Animal rights groups believe that animals have the same rights as people. Our diets and daily life should be free of any animal-based products. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) subscribe to the idea that animals have equal rights to humans. “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” by Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of PETA, shockingly exemplifies the animal rights creed.
Cass Sunstein, the administration’s regulatory czar, believes that animals must be represented in a court of law, hunting must be banned, animal use is slavery, and animals should not be subjects in scientific research. He wants extensive regulation of animal husbandry.
Animal welfare groups promote the belief that animals should be treated humanely but are not equal to humans. Most people I know fall into this group. We have pets and we treat them well.
The Executive Order 13575, “Establishment of the White House Rural Council,” of June 9, 2011, was issued to regulate the lives of sixteen percent of our population, the rural population, taking federal control of our food supply, water, and land. This Executive Order strengthened President Obama’s “green agenda” of Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development is a concept based on the manufactured global warming/climate change crisis advanced by United Nations Agenda 21.
H.R. 3798, when passed, will control our food supply via “uniform, national cage size requirements for table-laying hens by adding national standards for laying-egg housing.” The conventional cages of 67 square inches of floor space will transition to enriched cages that would “nearly double the floor space and have perch spaces, dusting or scratching areas, and nesting areas that would allow laying hens to express natural behaviors that conventional cages do not allow.” In addition to cage sizes, labeling requirements and other production practices will be controlled by the federal government. (Joel L. Green, Tadlock Cowan, Congressional Research Service, May 14, 2012)
Former enemies, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) have joined forces with 57 cosponsors to help pass H.R. 3798. The bill has not been introduced to the Senate yet and may be eventually attached to the 2012 omnibus bill. If it does not pass, “U.S. courts may be asked to address the interstate movement of eggs.” (Congressional Research Service)
The opposition, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the National Pork Producers Council, criticized this legislation on grounds that it sets a “dangerous precedent” and “takes away producers’ freedom to operate in a way that’s best for their animals, takes away citizens’ right to vote on cages, and prevents state legislatures from passing laws to protect laying hens.” (Congressional Research Service)
The supporters, agricultural, veterinary, consumer, and animal protection groups, have joined the “green” environmentalists. “Egg farmers believe a single national standard is the only way to shape their own future as sustainable, family-owned businesses.”
High production costs will be passed on to consumers and small farms will go out of business in the process of cage conversion. This may be the ultimate goal, the destruction of small farms and the takeover by a few, government approved big producers. How far of a stretch would it be to extend the bill to all food grown or raised on a farm? Pig farmers have been put out of business in Michigan.
Supporters tout the cage requirements as based on science, while the opposition retorts that cage dimensions are not based on specific scientific research. Opponents to the bill also argue, “That U.S. producers already raise and manage their animals with practices that are science-based, overseen by veterinarians, and that animal welfare is a priority for livestock and poultry producers.” (Joel L. Green and Tadlock Cowan)
Hollywood celebrities support PETA, “citing animal welfare issues, environmental issues, and social justice issues, calling for zero consumption of meat and animal products.” Yet the same celebrities do not say a word about the inhumane practice of “halal,” when animals’ throats are slashed and left to die a long and agonizing death on the floor of the slaughterhouse.
The overall egg production in 2011 (including 13 billion hatching eggs) was 79 billion table eggs from a flock of 282 million birds, valued at $7.4 billion. Iowa leads the way in egg production, with twice as many as any other state, at 14.3 billion eggs. (“Table Egg Production and Hen Welfare: The UEP-HSUS Agreement and H.R. 3798” as quoted from USDA, National Agricultural Statistical Service)
Sixty-four percent of Californian voters passed Proposition 2, the Standards for Confining Farm Animals, on the 2008 ballot initiative. California’s specifications are far different from the proposed H.R. 3798. There is a reason why so many businesses have fled the state – overregulation and over the top taxation.
European Union banned battery cages (traditional cages) and adopted enriched cages or a non-cage system. “Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognizes animals as sentient beings and requires that full regard be given to the welfare of animals when formulating and implementing EU policy.” EU took legal action in January 2012 against countries that were non-compliant – Belgium Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. (Congressional Research Service)
The European Commission issued a “science-based protection and welfare of animals policy,” which included animal welfare centers. It will be interesting to see how the EU Commission will enforce the law uniformly and punish the numerous offenders who raise and slaughter animals according to their countries’ traditions.