California’s Coming Bacon Crisis

Pork prices will soar thanks to new regulations regarding animal enclosures.

“You’ll eat much less meat. An occasional treat, not a staple. For the good of the environment and our health.” —from the video produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) advocating for The Great Reset to one-world governance

It has often been said that California is a bellwether for the rest of the nation. If that is the case, the latest voter-approved regulations should warm the cockles of globalist oligarch hearts everywhere. Beginning next year, the Golden State will begin enforcing “The Farm Animal Confinement Proposition” that mandates more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens, and veal calves. It was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2018. Veal and egg producers across the nation believe they can meet the new standards, but a scant 4% of hog operations can currently comply. Absent court intervention, or the state temporarily allowing noncompliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa. In addition, pork producers will face higher costs if and when they try to reenter the market.

In short, bringing home the bacon may become exceedingly difficult.

California already had a law regarding “cruelty-free eggs” that stated egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal must be given enough space “to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.” The new regulation gave farmers until the beginning of 2020 to provide each egg-laying hen at least one square foot of floor space. Beginning in January, all hens bred in California need to have completely cage-free housing.

When the proposition passed in 2018, Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society, was ecstatic. “California voters have sent a loud and clear message that they reject cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries,” she said at the time. “Millions of veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens will never know the misery of being locked in a tiny cage for the duration of their lives.”

Currently, Californians consume approximately 15% of all pork produced in the country. Yet while California restaurants and groceries use about 255 million pounds of pork a month, its farms produce only 45 million pounds. Moreover, the time needed to build new facilities and inseminate sows makes it highly unlikely the pork industry will be able to adequately supply California.

The National Pork Producers Council asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid to underwrite the costs associated with retrofitting hog facilities nationwide to fill the gap. Hog farmers reveal they haven’t complied due to the costs involved — and because California has yet to issue formal regulations regarding how the state’s new standards will be administered and enforced.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture rebutted those assertions, noting that even if the final details of the law remain unfinished, the main elements of the law have been know for years. “It is important to note that the law itself cannot be changed by regulations and the law has been in place since the Farm Animal Confinement Proposition (Prop 12) passed by a wide margin in 2018,” the agency stated in response to queries by the Associated Press.

Regardless, the costs associated with the mandate are not insignificant. According to Barry Goodwin, an economist at North Carolina State University, a farm with 1,000 breeding pigs would see costs rise 15% per animal. A study by the Hatamiya Group, a consulting firm hired by opponents of the state proposition, paints an equally daunting picture, noting that if half the pork supply was suddenly lost in California, bacon prices would jump 60%. Thus a package currently selling for $6 would rise to nearly $10..

Lawsuits have been filed by the pork industry, which is also asking Governor Gavin Newsom to delay the new requirements. And the Producers Council is also hoping meat already in the supply chain could be sold, which might delay shortages. Josh Balk, who leads farm animal protection efforts at the Humane Society of the United States, isn’t buying it. “It says something about the pork industry when it seems its business operandi is to lose at the ballot when they try to defend the practices and then when animal cruelty laws are passed, to try to overturn them,” he stated.

Restaurant owner Jeannie Kim, who kept her San Francisco diner alive during the coronavirus pandemic, sounds the alarm. “Our number one seller is bacon, eggs and hash browns,” said Kim, who has run SAMS American Eatery on the city’s busy Market Street for 15 years. “It could be devastating for us.”

She’s not alone. In Iowa, where approximately one-third of the nation’s hogs are raised, farmer Dwight Mogler estimates the changes would cost him $3 million, as a space that now holds 300 pigs could only hold 250 pigs going forward. As a result, Mogler said he’d need to earn an extra $20 per pig, yet as of now, processors are offering far less. “The question to us is, if we do these changes, what is the next change going to be in the rules two years, three years, five years ahead?” Mogler asked. Slaughterhouses are undoubtedly pondering similar questions as they will be forced to design new systems to identify and separate California-compliant hogs from pork that can be served to the rest of the country.

Consequently, analysts believe prices will soar in California but remain little changed in the rest of the nation. Yet they also believe that because California consumes so much pork, the rules imposed in that state may soon become the national standard.

In short, every American can expect already rising meat prices to soar even further into the stratosphere. And no one will be happier about it than those forever seeking to “improve” the lives of the “benighted” masses, even as they remain largely immune from those same “improvements.”

In this particular case, it will inevitably become, It’s bacon for me, but not for thee.

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