Our Best (and Maybe Only) Chance to Save the Wild Mustangs

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I am hard pressed to imagine a greater waste of time and energy by those who care about animals than to rail against Bernie Sanders and to post about the Humane Party.

Those in the Humane Party are among the most dedicated animal activists with the very best of intentions. They no doubt would like to see Humane candidates elected and their policies become the law of the land.

Can’t happen.

Politics isn’t about purity of ideals, it is about raising issues and winning elections. We hope to makes progress two ways. We hope we may make a difference for animals in some way, and we hope to educate and recruit activists.

Neither can be accomplished through the Humane Party.

The American political system is rigged to thwart third parties. No third party in history has ever won the presidency. None have even come close, even when led by nationally known political figures. The closest was in 1912 when former president Teddy Roosevelt ran on the Progressive (Bull Moose) ticket.

Nor is it reasonable to believe that campaigning for the Humane Party will educate the public or recruit animal activists. In the cacophony of a presidential election cycle, the few voices for the Humane Party are being drowned out like a whisper at a World Series game.

No one is listening. The media is ignoring the much larger and more sophisticated Greens. Most political pundits have never heard of the Humane Party, let alone the general public.

Outreach to voters by Humane Party activists is primarily focused on the already converted. Animal activists and vegans are understandably disgusted with a political system in which both parties support animal exploitation and cruelty. Out of frustration some are turning to the Humane Party as a way to vent their outrage. But the Humane Party is not winning converts to animal rights or veganism. Indeed, it cannot do so. Political parties are not philosophical movements, they are organizations which mobilize their members and deliver them to the polls. A party with few members to start with has little to work with.

Preaching to the converted is both a waste of time and a waste of money. And the converted are the only ones that Humane Party activists can reach without spending a fortune on advertising. Those funds could do so much for animals in need!

The system will not succumb to changes at the ballot box when the candidates to be voted on are in lock step with the industries which have purchased their souls.

Only those challenging the system from within the major parties have any opportunity to elect insurgent candidates and to impact public policies.

The practical effect of third parties is to neutralize the power of their voters. By siphoning activists away from contests in which they might make a difference, third parties are unwitting accomplices of the status quo.

Politics is trade off. It is prioritizing issues. It is trading off items low on one’s list of priorities in service to issues at the top of the list. For animal activists that means we support candidates who will work for our issues even though we may disagree with their positions on many others.

We very infrequently have major party candidates that we can enthusiastically embrace. The last one I worked for was Dennis Kucinich in 2008. A vegan and supporter of animal rights, Kucinich was the most ethical person to have ever sought the presidency.

This year we have no such champion for the animals among the major candidates.

Our task is to pursue a strategy which will reduce animal suffering and deaths. As the candidates presently stand, only Bernie Sanders has a pro animal voting record and opposes Big Agriculture.

Should Sanders not win the Democratic nomination, the likely general election matchup will be Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.

Clinton has vowed to continue the policies of the Obama administration. Obama has been no friend to animals. Obama has continued the Bush program of rounding up wild horses to remove them from lands used for cattle grazing. The Department of Agriculture runs an agency called Wildlife Services, whose entire mission is to kill any and all wild animals that cattle ranchers deem to be inconvenient. The Obama administration also permits the Navy to kill and maim whales and dolphins. The National Institutes of Health murders millions of laboratory animals each year. The Environmental Protection Agency has delisted wolves and supported hunting on federal lands.

Trump is no defender of animals. But his position on trade agreements makes him a better friend to animals than is Hillary Clinton.

Trump opposes trade agreements.

Clinton supports trade agreements.

She supported NAFTA. She lauded the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which she reluctantly repudiated in the face of overwhelming opposition of rank and file Democrats.

Trade agreements kill animals.

Both wild animals through environmental degradation, and those trapped in the food system through currency manipulation and trade incentives. Trade agreements abrogate US environmental laws, labor laws, and food safety laws. Trade agreements are written by lobbyists for the benefit of multinational corporations and Wall Street.

Trade agreements undermine US sovereignty.

Trade agreements allow trade disputes to be tried in tribunals that override US courts.

On paper, Trump is a better choice for animals than is Hillary Clinton.

But that is hardly good enough for the animals.

We must use our Nuclear Option for the animals!

Animal activists must use our voting power to coerce Hillary Clinton to pledge to stop wild horse roundups and to abolish Wildlife Services if she is elected.

Absent such a guarantee, animal activists should stand as one in voting for Donald Trump.

The animals have nothing to lose with a Trump presidency. And unless Hillary changes Obama’s policies, the animals will continue to suffer under a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Unless we work to impact the presidential elections, the animals will have been betrayed by our inaction.

For those of us for whom animal issues are of paramount importance, we must wield our votes as weapons on behalf of the animals.

To use our votes as palliatives to assuage our consciences would be both cowardly and criminal.

 

 

 

Author’s Notes:

This article was published yesterday under the title Eyes Only: The Nuclear Political Option.

A particularly ignorant or malicious person complained about a link I posted which linked to this article. I was sharing this article to a number of friends’ walls when Facebook blocked me. They said the content was blocked by their security software. Quite apparently some idiot complained about it without actually reading the article.

Next time, they should just unfriend me rather than compromise my work for the animals. Of course the more reasonable thing to do when they find something they don’t like would be to tell the person who posted it.

More than 300 posts across Facebook to friends, pages, and groups have been deleted by Big Brother at Facebook.

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

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Natasha Sainsbury, of Good Karma Graphic Design, has joined Armory of the Revolution as Editor, and is responsible for the transformation of the blog’s appearance. Visit and follow her blog V Kind.

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12 thoughts on “Our Best (and Maybe Only) Chance to Save the Wild Mustangs

  1. If we intend to affect national policy it will require a massive gathering of supporters. Taking a page from the Bernie Sanders play book, social media offers an opportunity to reach millions of people instantly. We need to develop a position that is easily understood by the masses and allows no wiggle room on the part of the politicians. “All wild horses that are not adopted will be released back into the wild effective immediately. Areas of public land will be set aside for this purpose alone and no commercial enterprise will be allowed (cattle grazing). Furthermore within this sanctuary protection will be provided for all wild creatures and it shall be unlawful to hunt or otherwise interfere them.” To rally the troops we need leaders that have national name recognition and that we will proudly follow and serve without hesitation because they have done and are doing something major for animal rights. Madeleine Pickens, Robert Redford, Lacy J. Dalton, Laura Leigh, and the like should head up the organization. The second tier should be made up of other publicly recognized persons who are committed to animal rights and can bring attention to this issue. For example: ♥ Paul McCartney ♥ Linda McCartney ♥ Bob Barker
    ♥ Ali MacGraw ♥ Brigitte Bardot ♥ Betty White
    ♥ Bea Arthur – R.I.P. ♥ Katherine Heigl ♥ Pamela Anderson
    ♥ Doris Day ♥ Julie Christie ♥ Angelina Jolie
    ♥ David Duchovny ♥ Stella McCartney ♥ Linda Blair
    ♥ Sarah McLachlan ♥ James Cromwell ♥ Brad Pitt
    ♥ Mickey Rourke ♥ Pink ♥ Earl Holliman
    ♥ Tito Ortiz ♥ Dixie Carter – R.I.P. ♥ Cloris Leachman
    ♥ JoAnne Worley ♥ Isabella Rossellini ♥ Daryl Hannah
    ♥ Heather Mills ♥ Cesar Millan ♥ Bernadette Peters
    ♥ Ellen DeGeneres ♥ Noah Wylie ♥ Kim Basinger
    ♥ Pierce Brosnan ♥ Mary Tyler Moore ♥ Casey Kasem
    ♥ Charlize Theron ♥ Edie Falco ♥ Robert Culp – R.I.P.
    ♥ Casey Affleck ♥ Chrissie Hynde ♥ Moby
    ♥ Hilary Swank ♥ Dan Ackroyd ♥ Shirley Jones
    ♥ David Crosby ♥ Persia White ♥ Rene Russo
    ♥ Laura Dern ♥ Bebe Neuwirth ♥ Jennie Garth
    ♥ Tippi Hedren ♥ Wolfgang Petersen ♥ Teri Austin
    ♥ Loretta Swit ♥ Linda Hunt ♥ Lamon Brewster
    ♥ Tom Scholz ♥ Alec Baldwin ♥ Ed Asner
    ♥ Ed Begley, Jr. ♥ Daryl Hannah ♥ Elayne Boosler
    ♥ Mike Farrell ♥ Hulk Hogan ♥ Sara Gilbert
    ♥ Anne Heche ♥ Shari Belafonte ♥ Anjelica Huston
    ♥ Rue McClanahan -R.I.P. ♥ Whoopi Goldberg ♥ Dave Matthews
    ♥ Bill Maher ♥ Cathy Guisewite ♥ Kevin Nealon
    ♥ Victoria Principal ♥ Kevin James ♥ Montel Williams
    ♥ Alicia Silverstone ♥ Diane Keaton ♥ Maura Tierney
    ♥ Ally Sheedy ♥ Alexandra Paul ♥ Jerry Stiller
    ♥ Kara DioGuardi ♥ Robin Williams RIP ♥ Eva Mendes
    ♥ Hayden Panettiere ♥ Tim Gunn ♥ Martha Stewart
    ♥ Alicia Keys ♥ Simon Cowell ♥ “Sugar” Shane Mosely
    ♥ Tony Gonzalez ♥ Holly Madison ♥ Martin Sheen
    ♥ Woody Harrelson ♥ Victoria Beckham ♥ Christina Applegate
    ♥ Christy Turlington ♥ Ron Artest ♥ Steve-O
    ♥ Kathy Najimy ♥ Jason Taylor ♥ Carre Otis
    ♥ Sheryl Lee ♥ Dennis Rodman ♥ David Cross
    ♥ Roselyn Sanchez ♥ Traci Bingham ♥ Sadie Frost
    ♥ Karina Smirnoff ♥ Dennis Rodman ♥ Joanna Krupa
    ♥ Khloe Kardashian ♥ Charlotte Ross ♥ Maggie Q
    ♥ Kate Winslet ♥ Sophie Monk ♥ Olivia Munn
    ♥ Khloe Kardashian ♥ Dave Navarro ♥ Ke$ha
    ♥ Brian May

    If each of these people (the ones still alive) were to issue a coordinated statement to their fan base asking them to sign a petition and contribute $1 as a token of support for this cause, I believe it could be handled in a way to make it “go viral” bringing wide ranging press coverage. The goal of the petition would be to gather 5 million signatures and to submit it to every politician seeking office in 2016. The clear message being “if you do not support this effort, we will bring the full force of our organization to see that you are defeated”.
    Roland these are my initial thoughts this evening as I sit here pondering how we might improve this world for the animals and for the children. It seems to me that we have quite a few fellow citizens that would like to help make the world a better place, but that they have never been brought together in a single nationwide effort. I am envisioning a “We are the World” for horses. I am sure Lacy would let us use “Let em Run” as a theme song.
    Let me know if you think I am completely bonkers. I must close for now. Tomorrow is another day at the horse rescue ranch.
    Bill Hepburn

    Like

    • Excellent, Bill! Your ideas are inspirational and would be a valuable addition to strategic planning for the campaign. My thoughts are that we initially enlist a core of activists who will commit to building the campaign infrastructure and disseminate information on the project to activists across the country. We will need a website, petition software which will allow us to retrieve relevant data, a fundraising capability to cover advertising, etc.

      The basic concept of the campaign is contained in this article, which should be widely distributed. I can be reached at rolandvincent@yahoo.com

      Like

    • Some people seem to think this: if you “rescue” an animal, you are an animal rights activist. From my perspective, given my metaphysics, I don’t identify any of the celebrities listed above as animal activists. I would argue the lifestyle of most of these cited celebrities and the incessant schlock they are a part of is anti-animal rights.

      Take DeGeneres as an example of lifestyle abuse and schlock production. I don’t watch her program, yet, I will admit I have seen about two minutes of this schlock, which almost caused me to vomit. Why do people watch this crap! Now, her show is like thousands of other shows–they are pointless, though we are encouraged to believe what they provide us is meaningful.

      Television and movie production is resource intensive. There is an ecological consequence to this production intensiveness.

      It is necessary to watch a DeGeneres program five days a week?

      The delusion is believing we can manage every lifeform on earth. It is believing we ought to abominate as many species as we can so they can be a part of the healthcare system.

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  2. I think getting a real pledge or promise from Hillary is a good idea. Assuming she wouldn’t feel free to break the promise because she isn’t planning a second term and couldn’t be held accountable, how do we exact that promise? By signing petitions? Do we have enough money or a high enough political profile to get her attention? Even if we can count on at least some environmentalists along with animal rights activists, do we have enough of a voice to be players?

    Like

    • Attempting to influence legislators is particularly difficult if their donors have contrary points of view.

      Similarly, impacting government agencies and their courses of action is usually a fool’s errand when their policies and their management are dictated by special interests and lobbyists.

      Such is the scenario in efforts to end wild horse roundups and to have the BLM adopt humane horse management policies and techniques.

      That the efforts have had only the most modest success is indicative of the need to change strategies.

      We must impact political aspirations before they harden into political resolve, then governmental policy and programs.

      Hillary Clinton has vowed to continue Obama’s policies. There is little doubt she would include the biddings of Big Ag in continuing the BLM roundup and the killing of wildlife by Wildlife Services.

      To be sure, this is not an issue on the public’s radar. Nor is it one that would generate a lot of votes either way. This is an issue that is important to a handful of cattle ranchers a much larger group of activists unable to match the cattle industry’s largess.

      But unlike in other election cycle’s, the Democratic nominee (likely Hillary) is in no way assured of winning the presidency in the Fall.

      Her path is seriously complicated by an open revolt by Sanders supporters who are planning on withholding support for Clinton in the general election.

      Winning the election is more important to Hillary than are the interests of one donor class. If we can make a compelling enough case that her success will be greatly aided, or greatly hindered, by animal activists who would make this the penultimate issue of the campaign.

      In that animal activists are among the most ardent of Sanders’ supporters, we can sell our influence as extending far beyond our numbers. And in so doing, address the biggest concern the Clinton campaign is confronting: folding Sanders voters into the ranks of her voters in November.

      I see the campaign as follows:

      To gain the support of the Democratic nominee, we will employ:

      1. A campaign website which details the horrors visited upon horses and wildlife by the US government and its agencies, and humane alternatives to those policies. Also a Facebook page and group to drive traffic to the website and promote and share the petition.
      2. A petition to the Democratic nominee (if the campaign is launched prior to the Democratic convention) or to Hillary Clinton, demanding that she pledge to end wild horse roundups and the killing of wildlife for cattle ranchers. The petition will be specific as to US voters, including addresses, email, and phone numbers retrievable by the campaign.
      3. A separate fund raising effort to drive the campaign.
      4. A political outreach to anti-Hillary outlets and organizations, and a social media presence for Trump.
      5. A press office operation turning out regular updates on the campaign, its progress, the roundups, and information on roundups, the BLM, and the killings of animals by Wildlife Services.

      Once we identify a candidate to support, we will:

      6. If Hillary adopts our positions, we will use the petition data to support her candidacy. If she does not, we will use the petition data to support Trump.

      It is critical that we follow through with our stated course of action, and even more so if we are successful, as this could become a model for future political battles.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Theoretically, you are right that opposing those “corporate empowerment agreements” would benefit animals. Practically, though, Trump could very well prove out to be MUCH more detrimental to both domestic AND wild animals – he already showed his inclination to defund environment and wildlife protection, and, with him being such a successful “businessman”, there is NO telling WHAT “agreements” HE might deal out with industrial interests… Trump is not and can not be a “reasonable alternative” to ANYTHING.

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    • It is difficult to imagine how animals could be worse off than they are now. The status quo is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. We owe it to the horses and the wildlife that are systematically abused and killed by our own government to change governments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really like the idea of a campaign website. Animal rights groups seem so fractured and unorganized that we don’t speak with a big enough or common voice. I was wondering if the campaign would focus on the horses or broaden to include other animals persecuted by the same source, viz., the horses, bison, and wolves all harmed and killed for the benefit of ranchers. That might increase our numbers since some activists focus on single issues, such as the wolf advocates.

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      • That occurred to me after I wrote the comment. Focusing on one issue in this instance would be better. I think at some point trying to attack the common enemy of horses, bison, and wolves, along with other wildlife who end up as collateral damage. Maybe we could get single issue advocates to join the group.

        Like

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