you don't want your rights to own animals taken away.
No one said it would be easy, but here,
in plain and simple English is what
YOU MUST DO!
Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, Inc.
are looming in many states, with primaries coming up soon and general
elections just around the corner in November. While debates concerning
various issues are interesting and informative, one of the most effective
ways to secure animal ownership, use and enjoyment is to elect those
who support our issues. Now is the time to become active and do your
part in electing those who will vote against animal rights proposals
and for the continuation of our interests in animals.
when speaking to various groups,
I make the same statements only to hear rumblings of "I don't like
"it doesn't matter whether or not I vote; one vote doesn't make
here to tell you that ONE person and ONE vote CAN make a difference!
When Anne and I started MoFed, TWO individuals came together and effectively
changed state law to protect our interests. I have heard of races where
one vote made the difference in an election, and as few as a dozen votes
were all that separated candidates.
Talk and debate is fine, but action on the political front is all that
stands between you and the animals you love.
"Like it or not", I tell groups I talk to, "the political
process decides whether or not you will continue owning and enjoying
animals. If you are not part of the solution to prevent devastating
legislation, you are part of the problem that allows it to occur."
I spoke to a large group last Saturday night and brought up several
issues looming on the horizon concerning county ordinances. One audience
member wanted to know why MoFed didn't keep them informed on all county
ordinance proposals along with who was running for local offices such
as commissioners, etc. I told him that we worked on state issues and
that time did not allow us to track every issue in each of the more
than 100 counties in our state, and that it was up to HIM and others
in the room to get to know local politicians and to track local proposals.
While MoFed could inform them on what to do, it was up to those living
in each district to take responsibility for fighting detrimental proposals
and electing those who supported animal ownership.
I then gave suggestions of what every animal owner should be doing before
1. Get a list of who is running for office, including candidates for
mayor, city council, commissioner, state Representative, state Senator,
U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate.
2. Watch local and statewide newspapers for articles, interviews, letters
to the editor and comments about candidates. Is there anything mentioned
about agriculture, property rights, conservation issues, the environment,
ordinances, animals, etc.? If so, make notes of which candidates were
mentioned and what the issues were. Watch for town hall meetings, meet
the candidate forums, parades, social events or any event which may
draw the candidates to your area. Attend! Seek out any candidate who
agrees with your issues and ask how you can help in his or her campaign
(it may simply be a bumper sticker or yard sign, but it shows them you
are supporting their run for office, and they WILL remember you!). Ask
those who disagree with you more about their stance, and if they cannot
be educated about animal rights, find their opponent and ask them questions
about their stand on animal rights.
3. Call campaign offices of state candidates who agree with your issues
and ask for a yard sign and bumper stickers. Get a stack of push cards
to hand out to friends and family, and encourage them to vote for that
candidate. Get to know the staff working on their campaigns. Oftentimes,
they are later hired to work in the offices of the winners and you will
have a great foot in the door for educating them further on your issues.
4. Attend fundraisers for the candidates. While some of the higher offices
are more costly to attend, many local and state ones are more interested
in warm bodies that vote! We had a senator tell us once that he would
much rather have 1000 people attend and give him a dollar than for one
to attend and give him $1000. He was interested in votes!
5. Offer to drive your car in a parade for your state House or Senate
candidate. Magnetic tapes that won't harm your car are great ways to
attach signs and banners. Get as many friends and family members as
possible to walk alongside giving out candy, bumper stickers and push
cards for the candidate. Work hand in hand with the candidate and the
rewards are plentiful during session! My husband and I have a bright
yellow Mustang show car. Last week he drove it in a parade for U.S.
Senator Talent (who sits on the Senate Ag Committee where PAWS was to
be heard). We did the same thing for Governor Blunt when he ran for
office as well as various other candidates. The car is in huge demand
each election year because it's flashy and gets attention for the candidates.
Perhaps you don't have a car to drive, but your time and help are greatly
appreciated at these events, and when devastating legislation is proposed
later, many times a phone call is all that is needed to kill the bill.
In other words, you support them, they support you.
6. Encourage others to vote. If they're not registered, encourage them
to do so. Tonight, I will be sworn in by our county clerk to register
people to vote at our county fair next week. See what you can do in
your area to get out the vote. Complacency is our greatest enemy in
getting the right candidates in office. Put up yard signs in your own
yard and ask others to do the same for candidates who support your issues.
Offer to help their campaign teams, whether it is stuffing envelopes,
helping put up signs or making phone calls. By helping do your part
to get the right candidates elected, you are paving the way to protecting
7. Take every opportunity to educate candidates about the devastating
effects of the animal rights movement. Only by having appropriate knowledge
can office holders recognize the threat it poses to our rights.
say you don't like politics?
No longer do we have the luxury of going about our lives ignoring who
is in office. It's crucial to the survival of our
ownership and enjoyment
of animals that we elect the right candidates this election year and
that we continue to have a good working relationship with them after
they take office.
Karen Strange, President & Lobbyist