Pigs, calves, and chickens will no longer be confined in Massachusetts, and the “right to farm” is stricken down in Oklahoma as a silver-lining of sorts.
Voters in Massachusetts and Oklahoma secured a win on two fronts for animals in the state legislature during this election cycle. Question 3 on the Massachusetts state ballot—which will phase out veal crates for calves, battery cages for hens, and gestation crates for pigs, and make sales of products obtained from these confinement methods illegal—passed by an overwhelming majority, with 71-percent of voters in favor of the measure. “Question 3’s gargantuan passage in Massachusetts sends the strongest signal yet that the era of cage confinement of farm animals is coming to an end,” The Humane Society of the United States’ Vice President of Policy Paul Shapiro tells VegNews. In Oklahoma, voters shot down Question 777 (with over 60-percent of residents voting no), or the “right to farm” proposal, which would have opened up a slew of issues including the allowance of factory farms to go unregulated, and other areas defined under “agriculture” (including puppy mills, cockfighting, and horse slaughter) to exist unrestricted. “Animals fared well in the state ballot measures this election,” Shapiro says. Despite the massive upset on election day, vegan democrat Jamie Raskin secured a seat in the House of Representatives.