As just about everyone probably knows, most of Oprah's Tuesday show was devoted to reporter Lisa Ling's "How We Treat the Animals We Eat" investigation. I don't have cable, and thought I could watch the episode one way or another but could not, which I feel stupid about. Fortunately friend o'Ethicurean Kerry Trueman over at Eating Liberally has posted, in her usual wryly witty style, a comprehensive account of both the show and several new developments in the humane-animal-treatment world, including what's going on with Proposition 2, a ballot measure in California that seeks to increase cage sizes for chickens, pregnant sows, and veal calves.
Note that Prop. 2 doesn't ban cages, just requires them to allow the animal room to do some terribly luxurious things, like turn around and lie down. What's next, requiring free massages and manicures? Sheesh, these animal-rights people have such bleeding hearts. Big (Bad) Food has been pouring millions into ads lambasting Prop. 2: one of the biggest donors, MoArk, owns Norco Ranch, a factory farm in Riverside County, California, that has been caught on tape brutally abusing its chickens.
Watch the Mercy For Animals video and you'll ask "Where does simple decency begin?" I don't know whether freedom is on the march, but cruel, inhumane confinement is definitely on the run in California.
I couldn't make it through more than a few minutes Mercy for Animals video, which you can see on YouTube. It's that upsetting, and I have a pretty strong stomach for this kind of stuff at this point. Kudos to Oprah and Lisa Ling for making millions of Americans look closer at what they eat, even if as Kerry writes, they did have to bend over backwards to give Big Bad Food equal air time to defend their practices. Here's hoping at least some of them start searching out eggs at farmers markets, or at least spring for organic in the grocery store, and that Californians vote Yes on Prop. 2. Speaking of, I know money's tight right now — god knows I have none — but if you can donate anything to the Yes on Prop. 2 campaign, they could really use help in the final advertising push before the election.
I'll leave you with a much more palatable video about factory farm abuses and Prop. 2, created by the wonderful Free Range Studios, just in case you've yet to see it: