A party promoting a vegan lifestyle to save animals and the planet is fielding its first candidate in B.C.
Jordan Reichert is running for MP in Victoria in the October 19 election with the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada (AA/EV).
It’s also a first for the 33-year-old mental health and addictions worker. He is a co-founder of the Vancouver Island Vegan Association. He is also involved with the Island Animal Liberation, and The Critical Cat.
Reichert related that he met party leader Liz White when she came to Victoria to help in the campaign against a deer cull in the Capital Regional District. He suggested to White that it may be a good thing to bring the AA/EV to B.C. She then asked him if he would be interested in running for the party.
“And I said absolutely. So from there, it just kind of developed,” Reichert told the Straight in a phone interview Wednesday (August 26).
According to the animal rights advocate, the AA/EV has a place in the political landscape dominated by traditional parties.
“More and more people are caring about issues related to non-human animals,” he said.
A booklet that lays out the party’s vision of the future covers everything from democratic reform to the economy, social welfare, health, education, environment, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, wildlife, and domesticated animals.
The pamphlet states that commercial agriculture, “because of its concentration on animals, is cruel on a massive scale and a major contributor to water depletion, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions”.
“Mono-cropping, intensive animal agriculture, and dependence on non-organic fertilizers and biocides must be reduced and phased out, in favor of sustainable, organic farming practices,” the material declares. “Doing so will reduce many of the factors that contribute to modern diseases and poor health, and to many environmental problems.”
The AA/EV also proposes that measures be set in place to “promote the consumption of whole food plant-based diets, encourage exercise, and reduce environmental pollutants”.
“The benefits of plant-based or vegan diets are well known,” the party explains in its booklet. “Animals benefit directly because they are not raised and slaughtered for food. The environment will benefit by reducing intensive animal agriculture and therefore its contribution to global warming.”
Many may not realize it, but according to Reichert, eating animal products hurt people.
“Meat and dairy consumption are some of the greatest causes of health problems in Canada and North American and the world today,” the candidate said in the interview.
Reichert noted that switching to a plant-based diet is an “opportunity for people to improve their health, [and] to improve the protection of the environment”.
AA/EV has fielded candidates mostly in Ontario in general and special elections since 2008.