Let’s Put an End to Extreme Confinement

1,000 volunteers mobilized in a period of six weeks to gather signatures for the issue of ending extreme confinement for egg-laying hens. The government said that if we got 35,000 signatures, which meant that we’d have to get 65,000 to allow for vetting, then it would be put on the ballot.

Every single signature had to be validated. That means that electronic petitions were not acceptable. Each person who signed had to be a voter and their addresses were checked. The only way to get that information was to ask, face to face. I was one of those people who drove up to Massachusetts when I could, standing outside of Walmart and gas stations, to get the signatures. Every person I spoke with happily signed. Most people do have compassion.

batthens05_300_1We crushed the numbers. We got 133,000 signatures. Now it is on the November ballot.

I came across an article this morning with some folks saying that because cage-free conditions would mean an extra 1 to 2 cents per egg, they disagreed with it. I’m astounded. One person’s justification was that they are poor.

The irony is that eating eggs is very unhealthy. There’s a humungous amount of research that shows that the cholesterol in eggs are a significant contributor to heart problems, and many other diseases (Read Michael Greger’s How Not to Die for 100 pages of references on this). The cost of medical care far outweighs the 24 cents they would pay buying a dozen eggs.

It is surprising that despite a lack of longer term thinking, many people hold onto old habits of eating regardless of their harmful effects. We have so many affordable choices available to us, but there are some people who stubbornly defend their old ways even if it means inflicting life-long harm to innocent beings.

As a relatively new vegan, I can assure you that I don’t miss eggs. Yes, I get lots of protein without them, and my cholesterol is back in the normal range, too. To those voters in Massachusetts, I ask you to please let your conscience be your guide. You won’t lose anything and you’ll help us reduce the needless suffering of innocent hens.




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