Attack on Food Stamps Is Bad for the Poor and the Economy

About 47 million U.S. residents—primarily women, children, and people of color—currently rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. According to the latest census data, about 47 million U.S. individuals are also living in poverty—nearly the highest poverty level the country has seen in two decades. And the Federal Reserve concluded recently that the labor market is not strong enough to ease back stimulus dollars being injected into the economy, in part because unemployment is still too high.

As if they are living in Bizarro World, last week the Republican-led House of Representatives showed the U.S. population that none of this information guides their priorities. After a deeply partisan vote led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Republicans succeeded Thursday in passing a bill that will cut SNAP by $39 billion over the next ten years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House bill would cut three million people from the program per year. The bill also includes stricter work requirements, mandating adults between the ages of 18 and 50 without children to somehow find work despite sluggish job growth, or to enroll in a work-training program to qualify for benefits. (The House passed this bill even though federal SNAP funding is slated to decrease for the poor already; the 2008 stimulus bill increased food stamp benefits, but this increase, which was intended to be temporary, ends on November 1.)

While the House’s bill is highly unlikely to pass the Senate—Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) called the bill a “monumental waste of time”—House Republicans’ tenacity in attacking food stamps may at least force Democrats to agree to deeper cuts than they previously agreed to. Above all else, this vote shows the influence of the Tea Party as the ideological foundation for House Republican leadership—an ideology blind to the role food stamps play in the economy. Beyond meeting the basic objective of keeping people from going hungry, food stamps ensure the poor have spending power that helps to support food businesses.

The relevance of food stamps to the U.S. economy cannot be overstated. Food stamps have been found to stimulate the economy up to $1.70 for every SNAP dollar spent. In 2011, for example, the $78 billion spent on food stamps resulted in $115 billion in economic activity overall. This impact of SNAP is not limited to major grocery chains or big box stores like Wal-Mart. Hunger Action Los Angeles’ Market Match program matches up to $5 a day of what SNAP recipients spend at local farmers’ markets, incentivizing recipients to spend their SNAP benefits on fresh fruit and vegetables grown by local vendors. A dozen or so such programs exist across the country.

According to Frank Tamborello, executive director of Hunger Action Los Angeles, the program builds clientele for local markets while also helping SNAP recipients afford healthier foods. “As a result of our program, we’ve seen a 31 percent increase in the number of food stamp recipients spending their stamps at local farmers’ markets,” Tamborello told RH Reality Check Friday. “The program shows that recipients want to feed their children healthy food.”

Tamborello says a cut like the one the House is proposing would kick many food stamp recipients off of SNAP rolls and prevent people from spending any money at local farmers’ markets.

“As it is, the people we serve are struggling to stretch food stamps as far as they can go,” he said. “Often they just don’t have a lot of money left over in the family budget for food. Whatever job recovery we’ve seen hasn’t really reached this sector of the economy.”

Some of the largest employers of the working poor in the United States, including Wal-Mart, have many employees relying on public benefits like food stamps and have even encouraged their workers to apply for SNAP. To qualify for food stamps, a three-person family’s gross monthly income must generally be at or below 130 percent of the poverty line, or $2,069 (about $24,800 a year).

Juana Lopez, a food stamp recipient, lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two teenage children. She has rheumatoid arthritis and is unable to work. Her husband cleans carpets and washes cars to support the family, but they are struggling.

Lopez uses her food stamps to participate in the Market Match program.

“We wouldn’t have enough money for fresh vegetables without Market Match,” Lopez told RH Reality Check. “We try to avoid cheap food that isn’t good for my kids.”

Tamborello says that despite tough job prospects for many of the people his group serves, SNAP benefits help many poor people avoid hunger and, through programs like Market Match, improve families’ overall health and wellness.

“The misconception is that low-income people don’t know what healthy eating is. They do. We see at the farmers’ market how every dollar is important to them to spend on healthy food,” Tamborello said.

But House Republicans do not view women like Lopez and their families in this light, nor do they regard recipients of public benefits as relevant to the economy at all. Instead, Republican lawmakers prove over and over again that they are committed, above all else, to a myopic, misguided ideology.

CORRECTION: A version of this article incorrectly noted that Hunger Action Los Angeles’ Market Match program provides an unlimited match to whatever SNAP recipients spend at their local farmers’ markets. We have updated this article to reflect that the program benefit is limited to $5 a day.

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  • fiona64

    I read a report that said one in four recipients of SNAP benefits are children. There goes the GOP again, proving that “family values” is just a catch phrase. “We only care about you when you’re a fetus; when you’re actually born, you’re on your own.”


    • bj_survivor

      Yet they get all pissy when we laugh in their faces when they claim to be “pro-life” because they care so much for embryos. Point out that appropriate nutrition for mothers is extremely important to fetal development and *crickets chirping.*

      • colleen

        I LOVE the guy from DfL. I can hardly wait until the lecture from DfA about how poor women don’t need Ob-Gyn care because pregnancy isn’t a disease. Republicans are cheap sons of bitches

  • expect_resistance

    Voting to cut SNAP is just shameful. The GOP bails out Wall Street and says the hell with everyone else. Just sick of their mean-spiritedness.

  • sophie

    You are a complete idiot. Try actually READING the article.
    Obviously, you have never been out of work OR hungry–No, people of your ilk believe that individuals experiencing poverty and joblessness are nothing but garbage under your feet!

  • thistle809

    Since SNAP benefits are for groceries, it is reasonable to expect that they would be spent where groceries are available. The way the money is used by the stores is no different than when anyone else purchases groceries. The simple fact is that people must have adequate nutrition to be able to function and maintain themselves. It is a proven fact that children cannot learn properly if their brains do not have the proper nutrients. If we are going to have any sort of secure future for this nation, we must be certain that its population has food to eat.

  • VasuMurti

    Food expert Frances Moore Lappe, author of the 1971 bestseller Diet for a Small Planet, once said in a television interview that we should look at a piece of steak as if it were a Cadillac. “What I mean,” she explained, “is that we in America are hooked on gas-guzzling automobiles because of the illusion of cheap petroleum. Likewise, we got hooked on a grain-fed, meat-centered diet because of the illusion of cheap grain.”

    The process of using grain to produce meat is incredibly wasteful: the USDA’s Economic Research Service shows that we receive only one pound of beef for each sixteen pounds of grain. In his book Proteins: Their Chemistry and Politics, Dr. Aaron Altschul notes that in terms of calorie units per acre, a diet of grains, vegetables, and beans will support twenty times as many people than a meat-centered diet.

    As it stands now, about half of the harvested acreage in America and in a number of European, African, and Asian countries is used to feed animals. If the earth’s arable land were used primarily for the production of vegetarian foods, the planet could easily support a human population of twenty billion or larger.

    Points and facts such as these have led food experts to point out that the world hunger problem is largely illusory. The Global Hunger Alliance writes: “Most hunger deaths are due to chronic malnutrition caused by inequitable distribution and inefficient use of existing food resources. At the same time, wasteful agricultural practices, such as the intensive livestock operations known as factory farming, are rapidly polluting and depleting the natural resources upon which all life depends. Trying to produce more foods by these methods would lead only to more water pollution, more soil degradation, and, ultimately, more hunger.”

    A report submitted to the United Nations World Food Conference concurs: “The overconsumption of meat by the rich means hunger for the poor. This wasteful agriculture must be changed–by the suppression of feedlots where beef are fattened on grains, and even a massive reduction of beef cattle.”

    Pound for pound, many vegetarian foods are better sources of protein than meat. A 100-gram portion of lentils yields twenty-five grams of protein, while a hundred grams of soybeans yields thirty-four grams of protein. But although meat provides less protein, it costs more. A spot check of supermarkets in Florida in August 2005 showed sirloin steak costing $7.87 a pound, while staple ingredients for delicious vegetarian meals averaged less than $1.50 a pound.

    Becoming a vegetarian could potentially save an individual shopper at least several hundred dollars each year, thousands of dollars ove the course of a lifetime. The savings to consumers as a whole would amount to billions of dollars annually. Considering all this, it’s hard to see how anyone could afford not to become a vegetarian.

    “If you could feel or see the suffering, you wouldn’t think twice. Give back life. Don’t eat meat.”

    —actress Kim Basinger

    Democrats For Life of America (DFLA), 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) 220-3066

    • kurtsteinbach


    • colleen

      Ah, Democrats for Life, the Trojan horse Republican organization run by Kirsten Day A useless organization that not only opposes abortion but, also, effective contraception and promotes the most elitist and misogynistic pieces of shit politicians available. That Democrats for Life? And do they PAY you to post your ‘let them eat cake’ crap here?

      Next Democrats for Life will be announcing that women don’t really need fancy medical care when we’re pregnant. It’s too expensive for the menfolk and the conservatives and besides, there are freeway on ramps available to give birth under. useless, Besides, it’s NATURAL for women and pregnant children to die in childbirth. Pregnant women in particular don’t need to worry about p[protein intake. After all, the US is 50th in maternal mortality rates and Democrats for Life, an arm of the American Taliban, won’t be content until that number has at least doubled.

      • VasuMurti

        The Democrats For Life of America (DFLA) contact information appeared at the end of my posting, so thank you for taking the time to read through all of it. DFLA is not a “Trojan horse Republican organization” any more than Republicans for Choice is a front for Democrats.

        Pro-life Republicans prefer pro-choice Republicans to pro-life Democrats, which strikes me as mere partisan politics. If pro-lifers *really* want to end the abortion crisis, opposition is going to have to come from across the political spectrum, and not just from the far right. We hear about pro-choice Republicans, a minority, and that the abortion issue is the Republicans’ “Vietnam.” We rarely hear about pro-life Democrats.

        John Morrow, a pro-life Christian taking a stand against abortion on secular human rights grounds, converted me to the pro-life cause, when debating pro-choice liberals (dominating the discussion!) on USENET, from 1986 – 1988.

        1. John Morrow said he disagreed with the Republicans for failing to provide enough social support for children once they’re born.

        In 1992, pro-life Democrat Robert Casey said he would strongly support Lynn Yeakel who was then running against pro-choice Republican Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania.

        Yeakel favored abortion-rights, too, but, Casey said, “we agree on all the other issues.”

        Casey stated further that he would not leave the Democratic Party. The anti-abortion Republicans, he insisted, “drop the children at birth and do nothing for them after that.”

        Barney Frank similarly commented that for Republicans, “Life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

        2. John Morrow said his opposition to capital punishment led him to oppose abortion.

        3. John Morrow compared discrimination against the unborn to homophobia and xenophobia to win over liberals.

        4. John Morrow said he supported sex education.

        5. John Morrow said he supported contraception.

        6. John Morrow said when Roe v. Wade came down, a different set of morals was in place: even mainstream secular American society would not accept single mothers (like Chaitanya-what’s-her-name), there were “shotgun weddings,” homes for unwed mothers, etc.

        7. And John Morrow said health care in the U.S. should be “federalized” i.e., “socialized, like it is in the UK.”

        We Democrats have been pushing for health care reform since Harry Truman.

        “I don’t believe in abortion on demand. The day we can solve the world’s population problem, the problem of browns in Central America, the problems of blacks in the ghetto, by aborting them, that’s unacceptable to me.

        “How about the kids in mental hospitals? They’re parasites on the environment. How about the old people in the institutions? They’re cluttering up the landscape. Do you want to exterminate them, too?”

        —Senator Ted Kennedy, 1970 Campaign for Senate

        (taken from Kristen Day’s 2006 book, Pro-Life Democrats.)

        Kennedy’s position wasn’t always in line with abortion advocacy groups, one of many formerly pro-life Democrats who changed with the political winds as the party moved from one influenced by pro-life southern Democrats and pro-life Catholics to one dominated by the abortion-rights feminist groups like NARAL and Emily’s List.

        Kennedy displayed an eloquent pro-life position in 1971, prior to Roe v. Wade, when he wrote a letter to Catholic League member Tom Dennelly.

        “While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life.

        “Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old,” he wrote.

        “On the question of the individual’s freedom of choice there are easily available birth control methods and information which women may employ to prevent or postpone pregnancy. But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire,” he added.

        “When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception,” he concluded.

        Other prominent pro-life Democrats who eventually abandoned the courage of their convictions include former president Bill Clinton, Dick Durbin, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, and “common ground” congressman Tim Ryan.

        In an article appearing in the September 1980 issue of The Progressive entitled, “Abortion: The Left Has Betrayed the Sanctity of Life,” Mary Meehan wrote:

        “If much of the leadership of the pro-life movement is right-wing, that is due largely to the default of the left.

        “We people who marched against the war and now march against abortion would like to see leaders of the left speaking out on behalf of the unborn.

        “But we see only a few, such as Dick Gregory, Mark Hatfield, Richard Neuhaus, Mary Rose Oakar. Most of the others either avoid the issue or support abortion.

        “We are dismayed by their inconsistency. And we are not impressed by arguments that we should work and vote for them because they are good on such issues as food stamps and medical care…

        “It is out of character for the left to neglect the weak and the helpless. The traditional mark of the left has been its protection of the underdog, the weak, and the poor.

        “The unborn child is the most helpless form of humanity, even more in need of protection than the poor tenant farmer or the mental patient or the boat people on the high seas.

        “The basic instinct of the left is to aid those who cannot aid themselves—and that instinct is absolutely sound. It is what keeps the human proposition going.”

        Meehan stated elsewhere:

        “Writer and activist Jay Sykes, who led Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 antiwar campaign in Wisconsin and later served as head of the state’s American Civil Liberties Union, wrote a ‘Farewell to Liberalism’ several years ago.

        “Sykes cited several areas of disagreement and disillusionment, then added, ‘It is on the abortion issue that the moral bankruptcy of contemporary liberalism is most clearly exposed.’ He said that liberals’ arguments in support of abortion ‘could, without much refinement, be used to justify the legalization of infanticide.’”

        In her article, “Abortion and the Left” which originally appeared in Religious Socialism (Spring, 1981), Juli Loesch, founder of Pro-Lifers for Survival (an antinuclear group) described the response to Mary Meehan’s article in The Progressive:

        “The left…is profoundly divided on abortion…in October 1980, Pax Christi USA, a Catholic peace organization that includes feminists and socialists, approved an anti-abortion resolution at its national assembly by virtually unanimous vote.

        “Weeks later, Sojourners, a Christian peace/justice magazine, featured Daniel Berrigan, Shelley Douglass, Jesse Jackson and others arguing for opposition to abortion integrated with a more radical commitment to non-violent feminism and human dignity.

        “Possibly abortion never was a Left/Right issue,” concluded Loesch. “Soon after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision one of the most progressive Senate Democrats, Harold Hughes, joined one of the most progressive Republicans, Mark Hatfield, in co-sponsoring a Human Life Amendment (HLA).

        “Both were opponents of the Vietnam War. Both opposed abortion because of, not despite, their other political views…Michael Harrington once called pro-life one of the only true grassroots movements to emerge from the ‘70s.”

        “I have always thought it peculiar how the liberal and conservative philosophies have lined up on the abortion issue,” observed Rosemary Bottcher in her article “How Do Pro-Choicers ‘Fool’ Themselves?” which originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat.

        “It seemed to me that liberals traditionally have cared about others and about human rights, while conservatives have cared about themselves and property rights. Therefore, one would expect liberals to be defending the unborn and conservatives to be encouraging their destruction.”

        Rosemary Bottcher criticized the American Left for its failure to take a stand against abortion:

        “The same people who wax hysterical at the thought of executing, after countless appeals, a criminal convicted of some revolting crime would have insisted on his mother’s unconditional right to have him killed while he was still innocent.

        “The same people who organized a boycott of the Nestle Company for its marketing of infant formula in underdeveloped lands would have approved of the killing of those exploited infants only a few months before.

        “The same people who talk incessantly of human rights are willing to deny the most helpless and vulnerable of all human beings the most important right of all.

        “Apparently these people do not understand the difference between contraception and abortion,” concluded Bottcher.

        “Their arguments defending abortion would be perfectly reasonable if they were talking about contraception. When they insist upon ‘reproductive freedom’ and ‘motherhood by choice’ they forget that ‘pregnant’ means ‘being with child.’ A pregnant woman has already reproduced; she is already a mother.”

        At a speech before the National Right to Life Convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on July 15, 1982, Reverend Richard John Neuhaus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church said:

        “I have a confession to make. I am a liberal. More than that. I am a Democrat…I know that among some pro-life advocates liberalism is almost a dirty word. I know it and I regret it. I know that among others there has been a determined effort to portray the pro-life movement as anti-liberal and, indeed, as reactionary. I know it and I regret it.

        “We are today engaged in a great contest over the meaning of liberalism, over the meaning of liberal democracy, indeed over the meaning of America…Will it be an America that is inclusive, embracing the stranger and giving refuge to the homeless?…Will it be a caring America, nurturing the helpless and protecting the vulnerable?

        “…The mark of a humane and progressive society is an ever more expansive definition of the community for which we accept responsibility…”The pro-life movement is one with the movement for the emancipation of slaves. This is the continuation of the civil rights movement, for you are the champions of the most elementary civil, indeed human right—simply the right to be.

        “There is another and authentically liberal vision of an America that is hospitable to the stranger, holding out arms of welcome to those who would share the freedom and opportunity we cherish. ‘Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’

        “The unborn child is the ultimate immigrant…The analogy between the unborn and the immigrant may seem strained. I fear, however, that it is painfully to the point.”

        According to Dr. And Mrs. J.C. Willke’s 1988 Handbook on Abortion, a poll was conducted at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, CA, asking: “Should there be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing abortion?” It was found that only nine percent of all delegates to the Convention supported such an Amendment, even though it was supported by 46 percent of all Democrats nationwide.

        In an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Are Black Leaders Listening to Black America?”, J. Perkins wrote:

        “Black leaders react in traditional, knee-jerk liberal fashion to issues across the board, even though, in general, black Americans are decidedly conservative on a number of issues. The Black Caucus, for example, advocates a ‘right’ to abort, whereas 62% of blacks oppose abortion (National Opinion Research Center, 1984).”

        According to Mary Meehan, “…abortion is a civil rights issue. Dick Gregory and many other blacks view abortion as a type of genocide.” For every white baby killed by abortion, for example, two minority children die.

        Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) insisted, “The methods used to take human lives, such as abortion, the pill, the ring, etc., amount to genocide. I believe that legal abortion is legal murder.”

        According to Hamer, “These are still our children. And we still love these children. And after these babies are born we are not going to disband these children from their families, because these are other lives, they are…and I think these children have a right to live. And I think these mothers have a right to support them in a decent way.”

        A pamphlet distributed by Milwaukee SOUL (Save Our Unwanted Lives) points out that under current U.S. law, corporations are considered legal persons, while humans in prenatal development are denied this moral status.

        “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

        –Hubert H. Humphrey

        Fifty-nine percent of Democrats favored a ban on partial-birth abortion. (Gallup Poll, November 1, 2000)

        Eighty-nine percent of Americans favored informed consent for women seeking abortions. (Gallup Poll, 2002)

        Sixty-seven percent of Democrats would outlaw some or all abortions. (Gallup Poll, May 5-7, 2003)

        Forty-three percent of Democrats agreed with the statement that abortion”destroys a human life and is manslaughter.” (Zogby Poll, December 2004)

        Seventy percent of high school senior females say they would not consider abortion if they became pregnant while in high school. (Hamilton College/Zogby Poll, January 2008)

        Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe abortion should have stricter limitations. (CBS News Poll, January 2008)

        Twenty-nine percent of Democratic Convention delegates disagreed with the statement, “Abortion should be generally available to those who want it rather than under stricter limits or not permitted.” However, 52 percent of Democratic voters as a whole disagreed. This large discrepancy between party leadership and membership indicates a serious problem that Democrats For Life of America wants to rectify.

        During the 2008 campaign, Reverend Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) advised Barack Obama to support a plank in the Democratic Party Platform that would aim to reduce abortions by focusing on supporting low income women and making adoption easier. (This is the 95-10 Initiative, advanced by pro-life Democrats in Congress.) Reverend Tony Campolo served on the Platform Committee and has issued a strong statement in support of a pro-life position.

        A “conscience clause” which appeared in the 2000 Democratic Platform (but not in 2004) acknowledges that there are pro-life people in our Party and we respect their views. It reads as follows:

        “We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.”

        Kristen Day of Democrats For Life recently said, “Roughly a third of the Democratic Party is pro-life. And while many do not call themselves liberal, they share the values which seem to identify with liberalism, particularly a commitment to helping the vulnerable and providing a social safety net.”

        In the closing to my 2006 book, The Liberal Case Against Abortion, I wrote:

        “I am struck by how knee-jerk the liberal/progressive community is on the necessity of legal abortions,” writes Timothy Shipe of Westerville, Ohio, in the June 2003 issue of The Progressive. “On every other issue, the progressive community looks at the parties involved, assesses the humanity, the vulnerability, the justice, the balance of power, and then weighs in on the side of the underdog. Every issue, that is, except for abortion.

        “The day I accept as ‘progressive’ the anti-human practice of willful abortion is the day I say OK to unjust war, unfettered capitalist exploitation of people and the environment, capital punishment, ethnic cleansing, and so forth.”

        Opposition to abortion can be found across the political spectrum. A national poll by Wirthlin Worldwide on the evening of the 1998 elections found that 38 percent of all Democrats (and 40 percent of Democrat women) oppose abortion.

        A national poll released by the Center for Gender Equality (a women’s think tank headed by former Planned Parenthood executive director Faye Wattleton), in January 1999, found that a majority of American women do not support legalized abortion on demand. 53 percent of female respondents to the poll said abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, to save a mother’s life or not at all, up from 45 percent in 1996.

        A Zogby International poll in August 1999 found that the majority of Americans recognize that abortion destroys a new individual human life (52 percent versus 36 percent), oppose partial-birth abortions (56.4 percent versus 32 percent), are opposed to tax-funded partial-birth abortions (71 percent to 23 percent), and think parents should be notified if their minor child seeks an abortion (78 percent).

        The abortion controversy is analogous to the Vietnam War. By the late 1960s, both the right and the left came to agree that the war was wrong; they merely advocated different strategies for ending it. The real losers on this issue are the 1.5 million annual victims of prenatal homicide, and the spineless politicians afraid to speak out against the madness.

        On secular, human rights grounds, the American Left should take a stand against abortion.

        Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) – 220 – 3066

        • colleen

          I have no intention of reading that wall of bullshit and propaganda. We under5stand that you’re funded by Republicans and your disgusting politicians certainly VOTE with the Republicans.How DARE you come here and tell us how to vote.

          • VasuMurti

            If you’d take the time to read through all I’ve written, you’ll see I’m a progressive, not a conservative, that pro-life Republicans prefer pro-choice Republicans over pro-life Democrats (debunking your lie that Democrats For Life is a “Trojan horse Republican organization,”) and that vegan congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, one of the most liberal members of Congress, and the only congressperson to vote against the so-called “Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,” was pro-life throughout most of his political career! Why would I mention pro-choice Republicans if I were telling you how to vote? You’re as narrow-minded as the pro-lifers censoring animal rights messages… silencing anyone who disagrees with you!

          • colleen

            I have no interest in cut and paste spin and propaganda from an organization funded and run by Republicans. I AM amused that you seem to think this is an appropriate forum to advocate for a cheap diet and a disgusting little worm of a man who only decided he was pro-choice after he decided to run for President. The notion that you or Kirsten Day or Denni9s Kucinich are leaders of some vague ‘left’ is just so dishonest. You aren’t any sort of leaders; you are walking insults to any women of intelligence and self respect. The stupid women vote Republican. Talk to them. They will believe anything.

          • VasuMurti

            “Propaganda” is one-sided or one-directional, like flooding the airwaves (no pun intended!) with anti-veg and anti-animal rights sound bites while not giving equal time to the pro-animal side. There are serious human rights and social justice issues connected with animal rights as well (besides abortion and war being the karma for killing animals): worker’s rights, global hunger, the environment, the economy, etc… It’s not just a “cheap diet,” as you put it. Where do you get the misinformation that Democrats For Life is funded by Republicans? Is it your own propaganda? Pro-choicers shouldn’t resort to lies and deception, like pro-lifers. I agree with you even pro-choicers have reason to be concerned about Dennis Kucinich. If Kucinich is willing to change sides on a serious human rights issue just to get votes, how can you trust him on any other issue? Ross Heckmann of Southern California Democrats For Life labeled Kucinich a “turncoat” several years ago. But Kucinich was, and still is a political liberal, debunking your argument that only Republicans are pro-life. Americans across the political spectrum are not going to tolerate the killing of the unborn.

          • colleen

            if I wanted to read or debate cut and paste propaganda from your Republican organization I would go to the DfL website and do so. Your organization is so unpopular and it’s slimy politicians vote with Republicans so often that they no longer publish their membership list. I am simply pointing out who funds your propaganda and who pays you to post this crap and how insulting your arguments are. I do not trust Dennis Kucinich and I certainly do not trust a horrible, lying Republican organization like DfL Beyond their mild entertainment value of the truly grotesque, I have no interest in your ignorant attempts at political ‘analysis’. Youy are simply too insulting to your intended audience. Because really, the stupid women vote Republican. Talk to them.

          • VasuMurti

            We at Democrats For Life of America not a “Republican organization”! I voted for the Obama-Biden ticket both in 2008 and again in 2012. In the fall of 2004, pro-life liberals Rose Evans and Rachel MacNair told me they were voting for John Kerry. *You’re* the one spewing propaganda! And while someone in the Democratic Party around that time referred to DFLA as a “fringe group,” Howard Dean (hardly a pro-lifer!) spoke favorably of pro-life Democrats for their party loyalty.

          • colleen

            you are funded by Republican slime. Your sponsored politicians vote with Republicans at every opportunity which is to say that they not only vote to eliminate effective contraception and abortion, they also vote to eliminate social security, adequate healthcare for the poor, food stamps and other things like Head Start.The notion that a decent man like Howard Dean endorses your organization is absurd. Howard Dean has always been a reliable and eloquent voice for women. Whereas Kirsten Day and DfL have always been hateful and dishonest. How much are you paid to post your right wing propaganda here?

          • VasuMurti

            I think *you’re* overreacting! I merely posted my response to the Republicans’ attack on Food Stamps that vegetarianism is a directly related social justice issue for ending hunger. I merely ended my post with contact information for Democrats For Life. I didn’t bring up abortion… *you* did! John Morrow (perhaps a liberal Christian?) successfully debated pro-choice liberals (dominating the discussion!) on USENET, from 1986 – 1988.

            1. John Morrow said he disagreed with the Republicans for failing to provide enough social support for children once they’re born.

            2. John Morrow said his opposition to capital punishment led him to oppose abortion.

            3. John Morrow compared discrimination against the unborn to homophobia and xenophobia to win over liberals.

            4. John Morrow said he supported sex education.

            5. John Morrow said he supported contraception.

            6. John Morrow said when Roe v. Wade came down, a different set of morals was in place: even mainstream secular American society would not accept single mothers (like Chaitanya-what’s-her-name), there were “shotgun weddings,” homes for unwed mothers, etc.

            7. And John Morrow said health care in the U.S. should be “federalized” i.e., “socialized, like it is in the UK.”

            We Democrats have been pushing for health care reform since Harry Truman.

          • colleen

            How much do they pay you to post this crap here?

          • VasuMurti

            If by “they” you mean Republicans, they’re not paying me a dime! My political activism comes out of my pocket. Howard Dean said, “I hate Republicans. If Republicans are the ones keeping me under surveillance, I hate Republicans, too. But an elected official like Howard Dean, negotiating with the other side, can’t afford to make brash statements like that. The other side invades the privacy of the bedroom and bathroom, while demanding privacy for themselves. They’ve turned my own mother against me. Rather than saying, “I’m proud of you for educating pro-lifers on animal rights issues,” they’ve got her acting incestuous! I’m a pro-life Democrat.

          • goatini

            “If you’d take the time to read through all I’ve written”

            … it would be a lot of wasted time that you’ll never get back.

            Same old tired mind-numbing screeds Vasu’s been posting for years.

          • colleen

            I am genuinely offended by the notion that if those pregnant women just ate Vegan those food stamp cuts would not be a problem. Has Vasu been posting on behalf of Kirsten Day for years?

    • Arekushieru

      And, it seems, he doesn’t realize that it is REPUBLICANS and Pro-Life Conservatives that promote OVERCONSUMPTION. Not Pro-Choice. OOPS.

      • VasuMurti

        Did you take the time to read through not just my original posting, but my response to Colleen as well?

        I agree with you about overconsumption:

        Dave Gardner distributes Endangered Species Condoms, in conjunction with the Center for Biological Diversity.

        On USENET in either 1987 or 1988, I pointed out via e-mail from Southern California to John Morrow, a pro-life student at Rutgers University in New Jersey that we never see anti-abortionists distributing condoms on campuses, in order to bring down the abortion rate (what to speak of addressing the threat of “overpopulation”!).

        The pro-life response?

        In 1990, CNN ran a news story about “entertainers” distributing condoms on campuses!

        This led me to conclude that pro-lifers (thinking themselves smugly superior to other religions, where there isn’t supposed to be any dating or boyfriends or girlfriends, when in reality Christianity has merely embraced the past five hundred years of secular social progress, which past generations of Christians resisted, like Christians today resisting animal rights) find it impossible themselves to be open and honest about fellatio and contraception!

        Distributing condoms is fine, but the real cause of environmental destruction is not “overpopulation,” but overconsumption: our meat-centered diet.

        It makes sense to eat lower on the food chain!

        “All Things Are Connected,” the concluding chapter to Vegan author John Robbins’ Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987), begins with a quote from (reincarnationist) Christian mystic Edgar Cayce:

        “Destiny, or karma, depends upon what the soul has done about what it has become aware of.”

        Vegan author John Robbins provides these points and facts in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987):

        Half the water consumed in the U.S. irrigates land growing feed and fodder for livestock. Huge amounts of water wash away their excrement. U.S. livestock produce twenty times as much excrement as the entire human population, creating sewage which is ten to several hundred times as concentrated as raw domestic sewage.

        Animal wastes cause thrice as much water pollution than does the U.S. human population; the meat industry causes thrice as much harmful organic water pollution than the rest of the nation’s industries combined.

        Meat producers, the number one industrial polluters in our nation, contribute to half the water pollution in the United States.

        The water that goes into a 1,000 lb. steer could float a destroyer. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, but 2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat. If these costs weren’t subsidized by the American taxpayers, the cheapest hamburger meat would be $35 per pound!

        Subsidizing the California meat industry costs taxpayers $24 billion annually. Livestock producers are California’s biggest consumers of water.

        Every tax dollar the state doles out to livestock producers costs taxpayers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs and reduced business income. Seventeen western states have enough water supplies to support economies and populations twice as large as the present.

        Overgrazing of cattle leads to topsoil erosion, turning once-arable land into desert. We lose four million acres of topsoil each year and 85 percent of this loss is directly caused by raising livestock.

        To replace the soil we’ve lost, we’re destroying our forests. Since 1967, the rate of deforestation in the U.S. has been one acre every five seconds. For each acre cleared in urbanization, seven are cleared for grazing or growing livestock feed.

        One-third of all raw materials in the U.S. are consumed by the livestock industry and it takes thrice as much fossil fuel energy to produce meat than it does to produce plant foods.

        A report on the energy crisis in Scientific American warned: “The trends in meat consumption and energy consumption are on a collision course.”

        Nor can fish provide any help here, notes Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983). There are signs that the fishing industry (which is quite energy-intensive) has already overfished the oceans in several areas.

        And fish could never play a major role in the worlds diet anyway: the entire global fish catch of the world, if divided among all the world’s inhabitants would amount to only a few ounces of fish per person per week.

        The American Dietetic Association reports that throughout history, humans have lived on “vegetarian or near vegetarian diets,”; meat has traditionally been a luxury.

        Nathan Pritikin, author of The Pritikin Plan, recommended not more than three ounces of animal protein per day; three ounces per week for his patients that already suffered a heart attack.

        Providing the entire world with a meat-centered diet is absurd. But what about providing only the affluent with a meat-centered diet?

        According to Keith Akers, if the world population triples in the next 100 years, and meat consumption continues, then meat production would have to triple as well.

        Instead of 3.7 billion acres of cropland and 7.5 billion acres of grazing land, we would require 11.1 billion acres of cropland and 22.5 billion acres of grazing land.

        But this is slightly larger than the total land area of the six inhabited continents! We are desperately short of forests, water and energy already.

        Even if we resort to extreme methods of population control: abortion, infanticide, genocide, etc…modest increases in the world population would make it impossible to maintain current levels of meat consumption.

        On a vegan diet, however, the world could easily support a population several times its present size. The world’s cattle alone consume enough to feed 8.7 billion humans.

        According to the editors of World Watch, July/August 2004:

        “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future–deforestization, topsoil erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.”

        Democrats For Life of America, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004 (202) – 220 – 3066

        • Arekushieru

          Your assumption that I didn’t take the time to read your post is laughable, considering that you failed to read Colleen’s own posts.

          Specifically, this:

          I am simply pointing out who funds your propaganda and who pays you to post this crap and how insulting your arguments are;

          If you hadn’t wanted anyone to point out the problematic issues with your organization, maybe you should have taken your own advice and not brought up an organization who’s primary association is with abortion, in other words, actually be the one to first mention abortion. DERP.

          Your assumption that I didn’t take the time to read your post is laughable, considering that you failed to read MY own posts.

          I wasn’t trying to demonstrate that Conservatives and Republicans are not opposed to over-consumption, I was trying to demonstrate that Pro-LIFE is not opposed to over-consumption, which is why Republicans and Conservatives ARE such a better fit for Pro-Life ‘values’.

          Finally, your assumption that I didn’t take the time to read your SECOND post is laughable, considering that is actually what I DID, but it was discarded when I pressed a key and my entire post was ERASED. I simply didn’t feel like attempting to re-post my entire response for you, again, as I am SURE you should be able to completely understand, no?

        • Arekushieru

          Those opposed to abortion are supportive of slavery. Those opposed to abortion are supportive of anti-choice individuals such as Hitler. Those opposed to abortion are supportive of anti-gay movements. Those opposed to abortion are supportive of mandatory organ donation. Those opposed to abortion are supportive of ‘legalized’ rape. Those opposed to abortion are opposed to animal rights. That is, if they believe in moral universalism. Are not misogynists or hold to any kind of bigotry directed solely at the female sex.

          I am hoping to post the rest of my reply, later.

        • colleen

          I have no interest

  • expect_resistance

    You don’t have to support corporations to use food stamps (SNAP). I try to buy local whenever I can. SNAP EBT cards are accepted at the St. Paul Farmers market in Minnesota. I don’t know if any other farmers markets in the country take EBT cards but at least one does. SNAP recipients can support local farmers and local food co-ops by buying food from them. Hell, we all can support our local farmers and local food co-ops.

  • 1prairie_dog2

    I am officially in the poverty category although I don’t use food stamps. Your rant is so middle class it is pathetic. Name brands? You have got to be kidding. It has been YEARS since I could afford Name Brands. If you are poor and limited you buy the cheapest you can get to make the little money you have go further.

    • colleen

      Yes, well these fuckers don’t actually KNOW any poor people and they certainly don’t talk to any. It would be beneath them. What they DO is get paid to spin. In this case the spin is “buying groceries supports large corporations, if you can’t afford to eat you will be better off. ” paqthetic

  • taopower

    Republicon senators are totally out of touch with real life.
    Don’t expect them to care about you and me. They don’t.
    Hey they’re not hungry, how could you be hungry ? You must be a welfare cheat.
    Down with the Bastards.

  • DevourCatering

    Why would they even bother doing this? What benefits are there?

  • colleen

    That’s fairly pathetic Republican spin.