Vegan party running federal election candidate in B.C.

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      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.



      Sandra Bogart

      Aug 26, 2015 at 4:11pm

      He is right on all accounts. I wish there was a candidate in Vancouver. Makes sense economically too.


      Aug 26, 2015 at 4:38pm

      Makes sense. Animal agriculture is destroying our planet more than fossil fuels, climate change, oil, tar sands etc etc. Yet few high profile "environmentalists" talk about this industry and how it is negatively impacting us. One hamburger is equivalent to driving your car for 2 weeks! The footprint is insanely destructive. I find it hypercritical of people like David Suzuki, Elizabeth May, Al Gore etc who advocate environmental change yet are not vegans. Veganism saves the planet. Plain and simple.


      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:53pm

      I met Mr Reichert whilst working on a political campaign in Victoria years ago. I was impressed by his maturity beyond his years, his grasp of the complex issues, his tenacity & dedication to fixing the problem. He would make an EXCELLENT MP. He would certainly be a fearless champion for his Constituents!


      Aug 26, 2015 at 11:48pm

      Anna - Elizabeth May has been vegetarian since she was about 10 years old! Not vegan yet but she does talk about it and knows that is the way to go. Al Gore is vegan and has been for awhile now. As for David Suzuki, I don't think he eats meat but some fish and dairy. Suzuki always talks about people needing to eat less meat for our environmental reasons. So I think these 3 people you mentioned do a lot better than most! Of course I want a vegan world but it sure isn't going to happen overnight, but little by little people are starting to clue in!

      Jordan Reichert

      Aug 27, 2015 at 8:07am

      I certainly wasn't expecting that headline, but I'm not going to condemn it. We are after all the only party with a vegan leader, Liz White, which speaks volumes to her integrity as an animal advocate and activist who holds herself accountable to her values. However, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada is more than a "vegan party." We are a party dedicated to challenging the political landscape as it currently exists that it may represent the interests of all animals, not just humans. It is naive to believe you can talk about the environment, health care, equality or other social justice issues without considering non-human animals position in it all. This article only touched on the fact that we are dedicated to addressing issues of systemic animal exploitation and abuse for the sake of the animals themselves and not merely to enhance our own health and environment. For me, that is a incredibly important distinction to make.

      Nigel DeLorey

      Aug 27, 2015 at 11:55am

      Excellent split the Island Green Vote even more!

      alan stephen

      Aug 27, 2015 at 1:51pm

      I don't quite understand how it would be "in the interest of farm animals" to not exist at all, as our vegan friends propose.

      I wonder

      Aug 27, 2015 at 2:40pm

      I wonder if there is something in particular he finds lacking in the Green Party that he needs to go after their core support for. The Greens are working to protect animals and the environment. The best way to do that is to help the Green Party gain more momentum, continue getting elected and bringing in their policies to government. Anyone who becomes a member can propose a new policy and organize to get other members to support it, so if there is something he finds missing in Green policies, he could have proposed it be included in a party that can actually get elected.

      James Blatchford

      Aug 27, 2015 at 4:56pm

      They would love to have candidates in all ridings, but damn, not enough energy.

      Cariboo Dan

      Aug 27, 2015 at 8:02pm

      naive to believe ...!?
      Homo sapiens will survive the next great extinction
      and it is not all our doing