While many people are worried about red or blue, left or right, when it comes to the results of the November 2 elections, I am concerned over the most under-represented members of our society: animals. Despite being someone who is typically more liberal than most of the left, I also seek to find the individual candidates who will do the greater good for people and animals. In a world where being speciest is assumed and expected, what is is not always right, and I strongly feel that animals must no longer be placed last.
I want to be hopeful that the victories that we had will help set the country on a stronger path to be protectors of animals. A clear way that we can accomplish this endeavor is to set clear laws with harsher penalties for people who abuse animals. According to the Humane Society (hslf.org), Democratic Rep. Gary Peters was re-elected in Michigan. His victory is especially welcome, as he instituted harsher laws against those that are cruel to animals.
Looking for candidates that look out for animals in many different scenarios is also important. Compassion that extends beyond a single point issue often reveals the Congressmen who are serious about animal advocacy. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican candidate, had a victory in Louisiana. This is good news for animal advocates. Vitter has taken actions to both ban primates as pets and crack down on puppy mills. Rep. Betty Sutton had a victory in Ohio for the Democratic party and hopefully animals as well, as she has sponsored a bill against animal fighting.
Wildlife must also be respected, with their natural environments protected. They should not be shot down for weak reasons, as is currently proposed for the deer at the Valley Forge National Historical Park by park officials. Friend of Animals and Compassion for Animals, Respect for the Environment are working to block the sharpshooters from mercilessly killing Valley Forge’s deer. Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall was re-elected in West Virginia; he has helped wildlife as a vital part of the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives. That is a good sign, as we need politicians who recognize that wildlife deserves to have their environments and their very lives protected.