Green Party Platform on Animal Rights -- Another reason to vote for Matt on Tuesday
- Another reason to vote for Matt on Tuesday:
If Matt Gonzalez is elected Mayor of San Francisco next Tuesday, he'll be
bound to a California Green Party Platform that includes three sections on
animal rights. Thanks to the exceptional help of Greens For The Ethical
Treatment Of Animals, (a statewide animal rights group within the Green
party that I organized back in the early 90's), including wonderful work by
local activist Lindsay Vurek, Scottish Green Simon Dresner and the late,
great Bay Area activist Polly Strand, almost all of the animal rights
platform sections that I wrote were adopted by the party. The three
platform sections on animal rights are entitled Wildlife, Animal Farming,
and The Ethical Treatment of Animals (all reprinted in their current form in
full at the end of this message).
The platform sections include several planks that support outlawing fois
gras in San Francisco:
"The Green Party advocates humane treatment of farm animals." [Animal
It calls for our society to "[r]apidly phase out factory farming and the
inhumane treatment of food animals, as other countries are already doing."
And it calls for us to "[i]mmediately end the abuse of animals, including
farm animals, and strengthen our enforcement of existing laws." [Ethical
Treatment of Animals]
The platform also includes a plank that supports terminating the cruel
slaughter methods used at the live animal markets in Chinatown and
It calls on society to "[r]egulate the domestic transportation and slaughter
of animals to insure humane treatment," and "[r]apidly phase out factory
farming and the inhumane treatment of food animals . . . " [Animal Farming]
Finally, the California Green Party's platform specifically supports a
"In the interests of the environment, health and non-violence, we recognize
the value to individuals in adopting a vegetarian diet or even a strict
vegan one." [Animal Farming]
The platform calls on our society to "[i]nitiate public education to
encourage people to reduce their consumption of animal foods, including
information on healthy vegetarian diets. We should make vegetarian meals
available in all public institutions including primary and secondary
schools." [Animal Farming]
If you live and vote in San Francisco and you want to see these platform
planks brought to life, don't forget to vote on Tuesday. If you consider
yourself a pragmatic centrist, not a progressive, and you make up your mind
issue by issue, don't be fooled by Newsom's "centrist" label. When it comes
to animal issues, he's out of the loop. I know that a vote for Matt doesn't
guarantee that we'll achieve our cruelty-free goals, but a vote for Newsom
or no vote at all (if you would have voted for Matt) guarantee that we won't
even have a chance when it comes to animal issues for the next four years.
Matt has already come out in favor of outlawing fois gras and he led the
drive to make animal "owners" also "guardians" in San Francisco. The latest
poll shows him ahead by 52-48%. That means that he, and the animals, can
win if, and only if, his supporters go to the polls and vote on Tuesday.
So, if you vote for the animals, whether you consider yourself right, left
or center, please vote for Matt Gonzalez for Mayor. It's going to be a
close election and every vote counts - especially yours!
CALIFORNIA GREEN PARTY PLATFORM SECTIONS: (From the California Green Party
As Greens, we believe that humanity should share the planet with all its
Our continuing destruction of animal habitats threatens an ever-growing
number of species with extinction. This not only deprives these species of
their existence, but will deprive future human generations of the enrichment
of having these species on the Earth.
For this reason, we emphasize the importance of protecting endangered
species and their habitats. All policies concerning human settlement, food,
energy, natural resources, water (fresh and saline), coastal development and
industrialization should be formulated to prevent further disruption of the
non-human ecosystems' ability to maintain themselves.
The Green Party advocates policies to defend wildlife:
Ensure the protection of native animals and plants in their natural
surroundings when planning economic developments.
Re-establish habitats for wildlife instead of practicing game species
management for maximum sustainable yields.
Reintroduce native species to areas from which they have been eradicated.
Eliminate predator control on public lands, and reintroduce native predators
where they would contribute to a viable ecosystem.
Stop any further drainage of wetlands and any further development of shore
Strengthen the Endangered Species Act, as has been recommended by the
National Academy of Science.
Educate ourselves about animal behaviors to overcome our culture's
irrational fear of wildlife, and learn techniques of co-existence with other
Animal farming must be practiced in an ethically and environmentally
The current treatment of animals on American farms is unacceptable for
ethical, environmental and health reasons. More than half of the water used
for all purposes, and 80% of all the grain grown in the U.S., is consumed by
livestock. Animal farming is a major contributor to water pollution and the
greenhouse effect through the vast amounts of animal waste and methane
released into the environment.
Grazing on public lands - called "welfare ranching" because it is largely
subsidized by taxpayers - is causing serious damage to ecosystems throughout
the western states. The factory farming of cattle, sheep and poultry is an
extremely cruel, wasteful, unhealthy and polluting form of agriculture.
Animals are kept in overcrowded, unnatural and unsanitary conditions,
causing severe physical and psychological suffering. These conditions also
cause diseases, so the animals then have to be given antibiotics. Animals
are also given hormones to induce rapid growth.
American consumption of large amounts of animal products causes much of our
society's cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. In the
interests of the environment, health and non-violence, we recognize the
value to individuals in adopting a vegetarian diet or even a strict vegan
The Green Party advocates humane treatment of farm animals:
Rapidly phase out factory farming and the inhumane treatment of food
animals, as other countries are already doing.
Prohibit feedlots and the routine use of hormones, antibiotics and other
chemicals, such as genetically engineered compounds like BVT for cows.
Ban the genetic manipulation of farm animals.
Ban the exportation of live animals for overseas slaughter.
Regulate the domestic transportation and slaughter of animals to insure
Transfer the responsibility for enforcing animal welfare laws from the
Department of Agriculture to an agency specifically created to protect
animals and the environment.
Eliminate all government subsidies, including water subsidies, that go to
the meat, poultry and dairy industries.
Terminate permits that allow livestock grazing on public lands.
Initiate public education to encourage people to reduce their consumption of
animal foods, including information on healthy vegetarian diets. We should
make vegetarian meals available in all public institutions including primary
and secondary schools.
ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
As Greens, we replace the traditional western belief that our species is the
center of creation, and that other life forms exist only for our use and
enjoyment, with an ethic that reveres all life. We don't believe that our
species has a right to exploit and inflict violence on other creatures
simply because we have the desire and power to do so. Our ethic upholds not
only the value of biological diversity and the integrity and continuity of
species, but also the value of individual lives and the interest of
Throughout history, humanity has exploited other animal species with
enormous brutality. We have rationalized this through the belief that the
rest of creation has been placed here only for our benefit.
Animal experimentation is an unnecessary, ineffective, and inappropriate
research method which must be terminated. For too long, our society has
accepted the medical establishment's claim that animal experimentation is
necessary, but volumes of evidence shows that not only do alternative
testing methods exist, but they might, in fact, be safer and more effective
in promoting human health.
The Green Party advocates humane treatment of animals:
Rapidly phase out all animal experimentation.
Rechannel the billions of dollars disbursed annually by the National
Institutes of Health for animal experiments into direct health care,
preventive medicine and biomedical research using non-animal procedures such
as clinical, epidemiological and cell culture research.
Immediately outlaw the use of animals for consumer product testing, tobacco
and alcohol testing, psychological testing, classroom demonstrations and
dissections, weapons development and other military programs.
Mandate clear labeling of products to tell whether they have been tested on
animals and whether they contain any animal products or by-products.
Establish procedures to develop greater public scrutiny of all animal
research. The areas to be controlled should include the welfare of
laboratory animals, and a halt to wasteful public funding of unnecessary
research, such as duplicative experiments.
Immediately end the abuse of animals, including farm animals, and strengthen
our enforcement of existing laws.
Immediately outlaw all commercial fur ranching and trapping, and the use of
goods produced from exotic or endangered animals.
Prohibit large scale commercial breeding facilities, such as "puppy mills,"
because of the massive suffering, overpopulation and ill health such
Subsidize spay and neuter clinics to combat the ever-worsening pet
overpopulation problem that results in the killing of millions of animals
every year. Where unwanted companion animals are being killed in shelters,
we advocate mandatory spay and neuter laws.
Ban the exploitation of animals in entertainment and sports, such as dog and
horse racing, dog and cock fighting, fox hunting, hare coursing, rodeos,
circuses and other such spectacles.
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