This is probably old news to lots of folks — I’ve been trying to limit my consumption of election news, for my sanity — but the AP had a story on January 16 called “Obama Pledges Support for Animal Rights.” It’s a short article, but here is the relevant chunk:
Obama responded that he cares about animal rights very much, “not only because I have a 9-year-old and 6-year-old who want a dog.” He said he sponsored a bill to prevent horse slaughter in the Illinois state Senate and has been repeatedly endorsed by the Humane Society.
“I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other,” he said. “And it’s very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.”
Sounds decent at first, especially considering we’ve lost Dennis Kucinich again, & Clinton has ties to corporate agriculture.
But what does Obama mean? How far is he really willing to go on behalf of animals (& on a personal level, does he eat meat or dairy)? The Humane Society is definitely an animal welfare group — as opposed to animal rights (ie. “happy meat” is okay, even though the animal still dies unnecessarily). Hm, maybe that’s what Obama means — he’s interested in supporting small farmers who slaughter sentient beings, & not large corporate factory farms. Great. Unfortunately, the “cruelty perpetrated on animals” doesn’t stop when you give them access to the outdoors & feed them grass, instead of making them cannibals… & then still kill them at the end.
(And I hope, that if his children do persuade him to add a dog to their household, that he doesn’t buy one from a pet store — & better yet, that he adopts one that already needs a home.)