President Donald Trump: Bad for Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, Animal Activists, Vegans, the Biosphere

Donald Trump, his two oldest sons, and many of his top political advisors are blatant enemies of innocent animals.

Let’s examine what a Trump presidency will do to animals and the biosphere…

To see a perfect symbol of Trump’s attitudes towards animals and ecology, look at Trump’s sons Eric and Donald, Jr.

They’re notorious for staged trophy hunts during which they’ve killed an elephant, leopard, buffalo, alligator, waterbuck and other animals in Africa.

Montana media outlets report that businessman Greg Gianforte, the Republican politician who assaulted a journalist and won a House seat anyway, took Donald Trump Jr. on a Montana hunting expedition to shoot Black-tailed prairie dogs.

March through June is peak breeding season for prairie dogs, and Trump Jr. will be shot pregnant females along with males.

When Donald Trump has been asked about his sons’ proclivity for killing innocent animals, he said he was hugely proud of them for doing it.

When Ringling Brothers circuses bowed to pressure from animal welfare lobbyists and ended its elephant entertainment acts, Trump tweeted that he was disappointed.

Trump is a developer.

Developers bulldoze and pave open spaces, springs, rivers, creeks, meadows, wetlands, forests and the animals who call them home, replacing them with asphalt and concrete.

Trump is also a golf course developer, which means his employees demolish native ecosystems, geologic features, and native species, replacing them with non-native grasses and artificial terrascaping and landscaping.

His golf courses are maintained through massive water waste, and require hundreds of tons of herbicides and pesticides per year.

Trump’s inner circle includes mega-millionaires who make money abusing, exploiting, and killing animals.

One of these people is Forrest Lucas, a billionaire whose organization Protect the Harvest works to block and repeal any laws or regulations that limit cruelty in the meat, dairy, pet, and poultry industries.

Lucas also fights against regulations that protect animals in the so-called animal entertainment industries such as circuses, SeaWorld, and zoos.

He even opposes anti-cruelty laws that seek to protect pet animals like dogs and cats.

Also in Trump’s inner circle influencing the new administration’s USDA policies is Brian Klippenstein, executive direct of Protect the Harvest.

Trump is in bed with the gun industry, people who profit from GMOs and chemical-laden industrial agriculture, and people who oppose food quality and organic farming.

Forrest Lucas is only one of several members of Trump’s inner circle who enjoys harming animals and is an advocate of animal cruelty.

Trump is also influenced by Republican Iowa Governor Terry Branstad– the first governor to attack the First Amendment right to free speech by signing a law stipulating prison sentences for people who expose cruelty and criminal behavior in the animal food exploitation industry.

Trump wants Branstad to be his ambassador to China, a country known for brutal treatment of animals and humans.

Branstad’s pro-Big Ag laws are called “ag-gag” laws.

The laws criminalize people who try to expose how factory farming operations harm animals and their human employees.

Trump advisor Republican Ann Sweeney sponsored the Iowa ag-gag legislation.

Another Trump advisor, former Nebraska governor Dave Heineman, vetoed legislation to end sport hunting of mountain lions.

He’s a staunch defender of animal cruelty practices such as cages that cause electric shocks and “gestation crates” that imprison pigs in spaces so tiny that the animals can’t move at all… for their entire life!

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s anti-environment choice to head the EPA, has long advocated animal cruelty and worked against factory farm regulations.

When the Humane Society of the United States fought an Oklahoma ballot measure that would give “farmers” the right to do whatever they want to animals, Pruitt tried to destroy the organization.

The Humane Society sued Pruitt for harassment and defamation. Pruitt finally backed off.

Pruitt is a hero to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

He doesn’t believe in anthropogenic global warming, and he seems intent on dismantling the EPA.

Trump’s failed choice for Labor Secretary was Andy Puzder, CEO of the parent corporation that owns Hardee’sand Carl’s Jr. junk food chains.

He’s famous for creating advertising campaigns showing women in bikinis eating dead cows!

Donald Trump’s highly-publicized chauvinistic views on women are signs of the human impulse to dominate, exploit, harm, and even kill weaker beings, including other humans.

Recall that during the presidential campaign, Trump explicitly stated torture would be an integral part of U.S. military policy.

Consider the fact that vice president Mike Pence looks at women the same way factory farmers look at female cows and pigs.

Pence’s extreme anti-abortion policies would force women to gestate against their will, even in cases of rape, incest, and severe fetal abnormality.

Trump’s now-famous confession that he’s a serial sexual predator goes along with predatory capitalism and other dominator memes that people use to justify harming “weaker” humans and animals.

Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is a lifelong Exxon Mobil executive.

Credible reporting indicates that Exxon knew 30 years ago that fossil fuels when used as directed cause climate change.

Instead of warning the public, Exxon created front organizations that use propaganda against global warming science and scientists.

In Trump’s first months in office, he’s deactivated regulations that protect air, land, water, parks, ecosystems, and human health.

Trump openly says he doesn’t “believe in” climate change.

He’s already removed mining regulations governing the foulest of fossil fuels: coal.

He yanked the USA out of international agreements that fight pollution and global warming.

He wants to sell millions of acres of federal wilderness and other protected lands to developers, miners, loggers, and fossil fuel extractors.

As a sign of how brutal Trump’s police are for animals, he instructed the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to remove public access to thousands of reports on Animal Welfare Act compliance for animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters.

The same blocking of public access was extended to reports mandated by the Horse Protection Act.

In an act of Orwellian irony, the USDA said it’s blocking access to formerly public reports “based on our commitment to being transparent.”

It’s obvious that Donald Trump will accelerate the cruelty and death inherent to the way humans treat animals.

Those of us who care about innocent sentient beings have a duty to be a voice for the voiceless, to oppose Trump if not have him impeached or forced to resign.

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A Dose of Cuteness & Sweetness

Every so often, I get a dose of pure, absolute cuteness in my email inbox.

It comes from a link to a website run by two gerbils named Timon and Pumbaa (https://gerbilsworld.wordpress.com/).

The gerbils, who are brothers, describe their activities, food, human guardian, exercise, and other fun aspects of their existence.

They have a loving mom, lots of toys, a clean and safe environment, delicious food.

In return, they’re pudgy, cute, sweet furballs.

The gerbils remind me of an episode from the original Star Trek series, called “The Trouble With Tribbles.”

I won’t do a spoiler on it, but I can share with you that Tribbles are cute furballs, perhaps too cute.

You’ll want to watch the Star Trek episode to find out why.

Gerbils are particularly low-maintenance animals to have around the house because their desert origins mean they use little water and thus they excrete a lot less urine than dogs, cats, and other animals humans have as companions.

They’re very smart and loving, without aggressive tendencies or annoying habits. Plus, they’re active and personable.

As a Vegan Samurai, I’m totally opposed to vivisection and any form of animal experimentation.

Unfortunately, Timon and Pumbaa would be outraged to discover that greedy corporations have genetically modified gerbils and use them in all kinds of cruel research.

For example, a sinister corporation called Janvier Labs describes “their” gerbils as “products” and “models,” the same way a car company would refer to cars.

This same company also offers mice, rats, and many other mammals on its “product” list.

The “product description” for gerbils indicates that they’re radiated in some experiments, and subject to all kinds of other tortures.

Indeed, the use of “rodents” in animal testing for the pharmaceutical, chemical, military, surgery, and many other industries is a major source of suffering for innocent, defenseless sentient beings.

More than 100 million mice, gerbils, rats, rabbits, and other mammals are tortured and killed every year to support needless animal testing.

The kinds of things done to these innocent, sweet little creatures are so cruel and grotesque as to defy your darkest imaginations.

Corporate lab techs and academic researchers  drill holes in the skulls of unanesthesized animals.

They electroshock them.

They drown them.

They burn them.

They induce cancers and other fatal, painful diseases.

They poison them.

The humans who do these things are cold-hearted and soulless, impervious to the pleading eyes, pain, suffering, and helplessness of the tiny creatures they torment and murder.

When you read the blog postings and look at the pictures on Timon and Pumbaa’s “A Gerbil’s World” website, you feel a poignant pang in your heart.

I often look at the gerbil pictures when I’m depressed, and they always cheer me up and remind me that the universe gives us gifts of living sweetness to counteract the harsh realities of the human world.

Being sometimes depressed is a natural thing for an authentic vegan, living in a world surrounded by humans for whom harming, eating, tormenting, and exploiting animals is considered fun, useful, and totally acceptable.

Our current human culture is extremely disappointing in its careless brutality towards innocent animals and the earth itself.

I’m constantly meeting people who love to hunt, fish, eat animals, go to rodeos and circuses, and who vehemently defend what they see as the “right” of humans to do whatever they want to all other animals, and the earth.

It wears me down, makes me sad, and sometimes makes me angry.

So when I see the many pictures of Timon and Pumbaa, and read of their fun life and how much their human “mom” loves them, it’s a healing moment.

If you love animals and see how cute and sweet they are, how majestic they are, and how every animal feels pain and wants to be left alone to live as Nature intended, you’ll be vegan.

And when you want your own dose of cuteness and relief, visit Timon and Pumbaa.

It’s so good to know they’re loved and pampered, safe forever from the vivisectionists, hunters, dogs, and others who’d harm them.

Just Say No to Seaworld, Zoos, Circuses, Animal Theme Parks

In a previous article here at VeganSamurai.org, we talked about being Vegan Lite versus being a Vegan Samurai. [Read Five Ways Being Vegan is More than Not Eating Animals].

In that article, I mentioned that a Vegan Samurai opposes all forms of animal exploitation and abuse, not just animal exploitation and abuse found in the food industry.

Circuses, zoos, aquariums, and animal theme parks are businesses that imprison, exploit, and abuse animals.

But because those facilities provide “entertainment,” and sometimes education, it’s harder for some people, even some vegans, to give them up and oppose them.

In a recent CNN article about the impacts of the movie Blackfish on SeaWorld, we read the following revealing segment:

But plenty of parents also feel like Laurie Marshall, a mom of two, who has no plans to stop taking her kids to circuses, zoos and aquariums. Marshall, whose kids are 6 and almost 10, just visited SeaWorld two weeks ago and said it was “startling” when you see “how big these creatures are and how small the tanks are.”

Still, her SeaWorld experience didn’t change her mind about bringing her kids to places where they can see animals up close.

 “First, I think it is OK to keep some of these animals in a contained habitat if it does not impede on their lifestyle,” said Marshall, who is the founder and president of Marshall Law Group. “Also, I am not the type to boycott as I don’t believe my sacrifice is going to make a difference and it would deprive my kids of their enjoyment.”

Laurie Marshall’s statements perfectly reveal the speciesism and deliberate selfishness that fuels most of the harms humans do to other animals and the planet.

Specieism is our belief that we’re the best species on the planet, and that this assumed superiority gives us the right to do whatever we want to other species and the planet.

Speciesism echoes the fact that humans are the most powerful, deadly, and consumptive species on the planet.

If by “best species” we mean to say “the species with the most power to imprison, exploit, and kill all other species,” then the description is accurate.

But might doesn’t make right, and just the fact that we can and do dominate all other animals and the earth itself provides zero moral justification to do so.

Marshall was being interviewed about notorious SeaWorld, which puts orcas and other marine mammals into small tanks.

Marshall is quoted as noticing how big the animals are, and how tiny their SeaWorld tanks are.

Thus, Marshall’s statement that it’s ok to “keep some of these animals in a contained habitat if if does not impede on their lifestyle” makes no sense at all.

The very definition of a “contained habitat” means the animals are having their natural lifestyle impeded.

I’m saddened by Marshall’s cluelessness and lack of empathy.

The article describes Marshall as the founder of a law firm. On the firm’s website, we read that Marshall for ten years was in-house counsel for Major League Baseball.

Surely an educated, wealthy woman like Laurie Marshall ought to have the brainpower to understand that if the imprisoned orcas were instead native orcas in ecosystems unspoiled by humans, the orcas would be swimming thousands of miles per year, enjoying all the benefits of open ocean and their natural social groupings.

How can anyone who even minimally understands wildlife biology believe that an orca in a tiny SeaWorld tank is living an “unimpeded lifestyle?”

We also see how Marshall’s statement reveals callousness, fatalism, a flawed sense of entitlement, and extreme selfishness.

For example, she describes it as a “sacrifice” if she was to choose not to bring her children to businesses where animals are imprisoned and harmed.

She wrongly says it won’t make any difference if she boycotts businesses where animals are imprisoned or harmed.

The actual truth is that the boycott of SeaWorld, just like boycotts that stopped rights violations such as South African apartheid, are often successful at achieving positive change.

Another animal imprisonment facility that should be boycotted is the Miami Seaquarium, where an orca has been imprisoned for many years in a tiny tank, exploited for entertainment.

Read here for more information.

In Marshall’s quest to provide “enjoyment” for her kids, she’s willing to be a customer of businesses that imprison and harm animals.

Marshall reminds me of parents who used to bring their kids to public lynchings.

Because American history has been sanitized, many of us don’t know that public lynchings of African-Americans used to be considered “family entertainment.”

Parents made picnic lunches, and a generally festive spirit abounded, similar to what you see at circuses, zoos, and places like SeaWorld.

Thousands of people partied and cheered as blacks and other minorities were tortured and killed.

There were popular postcards depicting lynchings, beatings, people tortured, dismembered, and burned alive.

When I hear someone defending zoos, circuses, SeaWorld, and similar businesses, I ask them the same question I ask people who consume meat, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.

“If other animals did to you what you think is acceptable to do to them, how would you feel about it?”

I wonder how Marshall would feel if her two children were permanently housed in a small glass chamber where strangers paid to watch them perform tricks.

If Marshall objected to that, but doesn’t object to it being done to orcas, it’s a perfect example of speciesism.

You shouldn’t do it to her precious kids, but it’s ok to do it to other sentient animals… that’s her speciesist “logic.”

The true vegan knows that humans using animals for food is wrong for the same reason that SeaWorld, circuses, and zoos are wrong.

In all cases, it’s our species doing bad things to other species—things we wouldn’t want them to do to us.

The Vegan Samurai goal is to create a deep ecology, egalitarian world, where humans no longer feel the need to dominate, eat, imprison, experiment on, abuse, and otherwise harm animals.

It includes, but goes way beyond, dietary choices. It includes not giving your money to zoos, circuses, Vegas shows, SeaWorld, or any other business that imprisons animals.

Five Ways Being Vegan Includes More than Not Eating Animals

There’s a form of veganism that a Vegan Samurai calls “Vegan Lite.”

Vegan Lite is…

A person doesn’t consume any food products derived from the capture, domination of, enslavement, torture, or killing of animals.

This includes eggs, dairy, fish, and meat.

The Vegan Lite person limits their vegan activism to their dietary choices.

In contrast, an authentic “Vegan Samurai” refuses to participate in any industry that exploits and harm animals.

Here’s what I mean…

The Vegan Samurai Opposes the Animal Entertainment Industry

The animal entertainment industry includes circuses, Seaworld, zoos, rodeos, dolphin encounter businesses, and other facilities that take animals away from their natural habitats, biological pathways, and social groupings.

The zoo and animal theme park industries claim their facilities educate people about and expose them to animals, but the most pervasive message animal captivity facilities implant in peoples’ heads is that animals have no rights to live as Nature intended, and are ours to capture, cage, and gawk at.

There are limited exceptions one could make for wildlife rehab centers and farm animal sanctuaries, although I’ve seen examples where both of these categories are actually exploiting animals rather than helping them.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Using Animals for Clothing & Other Materials

For centuries, trapping of animals for fur has been one of the most brutal ways humans abuse animals.

In the modern era, so-called “fur farms” imprison, enslave, and often electrocute animals so their furs can be made into fancy coats for humans.

We also see cows, pigs, and other animals skinned alive so leather, pigskin, and other materials can be made into wallets, shoes, gloves, coats, and other items that instead could  be made with materials from non-animal sources.

Animals in the wild are hunted for furs, or for ludicrous uses such as “bearskin rugs.”

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Hunting & Fishing

Other than the few remote, indigenous native peoples whose cultures have no choice but to rely on hunting for sustenance, nobody on the planet needs to hunt to eat.

They do it because they like to kill innocent animals, not because they have to do it.

Hunting and fishing are nothing more than humans invading the homes of other animals, using vehicles, dogs, hooks, boats, overwhelming firepower and other means to murder animals that haven’t done anything wrong, and can’t fight back.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Vivisection (Animal Experimentation)

The horrors of vivisection in some cases are more disgusting even than the terrible atrocities you see in undercover videos that expose the animal foods industry.

And the “benefits” of vivisection are vastly overstated.

In fact, the defense given for vivisection is that vivisection helps humans develop medical treatments and medicines, and is wholly based on specieism (the belief that our species is more important than all other species).

I’ve spoken to animal experimenters who actually say things like, “If I have to stick electrodes into the heads of kittens so I can help even one human, it’s worth it.”

The real truth is that most vivisection is unnecessary if not inapplicable to human medical needs, experiments can be conducted without animals, and a lot of animal experimentation is conducted for ridiculous purposes, such as the torture done to rabbits by eye make-up companies.

A Vegan Samuria also opposes transgenic experimentation, such as the creation of chimeras that are part non-human animal, part human animal.

We oppose Frankenstein experiments done with animals!

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Animals Used for Labor

Have you seen the incredible movie War Horse?

One of the most powerful scenes is when majestic horses are harnessed and used to pull heavy military equipment, which injures and kills them.

Contrary to the nostalgic way we’ve been taught to look at oxen and horses hooked up to plows and other human machinery, the Vegan Samurai opposes ALL use of animals for labor.

Why? Because animals can never give us explicit, non-coerced, voluntary consent to what we want them to do.

And yes, this includes “service dogs.”

I realize that people who are Vegan Lite may initially feel the Vegan Samurai paradigm is challenging, shocking, or “too extreme.”

But I can assure you the Vegan Samurai paradigm is well-analyzed and totally solid from the perspective of logical, ethical consistency.

If it’s wrong to be a customer of a food industry that imprisons, enslaves, and harms animals, then it’s wrong to be a customer of other industries (such as zoos, aquariums, circuses, animal experimentation labs, rodeos, animal labor, etc.) that also harm animals by imprisoning and harming them.

I urge everyone who’s a vegan to adopt the Vegan Samurai paradigm as described above.

It’s the most all-encompassing, morally-consistent vegan paradigm, and it cleanses you from being a participant in any system that harms animals.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Loved to Kill Innocent Animals for Fun

Deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was passionate about shooting innocent animals that had no chance to defend themselves.

In fact, when he died recently on a West Texas ranch during a gift vacation given him by wealthy ranch owner John Poindexter (who had had cases in front of the Supreme Court), he was there communing with members of the “International Order of St. Hubertus,” an elite, clandestine group that worships recreational hunting.

The International Order of St. Hubertus is a male-only organization organized around a supposed “patron saint” of hunting and fishing named Hubert.

Not only that, but the group’s logo contains a Latin saying that translates as “honoring God by honoring His creatures.”

I’d guess these hunters don’t get the irony of describing killing innocent animals as “honoring” them.

Their form of honor includes shooting pheasants, quails, and partridges that are kept in boxes and then released right in front of the hunters.

And on the last day of his life, Antonin Scalia was out killing little birds.

Scalia was accompanied on his free vacation by Washington, DC attorney C. Allen Foster, who is publicly known as an avid international hunter.

Media reports describe Foster celebrating his 65th birthday by flying his family and nearly 50 of his friends to Moravia, where they shot pigs and sheep in “canned hunts” while celebrating at night with masked costume balls, sumptuous eating and drinking, and wild dancing.

Scalia is known for his right-wing viewpoints, his disdain for the poor and minorities, his opposition to women’s reproductive rights, and his favoritism for the wealthy elites with whom he parties and kills.

Scalia’s judicial pronouncements reveal a cold-hearted man, which makes his fondness for killing innocent animals totally in character.

But you may be surprised to know that so-called “liberal” Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan went on hunting trips with Scalia.

“I shoot birds with him, fairly — you know, two or three times a year now,” Justice Kagan said. “We had been bird shooting four or five times. He said to me, ‘It’s time for big game hunting.’ And we actually went out to Wyoming this past fall to shoot deer and antelope.”

Vegans and animal rights people realize that hunting is just another example of the speciesism that also fosters carnism, animal experimentation, circuses, fur farms, and other animal exploitation.

Many progressives openly celebrated Scalia’s death because they view him as a regressive jurist whose presence on the Supreme Court swung the court even further to the political right than it would have been.

One thing is for sure–Scalia’s death means there’s one less person in the world who loves to kill for fun.

The quail, deer, pheasants and other animals Scalia loved to kill are safer today now that he’s gone.

The Most Radical Vegan Activist Ever

Vegans are often accused of being angry, self-righteous, and offensive.

Such accusations are familiar to anyone who tells the truth in a corrupt society like ours.

The vegan activist who has been slagged more than any other vegan spokesperson is Gary Yourofsky.

His hard-hitting YouTube videos, essays, and in-person lectures are the most unforgiving condemnations of carnism and animal exploitation you’ll see.

But Yourofsky isn’t just a vegan media activist. He’s also been an animal rights activist who had the courage to engage in direct-action animal liberation.

Gary Yourofsky has been arrested more than a dozen times for animal activism.

He spent months in a Canadian maximum security prison for being part of an Animal Liberation Front action that invaded a mink farm and released hundreds of mink.

Yourofsky is  hardcore and uncompromising, and openly states he’s not a pacifist when it comes to defending animals.

In fact, the high-energy animal rights campaigner has gotten into physical altercations with people who were promoting animal exploitation.

Yourofsky was an official spokesperson for PETA for several years, but insiders say he became “too radical” even for PETA.

He now focuses on his own animal rights and vegan organization–Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT).

One very inspiring aspect of Gary’s work is that he doesn’t limit himself to just promoting veganism.

He actively, physically confronts developers, animal exploitation facilities, politicians, and others to protest various animal harms, including hunting, circuses, fur farms, and habitat destruction.

The governments of the United Kingdom and Canada permanently banned Yourofsky from entering their countries, alleging that his beliefs and actions constitute “terrorism.”

For vegans who want to hear someone articulate the most uncompromising, indignant critiques of animal exploitation, Gary’s videos are powerful and compelling.

He definitely isn’t “politically correct,” or polite.

In one video embedded in this article, he speaks of his wish that people who eat animals or engage in animal exploitation be treated as badly as animals are treated.

He sometimes gets very worked up and appears to wish violence upon those who participate in or support animal exploitation industries.

Yourofsky is probably the most polarizing figure in the animal rights, animal liberation, and vegan movements.

You may watch these videos and come away saying, “I totally get where he’s coming from and appreciate his passion.”

Or you might say: “He’s way too angry and mean.”

I urge you to watch the videos regardless.

Sometimes I wince at the directness, fire, and in-your-face style he uses, but Gary Yourofsky has risked his life and freedom for innocent animals.

He truly embodies the qualities of a Vegan Samurai– he’s strong, unafraid, and willing to risk his safety and freedom to defend the defenseless.

The man well articulates the atrocities of the animal exploitation industries, and the feelings of outrage that most vegans feel when confronted with the brutal reality of what humans do to innocent animals.