Animal Rights Activists Try To Bully Lawmakers - And Response

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Roy Exum crosses the line in trashing members of Congress simply because they disagree with him on animal welfare policy. The Farm Bill amendment proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) merely seeks to stop states from interfering with interstate commerce, as they are already prohibited from doing. [“Roy Exum: Animal Thugs Turn To Congress,” May 14] 

Animal liberation groups like the Humane Society of the United States, which are against animal agriculture, have duped voters in a handful of states into passing state ballot measures that hurt farmers by driving up production costs.

King’s proposal would merely prohibit trying to force these production regulations on farms in other states, as California has attempted. It’s one thing for a state to pass a bad law after being drowned in animal right propaganda; it’s another for a state to try to force those regulations on other states.

While there should be room for honest disagreement on animal welfare policy, lawmakers have been bullied and threatened by animal rights activists this year who are interested in silencing debate. Exum is reckless in his attempts to demonize those who disagree with him.  

Will Coggin
Senior Research Analyst, Center for Consumer Freedom
Washington, D.C.

* * *

Anytime someone from Washington, D.C., writes into our local opinion columns, you can be sure it's with an agenda. The "Center for Consumer Freedom" is anything but what its name implies. It's a noted anti-animal welfare group, darkly sponsored by big-Ag. It's roots come from the days of tobacco, where it sowed similar disinformation on the benefits of smoking.

That being illuminated, let me address Mr. Coggins' arguments. What could be more in the interest of Consumer Freedom than to have proper and accurate knowledge of how our food is raised? Shouldn't consumers have the right to know that their food is produced without torture and harming of livestock? Shouldn't illegal, immoral and unsafe agricultural practices be exposed? Commerce is a two-way street. It's a relationship between the sellers and the buyers. I think that the buyers should have as much right to protection as the sellers. We've seen downed cows pushed into the food supply, dangerous chemicals used with abandon and unclean and unsafe poultry operations run rampant. I'd like to see those exposed and brought to daylight, and the perpetrators brought to justice.

And right here in Tennessee we've seen horses routinely tortured for the simple purpose of our entertainment. A sordid practice that's been ignored because of "tradition" I can think of few things more despicable. Our unscrupulous state legislators attempted to sneak a cleverly worded yet constitutionally suspect bill through to shield abusers from the light of justice. Their constituents should be ashamed. Fortunately, Governor Haslam saw fit to veto this shameful piece of legislation.

Animal rights groups like the Humane Society have no interest in producers who treat their livestock ethically and humanely. And ethical farmers should have no fears from animal rights groups, just as law-abiders have no fear from police. I appreciate the dedication and effort these "activists" have shown in exposing the abuse of horses and other livestock in Tennessee. I think its time the lawmakers got "Bullied" into protecting animals from getting "Tortured."

Bobby Stone


My Memorial Day Tribute

Growing up I remember seeing this picture hanging in my great-grandparents’ home and asking my great-grandfather, Homer Taylor, "Granddaddy, who is this?" My grandfather would reply, "Tommy."   Of course, being the age of four or five my next question was, "Who is Tommy?" He went on to explain that Tommy was his son who was killed in the Vietnam War.   ... (click for more)

Too Many Legislators

The last, now nearly eight years, has seen Congress and those high-paid folks not do us much good and instead do us much frustration. No different with our state government and it's now dominance by the Republicans. In a recent Times Free Press the idea of government by cooperation was featured and the number of times one of our elected representatives was truly wishing to ... (click for more)

Unexpected Amount East Ridge Owes On Fire Hall Property Rises To $603,000; City To Apply For Reimbursement

The unexpected amount the city of East Ridge will owe the state on the fire hall property in connection with the Bass Pro development has risen to $603,000. Earlier, East Ridge officials said the payment would be $428,000. City Manager Andrew Hyatt said Monday, "The Tennessee Department of Transportation notified the city of East Ridge that an appraisal of the city’s former ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At House Off Highway 58

A fire broke out on Memorial Day afternoon at a house off Highway 58. A 911 call was made at 12:10 p.m. reporting a house fire at 6019 Hillcrest Dr. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and found fire showing on an addition to the house. Firefighters worked quickly entering the addition to extinguish the fire from spreading to the main level of the house. ... (click for more)

Gilpin, Stocks Victorious In Chattanooga Chase 8K

John Gilpin has done plenty of training in North Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Chattanooga Chase and the series of hills the oldest race in Chattanooga is known for. Jennifer Stocks has done more than her share of workouts on those roads, so she was fully aware of the challenge she faced when the starting horn sounded. Both were overall winners in this unique 8K ... (click for more)

Golf and Chattanooga Have Lost Another Oehmig

  It was a classic Father’ Day golf picture. No, not Jack and Arnie and their kids relaxing at Augusta National with the Dogwoods blooming. But the Oehmig men – Lew, the family patriarch, with his youngest son, King, and his then two grade school age sons Henry and John, all crowded into, what else, a golf cart and donning that Oehmig glasses look – round, turtle shell-colored ... (click for more)