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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What Happens When a Vegan has a Non-Vegan Lover or Spouse?

One of the most poignant conversations I ever had was with a woman whose deeply-held religious beliefs led her to become a vegan… but her husband didn’t share her views and loved to eat meat, dairy, eggs, and fish.

The marriage was falling apart because of the pair’s divergent dietary choices.

The husband labeled his wife a “looney” and “hippie” for recognizing that harming animals isn’t moral.

The wife labeled her husband immoral for not recognizing that his dietary choices support a system that egregiously harms and kills animals.

There were practical problems as well.

They had children; the woman wondered how she could make vegan meals the children would enjoy and that would also be nutritious.

The wife was eager to make vegan foods for her whole family, but her husband scorned veganism, and insisted she prepare flesh foods.

She ended up spending a lot more time in the kitchen than she wanted to, creating one menu for herself, and another for her family.

She solved part of the problem by using cookbooks such as Kitchen Divided: Vegan Dishes for Semi-Vegan Households, by Ellen Jaffe Jones.

Jones is rather controversial, in that she advises vegans make serious dietary compromises.

Another book she used was Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbookby Isa Moskowitz.

Specifically to please her kids, and to ensure they got good nutrition, she consulted Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes, by Dreena Burton.

But even though vegan foods are tastier and more healthful than non-vegan foods, those cookbooks didn’t solve the marriage’s underlying problems, one of which was that her husband didn’t share her religious view that it’s ethically wrong to harm non-human animals.

The other  problem was deeper and more revealing: the husband wasn’t sensitive to the pain he caused his wife by refusing to even consider going vegan.

The way she saw it, he cared more about satisfying his desire to consume meat, dairy, fish, and eggs than he did about his wife’s conscience and feelings.

This wasn’t the only way he showed indifference to her feelings– he smoked cigarettes.

She’d pleaded with him to give up cigarettes for the sake of his health, the children, and the financial cost of smoking.

But as with his flesh-eating, he didn’t care about the harms he was doing.

He said he liked smoking, it was “too hard” to quit, and he was going to keep on doing it whether she liked it or not.

The couple went to marriage counseling.

The counselor asked the husband to consider the win-win aspects of creating a vegan family, and of giving up cigarettes.

The family’s health would improve.

Their food costs would decrease.

The wife (who did all the cooking) would spend less time cooking.

And most importantly, adopting veganism would show the wife that her husband loved her enough to give up a bad habit in order to avoid harming innocent animals.

I wish there was a happy ending to this story.

The wife spent two years accommodating her husband’s non-vegan diet.

Fortunately, her children became vegan.

Immediately, their health improved. They learned to love vegan foods, and lost all their craving for the regular junk foods, fast foods, and flesh foods that most people eat.

But her husband became more and more intransigent.

Eventually, the woman realized he didn’t love her enough, or in the right way.

“It hurts to say this, but he loved his steaks, fried chicken, and barbecue more than he loved me and the kids,” she told me.

They’re now separated, heading towards divorce.

If you’re in an intimate relationship with a non-vegan, it doesn’t have to end or end badly, but it might.

Being a Vegan Samurai involves sacrifice, and hard choices.

If you’re a vegan intimately involved with a non-vegan, you have to question your own ethics.

If your spouse or lover was involved in dealing heroin, in child molestation, in Wall Street fraud and abuse, or other moral wrongs, would you continue being in love with that person?

Would you feel comfortable giving them the benefits of your body, love, partnership, and care?

Only you can decide if the person you’re intimately involved with is worth staying involved with if they’re a customer of the worldwide system that exploits, tortures, and kills billions of innocent animals every year.

There are many analogies I could use to summarize the situation often described as a “vegan mixed marriage.”

In the Christian Bible, a New Testament teaching advises followers of Christ not to be joined in marriage with an “unbeliever.”

During the American Civil War, families were fractured, brother fought in battle against brother, because some family members believed it was acceptable to own humans as slaves, but others opposed slavery.

When segregation and racist lynchings were still a part of the American experience in the 1960s, families and marriages split up when a family member or spouse refused to reject racism.

When Americans oppose immoral wars, such as the Vietnam War or the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, marriages and other partnerships were torn asunder when a person of conscience refused to be joined intimately with someone who lacked conscience.

Being a vegan is not just a dietary choice… it’s a moral, social, and spiritual issue.

The problems of a mixed marriage involving vegan and non-vegan aren’t just about a crowded refrigerator, logistical problems at meal-time, or a vegan having to see and smell dead animals being consumed at the dinner table.

It’s about right and wrong, empathy, and what people are willing to do to create peace with their own conscience and with those around them.

If you’re a vegan man or woman, sharing your body, sexuality, money, life, heart and mind with someone who eats animal foods, someone voluntarily complicit in the system of genocide and ecocide that torments and kills billions of sentient animals per year, you really have to consider your level of devotion to vegan principles, and to defending innocent animals against the human onslaught.

I personally have turned down explicit offers of sex and romance from attractive women, solely because those women consumed animal foods and wouldn’t consider becoming vegan.

I won’t intimately share my body, mind, or heart with someone who is so cold-hearted.

I hope your devotion to conscience, ethics, and innocent animals, will outweigh your devotion to a human who harms innocent animals.