Election Day is coming, and here in Arizona there’s a proposition up for vote which warrants a “cruelty-free” post. Proposition 109 is the Arizona Hunting & Fishing Amendment. The proposal would give a constitutional protection to the right to hunt in Arizona. Naturally, I’m not at all pro-hunting; but even for those who might think hunting has its place in American culture, there’s something wholly un-American about this proposed legislation. So if you have some friends who might be leaning towards supporting this measure, here’s the full scoop.
By making hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife a constitutional right, the State Legislature would have exclusive authority to enact laws regulating these activities. I’ve already blogged about the potential pitfalls of our regulatory system, in which regulators wind up essentially regulating themselves (see my entry about the egg industry). In this case, powerful lobby groups would become even more powerful, because the individual citizen basically gets ousted under the new scheme. If Prop 109 passes, the citizens of Arizona will have literally voted away their own rights to make decisions down the line via ballot initiatives. Among other things, Prop 109 will allow the government to establish hunting and fishing as a means of “managing” wildlife populations; the proposition itself also will become a means of “managing” citizen involvement in decision-making about our own environment. Whoa!
On Tuesday, November 2nd, Arizonans will be asked to cast their vote for wildlife… and for their own right to have a say in future decisions about wildlife and environmental concerns. Let’s all make sure to show up at the polls on Tuesday. And, just as important, explain to friends and family in the upcoming days — especially those who may not be as persuaded by the awe-inspiring glance of a coyote or mountain lion — why they should do the same. NO on Prop 109!
I’ll be participating this evening in a phone banking event, where a group of us will be calling Arizona voters about this proposition. So if you’re in Arizona and a member of The Humane Society of the United States, you may be hearing from me later tonight 😉