I have long been concerned about how farm animals are abused by corporations that make most of the meat and eggs in this country. Whether it’s confining chickens in cages so small they can’t spread their wings, or pigs in crates so narrow they’re never able to turn around, these cruel types of production methods don’t represent Massachusetts’ values.
Animal advocates have long deemed practices of large-scale, industrialized “factory farms”—farms from which we get 99% of our meat—to be excessively cruel. Perhaps the clearest manifestation of this cruelty is the tiny spaces in which farm animals spend their entire lives: industry cages do not provide room for the animals to move more than a step forwards or backwards, turn around, or stretch their limbs and wings.
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.
[Relevant excerpt] The committee also heard from Truro resident Candace Nagle, who requested that the committee support a ballot initiative that would result in Massachusetts curbing farm animal confinement. She said that 90,000 signatures needed to be gathered in the next few weeks to put the measure on the state ballot in 2016. The proposed legislation is supported by the Humane Society of the U.S., the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to name a few.
The nation's largest egg industry group is conceding the fight over a proposed ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would bar the in-state sale of meat or eggs from caged animals raised anywhere in the nation.
The decision hands animal rights advocates a partial victory in their push for more humane treatment of livestock.
"We don't have any options," United Egg Producers President Chad Gregory said in an interview with POLITICO. "The activists are ripping apart conventional cages, and we have no middle ground to go to."
BOSTON - People who are concerned about animal cruelty are hitting the streets gathering support for a 2016 Ballot Initiative to curb farm animal confinement in Massachusetts.
Rob Halpin, director of public relations with MSPCA-Angell, says the majority of people, in the Commonwealth and the nation, don't want farm animals subjected to cruelty as they are being raised to provide food for dinner tables.
"People around the state, including 65 Massachusetts farmers and counting, farmers who raise animals for food have already signed on to this ballot initiative," says Halpin.
They’re lovin’ it.
Advocates of a proposed ballot question that would require Massachusetts farms and businesses to produce and sell only eggs from cage-free hens are lauding the announcement Wednesday that McDonald’s will transition to cage-free eggs for almost 16,000 restaurants in the United States and Canada, indicating the move will help pave the way for the referendum’s victory.
The Eagle-Tribune ("Let market drive humane farming," Aug. 19) points out the many problems of factory farming and we agree that it's an "ugly way to produce food."
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' mission of kindness and care extends to all animals, including those raised for food. We support the recently announced ballot measure because we believe that egg-laying hens, female breeding pigs, and veal calves should not be kept in cages so small they can't turn around or extend their limbs.
A new proposal in Massachusetts that would require farm owners to have “cage-free” animals would have minimal impact on the cost of raising chickens, said a representative from the Humane Society on Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” program.