April 10, 2012
An extremely upset friend recently told me that she wishes to put an end to the grinding of live baby chicks in the United States and plans to generate a petition against it. Many concerned people have asked about the effectiveness of petitions. I want to be clear in stating that petitions CAN indeed, be effective. We have used them in the past and laws have even been implemented with the help of petitions, however, try to keep in focus, what it is that you are petitioning for, who is signing the petition, as well as whom you are petitioning to. Not ALL petitions are effective.
Let us put this into perspective with a hypothetical political example. We will begin by saying that an unconstitutional bill has been proposed in Congress and you wish to fight it. The representative who proposed the bill is the head of some civil committee within Congress, composed of 6 members of Congress from around the nation, a committee which is charged with drafting legislation in regard to the subject matter to which you are concerned about. Well, if you attain 5,000 United States citizen signatures from all over the country on a petition against the bill, it really may not accomplish a great deal. However, if you attain 5,000 signatures from citizens who are responsible for voting said Congressperson into office, or perhaps even from the constituents(voters in their region) of all 6 committee members, that bill may never even see its way onto the Congressional floor for a vote. As a point of fact, if you include the phone numbers of said Congresspeople(the entire committee) in the petition and only 1 or 2% of the 5,000 constituents call the offices of these Congresspeople on a daily basis, expressing their distaste for the bill, I promise that you will win your fight. You may even impact the outcome of an upcoming election in a state that you do not reside in, simply by raising awareness among said state’s citizens.
In regard to my friends petition, I can not see the actual effectiveness as it is stated, other than to possibly raise some awareness in regard to the issue. If you make a petition that simply calls for the halt of the grinding of live baby chicks, who are you planning to petition? In all honesty, hundreds of thousands of baby male chicks are either ground up alive or discarded like trash to die more slowly, piled by the hundreds, even thousands, on top of one another in bins every single day in order to satiate the egg and chicken-meat industry. The majority of male chicks are basically useless to both industries, so they are considered to be “trash”. I can not tell you how hard I’ve cried watching documentary video of countless live baby chicks, freezing to death in garbage bins out in the winter cold. So, which is the more brutal scenario? Is there a more brutal scenario?
The point that I am trying to make is that the President of the United States has no current plan on informing the American public to stop eating eggs or chickens, which is what it would take to end such wanton abuse whilst the industry attempts to cater to the current demand for eggs and chicken flesh. There are no Congresspeople or Senators that have such plans, either. There are certainly no animal agriculture conglomerates who have any intentions on doing so. What this basically means is that generating a petition which calls for the halt of grinding baby chicks alive isn’t going to have the desired impact. Again, it may raise some awareness in regard to the truth revolving around the subject by getting people to sign it, but that will be the extent of the impact.
Even if you could, hypothetically, implement law against the grinding of live baby male chicks, will all of the baby male chicks now suffer in a different way? Will the industries that produce eggs and chicken flesh simply resort to other cruel “disposal” methods? Will all of the baby male chicks be dumped in large bins to starve and slowly die? I really am not attempting to cause anyone to be upset in regard to these questions, I simply would like everyone to think about the issue. Please remember that I personally do not eat eggs, chicken flesh or any other product garnered from animals, for that matter.
Perhaps, a united effort from the animal rights movement calling for government agencies to be more honest with the general public about the issue, as well as the issue’s cause, would be more proactive in turning people toward veganism, or at least, ending the consumption of eggs and chicken flesh? Maybe we should start becoming more politically demanding of the government, calling for them to begin funding more vegan-lifestyle teaching programs and groups.
This is our planet, too, vegans, and as U.S. citizens, this is our country, as well. It doesn’t just belong to the Republicans, Democrats and/or Independents. United States policies belong to and impact all United States citizens. Consistently reevaluating our strategies and using our time responsibly is imperative for progression. So, please take sincere care when using your time on campaigns like petitioning and make them really count. As an animal rights/environmental activist, your time is extremely valuable. Please use that time wisely.
President of AELLA