A vegan’s case for Ron Paul

October 19th, 2007

Here in Asheville, NC, there’s an eclectic mix of people and political views. Yes, it is a liberal, new-ager oasis, but it is also up in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. In other words, there are all kinds of people here. Equally varied is the type of folks who come to the Asheville Ron Paul meetups, and who give me a wave and big thumbs up when I wear my Ron Paul 2008 t-shirt around town. Peace activists and gun enthusiasts alike, seem to be excited about Ron Paul.

Where I consistently run into opposition is from the animal activist community. “You know, libertarians aren’t supportive of animal cruelty legislation.” Yes, yes, I do know that. But maybe there is a bigger picture here that we’re missing. Namely, that a minority demographic like ours, shouldn’t be so gung ho about the federal government legislating morality.

Consider the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which states, among other things, that anyone crossing state lines or using the federal mail system for “the purpose of causing physical disruption to the functioning of an animal enterprise, or any real or personal property of a person or entity having a connection to, relationship with, or transactions with an animal enterprise” is now considered a terrorist. Several activists are sitting in prison and labeled as terrorists for doing nothing more than making a speech or operating a website that talked about illegal actions against animal enterprises.

If you think this doesn’t affect regular mainstream animal rights organizations, think again. Until recently, I was on the board of directors for a 501(c)3 animal rights group, and the AETA came up at many board meetings. We were constantly questioning whether we could openly make donations to certain organizations, what kinds of demonstrations we could organize, and how to phrase messages on our website. It was easy to say “we can’t let these laws scare us out of being effective activists.” But when faced with the very real possibility of going to prison, board members became much more reserved in their approach.

Only a voice vote was taken on the AETA, so there is no record of who voted against it. But Ron Paul is on record for having opposed the Patriot Act, an equally chilling destruction of our constitutional rights, and he continues to speak out against it throughout his campaign. By contrast, every democratic candidate except for Dennis Kucinich, voted in favor of the Patriot Act, despite the fact that it flies in the face of our Constitution, which every member of Congress is sworn to uphold.

Consider also the recent court cases involving children being taken from parents who raise them on a vegan diet, or parents who choose an alternative healing program rather than chemotherapy for their child with cancer. These cases demonstrate that our entire lifestyle is the subject of negative scrutiny. They are reminders that when morality is dictated by the majority or by a vocal minority, it doesn’t always work in our favor. While it may be appealing to ask the federal government to stop animal abuses nation wide, rather than targeting many states or communities on a more local level, it keeps the door open for federal-level abuses of power, such as the AETA and the Patriot Act. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t insist that the federal government uphold the constitution in some circumstances, and ignore it when it is convenient for our particular cause.

Ron Paul has introduced the Health Freedom Protection Act, HR 2117, which leaves the choice of what to eat and how to take care of our health in the hands of the individual, not the federal government. He also opposed Homeland Security Bill, H.R. 5005, which authorizes forced vaccinations of American citizens against small pox. Maybe you think small pox vaccinations are a good idea. Fair enough. But what happens when the government decides Americans need to be forced to get chemotherapy for cancer, or feed their children animal products, or otherwise dictate what is best for our health?

I should also point out, that unlike all of the other Republican presidential candidates and unlike most of the Democratic candidates, Ron Paul opposes the Iraq war, has opposed it from the beginning, and promises to end the war immediately. I had believed that the Democrats were going to save us from this unending death march in the Middle East, but now most of them talk about staying until 2013, and even discuss the possibility of going to war with Iran.

Ron Paul has been a staunch supporter of the Constitution for his entire 10 terms in Congress. Before every vote, he asks himself whether a piece of legislation is legal under the Constitution. If it violates our liberties, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, or if it is not authorized by the Constitution, Ron Paul votes against it. He doesn’t just pay lip service to the idea of freedom. His record speaks as loud as his words. I’ve given just a couple of examples among so many, where Ron Paul stands out as a defender of basic rights that specifically affect vegans and animal activists, in hopes that it will inspire you to look further into his candidacy.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. What about Kucinich? He stands on principle. He has opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. He voted against the Patriot Act and spoke out against the AETA. I like Kucinich. I voted for him in the last primary. I like him, not just because he is vegan, but because he is honest and principled. But I’m supporting Ron Paul this time around. For one thing, it seems to me that Ron Paul has a lot more momentum on his side. But for another, Ron Paul believes in small government, while Dennis Kucinich is a big government guy. I firmly believe that Kucinich supports large federal programs only for the most noble of reasons. But at this point, I simply don’t trust our government to make noble decisions. I don’t trust them to use our tax dollars and the power we give them to improve the state of our country or the world, no matter who is in charge.

As president, Ron Paul is committed to decreasing his own power so that we, as individuals, have the power to live our lives as we see fit, and to speak out on behalf of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

If you truly believe that Kucinich can win the Democratic nomination, and you aren’t convinced that we need to restrict the power of the federal government, then stand up for your beliefs and vote for Kucinich. He’s a good guy and I’d be happy to have him as president. But if you’re still banking on the idea that any Democrat is better than anything the Republicans have to offer, take a second look at Ron Paul, and consider switching parties to support him in the Republican primary.

For an in-depth look at Ron Paul’s positions, check out the Candidates@Google Ron Paul interview.

Check out Analysis of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act on greenisthenewred.com for an in-depth look at this legislation.

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63 Responses to “A vegan’s case for Ron Paul”

  1. Martin Says:

    Katherine,
    Thank you for your insightful comments. I agree that our welfare society has essentially been sabotaged by those who oppose it. How any rational and humane person could oppose basic welfare and health-care to all people in need is beyond my comprehension. But Vegan Girl only disagrees over whether such measures should be implemented on the state or federal level.

    What some libertarians don’t seem to understand is that welfare and health-care provide a bulwark against communism. I just don’t think ‘liberty’ means quite the same thing to someone without decent health-care, housing, etc. Of what value is freedom without the economic wherewithal to exercise it? The poor value liberty less because they have more compelling needs. So they will be more receptive to a Castro figure if one comes along. Communism will not die until the abuses inherent in capitalism are reformed.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    Martin

  2. Katherine/Aunt Kathie Says:

    Hi Martin,

    I don’t know that I’m so worried about communism as I’m worried about basic human decency and genuine equal opportunity. Unequal entities – and the our states are not all equal, either economically or socially – can’t offer equal opportunity. To tell some unwed pregnant teenager from Alabama to move to New York if she wants an abortion is unrealistic, impractical and perhaps cruel and New York would soon start protesting the influx of unwed mothers from non-abortion states. Or some moron would make laws forbidding abortions across state lines so we would live in a country where inequalities which already exist would become more rather than less pronounced.

    The other thing I would add about public assistance and health care is that being stingy with such things is a false economy. A destitute and ill population is not productive or creative. Lifting people up out of poverty lifts the whole society up. How many great minds have languished for want of breakfasts to nourish the body that holds the mind? How many productive members of our society have become permanently incapacitated or died because they didn’t have access to care early on when they could have been helped? That kind of stinginess causes not just psychological and personal harm, it causes economic harm to the society.

    We are rapidly returning to a society of serfs and kings, where the poor working class are expendable pawns that exist only to enrich those in power. I don’t remember that the middle ages had that much to offer that we should have returning to that way of being as a goal.

    I guess I’d rather live in a world where we spend too much on people who don’t deserve it than too little on those in true need. Inept as I think the federal government sometimes is, I believe over-riding WELL RUN (and it can be done) national system still has the best chance of offering the best and most economical answers for health care and other issues.

  3. Sandy Says:

    When abortions are outlawed, only outlaws will perform abortions. Do you want to go back there? It’s a slippery slope.

  4. Jack McGuirk Says:

    I am so relieved to hear someone else who believes in animal freedom advocating human freedom as well. I read Animal Liberation over seven years ago and it convinced me to give up animal products and pursue a degree in Philosophy. Three years later after the repeated urgings of friends I read Atlas Shrugged and decided to solve the problem described in Animal Liberation through the free market by creating products that can out compete animal products. Over the years as I have continued on my life’s pursuit I have found it astounding that there is no cross over between those influenced by Ayn Rand and those influenced by Peter Singer. It is somewhat common for people to hear that many philosophy professors have managed to avoid any knowledge of Ayn Rand’s contributions to their field. Now that individuals are becoming famous and acknowledging Ayn Rand’s influence on their life (for instance Ron Paul, Marc Emery, Alan Greenspan) I expect a shake up to be in the works for academic ethicists who have worked to silence her voice. As I see things that can only mean good things for veggie food and animals.

  5. holly madison Says:

    holly madison…

    Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts !…

  6. Utsahan Says:

    Abortion is murder. Abortion is a crime. How can anyone fight in favor of such a disgraceful act. The fight should be to avoid unwanted pregnancy or how we as a society can support young people and collectively take on the responsibility of being stewards of the earth and our brothers’ keepers.
    It is wrong to kill babies inside the womb or outside. How can anyone justify it or argue in favor of it. It is absurd, ridiculous, and I can’t believe I have to hear it from people.
    Talk about the dark ages.
    I am not a “Christian” in the way most people think. I am a devotee of Krishna. Ron Paul is pretty cool, but he is just one person. We all need to be concerned with being real human beings. And that means being vegetarian and caring about animals and the babies in the womb.
    The Vedic literature ans Srila Prabhupada give guidance on how to bring about a rich and blissful culture. It is possible and those who are sincere are going to do it. Prabhupada says those who commit abortions will be concieved and aborted over and over and will not see the light of day. Karma.

  7. Jordan Says:

    Since you’re a fellow vegan libertarian, you should join this group on facebook, if oyu have an account.

    http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?id=689213406#/group.php?gid=52641754495

  8. Joe H Says:

    I know it’s three years later, but I just found this today while researching the vegan diet.

    Just wanted to say I agree in full, that I came to similar conclusions about Ron Paul after the same sort of doubts, and that I hope he runs again in 2012.

  9. slugcat Says:

    I havent read everything you wrote, but saw the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and yeh I think he would get rid of that.
    Animal Activists are in trouble with big corporate government.

    I also saw Ron Paul speak about he wants people to be able to choose alternatie medicine, and I think they would help animals a lot I think.
    Over here in Europe they just got in law to stop and limit herbal medicines, so now they have to be tested etc. Way to go making Drug companies get even more power….

    so giving people choice to use alternatives is important to stop these vivisection drug companies getting more power.

    I hope one day animals get rights but i dont think that is possible while the govt is run by corporations.

  10. David Says:

    It’s true that Ron Paul wants to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on abortion, and turn back the clock on Roe v. Wade.

    As alarming and dystopian as it is to prevent the Supreme Court from upholding a woman’s right, that certainly is not the extent of it.

    “I have a Bill in congress I certainly would promote and push as president, called the Sanctity of Life Amendment. We establish the principle that life begins at conception.” — Ron Paul

    “There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist. As for the punishment, I don’t think that should be up to the president to decide.” — Ron Paul

    So, he wants to establish Federal law to declare when life begins, and to declare that abortion is murder. But, to toss a bone to the audience, he wants to “leave it up to the states” on what to do with murderers. How reassuring.

    Ron Paul is as backwards on abortion as he is on civil rights & health care. The more I read about this man, the more frightened I am of him gaining popularity.

  11. Ron Paul for President! Tell the media to stop Ignoring the Man who will challange the status quo! | My Blog Says:

    […] https://www.vegangirl.com/a-vegans-case-for-ron-paul.html This entry was posted in activism, News by Grand Paradise. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  12. Emily Says:

    Most liberals are in reality conservatives; conservatives believe in small government and the most individual freedom possible. Most republicans are only so-called conservatives, because they want to take away rights in order to protect their religion under the law.

  13. Attack the System » Blog Archive » A vegan’s case for Ron Paul Says:

    […] From Vegangirl.Com. […]

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