When you see the long list of initiatives on your ballot, don’t overlook Proposition 12 at the end. A “yes” vote levels the playing field for California’s farmers and improves the lives of millions of chickens, veal calves, and pigs across the U.S.
Ten years ago Santa Barbara County voters supported Prop. 2 by a 70 percent majority. That initiative banned cruel confinement for laying hens, veal calves, and pregnant pigs. Prop. 12 would clarify minimum space requirements to stop farmers trying to avoid compliance and extend the same requirements to products raised in other states but sold here. That means California farmers wouldn’t have to compete against cheaper, more poorly produced eggs, veal, and pork from other states.
Intense, confined animal farming operations lead to greater food contamination as well as to environmental degradation — ask the people living near giant pork operations after Hurricane Florence hit. Humane, appropriate housing for farm animals is healthier for humans. And it grants the animals that feed us some basic quality of living conditions.
Vote Yes on 12 — for California farmers, for our health, and for the animals.