Is Proposition 12 Really a Victory for the Animals?
Earlier this month you may have heard about the passage of Proposition 12 (aka the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative), a California law that makes it illegal for hens, sows (mother pigs), and veal calves to be confined in what the state calls “a cruel manner.” It also prohibits the in-state sale of products from caged animals raised out-of-state.
But is the passage of Prop 12 really the victory it’s being touted as? When we examine that question, we must do so from the victim’s perspective. Does having a few more inches of room before being sent to slaughter sound like a win? When you view it from the animals’ point of view, Prop 12 is a loss.
Because countless hours of activist time spent gathering ballot signatures could have been spent advocating for animal rights and vegan outreach, implementing in meaningful long-lasting ways the concept of abolition. The $16 million spent on lobbying to change laws which are nearly impossible to enforce could have been spent persuading those who eat animals to see them as individuals who shouldn’t be used to begin with. This is simply a diversion from the only goal that matters to the animals: abolition. (See PETA’s investigation into a Prop 12 compliant egg farm)
Laws like Prop 12 are welfare-based. They do not confront consumers with the truth that gestation crate-free pork and cage-free eggs are not humane in any sense of the word. Animal welfare reforms keep compassionate people comfortable as they buy animal-based products. This is exactly what the meat, dairy, and egg industries want. They need people to feel good about using animals.
When well-meaning activists spend their limited time and resources on lobbying for a right way to do the wrong thing, it’s asking for less than what the animals want, need, and deserve. Welfare reforms have not ended animal use, but rather, has slowed the progress of animal rights.
The Animal Rights Coalition is an abolitionist organization. Protesting the use of animals, sharing alternatives to using animals, and educating the public about the myths surrounding so-called humane farming is our goal. We invite activists to join us in making meaningful strides towards animal liberation. This isn’t about changing a habit. It’s about re-setting a moral baseline: animals are not ours to use. There is no right way to do the wrong thing.