Opinion: Gov. Christie's veto on N.J. pig gestation crate ban warrants override
One of the defining characteristics of our humanity is the way we treat animals. It is a manifestation of our values, a reflection of the importance we place on compassion, fairness and justice. That is why there are laws against animal cruelty. That is why most people find the mistreatment of all animals abhorrent. As the German philosopher Immanuel Kant said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
That is why I sponsored legislation that would prohibit the cruel practice of keeping gestating pigs confined in crates or tied up in ways that keep them immobilized. This type of confinement prevents or severely limits the range of motion for pigs in pregnancy. They often can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. They are, in fact, imprisoned.
My legislation, S1921, was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate with a vote of 29-4, and by the Assembly 60-5. It is also supported by 91 percent of the people of New Jersey, according to a Mason-Dixon Poll. The only one who didn’t support it is Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed it last month.
Nine other states have passed laws prohibiting this practice and many prominent food corporations, such as McDonald’s, Costco and General Mills, have announced plans to eliminate pork products from their supply chain that come from farms that use gestation crates.
Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) represents the 20th District in the New Jersey Senate