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.