Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pits, Pets & Politics

American presidents and politicans have been historically carnivorous. Many of them enjoy hunting and shooting things and putting forth an aggressive dominant personality. Mama Grizzly-aka Sarah Palin is a great example. Being a vegetarian or pet-lover is often seen as weak in politics. Empathizing with animals suffering is seen as an inability to make tough decisions.

An article by Kelly Oliver in the New York Times suggests that people consider animal-lovers to be crazy and somewhat pathelogical. The more dependant we are- the crazier we are. Animals are subscribed by doctors to help us cope with weakness, depression, and illness. And hence we see strong meat-eaters in politics today.

She asks, is there room in America for a vegetarian candidate? I've been asking myself this recently because I would be drawn to vote for someone simply on this basis. Why? Well, I assume this means they are compassionate and thoughtful about the affects they have on the lives under their control. The opposite feeling frightens me in a political leader. Of course, individual philosophy is not always consistent. Just because a politician cares for animals and doesn't eat meat does not mean they will treat all Americans equally and help the lower classes-- Case in point: Adolph Hitler, a notorious vegetarian.

However, I am drawn to vegan, vegetarian and pescaterian politicians:
Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian.
Bill Clinton, after 2 open heart surgeries and being influenced by his daughter Chelsea is a vegan. (And dropped 20 lbs!)
Al Sharpton is a pescatarian. (And a LOT slimmer these days.)
President Obama signed a law banning "obscene" videos depicting animals being tortured to death with penalties of up to seven years in prison. 

If you want to see how other politicians stand on the issues--out the Humane Society's Score Card:
For example, my senators Lautenberd(D) and Menendez(D) each scored 100/100, with Menendez sponsoring the Fur Labeling Law. New York senators did well also, scoring 89 (Gillibrand) and 78 (Schumer).

Here are the representatives who scored 100+ (scored 100% and led legislation)- All are democrats:
Grijalva(D-AR), Capps(D-CA), Davis(D-CA), Filner(D-CA), Milner(D-CA), Sherman(D-CA), DeLauro(D-CT), Schakowsky(D-IL), Van Hollen(D-Maryland), Peters(D-Michigan), Andrews(D-NJ), Holt(D-NJ), Towns(D, NY), Price(D-NC), Kucinich(D-Ohio) (Also a Vegetarian!) and Dicks(D-WA).

The senators who scored 100+ are Kerry (MA) and Lieberman (CT).

Sadly, the congressman I intered for (I lived in his district), Scott Garrett has a 13 and voted against the following bills: Factory Farms, Marine Turtles, Sea Otters, Wild Horses, Guns in Parks, Rare Cats, Primates as Pets, Didn't bother voting for Puppy Mills, Horse Slaughters, or Chimps in Research.

The following should be noted for voting against Service dogs for Veterans: Flake(R-AZ), Shedegg(R-AZ) and Issa(R-CA).

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