Today, the New York Times covers two of the pitched debates in our society about animals -- the controversy over the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and the industrial confinement of laying hens in cages for egg production.
The assurances from the egg industry that its operators maintain safe and clean facilities, treat animals humanely, and do it all at low cost are a charade. The eggs may seem cheap, but the costs are passed on in terms of health costs.
The lifelong extreme confinement of laying hens in tiny cages is not just inhumane, it's also been linked to human disease. Every one of the eggs recently recalled for Salmonella came from hens confined in cages.
How much do we need to learn about factory farms before we stop supporting them? America's attachment to the high protein diet is little more than a reflection of the economic clout of the meat and dairy industry.
We have seen time and again that factory farmers' willful disregard for animal welfare often goes hand in hand with disregard for the environment, for workers' rights, and the rights of the unfortunate neighbors of these facilities.