News & Politics

Viral Petition Asks Lawmakers to Extend Food Stamp Benefits to Pets

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Sadly yet not surprisingly, an online petition is closing in on its goal of 120,000 signees who believe that food stamp recipients should be allowed to use food stamps to buy pet food. By the time you read this article, the number of signees may be well north of 120,000.

The petition reads,

Each year, over 40 million low- or no-income people in the United States rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help purchase food for themselves and their families. It is the most wide-reaching program in the domestic hunger safety net, helping keep millions of families from starving.

But what about their pets? Unfortunately, SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy pet food, leaving poor families with pets in a difficult position.

I am one of those Americans. I have only been on SNAP benefits for a few months, but I have been unable to feed my little dog due to government regulations.

Please sign this petition if you think SNAP benefits should extend nutrition assistance to include pet food!

The petition then goes on to ask, “Some argue that people should not keep pets if they cannot afford them, but the fact is that an individual or family’s financial status can change at any time. Should someone be forced to give up a pet they’ve had for years just because they hit a financial rough patch? Or should they be able to utilize federal aid to continue feeding their pet?”

Working backward, no, people should not be allowed to utilize federal aid to pay for pet food. Just like people shouldn’t be allowed to use federal aid to pay for alcohol or vacations or tattoos.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the government has the right to forcibly take someone’s money and then give that money to someone else (that’s a big and fallacious assumption, I know). Within those parameters, the government then has the right to dictate how and when those who receive the stolen money can use the stolen money. To that end, the government should only allow welfare recipients to use SNAP for essentials. Pet food is not an essential for the survival of the humans receiving the stolen money SNAP.

It should be noted that the creator of the petition, Edward B. Johnston, Jr., is a pet owner who cannot afford his pet. He believes that other people should pay for its care. That does raise a question, though. If Johnston is allowed to use my stolen tax dollars for pet food, do I have the right to go play with the dog whenever I want?

Which brings me to Johnston’s first question, “Should someone be forced to give up a pet they’ve had for years just because they hit a financial rough patch?”

In answer, I do not believe that people should own pets if they cannot afford to take care of them. Should they be “forced,” using Johnston’s word, to give up their pet? Well, let me answer Johnston’s question with a question of my own.

Should others be forced to surrender their hard-earned money because you, Mr. Johnston, can’t afford to feed your little dog?

The answer to both questions is, no. Others shouldn’t be forced to surrender their hard-earned money so that Mr. Johnston can feed his dog. Likewise, I don’t believe that the government should be knocking down Mr. Johnston’s door and forcing him to surrender his little dog. If Johnston wants to own a dog, it’s his responsibility to care for it. If he can’t, then he needs to be a grownup, do the responsible thing, and willingly give the little dog up to someone who can take care of it. If he doesn’t, and the little dog suffers, that’s just further evidence that Johnston is selfish and thinks only of what he wants regardless of the consequences paid by others, including his little dog.

For any leftists reading this, if you want to see President Donald Trump reelected in 2020, keep up nonsense like this petition to allow food stamps to be used for pet food.