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Bigger chicken cages?

(article, Culinate staff)

On the ballot next week in California: Proposition 2, an initiative designed to give factory-farmed animals more breathing room (in California, the law would mostly affect chickens). Animal-rights activists are in favor of the proposition's passage; egg-industry proponents are not, claiming California eggs would become prohibitively costly in an era of rising food prices. 

Relevant stats: "California is the nation’s fifth-largest producer — and No. 1 consumer — of eggs, producing an estimated $337 million worth in 2007. Nationwide, the country produces about 77 billion table eggs a year — 250 per American — valued at about $6.7 billion." And in case you're wondering, the proposition doesn't actually free battery hens from cages; it just gives them "room to turn around, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs."