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The Obama Administration is Thwarting State Laws for the Animals and Fish

Story ID:9156
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various California usa
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President Obama has been a real let down for me and maybe for
you as well- though probably for different reasons. I really
thought when President Obama was elected the first time that
we had elected a man of compassion which would reach to animals
as well as humans.

How very wrong I was then and since. The only reason I voted
for him the second time is because I am a Democrat and didn't
think Romney would be caring and compassionate. I hoped that
Obama would be. Sadly, I was wrong.

Generally, per the HSUS Humane Scoreboard, we find more Democrats
voting favorably for animal welfare laws. So I am disappointed
that this Democratic president doesn't measure up when it comes
to animal welfare issues.

I think his second term in office is even worse then his first
re the animals. I was horrified to read in an HSUS blog this
week that the Obama administration has sought to nullify
2 critical state animal cruelty laws.

He is sounding just like Republican Representative Steve King
of Iowa whose King Amendment to the Farm Bill seeks to do the
same thing - reverse compassionate state bills for animal

You remember Rep. Steve King -don't you? He recently said that
the Mexicans crossing the border have "cantelope" calves because
of the heavy stashes of drugs they bring over. He seems not
only to not care about animals, but he is even lacking in
good manners when it comes to his view of Mexican immigrants.

And let's not forget his views re dog fighting. He believes
that dog fights should be family entertainment. Bring the kids
along. I cringed when I first read this. I cringed again when
I found out that he is Catholic. But then I really shouldn't
have been so surprised since the Catholic church has no REAL
compassionate teaching for animals.


Per the HSUS, the Chinese-American business associates representing
shark-finning interests told a panel of three federal judges in
the 9th District Court of Appeals that a California law to ban
the sale and possession of SHARK FINS which was passed by the
state legislature and signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown
should be struck down because it is discriminatory.

The State of California, the HSUS, and other groups have rightly
defended the law as part of state authority.

What was most surprising to the 2 groups involved in this case
was the presence of a third group: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. If
you think they would be on the side of compassion - you would
be wrong.

Through the Department of Justice, it weighed in with an amicus
brief and asked the court to overturn the compassionate law. Its
argument was that the National Marine Fisheries Service regulates
shark fishing in US waters and it - not the states can regulate
the sale of shark-based products in state markets.

This is one time I agree with the Republicans- that the less the
federal government regulates, the better.

It seems to be that this president is trying to ingratiate
himself with the Chinese and economics is all that matters
to him. What about compassion?

It is also obvious that this president cares not one bit for
animals. If he did, he would have considered how horribly the
sharks suffer to provide indulgent, uncaring people with the
gourmet shark fin soup.

A couple of years ago, I watched on 60 Minutes the reporter
explaining how the Chinese or Japanese fishermen would haul
the hapless sharks on board and then cut off their fins. The
sharks were then tossed overboard to land on the ocean floor
and die. This is cruelty-plain and simple. Too bad that they
can't envision their being in the same position as the poor
sharks they sent to a watery grave.

That is no way to treat a fellow living being -even if it is
a non-human being. Do sharks feel pain? Of course they do.
Then why do we do this to them? Shark Fin soup does not address
a hunger issue. If it did, the whole shark would be utilized.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised re Obama's lack of compassion.
I heard that when he and his family were in France on vacation,
they ordered foie gras - another cruel dish. Clearly, more evidence
of his lack of concern for animal suffering.


But the shark fin ban in California was not the first time that
the Obama Administration has tried to invalidate a California animal
protection statute. His administration also submitted an amicus
brief in support of the meat industry's challenge to California's

This astounds me. The HSUS had successfully exposed the inhumane
treatment and slaughter of animals too sick or injured to walk. They
were beaten and kicked in an effort to get them into the slaughter
line. The Obama administration argued that the Federal Meat Inspection
Act preempted California's law.

The act was upheld by the 9th district court, but it was appealed
to the Supreme Court where not surprisingly, it overruled the
compassionate 9th district court's ruling. Too bad that we don't
have supreme court justices of the calibre of the compassionate
judges on the 9th district court.

Today- "thanx" to the Obama Administration- downer pigs still
continue to be abused and slaughtered at federal meat processing
facilitites including those in California.

Sadly, per the HSUS "....this Administration is threatening very
meaningful animal-welfare lawmaking at the state level. Traditionally,
it is the states that have provided the strongest standards against
cruelty....in eight state legislatures that passed bans on shark fin
products, it was 914 "ayes" and 87 "noes." Why would the Obama
Administration substitute its judgment for that of nearly a thousand
state lawmakers who acted in the interest of their own states and

At this juncture, I think had I known about Obama's lack of concern
for the animals, I may have voted for Romney. Who knows but he may
not have taken this uncaring path re two compassionate animal welfare


Per the HSUS, it is obvious that the government is aligning
itself with the meat industry and shark finning interests. It
is even also arguing that only the federal government can speak
on these matters. I wondered -since when?

The HSUS provides us with possible answers to both these questions:

"It's hard to know -but in both cases, the agencies involved,
the US Department of Agriculture on the downers and the National
Marine Fisheries Service on finning, have developed cozy relationships
with the industries they regulate. The USDA goes out of its way
to promote industrial animal agriculture, and NMFS works hand-in-
hand with many sectors of the fishing industry, including people
who kill sharks and then want to trade in their parts."

Yes, this makes a lot of sense. I have had so little regard and
respect for the USDA for many years, and it is obvious to me now
that they care very little about the animals they are commissioned
to oversee. They and the president should take the time to read
the Animal Welfare Act again, but it seems to me they haven't got a

I use to wonder why there weren't leadership changes made at the
USDA. Now I know. The president is walking lock step with so many
of their callous policies re the animals and fish.

Can changes be made to correct this very wrong path the President
and the USDA has taken? It seems to me that our founding fathers'
idea of checks and balances -supposedly a fool proof method of
governing, is no longer working.

If you read this post carefully- based on HSUS findings, we are in
a fight for state rights versus federal rights, and unfortunately
for the animals, the uncaring people in the federal government
seem to be winning. But let us not give up hope. The farm animals
and the sharks need us. I think it wouldn't hurt to pray that
somehow the animals' needs are addressed.

As for President Obama, how will history paint him? Personally, I
doubt he will be considered a great president. I once was disappointed
that he calls himself a "black" president- when clearly this is not
factual. He is bi-racial and, in my opinion, he doesn't give his
white family the due they deserve. They were the ones who raised
and educated him.

But now, I no longer care what he calls himself. I had high hopes
that a BI-RACIAL president would incorporate the good from both
sides of his family and that that good would include compassion.
Well, it seems that hope has not been realized.