Friday, May 2, 2008

An Activist's Mentality

The Beginning of a Movement
by Kath Rogers

Think back to the last time you were cramped in a middle seat on an airplane. You are uncomfortable and you fidget throughout the flight because the passengers next to you are much too close for comfort. Now imagine your plane is landing early so it is forced to sit twenty extra minutes on the tarmac waiting for the gate to open. You are sweating and have been crowded for hours. You are hot, sticky and your body aches; all you can think about is how badly you want to get up and stretch your legs.

Now imagine that you are never allowed to get up out of that seat. This is where you will eat, sleep, breathe, and go to the bathroom for the entirety of your life. Read More

This is an interesting insight into the mentality of those that are pushing for the passage of the Farm Animal Cruelty Ban in California. They refuse to believe that there are benefits to putting hens in cages and consequences to the banning of this practice. With the push for more locally grown food, these people are trying to push this segment of agriculture further away from California.

1 comment:

Bailey Norwood said...

People will understand there are benefits to cages, the problem is that the conversation proceeds as follows.

----Beginning of Conversation

"Why are they crammed into such small cages?"

"Because without the cages to separate the animals they will injure one another. The laying hens will even cannabilize one another."


"Because to produce meat and eggs at a low cost, one must cram as many animals as possible into one building. Like people, if you cram
animals into small spaces they get ornery and hurt one another."

"Why don't we give them more space then?"

"Because that would raise food costs."

"By how much?"

"If all farmers switched to more humane methods,5-30% is my best guess. If only a few farmers adopt more humane methods prices of
those food products can be 300-400% higher though, because there are so few of those farms they do not have access to efficient
food distribution systems, like the Wal-Mart distribution system. That is why Whole Foods' prices are so high."

----End of Conversation

At this point, the person is convinced they should approve better farm animal regulations. I have had numerous conversations like
these. The world is populated with mostly reasonable people, and these reasonable people do not approve of how we raise eggs, veal,
pork, and sometimes poultry. They mostly approve of beef production.

Animal agriculture can do so much better at so little cost. Twenty years from now, we will look back on this debate and be
ashamed at what side we took.

Please don't hate me for these comments. I am a dear friend of agriculture, one who wants agriculture to be proud of itself
once again.

Bailey Norwood
Associate Professor
Dept. of Ag Econ
Oklahoma State University