In a recent issue of Animal Writes, I shared my feelings
about Election 2000 and how difficult it is to make the right choice for
the animals. This brought in several letters supporting either Ralph
Nader or Vice-president Gore. Strangely enough, I received no letters in
support of George Bush, which would seem to indicate his neglect in
showing support for any animal issues, at least to the knowledge of our
The general consensus was that Ralph Nader has promised
to do more for the animals than Al Gore, however his odds for actually
winning the election aren't as good as Mr. Gores. Some of our
subscribers felt that if we would all vote our consciences, then Mr.
Nader actually would have a good chance of getting in, but will we?
Now, to add to the confusion, or to help clear up
confusion, depending on which way the reader is leaning, the Humane
Society of the United States has issued the following information for
"Humane USA, the non-partisan political arm of the
animal protection movement, today endorses Vice President Al Gore for
President and Senator Joseph Lieberman for Vice President and urges
animal protection advocates to support them. Humane USA endorses
candidates based on a single criterion: their stands on animal
protection issues. The organization is entirely non-partisan and it is
not directly affiliated with any single animal protection organization.
Humane USA has endorsed dozens of Democrats and dozens of Republicans in
races for Congress.
In October 2000, Humane USA received a "statement of
principle and policy" from the Gore-Lieberman campaign on animal issues.
Here are policy positions it sets out, with excerpts of the letter in
* Gore opposes commercial whaling and the trade in
ivory. "The Administration successfully opposed a proposal by the
southern African countries to allow the sale of current ivory stock at
the April 2000 meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES), as well as efforts by Norway and Japan to
resume commercial whaling."
* Gore will promote alternatives to animal tests and
work to validate non-animal tests. "Al Gore will appoint an
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator who will end the use
of animal test subjects where alternative, non-animal test methods are
* Gore opposes the use of steel-jaw leghold traps. "As
President, Al Gore will continue to oppose the use of these inhumane
* Gore opposes any trade in bear gall bladders or other
viscera and supports federal legislation to ban any interstate trade or
import or export of bear parts.
* Gore supports increased funding for enforcement of the
Animal Welfare Act (AWA). "The Administration's FY2001 Budget proposes
$16 million for AWA activities, an increase of $5 million above the
current FY2000 estimate."
In the 106th Congress, Senator Lieberman had a 100
percent rating on The Humane Scorecard from The Humane Society of the
United States and The Fund for Animals. He voted to ban the use of
steel-jaw leghold traps on National Wildlife Refuges for commerce or
recreation and voted to limit funding for an international program that
encourages foreign tuna fleets to surround dolphins with deadly nets as
a means of catching tuna. He also cosponsored legislation to combat
cockfighting (S. 345) and the bear parts trade (S. 1109). He has led
efforts to combat whaling by Japan and Norway.
Texas Governor George W. Bush (an avid fisherman and
hunter) has issued no policy statement on animal issues. What's more, he
has received strong support from constituencies that are overly hostile
to basic animal protection, including the National Rifle Association and
the American Farm Bureau. Most disturbing, Governor Bush was named
earlier this year "Governor of the Year" by the Safari Club
International (SCI), an extremist trophy hunting organization that
promotes killing rare mammals throughout the world. SCI encourages
worldwide trophy hunting through its Hunting Achievement Awards. In
order to win all 29 SCI Hunting Achievement Awards, a hunter has to kill
322 different species of big game mammals.
Given these political associations, it is not surprising
to learn that a President Bush may make very troubling political
appointments. MSNBC reported on October 26 that Rep. Don Young would
likely leave the U.S. House of Representatives if appointed Secretary of
the Interior. ".I think it [the Secretary's position] will be offered,"
intoned Young. Rep. Young, who has a grizzly bear trophy mounted in his
office and who is Congress's only licensed trapper, is virulently
opposed to basic protections for animals. Rep. Young has pushed to
weaken the Marine Mammal Protection Act to promote trophy hunting of
polar bears and, in his capacity as chairman of the Resources Committee,
advocated the opening of even more federal land to hunting ("Hunting
Heritage Act," H.R. 4790). He bragged during a hearing on H.R. 4790 that
during his tenure as chairman not a single national wildlife refuge was
created that did not allow hunting.
Though he would undoubtedly assume a number of
pro-animal positions and is particularly strong on trade issues, Ralph
Nader has no realistic chance of becoming president. Beyond that, Nader
has not reached out to the animal protection community. One of his most
notable statements on animals was uttered in support of the treaty
rights of the Makah Nation to hunt whales off the coast of Washington
state. Given that the race for the presidency is so close, there is a
real prospect that voting for Nader will elect Bush.
Given the above circumstances, I strongly urge you to join Humane USA
and myself with your support of Gore-Lieberman and hope you will spread
the word to other animal advocates. The full text of the Gore-Lieberman
statement on animals can be found at http://www.humaneusa.org. On behalf
of the animals, thank you for your kind consideration.
So, back to decisions, decisions -- which way to go.
Vote wisely because many animal lives depend on it. And be sure to vote
in the other ballot measures that pertain to animals. They are as
Measure 1- OPPOSE - Would bar all citizen ballot initiatives relating to
protection of wildlife.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Measure 6 - SUPPORT - Would retain the prohibition of
("land-and-shoot") hunting of wolves, which Alaska voters banned in
For more info., contact: email@example.com
Proposition 102 - OPPOSE - Would require a two-thirds supermajority to
approve any ballot initiative relating to the protection of wildlife.
For more info., contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question 3 - SUPPORT - Would prohibit dog racing and meetings at which
betting or wagering on dog racing occurs.
For more info, contact: email@example.com
Initiative 143 - SUPPORT - Would impose a moratorium on new game farm
licenses and would ban "canned hunts."
For more info, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question 1 - OPPOSE - Would create a new section of the North Dakota
Constitution relating to the right to hunt, trap, and fish.
For more info, contact: email@example.com
(Pending Certification) - SUPPORT - Would ban cockfighting and make it
illegal to keep birds for fighting purposes.
Measure 97 - SUPPORT - Would ban the use of steel-jawed leghold traps &
other body-gripping traps for recreation and commerce in fur, and would
the use of Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and sodium cyanide.
For more info, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question 2 - OPPOSE - Would amend the Virginia Constitution to establish
"a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game."
For more info, contact: email@example.com
Initiative 713 - SUPPORT - Would ban the use of steel-jawed leghold
other body-gripping traps for recreation & commerce in fur, and would
use of Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and sodium cyanide.
For more info, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go on to Holiday
Essay Contest from BruceF@PETA-Online.org
Return to 5 November 2000 Issue
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