Recently a few self-described SHARK supporters have indicated they are withholding donations because we spoke out against Donald Trump. Allow us to respond as clearly as possible.
SHARK is not a political organization. We work to end animal cruelty. If politicians are involved in animal cruelty, such as when US Senator Jim Inhofe held live pigeon shoot fundraisers, we speak out against them.
It matters nothing to us what the political stripe of the individual happens to be. When appropriate, SHARK has pursued Democrats (such as corrupt Berks County, Pennsylvania District Attorney John Adams), Republicans, Independents, etc. We even took Senator Bernie Sanders, the darling of the progressive movement to task for his kind words for Senator Inhofe - an individual who is as corrupt as he is cruel and cowardly.
SHARK personnel have spoken out against Donald Trump, and we will continue to do so. Our concerns regarding Trump have nothing to do with his party, or anything the media produces relative to him.
Our opposition to Trump stems from Trump. We have heard the words that come out of his mouth, and have chosen not to ignore them. Bragging about sexually assaulting women, racist remarks, anti-gay and anti-transgender policies and making fun of the disabled are just some of his appalling acts.
In addition to Trump's words, we have looked at his policies. As president, Trump has given incredible power to anti-animal politicians such as Scott Pruitt (Trump’s head of the EPA), whose anti-environment and anti-animal record is clear. We also note that the Ryan Jackson, Inhofe’s former Chief of Staff (and someone who we fought against for the pigeon shoots) is now Chief of Staff for the EPA. The environment, and the humans and animals who live in it, are suffering dearly for this already, and will suffer much more going forward. Check out Ryan Jackson lying to protect Inhofe's cruel and illegal pigeon shoot in this video:
The Endangered Species Act is threatened under Trump and under Trump’s proposed budget, wild horses could be sold for slaughter. The U.S. Department of Agriculture removed access to animal welfare records and Trump supports NRA legislation to restrict the National Parks Service from regulating hunting, which would include allowing bears and their cubs to be killed right in their dens. And let’s not forget that Trump and his sons, Eric and Don Jr., are notoriously very pro-trophy hunting (see photo below). This is not a left/right or Democrat/Republican issue, and it’s not something that can be blamed on the media. This is about an individual who poses a real danger to the animals we seek to protect.
While there have been many social issues inflamed by Donald Trump, we particularly cannot ignore how Trump has given cover to hate groups, especially when he tried to equalize blame for what happened at a pro-Nazi/racist rally in Charlottesville, in which a woman was killed. If you participate in the same rally where swastikas are proudly held, you are not a “fine” person.
There are times when it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this great country to rise and take a stand. Trump embraced corruption and hatred during his campaign, and now as president, we believe it is our moral duty to speak out. We would do so no matter what banner he flew.
To those who choose to withdraw their support because of this stand, we wish to be perfectly clear. If speaking out means SHARK loses donations, then we will lose donations. Those donors should keep their money, and we will keep our ethics.