An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton on Animal Rights

Dear Secretary Clinton,

A few days ago, animal rights activists interrupted your speech in Nevada to draw attention to the plight of billions of animals. You responded by suggesting that they were seeking to redress their grievances with Donald Trump because his sons shoot animals. While I appreciate you spotlighting the cruelty of sport hunting, the people holding “Torturing Animals is not Progressive” signs at your event were actually speaking to you and your supporters. Since you eat and wear animals and buy products tested on animals, and supported the animal agriculture industry as a U.S. Senator, you, like millions of other Americans, also contribute to the needless killing of animals.

I watched a video of your recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. You stated, “I really like elephants. I love the way elephants remember–the matriarch of the family looks out for everybody. I have such a sense of connection to elephants. It breaks my heart that they’re being poached and murdered and babies being left to fend for themselves. I just love them. I just want to do everything I can to stop the murdering of elephants in Africa.” Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of elephants.

The people protesting at your event, however, were asking you to extend your concern to all animals. While I like elephants too, I care about all animals equally. I don’t base respect for animals on what they do, how they look, or convenience but rather on the moral principle that they all have the same right to live their natural lives to completion in freedom. That’s why I don’t shoot them, eat them, wear them, buy anything tested on them, or pay to see them exploited.

I hope you will consider that the animals you eat, for example, are as sentient as elephants. They feel pain, suffer, and want to live. They also have memories and strong family bonds. A chicken is a turkey is a cow is a pig is an elephant. In addition, the animal agriculture industry is equally if not more cruel to the animals it kills than the poaching industry.

Approximately 98% of all animals killed in the United States are brutally slaughtered for food. It’s suffering and violence most people can’t even watch. For that reason, I hope you will change the language on the “Protecting animals and wildlife” page on your campaign website. It currently reads that you “encourage farms to raise animals humanely.” There is no way to raise an animal humanely for food in the factories where 99% of animals are bred, confined, caged, deprived, abused, transported, and slaughtered. Instead, please invite people to show real mercy for farmed animals by eating plant-based food. It’s humane, healthier, sustains the global food supply, and reduces climate change–positions that you have made the centerpiece of your presidential campaign.

As you campaign on a platform of respect for everyone: the LGBT community, women, those with special needs, and people of color and from all walks of life, I hope you recognize that your message is incomplete until you extend it to all animals. A transformative leader does what’s right before it becomes widely accepted. This is a historic opportunity for you to lead.

Let’s join forces to advocate for all animals and offer a truly progressive agenda for the American people. Thank you for your consideration.

Best,

Andrew Kirschner

29 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton on Animal Rights

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    To Hillary: “There is no way to raise an animal humanely for food in the factories where 99% of animals are bred, confined, caged, deprived, abused, transported, and slaughtered. Instead, please invite people to show real mercy for farmed animals by eating plant-based food. It’s humane, healthier, sustains the global food supply, and reduces climate change–positions that you have made the centerpiece of your presidential campaign.

  2. Great letter, Andrew. Of course, we activists are disliked by most of America, so Hillary can’t be as “extreme” as we are on behalf of animals. Once she is in office, however, she could start with low-hanging fruit for her first term, and on to the complete agenda in her second. Your letter is intelligent and persuasive. You are perfectly suited to run for office (young, attractive, smart). What do you think of the Humane Party? You could go there before going mainstream. You might have been a candidate for them this year. I know little of and have heard nothing about the party’s candidate this year, Clifton Roberts.

    1. Very kind of you. Yes, I agree that Secretary Clinton will have more leverage to impact progress for animals if she is elected. The politics of animal agriculture are not easy. It’s not dogs and cats.

      Thank you for the compliment. I was the Humane Party’s first political candidate in 2011 running as a representative for the U.S. Congress.

    2. You are correct in one way… however I don’t like the idea a few controlling millions more on what they eat because you disagree … I don’t hate anyone… but let me give you an experiment…. as someone who has raised many many animals … buy you some land an acre would do fine…. buy you hmmmm 2 cows and a bull… and maybe a Nannie and a billy goat.. then some chickens…. pen them in that acre ( don’t say free range of world because in essence it’s the same cause they can’t leave earth ) this will work as a small model of earth yes have pond with water and u can even grow a garden however you can’t fence the animals away from the garden being wild animals won’t be fenced…. now give it oh say 5 yrs… yet you yourself can only eat off the land… then in 5 yrs get back with me on how many animals you ate or how many was killed…. it’s simple I know what will happen but you need to see yourself.

      1. this is a moot situation. One does not need to have livestock in order to survive on the crops that G-d has provided for us.
        There is no reason to not fence off animals. This is a ridiculous abstract that you put forth. Shame on you for trying to justify the slaughter of animals, and the further destruction of our beautiful Earth.

  3. Another excellent letter from you! Since Hillary was brave enough to state that Mining should be no more, in Virginia, no less, than she could be brave enough to go the Humane way after she is elected. The other party of course only cares about the $$$$ made by factory farming & Mining, etc.

    1. Thank you. Sadly, both parties are in the pocket of animal agriculture but I agree that she is more likely to lead on the issue given her progressive stance on other social justice issues.

  4. Thank you for your letter. I agree with you. I also know I share this country with 300 million other people who may not understand nor agree with your views on animal welfare. Any candidate who presses this far on animal welfare will quickly disappear from our radar and unlikely to be elected. The only way to achieve goals of humanity for all animals is to continue to educate and engage with our leaders. It may be one small step at a time, but small incremental changes are far more sustainable over time. I believe Sec Clinton has a compassionate heart, and is open to new ideas. She is also a brilliant leader who understands how to implement change while avoiding a backlash that can shut down a movement quickly. We all need to speak out more about the cruelties of farm and slaughterhouse treatment of innocent animals, and we also need to speak to the fears people have of a vegan or vegetarian diet. A lot of people believe a vegan diet is either (1)Not healthy or (2)To expensive. These concerns could be addressed by public education messages and more support for sustainable farm practices that eliminate the financial need to raise crops for animal feed. Even Bill Clinton, a southern born carnivore, has moved to a more humane diet (not completely vegan yet). I like your letter because it offers facts with compassion and we all need to do that. Thank you. — Catherine Wittel

  5. Sending messages to such people is extremely important not only for America, but also for the whole world, especially when it’s concerning animal rights, a very undermined subject. On behalf of animal lovers from the Baltic states, thank you for sending the message, Andrew!

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