Agricultural practices highlighted on Oprah
"I believe how we treat the least of being among us
determines our own humanity," stated Oprah Winfrey in the opening of her show
which aired on Tuesday in the US.
This particular show was dedicated to issues of livestock treatment, and
looked at issues such as whether cages for egg layers, gestation stalls for sows
and individual crates for veal calves "cross the line" into animal
The programme was considered to be more even-handed than many in the meat
industry might expect. Guests on the show were representatives both for and
against California's Proposition 2, including farmers and processors, and
The pro-Prop 2 participants largely hewed to the idea that an animal that
can't turn around in its living space is an unhappy and poorly treated animal
living in an unhealthy environment, and that human beings have an obligation to
do better. The anti-Prop 2 participants mostly discussed the cost of changing
the housing structures in the way that the proposed legislation would require,
and indicated that they felt the animals were quite content, and arguably
healthier, when they are more closely confined.
The discussion also touched on the question of consumer demand for the more
expensive goods produced on "free-range," sometimes also organic, farms.
Pro-Prop 2 adherents believed that more consumer demand would prompt more
farmers and processors to make the switch, increasing supply and lower prices.
Anti-Prop 2 participants felt that prices would simply rise from their already
relatively high position.
"I'm not here to tell you what to think, but just to bring you the
information," Winfrey announced.
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