Cross-posted at Open Salon.
While reading about the current egg-caused salmonella epidemic this week, I found an interesting CNN article all about the differences between 'cage-free', 'free-range' and 'organic' chicken eggs. (It turns out that only certified organic eggs come from chickens that are guaranteed real access to the outdoors; we'll be buying organic eggs from now on). The article is here, for those interested in chicken liberation.
Somewhere in the middle of the article, I was astonished to learn that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill (A.B. 1437) last month that, by 2015, will require all the eggs sold in California to come from hens that "are able to stand up, lie down, turn around, and fully extend their limbs without touching one another or the sides of an enclosure." This, my friends, would be the first cage-free chicken state in the U.S.
My wife and I were discussing this incipient poultry freedom on Friday, and she mentioned to me how odd it was that Schwarzenegger seemed to care more about domestic fowl than gay men and lesbians.
Don't get us wrong--my wife and I are very, very much in favor of animals being treated gently and with compassion. But all the same, here we have a state where chickens have the right to the Pursuit of Happiness (freedom to be comfortable), but same-sex couples don't (freedom to be married).
Who would have thought that Arnold believes hens are more important than people?
Let me know what you think.
*References for the pictures: