Earlier this year, the New Jersey legislature passed bill NJ A.3250 / S.1921, a Bill to Ban Cruel Confinement of Breeding Pigs by a vote of 60 to 5 in the Assembly and 29 to 4 in the Senate. This bill prohibited the confinement of sows in gestation crates, requiring they be provided with room to stand up, extend their limbs and turn around (imagine that – allowing an animal to turn around!). This passed both the NJ Assembly and Senate, and held wide support amongst residents of NJ (91% supported the legislation!) but unfortunately the bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.
In case you aren’t aware, factory farms often confine their sows to gestation crates where they will exist (I say exist because they are certainly not living, not in these conditions) until they are ready to give birth, and essentially their entire life until they are considered spent and sent to slaughter. These gestation crates are so small, sows will essentially go crazy – biting the bars, swaying side to side, sure signs of stress and discomfort. In order to relate, gestation crates have often been compared to being stuck in economy class on an aircraft… but to me even that is luxury compared to what these sows are put through.
Fortunately, Senator Ray Lesniak is leading the fight to override this veto. Animal rights groups and organizations have joined up (of course) and this issue has even garnered the attention of Martha Stewart. The ASPCA and Human Society are sponsoring demonstrations and actions (phone banks, door to door campaigns) leading up to November 18th, when the state legislature will make their vote to override. I urge you all to spread the word about this, sign up to volunteer, make phone calls, post on social media, write letters to the editor… anything you can think of will help. Spread the word that New Jerseyans won’t stand for this kind of animal cruelty, despite what Chris Christie thinks is best for the ones that stand to make a profit from their suffering. Of course, we all know the BEST way to help these animals is by adopting a VEGAN lifestyle. That is the only way we can really end the suffering once and for all.
Please if you can CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR and follow-up with an email. Join the demonstrations. The pigs are counting on us!