An animal rights group is advocating for veganism in California, stating that new legislation will help reach voters in their heightened awareness of farm practices.

California's passage last November of the ballot initiative on farm animal housing, Proposition 2, has opened the door for animal rights activists to begin promoting a vegan lifestyle for California consumers, according to a coalition of activist groups that was announced last week.

The coalition said it was establishing the "Operation Prop 2 Follow-Through Campaign" with an intention "to promote a vegan diet in California."

The coalition, led by the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), said it wanted to take advantage of the extent to which Prop 2 made people aware "of factory farm atrocities" and take the awareness to what would be the next level to provide animals complete protection from those atrocities by urging Californians to become vegans, which means not only not consuming food and beverages produced from animals but also not wearing anything produced from animals, such as leather or wool.

The coalition's list of atrocities is lengthy. View the complete announcement.

The coalition said it is seeking financial support, which is a function of industrial activism, and said such donations would go toward billboards, bus displays and "massive leafleting" in California's major cities and to sending news releases and letters to the editors of California media.

The group said donations would also fund a new web site, www.livevegan.org, that, as written, details "the atrocities and the many benefits of a vegan diet." Sources suggested that the "atrocities" referred to the perceived list of animal abuses and not vegan diets.

Besides FARM, the coalition members include In Defense of Animals, the Animal Protection & Rescue League, Mercy for Animals and Vegan Outreach. FARM, In Defense of Animals and Mercy for Animals, while attempting to force a lifestyle on California citizens, all have headquarters outside California.

Paul Shapiro, director of the farm animal program at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an industrial activist group that advocates vegetarianism and was one of the two major drivers of Prop 2, said FARM is a relatively small group that not only refused to endorse Prop 2 but actually campaigned against it by asking activist groups that had endorsed the ballot initiative "to revoke their endorsements," Shapiro said in a note to Feedstuffs.

He said FARM does not support animal welfare reform for farm animals "and, in fact, regularly speaks out against them."

Prop 2 requires that all farm animals, "for all or the majority of any day," not be confined or tethered in a manner that prevents them from lying down, standing up, turning around and/or fully extending their limbs without touching another animal or an enclosure such as a cage or stall.

It primarily addresses hens housed in cages and sows and veal calves housed in stalls but ignores much of the science of such housing systems that has been developed over several years by producers and animal ethicists and scientists.

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