Utah Democrats prioritize animal rights in 2017 platform proposal

Utah Democrats are proposing to put “animal rights” in the top-10 of their proposed platform for 2017.

The draft platform posted online lists “animal rights” as the #9 governing principal for the party, ahead of government ethics, election reform and women’s rights.

The platform, which will be voted on during the Democratic State Convention on June 17th at Weber State University, has 30 proposed sections for delegates to consider.

The animal rights portion of the draft platform says “Utah is one of the worst states in protections for animals, and we can and must do better.” It then goes on to call for improvements in the welfare of animals used in agriculture and research as well as pets.

The provision also calls for “stronger shelter requirements for animals left outdoors in Utah’s harsh winters and summers,” as well as opposing Utah’s “ag-gag” rule, which makes it a misdemeanor to take pictures or video inside an agricultural operation without permission.

The protections for pets is echoed on the crowdfunding page of 3rd Congressional District candidate Kathryn Allen. Her list of campaign principles includes a section stating “Pets are family members for many of us. They should not be abused or mass produced in ‘puppy mills’.”

It’s curious that the animal rights section is up so high in the proposed platform, or that it’s even there at all. It’s not like animal rights are on the list of trending hot political topics.

Democrats in Utah have been railing about the evils of gerrymandering for years, blaming the once-per-decade drawing of political lines for a good portion of their electoral misfortunes in the Beehive State. However, gerrymandering is #11 on the proposed platform, below animal rights.

Religious freedom? That ranks #13 on the list.

Women’s rights? That clocks in six spots below animal rights at #15. The section that affirms abortion rights and equal pay for women is apparently not as important as protecting our furry friends.

LGBTQ rights? Sorry, that’s #16.

Racism? Not as important as animal rights because it’s #18.

How about veterans? Nope. That section is #23.

Infrastructure and affordable housing? Not as high up on the list as animal rights, ranking #28.

The eight topics that were deemed to be more important than animal rights by the Democrats who came up with the platform proposal?

  1. Education
  2. Economy
  3. Healthcare
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. Environment
  6. Climate Change
  7. Energy
  8. Public lands

I don’t want to sound like I’m not a fan of animals. I have multiple dogs who live in my house and they are certainly an important part of our family.

However, Utah’s Democrats have many other important issues they should be addressing to try and attract voters to their camp. Putting animal rights in the top-10 of their list of important topics is not going to get it done.