Massachusetts voters Tuesday passed a groundbreaking ballot question that will mandate all pork, veal, and eggs farmed and sold in Massachusetts come from pigs, calves, and laying hens not confined to ultratight quarters.
While voters in other states have banned certain farming practices through referenda, no ballot measure has outlawed the sale of products from animals raised in a particular way. That means the result of Question 3 will affect farms around the country, and grocery stores from Pittsfield to Provincetown.
The 2016 election is one of the most polarizing in history, with many relatives and neighbors sharply divided. Some of these rifts involve deeply held but conflicting beliefs. Thankfully, there's a measure on this year's ballot that's bringing together people of all political persuasions.
Question 3 is a common-sense measure that tackles animal cruelty while also safeguarding our families from unsafe food. No wonder why polls show it has two-thirds of Massachusetts residents say they're voting "yes" on it this Election Day.
When Gov. Charlie Baker fills out his ballot Tuesday, he will vote to make cage-free eggs the law of the land in Massachusetts.
According to spokesman Billy Pitman, the Massachusetts governor plans to vote yes on Question 3, a ballot initiative that would ban certain restrictive means of confining farm animals in the state.
In September, Baker had told reporters he was undecided how he would vote on the measure, but was “quite sympathetic” to the argument being made by supporters.
Whatever your diet of choice, we all should agree that there can be a basic concept of compassionate treatment of animals. Being able to spread wings, turn around, and to see light and other creatures gives life dignity before it becomes a meal on the table. A yes vote on Question 3 prevents chickens, pregnant sows, and veal calves from being confined in cruel conditions in which they never have even a shred of quality of life.
In a particularly divisive election season, it’s fortunate we have a measure on the ballot that unites people across political parties. Voting YES on Question 3 will reduce animal abuse and help ensure that all Massachusetts residents have access to safe, affordable food.
It’s no wonder Americans want reforms to our food system, after years of outbreaks of foodborne pathogens like E. coli and shocking exposés of animal cruelty in corporate factory farms. There’s no silver bullet to this multi-pronged issue, but Massachusetts voters have the opportunity to take a giant step toward ensuring that everyone in the Commonwealth has access to reasonably-priced, responsibly-produced food by voting yes on Question 3.
Question 3 on this year’s Massachusetts ballot is hailed by advocates for animal protection and food safety as a major step forward on both issues. The measure would ensure that farm animals are given enough space to stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs. The impetus for this measure is the fact that some “factory farms” still essentially immobilize pigs, chickens, and calves in highly restrictive cages. This results in both animal suffering and the proliferation of dangerous food-borne bacteria.
This has been the most brutal presidential cycle in recent history. It has pit Democrats against Democrats, Republicans against Republicans, Americans against Americans. The fear of hate-mongering women-groping Donald Trump landing the top spot in the free world has even got liberals in-fighting.
It’s happening here in the Banner office.
A nationwide poll earlier this year found that a majority of Americans are losing trust in our food system. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the number of food safety scandals and exposés showing routine animal abuse by large meat, dairy and egg companies. Massachusetts voters have an opportunity to address these concerns by voting “yes” on Question 3, which will help give residents of the Commonwealth access to safe, affordable and responsibly-produced food.
As Massachusetts veterinarians, we take seriously our duty to advocate for the welfare of animals and protect them from cruelty. That’s why we are proud to endorse Question 3, the ballot measure entitled “An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.”