Claws for concern: Hillary Clinton is conveniently vague when it comes to animal rights

Claws for concern: Hillary Clinton is conveniently vague when it comes to animal rightsDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waits to speak at a get out the vote event at La Gala in Bowling Green, Ky., Monday, May 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)(Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik/photo_master2000 viaShutterstock/Photo montage by Salon)

Americans more than ever are concerned about animal welfare, but it’s hard to suss how much Hillary cares about it

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has wisely caught on to an evolving voter dynamic by crafting a position paper outlining her support for protecting animals. But is she for animal rights or for animal welfare?

In addition to being good policy, courting the animal protection vote is good politics. Americans’ concerns about humane treatment of animals is stronger than ever before.

If this trend continues – and there is no reason to expect that it will not – the issue will likely play an even larger role in future elections.

Evidence of society’s rapidly evolving focus on animal protection abounds. In March,SeaWorld announced that it will stop breeding orcas and will phase out its orca shows, which are its signature attraction. Last month Ringling Brothers put on what it called its last elephant show ever. Last year McDonald’s joined Burger King, General Mills, Sara Lee and several other corporations that have announced they will only use cage-free eggs in their food products. In 2014 South Dakota became the 50th state to upgrade animal cruelty to a potential felony. Only 20 years earlier, all but a few stateshad only misdemeanor penalties for animal cruelty.

A 2015 Gallup poll addressing animal rights may be even more compelling. According to the poll, almost one in three Americans – 32 percent – now believe that “animals deserve the exact same rights as humans to be free from harm and exploitation.” In an identical poll Gallup conducted in 2008 only 25 percent of respondents expressed this view.

Clinton’s position paper does not go this far. It provides a vaguely worded list of mainstream animal welfare concerns such as “strengthening regulation of ‘puppy mills’” and “encouraging farms to raise animals humanely.”


The most interesting aspect of  Clinton’s position paper is its description of the candidate as having “a strong record of standing up for animal rights.” “Animal rights” is a loaded term, and even animal rights supporters cannot agree as to what it means. Some animal rights advocates interpret the term loosely, and view animals as already having some rights because laws exist to protect them.

But other animal rights supporters assert that animals presently do not have rights, because our legal system views animals as property and does not allow them to be represented in judicial proceedings. Highly publicized lawsuits are underway in New York seeking to change this for chimpanzees by demanding that they be considered “legal persons” for purposes of protecting their “bodily liberty” and their “bodily integrity.”


26 thoughts on “Claws for concern: Hillary Clinton is conveniently vague when it comes to animal rights

  1. the dangerous sociopath Trump..
    ..his sons are murderous serial killers aka; hunters…
    ..and Trump is so *dam* proud of them..
    ..not to mention no one in that whole deranged family is vegan..
    ..Bill Clinton is..

  2. Of course I disagree w/ you Mr. Cupp!
    Because I am for Hillary 100%!!
    She loves Animals and she’ll be great for them when she becomes Madame President! I am so tired of all these white male hunters who kill kill kill for sport!

    • It’s no wonder that Cupp opposes Hillary. Here are his credentials according to Salon, where this article originally appeared:
      “Last year at the National Press Club he debated Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, regarding animal legal personhood (video available at: Two of his law review articles were relied upon heavily in the leading judicial decision thus far rejecting animal legal personhood (case available at”

      There are many criticisms one can make of Hillary, but I agree that we should stand 100% behind her opposition to Trump. No one, including Trump himself, knows where he stands on animals, free trade, military interventions, or any other issue.

  3. I think Captain Paul Watson said it best when he said that the more vocal of the animal rights supporters and environmentalists are like ‘ladies of the evening’ when it comes to politics. You can’t acknowledge them in public if you want to win an election. Thanks Captain Watson, you gave me a chuckle and were right on the money! Look how long it took for President Obama to even talk about climate change. (or at least without genuflecting to human beings first – I was a little disappointed in the response to Harambe).

    Considering this, I do think Hillary will do a lot for the environment and animal welfare and rights.

    • I don’t always trust polls either – people are notorious for saying what they would like to do ideally, or how they like to think they would behave ideally, but the reality doesn’t always reflect it. **Correction above, I meant that the animal experts’ response to the Harambe incident, not President Obama’s.

  4. The only one we can be sure cares about animals us Clifton Roberts of the Humane Party. No, he doesn’t have a chance of winning, but in these circumstances there is a case to be made for making the moral choice. Yes, the Trump sons are big-time trophy hunters. Cupp may not be discussing Trump because the answer is pretty obvious.

    As for Hillary, I would have to see it to believe it. It would mean going after Big Ag and Big Pharma, sources of a lot of money and contributions.

    • People who support Billionaire Trump should look into just where his Dark Money comes from. He is not only an “avid supporter” of NRA, and applauds his trophy-hunting animal killer sons, as the “hard core NRA,” but his developments in NYC and in other areas of the world have displaced working people, while he also does “deals” with the very countries he criticizes. He has no ideas anything, except his own narcissistic concerns. He understands no other cultures, and certainly is not concerned with the many working people he has “trumped”–around the world. He does not back down from his racist, sexist remarks, and is “ready” (as he puts it) to put the “right people” into the Supreme Court–meaning that only rich women will be able to obtain safe, medical abortions.

      As a recent foreign visitor said to me: “there are dangerous right-wing trends taking place in your country and around the world–what is wrong with Americans–do they really believe this Trump guy? Sure, Clinton has flaws–they all do–but Trump has much more serious issues–he is dangerous for the whole world.”


      • It’s hard to believe he’s come as far as he has – and to see signs supporting him on people’s lawns! We must look terrible to the world – our gun problem, and our mad lust for money and globalization. This is why in some respects I was happy to see Great Britain go their own way, we’ll see how it all turns out. The American Press has gone crazy over it, as if the UK has rejected our values – in some way, I think we’ve lost our values.

      • Boy, Ida, you’ve said it all! I meet a lot of people from other countries, and they are just scared to death if this guy gets in. Many of this “foreigners” know more about the US than we do it seems. They are very afraid of his close ties with the German Right Wing, Neo Nazis, and other such groups around the world, including growing numbers here in the U.S, along with the phobia against Muslim, Mexican and other people of color.
        Trump reared his ugly head here in Very Diverse New Mexico–there was a big protest, and he is not welcome here anymore, I am told. We have many people of color, many languages, and various religious or non-religious, and I am proud of this.
        As a female, I am outraged over Trump’s attitude towards women, and his statements that “women should be punished for having an abortion.” Too bad this guy was not aborted.

    • Marcia, you have been supportive of Trump on a blog which claims to be for “animal rights” but which has consistently supported Trump’s racism, sexism and anti-environmental/animal history. So it “seems to you” that Socks was given away, and you rationalize that somehow this Trump guy is better? You keep making excuses for this terrible man. Why?
      You say ” So we know where Trump would stand with Big AG and the USDA”? Your statement does not make sense. No one knows just what this man stands for–he has nothing of any substance on anything–except himself and his money, and his right wing prejudice. As my foreign friend said “he is dangerous–for the whole world.”

      Frankly, I am concerned that this kind of article is even on this blog. This right wing propaganda belongs on Roland Vincent’s.

      • Rosemary, I do NOT support Trump, although you seem to insist I do. Below is a quote from a previous answer I gave to you:

        “By the way, I am not a supporter of Trump or his hunting sons. I do believe that he is the karma the political establishment earned for pandering to the rich, exploiting the social conservatives, and ignoring the middle class.”

        Do I need to call him a egotistical, narcissistic, racist, xenophobic ,jingoistic, autocratic, bigot to make my point?

        As for Socks, looking at the photo of Hillary and the cat, I remembered that Socks was given away, which doesn’t sound as if they were very attached to her. I’m not sure how you reached the conclusion that means I’m saying Trump is better.

        And, yes, I think I can guess where Trump would stand with Big Ag and the USDA. For God’s sake, he puts out his own brand of Trump steaks! It’s hard to imagine his NOT being on the side of the slaughter industry and the useless USDA if he became president, which he won’t.

        Right wing propaganda? Geez Louise.

  5. I just hope she appoints somebody decent for the Interior Dept, along the line of Bruce Babbitt. Someone who doesn’t hobnob with hunters like Sally Jewell. Has she ever even acknowledged wildlife advocated or environmentalists? In one article there is a vague reference to environmentalists, but no group mentioned by name.

  6. It seems to me that the Clintons gave Socks away when they left the White House. Maybe a small thing but caught my attention. At least it’s better than selling steaks. So we know where Trump would stand with Big Ag and the USDA.

    • Marcia, once again, in your attempts to excuse away Trump’s evil practices and attitudes, you are wrong. On a blog that pushes Trumps racism and sexism, under the facade of “Animal Rights, you do not use “Ahimsa”–perhaps you should drop it here as well.
      You nit pick Hilary’s faults, while pushing, excusing Trump’s very well documented Evil Practices, then you say, “I’m not supporting Trump”? Your “articles” against Mexicans, Muslims on the other blog clearly were in support of Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican stance. Trump is German. Perhaps we should call him, “Trump the Aryan”, using this term to describe his leanings toward neo-Nazism? His Skin-Head, White Supremacy followers will be well represented at the Cleveland Convention, I notice.

  7. She got a great rating from sierra club and humane society of the US. And her husband had the most animals listed on the endangered species list than anyone! plz just stop, because trump will destroy the entire planet and everyone on it! thanks

    • You are so right, Breeze! Unfortunately, most politicians, Dem or otherwise, are weak on, or totally unaware of the idea of liberation for animals, but at least Hilary has some concept of animal protection and is working on wildlife issues–which many “religious vegans” often ignore. I have met too many people who call themselves “vegans” who have a very distorted attitude towards wild animals, ignoring the plight of the Natural World. It is a shame, because such people could really help protect The Wild if they educated themselves, and maybe got off their Facebook mania for awhile.
      I , too, am outraged over the Trump Mania going on in this country, and shamefully, on blog that purports to be for “animal rights” is actively promoting this terrible Billionaire, who has bilked working folks out of their savings with his Snake Oil Sales Schemes. He cares nothing about Nature, animals, and is a Racist and Sexist to the 10th degree. Most of the cheap products he pushes, are made in –guess where?–China, India, Mexico, where his multi-national corporation exploits workers. He’s a good one to criticize Hilary about trade deals.

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