Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oprah on Proposition 2

"The average American consumes 254 eggs every year--that adds up to about 76 billion eggs produced in this country every year." 

Good Morning,

There is a law that is being voted on in California next month called Proposition 2. This law would require that all the cages for egg laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves be increased, allowing the animals to have more room to lie down, turn around, stand up and spread their limbs out without touching the sides of the cage or another animal. 

It's hard to believe, but there is a lot of opposition to this law, especially by farmers who worry what this will do to their business, if it goes into effect. 

Oprah has an incredible amount of reach and this is an important issue impacting the sustainability of our food and our farming techniques. I was really excited when I heard she had a show on this topic. 

If this is of interest to you, read this Oprah article. It is always important to be reminded of where our food is coming from and it is a very clear and thorough article. 

If you don't have the time, here are some of the highlights:

"Those who support Proposition 2 say these animals have the right to more space during their lives. Opponents of Proposition 2, including farmers and industry representatives, say the new law would drive up costs, put farmers out of business and end the egg industry in California, and deny consumers the right to choose less-expensive food"

"...I do think that we can, with some modest choices—and Proposition 2 is one example of that—have a great impact on the quality of life on farms all over the country and help preserve the family farm while we're at it."

"This is just about basic decency," he says. "It's about, if animals are going to be raised for food—and that's certainly the case in this country—then the least we can do for them is allow them to move. I mean, what's more basic than allowing animals with legs and wings to move around?"

"Ryan Armstrong, a third-generation egg farmer from California, is strongly opposed to Proposition 2. He says that if Proposition 2 passes, it will make eggs produced in California too expensive for most consumers, creating the possibility that eggs will be imported from places without these animal housing laws."

"Julie Buckner represents Californians for Safe Food, a group that opposes Proposition 2. "Certainly the egg industry in California will be wiped out," she says. "And in all likelihood, eggs will come from outside the U.S.—Mexico, even overseas as far as China."

"Jude says he would never keep his sows in gestation crates. He prefers to see them root around in a grassy field. "Something about it just makes me feel good. The positive energy from the animals translates to me," he says. "I think it translates into the food as well. Food is about energy."

"By 2012, Wayne says gestation crates will be banned throughout the European union. "This is not pie in the sky. We're the nation that put a man on the moon nearly 40 years ago," he says. "Can't we allow animals to move? That's the basic question."

"Amy says their natural approach—without antibiotics or growth hormones—actually costs less than alternative methods. "While no farming is cheap by any means … we don't have the buildings it takes to house that many calves," she says. "So we don't have to upkeep those buildings or build any of those structures on our farm."

What I found amazing was to see the large corporations that have signed on in support of these more humane ways of raising animals.

"Small family farms aren't the only ones jumping on the cage-free, free-range bandwagon. Lisa says many corporations are adopting a similar philosophy. In 2000, Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast-food chain, began using cage-free pork in their burritos and tacos. This year, all 8 million pounds of pork they'll use will come from cage-free pigs.

In 2005, Whole Foods Market began exclusively selling eggs from cage-free hens. Then, Ben & Jerry's followed suit and became the first major food manufacturer to commit to using only cage-free eggs in their ice cream. Burger King, the world's second largest burger chain, has also announced that 5 percent of its eggs and 10 percent of its pork now comes from animals not confined to crates or cages."

Oprah finished with this:

"California voters, Proposition 2 will be on your ballot next month," she says. "The rest of us can vote at the grocery store with the food we buy for our tables."

Nice Job, Oprah!



Anonymous said...

Nice job, Niki!
Nice job, Oprah!
Nice job, Superforest!

Neal Spinler said...

all the more reason to raise your own chickens in your own backyard.

emzetgani said...

we need more eggs for verything