[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org on October 14, 2008]
In 2008, Prop 2 was enacted with 63% of the popular vote. Although some claimed the requirements to improve animal welfare would doom California egg-production, it appears this has not been the case. Though full statistics from the government for 2015 are not yet available (and are critical here because the law took effect in 2015), industry reports show the law is indeed changing how egg-laying hens are treated, with only a slight decrease in production matched by a slight increase in cost to consumers. Sounds like the law is working very well!
Cash Income by Commodity Groups: Poultry and Eggs
from 2015 California Agricultural Statistics Review
In general, I'm not a big fan of the whole California proposition system. I don't really feel qualified to make budgetary decisions and feel like a lot of the propositions are downright scary.
But I am excited about a particular proposition on California's November 4 ballot -- Proposition 2. It requires that farms allow all animals to lie down, turn around, and stretch their limbs. This is currently not the case in many factory farms, particularly in the raising of chickens [broken link], beef for veal [broken link], and in the gestation of pigs [broken link]. I visited a factory farm my freshman year in college and was really saddened by the pigs in particular. They spent their whole lives in cramped, indoor cages and were so sad and unhealthy. It was heartbreaking.
The proposition is remarkably short and clear. It states,
...a person shall not tether or confine any animal, on a farm, for or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from:
(a) Lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs; and
(b) Turning around freely.
That's it! You can read the proposition in it's entirety (four pages) here [link updated 161002].
The arguments against the proposition [broken link] seem very weak to me... basically they fear increased food cost and cite worries of increased salmonella contamination. The argument that allowing animals to lie down and to turn around is a health hazard is absurd. Search "egg laying chicken health factory farm" on google to see how unhealthy chicken factory battery cages are.
So I am leaning strongly toward voting yes on Prop 2. More information is available at the CA Voter Invormation Guide [link to current voter guide] website.
If you disagree, please let me know why in comments below.