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Dashed Hope

Story ID:9846
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington DC Dist. of Columbia usa
Year:2009
Person:Pres. Barak Obama
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You probably, like many of us, have piles of papers in different places. Some
contain our thoughts and some the thoughts of others we find on the internet
or e-mail. Re these, I am a believer that information is easily forgotten and
often needs a second or third look. But how wise is it to accumulate a “mountain”
of paper? I am beginning to realize that it is time for me to start whittling this
“mountain” down. In the process, I will find out what my thoughts were some
years back. I will also find out what was happening to me and to the world back
then as well.

For instance- this letter caught my attention. Written 5 years ago, I was already
becoming disillusioned with our new president – Barak Obama. So much so, that
on June 5, 2009 –only a few months into his presidency, I sent him this letter- knowing
full well that the likelihood of it being read by him was slim to none. I understand
that from the thousands of letters he gets daily, only 10 or so land on his desk to
be personally read by him. However, as they say -nothing ventured nothing gained.
I had to make the effort. Here is my letter:

Dear President Obama,

I have been in animal rights for over 30 years. I was very impressed with so many
of your speeches that I felt at last we might have a compassionate president.
However, after seeing you on TV stopping in a hamburger store to treat the White
House staff, I am not so sure. It even made me think of Oprah who knew that KFC
chickens are cruelly caged and often slaughtered horribly, and yet she sponsored
a KFC chicken dinner giveaway.

Re your hamburger “treat” for white house staff, I wish that you would visit a
slaughterhouse. I have been told that some of the cows go through the slaughtering
line ALIVE because of the mad pace which prevents some of them from being properly
stunned. On a CARE2 post it showed a picture of a dead calf who had been struggling
to get out of his mother as she was being slaughtered.

And as for the treatment of cows generally, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Today most of them are incarcerated in factory farms. No more fresh air, no more
intermingling with other cows. Now they are standing in lines - day in, day out being
milked two or three time daily – never having anything coming close to a happy existence
which every living being - including cows should experience. Their calves are taken
away at birth. The male calves are put into tiny cages where they can’t turn around,
and I imagine they invariably go stir crazy before being slaughtered for veal.

I wish that you had stopped for veggie burgers instead. Vegetarianism is considered
the new Prius by a CARE2 writer. We consume way too much beef and then we say
we are concerned about Global Warning? Haven’t we heard that cows release a lot
of methane gas into the air – even more so than coal-burning furnaces and gas
guzzling cars? And we are also told that the carbon footprint of vegetarians is much
smaller that that of meat eaters.

So, if you want to decrease greenhouse gases, if you want to decrease cow suffering,
and if you want to be healthier – a reduction in meat eating will accomplish all three.
Stopping for hamburgers, I immediately thought that this president doesn’t care about
the environment, animal suffering, or his health. He joins all the other recent
presidents in this respect as well.

And then I read that Congress considers people like me eco-terrorists if we go out to
protest animal cruelty at places of farm animal suffering. The ONLY congressman wise
and brave enough to say no to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) was
congressman Dennis Kucinich. (He may have also been a lone voice to say no
to the Iraq War. What a guy!) People like us who care about animal suffering should
never have been lumped in with the small minority of animal liberators. This is an
effrontery to all decent people who work within the law to alleviate animal suffering.

BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE ACT

I was glad that Kate Sheppard in 2012 wrote in Mother Jones an article on this subject.
Her post was entitled “Are Animal Rights Activists Terrorists?” The whole article was
worth reading but in the interest of space, I think the first paragraph suffices to give
us an adequate idea about what the Act is about:

“In 2006 Congress quietly passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new
law that classified many forms of animal rights campaigning as TERRORISM. Now the
law’s critics have taken to the courts to try to kill it. In a case filed last week, five
activists argue that AETA violates their rights by criminalizing constitutionally
protected actions.” ( I don’t believe the critics were successful in squelching this
clearly biased and unfair law.)

I agree with the views of the activists and realize here is yet another instance of
Congress lining itself with big AG – showing little or no concern for the suffering which
goes on behind closed doors in CAFOs and other cruel venues involving animals.

IN CONCLUSION

I ended my letter by saying – I truly hope that my letter makes one of the cuts so
that you will read it personally. And by the way, when I heard anything unfavorably
mentioned about you, I spoke in your defense. Hopefully, that this deserves a
reading and consideration of what I have to say in my letter. Thank you.


NO RESPONSE

Of course, I was foolish to think that a long letter would make the cut or even one
which criticized the President, but then I wondered if even a short one on my topic
would have made it either. However, I am never sorry for any effort I make in behalf of
suffering animals. They are God’s creatures as we. And it truly shocks me that it seems
that most of the Christian world aren’t too concerned about animal suffering. Why is
this?