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Submitted by kucinich.us on Thu, 2006-11-16 14:22.
Animal Welfare | Issue Overview
As a necessary component of the living world, we must extend
compassion to one another and to every living thing. Our mission as
human beings can truly be to elevate this world from a condition of
suffering and cruelty to the planet's creatures, and towards a
condition of compassion and inherent respect. Through elevating the
cause of every creature, we elevate our own humanity.
We lift up the cause of humanity by reaching out and connecting with
all things living. It is our sense of interconnection with all
living things that brings us to respect the rights of animals; to
understand that animals are not to be "lower than"; that animals
should not have less of a claim to existence, less of a claim to the
possibility of survival, less of a claim to dignity.
Every one of us knows a story of animal cruelty; every one of us
knows how in one way or another official policies have sanctioned
cruelty to animals. I am working to put compassion into action in
our policies with respect to animals in this country and to have
America set a higher standard, not only for this country, but for
the world; to make sure that all of God's creatures, that all
animals are given a chance to have dignity in our society and are
given a chance to experience the appreciation they should have as
I would include advocacy of animal rights in the Department of
Peace, which I have already proposed to Congress. This cabinet-level
department would work with, and offer an alternative to, the Defense
Department. There have been numerous studies that have suggested a
link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. The Department of
Peace would not only seek to resolve international conflicts with
nonviolent means, but also seek to instill a peaceful paradigm into
the hearts of all the people of the world, so that one day war will
be an archaic relic of a time that has passed.
My farm policy favors independent and family-owned farms. I support
a national ban on packer ownership of livestock, and numerous new
incentives for farmers to convert to sustainable and organic farming
and ranching techniques. The vision of the meat that we consume
coming from happy and healthy free-range animals can become more of
a reality, as opposed to the inhumane conditions that the often
mutated chickens and cows and pigs are forced to sustain in our
As a member of Congress, I have cosponsored every piece of major
animal protection legislation. In addition, I hold the distinction
of being the only vegan in Congress. I made this lifestyle change
many years ago, because I consider all life on our Earth to be
sacred. As a vegan, I choose not to eat any animals or animal
products. I strive to live my life in accordance with my
convictions, and any other choice of diet would defy my ideals and,
in my judgment, be hypocritical.