FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

This Election We’ve Failed Animals (Again)

Did you see Bernie Sander’s speech the other night, when he came out in opposition to the systematic slaughter of farm animals in America? Did you hear the passion with which — in his thick, Brooklyn accent — he denounced the horrors of vivisection, the abuse of zoos and circuses, and the abomination of hunting? Did you notice how Hillary Clinton, not wanting Sanders to outflank her, adopted a similar stance, and even the Republican front runners were forced to discuss the issue in their most recent debate? No, you didn’t and neither did I. Because, as animalists, we’ve failed non-humans this election.

Of course, in the near future, it isn’t remotely likely leading presidential candidates will take an abolitionist position on animal exploitation. But we can’t even get welfarism, for which I imagine there is a wide base of support, on the agenda. In early October, I attended a packed Sanders speech in Springfield, Mass.; so far as I could tell, there was not a single mention of torturous treatment to which we subject intensively-farmed animals, let alone any other non-human group. This is what we get from the left-most candidate with any national traction: nothing. And to a certain degree, this is our fault.

To be fair, the animalist group Direct Action Everywhere has attempted to force the plight of non-humans into the presidential campaign. In late October a courageous DxE activist, Matt Johnson, stormed the stage at a Clinton rally in Iowa, carrying an animalist banner, before being removed by police. So far as I can tell, all that resulted from this was a few bemused quips from Bill Clinton, but we need far more actions like this. The example we should be following, in this primary, is that of Black Lives Matter activists, who after repeatedly heckling candidates, got those, at least on the Democratic side, to more specifically address criminal-justice reform.

I’ll admit I found the Black Lives Matter interruption of a Sanders event in Seattle annoying. The video of two young women shouting at an elderly candidate — who, as a socialist, I was predisposed to like — inches away from his face, didn’t sit well with me. Further, It seemed disingenuous when one of these women accused the crowd of racism for booing their hijacking of the event. But in retrospect, it’s clear these activists advanced their cause. Sanders made criminal-justice reform a regular and central part of his stump speech.

We need to, so much as it’s possible, do the same for animalism. We need to haunt the candidates. We need to be there with signs and megaphones at every campaign event. We need to shout them down until they address the overwhelming violence our country inflicts on its non-human brethren. We need to be unafraid of being obnoxious, a fear of which, I’ll be the first to admit, I have a hard time overcoming outside of print. So far this election cycle, we’ve failed animals. Let’s not allow it to continue.

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail