Obama and Kucinich, American Heroes
I have long been an advocate of the less fortunate among us, of those who life has handed a crooked deck, the short end of the stick, an unfair deal. There are no Americans for who this is more true than the populations of our feedlots and industrial farms. It is time to end the exploitation of farmed animals on American soil. It is time to give up hamburgers as we have given up slave-holding. It is time for us to end our dependence on milkshakes as we must end our dependence on foreign oil. It is time to acknowledge that the fishing industry does damage to our oceans far beyond that of emissions from our coal burning power plants. I invite all Americans to join me in a bright future free of cruelty and exploitation, free of the blood of innocents killed only for our pleasure.
While details of his animal liberation agenda were vague, he obviously doesn’t lack conviction. When questioned directly by a reporter after the speech, Obama stated “Yes, I am now a vegan. From a personal perspective, it doesn’t hurt that people of African descent are invariably lactose intolerant.”
Longtime vegan and perennial presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was supportive, saying “It’s wonderful to see a young politician like Barack taking a stand on such an important, under-discussed issue.” Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean was less enthusiastic: “While we support Mr. Obama’s right to stand up for his principles, this decision takes him so far away from mainstream American belief that it’s difficult to regard his candidacy as viable. The corn and soy lobby think they’ve pulled off a coup here, but he’s just lost his Super Delegates.” (It’s worth noting that the Vermont dairy lobby is especially strong.)
Personally, I’m torn. I’m thrilled that Obama’s gone vegan, but I can’t help wishing he’d won the presidency first. The only way this won’t hurt his campaign is if Hillary Clinton declares herself an atheist and John McCain comes out as gay.