Category Archives: Issues

Time for the Elephants at Woodland Park Zoo

After years of diligent work, the Friends of the Woodland Park Zoo Elephants have still not gotten the zoo to even consider releasing Bamboo, Chai and Watoto to a sanctuary – making it clear that the zoo leadership cares more about revenue than the lives of the elephants themselves.

Elephants are genetically wired to spend up to 20 hours a day roaming across hundreds of miles. At Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) the elephants must share less than a single acre of outdoor space. Depriving Bamboo, Chai and Watoto of adequate space causes them serious mental and physical harm.

In the wild elephants live in tropical and subtropical regions. Seattle’s cold climate forces the elephants indoors for an unacceptable amount of their lives. Bamboo, Chai and Watoto are locked in small barn stalls, barely able to move, for 16 to 17 hours a day for nearly 7 months of the year.

The elephants suffer from painful arthritis and bouts of colic. Chai and Bamboo endure chronic foot infections—the leading cause of death in zoo elephants—caused by lack of space. A complex social life, critical to elephants’ well being, is denied them and Watoto, the lone African elephant, is frequently kept in solitary confinement. All three elephants display neurotic repetitive behavior caused by high levels of stress and boredom—including pacing, swaying, and head bobbing.

Watoto indoors

Finally someone else has taken notice: The Seattle Times has published a story about the lives that these beautiful creatures face behind our bars: http://seattletimes.com/elephants. The article focuses on the horrific attempts for zoos to create more baby elephants, because they create such huge draws of patrons. More than 100 artificial insemination for the two girls. It also shares how zoos “train” these wild creatures.   Please read the piece and share this story with your friend and family who still support zoos so they can understand the cruelty behind their summer visits. Make sure that you and your family all write letters to the zoo asking them to release the elephants and put the elephants lives ahead of profit.

Now is this time. With this very public article,  the tragedy of captive elephants is revealed, but the zoo must hear from us too. They must become stewards of compassion for animals. Please:

Write to:  Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N. 59th Street, Seattle, WA  98103

Email: woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org and zooinfo@zoo.org

Address letters to:
Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
Bruce Bohmke, Chief Operations Officer
Jamie Creola, VIce President of Education
Dr. Darin Collins, Director of Animal Health
Dr. Nancy Hawkes, General Curator
Valerie Krueger, Director of Finance
David Schaefer, Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Gigi Allianic, Media and Public Relations

Thank you for taking time out of your weekend to make a difference!

When Charitable Giving Isn’t Charitable

During the holiday season, it is popular to give charitable gifts in someone else’s name, particularly if the recipient has made it clear they don’t want material presents. This is also the time when charities solicit year-end tax-deductible donations. Heifer International, MercyCorps, Oxfam, World Vision and similar charities are popular because they pitch that you can combat hunger in desperate areas, such as Afghanistan or Sudan, by donating money which they will use to ship live animals such as cows, goats, donkeys, or chickens to families living in those regions for them to raise for milk and meat.

But such programs aren’t charitable for the animals, and in many cases, for the families either; if a family is struggling to provide for themselves, how can they ensure adequate nutrition, conditions, and care for their animals? It is a near-sighted attempt to solve the vastly complex problem of global hunger that poses substantial risk for the animals, the environment, and the people for which these programs advertise that they help; the World Land Trust calls animal-donation programs “environmentally unsound and economically disastrous.”

First, the animals have to survive the initial transport. Animals are bred and raised in large-scale farms throughout the world operated by the charities, and then shipped out. Baby chicks and other young animals are shipped overseas as airmail or cargo. In addition to the long hours or days of flight, these animals may be in planes at various terminals for hours without food or water. Countless animals arrive sick and dead. Northwest Airlines reports that up to 30% of chicks arrive dead in just in domestic flights; one can only surmise the number is much higher after international flights. Chicks are characterized as “easy to transport,” because they are small, inhumanely packed in boxes, airmailed at the cheapest rate, and shipped in huge numbers.


Baby chicks being shipped by mail

Non-native animals introduced to fragile habitats, where the animals have larger or different appetites from indigenous species, will overtax the vegetation or simply starve. Grazing animals cause topsoil runoff and land degradation, which can contribute to drought conditions. Arid conditions cannot support animals like cows, descended from forest-dwelling species, who require large amounts of water. Increasing the reliance on animals raised as livestock for sustenance can have disastrous results, as the recent famine in the Horn of Africa has shown.

People living in impoverished communities hardly have enough food, water, and land for themselves, let alone for animals. Having another mouth to feed adds to a family’s burden, and the animals often suffer from horrible neglect, malnutrition, dehydration, and lack of shelter from the burning midday sun or night-time freezing temperatures. Animals already in impoverished areas are sick and dying for lack of veterinary care and treatment. There is a desperate need for more veterinary services, not for more animals to tend, feed and care for. Some recipients of animals never asked for one and complain about the economic and environmental havoc such an animal creates. Much of the grain intended for families end up having to support the animals. After a couple years on such a program, some families report back having been even poorer than when they started.


Goats, a popular animal for donation, tend to overgraze and destroy fragile native vegetation (Heifer International promo photo)

Animal-based agriculture taxes and misuses land and resources already stretched thin, promotes high-fat Western diets over indigenous diets heavy in grains and vegetables, and jeopardizes human and animal health by inviting diseases like Avian flu. Delivering animals used for dairy enterprises into rural areas that have no refrigeration, electricity, or passable roads to get milk to markets, to serve populations that are lactose-intolerant are misguided at best. Taking animals from their mothers, shipping them thousands of miles into inhospitable regions with no animal-welfare standards, restricting and exploiting them for dairy products, forcing extended suffering due to illness and injury, and ultimately slaughtering them (often times with rusty or dull knives) does not fit in the spirit of compassion and charity of the holiday season.


Dairy cow in a region where up to 90% of the population are lactose intolerant (Heifer International promo photo)

Global hunger is a problem that cannot be solved by well-intentioned donations of animals which often end up doing more harm than good. This holiday season, if you truly want to help the people in countries suffering from drought, natural disasters, poverty, and war, please instead consider supporting sustainable, animal-friendly relief organizations that work to end hunger, help communities set up local sustainable food projects, re-establish arable land, and provide direct aid. Food For Life Global provides food distribution of plant-based meals all across the world, The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation strategically plants orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, VEGFAM funds self-supporting, sustainable food projects and the provision of safe drinking water as well as emergency relief, Sustainable Harvest International addresses the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing farmers with sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture, and Feed My Starving Children ships out hand-packed meals developed specifically for malnourished children. Also Kiva creates entrepreneurial opportunities through micro-lending to help people world-wide work their way out of poverty.

This year, make the gift of giving charitable for people, the environment, and the animals.

This post was originally published in I ♥ AR on December 21, 2011 and is reproduced with permission.

We Need Your Vegan Holiday Recipes

Attention all vegan cookers, bakers, chefs, and recipe hounds! We need your amazing recipes for the 2012 annual holiday recipe hand out!

Each year we distribute vegan information, restaurant guides, and vegan holiday recipes to the greater Seattle community. Believe it or not, many people still say that they don’t know what to cook to make their holiday tables cruelty-free – and we just can’t have that, can we?

Join in the fun! Submit your holiday recipe to Rachel by Friday November 16, 2012. The best recipes will be included in the guide AND the author will get a gift certificate to Vegan Haven! (If you have a blog, we’ll include the URL so more folks find your delicious cooking ideas and recipes).

Vegan Table

Tips: 1. Keep is simple with a short list of ingredients. 2. Recipe should be a somewhat traditional  holiday (Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.) dish – but don’t be afraid to add a modern twist. 3. Make sure the ingredients are easy to procure without going to specialty stores so our friends that don’t live near Sidecar can still whip up something delicious.

We need a variety of recipes from main dishes, salads, and breads, to sides and drinks, and of course, special deserts – so send those recipes in ASAP and use your vegan cooking skills to spread compassion this holiday season.

Deadline: Nov 16, 2012
Submit:  email Rachel of NARN (Rachel{at}narn.org

But even better – if you want to help hand out vegan information, we’d love your help. We need lots of volunteers. Did you know that leafleting is one of the easiest ways to multiply the impact of the help you do for animals by being vegan? Imagine if just one person chose to go vegan after receiving information from you. That is double your impact. But you could triple or quadruple your veganism! We all had to learn somewhere.

Where is your veganism headed?

We’ve noticed that there are many phases or “faces” of veganism. They aren’t in the same order for everyone, but maybe you recognize yourself in some of these. They can last for 10  days or for 10 years. Sometimes all at once.

  1. I’m vegan! I’m my family thinks I am a freak and I want to be loved so I pretty much never mention it to my grandma, and I downplay any inconveniences and never talk about how others hurt animals around people who aren’t vegan. I don’t use the world vegan often and nobody at my work probably even knows. Veganism is a personal, private choice.
  2. I’m vegan and I want some comfort food! I try to make or eat everything that is labeled vegan. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t eaten a real vegetable in weeks. And I go out to eat with my friends many times a week just to be with like minded people and eat vegan waffles and gravy and cake. Why isn’t everyone vegan? The food is so amazing!
    Redwood Vegan Biscuits and Gravy
    Vegan biscuit, potatoes, sausage from Redwood Sunday brunch. 

  3. I’m vegan and I want omnivores to know that vegans aren’t freaks, and I’m normal, so everyone should know that I am vegan. I’ve got vegan pride. So I talk about how good vegan food is to anyone who will listen. And I tell my co-workers how good it feels to be vegan. And I make vegan food for my family, friends, and anyone who will eat my food and let sing vegan praises. I invite others out to dinner. I eat healthy so that I can be a good vegan role model. I rarely mention the animals at all. Just food. And I do everything else normal so vegans aren’t so scary.
  4. I’m vegan but all of the animal suffering around me still makes me incredibly sad. I want others to discover how easy it is to be vegan. Someone influenced me once, so maybe I can influence others? How can I be supportive and encouraging while also telling the hard truth about how animals suffer in factory farms, laboratories, fur farms, zoos, circuses, and beyond?  I’ll do some vegan outreach at the Fremont Fair. I want a vegan world! Veganism is political!
    Seattle Tilth Fair Sept 8, 2012 - Rachel and Anika
    NARN Board Members doing vegan outreach at the Tilth Festival this summer. 

  5. I’m vegan and I want to help animals right now. I don’t need to fit in anymore. Animals are suffering this very moment and I can’t turn away. I can’t forget them. I want to make a difference. When history is on our side, I want to say that I spoke out. That I made a fuss. That I didn’t let let suffering and tyranny run rampant on my watch. That I tried to do something with my time and talents.

Recognize any of this? Board member Pete is fond of the  slogan: “Silent = Consent.” We don’t consent to the horrors that are perpetrated in the name of human desires. We won’t be silent. Board member Anika’s favorite quote is “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” –  Elie Wiesel. She likes it because it admits that she sometimes feel powerless – but that even if that is the case, she should still speak out against injustice.

If you are feeling more and more inclined to speak out against the ways we torture and needlessly kill animals, NARN is here to support you. We can help you follow your passions, join with others, and make a difference in the lives of animals today. Just email us at info@narn.org.

 

Primate Lib Week 2012: Kick-Off and Letter Writing Party

“We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  ―    Elie Wiesel

As you know, Oct 6-14, 2012 is National Primate Liberation week. While we aren’t excited that researchers continue to abuse and exploit our close cousins in the name of human health, we are excited to get together to talk about what we can do for these monkeys and future generations of primates.

We plan to kick-off the week  with a great social and information sharing event and letter writing party. If you are vegan and have been thinking of getting more involved, this is the ideal gathering to learn more about NARN and what is possible when a group of people get together to make a difference.

letterforblog

The current president of NARN will speak about what type of primate experiments and financial support come into the NW and we’ll have other guests as well. We’ll also show a trailer for the upcoming documentary screening of Maximum Tolerated Dose, which will screen on Monday evening. Vegan snacks and treats will abound – Violet Sweet Shoppe is even donating some vegan sweets.

NARN will provide some sample letters designed for: a) UW Leaders and Policy Makers b) Those Currently Involved in Primate Research, c) other academics and professors at the UW who would be willing to open up the conversation with their students and colleagues and d) press and media. We will have physical paper and envelopes, and some old stationary and cards too. We can be creative and serious about our cause at the same time.  Children are welcome – as long as they are old enough (or young enough) to see photos of animals in cages and hear open discussion about why it matters. There won’t be anything specifically gory, but use your best discretion. Their letters may end up being some of the most influential.

Bring your laptop if you have one! We have more than 30 different people to write – sending emails and typing is much faster – even if less fun. We’ll have sample letters on a memory stick for you to take and modify – adding your own voice and ideas.

And remember: For every single letter or email that you you write, you’ll be entered into the drawing for this amazing vintage Animal Rights shirt commemorating the liberation of an infant rhesus monkey, not unlike the many infant monkeys that suffer in UW labs today. For more information about the activities for the week RSVP on the Facebook Event Page and for more information about the experiments and abuses in UW labs visit uwkills.wordpress.com.

See you Sunday!

5:30 PM
University Friends Meeting Hall
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle

Free parking, bike racks (and right off the Burke-Gilman trail), and on many bus lines!

 

National Primate Liberation Week: Win a Vintage 1985 Animal Rights Shirt

OK Animal lovers. We you know are you are getting ready to attend some of the National Primate Liberation Week events that we have in store for you. But to make coming out even more fun and rewarding, NARN is giving away an extremely rare and special t-shirt.

DSC04050

This T-shirt, only worn once for this photo session, commemorates the liberation of Britches from a California lab in 1985 by the ALF. Britches story is inspiring and special – and reminds us of the real lives behind the laboratory cages. If you aren’t familiar with Britches, check out the 10 minute mini-movie made about his story and his rescue. The t-shirt is bright white and an XL, so it can be made to fit most sizes either as-is, or with tailoring. Could be made into a patch, or tank, or something else cool too.

Britches Tshirt

How to enter the drawing? Each event that you attend during National Primate Liberation week (kick-off, movie, UW protest, postering, etc) you’ll be entered. And bonus: for every letter you write at the kick-off event, Sunday Oct 7, you’ll be entered too! Please share this awesome drawing with all your vegan and animal loving friends too. We can’t wait to run into someone in Seattle wearing this shirt!

Film Screening: Maximum Tolerated Dose

Maxium Tolerated Dose Movie Poster

 

As part of National Primate Liberation Week, NARN and Seattle ADL will be bringing you a screening of the moving new documentary film, Maximum Tolerated Dose. Equal parts found-footage mash-up, verité investigation, and artful meditation, the film charts the lives of both humans and non-humans who have experienced animal testing first-hand, with hauntingly honest testimony of scientists and lab technicians whose ethics demanded they choose a different path, as well as the simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of animals who have seen both sides of the cage. This film will help us re-ignite the debate about animal testing by bringing these rarely-heard perspectives to the fore.

Please check out the film trailer.

This free event is your opportunity to learn more about animal experimentation in the medical industry, think about the primates and other non-human animals in laboratories right here in our city, and most importantly, invite friends and family who haven’t thought twice about this issue. This meaningful and thoughtful film will leave you inspired by the honest and open conversations about what happens in laboratories. We may even have a special guest speaker! This is not an event to miss

Monday, Oct 8, 2012
7:30-9:30 PM
FREE
Odd Duck Studio – Capitol Hill
1214 10th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 (near Union and 10th)

 

Bonus: As with all of the National Primate Liberation Week activities, every person who attends this screening will be entered into the drawing for the mega awesome vintage 1985 Animal Rights t-shirt showing the story of Britches, the famous baby macaque monkey rescued by the ALF.

See you there!

 

Help Keep Circus Cruelty Out of the NW

Humans have a great capacity for compassion and for cruelty – but most people, when given all of the information, opt for compassion. We know that circuses that use living animals as entertainment are some of cruelest behind the scenes while wooing families with the prospect of happy dancing elephants and tigers jumping through hoops. Most people who attend the circus never imagine the horrors that go on for the sake of breaking these wild creatures. They don’t know that there are real individuals that suffer in these horrific, surreal traveling prisons – beaten to conform, forced to perform, chained and caged for most of their lives.

Many nations (Ireland, India, Sweden, Singapore, Austria, Finland, Costa Rica, and more) around the world have already banned animal circuses – as have many major cities, including Redmond, WA. But alas, Ringling Bros. Circus is coming to Everett, Tacoma, and Kent August 17-Sept 3, 2012. And thousands of unassuming patrons will be dolling out dollars to one of the worst animal abusers.

These creatures need us to come out this month and speak on their behalf. They need us to raise our voices even tho’ they can’t. They need us in numbers to share what we know with circus-goers so that people walk away and reject the cruelty behind the training.

So this is our call: Don’t stay home. When you are with others who care, and when you see what a difference just speaking out can do, you’ll be proud. For each city that bans circuses, for every family that ops not to buy a ticket, these animals and their future offspring get closer to sanctuaries. The money for the exotic animal trade dries up. This process of saying “no” to circuses and telling potential circus goers about the reality behind the myth is the only way to make it stop.

Join us:

TACOMA
Friday 8/17  6:00 – 7:30pm
Saturday 8/18 10:00am – 11:30am; 2:00pm – 3:30pm; 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Sunday 8/19 11:30 – 1:00pm; 3:30 – 5:00pm
{More Tacoma Protest Info}

EVERETT
Thursday 8/23 6:00 – 7:30pm
Friday 8/24 6:00 – 7:30pm
Saturday 8/25 10:00am – 11:30am; 2:00pm – 3:30pm; 6:00pm – 7:30p
Sunday 8/26 11:30am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 5:00pm
{More Everett Protest Info}

KENT
Friday 8/31  6p – 7:30pm
Saturday 9/1  10am – 11:30am; 2pm – 3:30pm; and 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Sunday 9/2: 11:30am – 1:00pm; 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Monday 9/3: 10:30am – 12:00pm; 2:30pm – 4:00pm
{More Kent Protest Info}

From Pig Farm to Pig Sanctuary: One Farmer's Story

(originally published in the Taipei Times)

Lo Hung-hsien feeds his pigs at his farm in New Taipei City

A hog farmer from New Taipei City’s Linkou District has transformed his farm into a real-life “piggy paradise” where pigs are not raised for meat, after he was struck by the woeful eyes of a piglet which was going to be slaughtered.

“Animals are our friends, not our food,” said 34-year-old Lo Hung-hsien, the owner of the pig sanctuary, who is also a vegetarianism advocate and a part-time volunteer.

In an effort to cover the huge overhead costs of managing the non-profitable ranch, Lo holds down multiple jobs, including working as a cargo driver, setting up temporary stalls at night markets and running an online business selling dumplings. Aside from his salaried jobs, Lo also squeezes in time for his advocacy work to promote the benefits of a vegetarian diet, volunteer at schools and give free speeches at the Tzu Chi Foundation.

Exhausting all his hard-earned money on raising his family and “piggy friends,” Lo said that despite all the criticism he has received for his decision to change how the farm was managed, he will still hold on to his beliefs even if it left him penniless.

Before his change of heart, Lo said that he had been a profit-driven pig farmer who inherited his family’s large-scale, lucrative farming business from his grandfather. Lo said that at the business’ peak, his farm could accommodate 500 pigs and raked in substantial revenue that was far more than he could spend.

Recalling the moment that transformed him from a moneymaking pig farmer to a vegetarian who regarded his farm animals as close companions, Lo said it was a piglet that was about to be butchered that changed his perception of pig farming. Lo said that at the time, a staff member from a slaughterhouse had gone to his farm to single out a few hogs, prompting the terrified animals to start wailing.

“Except for one piglet, which abruptly quieted down when I took it in my hands and then it looked me right in the eyes, as if saying: ‘How could you do this to me?’ That look in its eyes shattered me and kept me awake all night,” Lo said. “It was then that I resolved to convert to vegetarianism and cut off cooperation with any butcheries,” he said.

Over the past few years, only forty out of the hundreds of hogs survive, while the rest have succumbed to old age or disease, but Lo still spares no effort in attending to his pig companions. Lo starts his day at 4am each morning, driving to a number of vegetarian restaurants to collect their leftovers, which are first cooked before being fed to his treasured pets. Afterward, Lo cleans up the pigpens and washes and plays with the hogs attentively, as if they were his children.

He has also sprayed the slogan “animals are our friends, not our food” on his truck because he wants to spread the seeds of his beliefs wherever he goes.

Tell Congress to Stop the Rotten Egg Bill

[UPDATE: On June 18, 2012, this bill was struck down in the Senate, so for now, it is off the table]

On January 23rd, a bill was introduced to the 112th Congress that aims to establish a national standard of welfare for egg-laying hens. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 attempts for the first time to codify housing and treatment standards for chickens raised for egg production on a federal level. This bill was written collaboratively by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP), an industry trade group representing farmers and companies involved with egg production, marketing, and selling.

After careful consideration of this bill, we at NARN had in the beginning of February taken the official position in opposition to it. We had found the bill as it is currently written very troubling. It codifies the use of cages, and would deny state legislatures the ability to enact laws to outlaw cages or otherwise regulate egg factory conditions, deprive voters of the right and ability to pass ballot measures banning cages, and nullify existing state laws that ban or restrict battery cages (including California’s Proposition 2).

In this bill, the egg industry merely agrees to slowly – at the glacial pace of 15 to 18 years – continue the meager changes in battery cage conditions that are already occurring due to state laws and public pressure. This bill will establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. Rather than being “a step in the right direction,” this bill is a dead-end for the future of hens kept for egg-production. This bill would keep hens forever suffering in small cages, where they could never engage in the many natural behaviors essential for their most basic health and well being.

Hens in so-called "colony cages"

While many animal advocacy groups are in support of this bill, we are among growing number of other groups and activists who see as problematic the collaboration with an industry that views living sentient beings as mere commodities to be used and abused for economic gain. We do not agree that industry should be allowed to write their own rules and regulations.

Please contact your members of Congress to stop industry from writing their own rules and circumventing the progress being made to ban the use of cages. Our state laws and voting rights must not be given away.

If you live in Washington State, contact your Representative in your district to oppose H.R. 3798 and contact your Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to oppose S.B. 3239 (Those outside of Washington state can use the following links to find their Senators and House Representatives).

“Colony cages", that this bill would codify, allows around 8 hens to be crowded into a cage the size of a file cabinet drawer.

Statement from United Poultry Concerns (UPC):

It is incorrect to say that the proposed federal legislation would eliminate battery cages. Batteries consist of rows and tiers of identical units; in this case the units are cages. The proposed legislation will enshrine battery cages, not eliminate them. Egg-laying hens will be locked inside windowless buildings, crammed in cages stacked from the floor and lined up in long rows, just as they are now. Tiny furnishings, including plastic strips, falsely called “nests,” are being prettified as “colonies” and “enrichments.” This vocabulary makes people feel good, but it is bad for birds whose legs and wings are designed to run, walk, perch and be physically active, not rot in cages.

After decades of humane efforts in the US and Europe to get hens out of cages, a law that ensures they’ll never get out is being hailed as a victory for hens and “animal rights.” But it isn’t. If people knew the truth of the egg industry and how hens are actually treated behind the scenes, they would be sickened. We do not need to eat their eggs to be healthy.

Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns

A Veterinarian’s Perspective on The Rotten Egg Bill

Battery cages are the most unhealthful and distressing means of keeping hens for egg production. Disease conditions such as “cage layer fatigue” and bone fractures due to lack of exercise are major medical issues and are associated with physical pain and suffering.

These are due largely to a lack of meaningful exercise such as flying and running. Depriving hens of important behaviors such as dust bathing or perching well above floor level, a quiet place to lay eggs, proper and adequate exercise, and the opportunity to form social groups of their choosing all have a major negative impact on their quality of life.

The increase in cage size dictated by the proposed legislation, unfortunately, will have no meaningful positive impact on these issues. Hens will still not be able to get proper exercise, they still will be too crowded to even properly stretch their wings, perches will be at an ineffectual height, and nest boxes will not be conducive to the needs for laying eggs.

What the proposed legislation will do, however, is keep the confinement of hens in cages legal, something that no humane-minded individual should accept.

The cages defined by the legislation will in no meaningful way reduce the unimaginable suffering endured by the hens but will be used by the industry as a means of defending this indefensible practice.

Even if this legislation passes without amendments, the situation would be worse for the hens because it would be setting a disastrous precedent; battery cages would be codified in federal law.

I urge people not to support this legislation: it is intolerable for the hens and will be obstructive to getting any meaningful reform in the future. The only tolerable “step in the right direction” is to insist on getting rid of the cages entirely.

Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine, University of California

Further information about the bill can be found here.