A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Utah to Chickens: "Screw You!"

Utah’s Attorney General is concerned for poor people.

The new law in California that gives egg-laying chickens enough room to “lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around” is causing the price of an egg in Utah to go up about two cents.

This creates a burden that, according to the A.G., “disproportionately affects low-income families.”

That’s thoughtful of him, even though the burden is not exactly huge. After all, if you’re a “disproportionately affected” person and you eat, say, four eggs a week, you could cover the extra $4.16 a year by cutting out one soda maybe every three or four months.

Still too much?

O.K., so since Utah clearly cares about its lower-income families, the rest of us who live in the state could perhaps chip in to help. This would work out roughly as follows:

  • Total human population of Utah: 2.9 million.
  • Number of people with family income below poverty line of $23,834: 36,000.
  • Number of eggs consumed per person per week: maybe 4?
  • Total number of eggs per year for those 36,000 people: 7.2 million.
  • Total cost per year @ 2 cents per egg: $144,000.
  • Divided up among 2.9 million people: approx. 5 cents each.

Either way seems quite workable: The lower-income people can just skip, say, three or four sodas a year. Or the rest of us can pay an extra tax of 5 cents each to subsidize their eggs

Either way, not exactly sacrificial.

But wait! The A.G. has an even better idea: Screw the idea of anyone having to pay a couple of cents more for an egg. Let’s just stick it to the chickens; after all, they don’t get to vote.

And so it is that Utah is joining six other states trying to overturn the California rule that would give the chickens at factory farms a few extra inches so they can stretch their wings, lie down and turn around in the cages where they get to spend their entire lives laying eggs for us.

When it comes to describing the nature of our relationship with our fellow animals, doesn’t that say it all?