Can you imagine sitting in the middle seat of an airplane for the rest of your life, not even being able to get up, ever? How about being stuck in a crowded elevator with 12 strangers and never able to leave? Sadly, that’s what it’s like today for millions of egg-laying hens, veal calves and mother pigs in factory farms throughout our country.

In 2008, Marin County voters joined millions of others across California to pass minimal protections for these types of animals by voting “yes” on what was then known as Proposition 2. That effort helped make great improvements to the lives of farm animals across our state by simply giving them enough space to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs. Enacting that law was a massive success. Many California egg companies eliminated cages, instead housing hens on cage-free farms, and companies like McDonald’s, Safeway, Costco, IHO and Walmart enacted policies to switch to cage-free eggs.

Numerous states followed suit and passed their own laws — some going even further than California’s — cracking down on the extreme confinement of farm animals.

And now, voters have the opportunity to improve upon the current conditions here in California and across the country while also improving our food safety.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 79,000 Americans are sickened every year by eggs contaminated with salmonella, bacteria that has too often proven deadly to children and the elderly. More than a dozen scientific studies have found that salmonella is more prevalent in caged facilities than on cage-free farms. That’s why both the Center for Food Safety and the National Consumers League endorse Proposition 12.

Fortunately, Marin doesn’t have factory farming operations that subject animals to inhumane conditions. But the majority of the pork and veal sold in California comes from outside the state, where mother pigs and calves are confined in filthy crates so small that they can’t even turn around. Prop. 12 aims to ban the sale of pork and veal in California from factory farming operations outside the state that use these cruel crates. It would also ensure that products sold in California come from cage-free farms.

Marin Humane is one of many animal welfare organizations, veterinarians, and food safety groups who helped get this important measure on the ballot — and voters like you will make the final decision this Election Day, November 6. As a leading organization on animal welfare and cruelty issues, Marin Humane advocates that all animals, including farm animals, deserve protection from cruelty and neglect.

Marin shoppers are very savvy in choosing local sources for their food and care deeply about humane animal treatment. Our community takes great pride in supporting local farmers and ranchers, and our animal care standards continue to be a model for other communities beyond our borders. It is horrifying to know the level of continued animal suffering silently prevailing in many areas of the country.

Our voices can help, but our votes can ensure we end these inhumane practices once and for all. For more information, visit