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Show mercy 

Los Alamos

This Nov. 4, Proposition 2, Standards for Confining Farm Animals, will ask Californians for a decision on how animals raised for food should be treated. Many of these animals are egg-laying hens confined in battery cages. Proposition 2 simply asks that these animals—along with breeding pigs and veal calves—have enough space to stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs.

California factory farms pack millions of hens into small cages—enclosures so restrictive, the birds can barely move. Tightly crated calves are tethered by the neck. Confined pigs bite the metal bars of their crates.

We wouldn’t force our pets to live miserably in filthy, cramped cages their whole lives farm animals shouldn’t suffer, either. Even animals raised for food deserve humane treatment.

Can stuffing millions of birds into tiny cages be healthy? Studies show that overcrowding increases the risk of salmonella and other food-borne diseases. The Consumer Federation of America, endorsing Proposition 2, reminds us, “Unsafe food is never a bargain.”

The United Farm Workers and Family Farm Defenders—and more than 100 California farms—have endorsed the measure. I urge you to vote yes on Proposition 2. Let California become a model for raising farm animals in a humane, healthy way.

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