The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced recently that it would push for new rules making it tougher to amend the state constitution. Small wonder, considering that Florida’s voters were bamboozled this month into extending constitutional protection to pigs.

Taking advantage of Florida’s activist-friendly initiative process, the national animal rights group Farm Sanctuary illegally funneled $465,000 into the “pregnant pigs” campaign. The organization has been found guilty on 210 counts of breaking election laws, and was ordered a week ago to pay a $50,000 fine; but the damage had already been done.

While pork producers complain that Floridians “did not have the benefit of scientific information” when marking their ballots, many thoughtful observers are now saying what we’ve been telling you all along: that the Florida “pregnant pig” amendment was a trial balloon for activists who want to completely outlaw meat production, and that it was just the opening salvo in a war between social activists and livestock owners.

Florida’s journalists are reading the tea leaves, and what they have to say is alarming. According to The Gainesville Sun, the Fund For Animals is already “planning for the 2004 election cycle,” when activists will certainly bring Florida-like campaigns to other states. And the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently interviewed a Purdue University animal sciences professor, who voiced his fear that the Florida campaign will serve “as a model for how to do this in other states.”

Meanwhile in Iowa, where pork is king, the Des Moines Register reported last week that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) will soon start a two-year campaign against modern livestock operations, timed to conclude with a 2004 electoral push. The Florida campaign, said HSUS’ Wayne Pacelle, was intended all along “to start a national effort” to promote an anti-business, animal rights agenda.