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.