If you were walking around downtown Vancouver this afternoon, you may just have encountered a certain Canadian musical icon.
Jann Arden was busking on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery earlier today, in protest of live horse export in Canada. She was at the Shipyards in North Vancouver yesterday. According to social media, Arden plans to perform pop-up sets around the city until June 7.
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The award-winning musician, author, and activist launched her HORSESHIT campaign to, as the website describes, “put an end to live export of horses from Canada to foreign countries to be slaughtered for human consumption.”
It’s a deadly business that operates quietly. According to a 2022 report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, compared to the same period last year, there has been an uptick in the number of horses exported from Canada to Japan for slaughter—2,579 horses, which represents an 8 per cent increase.
In 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a mandate to ban the export of live horses for slaughter. But, this March, “the 36,175 citizens who had signed a petition towards this motion were contacted via email and told this issue has been tabled,” states Arden’s campaign website.
Arden’s pop-up in North Vancouver on Sunday raised over $400 for Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, the not-for-profit organization that will see 100 per cent of all proceeds donated from the performances.
I want to thank everyone in north Vancouver for coming to hear me busking down at the quay. We raised over 400$ for https://t.co/gcdNLC9sQ5 —we will be out around Vancouver today, singing at random little spots. Hope to see you! END LIVE HORSE EXPORT— Jann “stop live horse export” Arden (@jannarden) June 5, 2023
“They deserve so much better than this,” Arden says, via the HORSESHIT website. “Horses have shaped this country. They have carried us on their backs and plowed our fields. Like dogs and cats, they are our companions. We don’t need to treat them this way.”