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Julie says Proposition 2 isn't about the treatment of farm animals, but only about their housing. Wayne says he believes how an animal is treated and how it's housed are one in the same.

"These animals, we think, have a God-given right to move, at least," he says. "They have lives. They have the same spark of life that we have. They have the same will to live. They want to avoid suffering just as much as we do."

Ryan says he believes his chickens have plenty of room to move around, though multiple birds live in one cage. "We've been in the egg business now for 60 years," he says. "These birds are our livelihood. We make them as comfortable as we can and still provide the consumer with a safe, economical egg."

If California voters also support the initiative, Ryan says consumers will feel the effects at the supermarket. "If we take two-thirds of the birds out of our current cages and [go] cage-free, we will have to increase all of the prices on eggs," he says.
FROM: Lisa Ling Reports: How We Treat the Animals We Eat
Published on October 14, 2008