With all due respect to my friend Dave Blesing, Ohio Issue 2 does not take away his or anyone else’s right to vote. Let’s dial back the emotion for just a moment and do a quick fact check.
For starters, Issue 2 makes no changes to Ohio’s ballot initiative law and constitutional amendment processes. Secondly, Issue 2 in no way restricts the power of the Ohio General Assembly. Finally, if Dave or anyone else disagrees with the outcome of Issue 2, he can fight it out in the Ohio court system.
To see for yourself what Issue 2 is really about, Google “Ohio senate joint resolution 6,” click on the first result and read the full text of the proposed legislation. It’s a single page and written in plain English.
Issue 2 proposes a constitutional amendment to provide for the creation of a thirteen member, Ohio livestock care standards board. The board must consist of the state director of agriculture, the dean of an Ohio ag college, a food safety expert, a county humane society representative, two Ohio consumers, two statewide farm organization representatives, two state licensed veterinarians and three family farmers.
The obvious question is why do we need or want this? We don’t! But, it’s the lesser of two evils.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has informed the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation that it intends to seek its own ballot initiative in Ohio on the 2010 ballot. Their initiative would create a constitutional amendment that would ban several common livestock practices in the state.
HSUS is a humane society in name only. It operates no pet shelters or adoption facilities anywhere in the U.S. and contributes less than 4% of its substantial budget to organizations that operate dog and cat shelters. In fact, HSUS is the largest and richest animal rights lobbying organization, with an operating budget of $91.5 million in 2007 and net assets exceeding $200 million. Despite the fact that they say it is a problem, HSUS funds no research on farm animal care.
Their real agenda is to end all meat consumption. The HSUS factory farming home page directly advocates for veganism. Their factory farm campaign manager, Paul Shapiro, told a recent conference that, “nothing is more important than promoting veganism.” With offices in San Francisco, Hollywood, New York City and Washington, D.C., they are a fund raising machine.
If you’re still up in the air on which way to vote on Issue 2, it’s pretty simple. Who do you want deciding what constitutes humane treatment for our farm animals, San Francisco vegetarians or Ohio veterinarians?
Get the facts...be informed...vote yes on Issue 2!
– Clark Emmons
Chesterfield township dairy farmer