Moral issues surround animal welfare
By Erin Digitale
Article Launched: 04/28/2008 10:32:30 PM PDT
Tender veal cutlets. Sizzling pork chops. Savory omelets.
For a growing number of Californians, these meals are sparking a moral conundrum: Should they worry about how animals lived before their products hit the plate?
California voters will answer that question in November with a new animal welfare ballot initiative. If passed, the measure would require farmers to provide enough space for breeding sows, veal calves and laying hens to turn around and stretch their limbs.
The growing attention to the welfare of food animals is ``a huge change,'' said Joy Mench, a University of California, Davis, professor who studies the well-being of chickens. ``When I started doing this in 1982, there was close to zero public awareness about this issue.''
The nation's largest pork and veal producers are voluntarily phasing out tiny crates used to house veal calves and gestating sows. So the measure's main consequence would focus on California's 19 million egg-laying hens, most of which are housed in battery cages, crowded wire boxes used in conventional egg farming. Read More
There is going to be a lot of debate going on in California over the initiative on the ballot that will take hens out of cages. Opponents of the initiative make some very good arguments for the use of cages for the hens in this article. I am going to continue bringing you these articles so that everyone gets the sense of what the arguments and sentiments are in California. All of us need to be prepared to help stop this movement.