The GIPSA rules would create a fair marketplace for farmers to sell their livestock without fear of retaliation from packers and integrators, require packers to maintain written records over price deviations and prevent undue preferences.
"We have to alleviate the pressure on ourselves that dinner has to be this fancy affair, three courses and a homemade apple pie. If you're having peanut butter and jelly on whole grain, that's good enough."
We might feel anger by the comparison implicit in invoking racism and animal protection. After all, Nelson Mandela didn't move the nation of South Africa to secure the rights of mother pigs or egg-laying chickens.
This summer, agriculture is again center stage in the policy debate. There's plenty of fat and waste in the farm programs, but there's also an urgent need for a new vision of American farming in the 21st century.
Compassion now has a market. And we're seeing even wider cracks in the system of factory farming, including this week's historic agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the egg industry.
Why save dogs, but eat other animals? Pigs are more intelligent. They can dream, recognize their own names, fetch a tennis ball, and lead social lives of a complexity previously observed only in primates. Some even enjoy cuddling.