Free the chickens initiative another round of political insanity

California’s lawmaking by ballot initiative has created more than a few ludicrous and onerous regulations.

According to the pollsters, Californians are about to once again move to regulatory insanity. Prop. 2, according to the polls, will likely pass.

Prop. 2 is one in a string of ballot initiatives on the Nov. 4 ballot that cover such mundane issues as abortion, drugs, and same-sex marriage.

Prop. 2 is called the chicken bill of rights proposition. It wants to make it a law that people who raise chickens, calves for veal, or pork allow these animals to “lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely” as if they don’t now. Confinement of animals for food must be humane now or they would not produce food.

Arizona voters were hoodwinked into voting to approve a similar animal rights ballot measure sponsored by the same folks sponsoring the California ballot initiative, the Humane Society and several other radical groups.

Fresno television stations have been devoid of hype pro or con about Prop. 2, so I thought Californians might not follow Arizona’s example if there was no one pushing the radical agenda. Wrong again.

I am writing this commentary in Anaheim, Calif., while attending the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) conference at Disneyland.

Southern California television stations are awash with the most distorted message about Prop. 2 you can imagine; grainy, black and white photos of sick and dying chickens and calves, compared to cute little pigs and chickens held by children. After I saw the first commercial, I could not imagine intelligent people buying into the warped message they were being fed. However, I realized I was in Southern California, where the residents are two and three generations removed from a rural environment and an understanding of where food comes from. Twenty million of California’s 38 million people live in Southern California. Politically, Southern California holds this state hostage. Most of the people here believe beef, chicken, eggs, milk, fruit, and vegetables come from Vons Supermarket.

If Prop. 2 passes, which seems likely, producers of eggs and veal will likely be forced out of business. Californians will then buy eggs produced in states or countries where there are no mandatory free range chicken laws; places where Californians have no control over how their eggs are produced.

Besides that, opponents of Prop. 2 say passage of the initiative puts Californians at risk for avian influenza (bird flu), Salmonella contamination, and other diseases. Forget the loss of thousands of jobs and the $600 million in economic activity, those who vote to free the chickens are actually risking their lives.

What a victory! All for some radical environmental philosophy. California has become the laughing stock of states because of idiotic laws created by the ballot initiatives.

Greenspirit founder Dr. Thomas Moore says Canadians are thrilled by California’s oppressive regulatory climate, since the Indians and others he works with there are making tons of money shipping lumber and farm-raised salmon to the Golden State. California is one of the nation’s biggest salmon and lumber consuming states in the nation, yet California either bans or severely restricts farm-raised salmon production and logging. Timber is one of the planet’s greatest renewable resources, and Californians watch it go up in flames each summer and fall in forest fires where logging in prohibited.

Moore brings with his observation credentials as one of the world’s leading environmentalists and ecologists. He founded Green Peace in the 1970s. He left that organization when it became too radical and formed Greenspirit.

Canada can add chicken eggs to their list of exports to California, if Prop. 2 passes.

I have not seen any organized advertising campaign to defeat Prop. 2. Newspapers and television reporters cover Prop. 2 opponents, but I have seen no paid advertisement that matches the pro-Prop. 2 campaign.

Agriculture went to sleep on this one, or it figured it was a no-win battle from the beginning and did not want to spend millions to counter the proponents of the “free the chicken movement” with little chance of success.

Regardless, the free range chicken proposition, along with the others on the Nov. 4 ballot, again makes California the poster child for political insanity and more proof that state government is totally dysfunctional — in need of sweeping reform. One way to achieve that is to do away with term limits.

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