Saving the animals step-by-step

Factory farming is cruel and has got to stop. However, saving the farm animals is often incremental work in progress as we work for the day when the animals are free.

When animals are raised in factory farm conditions, they are crammed into small spaces, and held in very unhygienic conditions such that diseases can run rampant. They are sometimes subject to horrific abuse. They are treated like machine parts with no regard to pain and suffering, and yet animals can feel pain just like we do.

But here’s a step in the right direction. The Supreme Court recently rejected a challenge by the North American Meat Institute to California’s Proposition 12, the strongest law in the world addressing farm animal confinement.

Proposition 12, which was approved by Californians in a landslide vote, strengthens existing California law to ban the intensive confinement of egg-laying chickens, mother pigs and calves used in the veal industry. The law also prohibits the sale in California of eggs, pork, and veal from facilities that confine animals in cruel cages. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take challenges to California’s statute banning the sale of force-fed geese for foie gras, as well as to California’s precursor law to Proposition 12 which prohibited the sale of certain cruelly produced eggs, pork and veal.

Other projects to save the animals are in their early stages but show promise. For instance, in Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ proclamation of MeatOut Day was nothing compared to a brewing battle over what ranchers are calling the worst assault on the livestock industry in Colorado history. The proposed 2022 ballot initiative would require that cows, hogs and other livestock get to live at least 25% of their natural lives before heading to the slaughterhouse, which ranchers argue would devastate Colorado’s agriculture economy.

Cattle are typically slaughtered for beef around age 2, but under this proposal, that would change to age 5. Ranchers say that by then the meat is no longer fit for tender steaks, the extra age making cuts tough and unappetizing. They fear the proposal will make it to the ballot box.

There’s work being done in other places around the globe too. For instance, Europe recently announced that it will introduce new legislation to ban the use of cages in animal agriculture. The ban will be introduced by the end of 2023 to phase out and finally prohibit the use of cages for hens, mother pigs, calves, rabbits, ducks, geese, and other farmed animals, with an aim to phase out all cages for farmed animals by 2027.

But perhaps the best way to save the animals is to stop eating them and go veg. When we stop eating them, the farmers will stop raising animals for meat. If you’re considering a vegetarian diet we’re here to help!