Election day is fast approaching with many important initiatives on the ballot. Perhaps none are more important to a Baconeer than California’s Proposition 12. What’s that you ask? Oh, just a proposition that will make bacon prices soar in California. While Californians especially should pay attention, this issue is important to all Baconeers because unconstitutional regulations like this have popped up in other states. Do you want to pay more for your crunchy morning breakfast staple or that savory accoutrement that makes all your dishes better? No! We don’t care how you eat your bacon, but the important part is that it’s still there – like a warm blanket on a cold night or that trusted friend on a bad day.
Okay, okay. So, it’s important to know just why California should vote ‘No’ on Proposition 12. First of all, let’s talk about what it is. Prop 12 would prohibit the sale in California of out-of-state pork produced using conventional farming practices. This places a huge financial burden on pig farmers who must incur considerable costs to change their farms to meet the ever changing whims of Californians if they want to sell pork to our nation’s most populous state. These costs will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher food prices, including bacon. Both PETA (yes, that PETA) and the Humane Farming Association (HFA) actively oppose CA Proposition 12.
Current farm housing methods are designed to protect livestock from specific threats, and Proposition 12 would remove these protections by forcing hog farms to switch to group pens. Hog farming started out in pastures and group pens, and farmers soon realized how these methods were not the best for the animals or food safety. They needed a method that provided the animals protection from the disease and natural elements like snow and rain, from fights with other animals (hogs are pack animals and will fight to determine dominance), and separated animals by size.
Changing the industry’s animal housing would cost pig farmers greatly. Pig housing conversion costs to comply with California’s requirements are estimated at up to $3.2 billion, which would translate to a $5 billion cost to consumers. Sadly, this price increase would mainly affect middle- and lower-class families – the people who rely the most on affordable food for themselves and their children.
California is already one of the most expensive states in which to live. Why would we want to make it more expensive for an initiative that both Baconeers and PETA both agree is a bad idea? Vote “No” on Proposition 12 this November 6 and be the hero that keeps bacon affordable and the animals safe.