The North American Meat Institute, the largest trade group for meat packers and processors in the United States, is suing California over its passage of Proposition 12 – a ballot initiative that requires bigger living spaces for animals exploited for food.
Passed with 63 percent of the vote, Prop 12 was overwhelmingly approved by California voters. The North American Meat Institute, whose members include Tyson, Walmart, Target, Chipotle and even Whole Foods, claims the new law is an overreach because not only does it mandate that animals exploited for food in California be given more space, it also demands that animal products sold in California from other states must also come from farms that adhere to these standards – or they’ll be banned.
You’d think that all these companies who profess to care about animals – especially a company like Whole Foods – would support laws that make life a fraction better for the most abused animals on the planet, right? Not a chance. It all comes down to money. The North American Meat Institute is claiming that requiring animals be mercilessly tormented less will drive up costs for producers and consumers, making things like pork and eggs and veal too expensive for people to eat.
As if there’s nothing else in the supermarket to buy? And honestly, should we actually be encouraging people to purchase food items that not only cause unspeakable cruelty to animals, but also harm the planet and human health? And let’s be real, it’s not like anyone is paying the real price of meat, dairy, and eggs with the billions in subsidies these industries receive every year thanks to American tax payers.
Here’s the real: Companies don’t care if you eat veal or veggie burgers – all they care about is their bottom line. They know that when the price of meat and eggs go up, fewer people buy them and they don’t want that because it means less money for them. Period.
It doesn’t matter to them that calves exploited for veal are kept chained in crates so small they can barely move, or that hens abused for eggs are confined in battery cages and given less than the space of an iPad to live out their entire lives. Or how about mother pigs on pork farms who are forced to live in gestation crates, cages barely bigger than the size of their own bodies where they can’t turn around or even stretch their limbs? These are the horrific abuses this “institute” is defending and what the California law attempts to stop.
See for yourself:
While California’s new law is well intentioned, it does not nearly go far enough with regards to ending the appalling cruelty committed against animals exploited for food. The truth is as long as animals are seen as nothing more than meat, dairy, and egg producing machines, they will suffer at the hands of big business.
The only way to ensure that suffering ends is to stop supporting animal agriculture.