Across the U.S., hundreds of millions of farm animals, including calves raised for veal, sows exploited for breeding and hens used for egg production, are confined in crates and cages so tightly that they cannot walk, turn around or stretch their limbs. The animals experience both physical and psychological disorders, and their confinement is so cruel that it is being phased out across Europe. Seven U.S. states have now enacted legislation to reform inhumane factory farming systems, including California, where Farm Sanctuary worked alongside citizens in the Golden State to pass a voter initiative that won by a two to one margin in 2008, outlawing veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages. One year later, the Michigan legislature enacted a similar law. But, unlike agricultural leaders and lawmakers in other states, agribusiness officials in Ohio and their legislative cronies have vehemently opposed basic humane reforms.
Public opinion polls in Ohio demonstrate that Ohioans, like citizens in other states, believe that farm animals deserve to be treated with respect and should not be crowded into cages and crates so tightly that they cannot even turn around or stretch their limbs. Now, given the failure of Ohio’s legislature to address these issues, Farm Sanctuary and thousands of citizens across the state are mobilizing, collecting signatures to place an initiative on the statewide ballot to alleviate the suffering of 27 million farm animals who live in veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages in Ohio.
As you read this, Ohio’s animals are suffering and volunteers are in the streets, working hard to make a difference. We have collected more than 160,000 signatures, but there is still a long way to go to obtain the 600,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. If you live in Ohio, or know anybody who does, please get involved. This effort is absolutely crucial.
If we are victorious in Ohio, it will enhance our ability to create needed changes in other states, as well as in Washington, D.C. It’s time to dig deep. The animals are counting on us: www.ohiohumane.org.