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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

 
The privileged won't suffer if he wins

by digby





















If we allow this killer's father to win the White House certain people will probably be fine, (although if he manages to start WWIII as he seems determined to do, even they could be threatened.) But a lot of humans on this planet will not be so lucky. This piece by Kathleen Parker takes a look at the threat Trump poses to the animal world:
When asked about his sons’ bloody hobby, Trump demurred except to say that his sons are excellent marksmen. Trump prefers golf, he said, and he obviously limits trophy collecting to women. Junior, meanwhile, says he’d like to head the Interior Department, which, among other things, oversees trophy-hunting imports. Under Obama, elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe were halted and African lions were listed as threatened. What would a trophy-hunting Trump do with such protections?


Meanwhile, the Republican nominee’s anti-animal animus may be gleaned from his choice of agriculture advisers, which the Humane Society Legislative Fund has called a “rogues gallery” of anti-animal welfare activists. (Disclaimer: My son works for the Humane Society.)

Foremost is Forrest Lucas, billionaire founder of Protect the Harvest, an organization focused on fighting the Humane Society and opposing any legislation aimed at restricting cruel animal practices in the production of meat, dairy and eggs.

Such humane propositions are viewed by Lucas’s group as unnecessarily restrictive to business, limiting our freedoms and attacking our all-too-American culture. Among the “traditions” the harvest group has sought to protect are circuses, illustrated on the organization’s website with a photo of elephants absurdly parading in a conga line on their hind legs. Thanks to animal activists and enlightened spectators, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently retired its elephants from the ring, to the lasting deprivation of no one.

Lucas and Co. have also opposed efforts to establish felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty against dogs, cats and horses, even fighting standards for dogs in commercial puppy mills.

Also on the committee is Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), who has the distinction of being the first governor to sign into law an “ag-gag” measure that punishes whistleblowers, giving factory farmers free rein over animal welfare and worker safety. The bill’s sponsor, former Iowa state representative Annette Sweeney, also a Republican, is also a Trump adviser. Another adviser, former Nebraska governor Dave Heineman, vetoed a bill to end the sport hunting of mountain lions and has defended factory farming practices that many happy omnivores find reprehensible, including the use of battery cages and gestation crates.

Adviser and Iowa factory farmer Bruce Rastetter is reported to be a leading candidate to become Trump’s agriculture secretary. His brother is the chief executive of a company that builds large-scale hog facilities as well as gestation crates for breeding sows. Which way Trump leans — animal welfare or business profits — doesn’t seem to be in question.

Let’s just say that his selection of advisers, coupled with a cavalier attitude toward his sons’ big-game hunting, bodes ill for animals and the protections so many Americans find both reasonable and desirable. I guess it’s all in how you define freedom. Personally, I’d like to see how high these merciless profit warriors and trophy hunters can jump — not as a prelude to leadership but rather to the ever-popular flying leap.
Certain animal rights activists (who are against the use of wool or honey) have been protesting Clinton (and Sanders before her) because her platform doesn't go far enough in their view. But it's a lot better than Trump's: 
In the platform, Clinton calls for an end to the use of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals, for tougher laws against wildlife-trafficking, and for tighter regulations on puppy mills. And she promises to bar the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption, and to encourage farmers “to raise animals humanely.” 
Over the course of her political career, Clinton has made elephant advocacy a top cause, and the Clinton Foundation set aside $80 million for anti-poaching efforts in September 2013. She also prioritized elephant protection at the State Department, arguing that profits from poaching funded terrorist groups.  
I guess this isn't the highest priority when Trump is calling for nuclear war. But it should matter a little bit to those who care about animals. Trump doesn't. At all. In any way.

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