05 November, 2008

Free Range Politics

Photo by Marilyn Jane

It'd be difficult to let a day as monumental this pass without comment. But, it's not the presidential election that compels me, today. It's not even the most controversial of the California measures up for vote. It's a lesser-known California proposition that would prevent some of the cruelty heaped onto factory-farmed livestock. So, please join me around my soap-box for awhile, won't you?

Proposition 2, on the California ballot, would require the phase-out of all battery house confinement of egg-layers, tight-box housing of calves (veal), and the use of gestation crates for breeding sows, by 2015.

Basically, this statute would do for production animals what we all do for our own meat and dairy critters in our own backyards. It would allow them to move.

I'm not a vegetarian, and I love cheese to much to go vegan, and I've eaten every type of meat you can imagine. But, I respect animals and the sustinence they provide for our breakfast omelets, and that favorite Sunday roast. Prop 2 would set a precedent for prevention of the cruel housing of these sacrificial beings, and that seems right to me.

As with any measure, there are drawbacks. There will be an initial financial hardship on effected farmers, and it may take time to work around the psychology of often-aggressive pregnant pigs, but we homesteaders and semi-steaders know that there is always a way, if you just look hard enough.

I don't write this to sway votes. Most of you aren't even American, and the California polls close within mere hours. I write this to encourage you to research your local regulations. Should unethical farming be legal in your council, your city, your province or state, please press your leaders to change. Please help provide the grocer-dependent public with ethically produced foods.

Not everyone can have a herd, flock, or drove in their back garden, but everyone should have the peace of mind that their food was produced under less cruel circumstances than currently prevail.


The W.O.W. factor said...

I do agree with you. I didn't know this about CA proposition, (we don't live there) now I'll have to go see if it passed or not.
We have always lived in the AG world, and our opinion? The almighty dollar should NOT dictate the production of our foods. Our meat sources are mostly grazers...they all walk.
The natural movement of their bodies keeps them healthier (and happier!)just as it does for humans.
....just my thoughts.

RazorFamilyFarms.com said...

I am with you! I love what Momma Barb wrote -- the dollar shouldn't dictate the production of our foods. Well said!

Love ya,

Kelly the City Mouse said...

W.O.W. - The measure passed in California, and hopefully this is the start of a new rend in food production! Can you believe that the protesters of the proposition actually claimed it was healthier to keep chooks in battery cages? They said it protected them from exposure to avian flu. I couldn't believe it when I read it!

Definitely check out your local laws. Yay for healthy food!

Lacy - Totally agreed. Even though hubby and I can grow our own veggies, and raise our own egg-layers, we're still at the mercy of commerical meat farms. We're seriously considering buying whole animals from local producers instead, if we can afford it.