Most animal activists are aware that we have little in common with conservatives. Philosophically, animal protection and animal rights are anathema to the right. Both require the exercise of government power and restrictions on individual freedom to exploit or harm animals.
There are no liberal Republicans, so most find ourselves casting our lot with the Democratic Party. But should we be?
There is a substantial chasm separating Bernie Sanders from Hillary Clinton, and an even greater one separating animal activists from Hillary Clinton.
If Hillary were to be elected president, how different would it be for the animals than if a Republican were to be elected?
Wildlife Services would still be murdering a million animals each year for the cattle industry. The Bureau of Land Management would still be rounding up wild horses to appease cattle ranchers; gestation crates, veal crates, de-horning and branding would still be the norm; slaughter lines would continue to operate at full speed (even though fast slaughter lines means one of every 12 calves is conscious when his legs are cut off with chainsaws and chickens are still alive when thrown into vats to boiling water to remove their feathers). Big Agriculture would still receive corporate welfare, price supports, and government subsidies. Hunting would still be permitted on federal lands, Big Oil would continue to be able to drill offshore and in the Arctic, animals would still be vivisected by the National Institutes of Health, animals would be still be killed in military exercises.
Women and minorities may fare better under a President Clinton, but for the animals it makes little difference if a Republican or a Wall Street Democrat takes the presidency.
Were Bernie Sanders to win the presidency, the animals would be far better off than if a Republican were to win. But even that assumes that Sanders will be able to restrict corporate money in politics. His stated objective is to achieve publicly funded political campaigns, eliminating corporate money from politics entirely. Such a development would mean a substantial improvement in the lot of animals, as bribery would no longer control government policy. And most government policy allows industry to do whatever they please to animals
Even under Sanders the Animal Holocaust would continue, although perhaps reduced somewhat in scope and cruelty. Animal Rights would still be a distant dream, well below the horizon. No reason to expect any changes in hunting, puppy mills, zoos, rodeos, circuses, aquatic parks, or in horse or dog racing. A Sanders presidency may well improve the lot of the poor, workers, the elderly, veterans, and students, but it offers little direct hope for animals unless corporate bribery of.politicians is banned.
The prospect of a conservative president appointing justices to the Supreme Court has been the driving force in keeping the left on the Democratic reservation.
But animal activists can rightly demand to know: What is in it for the animals?
Is there any likelihood that a future court will establish rights for animals?
Of course not.
A liberal court may expand the rights of women and minorities but is hardly likely to embrace animal rights. So why should animal activists fall on their swords for liberal Democrats?
The only practical reasons for engaging in electoral politics are for the purposes of educating the public and for recruiting revolutionaries.
Animal interests will only be served by revolution. By bringing down capitalism. By ending the capitalist state. Our Democrat friends do not agree on this fundamental issue. They are certainly closer to us than are Republicans in values and ideology, but closer is still far short of the mark. Most Democrats support capitalism. Few are socialists. Fewer still are socialist revolutionaries.
But if we are to find allies, friends, supporters, comrades, revolutionaries, they will come from the ranks of liberal Democrats.
People who believe in social justice are far more likely to embrace justice for all creatures than are those who deny social justice to their fellow humans. In advocating for universal rights, social justice, and human and animal liberation, we will grow the radical political left.
In doing so we will be planting the seeds for political and social revolution.
• Be sure to visit Armory of the Revolution’s new commissary and bookstore: The Supply Depot
You will find recommended reading on Animal Rights, revolutionary theory, politics, economics, religion, science, and atheism. There is also a section of supplies for animal liberationists, hunt saboteurs, and social revolutionaries. This is all brand new, and we will be adding lots more merchandise in the near future!
• Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls.
I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty.