This is an amazingly well
written article that speaks volumes. All those involved
with animal protection should read this and share it with others.
Another article of similar magnitude is found by clicking
There is also a well written article along the same lines on
Humane USA announced a week before the voting. Humane USA targeted Oller, the announcement explained, because "He has sided against humane advocates time and time again during his tenure in the state legislature.
He has sided with dogfighters, cockfighters, and puppy mill operators. He has even opposed legislation to add a bittering agent to antifreeze, toxic to companion animals and children. Oller hunts bears with hounds," Humane USA charged, "and has been the leading voice in the state legislature against efforts to ban this practice." Ose lost, despite reportedly investing $800,000 of her own money in the campaign. Lundgren, however, was declared the winner over Oller, 34,978 to 32,194, after eight days of ballot counting and recounting.
Why You Should Vote in November by
Julie E. Lewin President, National Institute for Animal Advocacy
President and Lobbyist, Animal Advocacy Connecticut
Vice President Dick Cheney and Chief Supreme Court Justice Antony Scalia soon afterward participated in a bird-killing spree. News media questioned not their thrill-killing, but rather the impropriety of such ex parte contact between a judge and a litigant in a pending case.
As in other election years, some animal advocates angrily contemplate sitting out the presidential election as a mute form of protest. That would be self-indulgent. Of course we should vote. The presidential candidates vary greatly in whom they would nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court, a life appointment, and to the Federal bench.
The judges they select will
determine whether animal rights and environmental groups achieve
standing to sue on behalf of animals, as well as the outcomes of
We should, however, ask
ourselves why we are politically irrelevant, despite representing a
cause that receives donations from one household in four,
nationwide, and we should work to change this. Hunters were not
born with political power.
Conversely, it is the shame of the animal rights and animal welfare movements that for more than 130 years we have clamored for laws and policies on behalf of animals, yet have avoided the political arena. Why don't more animal charities form auxilliary political organizations? Why do we not take a stand, role up our sleeves, and set about the hard but necessary work of forming state, county and municipal voting blocks for animals?
A voting block of just a few thousand voters can swing a Congressional election. Many statehouse elections are won or lost by 100 or even a dozen votes, as are municipal elections. Lawmakers' fear of such elections gives organized minorities their power. In Connecticut, my state, approximately 2.5 million people are eligible to register to vote. Barely two million have registered, meaning that 20% of the potential electorate has yet to be mobilized.
Only slightly more than one million people voted in 2002 for Governor, for our members of Congress, and for state legislative representatives. Sixty percent of the public failed to express any political choice. Surveys indicate that women and young voters, the very populations most likely to hold pro-animal views, were among the people least likely to vote, even though their votes could have ousted several incumbents with negative records on animal issues and enough accumulated seniority to hold disproportionate influence on key legislative committees.
Forty percent of Connecticut voters failed to cast a ballot in the exceptionally closely contested 2000 Presidential race, and did not express their views about who should control Congress and the Statehouse, either. Only 722,000 people voted in our 2003 municipal elections. Seventy-one percent of Connecticut voters allowed as few as 15% to determine critical issues involving animal control and wildlife habitat, among other topics, without even expressing a choice.
At the municipal level, anyone who could mobilize even 5% of the voters would direct a force that no politician could ignore. Contact your state elections agency and your local city hall or county seat to get the voter turnout statistics for your own location. The potential for animal advocates to quickly alter the political arithmetic should quickly become evident. As the late U.S. Senator Paul Well-stone put it, "Dare to imagine what politics can be!" And in the last words of early U.S. labor activist Joe Hill, "Don't mourn--organize!"
Julie Lewin founded the National
Institute for Animal Advocacy in
Animal people who say they can't support a hunter (John Kerry) for president scare me. Yes, I was deeply disappointed to learn about Kerry's hunting. It was a reminder that no pedestal is strong enough to hold any person for long. I fear this single perceived fault could cost America four more years of Bush--a disaster for the environment, international relations, civil liberties, women, children, the economy, our security, the military, working people, old people, sick people, and animals.
It is dangerous to suggest there are "worse" forms of hunting than others. But if you despise trophy and "sport" hunting (canned or otherwise) as much as I do, you want Bush and Cheney gone. They both engage in these despicable activities and support them worldwide through their close ties with Safari Club International. After working to save mourning doves from target practice, I was shocked to learn Kerry had hunted them, as well as pheasants.
I'm unaware of other animals Kerry may have hunted. That is beside the point. Like it or not, many Americans have grown up in a "hunting culture." Hunting is a part of the American psyche that we must acknowledge and learn to understand while we discourage it. To those who insist that vegan Kucinich is "the one," I reply, "Wouldn't that be great?"
He won't be. Neither will Nader.
We must not throw the baby out with the bath water. It will likely
be Kerry vs. Bush (and now--damn it!--vs. Nader). Could you take a
repeat of election 2000? Wake up to the American political system.
Don't waste votes again. Votes not cast for Kerry can be considered
as being given to Bush--and against all forms of life not boasting a
large bottom line. --Judy Reed AnimalVoices Speaking For Animals &