There is yet more evidence that corporate profits matter more than life in the U.S. Last November one of the issues on the California ballot was Proposition 12. In a nutshell, Proposition 12, the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act …
“… outlaws the most extreme forms of animal confinement throughout the Golden State. Once it’s implemented, egg-laying hens, baby calves raised for veal, and mother pigs will no longer be confined in cages. Additionally, all eggs, veal, and pork sold in the state will meet this standard.”
Some 60% of voters approved the measure, and it was signed into law. The Humane Society of the United States backed the measure, while People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals opposed it, saying it did not go far enough.
However, the meat industry claims that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause by requiring out-of-state producers to comply with California’s rules or face a sales ban. The North American Meat Institute, whose members include processors such as Tyson Foods, Cargill, Smithfield Foods, and retailers including Wal-Mart, Chipotle, Target, and Whole Foods, said enforcing Proposition 12 would hurt producers and consumers by significantly increasing their costs. And so, on Friday they filed a lawsuit (isn’t that the answer to everything these days?) in Los Angeles federal court seeking an injunction against the sales ban targeting out-of-state veal and pork.
The law, if enforced, would …
- Prevent egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves from being housed inhumanely in small cages for their entire lives.
- Reduce the risk of people being sickened by food poisoning and factory farm pollution by preventing overcrowding of animals in small spaces.
It would also likely cost producers more to comply, and thus raise the consumer prices for eggs, pork and veal, for we all know that companies like Tyson and Wal-Mart aren’t going to eat a single penny of that increased cost but will pass it on to consumers.
My take? Thanks for asking … if these producers cannot treat the animals humanely, then they can go out of business for all it matters. People should eat less pork and veal anyway, and fewer eggs as well. We would all be healthier. I’m sick and tired of the big corporations putting their profit ahead of lives, whether human, animal, plant, or the planet. And speaking of the planet …
California seems to consistently be ahead of the pack on trying to improve such things as the environment, human and animal welfare, etc. California has the strictest emissions standards in the nation for autos and trucks, and recently the state worked with auto makers to maintain those standards, but last month Trump & Co revoked the state’s authority to set state-level standards. Why? Because Trump & Co are in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. Higher emission standards like California’s mean the oil companies will sell less fuel and … GASP … may lose some of their multi-billion dollar profits! ¡Ay, pobrecitos!
But then … wait for it … the Environmental Protection Agency last week followed up with letters to California that threatened to wield rarely used provisions of environmental law to withhold federal funding from the state if it did not take specific steps to clean its air and water! That’s what they were trying to do, for Pete’s sake!!!
Legal experts say this amounts to weaponizing environmental laws intended not only to undermine California’s liberal government but to send a message to other states that might defy Trump.
The Clean Air Act specifically offered states the ability to set their own environmental standards if Washington grants them a waiver. This move infringes on states’ rights, is a threat to the very principle of states’ rights.
Andrew Wheeler, who now heads the EPA, worked in the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, representing coal magnate Robert E. Murray and lobbying against the Obama Administration’s environmental regulations. Conflict of interest??? It seems to me that under Wheeler, just as under Pruitt before him, the Environmental Protection Agency is doing the exact opposite of protecting the environment!
Are we to sit quietly while big corporations and Trump’s gang of thugs abuse animals and destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, and everything else under the sun only for the sake of lining their own pockets? Think about it.