Thursday, October 16, 2008
TBG's Election Guide: Proposition 2
Proposition 2 – the Standards for Confining Farm Animals – would create a new state statue that prohibits the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. It would further eliminate the practice of confining chickens in battery (small, confining) cages. Additionally, it would impose a misdemeanor penalty and a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment in county jail for up to six months to those who have been found to violate the act. It bans cages for egg-laying poultry, gestation crates for sows and veal crates for veal calves.
The most recognizable supporters of this Proposition are The Humane Society (natch) and Oprah Winfrey, while opponents include the entire egg industry – who've graciously taken a break from producing their Lenny-killing, cholesterol-laden egg sandwiches. Disclaimer: While it has been established that eggs contain cholesterol, it has not yet been proven conclusively that they actually raise the level of serum cholesterol in the human blood stream.
Allow me to couch my over-simplistic position on this subject by saying I'm as pro-animal as any other unshaven feminist or unemployed soccer mom who hadn't heard of Michael Vick until he became that Michael Vick. With that out of the way, I'd like to introduce a little Econ 101 to the supporters of Proposition 2.
Y'see, when this ballot initiative passes (and, trust me, it will) Californians will pay more for eggs produced in the Golden State. And, since eggs aren't a product usually associated with brand loyalty, we're going to default right back to paying for the cheapest dozen that the supermarket stocks. These will be eggs laid in Mexico or some place else, other than California, that incorporates the same deplorable conditions that are being decried today.
TBG Votes: No. The California Egg Industry is a $300 million per year enterprise that I couldn't care less about. But, this is simply an election year issue that gets everyone up in arms for a minute or two, and then is forgotten after the initial ballot returns. And, yes, I just wrote 200+ words on eggs.
I'll get to the good propositions soon, I promise.