are ballot initiatives?
In Florida, citizens enjoy the right to amend the state constitution
by introducing ballot initiatives. The initiative
process was set up to allow citizens to band together and
make direct change if their elected representatives refuse to
do so. Unlike other states, Florida does not allow citizens to
propose and approve state laws (statutory initiatives).
has been the effect of the 2002 vote to prohibit gestation crates?
Shortly after the vote, two large pig farms in Florida chose to
go out of business rather than provide pregnant pigs with enough
room to turn around!
ban on gestation crates has worked to discourage the industrial
farming of pigs in Florida, helping animals and protecting our
environment. Unlike Florida, neighboring states Georgia and Alabama
each have dozens of industrial pig farms (there are an estimated
250,000 pigs in factory farms in Georgia).
vote sent a powerful message to the pork industry, and motivated
animal welfare advocates across the country. Since 2002, eight
states have followed Florida in banning gestation crates. The
intensive confinement of pregnant pigs was banned in 2006 in Arizona
after a ballot initiative effort. In 2007, the governor of Oregon
signed a measure prohibiting gestation crates. In 2008, Colorado's
governor signed into state law a ban on gestation crates and Californians overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative. In 2009, new laws were enacted in Maine and Michigan which will prohibit gestation crates. Ohio followed suit in 2010 and Rhode Island in 2012.
outcry has also encouraged U.S. companies to put greater emphasis
on animal welfare. In early 2007, the nation’s largest pork
producer, Smithfield Foods, announced plans to phase out gestation
crates at their pig farms over the next decade. In April 2007,
another leading pork producer, Cargill, announced that it is also
phasing out the gestation crate. In 2007, Burger King and Wendy’s
began purchasing pork from producers that don’t confine
pigs in gestation crates.
this mean that pork can be “humane”?
The switch from gestation crates to group housing, where female
pigs can stretch their legs and socialize is a significant welfare
improvement. But even without gestation crates, modern pig farms
remain bleak places where pigs never breathe fresh air, feel sunlight
or step foot in the outdoors. Pigs are intelligent, active and
best way to help the approximately 100 million pigs who are raised
and slaughtered in the U.S. every year is to become vegetarian.