Love ’em or hate ’em, politics make the world go ‘round. When our legislative leaders take action, their decisions affect our livelihoods, the way we conduct our lives, and how we obtain goods and services. Politics, when you break it down, is also a slow and methodical process. It can take years for a bill to reach the House or Senate floor, but more often than not, most are killed before leaving committee.
Still, it’s good to be aware of bills that touch upon salient social or ethical issues. Believe it or not, if enough constituents voice an opinion about a particular bill in consideration, a congressman is likely to take notice and vote accordingly.
The following three federal animal welfare bills have already been introduced, but read on to learn more about them and ways to take action.
1. The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148): Introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), this bill would effectively prohibit cosmetic animal testing in the U.S. It would also ban the sale or transportation in interstate commerce if the final product results from animal testing methods. I’ve previously described the horrors of vivisection–and indeed, the cosmetic industry commits egregious acts against animals–but this bill would finally make this practice illegal.
Take Action: Contact your U.S. representative and say, “I’m a constituent and I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 4148. This is an important issue for me because the bill would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S.”
2. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1094/S.541): You’ve no doubt heard about the sale of horse meat in other countries, and the fact that so many of these vulnerable animals are exported from the U.S. Besides the obvious cruelty inflicted upon them, horses are also unfit for human consumption; they regularly ingest pharmaceuticals such as steroids, antibiotics, growth promoters, sedatives, artificial hormones, and others. Simply put, horse meat should not be part of the food supply. The SAFE Act would prohibit the sale and transport of horse meat intended for human consumption.
Take Action: Write to your senators or representative using PCRM’s form, and personalize it if you wish.
3. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013 (S. 820/H.R. 1731): This bill would significantly improve the lives of egg-laying hens, who are normally confined to a space not much larger than an 8X10 piece of paper. If adopted, this legislation would provide the birds with more space to move and additional environmental enrichment (such as nesting and perching areas). Additionally, this bill would mandate that companies list their farming methods on the egg carton (e.g. listing “eggs from caged hens” or “eggs from cage-free hens”). While this bill ultimately doesn’t terminate egg consumption, even vegans should feel good knowing that consumers want to be kinder to animals. It’s only a matter of time before they realize tofu is an apt replacement in a traditional egg scramble!
Take Action: Write to your senators or representative using HSUS’ form. And, in light of the egg-centric Easter holiday, share this infographic on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to encourage your friends to limit their egg consumption.
Also see: What You Need to Know About Vivisection
Photo: BeCrueltyFree via Flickr