7 min read

7 Terrible Things Steve King Has Done To Animals

<p><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6236335581/in/photolist-aeUJHT-aeXy1h-aeXxRW-icYX9j-av5Rpv-av8wGS-av5Rig-av8wXN-av8wEf-av5RfZ-av5R4g-av5Rme-adGwMB-adGwwZ-4GXzcQ-dodExF-aejSy2-btce1e-btceY2-btceo8-btceFn-btcdHM-dzBTLL-F8Hff-F8GzX-pdpBA8-9ScorE-9ScorU-9Scosy-5eSKCR-4YLNqg-4ZjDZJ-8nfgMa-2saQEP-2saQSF-c6cz-drsFue-dmjSHY-dmjSDG-vwjSN-5eX8kC-4UsMdH-6B5sD2-9sRRu2-dodNQS-9TzGmT-9sUQSY-9sUTsY-9sRSh2-9sUQ1W">Flickr/Gage Skidmore</a></p>

Of all the animal haters in Congress, Steve King is among the worst. The Republican representative from Iowa has campaigned against any and all legislation to protect animals, enthusiastically supported dog fighting and encouraged hunters to shoot threatened polar bears. He's even advocated for legislation that would allow the sale of dog and cat meat.

Here are seven things that have earned Steve King a place at the table of the nation's most horrible animal villains:

1. Defending one of the cruelest "sports" in the world.

(Flickr/Max Schneider)

King has championed the notion that dogs should be allowed to fight because people are allowed to fight. When asked in 2012 about legislation that would prevent states from enacting policies against animal torture, King claimed that it's "wrong to rate animals above human beings" and "there's something wrong with the priorities of people" who would ban animals from fighting. He also campaigned against a measure that made it illegal to bring a child to a dog fight.

2. Trying - but failing - to help illegal cockfighting rings operate.

(Flickr/Lennart Tange)

King's stance on cockfighting is similar to his stance on dogfighting: all for it. In 2007, he fought a proposed bill that would make it a federal felony to transport animals meant for cockfights across state lines. Despite King's efforts, the measure was signed into law - just days after the dog fighting ring led by Michael Vick was revealed.

3. Campaigning against animal lovers.

King, an outspoken supporter of the agriculture industry and a self-proclaimed "committed carnivore," loves eating meat - and wants to make sure everyone else does, too.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent out a newsletter advocating for Meatless Mondays as "one simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias." King, outraged that the USDA would offer suggestions for a more sustainable, humane and healthy alternative, took to Twitter:

4. Proudly forcing vegetarians to "confess" their "agenda."

The Meatless Monday debacle wasn't the only incident in King's war on vegetarians. At a town hall meeting in 2013, he bragged about demanding that vegetarians confess "under oath" to not eating meat. He also claimed that he, too is a vegetarian, because he eats "concentrated, recycled, enhanced vegetables in the form of meat."

5. Attempting to make inhumane factory farms even worse.

(Flickr/egrego2)

His proposed amendment to last year's Farm Bill, referred to as the King Amendment, would have totally stripped a wide range of animal welfare protections. The amendment would have hit livestock protections particularly hard, legalizing cramped veal crates and gestation crates for pigs in states that had previously banned them. When he proposed the legislation, King said that it "wipes out everything they've [animal rights advocates] done with pork and veal." That Farm Bill was passed without the King Amendment last February.

6. Pushing puppy mills and cat meat.

(Flickr/Daniel Stockman)

Another set of laws that King's amendment would have destroyed were laws that banned puppy mills in certain states. If a state had a ban on puppy mills, the amendment would repeal those laws. A group of 166 members of the House of Representatives and 23 Senators sent a letter opposing the amendment, citing legalizing "the sale of dog and cat meat" in states that have banned it as one of the amendment's horrific consequences.

7. Supporting the slaughter of threatened polar bears.

(Flickr/Abd allah Foteih)

King opposed a bill that would ban imports of sport-hunted trophies of threatened polar bears in 2007. Many American hunters only hunt big game for the trophies they can bring back, and the bill, which was defeated, would have discouraged them from hunting polar bears in Canada.