Candidates on animal issues
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2007:
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, a
longtime vegetarian and now a vegan, celebrated Thanksgiving 2007 at
the Animal Acres sanctuary in Acton, California. Kucinich was
scheduled to discuss animal issues on November 29 on a Dialogue for
Democracy webcast with In Defense of Animals founder Elliot Katz,
Farm Animal Reform Movement founder Alex Hershaft, PETA cofounder
Alex Pacheco (who left PETA nearly 10 years ago), and Last Chance
for Animals founder Chris DeRose.
But Ohio Representative Kucinich is rated little chance of
winning the nomination.
Several of the leading Democratic contenders have actively
courted hunters, most conspicuously former North Carolina Senator
John Edwards and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Edwards on October 24 in Iowa “unveiled a ‘Hunting and Fishing Bill
of Rights and Responsibilities’ that calls for giving hunters more
access to federal lands,” wrote New York Sun staff reporter Josh
Gerstein. “He also called for a new national program to pay private
landowners to open their property to sportsmen.”
In Glenwood, Iowa, Edwards “said he hunted while growing up
and still fishes,” according to Associated Press.
“When National Parks need to cull their game species, I
think they should look into having local hunters do the job,”
Edwards told Radio Iowa.
Richardson in July 2007 boasted of shooting an oryx on media
magnate Ted Turner’s 360,000-acre Armendaris Ranch in New Mexico.
Richardson was also “a prominent steer roping supporter with arena
banners and a full page advertisement of himself in the rodeo
program” at the 2007 National Finals Steer Roping event in Hobbs, New
Mexico during the first weekend of November, reported Steve Hindi of
Senator Barrack Obama of Illinois in April 2007 declared
himself “a strong believer in the rights of hunters and sportsmen to
have firearms,” but in October 2007, after learning that he is a
distant cousin of Vice President Dick Cheney, an avid hunter, told
TV talk show host Jay Leno, “I don’t want to be invited to the
family hunting party.”
New York Senator Hilary Clinton recently told the Des Moines
Register, “I support the Second Amendment. Law-abiding citizens
should be able to own guns,” but has not expressly endorsed hunting.
Her husband Bill Clinton, as U.S. President 1993-2001, opened more
National Wildlife Refuges to hunting than any previous president,
and once shot a cage-reared duck as a photo-op.
No major Republican candidate has a positive record on animal
issues. One Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, has had a
conspicuously bad record on topics including hunting, trapping,
rodeo, and the right of students to choose alternatives to classroom
dissection, as ANIMAL PEOPLE detailed in “Mitt Romney becomes first
2008 Presidential candidate to pander to hunters,” May 2007.