In November, voters in California will vote on Proposition 2, which seeks to increase cage sizes for egg laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves. The new regulations, which would go into effect in 2015, would require cages to be large enough to allow these animals to be able to stand up, lie down, turn around and to be able to fully extend their limbs without touching the side of an enclosure or other egg-laying hens.
To show the size of some animals' quarters in large-scale farm operations, Oprah stands with replicas of cages and crates for each animal affected by Proposition 2. In an egg-laying hen cage, five to six hens could be in a single cage. The typical crate for a young male calf being raised for veal has enough room for him to stick his head out. Pregnant pigs—which can weigh more than 500 pounds—are about 5 to 6 feet long, while the cages they live in are about 7 feet long.
Those who support Proposition 2 say these animals have the right to more space during their lives. Opponents of Proposition 2, including farmers and industry representatives, say the new law would drive up costs, put farmers out of business and end the egg industry in California, and deny consumers the right to choose less-expensive food.