One of several spectacular dishes at Vegiterranean.
Sometimes the work of animal advocacy is tough. But today wasn’t that kind of day. My colleague Paul Shapiro and I were pleased to spend time with an incredible advocate, and to enjoy the hospitality and gourmet cuisine of Vegiterranean, which is the creation of Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders (a native of Akron) and Chefs Scott Jones and Tal Ronnen, author of "The Conscious Cook."
Paul and I had a wonderful lunch with our top volunteer in the state—David Meadows, of Dayton. David gathered more than 3,500 signatures in the collective effort in our quest to qualify a farm animal welfare measure for the ballot. Specifically, the measure sought to phase out some of the most inhumane confinement practices in industrial agribusiness.
In the end, we decided not to submit the signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2010 ballot because we worked out an agreement with Gov. Ted Strickland and the leaders of nearly all of the state’s top agricultural trade groups, recommending eight different reforms, including phase-outs of veal crates and gestation crates and a moratorium on new battery cage egg facilities.
With volunteer David Meadows, center, and Paul Shapiro,
senior director of our End Factory Farming campaign.
While the agreement is done, all of the elements of the deal remain to be enacted. We must have an ongoing presence in Ohio to assure that the Legislature, the Governor, and the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board adopt these reforms. And that presence is needed, too, to be sure we can push forward on other important reforms in Ohio, including upgrading the state’s anti-cruelty law and outlawing dog auctions in the state.
Today though was a moment to celebrate the volunteers who make these campaigns hum. Without the efforts of dedicated volunteers like David Meadows to participate in the political process, or in other civic-minded ways, we could not achieve the historic gains we are propelling.