In 2008, Californians overwhelmingly passed Prop 2, the landmark legislation regarding the cruel confinement of certain farm animals. Two years later, the legislature enacted an additional law applying Prop 2’s standards to eggs sold statewide, regardless of whether they came from California hens or not.
While California may have been on the cutting edge then, we’ve since been surpassed not only by other states but by corporations like McDonald’s, Costco, and Taco Bell, in terms of where our food comes from and how it’s processed.
Much of the pork sold statewide still comes from factory farms that confine pigs in cruel gestation crates where the animals are unable to even turn around. Veal from crated calves is still sold in the state, too. And eggs sold in liquid form (a third of egg products available in California) can still come from caged hens. That’s why a coalition of organizations—including Marin Humane—called Prevent Cruelty California are working to place a critical measure on the November 2018 ballot. The new measure will upgrade California’s laws to prohibit the sales of products derived from the cruel and extreme confinement of farm animals. And, just as important, it will protect the consumer from substandard food with a higher likelihood of contamination.
The effort needs more than 365,880 “hard” signatures by April for placement on the statewide ballot in November 2018.
Economic analyses from the egg industry itself show that it would cost only about a penny or two more per egg to go cagefree, something the largest retailers are already doing. In fact, McDonald’s is going 100 percent cage-free and says it won’t raise its prices even a penny. Costco, Walmart, Safeway, and more than 250 other major retailers have made similar cage-free pledges, with different dates of implementation. The ballot measure will help assure consumers that the food retailers will abide by the promised standards.
To learn more about this important ballot initiative, go to preventcrueltyca.com. And be sure to stop by the front desk to ask for a petition and add your signature next time you visit Marin Humane: it only takes a minute to be a voice for the voiceless.