In addition to the more-publicized Proposition 8, California has another prop on the ballot: Proposition 2, a humane farming law, which would outlaw devices called veal crates (sounds like what it is); gestation cages for swine (it’s ok to click the link, there’s no disturbing image); and keeping egg- and meat-producing chickens in a cage the size of a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. (I bet you have some paper on your desk right now. Look at it. Imagine a chicken in it.)

Can you tell how I feel about these practices? So strongly that I’m going on my 11th year of being a vegetarian. I haven’t talked much here about why I don’t eat meat, because my experience with family and friends (especially meat-producing extended family! Fun times!) has taught me that people are a little…resistant, both to being preached at and to drastically changing their diet.

And because nobody likes a preachy vegetarian (who still eats dairy and wears leather shoes, yes, but is at least switching to soymilk in coffee), I won’t go into detail about just how much pollution large-scale meat and dairy operations produce, or how much food and water is required to raise a single pound of beef, or how antibiotics in animal feed are creating diseases resistant to known antibiotics.

I will only say that there are better ways to raise meat, and good for California for getting the measure on the ballot. If you know of anyone in the state, send them to and tell them to vote yes. If it passes in California there’s a slim chance similar laws could pass elsewhere in the future.

What can you do if you don’t live in California? Well, what if you bought cage-free eggs the next time you went grocery shopping? Or free-range chicken or grass-fed beef? And if you want to be really wild, what if, one day a week…you didn’t eat meat7776? Skip the grilled chicken pieces on top of your salad. Make vegetable beef stew and leave out the beef. You could even accidentally visit a vegan resatruarant. One day a week wouldn’t be that hard, would it?

Hey, Obama is ahead in the polls, so our wildest dreams can apparently come true. It never hurts to ask.