California’s Prop 12 was pushed by animal rights activists who successfully lobbied for major changes within the pork industry. However, Rep. John Duarte (R-CA-13) says those same activists should instead be more focused on human rights violations.

Duarte told Hoosier Ag Today that the nation should be more concerned about slave labor being used in the Congo to mine for minerals used in the production of electric vehicles than how U.S. pigs are housed for production.

“This is disgusting,” he said when asked about Prop 12. “We care about how many piggies there are in a pig pen. We care about how a chicken lays an egg. Although I don’t think most of the people supporting these policies really know either. [It is] on moral grounds. There’s no documented animal welfare issue or anything else. This is just somebody’s morality exercised in policy in California and affecting the affordability of animal protein.”

He said moral grounds should also apply to things like production of electric cars, which use minerals mined in the Congo.

“It is the most abject colonialism and slavery that we’ve seen in the history of the world. It’s industrialized slavery in the Congo and we are subsidizing electric vehicles made with these critical minerals out of these inhuman mines,” he said.

Duarte added that his legislative focus is on stopping human rights violations.

“If you want an electric vehicle, great. I’m sure you look cute in it. But if you want a federal rebate, we have to document that these electric vehicles that we’re subsidizing through taxpayer dollars are not made of constituents or components produced with slave labor. I’m a lot more concerned about human slave labor through our proxy imperialism, through China in the Congo than I am about telling a farmer who raises pigs…how to raise a pig.”