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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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.