I love animals. Period. I will work with experts in the field to produce legislation that strengthens the Endangered Species Act and helps protect all animals from abuse and cruelty. Most Americans say animals need legal protection (62%, 2015 Gallup) and I intend to work toward that. Education is also a big part of creating a greater group of individuals who care for animals and follow through with action.
Upon my election to congress, I intend to make two things a top priority: taking a deep look at the endangered species list, enhancing it, and focusing on environmental decisions and factors that impact our animal friends. Every year, more and more animals are at risk of going extinct. In order to right this wrong we must acknowledge and closely examine the causes and the crisis our animals face on a daily basis. Despite Indiana's U.S. senators being members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, a committee that oversees oceans, fisheries, and general sciences, neither has made any advancements in legislation for animals in these areas or the scientists whose information protects them.
As hard as it is to believe, we must first recognize the fact that, of all the animals (which includes insects and organisms) living on the earth right now, most of them are extinct, which means most of the animals that we could have known, we will never get a chance to see. Why? We could say natural causes like catastrophic events, reduced food supply or competition from other animals but humans are the biggest cause of extinction today.
With sport hunting, daily pollution and lack of responsibility for climate change along with the continued archaic use of fossil fuels, human pollution continues to plague our air, our water, and our land where animals live. We also contribute to extinction when we build habitats of our own with little to no regard for animals and theirs. I’m against irresponsible humans who refuse to care for the earth. I’m equally against zoos which remove animals from their natural habitats and against any kind of animal abuse or cruelty.
Therefore, upon my election to congress expect to find me prioritizing the following:
As a future member of Congress, I will Immediately begin work on creating and passing legislation that phases out zoos and converts them to sanctuaries and/or habitats identical to animals’ natural habitats. Zoos and aquariums, once cherished cultural institutions, are now being buffeted by storms of shifting public opinion regarding the plight of animals kept in these facilities. They must convert now or plan on returning these animals to their natural habitats with animal therapy.
The nation’s bald eagle which is the symbol of the United States of America was once in danger of becoming extinct. The Endangered Species Act protected the bald eagle, along with many other animals, plants and organisms, which is why the act must be protected. As a member of Congress, I will fight every day to protect the Endangered Species Act by creating and passing legislation that protects scientists and their ability to analyze and produce the best data to maintain an effective list.
It is difficult to propose legislation that protects animals without considering the enormous amount of pollution humans continue to create. We must invest like we never have before in clean energy and proper waste removal (see plans on Energy & Environment).
As a member of Congress, I will do everything in my power to uphold PACT (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act), which already protects animals from animal cruelty. However, additionally, I want to ensure the true impact on animals, organisms and their environments and vice versa is known and included in every report submitted to congress and the President involving environment/energy issues. For example, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) should include animal impact statements in reports submitted so that members of Congress can have a true and accurate reflection on the impact on the environment. A holistic report will include an impact statement or section for the status of animals and organisms relative to the subject matter. If there is no impact, then the record should affirmatively confirm that.