California Voters Approved Animal Rights Law in 2018, Now Face a Bacon Apocalypse as Pork from Only 4% of US Farms Makes the Cut


I’ve heard it said by many conservatives that the left hates anything fun. That’s probably an exaggeration, although the left’s cancel culture has attempted to erase everything from children’s authors to pancake syrup.

Yet none of those attempted cancelations even hold a candle to the left’s latest target: bacon. In an upsetting turn of events, the greatest breakfast meat of all time now faces shortages in California due to the wrath of progressives.

According to the Associated Press, California voters in 2018 approved an animal welfare proposition that requires “more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves.”

While better conditions for animals are certainly a plus, leftists in California have pushed regulations to be so overreaching that an overwhelming majority of pig farmers are not currently able to meet them.

“National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules,” the AP reported.

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The provisions are set to go into effect at the start of the 2022 calendar year, which would almost certainly cause a pork shortage in the state.

“Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market,” the AP reported.

California is the most populous state in the country, and the outlet reported residents consume about 15 percent of the pork produced in the United States. After all, who in their right mind doesn’t like a nice slice of bacon in the morning?

If these regulations truly do go into effect without intervention from the courts, residents will be in for a rude awakening. As the AP put it, “the California rules could be a rare case of consumers clearly paying a price for their beliefs.”

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“The California rules also create a challenge for slaughterhouses, which now may send different cuts of a single hog to locations around the nation and to other countries,” the AP reported. “Processors will need to design new systems to track California-compliant hogs and separate those premium cuts from standard pork that can serve the rest of the country.”

Sadly, many leftists have a tendency to ignore the effects their preferred policies have on everyday life. When the effects are so immediate and personal, it is much harder to ignore them.

The new California restrictions would require pig pens to be at least 24 square feet. A typical Iowa farm currently keeps its sows in pens measuring either 14 square feet or 20 square feet.

Expanding space for pigs would obviously come at a price, which is a fact progressives often overlook when proposing their wide-reaching reforms. Some farmers are not even clear on the exact provisions being put in place.

“The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid to help pay for retrofitting hog facilities around the nation to fill the gap,” the AP reported.

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“Hog farmers said they haven’t complied because of the cost and because California hasn’t yet issued formal regulations on how the new standards will be administered and enforced.”

North Carolina State University economist Barry Goodwin estimated a farm with 1,000 breeding pigs would have to pay 15 percent more per animal under these regulations. In addition, the AP reported that if California lost half of its pork supply, bacon prices would see a 60 percent increase.

California restaurants, an industry already ravaged by the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, would bear a large portion of the higher prices.

“We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases,” Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association, told the AP.

At first, pork prices throughout the country outside of California are predicted to remain largely the same. However, analysts predict the state’s rules could become the standard nationwide as pork processors “can’t afford to ignore the market in such a large state.”

Once again, leftists have signed off on a virtue-signaling idea without really understanding its potential impact. This time, it might hit them where it hurts: their stomachs.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.