Once upon a time there was a place called California. It wasn’t a perfect place, to be sure, but the people there were striving to continually do better.
One day, the people of California passed a law saying they would only sell eggs that came from chickens living in more humane conditions. The people were pleased, and the egg farmers didn’t really care.
But there were some people who weren’t pleased. They were the bad people who raise hogs. They don’t want chickens to have humane living conditions. Really? Why do a bunch of hog farmers give a rat’s ass about chickens?
So the hog farmers approached a US Congressman from Iowa, named Steve King, and convinced him to add an amendment to the farm bill that would make all state laws regulating animals, including the one in California, illegal.
But the people rose up and let their voices be heard, and the King Amendment was removed from the bill.
Now those hog farmers were not going down easy, so, through their lobbyists, they approached Attorneys General in other states, and convinced the ones in Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma to sue California to not be so darned humane.
The lobbyists then began writing opinion pieces, like one published in The Wall Street Journal, stating that people would have to pay too much for eggs if this law was not defeated. Indeed, the commentaries never once mentioned the animals or their living conditions. These lobbyists know some humans are cheap bastards, and any appeal to save a buck gets their attention.
So what happens next? Will the AGs win their suit, or will California prevail on behalf of chickens everywhere?
I don’t yet know, gentle readers, but I do know this is not a fairy tale. It’s playing out here in the US.
BTW, why DO hog farmers give a rat’s ass about the living conditions for chickens anyway? Are they afraid they may be forced to improve living conditions for hogs next?
In a word, YES.