Some Further Thoughts on Ohio

David Cassuto

I’m back in the northern hemisphere, missing the tropical juices and proximity to the beach but enjoying my family (human and non), my friends, and my deck with its accompanying martinis.  I’ve also been pondering the Ohio deal I blogged about before getting on the plane last week.  As you may recall, the ballot initiative in Ohio containing important agricultural reforms has been indefinitely postponed in exchange for a number of concessions.   

The Ohio compromise is a good par 5 from ideal; that is beyond cavil.  Nevertheless, a number of people I respect have given me to understand that it accomplished a great deal.  You can read some good commentary on the issue here and here.  Some particulars: The ban on new battery cages foreclosed a 6 million bird facility that was about to be constructed.  In addition, while the 15 year phaseout of gestation crates remains difficult to stomach, if the ballot initiative had become law it still would have taken 6.  And that’s a big if.  After all, the initiative might not have passed.  Big Ag is very strong in Ohio and the money it would have poured into opposing the initiative might well have carried the day.

Other important parts of the compromise are the crackdown on puppy mills and the creation of a felony-level cockfighting statute .  These are not small things and would have been difficult to accomplish on their own.

And last, the ag industry is unhappyVery unhappy.  That is always a good sign for the animals.  So, while I’m still not satisfied, satisfaction is not the measure of a good compromise.  Ultimately, the question must be whether under the circumstances, the negotiators made the right call.  I now tend to think that they did.

One Response

  1. I dunno… Here’s what the new “enriched cages” look like – The ones created to comply with Prop2:
    Still no sunshine, no nest boxes, no foraging or dust bathing. No room to walk anywhere – But yes, they might have room to stretch their wings… one at a time.
    For each one of them there is still a ground up male chick – And they too will be in pot-pies after a year or two. 😦

    I’m just sad and disappointed that many people see this as acceptable treatment to any animal… But people will enjoy their eggs – won’t they?

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