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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Wisdom From A Baby Pig Plush Toy

Once upon a time, I had a beautiful young wife.

Because we recognized that human population growth is a major contributor to environmental destruction and mass extinction, we decided not to create human children.

My wife was infused with maternal instinct, and it made her sad we weren’t going to make children together.

She loved animals and animal plush toys starting when she was just a tiny baby.

One day it occurred to me to give her a present that would rekindle the spirit of her childhood– it was a cute, sweet, baby pig plush toy.

She was going away to graduate school the day I gave it to her.

She named the baby pig “Piggy,” and as she held Piggy to her heart and kissed him, she said he’d be the son we never had.

At first, our Piggy was just a sweet, cute, endearing fantasy that she created and I participated in with a kind of bemused, poignant affection.

But over time, Piggy took on a life of his own.

Perhaps it seems childish or delusional, but we increasingly believed he was animate, that he could move on his own, that he had personality, thoughts, feelings.

He became like a real son, albeit a son who never needed diaper changes, who’d never grow up to be a rebellious teenager.

As you might expect, we started paying more attention to biological baby pigs.

My wife volunteered at a baby pig sanctuary.

Whenever we saw pigs on farms, we’d try to get to their fence and have Piggy play with them, or at least talk to them.

Then we read the incredibly moving book The Good Good Pig, by Sy Montgomery.

This book inarguably shows that pigs are sentient, have personhood, and can be just as important in families and social life as humans or pets can.

One problem our family had was that I was raised eating “pork,” especially barbecued pork.

But one day, when I was eating pork ribs and hot sauce, I noticed Piggy’s deep brown eyes looking at me accusingly, reproachfully.

I realized I was offending him, disappointing him, and probably outraging him.

I wasn’t yet a vegan, but I already knew that after I ate animal flesh or dairy products, I always felt somewhat queasy and sluggish, if not actually physically ill from the toll that flesh foods take on your digestive system.

So for the sake of Piggy, I gave up pork.

I knew that any baby pig (whether plush toy or biological) is horrified and terrorized by even the most “humane” situations in which humans manage pigs and then later on kill them.

And it’s even worse to see how industrial “pig farms” enslave pigs in brutal conditions and subject them to constant abuse.

When I became 100% vegan in late 2015, one reason I did it is so my little Piggy wouldn’t see his father being a customer of the animal exploitation industries that harm pigs and many other animals.

If you have children who love their animal plush toys, you too may realize that your children experience cognitive dissonance when they see humans eating and otherwise harming animals.

The bottom line is that some people view our little Piggy as just a plush toy, but for us, he’s a real entity who helped us have empathy for non-human animals.