Some want to limit a few of your favorite
noodles is one of Maria’s “favorite things” in the musical, The Sound of Music. Some of your favorite things might be sausage and eggs
on a Sunday morning, or roast turkey with gravy and buttery mashed potatoes on
Of course, there are people who have
different tastes. They prefer not to eat meat, or they go even further and swear
off eggs and dairy products as well. Hey, it’s a free country. Vegetarians and
vegans have good intentions, and they give farmers another market segment to
You would never shove meat, eggs and
dairy products down someone’s throat if that’s not what they like to eat. But
there are people who want to take away your choice to eat what you like. Don’t
believe it? Then hold on to your bacon.
Ballot initiatives against common, modern
livestock production methods, launched under the guise of caring about how
animals are treated, are aimed at driving up the cost and complexity of raising
farm animals to the point where a farmer can’t make any money.
So far, initiatives have passed in
Florida, Arizona and California to ban certain types of animal housing. As a
result, two hog farms that existed in Florida before the ballot initiative have
since closed. A university study says there probably won’t be any egg production
left in California after Proposition 2 goes into effect. That initiative passed
last November and banned the type of poultry cages used on most egg farms. The
next ballot campaign could be in your state.
By the way, most farm animals are treated
very well. A lot of country folks grew up in drafty old houses, where the
bedrooms got frosty at night. The animals on many modern farms snooze
comfortably in state-of-the-art, climate-controlled facilities.
While some have a problem with the fact
that a lot of farm animals are “confined,” or raised indoors, that production
practice puts a roof over the animals’ heads and protects them from the harsh
elements and predators.
Some don’t like that animals are
sometimes housed in individual pens. If you were living next to a sow with an
attitude, you would probably be glad if her pen kept her from kicking and biting
you. If there was a sick hog in the barn, you’d be glad the farmer could keep
him away from you so you wouldn’t get sick, too.
If you enjoy your meat and potatoes, your
spaghetti with meatballs and your schnitzel with noodles, here’s what you can
do. Farmers, tell your friends and neighbors and anyone else who will listen
about all the things you do to take excellent care of your animals. Consumers,
be aware that there is a movement afoot to limit your food choices – to make it
more expensive or difficult for you to have some of your favorite things.
If this article made you hungry, go eat a
hamburger (while you still can). And if you want a more accurate picture of how
farmers care for their animals, visit the Web site www.conversationsoncare.com.