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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

January 23, 2011 at 4:02 PM

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Animal-welfare groups ask egg producers to meet higher standards

Posted by Letters editor

More humane treatment is our gain

Editor, The Times:

It is our gain every time we raise the bar for more humane treatment of animals. In this case, it is chickens that will benefit from this new initiative, which hopefully will be on the Washington ballot in November [“Groups fault egg producers’ practices,” NWThursday, Jan. 20].

I applaud the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and local groups to organize Washingtonians for Humane Farms, a process long overdue in our state. Maureen O’Hagan writes that “There are seven egg producers in Washington, and together they have about 6.5 million hens.” That is a lot of chickens confined in tiny cramped cages causing them unimaginable suffering.

I was appalled to read that veterinarian Olsen denies their suffering since they still lay eggs. It is a fact that even in time of stress, as in wars or in captivity, women still give birth.

I’ll collect signatures with many other volunteers to make sure this great initiative makes the ballot. Washington must follow the example set by California and Florida where it passed, along with “a law addressing the issues” in Ohio. We can do it. Compassion for the chickens will be on our plate. Washingtonians’ omelets or scrambled eggs will undoubtedly taste better on people’s conscience when they vote yes.

— Claudine Erlandson, Shoreline

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