Frankly I don’t even have time to weigh in on this little chicken legislature bill endorsed by both HSUS and UEP. I know these notes are a couple weeks old, but I’ve been tied up in a lot of other stuff, including my project starting yesterday. I have a few thoughts to share, but they’re disjointed so plow through them, read the articles for yourself and make up your own mind.
Andy Vance wrote one of the more hostile articles of his that I’ve read in a while. I feel that hostility when I see deals like this go down after all the hard work that went into Issue 2 here in Ohio. We put a lot of effort, sweat and good faith into that bill and were in the perfect position to start a new trend. Instead, the new thing is deals. Everyone’s working out deals instead of standing up for what they really believed or claimed to believe was the best way to raise animals. If we felt so strongly about our methods, we shouldn’t be willing to compromise them regardless of what threatens. We should cling to them, fight for them and not give them up.
Here's some other links to read on the issue as well: 1, 2, and 3.
I’m not saying that this change to enriched pens is really that bad. Enriched housing is one of the best options there is right now, in my minimally educated opinion, for chicken housing and I hope that we will see it improved bird welfare over the next few decades. More importantly, I want us to stick to something that is truly right, to find the agricultural practices that are worth defending and that producers and their “representatives” will not back out on at the last minute. If I believed that this would be the last compromise or that these compromises were leading to a better working relationship between these lobbying interest groups, then I would be just fine with this decision because it promises to be a good alternative to barren housing.
And why should we even have to legislate this in the first place? It’s absurd to legislate for animals because this then assumes that these animals deserve rights. Are they able to vote or are they even think about what is truly best for them? Or is this legislation part of a business that requires the government to step in and control? If so, then by lobbying and legislating this protection of animals, the HSUS themselves is admitting that these animals are just a material possession instead of a life which deserves respect.