Two powerful forces converged recently to send readers to their keyboards. One of them is the power of television—with both Oprah and Ellen inviting me to appear on behalf of California’s landmark ballot measure, Proposition 2.
The other force, just as powerful, is the suffering of farm animals themselves—a shocking matter which is now, finally coming clearly to the fore on account of the election campaign over Prop 2.
No matter what state you live in, this initiative measure is of vital importance. As Kerry Trueman wrote this morning on The Huffington Post, "That ringing you hear is the sound of the death knell for the ‘don’t ask, don’t smell’ era of factory farming." She was referring to yesterday’s episode of "Oprah," which exposed the sorry business of how so many millions of animals raised for food are mistreated.
That show, my earlier appearance on "Ellen," and The New York Times’ recent endorsement of Prop 2, has brought a flood of comments. I’m both touched and encouraged. Thank you. Your feedback, some of it below, is filled with honest hope and with unyielding determination as we work to pass Prop 2 and phase out the worst of these factory farm abuses. Farm animals need room to move to stretch their limbs. It’s such a little thing—yet for these creatures it’s so much.
My response to Moark, LLC: I now know that hell exists after watching the undercover video revealing the horror these birds go through. My grandfather was a farmer—a real farmer, sold eggs, raised hens and slaughtered them for profit but he respected life. The world is watching how animals are inhumanely treated—the secret is no more. —Connie Hodge
Wonderful job on the Oprah show, Wayne! I really believe this appearance will make a difference in the supermarkets and on the dinner plates of countless viewers. You did a marvelous job in a calm, honest and measured manner. It is difficult to believe that a feeling person could have watched that show and not come away with a greater compassion for animals in general. Thank you for speaking for the souls with no voice. —Alexandra Weeks
Great job on Oprah today, Wayne. The opponents to Prop 2, my gosh—it is just amazing how misguided these folks are. Just astounding. One of the many things they said that really got to me was that the consumer should have a choice: a choice to buy cage-free, more expensive eggs, or to buy "safe" factory farm produced, less expensive eggs. Well, what about the person whose only place of purchase within reasonable distance is the convenience store down the street that sells one brand of eggs, and they are, most likely, from a factory farm? Not everyone has a car. Not everyone has access to large grocery stores that sell a variety of products. Very often, for some consumers, there is no choice! Thanks so much for the work you do. —Janet
Thank God for the exposure via Oprah today! Today, the entire world saw those abusive liars confronted; it was great! I feel so good knowing that change is occurring and will make the short lives of these animals so much better. We must be educated and determined in our efforts to support free-range farmers. God never intended for us to abuse our food; thank God for today’s exposure! —Stephanie Kopecky Vasquez
Wayne, I was a staff member on Floridians for Humane Farms, and I cannot say how happy I am to see these campaigns growing by leaps and bounds. I have seen you on Ellen and Oprah and am so happy to see that the public is seeing what it is truly like for these animals. Of course I cannot say how angry I was to hear over and over the lack of concern for the animals and only concern for the profits of these "farmers." I was delighted to see BOTH views on how the animals are raised on Oprah. I cannot wait to see this Proposition pass as it did in Florida. Of course I still hope the day comes that animals are not raised for food at all, that would be my only wish before I pass on. —Cyndi Smith
What did Wayne say, like being trapped in an elevator with six other people? For my entire life? I’m telling all my family in California to vote yes on Prop 2! We should do this in every state. —Jason
Something is happening in America… it may be slow to come but it is happening. Oprah Winfrey’s show, which broadcasts to 50 million people worldwide, the latest undercover video by Mercy for Animals… and the energy created by Prop 2. It’s all got to be good. A great time for change! The suffering will stop, I am sure of it. We just keep going, and the powers that be will certainly give us some invisible help!! Great job HSUS! Great job all of us! —Scott
As naive as this may sound to some, profit should never be the justification to treat another creature inhumanely. Additionally, stress and unhealthy conditions results in a compromised food product. Common sense would tell you that eating meat or poultry from an animal that was raised and maintained in an unwholesome and stressful environment will result in a severely compromised food product. I certainly do not want to consume or provide to my children food that is from a sickly, ailing creature. Even for those persons willing to put aside direct concerns for the animals, and for concern of offering a humane farming environment, then step back and put your own self and family first—do you want to eat the meat of a diseased animal? Do you want your child to consume meat or poultry from an unwell animal that spent its entire life in a gruesome environment? For all that we are modern people, living in modern times, I can’t think but that our ancestors would be horrified and think us foolish to raise animals in these conditions, and then to consume them. It’s not even remotely logical. —Sharon
That great oxymoron, "common decency," should prevail. I am not a vegetarian but I care about how farm animals are treated. It is not only humane to treat them with respect, it should be the human thing to do also. —Ruth Mendes
California, please pass Proposition 2. We must be the voice of the animals suffering their whole lives in the most horrifying conditions for greed. If I could vote in California, I would be proud to give a voice to the animals. —Marilyn Waldorf
It’s about time!!! I’m constantly saddened by the lack of knowledge people have about factory farming. But I’m sickened when people do know the truth and aren’t shocked to their very core. California—the ball’s in your court—you can be a front runner to end the nightmare of factory farming. Or you can continue to close your eyes and your hearts. And HSUS—thanks for forcing this issue out and shedding light on a national disgrace. —Lisa Rosenberg
This whole thing makes me wonder why people would be "undecided" on this issue? If you’re undecided, just vote yes. If you’re undecided on any animal issue and you happen to own a pet, just imagine your pet in the situation in question. That should change your mind pretty quickly. Factory farm animals don’t have the luxury of a doting owner. But we can at least afford them some dignity… —Lisa J.
THANK YOU for everything you are doing and have done to help all animals! You are an inspiration! Please Californians! Vote “Yes” on Prop 2. If Prop 2 passes it could be the start of farm animals across the U.S. to at the very least get to have just enough room where they literally will not go insane from severe confinement, and isn’t this the VERY LEAST these poor animals deserve??? Vote YES On Prop 2! —Jessica
I say it’s about time. It sounds like a baby step, but it would really accomplish so much for these animals who are sacrificed for our dinner tables. —Amy Ashe
At last, compassion for these poor unfortunate animals. We are supposed to be the intelligent race and yet submit innocent animals to untold misery and suffering. Enough please, God! He did after all place animals in our care. —Kim Chenhall
I hope and pray with all my heart that Prop 2 passes. I cannot imagine keeping any animal confined in these inhumane crates and cages. I grew up on a farm; our animals were all treated like part of the family. My Dad would never have allowed any of our animals to be caged or confined like these poor animals are! Thank God there are people like Wayne Pacelle and organizations like the Humane Society who fight for the rights of these poor animals. We are their only voice, PLEASE help these poor animals!! —cbrown