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A WORLD VEGAN PARTY: Will 2020 Mark the Rise of a Vegan Voting Bloc?

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As more voters embrace veganism, reduce their meat consumption, or take an interest in animal welfare, it’s highly plausible that the politicians who adopt platforms around these issues will grow.

NADRA NITTLE: ‘With vegan restaurants on the rise, sales of vegan foods outpacing other cuisine, and young adults flocking to plant-based diets, 2019 has been deemed the “year of the vegan,” at least by the media. Forbes, The Economist, and The Guardian all agree that veganism has gone mainstream—and as with most things this year, the political realm is following suit. Plant-based diets have come up multiple times during the 2020 US presidential race… For the first time in U.S. history, being a meat-free politician isn’t necessarily a liability.

“That a vegan diet has become a respectable topic is a sign for progress,” said Matthew Liebman, director of litigation for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Most people don’t think it’s something to be concerned about, that it doesn’t make a candidate ineligible to be president. I think 10, 12 years ago, it would have undercut their standing.” A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 74 percent of registered voters say a candidate’s veganism doesn’t matter to them. And only 12 percent of respondents say they would not consider voting for a vegan president…

Vegans don’t yet have the focused attention of politicians in the same way that, say, African Americans or evangelical Christians do. But as more voters embrace veganism, reduce their meat consumption, or take an interest in animal welfare, it’s highly plausible that the politicians who adopt platforms around these issues will grow. “I would love to see a vegan voting bloc that candidates are courting,” Mercy for Animals’ Diane May said. “It’s definitely something that could happen in the next couple of election cycles.”

The fact that the Humane Party, a political party for vegans and animal rights advocates, exists may be the best indicator that such a voting bloc could emerge in the not-so-distant future. Formed in 2009, the Humane Party has hundreds of members, mostly active in California and New York. The party only supports candidates who have committed to “humane” values personally and politically. “The party is still largely an ideal, a group of likeminded people,” said Robert Mason, a Humane Party presidential primary candidate. He would like to see vegan politicians in major parties speak more openly about their beliefs…

Even if a presidential candidate became a vegan evangelist of sorts, promoting the lifestyle to the public, Mason said that the vegan community may not rally behind one particular political figure. “The vegan community is so disjointed; it’s hard to pull everyone together,” Mason said. What unites the community, however, is the concept of “non-harming,” he added. “It’s not just about animal equality and animal rights,” he explained. “It’s about creating a positive society. I think a move towards veganism as an ideal forces people to be a lot more forward-thinking”.’  SOURCE…

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