I was going to write a well-reasoned, journalistically sound, philosophically adept (and adroit), not to mention incredibly convincing post about why everyone in California should do as I'm doing: Voting Yes On Proposition 2.
However, to do so would require that I carefully consider the opposition's point of view. This I cannot do. I know what they're saying; it just pisses me off so much that I tend to start flailing about and screeching obscenities.
Okay, let me see if I can calm down a tad. But first, an illustration:
Proposition 2 is the "standards for confining farm animals" initiative. It's basic tenet is that cows raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be kept in cages that allow them to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. That means that right now, these animals are being kept in cages that restrict their movements.
Like that pig above, the one with a bunch of piglets feeding at her. Here, have another look:See those bars. Their purpose is to stop the sow from standing up. Because she might step on one of her wiggly little piglets. And that would be very bad for the economy, because that piglet is MONEY IN THE BANK FOR THE PIG FARMER. Not to mention cheaper bacon and pork chops in the stomachs of American consumers. When I queried the UC Davis vet techs at the State Fair where I took these photos, they seemed quite proud of this contraption. Before someone came up with this pig prison cell, you have no idea how many wiggly piglets were lost to mommy-stomping.
I am voting YES on Prop 2 because I am absolutely certain that our humanity, and therefore our success as a nation, is tied to the way we treat animals. The connection between violence to animals and violence to humans is well-established. We're understanding that where our family pets are involved, but farm animals? Nope. Why bother about some dumb animals. Dumb doesn't mean stupid here; that phrase is using the archaic word for inability to speak. Those pigs can't cry or complain. Animals can't communicate in our language so we feel quite comfortable in doing with them as we wish. Until recently we did the same to human infants. Since they were pre-verbal and thus assumed to be without memory, we performed surgery on them without anesthetic. Now we know better. The inability to communicate in spoken language does not equal the inability to think, to feel, to need, to want.
Okay, now I'm going to be calm and speak to the opposition's arguments: I can't. They have everything to do with food production and food prices and California's egg industry. Frankly, my dear, I give a shit about any of that. I'm far more concerned with the production of our morality, of working to recreate an America that is not the font of corrupt capitalism (hello, Wall Street..hi there, sub-prime mortgages).
There is no question that this election is a watershed one for us as a nation. We have the chance to return to being a people of hope and promise, to be the country the Founders imagined when they saw this land as the City on the Hill. Vote to give us back our humanity.
Do it for this pregnant pig.