The Maine State House cupola pokes out of a fog bank rising from the Kennebec River on a chilly morning earlier this month. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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I believe Question 3 is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation Maine voters have ever been asked to vote on. Constitutional amendments are drastic measures, especially when their wording conflicts with existing state and local laws. This amendment could allow state laws that protect animals, our environment or even public health surrounding food safety to be challenged in court if they infringe on one’s constitutional right to raise, slaughter and eat any animal of their choosing. 

Nothing in this amendment specifically requires that local laws regarding animal welfare, environmental protection or public health be adhered to. It appears possible that Maine would be unable to pass any additional laws protecting any animal one chooses to eat because that would infringe on our constitutional right to raise and slaughter animals.

A constitutional “right to food” sounds reasonable, as food insecurity and hunger are serious problems that need to be addressed. Surely everyone deserves access to food, but our problems with hunger have nothing to do with lack of a constitutional right to food. Instead, we need to address the root causes such as poverty, inequality and policies that focus on short-term relief instead of systemic change.

Please vote no on Question 3 this November to protect animals, our environment and public health.

Wendy Andresen


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