By we, I mean We, The People of Massachusetts. By win, I mean enact our will via direct democracy.
Given the chance, voters will elect by a landslide to stop animal abuse. And a coalition plans to give us that chance. Citizens for Farm Animal Protection (which spoke at HLS last week) aims to put an initiative on the 2016 ballot.
Let’s talk about birds. Some HLS students have met my bird, Conrad. Conrad likes head scratches and listening to people sing. When I leave the room, he calls out to me. He playfully explores every nook and cranny of our shared home. For sixteen years, I have thought about his food, his vet care, and his quality of life. I would do anything to protect him.
Chickens like head scratches, too. Some like to cuddle. Sitting on her eggs, a hen clucks softly to her unborn babies. The chicks cluck back, through their shells. Once they hatch, the chicks already know their mother’s voice. Scientific American published an article on “The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken.” These animals communicate with one another and pass knowledge down through generations.
But most egg factory farms force a curious, intelligent hen to live in a cage so small that she can never spread her wings! Packed so tightly with several of her sisters and cousins, she cannot step in any direction without hurting someone else. The hen must stand on painful wire for her whole life. Feces falls on her from cages above. Most people feel horrified when they see hens in these “battery cage” systems. (YouTube battery cage undercover investigation to decide for yourself.)
The ballot initiative would save birds from cruel battery cages. The initiative would also protect pregnant mother pigs and baby calves from extreme confinement. The vast majority of Americans oppose factory farm animal abuse. That’s why we will win in 2016. Through direct democracy, we the people finally get to decide.
Oh, and as for the presidency, who knows? How about the vegetarian, Ben Carson?