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Does President-Elect Obama Bring Hope for Animals?

Written by PETA | November 5, 2008
sciencedebate2008 / CC
Barack Obama

Yes, there were wonderful milestones achieved for animals in California and Massachusetts in this election, but is our new President-elect, Barack Obama, fighting for change in the animal world as well? Here’s PETA’s official statement:

President-elect Barack Obama has said, “I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other. And it’s very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.” Because PETA is devoted to fighting animal abuse and recognizes the link between cruelty to animals and violence directed against humans, the organization is very encouraged by this statement.

PETA is also pleased that Obama and his wife, Michelle, have announced that they will adopt a rescued dog for their daughters instead of patronizing a pet store or breeder. PETA opposes large-scale breeding facilities, known as “puppy mills,” as well as private breeders who bring puppies and kittens into the world while nearly 4 millions cats and dogs must be euthanized at the nation’s extremely crowded animal shelters every year. PETA supports animal shelters and encourages all prospective companion animal guardians to visit their local shelter.

PETA was also encouraged to see that unlike other Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in the past, Obama did not pander to the National Rifle Association and other pro-hunting organizations by heading into the woods and shooting defenseless animals.

PETA looks forward to working with President-elect Obama and the new administration to help create change for the millions of animals who suffer unnecessarily in this country. What’s next? If his stance on other animal issues is any indication, perhaps the next president will put a tofu chicken in every pot.

Written by Christine Doré

Commenting is closed.
  • natrlron says:

    Stop Federal Funding of Crimes Against Nature … specifically monkeys. I’m referring to a recent report about the Oregon National Primate Research Center’s experiments with obese monkeys. Basically, they have created couch-potato obese monkeys on which to test various products and procedures designed to fight obesity in humans. Now, I am not categorically against using animals for research purposes. There are instances where the issue is important enough and there is no other possible research tool. While the rising rate of obesity in our culture is certainly an important issue, there is no excuse for subjecting these monkeys to the horrible life that they lead. These monkeys are kept in individual cages for “months or years,” compared with other monkeys at the facility that have more zoo-like living conditions. Before continuing, however, let me first address a basic issue concerning animal rights. As has been proven in study after study, and as should be quite apparent to anyone who observes animals closely … be they dogs, monkeys, chickens, or whatever … animals are feeling, sentient beings. The typical rationale for using monkeys and other animals for research is that while sharing many physiological and psychological traits with humans, thus making them ideal for research purposes, they are of a “lower order” and thus can be used for research. They are animals, after all, not humans. The arrogance of such a view while not surprising for a people who until recently viewed people of color or “primitives” as lower orders of humans is nevertheless abominable. In this view of the universe, man … as the premiere thinking being … has both the power and the right to subject all other creatures and forms of nature to his will. But human beings are also animals, and in a far more basic sense than most humans would care to acknowledge. But back to the case in point … research concerning obesity. There is no mystery as to why the obesity rate is so much higher now than it has been in the past. How much any particular activity … be it eating fatty or sugary junk food or sitting for hours before the television and computer … impacts obesity may not be known, but the constellation of factors certainly is. Likewise, the answer to the obesity problem is just as clear. People in our culture need to change their diet and their habits. They need to eat healthy and exercise more. It’s as simple as that. Granted it may not be simple to get people to do those things, but that’s because of the messages constantly being sent by our culture and its marketing apparatus. I’m sure that if there were a profit motive, the marketing gurus could certainly come up with an effective ad campaign that would turn these bad habits around. But instead of upsetting the course of our culture … a kudo by the way to Michelle Obama for taking on this cultural phenomenon in the right way … Americans as usual are looking for the “easy” way … a pill they can take, or a procedure they can have done. Human beings need to understand that while they may be at the top of the animal food chain … that is as long as they aren’t put in a cage with a lion or similar animal … that we all … humans, animals, plants, and minerals … share this planet and have an appropriate place in its ecosystem. Man, with his intelligence and power, is the only actor that has the ability to destroy the planet’s ecosystem and thus ultimately himself. It is thus critically important, not just because of the climate change issue but for a host of reasons, for man to learn his place in the larger scheme of things and act accordingly. For more on this and other issues, see my blog,

  • Alex says:

    Obama better not tell me what to eat next. Animal Rights can only go so far but once you take away my right to eat what I want then you’re violating my freedoms.

  • indycar01 says:

    now if obama and you will see my vegan by design message at click search 2 times type in indycar01 also can he stop charities funding animal research?.. see the bottom of my message. 30 MILLION A MONTH?.. good god!.. what next?

  • Linzi Taylor says:

    I just checked the chicago tribune article voting and over half the votes are for a shelter dog. Everyone get over there and vote shelter dog!

  • Jennifer Brown says:

    I actually eamiled the president and the president elect Obama. I was asking if there girls are gettting a puppy from a mill or are they going to adopt one of the millions of puppies left for dead…

  • john jones says:

    I just want to say that i will give the new president a chance even though i am still skeptical of him. I pray that he does help all these defenseless animals because lets be honest we can do alot more if we have the most powerful man in the world on our side. I hope to see results in the near future and not just talk. God bless

  • C Fields says:

    Did anyone at PETA really read this story before it was printed?? It states that the president elect will be adopting a dog from a shelter instead of buying one from a puppy mill or “private breeder”. Hello???? Reputable private breeders are not the ones contributing to the shelter overpopulation. Many reputable purebred breeders will take back their dogs if a situation doesn’t work out. Irresponsible pet owners who don’t spay or neuter thier pets and let them run at large and yes puppy mills who don’t care where the puppies go as well as pet stores are the reason that our shelters are overpopulated and thousands of animals are euthanized every day. Before such a broad statement is made maybe PETA needs to do their research.

  • Phyllis Krystal says:

    I am very happy to hear that The Obama Family will adopt from a RescueHumane Center. I am certain they will find just the right companian for their family as I have. Thank You Mr. Obama for giving the Country a good example for adopting campanions animals in America.

  • Louise says:

    I’m hearing on the news that his daughter is allergic so they may get a “special” breed. Turned my stomach. It’s so important he follow through with his word. Please adopt a pound dog PresidentElect Obama!

  • Dixie Hawk says:

    I sincerely hope that the Obama’s will adopt a shelter dog. Surely they must be aware of the horrors of puppy mills. There are MANY puppys at the shelter that do not shed and are hypo allergenic. We adopted one 2 years ago origin unknown and none of the children in our house are allegic to our new pup “Ben”.

  • Yamamoto Gempo says:

    I think Obama needs to spend more money upgrading animal shelters and more money against animal cruelty

  • lynda downie says:

    I just read on Dog magazine dot net.UK that Barak Obama has definitely decided to adopt a shelter dog. Obama is in Da House!

  • shawna says:

    God Bless President Elect Obama. I told my husband I hoped they would pick a shelter dog and they are!!!!!!!

  • NT says:

    Look at this beautiful photo!! httphslf.typepad.compoliticalanimal200802yeswecanstop.html

  • Linda says:

    Obama used to be a vegetarian. If he is not now it is possibly political. Americans would be as or more threatened by that than some of his other “radical ideas” like having dialogue with perceived enemies.

  • Lisamarie says:

    Jackie although the evidence of how harmful animal products are for our health and the environment is becoming more and more known the meat and dairy industries unfortunately have some VERY strong political power and will stop at NOTHING to try to keep the public from finding out the truth about their products. So much so that they even have control over what the government does and doesn’t let the general public in on in order to find out this info we have to rely on medical journals and new reports as they come in. Then and then there are of course media commercial advertisements that glorify the “tastiness and comfort” of animalderived foods forever enticing the eyes ears and taste buds of a meateating society some misorunderinformed dieticians and doctors telling people it’s OK to eat chicken fish and other seafood and that these foods are somehow “healthier” than red meat and of course the old classic obsession with “getting enough protein”. We are SO bombarded with the importance of protein by the meat and dairy industries starting at SUCH young ages that it’s very hard to convince people that they don’t need all that protein esp animalderived after they’ve been made to believe for so many years that they DO need it. I think it’s just up to the people like us who know the truth to get the word out the best we can about the harmful effects of animal products as well as the harm it is doing to the environment. In fact once I’m finished with this post I think I’ll start by googling how to email Obamathanks Connee!! and not only ask that he adopt a shelter dog but also ask him if he is aware of the connection between meat production and global warming and what good it would do both the world’s health as well as the planet animals and world hunger if people were encouraged to adopt a plantbased diet.

  • Elisabeth P. says:

    I’m so glad to hear he’s going to adopt a dog for his daughters. When I heard that he was getting them a puppy I imagined it would be bought from a pet store or breeder. I was getting ready to write him a letter. This is great news. I’m SO HAPPY to hear PROP 2 was passed in California!

  • Leisa Clark says:

    I hope to see the day that the abusive farm industry puppy mills and agrigate factory farmers are the people who are realized to be the terrorists and criminals. They are the ones that should be jailed and prosecuted not the activists and those who protect and free and the animals.The greed and monetary gain they are reaping is at the cost of those who cannot stand up for themselves. This is the epitomy of taking advantage of and abusing the most innocent and helpless.

  • Pat Pickren says:

    Folks I think we have a winner here in more ways than one!

  • jodi says:

    I think it’s wonderful that Obama is in support of animal rights however one very important fact in that between the economical and environmental issues plaguing the world why have we not heard that they will changing legislation regarding animal testing the clothing industry etc to save tax dollars and the terrible impact the food and fashion industry has on the environment. It has been proving that animal testing is no longer needed therefor why do governments still support it. If we know the impact certain industry’s have on the environment and health why is it not being controlled more?

  • Jackie says:

    I do have hope that Obama is an animal lover like those of us who are with peta organization. It makes me very happy to see that animal rights have made a difference in California even though we won’t see changes until 2016 I think it was.

  • Kelley says:

    While they are checking out dogs at the shelter they need to swing by the cat room and pick out a cat or two. We need another first cat!

  • drew says:

    He should get a pet pig. sans lipstick Well there is some encouragement about what he said but will he be willing to sit down with peta and really hear what is happening and actually want to stop itm take steps to stop the horrors? I mean first he has to be made aware of what is really going on and why it is horribly wrong. Then he has to actually want to do something about it. Animals need basic rights to not be tortured boiled alive vivisected etc. And businesses that sell the products of torture need to be outlawed and replaced with kind alternatives to the best of our ability. Of course it has to be done in a way that does not harm the economy.

  • Eric S. says:

    Anna and others I read that article on It doesn’t look like he’s made any decisions to buy a purebred. The media is the one making up a speculation. All I know is they need a dog that is hypoallergenic because one of their daughters has allergies. Any shelter can help them with that. I used to work at a shelter and that was one of the questions we asked during the interviews. We wanted to eliminate any chance of the new guardian bringing the animal companion back. He is also probably aware of the problems with breeders and puppy mills not only because of his associations with Oprah Winfrey who had a show dedicated to these problems but also he has been quoted with his concern for animals in general httpwww.breitbart.comarticle.php?idD8U74PLG0showarticle1 “I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other” he said. “And it’s very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.” Obama This has been said in other ways by other people however no matter how you say it it shows that you understand the connections and if you understand the connections it pretty much predicts your actions actions of compassion kindness and peace. I have no doubt that Obama will be visiting a shelter soon to take home a new family member one that happens to be hypoallergenic. In this way they save a dog where their daughters can enjoy his or her companionship for many years to come. In the end everyone wins!

  • Kim Wolf says:

    Please show the Obamas that you support them adopting a shelter dog by joining my Facebook group “Let’s Get a Shelter Dog in the White House!” type this into the ‘search’ function for Groups.

  • Prakash Shrivastava says:

    I am quite hopeful that Obama will bring the change in the lives of millions of abused and tortured animals all over the world. I urge President elect to think about animals. Modern man is very selfish. Very few people think or care about animals. If the President of world’s most powerful country has some compassion for animals then it is a very good and encouraging news for animal lovers all over the world.

  • stray says:

    abby Peta will be happy for any fight against animal cruelty whether it be puppy mills or slaughterhouses. so please don’t act like peta is not happy for the changes Obama is willing to make it all makes a difference. and who knows maybe somewhere down the line he will learn of other cruelties in the food industries and make changes there but for now lets not make assumptions on what peta “wants him to say”!

  • melissa says:

    Yes Anna that is true. The AKC is pulling all the stops to get President Elect Obama to get a puppy from them. I don’t know if there is a way to get Barack Obama to know how important it is for him to get his daughter’s puppy from an animal shelter.All eyes will be on that desicion.I have been seeing it all over the news and shows.The AKC came to Barack Obama so he could buy a puppy from them.What a shame. I don’t know if there is a way we can let Barack Obama know there are 25 purebreds in shelters waiting to be taken to their forever home and that there are rescue purebred shelters……….

  • Animal Lover says:

    Let’s help Mr.Obama help animals. To everyone who reads my postplease take a moment to very soon google “Email Barack Obama”and his contact information will come up.You can either emailwrite snail mailor call and leave a simple quick message asking him to please adopt from an animal shelter and NOT buy from a pet store or breeder. I don’t think I am exaggerating since the horrible reality of 5 million animals killed in shelters every year are at stake.The Obama family simply adopting a puppy rather than buying one will strongly encourage a lot more people to adopt at their local shelters. I wonder how many people will actually care enough to callemail or write and ask him to please adopt instead of buy a puppy.I really do hope it is at the very least several. The deceiving American Kennel ClubAKCis of course trying right now to connect their bloody ties to the Obama family for just pure financial interest while the animal shelters will get pushed aside. That is why it is veryvery important the Obama family gets lettersemailcalls encouraging them to adopt their puppy from an animal shelter onlynot pet store or breeder.Please act today! The homeless animals in shelters and pounds are counting on us!Thank you.

  • Connee Robertson says:

    I think Abby is right about Obama….and I am overwhelmed with hope for our animals now that Bush will be gone. But it wasn’t long ago that my husband and I were eating the same things and now we are vegetarians and trying very hard to be vegans. We started a Progressive film group to show videos of animal abuse in our town. We will show EarthlingsWitness and Behind the Mask soon. Once people see they change. Most people are kind. We really need to work on demonstrating that vegetarianism is just the easiest and most wonderful thing we can do for our animalsthe earth and each other. Maybe someone can get Obama’s eyes and ears for just an hour and have him watch Earthlings….you must be impacted by that movie!!

  • Jill says:

    Anna it’s not true as far as I can tell. I just read that article and I didn’t get the impression that the Obamas might go back on their promise to adopt a shelter dog at all. Of course the AKC wants to get their plug in but I’m sure Michelle Obama knows it’s far more humane and admirable to adopt from a shelter.

  • REGINA says:

    I was thinking how wonderful it would be if Pres. Elect Obama were to adopt a dog from the Humane Society for his two daughter’s. Just think of the number of people who would go out and adopt rather than buy a dog instead of the predictable mass purchasing of one specific breed regardless of whether said breed would be the right choice for them. Not only would it be symbolic but it would result in the rescuing of possibly thousand’s of dog’s doomed for euthanasia. Thanks

  • SASHA says:

    This is great! I wonder what dog the First Family will get! And maybe this will get others to go to their local animal shelter for their future pets!!

  • NT says:

    I don’t see any president declaring he is a vegetarian in the near future. The meat dairy industry and the millions employed in agribusiness would crucify him. If Obama can improve the standards of animal care by industry eradicate puppy millsdog fighting and other animal cruelty issues I will be happy. I am personally a vegan but I also understand that the world will not turn to a plantbased diet overnight. Our immediate goal should be to alleviate suffering anywhere we can.

  • Phyllis says:

    I am so happy that Barack Obama and Joe Biden won and even though animal cruelty is deeply entrenched in our society I do feel hope for chance for the animals too. But I think that animal activists need to step up our activism increase our communications to Obama. Right now he’s going to have so many people and so many problems pressing in on him that it may be difficult to get his attention but I do think once we have there is every reason to hope for compassionate changes for the animals. Regarding the Obamas getting a dog both Mrs and Mr Obama have said they will adopt a rescue dog.

  • King of Fiji says:

    Abby Yeah I think PETA’s definition of cruelty is more detailed and long listed than Obama’s. Anyway as long as those proposition PETA was happy about getting passed are enforced I’d say lets worry about the economy and those super 100 MPG cars that were supposed to be made in the USA.

  • Indian08 says:

    Hey Annathat article is very disappointing but if you go to the link that says “Vote for the dog Obama should get” or something like that and look at the poll results over half of all respondents said shelter dog! That’s encouraging!

  • Joanne Cruz says:

    Barak Obama actually does have a heart I have faith that he will also help our little animals.

  • Abby says:

    According to various articles and profiles I’ve readseen during the campaign some of Obama’s favorite foods include shrimp pepperoni pizza chili with beef… and he and Michelle celebrated their last anniversary at a Chicago restaurant most known for its cheeses. I’ve seen not the slightest indication that he is a vegan or even thinks about it. When he talks about animal cruelty I think he means that we should stand against things like dog fighting and abuse of dogs and cats not eating meat eggs and dairy. It’s a totally different definition of cruelty from what Peta wants him to say.

  • Kim says:

    Dear President Obama what are we doing about all the animals especially pets and horses that have been left behind because owners cannot afford to keep homes or pay taxes for lands that can shelter livestock and pets on the land of free.. All the animal shelters and rescue organizations are bursting its seams with overpopulation but there are plenty of people to take them but they dont have a place to keep them. They have live in small property that cant fit a horse in it. So all the animals are being condemned for execution like people are being sent for genocide? i think you should give tax credit to every american family to keep at least 2 horsescows or more on their property. an idea!These new homes and developing subdivisons are becoming more like the Corben’s home in 5th element the movie. That would be pushing all the animals to extintion. Animals dont pays taxes for living on the land. they should be able to live not been sent to death.

  • Rainbow Warrior says:

    My felicitations this is a great day for America and i think that President Obama shall be animalfriendly and let’s hope that he shall bring a fresh wind into the White House!

  • Jill says:

    I heard his speech also and the comment about the girls having earned a puppy. I do believe this man has heart so if he is aware of the situation with regard to the 7 million animals having been euthanized in these United States I truly believe he’ll be a part of the solution.

  • Penny Bassett-Scarfe says:

    I live in Australia and I heard The new Presidents speech I do believe things are going to change for the USA and I also believe that animals will start to be recognised as our co inhabitants. I also hope that more people take on cruelty free plant based food and eleviate the suffering of fellow beings. There is enough evidence now to highlight that animal protein is not good for our health and that methane from animal agriculture is a major potent green house gas The United nations has pointed out in the 2006 report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” that methane is a more potent green house gas than all the cars trucks and all the transportation in the world plus that flesh eating is the number one killer on the planet. The meat based diet is now being highlighted as causing obesity diabetes cancer cardio vascular problems etc. It would be great to eleviate all that sickness by adopting a plant based diet

  • NT says:

    I saw the picture of Obama holding Baby the puppy mill dog from the book “A Rare Breed of Love” and it warmed my heart. I hope he will stand up to industry and other groups and bring about change for animals. We need a leader like him in Canada!!!!!

  • Anna says:

    The article in today’s Chicago Tribune indicated that Obama might just buy a dog from AKC. Please tell me it isn’t true. httpwww.chicagobreakingnews.com200811obamasfirstappointmentafirstdog.htmlmore