While egg prices have been rising dramatically across the country due to an avian flu epidemic which has killed some 48 millions turkeys and chickens across the Midwest, California's increase can be traced back to a decision made by the state's voters back in 2008. The chickens, in other words, have come home to roost.
Seven years ago, California voters passed Proposition 2, which mandates that the state's confined agricultural livestock be given sufficient space “to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs
.” The proposition, which covered sow gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages, passed with 63 percent of the vote. Farmers had until January, 2015, to bring their facilities up to the law's standards. Farmers argued, however, that the new law was vague in describing just what size the new confinements should be, and – of course – lawsuits ensued.