This week, a group of celebrities led by comedian Bill Maher, actor Paul Wesley, and legendary musician Debbie Harry, sent a letter to the New Jersey state legislature to support a bill (A.5236/S.3401) that would end the cruel confinement of mother pigs and cow calves on factory farms. The celebrities joined the animal-rights group Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) an organization calling to end the practice of extremely confining animals on factory farms in New Jersey.
The celebrities also explained how continuing the practice of confining animals could be hazardous to human health.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how intensive confinement of mass numbers of animals in cramped spaces can create a breeding ground for zoonotic disease, Ensuring that the cruel confinement of mother pigs and baby calves is prohibited in New Jersey is a matter of animal cruelty prevention, and a proactive step in safeguarding public safety.”From the letter
Similar bans have passed in ten states in the United States (and veal crate bans in nine states), Canada, and the European Union-backed by an increasing demand by consumers for compassion and transparency in how animals are farmed and raised.
This isn’t the first time that Maher has spoken out about the cruelty and danger of factory farms. In an April 2020 episode of his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, the host explained that the wet market in China where COVID-19 originated is no different than factory farms, including those in the United States. “America’s factory farming is just as despicable as a wet market and just as problematic for our health,” Maher said. “Factory farms have a lot more lobbyists, but ecological time bombs tick the same.”