A few years ago, animal rights/liberation activists successfully convinced Florida voters to grant pregnant pigs the state constitutional right to have enough space within which to turn around. Now, that may be a perfectly fine and humane animal husbandry policy. But, pigs do not belong in human constitutions.
Human constitutions should be about guaranteeing human rights and establishing our democratic methods of governance. Animal protection measures belong in legal statutes. In this way, it isn’t the animals having a “right,” but rather, humans having the affirmative obligation to act toward them in appropriate ways.
But, of course, protecting pigs was not the point of that exercise. Blurring the crucial distinction between animals and humans was the real agenda. Indeed, there were only two pig farms affected and they slaughtered their entire herds after the right was granted–to the applause of the animal rights movement, which saw the killing as a way to reduce animal suffering.
Now, Florida voters may be given a chance to make amends. According to this story, an initiative may appear on the ballot that would, as part of an effort to “clean up” the Florida Constitution, take the pregnant pigs out of the Constitution and place the requirements for their care into an animal welfare statute. Let’s hope that the voters understand why this is so important. (I take no position on the other issues mentioned in the story that would also be affected by a positive vote.)