Activism

Published on November 6th, 2008 | by Melissa Elliott

California’s Prop 2 for Farm Animals Handed Landslide Victory

In a historic victory for 20 million animals on California’s farms, Proposition 2 has passed by a landslide in last night’s election. Over 63 percent of California voters favored the “Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” which will eventually end the practice of confining certain animals raised for food in crates and cages so small they can barely move.


Prop 2 requires farms to provide enough space for breeding pigs, egg laying hens, and veal calves to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs. Backed by the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and supported by California Veterinary Medical Association, the Center for Food Safety, and countless media outlets, including the New York Times, this measure is the largest of its kind for farm animals ever enacted in the United States.

“California voters have taken a stand for decency and compassion and said that the systemic mistreatment of animals on factory farms cannot continue,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “All animals deserve humane treatment, including animals raised for food.”

The law goes into effect in January of 2015, giving factory farms six years to shift to more humane housing.

As a volunteer for the campaign myself, the passage of this proposition was important to me. Along with an army of activists, I spent over a year on the ground, from the signature gathering phase, all the way to last night’s victory. We can only hope this is just the beginning of better lives for farm animals around the world.

Photo Credit: Laurel Fan on Flickr under Creative Commons license.


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About the Author

Melissa Elliott is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her personal blog, TheUrbanHousewife.com, documents her culinary adventures from her kitchen to vegan food around the world. When she's not glued to her computer or on the road, she loves to spend time with her husband, Ryan, cats Beamish & Scurvy, and beloved chihuahua, Strummer.



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  • Dave

    david said on November 6th, 2008 at 12:42 pm
    Well, my view is different. It is just one more slap in the face of the american farmer and the agricultural industry.

    The entire agricultural *industry* needs the slap—no, what agri-business really needs is to be legislated away completely. Then, and only then, will we see the return of the American *Farmer*.

  • Angelina

    Oh my god, I’m so surprised at the negative comments.

    David said…
    “Well, my view is different. It is just one more slap in the face of the american farmer and the agricultural industry.

    It makes me realize that califorians are ignorant, self-centered and somewhat incapable of competent thought.”

    Talk about ignorant, self-centered and incapable of competent thought. The law gives them SIX years to change. That is a lot of time.

    Also, you don’t think that breeding pigs, egg laying hens or calves should be given enough room to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs? It doesn’t say they have to be in a pasture, it doesn’t say that they can’t be piled high in cramped spaces, it says they just need to be able to move. It should be a basic right for any living creature to be able to have space to move. Of course maybe those that don’t support this law are happy with things such as puppy mills where dogs live in similar cramped spaces.

    It is unnatural to raise animals in such a manner. How self-centered, ignorant and incompetent are people that would oppose such a law?

  • 1. There is absolutely no provision stating that caring for animals precludes caring about children.

    2. This bill specifically addresses: egg-laying chickens (not meat chickens), veal calves, and pigs. There is no content or connection to Fois Gras or geese, or general poultry conditions in this bill. Veal and pork are both very small industries in California, so that will be a minor, but important, impact. The primary impact will be on California’s egg-producing industry, which is fairly sizeable. Therefor, the price of meat will not go up across the board. Perhaps there will be a small rise in the cost of veal or pork, and in eggs.

    3. The best overall solution is to eat less meat & fewer animal products in general – better for your health, less suffering of conscious and intelligent creatures, and far less environmental devestation.

  • This is a wonderful victory for animals, I think. It may not be ideal — animals in factory farms will still be exploited and endure abuses — but this is a big step in the right direction.

  • Ashley

    2015? Thats an awfully long time away. Why not 2010? Just makes me think of how many animals will be left in confined crates, etc. for the next 6 years. I say revise the plan to 2010 and make these factory farmers get thei $**t together sooner.

    Or better yet Go Veg!

  • bevely

    Maybe we can work on protecting children now.

  • david

    Well, my view is different. It is just one more slap in the face of the american farmer and the agricultural industry.

    It makes me realize that califorians are ignorant, self-centered and somewhat incapable of competent thought.

    However, maybe food prices will increase and this will help fight California’s number one health issue; obesity.

    Then again, maybe they are just to dang dumb to breed, so let the starve.

  • phyllisb

    If only people had as much concern over the plight of children as they do animals.

  • jason

    well with this Prices of all meat products produced in Cali will rise – hurting the Farmers because people will import their meats from Farms in other states that do not have these restrictions

    treating animals cruelly is one thing and i abhor it – Putting Restrictions on the ability to Make Veal and Foie gras ( the real agenda of this bill ) is limiting my ability as a culinary artist
    – enjoy your $65 steak

  • fred

    What a crock:
    only in california, would people be dumb enough to start regulating farms in this way.
    The next step will be to stop the killing of animals for meat.
    why not enact a meaningfull law with teath
    like one that would mandate death sentences to be
    carried out withing 24 hours for those who are convicted of drive by shootings, and child molestation.

    • Fred, I am a Canadian and I applaud Californians for banding together to make this happen. I can tell by your comment that you are either ill-informed of the conditions of these farms or, even worse, you know but don’t care. And I am fairly certain that nothing I say will make a difference to you. So I challenge you to go watch the YouTube video called ‘Farm to Fridge’… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBbYUdvGWk0 If, after that, you still hold to your point of view, then you I have nothing left to say to you. I hope you will rise to the challenge.

  • Kevin

    Animal rights, sounds like something the Roman empire would do during its decline.

    • Kevin, as I wrote to Fred…

      “I am a Canadian and I applaud Californians for banding together to make this happen. I can tell by your comment that you are either ill-informed of the conditions of these farms or, even worse, you know but don’t care. And I am fairly certain that nothing I say will make a difference to you. So I challenge you to go watch the YouTube video called ‘Farm to Fridge’… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBbYUdvGWk0 If, after that, you still hold to your point of view, then you I have nothing left to say to you. I hope you will rise to the challenge.”

      Kevin, I hope you do, too.

  • Megan

    WOOHOO! I’m so glad it passed.

  • What a great victory but no effect until 2015? blah. 5 bucks says it never happends.

  • Shannon Pfingsten

    Well let me just say that people across the country (Oregon myself) thank Californian’s for their hard work in this campaign! This historic measure will pave the way for similar laws to be enacted across our country!

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