This week, the California Governor signed into law a bill that would require all eggs sold in California to comply with the standards approved by voters in 2008. Proposition 2 requires that hens in the egg industry, male calves in the veal industry, and pregnant sows have enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch their limbs without touching the sides of their enclosure. An extremely modest proposal, really.
Egg producers opined that all egg production would go out of state where housing standards may be more lax. That loop-hole has now been closed - if producers in other states wish to sell their eggs in California, they must comply with the state's "welfare" standards.
This should not be construed as a complete and resounding victory for hens in the egg industry. The only true victory is when there are no hens being raised and slaughtered for their eggs. We will work toward that goal on multiple fronts, including supporting legislation like the one signed by the Governor and heavily promoting the transition to a vegan diet.
Meanwhile in Ohio, the signature gathering process to put farmed animal welfare issues on the ballot has stopped. Animal welfare agencies and agribusiness sat down and hashed out a compromise including a phase-out on veal crates, gestation crates, a moratorium on new battery-cage operations, a ban on transporting downed animals, and a prohibition on certain methods of killing farmed animals (including strangulation).
While these are definitive animal welfare victories, the best and easiest way you can help animals is adopting a vegan diet. A vegan diet significantly reduces our negative impact on the non human animals, environment and our health. It's a win-win for all involved!