Ohio residents voted Tuesday on an important ballot initiative known as Issue 2. It was important, not because of what it actually accomplished, but because of what most Ohioans thought it would accomplish based on misleading ads from factory farm sponsors. Framing the measure as something that would protect animal welfare, agribusiness was able to deceive almost two-thirds of voters into voting “yes.”
Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder, explains: “This undemocratic power grab was passed … by misleading well-meaning Ohioans to believe that a Livestock Care Standards Board would protect the animals in its care, when it was actually designed to allow cruel and inhumane practices to continue on factory farms...” And as Wayne Pacelle of HSUS points out, Issue 2 proponents spent $4 million on this slight-of-hand to make its passage possible.
Like many of our allies, we made a conscious decision to spend almost no money opposing them. Why? Because we wanted to save resources for our own ballot initiative, through which we can create more meaningful change by banning the cruel confinement of animals in cages so small they can barely move. And while Issue 2 does give more power to the industry for now, it won’t be enough to stop real reform. If the passage of Issue 2 means anything, it means that Ohioans care about how farm animals are treated. When we put out a call for serious change through the ballot, possibly as early as next year, people will side with the animals, just like they thought they were doing yesterday.
We’ll keep you posted on our progress and what you can do to help. When the time comes, we look forward to working with all of our allies (that means you!) and making a difference for farm animals state by state!
Posted by Casey Martinson