Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Piggie Wonder and Proposition 2 - Animal Confinement

As reflected in previous posts, the treatment of animals in industrialized production draws a great deal of criticism. As many state animal cruelty statutes exempt farm animals from the protection afforded domestic pets, and as federal animal welfare laws also often exclude farm animals, new laws directed specifically at farm animals are gaining ground.

In California, an initiative known as "Proposition 2" is on the ballot this November. Proposition 2 applies to pregnant sows (except during their last week of pregnancy), calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens. It prohibits their tethering or confinement to a space that does not allow them to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs; and turn around freely. Clearly, it is designed to ban some of the most egregious inventions of the factory farm - gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages.

Pictures of frightened and distressed animals confined to very small spaces are the most obvious campaign tool for passage of such a measure, and these images are abundantly available.

The folks at Free Range Studios in conjunction with the Humane Society came up with a more upbeat approach with a music video entitled Piggie Wonder's Greatest Hits. It is reported to be the "2008 Farm Music Video of the Year," and it carries its message to vote Yes on Prop 2 with wit and humor.