Friday, October 24, 2008

Vote 2008, Part Three: California Proposition 2

I eat meat. I consume eggs and milk. I enjoy honey (but I doubt bees are part of the scope of California Proposition 2). In summary, Prop 2 will ensure the freedom of movement for veal (I eat cows but not baby cows), egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs (which I tend not to eat). I will vote yes on Prop 2, for various reasons:

Philosophically (well, esoterically), the flesh of various animals - the edible parts - are converted into nutrients, which are then involved in the process of creating human cells. Therefore, consumed animals "become human." (And when the gods eat us, we'll kinda-sorta become gods...or godsh*t). Now, it's only right for these animals to be "happy" as animals before they might become "unhappy" as human cells.

Economically, of course, updating of farm equipment will be reflected in the price of meat, eggs, and dairy. According to my voter guide, farms that make less money will pay less taxes to California, which means less state revenue. While these are tough economic times, the cost increase of this proposition will probably happen if/when we ride past this current downturn. In any case, two things may happen if California meat/eggs/dairy gets more expensive: (1) Out-of-state and foreign animal products will be cheaper by comparison, and/or (2) other states will adopt similar laws, which will balance some amount of the price increases (or something like that).

Okay, let's look at (1): Buying non-California animal products, if cheaper, could be an alternative for those stuck in tough economic situations. If it's out of state, well, that's America, too - and it's good to preserve commerce among all the states of the union (unlike the sentiment of a certain Alaska Independence Party spouse who only likes "pro-America" parts of America). Unless it's canned and cured, I don't know of any regular-priced foreign farm meat available in the States. In any case, options are good, and there's a way out if Prop 2 gets pricey for consumers. In this case, though, it will hurt the bottom line of California producers and state government.

If (2) happens, then it would be a better situation for the California farming industry. The dreaded big Federal government could create a nationwide mandate, but those things don't really go over well with about half of the nation. There has been historical resistance when it comes to Federally-protected human rights in some regions of the country, so food-animal rights would be probably be laughable to those same regions (and others). The ideal situation would be a movement of consumers who want ethically-raised animals for food. And then, state by state, various permutations of Prop 2 can infiltrate the nation.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. In conclusion, I'm voting yes on Prop 2.

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