*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
It is probably the case that there are few Americans that actually hate animals, and if there are very many at all, they are certainly outnumbered by the uncivilized Americans that actually hate other Americans. Of course at this particular juncture in time there is plenty of evidence that the Americans exuding hatred for American people who aren’t white, aren’t evangelical fundamentalists, aren’t wealthy, and aren’t male all support Donald Trump. What is fairly certain is that even the barbaric savages that support Trump likely support efforts to protect animals from people with a predilection to abuse and slaughter innocent animals, and it is also fairly certain they are unaware that animal rights groups have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and slammed Donald Trump as “a threat to animals everywhere.”
The national animal rights and protection group, the Humane Society Legislative Fund, announced that it was taking the “unusual step” of wading into the presidential race to endorse Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The reason the animal rights group gave was because they believe “Trump represents the greatest threat ever to federal policy-making and implementation of animal protection laws, and we are taking the unusual step of wading actively into a presidential campaign.” The group made it very clear that it “evaluate[d] candidates based on a single, non-partisan criterion—their support for animal protection—and did not default to one party or the other.
The HSLF is a lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States that also said that Ms. Clinton’s Republican opponent was “a threat to animals everywhere.”
On the exact same day the HSLF announced their endorsement of Hillary Clinton, they launched a vicious anti-Trump ad campaign (video here) that cited his past record on animal protection; a record that should sicken any animal lover, even Trump supporters. The group also explained that its biggest concern was that a Trump administration would be stocked with anti-animal rights barbarians.
The HSLF said that based on potential policy decisions under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Fish and Game, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Institutes of Health, and various other executive level agencies, the stakes are just too high to allow a Trump presidency. The HSLF also noted that “there could not be a greater contrast among the White House hopefuls” that guarantees either the “potential for advancing animal welfare reforms at the federal level, or rolling back the recent gains and rule-making actions” that will have devastatingly adverse effects on animals. They also, rightly noted, that where Hillary Clinton has a clear, compelling record of support for animal protection, the opposition has already assembled a team of advisors and financial supporters “intricately tied to trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and other abusive industries.”
The names that Trump’s campaign has floated to run the Interior and Agriculture Department issues are a veritable “who’s who” of vicious anti-animal welfare activists. One of those names, according to Politico, is an oil magnate considered to be the front-runner for Trump’s Secretary of the Interior as well as currently serving on Trump’s agriculture advisory committee. The man, Forrest Lucas is the funding machine providing money for the front group, Protect the Harvest, behind every attack on every organization in the nation involved with protecting animals and defending wildlife.
As HSLF noted, “Lucas has never met a case of animal exploitation he wouldn’t defend,” and he is a fierce advocate “for trophy hunting, puppy mills, and big agribusiness.” Lucas also personally provided the funding for attacks on a Missouri ballot measure (Prop. B) because its purpose is insuring there are “humane breeding standards for dogs” and regulations on horrendously inhumane puppy mills; something Lucas will not allow even though it has no impact on his oil business. Lucas opposes humane treatment of animals so ardently that he personally financed the attack on Missouri’s Prop. B because it is one of the animal welfare movement’s most important ballot measures designed to enact humane breeding standards for dogs and crack down on puppy mills.
Lucas and his animal-hating cohorts also have fought animal rights activists’ efforts to establish felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty against dogs, cats, and horses; promote the spaying and neutering of pets; and provide adequate shelter for dogs to protect them from the elements. In fact, the inhumane Lucas spent the time, energy, and money to form a super PAC for the specific intent and purpose of defeating any and all activists’ efforts to protect animals and wildlife.
HSLF also considered the reports that “an Iowa factory farming mogul,” Bruce Rastetter, is probably Trump’s leading candidate for Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. Rastetter fortune derives from the kind of industrial agricultural practices that family farmers and animal advocates have been condemning and battling for decades. Rastetter’s connection to Donald Trump is though New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie. Christie did a big solid for Rastetter’s when he “vetoed a ban on cruel pig gestation crates” as a gift to the pork industry and Mr. Rastetter’s brother. His brother is the CEO of the company that builds pig gestation crates. HSLF said what any sane, thinking American already knows; their concern is the extremely high potential for “crony capitalist dealings in a [possible] Trump administration.”
Of course there is evidence Donald Trump is not any kind of animal lover. He condemned Barnum and Baily’s decision to stop using elephants for entertaining circus goers and was boycotting them. In the anti-Trump video, HSLF reminds viewers that Trump’s son is a trophy hunter and just had to display that nasty photo of him hoisting up a slain cheetah and a slaughtered elephant’s tail.
Although HSLF spent a fair number of words railing on Trump while endorsing Clinton, the animal rights organization spent an equal number of words citing Hillary Clinton’s stellar record on defending animal rights. They cited Clinton’s animal welfare statement on her campaign website and specifically noted her statement that, “the way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity.” HSLF more than adequately covered Clinton’s animal rights accomplishments as Senator, Secretary of State, First Lady, and as private citizen through the Clinton Foundation. For any animal lover it is worth perusing the HSLF endorsement to see exactly why she garnered a perfect 100+ mark on the Humane Scorecard in the 108th and 109th Congresses as a Senator. There are no ‘scorecards’ for her other accomplishments and advocacy for animal rights, but they are impressive and demonstrate Clinton’s dedication to the humane treatment and more importantly the protection of animals; whether domesticated or wild.
It is not surprising that the Humane Society endorsed Hillary Clinton based on her animal rights’ record, or that they assailed a possible Trump administration as “a threat to animals everywhere.” It is, though, a tad surprising that they were concerned enough about Trump to spend the time and effort to research his possible appointees to cabinet-level agencies that may on the surface not appear to impact animal welfare.
What is not surprising is that an organization dedicated to the humane treatment of domesticated and wild animals cited the one quote from Hillary Clinton’s campaign website that really informs that Trump is a serious threat to animals. “The way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity,” and after nearly a year of learning exactly that Donald Trump has no humanity whatsoever, it’s fairly obvious how he intends to treat animals.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.