Yglesias Award Nominee

“There is an animal-welfare bill on New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s desk right now, S998, which pigspassed both the Senate and the Assembly with strong bipartisan support. The bill would ban the use in New Jersey of so-called gestation crates, the metal stalls, 2 feet wide by 7 feet long, that confine more than 80 percent of pregnant pigs in the United States. The National Pork Producers Council opposes S998, because it opposes any legislation that might constrain animal agriculture. The group’s communications director belittled animal-welfare concerns, telling a journalist, “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets. . . . I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.”

Most of us are not so dismissive where cruelty to animals is at issue, which is why the bill is supported by 93 percent of New Jersey voters, including 94 percent of Democrats and 92 percent of Republicans. It’s hard to imagine a more popular piece of legislation … It’s not just animal science that is offended by the crates — so is basic morality. In short, forcing pigs to spend their lives in such conditions violates elementary principles of decency, compassion, and mercy … The bill on Governor Christie’s desk right now is a common-sense measure that merely requires that pigs in New Jersey be able to lie down when they wish and turn around comfortably. Surely, that’s the least we as a society can provide them,” – Bruce Friedrich, National Review.

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