What if I’m a farmer or ranch manager?
There’s no such thing as a farm or ranch, but it’s fair to say that most Americans wouldn’t think of it as a job that requires a license to operate, even if they’re involved in it. The Animal Welfare Act was passed in 1934, and in that year a bill was passed to legalize the practice (it wasn’t included in the bill). That was the first national law prohibiting animal abuse and cruelty, and it’s now an open secret that a lot of people are using animals for money (or at least that’s what the media says – see the article “Why is the slaughter of animals so profitable? In America, it’s legal”.).
It’s important to make your case on the right side of animal abuse, and by that I mean, make a convincing case, in spite of where people might be on the left-to-right spectrum, and a convincing case if they’re already on the liberal right-to-left spectrum.
The fact is: If you’re the sort of person who believes that the most efficient way to make a living is to raise and keep animals as pets, and that the only way to make a profit is by abusing those animals and using their lives for entertainment, but also by trying to be humane, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. If you do it, however, you shouldn’t think about a license but about money, or an end rather than a means.
The case for keeping animals doesn’t have to be as strong as it does if you happen to be pro-choice. Not everyone wants to live in a society where they have to sacrifice every part of their lives to an animal, but it’s worth taking a look at.
As for ranching and farming, you need a license to own them. In most states, you have a license to “keep cattle, swine, goats, rabbits, elk, and deer.”
If people want to use animals for entertainment, and you can provide evidence to the contrary, then just don’t. No matter what the person being accused of animal abuse happens to be saying, you don’t have to buy what they’re selling. As far as the moral or legal question goes, we’re going to leave it up to the state to handle the business end of things, and in our experience, states typically have no trouble getting around that.
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