Without a doubt, the passing of Proposition 2 in California was a tough blow for agriculture. Despite strong efforts from farmers and ranchers, this ballot initiative passed with 63% of the votes in favor and 37% against. Having been passed by the voters on November 4, 2008, the key portion of the statute will become operative on January 1, 2015. Farming operations have until that date to implement the new space requirements for their animals, and the statute will prohibit animals in California from being confined in a proscribed manner thereafter. In the past few years, similar bills have been passed including: Florida's Amendment 10, phasing out pig gestation crates; Arizona's Proposition 204, banning the confinement of calves in veal crates and breeding sows in gestation crates; Oregon's SB 694, banning gestation crates; and Colorado's 201, prohibitting veal and gestation crates, as well. In addition, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria have all banned battery cages for egg-laying hens. The entire European Union is phasing out battery cages by 2012. Because of the strict regulations, the European Union now imports 40% of their food from other nations. Could we be next?
The Humane Society of the United States is behind many of these new regulations here in the United States, and they have managed to win many of their endorsed ballot initiatives. In spring 2004, the HSUS board appointed Wayne Pacelle as CEO and President. Pacelle holds a strong fixation to expand the organization’s base of support as well as its influence on public policies affecting animals. Wayne Pacelle is a vegan, who is quoted to have said, "“I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals…To this day I don’t feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I’m kind to them, but there’s no special bond between me and other animals.”
If it's true that the HSUS doesn't truly CARE about the animals they are trying to protect, then why do so many people listen to them? At a recent conference for agriculture broadcasting in Washington D.C., Pacelle told the audience that HSUS is going to continue to push forward their agendas in the future, and their next target is Ohio. With over $200 million dollars in their annual budget along with a seductive emotional campaign, this is an organization we all need to watch out for. What's our plan of action when they start working in Ohio? What is your plan when they come to your state? Will we sit around and watch as HSUS regulates us out of business? Or, will we stand up and fight? The choice is yours... As for me, I'm dedicated to preserving the valuable traditions of farming and ranching in this country to protect our food resources for generations to come. And, I hope you'll join me, too.
Quick BEEF Daily Fact: While dieticians often recommend eating chicken and fish instead of red meat, experts say this isn't accurate advice. An expert panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program, in a published report on its finding, says 5-6 ounces of lean meat per day are an appropriate part of low-fat diets designed to lower blood cholesterol. The report, approved by the American Heart Association and 26 other major health organizations, says, " It is not necessary to eliminate or drastically reduce lean red meat consumption. Lean meat contains highly absorbable iron and is a good source of zinc and vitamin B-12." (Source: Utah Beef Council)