Slow Food for Thought...

“Defending the earth means safeguarding biodiversity, the landscape and farming. Those who haven’t seen the importance of farming haven’t understood anything!”
Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vote No on Issue 2

Many Slow Food Northern Ohio members have asked about our stance on Ohio Issue 2.

We realize that Slow Food represents a diverse group of members throughout the Northeast Ohio region and that our views on Issue 2 may not represent each member's individual opinion.

However, as advocates of small-scale, sustainable agriculture in Ohio, Slow Food Northern Ohio opposes Issue 2.

We join a growing group of organizations in our opposition to Issue 2 including:

Ohio Organizations Who Oppose Issue 2: Ohio Farmers Union, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association, Ohio Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, Ohio Environmental Council, Local Matters, Ohio League of Humane Voters, Cleveland City Council, Simply Living Columbus, Innovative Farmers of Ohio, Ohio Conference on Fair Trade, Wood County Citizens Opposed to Factory Farms, Western Lake Erie Water Keepers Association, Grand Lake St. Mary’s Improvement Association, Clintonville Community Market, Williams County Alliance, Working Families Win- Ohio Chapter, Mercy for Animals, The Wellness Forum

National Organizations Who Oppose Issue 2: Food & Water Watch, National Family Farm Coalition, Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, Family Farm Defenders, Farm Aid, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cornucopia Institute, Weston A. Price Foundation.

We encourage all Slow Food members and friends to take some time to eduate yourselves about this proposed amendment to our state constitution and to join us in voting NO on Issue 2 when you go to the polls this Tuesday.

To learn more about Issue 2 please visit the following resources.

Smart Voter: League of Women Voters of Ohio
Review arguments for and against Issue 2 and read the complete text of this proposed amendment to the state constitution.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association

Bounty of the Western Reserve

Don't Swallow That: The Issue 2 Misinformation Campaign Chokes Off Real Debate Over Food
Article from the Cleveland Scene by Parker Bosley

In a Pig's Eye: Issue 2 is Not About Animals, It's About Industry Power
Article from the Cleveland Scene by Hope Brustein

From the Humane Society of the United States

Six Reasons to Vote NO on Issue 2 (from the Humane Society of the United States):

1. Issue 2 seeks to stop animal welfare improvements. Agribusiness interests are trying to change the Ohio constitution so they can continue cruel and inhumane practices on factory farms—confining animals in tiny cages and crates so small they can’t even turn around. Issue 2 proposes an industry-dominated power grab to protect the status quo: hens crammed into cages so tightly they can’t even spread their wings, breeding pigs confined in tiny barren crates and calves chained by their necks inside veal crates.

2. Issue 2 threatens our food safety and health. Cramming tens of thousands of animals into tiny cages fosters the spread of animal diseases that may affect people. For example, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that people who eat eggs from hens confined in cages are 250% more likely to contract Salmonella. The extreme confinement of animals is also a major factor in the emergence of diseases like H5N1 and H1N1 (bird and swine flu).

3. Issue 2 favors large factory farms, not Ohio’s family farmers. Family farmers and groups like the Ohio Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders oppose Issue 2 because they know that food quality and safety are enhanced by better farming practices. Factory farms cut corners and drive family farmers out of business when they put profits ahead of animal welfare and our health.

4. Issue 2 threatens Ohio’s environment. The American Public Health Association has called for a moratorium on new factory farms because of the devastating effects these operations can have on surrounding communities. Factory farms often spread waste on the ground untreated—contaminating our waterways, lakes, groundwater, soil, and air.

5. Issue 2 sets Ohio backwards, while other states are moving forward. Seven states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon—have banned the use of inhumane confinement devices for farm animals. In the European Union, veal crates are illegal, as are barren battery cages (effective 2012) and gestation crates (effective 2013). Rather than make advances to help farmers, consumers, and animal welfare, Issue 2 will ensure that Ohio lags behind other states and public opinion when it comes to the treatment of farm animals and movement away from the worst factory farming practices.

6. Issue 2 is opposed by leading organizations and experts. Issue 2 is opposed by The Humane Society of the United States, the Cleveland Animal Protective League, the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Center for Food Safety, the Ohio Sierra Club, Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association, the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Dayton Daily News.


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