Animal Abuse by Any Other Name

By on June 24, 2008

It’s more than obfuscation. It seems inadequate to call it a charade. Bald-faced lie comes a bit closer. Perfidious fraud feels about right to me.

I’m talking about Californians for Safe Food. A group with a name like that sounds like an advocate for passing the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act—the California ballot measure to phase out veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages that will appear on the November general election ballot. But no, Californians for Safe Food is the creation of some of the biggest factory farms in the United States, and it’s the official group opposing the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act.

Rows of egg-laying hens in battery cages

Of course they can’t call themselves Industrialized Factory Farms Seeking Profits at the Expense of Animals Committee. Or the Committee for Treating Animals Like Objects. We wouldn’t expect that sort of suicidal honesty. But Californians for Safe Food? These people have no shame. Are there no limits to their duplicity?

Just this past week alone, egg factory farmers contributed more than half a million dollars to fight against this ballot measure to protect animals in California.

While the egg industry has a notoriously poor track record when it comes to animal welfare, the biggest contributor to our opposition, Moark LLC, has a particularly sordid history. In fact, the company was forced to pay $100,000 to settle criminal animal cruelty charges in Missouri when a concerned neighbor videotaped Moark using a conveyor belt to throw live birds into a dumpster.

Another major contributor, the United Egg Producers, had to pay $100,000 to settle the false advertising allegations—relating to misleading claims about animal welfare—of 17 attorneys general, including California’s. Even the Better Business Bureau ruled that United Egg Producers was misleading the public.

The sixth largest contributor, Norco Ranch, maintains factory farms in southern California that confine 8 million birds! They keep hundreds of thousands of hens crammed in a single building, stacking tiny wire cages upon each other. Each bird, under the industry standard, gets 67 square inches—two-thirds of the size of a regular sheet of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. The animals can’t even extend their wings, and are typically crammed six or eight birds to a cage.

Egg-laying hens confined in battery cage
© Compassion Over Killing

The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act—qualified thanks largely to the work of 4,000 volunteer petitioners—will reduce the suffering of 20 million abused animals trapped in cages inside California factory farms. The ballot measure is also good for the environment. And it’s good for food safety; and that’s why it’s backed by reputable groups that have credibility and authenticity on the issue of food safety, such as the Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.

We cannot allow these factory farming fakers to trick California voters with their big money. We must be able to compete financially. Animal advocates across the country are helping this critical effort by joining the $20/20 Campaign—giving just $20 (or more) to Californians for Humane Farms to help these 20 million animals who are depending on us. Click here to donate (donations are not tax deductible). Or, you can donate via our widget on MySpace or Facebook if you’re on those networks.

Once you donate, please forward this and spread the word (here are some ideas, including using your Facebook and MySpace pages).

By giving just $20, you can help change the world for 20 million animals. Then ask 20 friends to do the same.

In the process, you’ll be equipping us to expose the deception of our opponents. Let’s not let them get away with their fraud.

Categories
Farm Animals

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