Born Free USA Blog
Yay! The chickens won! California is now on its way to more humane treatment of farm animals. Yes, by 2015 chickens, baby cows, and pregnant pigs will have enough room to turn around, lie down, or stretch their limbs. And as a volunteer for Yes on Prop 2, I thought I’d share how we did it.
This effort took at least 11 months of hard work by hundreds of selfless volunteers and dedicated animal welfare advocates. The first step was getting the Proposition on the ballot. To do this, volunteers endured cold weather and grumpy shoppers outside grocery stores, malls, farmers markets, dog or cat shows, or any area we could get a permit to stand. Some of us showed up, day after day, gathering signatures, no matter the weather or circumstances. Others took breaks allowing themselves time to recharge before putting on that smile and kindly asking, “Excuse me, sir, would you like to help animals today? I’m collecting signatures to help farm animals have more leg room in their cages.”
Once the ballot was approved the work of getting the vote started. Endorsements were gotten. The campaign gathered about 800 signatures and volunteers asked their local vet for an endorsement. Together we were able to get more than 700 endorsements from vets while our friends at HSUS were able to get celebrity, political, farm owner, and other important endorsements.
Some of us hosted house parties to raise money to help the campaign. Some were able to persuade generous local business owners for party favors or food and beverage donations for their house parties. Still others reached into their own pockets and gave as much as they could as often as they could throughout the campaign. Many of us asked our families and friends to support the cause. Money raised went to help put ads on TV and other ways to increase awareness and to inform the public of the cruelty of factory farms.
All of us were given access to campaign materials for distribution (i.e., T-shirts, bumper stickers, temporary tattoos, paper stickers, buttons, leaflets, photos of the farm animals, etc.). Numerous volunteers and animal advocates stood near massive foot traffic locations to leaflet and give out stickers or sell T-shirts to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Toward the end of the campaign, many of us starting phone banking. We left messages when people were not at home, we talked to those who were on the fence and helped educate them about Prop 2. Some of us worked from home around dinner time, while others chose to call from the Democratic center. Most people who answered the phone said they were in support of Prop 2 or had heard about it and were undecided.
And in the end we won a resounding victory. More importantly the animals won a happier life.
I met so many wonderful people volunteering for Yes on 2; and many of them I call my friends now. I am grateful for the experience and happy we made a difference.
Animal lover and Volunteer extraordinaire,