If you’ve ever wanted to be involved in a critical campaign to protect animals, and to meaningfully participate in such a campaign—especially for those of you who live and vote in California—your moment has arrived. Together, we have a chance to take a stand against the worst factory farming abuses in our nation's largest agricultural state.
Specifically, we’re announcing this week the launch of a ballot initiative in California to uphold the standard that even animals reared for food should be able to turn around and extend their limbs. It's as simple as that.
© Farm Sanctuary
The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act seeks to prohibit the use of veal crates for calves, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and gestation crates for breeding pigs. All of these confinement systems are so severe that the animals can barely move for months on end.
Californians for Humane Farms, the political committee we've helped to form, must collect 650,000 signatures to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the November 2008 ballot in California. If qualified and approved by voters, the measure will help prevent cruelty to animals confined in industrial factory farms in California, as well as protect the environment and the family farmers who shun the use of these most inhumane confinement systems.
Across the country, restaurants, producers, schools and retailers—including Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Wolfgang Puck, Smithfield Foods, San Francisco State University and University of California-Berkeley—are moving away from crates and cages on factory farms, and switching to housing where the animals have more freedom of movement and socialization.
These may seem like small steps, but they make an enormous difference in the lives of animals. In the case of the ballot initiative being launched, it will dramatically improve the lives of 20 million living creatures.
Never has a single ballot initiative anywhere in the nation offered the promise of helping so many animals.
We need California voters not only to sign petitions, but also to circulate them. Some volunteers will gather 100 or 200 signatures during the next 150 days. Some may gather as many as 1,000 signatures, and others will gather as many as 5,000. We need humane-minded people to help us with this signature-gathering effort. In fact, to qualify the measure, we need 34,000 signatures per week.
I'll be in San Francisco tonight (Tuesday), in Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, in Los Angeles on Thursday night, and then in San Diego on Friday night. If you can make it, join us for these volunteer training sessions. If you cannot, let us know you want to help and we'll get you up to speed on how you can participate.
Unfortunately, there are no online signing opportunities. You have to collect signatures the old-fashioned way—person to person—and you have to use the petitions that we provide to you. If you’d like to circulate petitions, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get you plugged in.
The HSUS has backed two dozen successful ballot initiatives over the years, including two of them a decade ago in California—one to ban the use of steel-jawed leghold traps and a second measure to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
Now, 10 years later, it is time to take a stand against the inhumane treatment of animals on factory farms.
Please join us in this historic campaign. I’m really hoping you can help.