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Democrats Support Animal Issues

"The stars have played their part
"The past is gone and done
"Have more faith in love
"The best is yet to come..."
--Basia, "New Day for You" (1987)
In 1992, Congressman Ron Dellums called for a halt to all animal experimentation in the military.  Presidential candidate Jerry Brown said, "The millions of animals used in scientific experiments should be replaced by other methods."  
In a letter dated March 26, 1992, Presidential candidate Bill Clinton wrote to Don A. Jones of Marietta, GA:  "Thank you for writing to express your concern for the rights of animals.  I have always loved and respected animals and abhorred any cruelty toward them.  Please be assured that a Clinton Administration would be extremely sensitive to these issues and concerns."
In letter dated October 6, 1992, Congressman Pete Stark said he supported H.R. 3918, the Consumer Products Safe Testing Act.
He wrote:
"Animals should be treated humanely.  As I was in the last Congress, I am a co-sponsor of this bill which declares that Federal policy shall encourage the development and use of product testing procedures which accurately reflect the acute health effects on humans of certain products, but... do not rely upon animal testing."
Stark, along with Congressman James Scheuer, is also an original co-sponsor of legislation to ban the use of the steel-jaw leghold trap -- banned in over 66 countries. Stark also supports the Endangered Species Act, without weakening its provisions; an immediate ban on the importation of wild-caught birds for the pet trade; a prohibition on sport hunting and trapping in the National wildlife Refuge; non-animal toxicity tests for non-medical products; making medical research more accountable for tax money spent and animals used; and more humane methods of raising animals for food. 
Kathleen Marquardt, founder of Putting People First (a now-defunct anti-animal rights group) wrote in her 1993 book, Animal Scam: The Beastly Abuse of Human Rights, that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) "now encourages vegetarianism, the banning of fur, and the eventual end to all animal research, not just ‘cruel’ animal research." Marquardt wrote that the Humane Society now supports vegetarianism.
According to Marquardt, "The typical animal rights activist is a white woman making about $30,000 a year. She is most likely a schoolteacher, nurse, or government worker. She usually has a college degree or even an advanced degree, is in her thirties or forties, and lives in a city."
Marquardt cited studies indicating that animal rights activists tend to identify with liberal causes such as feminism and environmentalism. 
"Every year," writes the Reverend Andrew Linzey, an Anglican priest and author of Christianity and the Rights of Animals, "I receive hundreds of anguished letters from Christians who are so distressed by the insensitivity to animals shown by mainstream churches that they have left them or are on the verge of doing so." It is not surprising, therefore, that Marquardt reported that "Most activists share a bias against Western civilization and its Judeo-Christian foundations."
According to Marquardt, the "political clout" of the animal rights movement "is surprisingly bipartisan. But most of the leading politicians working with the animal rights movement are liberal Democrats." Marquardt mentioned Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Nevada Congressman Jim Bilbray, Charlie Rose of North Carolina, Tom Lantos and Gerry Studds.
Marquardt admitted, however, that "some Republicans are animal rightists, too. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas often supports animal rights causes — except, of course, those pertaining to cattle, a major business in Kansas. Senator Robert Smith of New Hampshire was a founder of the Congressional Friends of Animals. Bob Dornan of California, one of the most conservative House members, is an animal rights advocate — he cosponsored legislation banning the use of animals in testing cosmetics and received a PETA award. And Manhattan Congressman Bill Green promoted legislation that would have shut down over 90 million acres of federal land to hunting, fishing, and trapping."
Marquardt wrote further, "Although he’s not an elected official, a conservative political figure who, surprisingly, is on the other side is G. Gordon Liddy, author Will and a key figure in the 1972 Watergate uproar. When I went on Liddy’s radio show, he and PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk greeted each other with hugs and kisses and lots of warm words.
"With allies in both political parties and across the ideological spectrum," concluded Marquardt, "the animal rights movement has been able to score some great successes, regardless of which party controls the White House or Capitol Hill."
Animal issues are now mainstream politics. Obama for America reported in September 2008:
Senator Obama realizes that animal welfare means protecting the wildlife whose ecosystems are being threatened by global climate change. To combat this serious problem, he has proposed an aggressive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. To read more information about Barack's plans to protect the environment, please visit the following link:
When Barack Obama first sat down to discuss running for president with his two young daughters - Malia, 8 years old at the time, and Sasha, 5 - they thought for a moment before giving their response: "Does that mean we can get a dog?" So, Barack Obama understands the integral role that dogs and other pets play in the American family. He believes that we must respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment.
As an Illinois State Senator and United States Senator, Obama has been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy. He has repeatedly voted to increase penalties for animal cruelty and violence, and to require psychological counseling for those who engage in this behavior. He has co-sponsored bills to ban the slaughter of horses and wild burros, increase penalties for animal fighting, prohibit dog fighting, and penalize spectators for engaging in dog fighting. 
He has supported additional funding for the Animal Care division within the Department of Agriculture, and sought funds to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and the federal animal fighting law. He has cosponsored legislation to promote the veterinary profession, including providing grants to encourage graduates to work in underserved rural and inner city areas or specialize in public health and biomedical research. 
And Obama voted to require the Food and Drug Administration to update labeling standards for pet food and create a national registry or early warning system for adulterated pet food.
As president, Obama will continue to respect and support animals. He will make sure that we treat animal cruelty, exploitation, and neglect like the serious crime it is, and address its connection to broader patterns of violence. He will support the role pets play as companions by crafting policies that honor the bonds between family and pet. 
Obama will encourage and support the role animals play in assisting humans, from search and rescue to aiding persons with disabilities. This means we need to support their trainers and the people they assist, and, most importantly, make sure that animals employed by humans are well-treated.
“I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other, and it’s very important that we have a President who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.”
- President-Elect Barack Obama, 2008
Barack Obama and the Democrats stood behind the Lily Ledbetter Act to end wage discrimination against women, whereas Rush Limbaugh and other Republicans demonized Sandra Fluke for saying women shouldn't have to pay for contraceptive coverage when men don't have to pay for Viagra. Republicans reminisce about a mythical time when birth control meant aspirin and women keeping their knees together.
The Democrats and President Obama are now calling for an increase in the minimum wage. If you're a middle class wage earner, a waitress or a bartender, and if you're visiting the doctor or the hospital on a regular basis and in need of health care, it's in your best interest to vote Democratic. 
The policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (which was considered *progressive* for 1993!) was ended under Barack Obama, allowing LGBTs to openly serve in the military. 
American involvement in Iraq came to an end under Barack Obama. 
When the Democrats took Congress in 2010, and it was possible for health care reform to pass, Senator Jim Webb said ending marijuana prohibition was not off the table. Barack Obama himself has admitted marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol.
Obama and the Democrats have put forth programs to improve the economy, only to have the Republicans block any legislation: they aren't interested in the welfare of the American people, they only want to make the president look bad.
Far from treating Barack Obama as a regular American guy in love with Michelle, the Republicans accuse him of being a "Muslim" even though Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution clearly states: "No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
Tulsi Gabbard, a Hare Krishna devotee, a vegetarian, was elected to Congress in 2012 as a Democrat, and sworn in on the Bhagavad-gita, Hinduism's most sacred scripture. I don't think that would have happened if she were a Republican. The other side would have debated whether or not she has to "work" for her salvation, whether or not she's worshipping the "devil," worried she's in a "cult," etc. George Harrison once said there are a lot of "closet Krishnas." The other side treats us as a "cult" and wonders why?
In 1996, two years after the Brady Bill was signed into law by President Clinton, Jim and Sarah Brady appeared at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and were greeted with a standing ovation. Sarah Brady said mildly amused, "Jim, I think we made a wrong turn. This doesn't look like San Diego (the site of the Republican Convention)."
Similarly, an animal rights message is warmly received on the political left, and met with hostility on the right. Bill Clinton and Al Gore are vegan. Dennis Kucinich is vegan. Reverend Al Sharpton is vegan. Chelsea Clinton was vegan for a number of years... her wedding in 2010 was strictly vegan. Amy Carter is a vegetarian. And the Bush daughters were famous for... underage drinking? Well, to be fair, PETA reports that Lauren Bush, niece of George W. Bush, is a vegetarian.
Friends of Animals recently reported on Bill de Blasio:
"...New York City will have its first mayor to pledge to create a humane city for animals -- starting with banning horse-drawn carriages... Our mayor understands that animal rights is more than just a special interest: It is an essential component of social justice. 
"In a rousing and inspiring speech to animal advocates, Mayor de Blasio said: 'Your time has come. Whether you've been fighting for animal rights and a more humane society, or if you've been fighting for social and economic justice... allow me to say... I am honored to be a part of your movement. I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in common cause.'
"His outspoken stance on animal rights issues, and his firm promise to get carriage horses off the streets and into sanctuaries, made the candidate shine among animal advocates... His campaign brandished itself as progressive winning him a landslide victory with more than 73 percent of the vote. Mayor de Blasio also credits his two teenage children, both vegetarians and animal rights supporters, for advancing his thinking on the issues."
On the Daily Kos, a liberal website, they're laughing at the Republicans because millennials see them as bigots on issues like same-sex relations. Republicans denigrate ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities on a regular basis.
Liberal websites have been saying for years now that the real reason the Republicans oppose "Obamacare" and were willing to shut down the government rather than see it implemented, is because they know once Americans find themselves covered under health insurance, they'll vote Democratic!
The Affordable Care Act didn't have to be "Obamacare," either. It could have been bipartisan. It was the Republicans who refused to cooperate!
For years, the GOP has been calling Obamacare things like: “The most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed.”
Now that Obamacare has started to kick in, how’s that prediction looking?
Twelve million more Americans will have health insurance in 2014 because of Obamacare.
Premiums through the insurance exchanges will be lower than expected, and hundreds of millions of Americans are benefiting from things like preventive services with no copays, staying on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, no lifetime caps on coverage, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
Oh, and the uninsured rate is plummeting…
But the GOP voted to repeal or undermine Obamacare for the 52nd time!
The only way we can stop these guys is to vote them out.
A single payer health insurance system, as advocated by Dennis Kucinich, would be preferable. Single payer is NOT socialized medicine. That would be the Veterans Administration. Or the British health care system, where the government pays for the doctors and hospitals. Under single payer, you get a health care card and you can go to any doctor or hospital in the United States. Doctors are not employees of the government. Hospitals remain in private hands. You get free choice of doctor and hospital.
Single payer will NOT lead to rationing, “like in Canada.” Currently, in the United States, the private health insurance companies ration care. If you do not have health insurance, you do not get health care. That’s why 120 Americans die every day from lack of health care. There are some problems in the Canadian system, but most of what you hear about long lines is American health insurance propaganda. Zero people die every day in Canada due to lack of health insurance.
Medicines will be cheaper under single payer. For example, the Veterans Administration gets a 40 percent discount on drugs because of its buying power. This single payer buying power is the main reason why other countries’ drug prices are lower. Now you know why the drug industry is so opposed to single payer.
All medically necessary care would be funded through the single payer, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescriptions, mental health services, home care, rehab, eye care, and dental care. No bills, no deductibles, and no co-pays. And you can go to see any doctor or check in to any hospital in the United States.
Like handgun violence, health care IS a sanctity-of-life issue, too!
Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) – 220 – 3066
While I think a single-payer system, as advocated by Dennis Kucinich, would have been preferable, we Democrats have been pushing for health care reform since Harry Truman. I only wish the Stupak Amendment, which would have prevented healthcare reform from subsidizing abortion, had passed. To us pro-life Democrats, Bart Stupak is a hero.
If we Democrats prove to the American people *we're* a "big tent" too, we can easily win, even in red states.
Fifty-nine percent of Democrats favored a ban on partial-birth abortion.  (Gallup Poll, November 1, 2000)
Eighty-nine percent of Americans favored informed consent for women seeking abortions.  (Gallup Poll, 2002)
Sixty-seven percent of Democrats would outlaw some or all abortions.  (Gallup Poll, May 5-7, 2003)
Forty-three percent of Democrats agreed with the statement that abortion "destroys a human life and is manslaughter."  (Zogby Poll, December 2004)
Seventy percent of high school senior females say they would not consider abortion if they became pregnant while in high school.  (Hamilton College/Zogby Poll, January 2008)
Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe abortion should have stricter limitations.  (CBS News Poll, January 2008)
Twenty-nine percent of Democratic Convention delegates disagreed with the statement, "Abortion should be generally available to those who want it rather than under stricter limits or not permitted."  However, 52 percent of Democratic voters as a whole disagreed.  This large discrepancy between party leadership and membership indicates a serious problem that Democrats For Life of America wants to rectify.
During the 2008 campaign, Reverend Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) advised Barack Obama to support a plank in the Democratic Party Platform that would aim to reduce abortions by focusing on supporting low income women and making adoption easier.  (This is the 95-10 Initiative, advanced by pro-life Democrats in Congress.)  Reverend Tony Campolo served on the Platform Committee and has issued a strong statement in support of a pro-life position.  
A "conscience clause" which appeared in the 2000 Democratic Platform (but not in 2004) acknowledges that there are pro-life people in our Party and we respect their views. It reads as follows:
"We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues."
Kristen Day of Democrats For Life said, "Roughly a third of the Democratic Party is pro-life. And while many do not call themselves liberal, they share the values which seem to identify with liberalism, particularly a commitment to helping the vulnerable and providing a social safety net." 
Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) - 220 - 3066

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