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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Animal Liberation: A “Bible” for Vegans

Do vegans have a Bible of veganism?

If they do, it could well be the groundbreaking book Animal Liberation, first published in 1975, written by Australian philosopher and Princeton University professor Dr. Peter Singer.

Singer’s book summarized and synthesized the social sciences of philosophy and ethics to explain how and why the pervading human view of animals can be called “specieism.”

Like other isms such as racism and sexism, speciesism is the human-created belief that “we’re better than they are, and they’re inferior to us.”

Most of us are raised to believe that humans are “the best” species, the most important species, the only species that really counts.

Speciesism claims that all other species can be used by us for whatever we want to use them for: food, experimentation, entertainment, labor, fur, skins, etc.

It also links up with dominionism– the idea that humans have the right to change the entire planet and use the biosphere and Nature however we want to.

Note that I don’t use the term dominionism as it is commonly used to describe a “Christian” theology that seeks to create “Christian” nations.

As Peter Singer so persuasively explains, speciesism derives from a set of irrational and unfounded assumptions and irrational beliefs about the world, about humans, and about non-human species.

You may be surprised to know that until only a hundred years ago, leading philosophers and scientists argued that there was no such thing as cruelty to animals because animals have no feelings and no rights.

Some famous scientists and philosophers like Rene Descartes (1596-1650) believed non-human animals were unfeeling machines that happened to have beating hearts and the ability to move, breathe, and vocalize.

And even today, people who slag vegans and veganism and defend harming animals seem to believe that non-human animals feel no pain and thus can be handled as if they’re inanimate, machine-like objects.

Using classical philosophical methods that build on fact and logic, Singer brilliantly analyzes the beliefs, attitudes, and systems humans use to justify the enslavement and torture of tens of millions of animals for food and other uses.

He shows that speciesism is part of a continuum of harmful isms that come from impulses to dominate, victimize, and harm other beings.

When you see humans abusing others, including through child abuse, wars, police misconduct, rape, sexual harassment, bullying, spousal abuse, domestic violence, and other mean practices, you’re seeing the same “dominator mentality” that drives humans to subdue and exploit non-human animals.

Singer updated Animal Liberation several years ago, and made it an even more compelling book of moral philosophy that would take an entire semester to fully understand and explicate if you’re taking a college course on it.

But it’s also very readable in one go, and clear enough to function as a Bible for those of us looking for the rational, fact-based ethics of why humans should stop eating and otherwise harming animals and each other.

Take a look at the Peter Singer YouTube videos embedded here, and get your own copy of Animal Liberation here.

You’ll find intellectual foundations, moral imperatives, a well-reasoned and articulate voice, and personal inspiration from this pioneering work that helped jumpstart the modern vegan and animal rights movements!