“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Our community cares about animals. From the recent successful and well-attended event to raise money for the Castaic Animal Shelter to our state senator’s efforts to make sure animal abusers receive mental health counseling, the SCV knows that treating animals humanely is a first step toward caring for each other.
Many people take this is a given for our companion animals. We don’t leave our pets behind when disasters strike any more than we would leave our children. Those who make sure our homeless shelters and charities function are often involved with finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs as well. Our Fifth District supervisor offers a lovable dog or cat for adoption at the beginning of board meetings.
So I feel certain our community will want to support Proposition 12 on the November ballot to prevent farm animal cruelty also, especially since so many residents of the Santa Clarita Valley signed or gathered signatures for the successful initiative campaign to get it on the ballot.
In fact, over 600,000 people signed in support at their local farmers market, pet store, veterinary clinic or church, far exceeding the number required to place it on the ballot.
This proposition will prohibit, among other things, cruel confining of farm animals in veal crates and sow pens. Not only will these inhumane practices be eliminated, but also less crowding will reduce the need for overuse of antibiotics and reduce water quality problems created when animals are crowded together. It’s a win for the animals, a win for public health and a win for the environment.
The measure does not make an effort to try to get people to stop eating meat, but rather, its backers felt that if we are going to eat meat, it should be raised humanly. The measure would require more space for animals on farms and forbid the importation of calves raised in veal calf crates and sow pens.
One argument that Sen. Scott Wilk used to support his recent animal abuse law is: “Ninety percent of mass shooting suspects have abused animals in their lives. Nearly half of all school shooters have animal abuse in their past. Seventy-one percent of domestic violence offenders also abused animals at some point. Seventy percent of all our violent prison inmates have animal abuse in their history as well. There is a link here that cannot be denied, and it cannot go unaddressed any longer.”
Surely if this statement applies to abuse of our companion animals, it would also apply to animals we raise for sustenance.
And just as there are many other reasons to ensure animals are treated with kindness besides just not causing another creature pain, there are also many benefits to treating our farm animals more humanely, including benefits to public health and the environment.
You can find out more about this Proposition at Prevent Cruelty California: preventcrueltyca.com
Marilyn Logan is a Valencia resident.