Why should those concerned by the treatment of animals vote for you?
Because my campaign is building a movement and party to replace the capitalist system that generates the mistreatment of animals, from puppy mills and factory farms to the mass extinction now underway due habitat destruction and global warming. Capitalism's inherent drive for endless growth based on competitive accumulation relentlessly destroys animal habitat and mistreats domestic and farm animals in the blind amoral pursuit of profit.
We want to replace the economic dictatorship of capitalism with an economic democracy that many call socialism or the cooperative commonwealth. In a democratic economy, people will have the power to choose to meet their material needs on an ecologically sustainable basis that protects habitat and treats animals ethically. We support cooperatives in the private sector, democratic public utilities for those goods and services that ought to be available to all as human rights, and democratic planning of technology choices and public investment and spending.
Does the Green Party have any official position on animal exploitation of any kind? If not, is this something you would like to change? If so, how might you do this?
The platform of the Green Party of the United States has a section opposing animal exploitation (http://www.gp.org/what-we-believe/our-platform/17-platform/40-iii-ecological-sustainability#EthicalAnimals).
What public policy proposals do you support that would better the treatment of animals?
These policies are from our campaign platform (http://www.howiehawkins.org/platform):
Phase Out CAFOs: Corporate factory farming in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFPs) is driving family farms off the land. CAFOs undermine small, diversified, farms where free-range poultry and livestock are part of a sustainable farm ecosystem producing for local consumers. CAFOs are negative for the environment, food safety, public health, the ethical treatment of animals, nearby property values, and rural economic prosperity.
GMO Labeling: Pass the bill requiring labeling of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) in food. Consumer have a right to know.
GMO Moratorium: Apply the Precautionary Principle to GMOs and place a state moratorium on them until safety can be demonstrated by long-term studies on health impact, genetic drift, pest resistance, biodiversity, and soil and other ecosystems.
Ban Neonicotinoids: Ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that are contributing to the Colony Collapse Disorder die-off of bees, which are necessary for crop pollination.
Ban Antibiotics in Animal Feed: Antibiotics should only be used to treat illness and injury. Overuse of antibiotics is creating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that endanger human and non-human animal health.
Organic Agriculture Transition Plan: Develop a plan to encourage and help farmers transition to organic farming, including research, training, subsidies and incentives to support farmers' transition to organic agriculture while natural systems of soil fertility and pest control are being restored. Organic agriculture should be promoted to protect the environment and the health of food producers and consumers, and to fight climate change by sequestering carbon in revitalized soil ecosystems.
For you, how, if at all, are the fights for economic justice and better treatment for animals intertwined?
The same domineering institutions, ideologies, and sensibilities that rationalize the domination of human by human also rationalize the domination of nature, including non-human animals. In order to harmonize society with nature, we must harmonize human with human. The fight against the mistreatment of animals, like the fights against racism, sexism, and exploitation, are part of the fight for a humane ecological society.
When we fight for the economic human rights to decent jobs, living wages, publicly-funded health care, a good education, affordable housing and public transit, and clean energy and a sustainable environment, we are fighting for a society in which the well-being of each is dependent on the well-being of all of its sentient creatures, human and non-human alike.