Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Harvey rocks the vote! A horse-eye view of the candidates

Normally Harvey eschews politics and the circuslike atmosphere surrounding election campaigns. But even Harv has felt the impact of higher fuel costs and the displacement of food crops by ethanol production. Don't think for a minute he doesn't notice things like the quality and quantity of hay he gets at mealtime. And skyrocketing price of molasses--don't even go there! So Harvey is reluctantly entering the unseemly business of politics.

So where do the candidates stand?
What do the candidates have to say on issues important to horses? To Harv's dismay, it was hard to even find evidence that they think about horses at all. Except for McCain's little slip-up in the televised debates (saying horse sh*t under his breath), there seemed to be little awareness of Equine Americans. On Harv's behalf I googled the candidates extensively for anything horse-related. Here's what I found...

Neither candidate
... belongs to the Congressional Horse Caucus (not that surprising since it's a House caucus -- both Obama and McCain are in the Senate).

Both candidates
... supported legislation to ban horse slaughter and export of horses for slaughter.
... supported immigration legislation that would make it easier for farms to hire foreign workers for agricultural jobs (many of whom work in the horse industry).

Barack Obama
... shares the same name as Mohammed's horse, Al-Barack.
... has a good track record for supporting green legislation -- clean air, water, etc.
... was pronounced "healthy as a horse" by his doctors.
... gets good ratings and endorsements from animal welfare advocates.
...is endorsed by state farm leaders for supporting agriculture and farming interests.
... Although his views are evolving, he presently supports ethanol production which is displacing land used for human/animal feed.
... includes in his platform “to do more to encourage private citizens to protect the open spaces and forests...and to encourage communities to enhance local greenspace, wildlife and conservation areas.”
...will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests (from Blueprint for Change).

John McCain
... has a history of voting against bills for farm subsidies.
... has no stated position on animal welfare.
... Would eliminate federal ethanol mandates that have contributed to rising grain and hay prices.
..."has favored land development [over public trust] in every case," according to the Sierra Club.
... I did find this very odd video. Can't quite figure it out:

Harvey's take on the elections
After sharing all of this with Harv I waited anxiously for his pronouncement on the candidates. He chewed thoughtfully for a long time. "Well... Who do you like?" I prompted. He seemed not to hear me at first. Then suddenly he started, and shook his head vigorously from side to side. It only lasted a moment, and he reached for another mouthful of hay. I took this to mean he cannot endorse either candidate. But maybe it was just a fly....


For heaven's sake, please go to Project VoteSmart to find out about the candidates! This blog entry is just for fun :-).

Environmental and Animal Welfare: Where the Candidates Stand from Britannica.com

Politics and the Dinner Table: Weighing Obama's and McCain's stances on food and farm policy from The Grist blog

John McCain joined race to end horse slaughter from Equestrian Magazine

McCain: The Farming platform
from Imperial Valley News

Farmer's decision will not be easy in November from Delta Farm Press

Puppies and kittens for Obama from Citypages blog

An exclusive interview with senator Barack Obama from Field and Stream magazine


  1. Thanks for sharing your insight, Harvey. I don't blame you for taking the silent route on your candidate choice though ... nothing like politics to inflame the conversation.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Harvey! I think that video was on the Colbert Report for a contest where viewers imposed a McCain speech over different backgrounds.

  3. the video with mccain is so funny:). Thx for sharing


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