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At a recent rally, animal rights activists rushed the stage when U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was speaking. While they caused no physical harm, what happened next kind of made me scratch my head.
Four Secret Service agents joined her on the stage and pointed to the activists, who were holding signs that said, “Until every animal is free.”
In true politician fashion, Clinton quickly turned this as a way to take a jab at her biggest rival from the opposing political party.
With a laugh, Clinton quipped, “Apparently, these people are here to protest [Donald] Trump because Trump and his kids have killed a lot of animals, so thank you for making that point.”
Some media outlets, including the New York Times, speculated that her comments were made in reference to Trump’s sons’ exotic animal hunts.
Clinton, who formerly served as the First Lady of Arkansas, one of the country’s leading poultry producing states, has become the first presidential candidate to reveal a position on animal welfare. That position states that if elected, Clinton will protect farm animals from inhumane treatment and encourage farms to stop raising animals with non-therapeutic antibiotics.
Those points make good sense, but as you read further into her statements, it gets a little more concerning. She referenced her involvement in passing legislation that earned a perfect score from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, which was created in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). And we all have a pretty good idea where HSUS stands on anything related to animal agriculture.
I’m sure Clinton’s words were meant to be humorous, but I found her words more bothering than funny.
Should we take her comments at face value and assume she was trying to make a stressful situation humorous, or was she also making a further statement in reference to the animal rights movement? Does she support what these activists are doing or not? She thanked them, in a sense, but was she really thanking them?
Direct Action Everywhere, the group tied to the demonstration, has accused Clinton on being ambivalent concerning her agenda for animal welfare. I can’t say I disagree with the organization on that matter.
I can only hope if she is elected she will support animal agriculture that follows strong, science-based animal welfare initiatives, and not emotion-based animal rights hype.
As voters, we deserve to know without question whether Clinton will be supportive of animal agriculture or whether she will be more prone to listen to the animal rights lobby.