Sunday, October 26, 2008

Buy each California hen a quarter-acre lot

For the price of the Iraq War, we could buy every laying hen in California her own quarter-acre lot in Fawnskin, CA.

California's 20 million laying hens produce about five billion eggs per year.  If Proposition 2 on the California ballot passes, it will become illegal in 2015 to keep these hens in cages so small that they cannot turn around or spread their wings.  While Proposition 2 would not mandate such a large amount of space, a quarter-acre lot close to the shore of Big Bear Lake is currently available in Fawnskin, CA for $140,000.  Buying a lot like this for each California laying hen would cost $2.8 trillion, $200 billion less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the total cost of the Iraq War.