Insane congressman brags his bill
will 'wipe out' animal rights laws
A GOP congressman is boasting about new legislation that would eradicate much of the progress animal rights activists have achieved, particularly with regard to pork and veal. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) has sponsored an amendment to the House Farm Bill that would legalize previously banned practices such as tail-docking, putting arsenic in chicken feed, and keeping impregnated pigs in small crates. "My language wipes out everything they’ve done with pork and veal,” King said of his amendment.
Bans on keeping baby cows in similar crates would also likely be lifted in several states. The congressman, who has previously spoken out against other animal rights bills such as anti-dogfighting legislation, said the bill is the "fix we need." Source
Congressman Steve King doesn't care what voters want!
By Zack Beauchamp on Jul 18, 2012
Representative Steve King (R-IA), who is the sponsor of an amendment to the House Farm Bill that is both astonishingly hypocritical and devastating to food safety laws that protect millions of Americans from illness, recently gave an interview to the Daily Caller to brag about what he had accomplished. The King Amendment would essentially prevent states from developing strong independent health, safety, and cruelty standards, even if local voters want them.
This isn’t an unintended consequence — King told the Daily Caller that his amendment “fixes the states and their political subdivisions regulating food production everywhere in America.” However, King might want to reconsider that position, as his amendment would legalize several horrific farming and food practices that some states have chosen to do away with:
- Florida, Ohio, and seven other states have banned confining pregnant pigs in cages that prevent them from moving their limbs or walking in a circle. Pigs confined in so-called gestation crates are forced to defecate where they stand, exposed to serious risk of traumatic injury as a consequence of immobility, and develop sores as a consequence of attempting to move against or bite the bars the bars that confine them. They live their whole lives like this.
- Seven states have banned similar confinement for baby calves. So-called veal creates are designed to atrophy muscles to improve the taste of meat, creating what the ASPCA calls “lives of agony and frustration” for the cows until they are slaughtered at four or five months.
- Three states have banned tail-docking, wherein parts of cows tails are lopped off, occasionally without anesthetic. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes tail docking as unnecessary and highly painful.
- Maryland prohibits adding arsenic to chicken feed, which – besides the obvious problems – also spreads the poison into the surrounding soil.
King, though, brags that his legislation “wipes out everything they’ve [animal rights advocates] done with pork and veal.” Indeed, King has a long record of opposing animal welfare law — he has, for example, been Congress’ leading advocate against anti-dogfighting legislation. He also believes that the Humane Society and other animal rights advocates are attempting to ban “production agriculture” and has fantasized about exposing vegetarians with “an agenda for our diets” on the House floor.
Will the 'Farm Bill' nullify laws against animal cruelty?
by John Robbins for Huffington Post
In the last few years, California and several other states have enacted legislation to prevent some of the worst abuse of farm animals. But last week Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) successfully introduced an amendment to the farm bill that would not only jeopardize those laws, but also any laws passed by any other state that might seek to restrict factory farm cruelty.
The current Farm Bill expires at the end of September, so Congress has to cobble together a new one in a hurry. King's amendment was introduced near midnight at the very end of a marathon session. It was debated for a grand total of 20 minutes, and then passed by the House Committee on Agriculture.
If the Senate follows suit, it will become law.
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) President Wayne Pacelle says the measure could nullify "any laws to protect animals, and perhaps... laws to protect the environment, workers, or public safety." The amendment is worded so broadly, he notes, that it could even prevent states from enacting laws that would prevent the sale of food produced by forced labor.
But Congressman King is proud of his amendment because, he says, it "will ensure that radical organizations like the Humane Society of the United States... are prohibited from establishing... restrictive state laws." King doesn't want anyone, particularly anyone associated with animal welfare causes, telling America's farmers how to raise and care for their animals. "My [amendment] language wipes out everything they've done [to ban the most cruel practices] with pork and veal."
King is particularly peeved with California. In 2008, California voters passed a ballot measure requiring that by 2015, no eggs can be sold in the state that come from hens housed in cages so small they can't begin to lift a single wing. The act was a repudiation of the livestock industry's practice of keeping animals in conditions that violate their natures and frustrate almost all of their natural instincts. And this month a state law banning foie gras took effect. "Foie gras" literally means "fatty liver." To produce it, workers ram pipes down male ducks' or geese's throats several times a day, pumping otherwise impossible amounts of fat into the animals' stomachs. Their livers bloat to up to 10 times their normal size, and are then sold as an expensive delicacy.
King doesn't like these kinds of bans. His amendment, called the "Protect Interstate Commerce Act," says that states that object to the way a food product is produced in other states cannot ban the sale of that product.
Paradoxically, King is normally an outspoken proponent of states' rights, so much so that he has expressed strong support for states' rights to ban contraception. Reporter and blogger Zack Beauchamp points out the irony. Congressman King would permit states to ban birth control, but not foie gras.
Perhaps the contradiction can be explained by the fact that King's current bid for re-election depends on the financial backing of agribusiness interests in his state, and these interests are vehemently opposed to California's laws. Bowing to the dictates of industrial agriculture and factory farms, King's home state of Iowa has virtually no restrictions on the conditions that can be imposed on egg-laying hens or other farm animals. This is one of the reasons the state has been responsible for some of the worst outbreaks of salmonella poisoning in U.S. history.
Congressman King's views are often extreme. Last year, he said that providing free birth control to women could make us a "dying civilization." And just in the last few months: He has made headlines by saying there would be no discrimination against gays in the workplace if gays would simply keep their sexual orientation secret. He has compared detention for immigrants to holiday resorts. And he has equated janitors in House office buildings to the East German secret police for installing energy-efficient light-bulbs.
But King's amendment to the Farm Bill isn't just outrageous talk. It's designed not only to block California's animal safety laws, but also to prevent any state from imposing its own animal welfare standards on producers from other states. And it's now part of the Farm Bill that has been approved by the House.
Another Republican Congressman, Abraham Lincoln, once said "I care not much for a man's religion whose dog or cat are not the better for it." But Steve King takes a different approach.
Neither King nor Lincoln ever graduated from college. But that's about as far as the likeness goes. For unlike Steve King, Abraham Lincoln understood that how we treat animals says something about the kind of human beings we are.
John Robbins is the author of many bestsellers including The Food Revolution, No Happy Cows: Dispatches From The Frontlines of The Food Revolution and Diet For A New America. He and his son, Ocean Robbins, are co-hosts of the 32,000 member Food Revolution Network. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and Green America's Lifetime Achievement Award. To learn more about his work, visit JohnRobbins.info
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The following article should open your eyes as to the state of mind of this man...
Steve King’s war on vegetarians:
He brags of forcing 'Anti-Meat Crowd' to 'confess' their 'agenda' under oath
By Scott Keyes and Brad Johnson on Apr 5, 2012
EMMETSBURG, Iowa — Rep. Steve King (R-IA) beamed at a town hall meeting on Tuesday as he recounted a recent congressional hearing where he forced witnesses to “confess” that they were vegetarians.
King said the hearing included witnesses who called to testify before the House Agriculture Committee, including the president of the Humane Society as well as other animal rights groups. He recalled how during the hearing, he asked the individuals, “under oath, are you a vegetarian?” King smiled as he told the town hall constituents that they “confessed they were vegetarians, all of them.”
KING: I’m here to tell you I’m a committed carnivore. I like meat. I sit on the Ag Committee and we had a hearing before the Ag Committee when we invited in the president of the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, President Wayne Pacelle. And we had one or two other witnesses from the anti-meat crowd or anti-animal husbandry crowd. PETA was there and one other animal activist group. So we just asked them, under oath, “are you a vegetarian?” And they confessed they were vegetarians, all of them. Well there they are with an agenda for our diets.
King offered his own “confession” at the end of the hearing. “I too am a vegetarian,” said the Iowa Republican. “I eat concentrated, recycled, enhanced vegetables in the form of meat.”
ThinkProgress went back to review the hearing transcripts to determine whether King’s story is accurate. It is not. The congressional hearing on animal welfare that King appears to be referencing occurred on May 8, 2007. There were no witnesses from PETA. King did not ask anyone “are you a vegetarian?” In fact, it was another member — Steve Kagen (D-WI) — who asked the Humane Society witness to say he was a vegetarian.
The only thing about King’s story that does appear to be true is that he did in fact say “I eat recycled, concentrated, enhanced vegetables in the form of meat.”