Before we get down to business, we must mention two things:
1) California residents, please do vote Yes on Proposition 2, the farm animal welfare bill on the November 2008 ballot.
2) While you're at it, consider voting Yes on the Little Old Lady Protection Act. LOLPA would outlaw pushing little old ladies down the stairs before mugging them. Although LOLPA has garnered much support, some detractors see in it an unnecessary restriction on personal liberty. Rest assured, LOLPA does not prohibit mugging of the elderly and would not prevent you from continuing to assault and rob anyone.
Which brings us to Uncaged. This animated Yes-on-2 production stars a pig singing a Proposition 2–related version of Stevie Wonder's classic Superstitious.
The cause is worthy. The message is repulsive and winds up recapitulating major themes of the suicidefoodist movement. The animals do not object to being raised for food, to being transformed even before their birth into a commodity. No, that is a foundational component of being an animal, and they are foursquare in favor of that. They take issue only with the specifics of their subjugation.
One might have supposed that people devoted to the welfare (if not the freedom) of animals would have preferred a less ugly approach. Was it necessary to show rows of pigs cheering as our singer/pig Sty-vie Wonder requests pleasanter confinement? Or ranks of thumbs-upping chickens pleased to be referred to as "food"? Or a veal calf (one of the "calves you will be eatin'") relieved only to stop "livin' in [its] poo"?
Back to the (imaginary) Little Old Ladies Protection Act. Just as Prop 2 calls for what should be uncontroversially humane treatment of livestock, LOLPA calls for people not to push little old ladies down flights of stairs. Who but the psychopathological could oppose such a measure?
Say that pro-LOLPA advocacy groups produced a snappy animated number. In it, darling little old cartoon ladies asked simply, "Before you mug us, please don't shove us down the stairs." Would that give you pause?
"When you mug us, you don't need to hug us! Just don't! Push! Us! Down! The! Staaairs!" Would you wonder, "Why is grandma okay with the idea of getting mugged in the first place? Couldn't they find another way of presenting their case?"
So it is with Uncaged. Surely there is a way to express support for the measure without showing animals explicitly endorsing its of-course-animals-are-still-going-to-be-killed-and-eaten presupposition.
(Thanks to Dr. Gennifer for the referral.)
Addendum: If you live in California, please do vote Yes on Prop 2. Thank you.