FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail