Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Passing of an Animal Advocate

On Monday, the animals lost one of their most powerful and eloquent voices, Senator Robert Byrd. Aged 92 and still in office when he died, Byrd was the longest serving member in the history of the US congress. Senator Byrd will be remembered for his compassion that which he conveyed so well in his many animal rights speeches as he pushed for more humane treatment of our companion animals and of livestock animals. After Michael Vick was indicted on dog fighting charges, Byrd gave a knock-out speech about "the scourge" that is dogfighting. And back in 2001 he addressed factory farming with passion, tenderness and his famous eloquence.

Byrd proposed a provision that would improve the USDA inspection system of livestock operations, and said:

"I realize that this provision will not stop all the animal life in the United States from being mistreated. It will not even stop all beef, cattle, hogs and other livestock from being tortured. But it can serve as an important step toward alleviating cruelty and unnecessary suffering by these creatures."

Some of Senator Byrd’s thoughts on animal rights:

“It is because of my love for animals that I find it alarming to learn that inhumane treatment of pets, and livestock, is still widespread and becoming more barbaric.  One need only follow recent news reports to uncover examples of persistent and remorseless animal cruelty.  In recent years we have seen high profile cases of dog fighting, examples of inhumane slaughter techniques, and sickening stories of individuals who abuse pets.  Such incidents can only lead to more deviant behavior.”  

“We must be vigilant and stand up for the creatures who, since the beginning of civilization, work so hard to ease our burden, guard us against danger, and give us faithful and true companionship.”
“And while we have made progress, we cannot become apathetic to acts of cruelty, especially those aimed at our faithful and beloved pets.  Respect for life, and the humane treatment of all creatures is something that must never be lost.”

To read Senator Byrd’s complete speech on dog fighting and animal cruelty, please follow this link.

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