When Ryan supports hunting, he turns his back on American values

When Ryan supports hunting, he turns his back on American values

 by Ingrid Newkirk

Gun violence is a divisive issue in America, but one gun-related trend has become clear over the last 30 years: Fewer Americans hunt.

Corporations that make guns and hunting accessories are busy trying to fight this trend and get members of Congress to promote hunting by arming them with specious arguments about the right to bear arms. But Americans outside the Beltway get the absurdity—the 2nd Amendment was drafted to defend citizens against a government gone haywire, not against ducks and deer.

Consider what new Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says of a pathetic little group in Congress called the “Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus”: “It’s about protecting our rights, our habitat, and our access.” For him to imply that hunters are victims is absurd, and he is far too clever to believe it himself.Perhaps we might learn something about members’ motivation from revelations like this: In April 2013, Ryan cosponsored HR 322, a pro-hunting bill that the Safari Club International (SCI) wanted passed. Just 5 legislative days after doing what SCI wanted, Ryan accepted a $1,000 check from SCI. The House Ethics Committee is being asked to investigate this seeming transaction and others like it in which gun and hunting industry corporations give cash to members’ re-election campaigns in order to get what they want.

SCI couldn’t be further from American public opinion. SCI promotes the killing of the “Big Five” species (elephants, rhinos, leopards, Cape buffalo, and lions), which requires no skill, just deep pockets and the ability to squeeze a trigger. Walter Palmer, the dentist who murdered the beloved lion Cecil, was a member, as was German entrepreneur Rainer Schorr, who shot the biggest elephant seen in Zimbabwe in decades. It’s less of a sport than a pathology: “Big Five” hunting, like sex tourism, enables men to fulfill dark empowerment fantasies that hurt victims on foreign soil.

But the above-mentioned “Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus” is not much better. Do most Americans even want this caucus to exist? Do we want our national leaders supporting a hobby that teaches children to kill others? It is this lack of empathy that PETA works to counter: Whenever hunters accidentally get shot, PETA contacts them and asks them to realize that the animals they hunt experience the same thing or worse and encourages them to rediscover the empathy that got buried within them when someone taught them to hunt.

The panicky last gasps of the hunting industry can also be seen in the “right to hunt” amendments that it has been sending to state legislatures in hopes of protecting hunting despite public opinion against it.

Does Ryan’s support for hunting represent his home state of Wisconsin? Not really, 2014 Wisconsin hunting license sales were the lowest since 1976. It’s not even accurate to say that he’s representing most members of Congress. Many members in both chambers and both parties work hard on behalf of their constituents to protect animals by getting the federal government to hold animal abusers accountable and ensure that the Animal Welfare Act is enforced.

A practicing Catholic, Ryan’s bloodlust is also contrary to many Americans’ religious beliefs, including his own. His church clearly dictates that we should respect creation, not destroy it, and Pope Francis has condemned violence on numerous occasions. Yet Ryan frequently cites his faith during political discourse.

Ryan’s zeal for hunting isn’t even representative of conservative values. Hunting celebrates death, exposes children to gun violence and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars every year through the bloated U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its state agencies. And the U.S. taxpayer foots the bill.

Americans hate oppressors, and hunting epitomizes oppression: the powerful ganging up on the weak. A wise elected official would recognize that it’s not just human beings who have a right to fair treatment and protection from cruelty.

Americans across the political spectrum have a right of their own: the right to be disappointed that Speaker Ryan would ignore public sentiment, take SCI’s money and do SCI’s bidding. I join the millions of Americans who hope he will stop doing the hunting industry’s bidding and shift his support away from the cruel blood sport.

Newkirk is the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org.

How Much Bad News Can We Take?

Yesterday was a bad day—news wise. It’s not like World War III broke out—yet—but with Russian jets flying over our ships off Syria, and with headlines like, “China naval chief says minor incident could spark war in South China Sea,” it sounds like we’re getting a couple of steps closer.

Meanwhile, unless you were tucked away safely under a rock somewhere, you probably ryanwaxheard that bowhunter Paul Ryan is the new Speaker of the House (just two heartbeats away from the White House). Funny, I didn’t get a chance to vote for him, not that I would have. What’s this we hear about democracy? Is this how Nazi Germany got its start? (Hopefully this means he’ll be too busy to wait in his tree stand for a passing deer to recreationally-impale.)

And the last piece of bad news announced yesterday was that China coincidentally is ending its one-child policy. The media cited numerous reasons but stopped short of telling us that their population has decreased since the 1970s when they implemented the policy.

Having their population increase from 818 million in 1970 to 1.36 billion and counting (even under the one-child policy), it seems a strange time to decide to double their allowable birth rate. Of course, you need a lot of replacement babies if you want to be a major player in the world market—or declare World War III.


Will Gilligan and Other Distractions Save Us From the Reality of Climate Change?

Regrettably, I recently “upgraded” to Windows 10. Since then, I’ve been subjected toAAfEOTv MSN’s homepage newsfeed- brainwashing. This morning I followed their link to try to learn a little more about global warming’s connection to monster hurricane Patricia coming off the Pacific to treat Mexico to 20” of rain and 200+ mph winds.

Although there was nothing in their article about climate change or its role in making weather events like hurricanes harder for life on Earth these days, there was some heady, potentially depressing news to be had.

But not to worry, the right-hand column of the article (as is growing more commonplace with today’s befuddling hyperbolic media) was rife with links to divert your concern away from anything too upsetting or significant.

Before reaching the end of the short article, the reader could be led astray by diversionary, unrelated stories about comical-yet-evil politicians like Donald Trump or ryanwaxPaul Ryan, or imaginary millionaires Lovie and Mr. Howell.

Readers wanting to know just how many millions Mr. Howell is said to have amassed may find the answer by clicking on the deflecting link educating them on “15 Fateful Facts about Gilligan’s Island.”

Hopefully as people in Puerto Vallarta start dying in droves, readers will lose interest in the plight of the famous TV sitcom castaways.

Make no mistake; hurricanes like this are not just the result of naturally-occurring, cyclic “El Nino” events. The oceans have been warming ominously for several years now. The climate is changing fast, folks—we’re treading uncharted waters here.

Now, if I can just get that damn Gilligan’s Island theme song outta my head…

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015

Meet Thy Enemy

Paul Ryan with 8 Point Buck

Safari Club International Recognizes Congressman Paul  Ryan as 2013 Federal Legislator of the Year

Safari Club International

Safari Club International

Washington, DC – -(Ammoland.com)- Safari Club International (SCI) is pleased to  recognize Representative Paul Ryan (Wisc.) as the 2013 SCI Federal Legislator of  the Year.

The award will be presented during the evening banquet on Jan. 25, 2013 at  the world’s greatest convention dedicated to North American and international  hunting, the 41st Annual Safari Club International Hunters’ Convention.

“No other legislator is more deserving of this award after the 2012 election  cycle than Congressman Paul Ryan,” said SCI President John Whipple.

“Being an avid hunter, Congressman Ryan was a champion to our cause, and put  the preservation of hunting heritage in the national spotlight during his 2012  vice-presidential campaign. Be it in a business suit or full field attire,  voters across the country saw the indelible image of him, with his bow at full  draw; showing indisputable evidence of his commitment to being the voice for  sportsmen and women both on the campaign trail and in the 112th Congress. SCI is  proud to honor Representative Ryan as the 2013 SCI Federal Legislator of the  Year.”

“It is an honor to be recognized by Safari Club International and its members  as the 2013 Federal Legislator of the Year. I’m grateful to win this award and  even more excited to be able to pass on to my children the hunting traditions  and values that SCI stands for,” Ryan said. “The values of sportsmen and women  have been a focus throughout my career and I will continue to support the  hunting traditions and rights we cherish.”

Aside from his legislative work in Congress and with Safari Club  International, Ryan is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC),  having previously served as co-chairman for CSC in the U.S. House of  Representatives from 2007 to 2011.

Becoming an SCI Member: Joining Safari Club International  is the best way to be an advocate for continuing our hunting heritage and  supporting worldwide sustainable use conservation, wildlife education and  humanitarian services. JOIN NOW: http://www.safariclub.org/Join.

Safari Club International First For Hunters is the leader  in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation  worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United  States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of  cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs,  with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and  government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and  participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page  http://www.safariclub.org

Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2013/01/paul-ryan-as-2013-federal-legislator-of-the-year/#ixzz2ISLTVbhV

Well, Ted, We’re Waiting…

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Paul Ryan proved he was true to his word (unfortunately) and made good on his promise to see that his 10 year old daughter kills her first deer this year.

Now it’s time for his fellow die-hard bowhunting fanatic, Ted Nugent, to live up to (so to speak) a promise he made back in April. According to the website Right Wing Watch, Nugent swore that: “If Barack Obama becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

It seems to me, if Nugent’s a man of his word, he has only five months to either die or go to jail. Well, Ted, we’re waiting…

Right Wing Watch reports that at the NRA’s national convention, Nugent called Obama a criminal and denounced his “vile, evil, America-hating administration” which is “wiping its ass with the Constitution.” And he concluded a video stumping for Mitt Romney with, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?” Meanwhile, Romney stated on a radio show, “It’s been fun getting to know Ted Nugent.”

With friends like Ted, who needs enemies?


Unfortunately, This Time Paul Ryan Was True to His Word

It seems the only time you can count on a politician to make good on a campaign promise is when it’s something detrimental, like approving the Keystone Pipeline. I fully believe Mitt Romney would have done that, as promised, if he had been elected. And I had no doubt Paul Ryan was serious when he announced his plan to have his 10 year old daughter kill her first deer this year.

While I’m thankful he didn’t make Vice President, unfortunately it freed him up to spend more time at his hobby of murdering animals. And sure enough, he saw to it that his pre-teen little girl joined the ranks of deer assassins as well. On Thanksgiving (of all times), he sent her up a tree outfitted with a .237 caliber rifle to wait for one of the practically tame deer they feed to wander within range of her tree stand and blammo, that’s all she wrote. Physically, the “hunt” could not have been easier. Psychologically and emotionally, it may have been more of a challenge for her had the promise of being showered with daddy’s praise weren’t so alluring.

Ten is an extremely young age to have your heartstrings and pre-pubescence conscience toyed with. It is three years away from being considered teenaged—far too young to drive, vote, partake in alcohol or even to go to war.

I’m glad my father didn’t get his kicks killing animals. As any reformed hunter will tell you, obedience to peer pressure or a father’s expectations can take half a lifetime to outgrow. Hopefully it won’t take that long for young Miss Ryan to develop her conscience and decide to do what’s right.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Call Today! The “Sportsmen’s” Act of 2012 Must Fail

URGENT!  Before you read another line, pick up your phone, call your Senators and tell them to OPPOSE S 3525 (the so-called, “Sportsmen’s” Act of 2012)! You can find the contact numbers for your senators at the following web page: http://www.senate.gov/

Though the threat of having to watch bowhunter Paul Ryan by crowned Vice President has passed, the specter of sport hunting still haunts the halls of Congress. Under the cunning guise of “conservation,” the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012, S 3525, is a Senate version of the House’s ridiculous “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act” (what will they think of next, a Serial Murderer’s Heritage Act?).

No animal should be reduced to the level of mere object only to be “harvested” at the casual whim of jaded trophy seekers out for a diversion from their meaningless lives.

For the sake of wildlife, public lands and unspoiled wilderness nationwide, we must stop this absurd act from becoming law.

Of course, the animal’s enemies are lining up behind it. According to a new post in Outdoor Life (a popular “sportsmen’s” magazine that actually promotes outdoor death) entitled, “Must-Pass Legislation: Sportsmen’s Act of 2012,”

“The fight for the Sportsmen’s Act isn’t over. The NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Boone and Crocket Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and a host of other national, regional and local groups are calling all hands to lobby their Senators for passage.”

Make no mistake, those of us who truly care about wildlife wouldn’t want to see this pass even if it were a painfully annoying kidney stone. The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 is a must-fail piece of legislation.


Thanks to the Animal Welfare Institute for the following action alert:

On November 13, their first day back in session following the recent election, the U.S. Senate will resume consideration of The Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S. 3525). Please call and urge your Senators to oppose S. 3525.

If enacted, S. 3525 will have substantial and direct adverse impacts on wildlife, public health and existing conservation efforts. This bill would weaken protections offered by laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Toxic Substances Control Act and Endangered Species Act. Included in the bill’s language are provisions that would:

•Eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate hazardous substances—including lead, a dangerous neurotoxin—released by ammunition and sport fishing waste.

•Encourage federally-funded construction and expansion of public shooting ranges on state and federal land, including land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

•Amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to permit importation of polar bear carcasses taken before the species was listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2008—including those taken despite multiple warnings of an imminent ban on imports.

This legislation, if enacted, will interfere with important statutory protections affecting animal welfare, human health, and the environment.

The Senate is moving quickly on this bill, so your help is urgently needed TODAY.  Please contact your Senators by phone, email, or fax and tell them to oppose S. 3525!

You can identify your Senators and their contact information here.

Sample Message:

As one of your constituents, I urge you to help protect human health, wildlife and public lands by voting against S. 3525. This legislation, if passed, will undermine provisions of existing conservation statutes including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. It will also interfere with the exercise of authority by federal agencies responsible for managing federal lands and protecting public health. Please oppose S. 3525, and help to protect wildlife, habitat and the public.

Thank you,

The People Have Spoken: Global Warming, Real—Magic Underpants, Not

Well, the votes are in and counted; a decision has been made. The people have spoken: global warming is real—magic underpants are not. And bowhunters are not fit to hold higher office, much to the disappointment of Paul Ryan and his role model, Ted Nugent. By shunning the diehard deer hunter, the voters have made it clear that the animals of the Earth are not mere playthings for the rich and famous, the powerful and perverse.

Perhaps now that the election is over we can forget about magic underpants and begin to focus our attention on the real issue that affects all our lives—namely, how human actions are changing the planet’s climate.

According to Kevin Knobloch, with the Union of Concerned Scientists, “President Obama has won another four years in office. In the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Sandy, the country may have experienced its first election disrupted by global warming. What makes this even more troubling is that the urgent crisis of climate change was never meaningfully discussed in the debates or on the campaign trail. After a year of punishing droughts in our nation’s breadbasket, extreme heat across most of the country, and wildfires that devastated our forests and property, it is now time to turn up the heat on our political leaders. Even with the continued polarization in Washington D.C., there is much President Obama can do to adopt science-based solutions that permanently drive down our carbon emissions and more effectively prepare for the climate-related disasters that will continue to threaten our lives and livelihoods.”

The trick will be making sure our lives and livelihoods don’t compound the problems of global warming. For example, shipping freighter-loads of coal across the ocean to be burned in Chinese power plants might provide a few jobs here for some, but is it worth the trade-off of carbon emissions produced?  Is the hedonism of the Western diet worth the continued suffering of billions of animals and the methane they produce? “Real change” will take real commitment and real innovation, rather than business as usual.

Cartoon © Rob Tornoe, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Still Undecided? Vote against the Bow Hunter

If you’re one of those hold-out voters we keep hearing about who hasn’t yet decided who to elect for President, here’s an idea for you: cast your vote against the guy that boasts a bow hunter as his Vice-presidential partner in crime—the Robin to his Batman. (That would be the Republican, Mitt Romney—in case you’ve been lucky enough to miss his outspoken VP sidekick and hunting addict, Paul Ryan, yammer on and on about his favorite hobby of launching aluminum shafts tipped with razor-sharp arrowheads into the bodies of innocuous, peace-loving deer.)

I can understand and relate to the disillusionment anyone might feel about our current President. Some of the things he’s pulled—joking about eating dogs, removing their canine cousins, the wolves, from the federal Endangered Species list thereby casting their fates into the eager hands of hostile states, or relegating  horses and burros to the slaughterhouse—are unforgivable. We can’t let him get away with that sort of thing in the future.

But, there’s no doubt that the other candidate would commit equally atrocious crimes against animals, in addition to mocking global warming with his stated goals of approving the Keystone pipeline and opening up fragile federally protected lands to oil drilling. Adding insult to injury, Romney had to go and tap not just a hunter, but a goddamned bowhunter—the most sadistic strain of killer out there—for a running mate.

Unfortunately for dedicated animal advocates, we’re forced to have to choose between the lesser of two evils yet again. In this case, the bowhunter is clearly the greater evil on the ballot.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

If They Mated…

Those who watched Late Night with Conan O’Brien (that goofy red-haired guy who was going to take over the Tonight Show when Jay Leno moved to the 10:30 time-slot and then found out he wasn’t making enough money there and stole the show back from Conan—who is much funnier and who would have put him to shame in the ratings) remember a bit he did called “If They Mated.” Using the latest computer technology formerly known only to NASA to explore worlds beyond our galaxy, they were able to show us what certain celebrities’ (who’ve been rumored to be going out together) babies would look like…if they mated.

Upon learning that turrible Ted Nugent (bow hunting enthusiast, outspoken NRA supporter and wanna-be musician) was caught by the camera with his arm around former VP candidate and fellow bloodthirsty Republican animal assassin, Sarah Palin (aka: “Caribou Barbie”),…

…I borrowed the technology from Conan (who, as you know, borrowed it from NASA) to find out what their baby would look like…IF THEY MATED: