have to be a chicken to know an egg. Or, some think you must be a member of the offending industry/party/family before you’re allowed to notice some obvious, uh, issues. The Texas Business Model Decree: Unless you’re in the bid’ness, you better move right along and mind your own bid’ness. Oh, I have no idea what I’m talking about. None whatsoever.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:46 pm

  65. Just finished watching that video and… nope, I don’t care. I’ll be voting for cheap eggs and milk, thank you very much — and delicious, tasty veal.

    Comment by Sean P (4e644b) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:55 pm

  66. Ladies and Gentlemen, Sean P(enn) will be here all week, please leaves tips in the mason jar on the way out and please don’t forget your waitress.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 7:59 pm

  67. “And does anyone else remember the PETA group who killed the animals that they were supposed to be trying to get adopted? PETA kills animals
    Comment by Jayman — 11/2/2008 @ 7:45 pm”

    Jayman, this is not a very strong argument in your favor. Easily, Meat Packing kills millions more than PeTA ever has, by many magnitudes of order.

    Doesn’t it strike you a little, well, ironic, that omnivores think PeTA is being hypocritical?

    Again, it is the needless suffering Prop 2 addresses. Not nutrition, not abortion, and not even the wide range of other acts humans can choose to commit, all as handy as cruelty.

    I guess no one believed me when I said I wasn’t conducting mind-fu on you.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 8:23 pm

  68. Jayman hit many nails on many heads with one posting.
    As he stated, there are already laws and US and CA regulations on the books to stop these abuses.
    Adding another one won’t help.
    Enforcement of existing regulations would.
    This is feel-good meaningless twaddle for the masses.
    How about a proposition to increase funding of animal cruelty and sanitation inspections?
    I’m all for that.
    This proposition is slippery-slope stuff.

    Comment by j.pickens (107f33) — 11/2/2008 @ 9:06 pm

  69. J. Pickens, humans do this all the time. We pass a law a long time ago, it gets ignored, it doesn’t get enforced, it’s too hard to prosecute, it’s outdated, etc., etc. I don’t know why we don’t just enforce whatever applicable laws there are, I am just as frustrated by that as well.

    Do you know why we don’t? Is it that all those laws overlap too much in some areas and miss the need by *that* much in others?

    No, chances are this prop is meant to plug a hole. If something is not specifically dealt with inside an existing law or collection of laws, and it hasn’t been an issue up until now, times change, people care a little more than before, then… it starts to reveal that actually, there is no law, yet.

    If a human can choose to abstain from cruelty, but continues to do so because it’s cheaper, easier, more fun, doesn’t count, the victims are meaningless, then we keep right on being cruel. See slave trade, child labor, shirt factory fire.

    The rightness of reducing suffering is so obvious on its face, that when that truth bothers everyone but the cheap and greedy, then something has to give. And when the finally, finally, finally bothered enough outnumber the cheap and greedy, then at last, a little suffering is relieved.

    I suspect that Prop 2 is actually long overdue.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/2/2008 @ 11:19 pm

  70. I already tore into your No on 8. Here’s a swipe at another Emo opinion; Prop. 2.
    Where do you live? LA right? Why do you spoiled urbanites have the gall to telling farmers and ranchers how to raise food and handle livestock?
    You literally don’t know shit.
    So, accepting you’re an agriculture ignoramous let’s try liberty & economics. Imagine you have a business, an egg ranch like one of the two in my general neighborhood in Lakeside, California. You’ve been producing fresh local eggs for your neighbors for at least 2 generations. Your chickens are all in raised cages so the great majority of feces and general dirt & feathers falls to the ground for easy cleaning. I’ll guess you employ 20 – 30 people including the truckers. As of November 5th your operation will be illegal (I’m sure there’s a period of time to get into compliance). There’s no way to maintain your production levels as a “free range” producer. Land prices in Lakeside now won’t allow expansion and beside neighbors, such as our blogger, would just as soon kick your smelly ass out of town if they could. You own your property and it’s worth a small fortune stripped bare.
    What would you do?
    So, phony conservative that you are, you’d outlaw by majority vote a neighbor’s business so you could have a Bambi tingle up your leg.

    Comment by Richard L. (ba6e1b) — 11/3/2008 @ 3:03 am

  71. BTW,
    What kind of idiot actually believes the vids furnished by the bed wetters in the Animal Rights movement represent the norm for livestock handling? What gives with the anti-butchering vids on so many “conservative” blogs? It demonstrates a pathetic weakness of mind and heart.
    Every one should be taught to hunt and ride. Both were essential phases of a man’s education throughout history. There’s a reason for it. The horse teaches patience, will and balance. Hunting; patience, endurance and control under stress. The hunt enables you to face your proper role as the dominant predator on earth.
    On this side of Heaven we kill to live. It isn’t pretty; in fact in my faith flesh-eating is a consequence of Original Sin. Now it is a part of our nature. Considering man’s enthusiasm for butchering other men the idea that we should stop butchering for food is a fantasy of a spoiled, idle generation.
    A mature person looks reality in the face. If you can’t take up hunting and finally face the blood on your hands responsibly then I highly recommend talking to your Indian friends (Native Americans for you college folks). Most of them know exactly how it all works. They’re comfortable in creation.

    Comment by Richard L. (ba6e1b) — 11/3/2008 @ 3:37 am

  72. “Comment by Richard L. — 11/3/2008 @ 71″

    Amen, Richard L.! Amen.

    Comment by C. Norris (acfe40) — 11/3/2008 @ 8:59 am

  73. I wonder if the video doesn’t depict abnormal, already criminal conduct as representing the industry at large…like using the Abu Ghraib photos to portray our Army generally…in a sneakily propagandistic effort to destroy the chicken/egg industry altogether? Who can the (ignorant-of-chicken farming) voting public trust? We constantly get burned by Proposition sleight-of-hand.

    Comment by Ed (ae128e) — 11/3/2008 @ 10:38 am

  74. I’m with you Patterico.

    Comment by TLove (012115) — 11/3/2008 @ 10:06 pm

  75. You’ve been missed, TLove. I hope everything is okay.

    Comment by DRJ (cb68f2) — 11/3/2008 @ 10:08 pm

  76. TLOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by JD (5b4781) — 11/3/2008 @ 10:08 pm

  77. But I see no valid reason not to legislate it.

    Patterico – There are literally countless ideas that I am sure seemed like a good idea at the time, whose best defense was “I see no valid reason not to legislate it”.

    Comment by JD (5b4781) — 11/3/2008 @ 10:16 pm

  78. Hello Richard L. I believe you aim your arrows at Patterico, but I want to respond to a few of your arguments, because they are so often advanced by those such as you.

    You make a load of assumptions that immediately place everything else you say in peril:

    “Where do you live? LA right? Why do you spoiled urbanites have the gall to telling farmers and ranchers how to raise food and handle livestock?
    You literally don’t know shit.”

    This is a variation of The Texas Business Model Decree: Unless you’re in the bid’ness, you better move right along and mind your own bid’ness. This attempts to just brush others aside with the wave of your ego, while simultaneously demanding we feel sorry for you. This tactic is not persuasive.

    You avoid offering any debatable points of consideration by doing an Olbie (named after Keith Olberman): an escalation of insults, with such vehemence, spittle glistens on the chin contorted by bitterness:

    “So, phony conservative that you are, you’d outlaw by majority vote a neighbor’s business so you could have a Bambi tingle up your leg.”

    See slave trade.

    “BTW, What kind of idiot actually believes the vids furnished by the bed wetters in the Animal Rights movement represent the norm for livestock handling?”

    Is this your version of “who do you believe, me or your lying eyes”? Please, supply proof the vid is bogus.

    “What gives with the anti-butchering vids on so many “conservative” blogs? It demonstrates a pathetic weakness of mind and heart.”

    Does this mean you think conservatives have become weak? Or you doubt they were ever really conservatives? Or is this all a part of a vast left-wing conspiracy?

    “The horse teaches patience, will and balance. Hunting; patience, endurance and control under stress.”

    Fascinating. For someone who marvels at the weak-minded emo’s some of us must be, one would think this would be an excellent time for you to demonstrate such sterling qualities. Taught by animals. None of that strikes you as ironic?

    “On this side of Heaven we kill to live. It isn’t pretty; in fact in my faith flesh-eating is a consequence of Original Sin.”

    No one here has ever argued against killing to eat. Some of us argue against needless suffering.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/4/2008 @ 12:06 am

  79. Alexa you twist everything I said. Perhaps you’re too emotional to see that so let’s go through it.

    Where do you live? LA right? Why do you spoiled urbanites have the gall to telling farmers and ranchers how to raise food and handle livestock?
    You literally don’t know shit.

    I’m not from Texas and the above quote, less calling them spoiled, is a statement of fact. I guarantee 99% of the folks at one of my favorites would go vegan if they had to prep their food from field to plate. That doesn’t make them bad people or not conservative. If the closest you get to dressing game is shopping at Albertsons you’re not going to be ready for the real thing.

    Please, supply proof the vid is bogus.

    I didn’t say it’s bogus. I said it doesn’t represent the industry standard. Which is true. Don’t you know they’re showing the worst and most wrenching stuff they can get their hands on?

    Does this mean you think conservatives have become weak? Or you doubt they were ever really conservatives? Or is this all a part of a vast left-wing conspiracy?

    No one who would strip a family running a legal business for decades of that livelihood by majority vote is a “conservative”.

    For someone who marvels at the weak-minded emo’s some of us must be, one would think this would be an excellent time for you to demonstrate such sterling qualities. Taught by animals. None of that strikes you as ironic?

    No. I certainly don’t think I’m being impatient or emotional. I am making an argument to other humans. I am trying to present convincing and forceful ideas in written form. That doesn’t work with horses.

    Some of us argue against needless suffering.

    I’m with you on that. There are laws against animal cruelty right now. Why can’t these self-righteous blow hards bring the cruel egg ranchers up on charges? Because they aren’t being cruel by any legally accepted definition.

    So the whackos have to find useful idiots willing to redefine “cruelty” as they want to redefine “marriage”. Thousands of years of human history is tossed in the dumpster by our enlightened generation. Truly wisdom begins with you. So go ahead strip your neighbors of their fortunes and property and shed your guilt but, please, don’t think you are a conservative.

    Comment by Richard L. (ba6e1b) — 11/5/2008 @ 8:45 am

  80. Richard L., I twisted nothing of what you said. I merely quoted you and responded. Of the two of us, Richard, I think I sound the more clear-headed and calm.

    I am actually flattered that you would adopt my habit of addressing each point in a methodical fashion in order to respond to my arguments. Thanks.

    You quote yourself:
    “Where do you live? LA right? Why do you spoiled urbanites have the gall to telling farmers and ranchers how to raise food and handle livestock?
    You literally don’t know shit.”

    Then you justify yourself:
    “I’m not from Texas and the above quote, less calling them spoiled, is a statement of fact. I guarantee 99% of the folks at one of my favorites would go vegan if they had to prep their food from field to plate. That doesn’t make them bad people or not conservative. If the closest you get to dressing game is shopping at Albertsons you’re not going to be ready for the real thing.”

    You are not from Texas, is, finally, a factual statement. If the closest any animal eater gets to dressing animal food is by shopping at a grocery store, then they are not hunters. No one here is attempting to pass themselves off as hunters. As for the real thing, well, that could be an entirely separate topic.

    You quote me:
    “Please, supply proof the vid is bogus.”
    And then respond:
    “I didn’t say it’s bogus. I said it doesn’t represent the industry standard. Which is true. Don’t you know they’re showing the worst and most wrenching stuff they can get their hands on?”

    I believe, based on other vids and other source materials and personal experience, that the vid is not exceptional, but representative. Like clockwork, humans have to be caught in the act first. Then, we insist it was the first time or the only time, but never, ever, do we admit that we do it all the time. To accumulate enough vids of routine, institutionalized cruelty takes time. And once the offenders know they are being watched, they briefly stop. Wait for us to lose interest, then go right back to bid’ness as usual.

    You quote me:
    “Does this mean you think conservatives have become weak? Or you doubt they were ever really conservatives? Or is this all a part of a vast left-wing conspiracy?”
    And then respond:
    “No one who would strip a family running a legal business for decades of that livelihood by majority vote is a “conservative”.

    If you wish to parse terms based on what the North/Union were called politically, and what the South/Confederacy were called politically, then you might not like the answer. Also, see slave trade, a legal enterprise for many years in America.

    You go on to add:
    “No. I certainly don’t think I’m being impatient or emotional. I am making an argument to other humans. I am trying to present convincing and forceful ideas in written form. That doesn’t work with horses.”

    If you use an example of a behaviour learned by virtue of working with animals, who exhibit many admirable behaviours, don’t expect me to not notice the irony of it, considering why you use the examples (to support your arguments) and you (apparently a hunter) are who uses them. Oh I also noticed your sarcasm, which isn’t very good.

    I said: “Some of us argue against needless suffering.”
    To which you said:
    “I’m with you on that. There are laws against animal cruelty right now. Why can’t these self-righteous blow hards bring the cruel egg ranchers up on charges? Because they aren’t being cruel by any legally accepted definition.”

    As I say earlier (see Comment #69), if current laws were sufficient, this would not be a proposition for vote. If you are against needless suffering, then why do you argue so strenuously against doing something democratic to stop it? If you wish to fall back on “legal definition” then that is your standard. However, there have been many legal definitions that have subsequently been proven to be unsupportable. See slave trade.

    I am a conservative, just not your kind. While I don’t like what conservatives like you do to the reputation of conservatives in general, I do not think you deserve my contempt. Unless you do something to deserve it. Such as treating me with contempt.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/5/2008 @ 6:01 pm

  81. I am elated to see that Prop 2 passed, quite comfortably.

    Finally, a very small amount of needless suffering will be alleviated.

    In a few years, I can stop feeling like I’m eating someone else’s sins whenever I buy eggs or chicken.

    Of course, in reality, the suffering continues as of now and will for years yet.

    If I had my own place, I would happily have my own chickens.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/5/2008 @ 6:33 pm

  82. Do chickens taste different if they do not suffer?

    Do chickens taste different when they are slaughtered humanely?

    Comment by JD (008a90) — 11/5/2008 @ 6:39 pm

  83. Richard L – Arguing with an idiot is kind of like wrestling with a pig …

    Comment by JD (008a90) — 11/5/2008 @ 6:41 pm

  84. Bear with me for a long analogy. There was a time when it was difficult to successfully sue doctors. Like most professionals, they wanted to police their own profession and the laws made it difficult for patients to sue doctors without another doctor’s testimony that malpractice occurred. But it was often hard to find a doctor working in the same locale and specialty who would testify.

    Now I think this happened in good faith. After all, who among us never made a mistake? Nevertheless, it seemed like the profession would close ranks against the patient, even though it’s likely true that mistakes are relatively rare and it’s also true that medical doctors have good reason to try to protect patients from ruining a doctor’s career.

    Over time, the law and the medical profession accepted more transparency and laws that made it easier for medical malpractice lawsuits to be prosecuted. The same thing has occurred with legal malpractice cases and other professions.

    The discussion between Alexa Kim and Richard L. reminds me of the history of malpractice. In their discussion, the industry wants to police itself and points out that most businesses have good health practices and treat their animals humanely because it’s good business to do so. Producers note there are already laws prohibiting unsafe or unhealthy practices, and point out that passing more laws will cause price increases for consumers and might put some innocent businessmen out of business.

    Activists point to proof that some animals have been treated inhumanely and worry that we can’t know how widespread this treatment is without more regulations and inspections. They view these tools as a reasonable price to pay, especially when it will be spread out over the entire industry instead of impacting only a few providers or locations. Finally, they feel it’s a fair practice for a mature society to adopt.

    I don’t know who is right and I don’t live in California (Texas here) so I’m not trying to tell you what laws you should have. But I am following your conversation with interest.

    Comment by DRJ (cb68f2) — 11/5/2008 @ 7:36 pm

  85. JD asks:
    “Do chickens taste different if they do not suffer? Do chickens taste different when they are slaughtered humanely?”
    and then adds an afterthought:
    “Richard L – Arguing with an idiot is kind of like wrestling with a pig …”

    JD, if you are wondering why I would happily keep chickens if I could, then here’s the answer: I would be able to have fresh, delicious eggs, at far less cost and greater convenience. The chickens would live unbothered except for me raiding their nests.

    I’ve had eggs from home raised chickens. Well cared for hens produce delicious eggs. The yolks are deep yellow, firm, creamy and almost tower over the white. The whites are a clear, shiny, healthy gel. They are considerably better tasting than store eggs. Way better.

    This is where I stop simply answering the question as if it had been sincerely asked in search of a sincere answer. From here on, I speak with weary astonishment, some mildly shocked disappointment and bemusement. And I think I am being seen as weak and pathetic. Well, just what should I do about that, ya’ think?

    I think JD refers to me in his “afterthought.” What do you think? I could be wrong here, but I think JD is dissing you Richard. Pig wrestling is fun only if you’re really strong and really smart. I think he’s telling you you’re over-matched.

    It would seem to me that in spite of my efforts to keep this about the issue, there are some here who simply cannot tolerate a differing opinion. Ad hominem attacks are so lazy, so over-done.

    I have endeavored to advance reasonable, well considered points. I am engaging in a debate with whomever cares to debate. But only to hear them out, to learn something new, maybe even teach something.

    I have not attacked anyone. I haven’t given in. I haven’t slacked off. I have consistently returned to arguing the issue. If you advance an argument that I proceed to take apart, I am only doing what I’m supposed to be doing, if, that is, I disagree with you. If I agreed with you, this’d be a whole lot shorter and not nearly so interesting.

    If you prefer to debate this issue, honestly, treating me with respect, then I am prepared to continue.

    ===

    DRJ, you make an astute observation. As with most human activities, especially the profit seeking type, any opportunity to take advantage of a perceived or real weakness will be taken advantage of, by someone along the line. I wish it weren’t so, but it is how humans are at this stage of the game.

    Whenever a new enterprise is created, usually, we give everyone in it the benefit of the doubt. We don’t have much to say except, ok, great, make money, be prosperous, pay taxes, don’t break any laws, see ya’ later. That’s great until it’s no longer great.

    I mostly wish My Gummint would butt the heck out of my life. But, there are times when I need My Gummint to get involved. Namely, to protect me. And to protect others. Not all of us have the same ability to repel abusers. So, if it weren’t for the strength of the law, and it barely does the job, let’s all agree, lots of people and creatures would still be suffering simply because they are not strong enough or important enough to repel the assault by themselves.

    If doctors had established themselves trustworthy to prosecute their own, vigorously, with an eye toward protecting the patients, I doubt anyone would be banging any drums demanding we look at the litigation record of a doctor. As if anyone can really get at that info without an order for discovery.

    I guess I’m basically a believer in sticking up for those who can’t stick up for themselves. Children, elderly, and sick and yeah, even the lowly of the lowliest. I feel bad for them, it’s that simple. I don’t feel sorry for those who don’t need my help, so it’s not like I’m indiscriminate in my compassion.

    I don’t think conservatives get enough credit for all they do to help exactly these needy groups. Largely because, well, there are others, who tend to be the snarling, shouting sort, who think we’re stupid and contemptible. All because I, we, fight, and fight, for those who have no one else.

    If businesses could be trusted to watch themselves, with integrity and reliability, producing verifiable investigations and disciplinary measures, then something like a law wouldn’t be sought. But businesses do not go out of their way to be famous for that.

    No, the world is too far corrupt and too cynical and too coarsened to just turn back the hands on the clock and pretend horrific acts are not being committed. If the human conscience were improving, rather than decaying, I’d have more faith. I might think that Things were only getting better and all is moving as it should.

    But, that is not what I see when I look at how teenagers act more and more like porn actors or whores and pimps. It is a cruel trick of fate that the person who corrupted the First Amendment into the porn train that our society has become, was Larry Flynt. And we let him. Some fool on SCOTUS years ago fell for his legal arguments and America has been on a slippery slope ever since.

    I bet even Larry is wondering when we’re going to snap to our senses. He’d never publicly admit it, but I bet he sits sometimes in his wheelchair, slowly twirling a cigar in his lips, watching the slutification of our children, and chuckles at all the stupid dupes.

    But that’s a different thread for some other day….

    Well, it’s late for me, so goodnight.

    Comment by alexa kim (91288e) — 11/5/2008 @ 9:54 pm

  86. Richard L – Arguing with an idiot is kind of like wrestling with a pig …

    Where the hell did that come from?

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 11/5/2008 @ 9:59 pm

  87. Good night, Alexa Kim, but if you come back I hope you will also consider whether – in the long run – capitalist forces might be more efficient and effective than government in changing business models. For instance, instead of passing laws that require farmers to grow organic produce, I think consumer education about the value of organic produce would result in more consumers wanting organic products, and that would more effectively spur the industry to change.

    Comment by DRJ (cb68f2) — 11/5/2008 @ 11:12 pm

  88. Patterico: I’m guessing that you’ve probably read up and so I’ll just say, I’d like to discuss the issues, with you and/or commenters who actually want to do the same. I wish it weren’t the case, but I suspect you’ve been called worse than “idiot” and then some. That causes me to give a Jack Webb Shake of the Head.

    ===

    DRJ: Good evening, and I have actually seen the force of demand effectuate change in supply, and rather swiftly. But it doesn’t seem to be reliable across the board. I’m thinking about the green movement. Once Businesskind felt like there was a serious market for “green” products, and technology made it cost effective to pursue, they started working the development. However, that tends to make me wonder why certain products exist and others don’t. Like foot pads that “draw out the toxins” from your body. Oy. (See, capitalists can be very resourceful.) On the other hand, why did it take so darn long for squeezable ketchup bottles?

    Being an informed consumer is a LOT harder these days. There are simply not enough hours in my day anyway to make myself an expert about each and every product or service I consume. Caveat emptor worked fine when all I had to know was if the wheat flour had beetles and if the pottery maker knew his schtuff. It ain’t easy being old enough to remember warming up the chariot for a day of mead and bling shopping.

    When no pain or suffering is involved, then the supply/demand method often works fine, time is not of the essence. But in those cases, and in medical care, we emptors need a body guard.

    Gentlemen, goodnight.

    Comment by alexa (7508f5) — 11/6/2008 @ 10:07 pm

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