In true Daily Show style, Jon Stewart addressed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s vow to veto a ban on gestation crates that overwhelmingly passed in the New Jersey legislature.
Supported by 93 percent of voters in the state, Christie told Iowa pork producer and the former president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Bill Tetinger, that he would not sign the bill, leading people to speculate that the upcoming presidential election and Christie’s need for political support in Iowa is behind his decision.
With the typical humor, sarcasm and thought-provoking wit that has put the Daily Show on the map, Stewart examined the issue from all sides, starting with why gestation crates are used at all. Discovering that the crates are used to make things easier for the producer, he quipped, “No, no that makes sense. It’s easier to keep them in these tiny, confined boxes like … shoes … that are alive and can feel pain.”
He then responds with horror after discovering that pigs are not merely kept in the crates during pregnancy (which would be cruel enough) but rather, they spend virtually their entire lives in them.
Gestation crates keep breeding pigs confined in a stall so small that they aren’t able to turn around or even fully extend their limbs. Nine states currently outlaw the use of gestation crates in pork production while companies like Chipotle and Whole Foods refuse to sell or use pork produced with them.
This issue may very well be a case of history repeating itself, as Governor Christie vetoed a very similar bill in 2013. It was speculated then that his reasons were to gain Iowan support for a potential presidential bid, and as Stewart eludes to in the segment, it appears those are his reasons now.
Christie has until December to sign the bill into law, but it appears the writing is on the wall. “I indicated to him that I could not understand how someone who has never stepped foot on a pig farm … could ever understand (the use of gestation crates) or why they should even have an opinion on the use of them,” Tetinger said of his conversation with the Governor, “and he said to me, ‘I agree with you’.”
Really? That’s all it takes? Tell someone, “Hey, you aren’t a pork producer so you don’t get to have an opinion on well documented evidence regarding the cruel practice of keeping a pig in a box their whole life?” and that person just says, “Oh, okay?”
Call us crazy, but it seems like that argument could be eliminated pretty easily with a quick jaunt down to a factory farm so someone with legislative authority over an entire state could make the decision for themselves, but what do we know? We’re not running for president.
Lead Image Credit: The Daily Show