The lobbying and legislative arm of the Humane Society of the United States has made the rare move of endorsing a political candidate for president. The Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates candidates solely on their support for animal protection. As the blog post announcing the endorsement runs down both candidates’ history and viewpoints on animal rights, the reasons for HSLF’s endorsement become apparent.
In its endorsement, HSLF notes that Hillary Clinton has been a vocal supporter of animal rights throughout her political career. During her time in Congress, she cosponsored legislation on puppy mills, horse slaughter and animal fighting. While Secretary of State, she worked to crack down on wildlife trafficking. Her family’s Clinton Foundation has fought elephant poaching by leading an effort to crack down on the illegal ivory trade. And on her current campaign website, she has published a statement on animal welfare, stating that “the way our society treats animals is a reflection of our humanity.”
HSLF then runs down a lengthy list of reasons why, as the blog post is titled, “a Trump presidency would be a threat to animals everywhere.” As president, Trump would reportedly appoint several people to his cabinet who have vigorously and vocally fought against animal welfare. This includes Forrest Lucas, who financially supports an organization that, as HSLF says, “[fights] animal welfare organizations at every turn, on everything.” Lucas is said to be a front-runner for Interior Secretary.
For Secretary of Agriculture, Trump will reportedly name Bruce Rastetter, who has fought against a ban on pig gestation crates. Other potential agriculture appointees include people who have supported ag-gag laws, fought against the California bill that restricted the sale of eggs from battery cages, signed a law authorizing horse slaughter for human consumption, weakened regulation of puppy mills, and called Meatless Mondays “treasonous.” Animals of every kind, in every state, would indeed suffer if these anti-animal officials become part of the U.S. government.
On a more personal note, the HSLF post states that Donald Trump doesn’t appear to have any pets. If that is indeed the case, he would be the first president since Harry Truman not to have a pet in the White House.
Photo is courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is used under a Creative Commons license.