Is Room to Move Really Too Much to Ask For Farm Animals?

As consumers grow more aware about the cruelty inherent in farming systems that confine animals in cages that are barely larger than their bodies, more people and businesses are rejecting the idea that it’s acceptable to force them spend their entire lives unable to move.

This week, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, a coalition of individuals, animal advocacy and food safety groups, launched a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that will raise the bar for some of the lowest standards found on factory farms and give residents the opportunity to reject one of the worst forms of abuse inflicted on farm animals: intensive confinement.

Sadly, mother pigs, egg-laying hens and calves raised for veal are left to suffer the physical and psychological torment that comes with being confined to spaces so small they can’t enjoy the simple luxury of being able to move freely.

The measure, Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, aims to stop that form of suffering by getting rid of veal crates for calves, gestation crates for pigs and battery cages for hens and will require that calves, pigs and chickens raised in the state have enough space to do very simple things, like standing up, lying down, extending their limbs and turning around.

Better yet, it will also require out-of-state producers who want to sell in Massachusetts to adhere to those standards by 2022, giving them plenty of time to change their practices. The measure’s advocates hope it won’t just help farm animals, but will also improve food safety.

Already 10 states have passed measures like this, while dozens of retailers have announced they will no longer support suppliers that continue to use these inhumane practices.

“The biggest names in the food retail sector are already moving to buy their pork and eggs from farmers raising animals outside of small cages, and by approving this measure, Massachusetts residents will bring along the outliers and assure more humane treatment of animals raised for food,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Last year, a public opinion poll found 90 percent of Massachusetts voters support banning extreme confinement of farm animals. But, despite widespread public support, efforts to pass legislation that would accomplish this in the state have already failed more than once.

Now, it will be up to residents to help make Massachusetts the next state to stand up for farm animals by getting this issue to voters and legislation passed. The coalition is now aiming to get 90,000 signatures by November 28 to get this on the ballot in 2016.

For more info on how to help farm animals in Massachustts, check out Citizens for Farm Animal Protection.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Humans are nothing and a liability to life systems everywhere. As a so called life form the human race is a cancer. There is no "status quo" acceptable of "farming" animals in the universe. The solution is the extinction of humans, though the caring ones who are few don't deserve that but the human race wants to kill off the caring ones anyway. And humans are hurrying their own extinction along. Extinction is forever for humans, thank god.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

When I was a kid, I went to my aunt and uncles farm. Being a city girl, I was so impressed with the pigs in their big yard, and the cows in the meadow with the horses. Everybody was able to move around and get exercise if they wanted to, or laze around under the trees.
Things sure have changed in 40 years. (for the worse) I miss those days!

Julia Cabrera-Woscek

They should have room to ram and be the creatures that are meant to be.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Social media has played such an important role in this change, we still have a long way to go but we must stick together and speak for the voiceless! And, individuals have the power, not corporations, change yourself and change the world

Ricky T.
Ricky T3 years ago

We keep being bought into images of farm animals roaming about the multiple acres of farmland, when in truth, it's very much the opposite.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell3 years ago

Thank you

Ruhee B.
Ruhee B3 years ago

Factory farming is sickening. As the human plague grows and grows, we will just see more not less of this.

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Z3 years ago

I'd like to know which 10 states are on the list.

Catherine Robinson
Cat Robinson3 years ago

It's barbaric and cruel to cage an animal for life so we can then eat it. It is morally wrong and it's animal abuse for these animals. Farmers do not care about what is right or wrong or an animals feelings, it is money and money only for them.