Do you think about farmed pigs and chickens suffering in industrial warehouses? Elephants confined for entertainment in the circus? Aquatic animals suffocating from pollution and commercial fishing? The tragic fate of hunted bears? Dogs abused in puppy mills? Monkeys tortured in labs? The fires, floods, and deforestation destroying animals’ habitats and ending their lives in horrifying ways? People’s disregard for animals can cause compassionate people constant despair. Living in a culture that fails to respect other species is hard enough, but Donald Trump and his administration have made life exponentially worse for animals.
Sadly, false headlines that suggested Trump made animal cruelty a federal felony in the United States recently fooled many animal advocates. The news offered a sobering reminder of the challenges we face in a society that relies on dubious headlines for information, and the inaccurate narrative that results when readers don’t learn the truth about issues. I set the record straight, but I was no match for the millions of people who shared the headlines erroneously thanking Trump for ending animal abuse in America.
Countless animals continue to suffer from Trump’s abhorrent policies. His acts of moral depravity are too long to list, but this highlight reel provides insight into his disregard for the welfare of animals.
About 99% of all animal suffering happens to factory-farmed and aquatic animals. The numbers are staggering–trillions of animals. In 2018, Trump’s USDA rolled back regulations for an Obama-era animal welfare rule, which provided for better treatment of farmed animals whose products are labeled “organic.” The rule allowed birds to move freely, stretch their wings, stand normally, and engage in natural behaviors.
Nine nonprofit environmental groups rated Trump the worst president for our environment in American history. His lack of concern for aquatic and wildlife has caused animals incalculable suffering. His denial of climate change and decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord to maximize corporate profits and his failure to enact plans to combat greenhouse gas emissions pose an existential threat to every animal and human on the planet.
In 2016, under the Obama administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal cruelty citations. As evidence of Trump siding with the abusers over animals, in 2018, Trump’s USDA issued only 1,716. He also put Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler in charge of the EPA, two notorious foes of regulations that protect animals. To make matters worse, Trump’s USDA removed thousands of animal abuse records from its website in an effort to protect animal abusers–a decision widely condemned by animal rights organizations. This decision made it harder for Americans to find out which puppy mills, research facilities, and zoos, for example, are complying with animal protection laws.
Trump lifted an Obama-era ban on the import of sport-hunted trophies from elephants. Trump weakened the Endangered Species Act, making it more difficult to protect wildlife. He overturned the ban on hunting in the Alaskan wildlife refuge, and allowed the use of bait, including dogs, to lure grizzly bears to make it easier for hunters to shoot them–and opened 1.5 million acres of the refuge to oil drilling. Trump also sanctioned the use of lead ammunition for hunting wildlife in national parks–a danger to people’s health and a step that could kill an additional 10-20 million animals in addition to those targeted by the hunters.
Trump doesn’t care about the planet, people’s health, or animals. It’s hard to imagine him petting a dog let alone taking a stand for animals. Signing a unanimously-supported, Democrat-initiated bill that affects a few hundred animals doesn’t make him an animal advocate. If you care about animals, don’t be fooled by misleading headlines. Trump’s horrific impact on animals, people’s health, and the environment will leave a lasting legacy of pain, suffering, and death. Animal advocates don’t support Donald Trump.