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Animal Laws

Story ID:11334
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- various usa
Year:2017
Person:Stephen Wells
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I suppose we think that we have come a long way when it comes to trying to
protect animals from human cruelty, but the sad fact is – that we probably really
haven’t.

This morning I watched a documentary re the production of milk. The owners
of this milk “factory” proudly showed us the long lines of cows who are milked
at least three times a day –side by side -unable to move much at all from their
position in line. This can’t be comfortable. Are they ever let out in the fresh air
and sunshine? I truly doubt it.

I remember once reading that man was the only animal that drinks the milk of
another animal. Thank God- I am not one of them. As a vegan, soy milk and soy
products are more than adequate for me and those like me. Yesterday I finally
decided to do some baking and made a vegan cookie. Yes, I enjoyed it since I
haven’t had a cookie in a long while. Recently our neighborhood vegan store shut
down to my dismay. Obviously, there weren’t enough compassionate eaters in
this neck of the woods.

Re the milk program I watched –someone reading about my dismay re the long milk
line might think – so what? Well, in my opinion –people of compassion feel it is wrong
to keep cows in close confinement day in and day out-depriving them of any freedom
of movement which we all enjoy unless confined to a wheelchair. In my opinion- people
of compassion also feel it is wrong to artificially inseminate cows ad infinatum- depriving
them of any normal sexual experiences. And lastly In my opinion, it is wrong to deprive
them of grazing periods in a sunny meadow with their calves.

Today I received a letter from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Their beginning line
revealed the major content of their letter- “Sadly, in America, whether animals are
protected from cruelty and torment or simply forgotten depends largely on one
thing: location, location, location.”

Where animals live can determine whether they enjoy happy, healthy lives or
endure slow, painful deaths. According to their rankings in this regard, people
in Illinois, Oregon, Maine, and California are top ranked and the animals in these
states fare much better than in bottom-ranked states like Kentucky, Wyoming,
and Utah.

The goal of ALD for consistent legal protections under the law is still far from a
reality in the U.S. This results in justice for some of the cases of severe animal
abuse -while for others where the state laws are lax or almost non-existent -these
animals will continue to endure sad inhumane treatment.

Sadly, my home state of Ohio ranks 27th which is in the middle tier for animal
protection laws. While they applaud my state for having made some important
progress for protecting animals, they acknowledge that there is still much we can
do to move Ohio to a top tier. I’m all for that.

But more then that -I want Ohio to emulate #1 Illinois whose strong state laws
enforce felony penalties for cruelty, neglect, fighting, abandonment, and sexual
assault.

ALD also made us aware of the worst state – Kentucky(#50). For the past 10 years
their laws have had no felony provisions for neglect or abandonment and inadequate
definitions of standards of basic care where anyone there can torture and abuse
animals multiple times without repercussions. I could not but help wondering about
their congress representatives. They certainly don’t seem to care about animal cruelty
in their state.

I was also glad to read about other states enacting measures of concern for the
animals:

“In 2016, Tennessee enacted the first-ever statewide animals abuser registry.
-Idaho added a new felony provision for torturing a companion animal.
-Maryland and Pennsylvania enacted new prohibitions on animal-fighting paraphernalia.
- New Jersey and Oregon adopted new felony provisions for the sexual assault of an
animal.”

I am truly grateful for all the different types of animal rights welfare groups. Each
adds an important dimension to our fight for justice and compassion for animals.
This group of lawyers which comprise the Animal Legal Defense group are to be
commended. Yes, we need lawyers like them to be the voice of the animals in our
court system. Thank you.