On Monday, AllenStrategic, representing the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association (PEPA), a regional nonprofit agricultural trade association, stated that an animal rights group out of Washington, D.C., is attempting to mislead the California public about farming practices in that state while trying to take away Californians’ rights to make their own grocery-buying choices.
A proposed initiative being petitioned for by the animal rights activists would effectively define and then micromanage alternate farm production methods for California egg farmers, methods the validity of which have not been scientifically proved according to PEPA.
“The modern production practices that California farmers use today help ensure California consumers some of the freshest, safest, cleanest eggs in the world. ((They are)) considered humane and ethical by the leading independent scientific experts on animal welfare and behavior. All farms that follow those strict guidelines are inspected each year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the independent testing company Validus…The practical effect of the animal rights activists’ proposal would be to double California retail egg prices -increasing California consumers’ grocery bills by tens of millions of dollars each year…Outside activists should not dictate or hijack consumer choice to advance their own political agenda,” said Gary West, a California egg producer and incoming chairman of the national industry association that represents U.S. egg farmers.
Animal rights activists and egg-farm critics claim that in the modern world of the mega farm, every egg sold in our grocery stores today is produced by a hen that is severely confined within a wire battery cage averaging less than 7 x 7 feet in space. The hens can barely move and cannot even flap their wings or engage in other natural, instinctive behaviors because of their “imprisonment”.
They go on to claim that many industry experts agree on the idea that battery cage confinement leads to both animal rights and consumer health violations, so much so that some European countries have banned the system entirely, with barren battery cages to be phased out of the European Union entirely by 2012.
Although some vegetarians eat eggs, many who have taken up the vegan eating philosophy oppose the eating of eggs because to them it is almost as bad as eating meat. They claim that the egg farmers are as “morally bankrupt” as the meat producers, and that they lie about their “humane” treatment of their animals while they abuse them out of every egg they can get from them.
Earlier this year, the fast food restaurant franchise Burger King committed to buying its eggs and its pork products from farmers that do not keep their producer animals confined to cages or crates.
AllenStrategic (PR Newswire), “California Egg Producers Advocate for the Protection of Consumer Choice”