Corporate Profits Over Life?

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 …

CaliforniaCalifornia 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

Andrew Wheeler

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.

24 thoughts on “Corporate Profits Over Life?

  1. The party of so-called ‘states-rights’ is only that party, when it suits THEM. But when it comes to corporations and profits, they can’t say yes to the fat cats fast enough. More hypocrisy…more corruption….The people do not matter anymore Jill. $$$$$$$$ does. Pretty simplistic eh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I have noticed that their values seem to move according to the circumstances. It’s rather like the evangelicals who cherry pick what their beliefs and values are, depending on who or what they are talking about. Yep, my friend, money talks and its voice is much louder than ours, it would seem. Simplistic? Maybe, but … true. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, good post. Exploiting life for gain (or profit) is as old as civilization. We should not forget:
    – slavery
    – sharecropper maltreatment
    – child labor
    – tobacco companies purposefully addicting their customers
    – opioid companies and vaping companies doing the same
    – food companies adding sugar to more products, and
    – illegal drug dealers selling products that are addictive and deadly.

    The list goes on. You could even throw in the super-size me fast food marketing and NRA.

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Keith! Yes, my friend, the list is long and we are still adding to it even today. Yes, the food industry in general promotes overeating, and the NRA … I won’t even go there, for you already know how I feel ’bout them. And then, there is the pornography ‘industry’, and the Catholic church … as you say, the list is long. Sigh.

      Like

  3. The way we treat other animals and life in general is appallingly selfish. One of the reasons (not the only one) I turned to a Vegan diet, was to take the pressure off a meat industry that cares little about the emotional or physical comforts of animals raised for human consumption. The fact is, the only thing that farmers (whether in a factory or on an Organic farm) want, is to see their animals grow and fatten to slaughter weight. The factory system of farming is beyond cruel. It is ‘sick.’ If those animals could talk, they would make a more horrific movie that ‘Alien.’ Any move that would ban the factory animal industry, would be most welcome on all counts. They are disease filled, hell holes!

    I think humanity needs to find a new starting point. The economic machine must never, never create misery for any lifeform.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you, though I am guilty of eating chicken, fish, and occasionally beef. Humans are the most arrogant species on earth, essentially believing themselves to be superior to all other species. And mankind has little, if any, respect for the animal kingdom … just look at those who hunt only to show off their kill, or mount a trophy on the walls of their dens. They are foolish enough to actually believe it proves their manhood, shows how “brave and courageous” they are, when in truth, it was never a fair fight. Until recently, I did not realize how the animals that turn into the neatly packaged ground beef or chicken breasts in our stores were raised and abused. No, I haven’t gone vegetarian or vegan yet, and don’t know that I ever will, but … it is definitely time we start somewhere. My granddaughter, Miss Goose, earns kudos in this, for she is the one who orders the ‘plant-based’ burger in the restaurant, and encouraged me to buy re-usable shopping bags, started taking our own containers to restaurants for leftovers, and has stopped drinking bottled water. I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The problem is, of course, these guys have all the cards and the decks are stacked. At least for now. The only way to deal with this is to vote out the scum bags and try to have “Citizen’s United” overthrown.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve thought about it many times, and all I can say is the person with the biggest bank account when he/she dies is winner of the World’s Biggest Schmuck Award, because that money is going to do them absolutely no good in the grave or the crematorium. What is it that drives them? They are so worried about protecting what they got they have no possibility of using it in 15 lifetimes…

    Like

    • I know … that is the thing that I don’t understand about hoarding wealth … to what end??? People are starving and these jerks sit in their mansions, eating their steak & lobster, without a care for anyone. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

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