With the successful battle against AB 1634 in our rear view mirror, we can now move full speed ahead to defeat Proposition 2, another Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) backed California initiative.
This time, the vegan authors of Proposition 2 have created a measure that is not only unnecessary and unreasonable, but one that also threatens the health and well being of the hens it is suppose to protect and the people who eat their eggs. Proposition 2 would ban almost all modern egg production in California, outlawing scientifically approved and well-established methods used by farmers for decades to safely house hens.
California Proposition 2 will outsource egg production
Californians need to understand that they are being asked to overhaul egg farming in their state by a vegan-led national organization – a group that has no personal dietary stake in the availability, safety or quality of eggs.
At both NAIA and NAIA Trust, we always examine the facts and formulate our positions based on the best information and science available and the interests of both animals and the people who care for them. While the expressed goals of Proposition 2 are laudable, our research indicates that the housing methods targeted for elimination under Proposition 2 protect hens from disease and injury and no studies suggest that passing Proposition 2 would result in an overall improvement of their care, well being and protection.
Moreover, if Proposition 2 wins and these methods are banned, it won’t improve animal welfare standards, but it would put California consumers at risk by replacing their safest, healthiest, most affordable sources of eggs – ones from local farms – with eggs from other states and countries. In a market-driven global economy, Proposition 2 will only serve to move egg production out of state, and out of country, where animal welfare standards are lower than in California.
The unintended consequence of passing Proposition 2 is clear: A September 5, 2008 Associated Press article reported: “The Mexican government has voluntarily suspended shipments of meat and processed poultry to the U.S. after the country’s officials raised concerns about the quality of Mexican food processing and inspections. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has identified systemic problems with sanitation controls and record-keeping during an annual audit that took place in Mexico between June 24 and July 31.”
Unfair game: HSUS propaganda machine operates with laser precision
As many of you know, whether you breed dogs, work at a zoo or manage wildlife for a living, the general public lacks the knowledge of the practices and tools that the hands-on experts use to raise, protect and care for animals. With about 1% of our population providing food for the other 99%, it’s easy for the public to accept distorted portrayals of these methods and practices. That is why it is our central mission to educate the public about responsible animal use and animal welfare from the real world perspective of people who live and work with animals and science.
Our role becomes increasingly important when well-funded, Washington D.C. based special interest groups like the Humane Society of the United States get behind issues like Proposition 2. They target vulnerable urban audiences with world state-of-the-art propaganda, focusing on all the problems that bolster their case and omitting the facts that would enable their audience to make an informed decision. If this campaign is like other HSUS efforts, the fine tuned pre-campaign polling has already generated field tested messages and images that will work with laser precision on a trusting and humane, urban audience. For HSUS and Farm Sanctuary it’s just like shooting fish in a barrel.
Wayne Pacelle goes to church
This week, as part of a "Faith and Politics Series" aimed at exploring current legislative issues that require moral and thoughtful consideration, the United Methodist Church of Modesto hosted a fascinating panel discussion about Proposition 2.
NAIA representative Tina Perriguey was there and reported that a panel of 5 answered questions posed by a packed house numbering about 325.
The pro side was anchored by Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, and HSUS paid consultant, Reverend Bruner.
Opposing Proposition 2 were three subject matter experts: Dr. Nancy Reimer, DVM, MSpVM, Dip. ACPV; Jill Benson, local egg farmer and Vice President of JS West & Companies; Bill Mattos, President of the California Poultry Federation.
According to Perriguey, "Dr. Reimers, Jill, and Bill consistently refuted the arguments of Pacelle and Bruner. Throughout the evening, these three experts presented clear, compelling, compassionate, science-based evidence opposing Prop 2."
Dr. Nancy Reimer pointed out that, "Modern hen housing systems were developed to protect hens from predators, parasites, and other pathogens. By separating hens and their eggs from manure and housing them indoors, we protect both humans and hens from diseases like Salmonella enteritidis and Avian Influenza."
For a full report on the evening’s proceedings, click here to read Tina Perriguey’s blog and contribute your ideas and comments, too.
American Veterinary Medical Association opposes Prop 2
NAIA is pleased to see respected organizations like the American Veterinary Medical Association expressing opposition to this misguided proposition as well. We applaud AVMA’s recent position statement: “Animal welfare is a complex issue and demands that decisions be based on science, tempered with compassion, and take into account all aspects of welfare. Changing housing standards without consideration of how this may affect other aspects of animal welfare, such as protection from disease and injury, will not be in the animals’ or society’s best interest." Click here to read the entire AVMA’s statement.
Prop 2 will appear on the November 4 ballot in California, and if successful, it will be replicated in other states. Other initiatives, orchestrated and backed by powerful animal rights organizations using these same tactics – sophisticated polling methods, heavily bank-rolled social marketing campaigns – have already been passed in Florida and Arizona. That is why people who understand the issues and represent common sense mainstream values on animal welfare must pull together and do what we can to defeat this measure in California, a state that is often used as a springboard for launching campaigns around the country.
In weeks prior to the vote, Prop 2 will run ads designed to lobotomize the audience
If Prop 2 is running true to form, the campaign has already made huge media buys for the period immediately before the vote and you can be sure that the television ads will be gut wrenching, sensational, ugly and distorted. In fact, they will be designed to short circuit even the most rational person’s ability to see the subject objectively. That’s HSUS specialty – performing a media lobotomy on otherwise reasonable people right before the critical vote.
We encourage you to visit the Californian’s For Safe Food website to learn more about the issues and why we oppose Proposition 2. Educate yourself. While you’re there, click the tab that says join the coalition. Then, next time you see a distorted article in your local paper about the issue, use your knowledge of the issues to write a letter to the editor.
We’ve found that the only way to beat campaigns that use last-minute media blitzes featuring emotional propaganda is through grassroots person to person activism, writing letters to the editor, calling in to radio talk shows, telling your friends, making presentations to the Rotary, Elks, Kiwanians, Junior Leagues – everywhere, to every nook and cranny of the community. If you oppose Proposition 2, and want to see it defeated, this is what you need to do and you need to start today.
HSUS has said that Prop 2 is Ground Zero for the animal rights movement. Let’s prove them right! Commit to help today. Write us at NAIA Trust to get involved.
National Director, NAIA Trust
P.S. And remember, we rely on your grassroots contributions to stay up and running, so PLEASE DONATE TODAY to our 17-year movement. Thank you for your support!!