Call it coincidence, or something else, but it looks like the closer the existing federal government gets to the next Presidential elections, the harder things are becoming for animals in America. Don’t be misled into thinking that this scribe is getting sarcastic here — “animals” here means what it has literally meant all along. Hard indeed it is not to notice the frequency as well as gravity of the new laws churned out of the legislative machinery with the President’s signature.
One of the most recent cases of what has been called ‘Un-American law’ is allowing horse slaughter in the US through the 2012 general government Appropriations Bill which has a clause for funding horse meat inspections by USDA, making room for horse slaughter which is opposed by 80 percent of Americans. While fears are rising that slaughterhouses for butchering horses are going to be opened in various states in the US now, the issue of national importance has found virtually no attention in mainstream media. Thanks to a select few online sources and personal blogs, it has not entirely gone unnoticed!
Another ‘Un-American’ law that has found its place in news is Iowa’s ‘Ag-Gag’ Bill passed last month in Iowa Senate. In effect, this law makes it illegal for anyone to conduct investigative reporting or scrutiny on their own to expose the abuse and cruelty inflicted on farm animals. Not only is this issue closely tied to animal rights but also to food safety and contamination. Nathan Runkle, Executive Director Mercy For Animals, called the Ag-Gag Bill “flawed and misdirected piece of legislation” that would further animal abuse and environmental and food contamination issues.
The worst of all, however, in recent times is the law allowing extended military detention of terror suspects, only for being suspected and without framing charges, including American citizens. Signing this law, President Obama is said to have expressed serious reservations and promised his administration would not allow the military to detain American citizens indefinitely. For how long actually his administration would allow it was not specified by the US President.
These cases of more laws being enacted in the face of disapproval by the American public provide a measure of the disempowerment of the average American voter who sees the choice of a handful of legislators tread the constitutional rights of the general public. Even the US President, the most powerful man in the world, as many call him, has little choice when presented with a legislature that has been signed by those chosen, ironically, by the very people they now do not represent.
Traditionally, democracy used to be the government by and for the people. But it seems that even in the US, people are no more considered the same as the public; there are now legislators versus those who are affected by the choices made inside offices. Signs are that Americans, and not only animals in the country, will soon be asking themselves how they could prevent the loss of freedom and basic rights they enjoyed for decades.