Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, April 06, 2007

What on earth can I feed my pets?

An open letter to my Senators. FIX IT.

Dear Senators Lugar and Bayh:

We have four animals: 2 older cats, an aging, beloved dog and a younger, feisty Brittany spaniel that we rescued from the side of the road in 2000. We have no children, so this is our family. They sleep with us (well, the cats do,) and are our daily companions. It is our responsibility to protect them, provide good health care, good nutritious food, and exercise. We take our responsibility very seriously... but right now, we are completely paralyzed.

Dog that died of Kidney failureEvery day more and more animal foods - and now biscuits - are being added to the food recall, as pets all over the country are dying. The FDA has fielded 12,000 complaints in three weeks!

My cats are on a Hills prescription diet (one of them has bad kidneys,) and cannot eat any other food. We already survived that cold stab of fear in our stomachs when we saw that one Hills dried (prescription) food was recalled - so far their special diet food is considered safe. But for how long? Every day, it changes. We are also afraid to buy their favorite 'Greenies' because now dog biscuits are being recalled.

One company is apparently responsible for the distribution of ALL pet food in the United States! How on earth could this be a good idea - a safe idea for consumers? I am sure its terrific from a business perspective, but this nation is made up of people -- not simply businesses!

What on earth has happened to our FDA? I know what has happened to our EPA... it was 'privatized, ' meaning that the 'fox is now guarding the hen coop,' and representatives of the companies being regulated are now in charge of regulating themselves. As you can imagine (especially after Katrina,) this does not inspire confidence. What is happening all across the nation with our pet products is outrageous and unacceptable in America. We count on our government to regulate business and protect us, and this includes our beloved pets.

We trusted you!!

I have no idea what to feed our dogs or cats... I dread going to the store to buy more dog food. I won't buy their Greenies at all until this has passed (if it ever passes.) I know my entire family is going through the same confusion, as are my friends. This is... a very, very large bloc of voters. You can call us the 'pet owner' vote. And you can't imagine how angry we are... unless you have pets of your own.

Our trust is gone. And these days, we are finding it harder and harder to trust our government, our regulatory commissions and any other agency diluted and infiltrated by the Bush administration. Its FEMA all over again. This is not America... this is not how we do things here. This would never have happened under Reagan, Bush Sr, or any other American president in history. This is a nation of the people -- not of big corporations with the people as 'customer/victims. '

I am asking you to please do something about this. Please exercise your oversight and join Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in demanding that oversight be returned to our pets' food - and while you are at it, our own food.

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who is Senate majority whip, said he would hold an oversight hearing on the FDA's response perhaps as early as next week.

"The system broke down," he said. "It's not just about contaminated food killing pets, it's a system that failed." Menu Foods "felt no sense of urgency" to publicly raise an alarm when it first became aware of a potential problem Feb. 20, Durbin said.

This time it is our beloved pets... the next bell will toll for us.

Thank you.

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