Vegan issues have been catapulted into the political spotlight by The Vegan Society, whose supporters have been using its General Election Tip Sheet to challenge prospective MPs on vegan-related topics ahead of UK polling day on 7 May.
“Thousands have already accessed our Tip Sheet, many of whom are now calling potential MPs to task. The level of response from the politicians has been remarkable, too” said Amanda Baker, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer of The Vegan Society.
“The leading parties are being pushed harder than ever to be clear on these issues. The office of the Conservative Party Chairman (on behalf of Grant Shapps), for example, responded to us re-stating their intention to ban wild animals in circuses, and a wish to encourage other countries to follow the EU’s lead in banning animal testing for cosmetics.
“The Green Party set out their plans to end the badger cull and introduce CCTV in slaughterhouses in their Animals Manifesto, and the Labour Party have stated their intention to abolish the badger cull and defend the ban against hunting with hounds. The Animal Welfare Party (fielding four candidates in London) seeks a world in which animals are not exploited, and plan to end the badger cull, phase out animal testing and move farming subsidies from animal to plant-based methods. The Lib Dems have signalled their intent to also end the badger cull, and set a new legally binding target for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050 – which would have to address the huge greenhouse gas emissions from human farming of non-humans – while UKIP say they will abolish the live export of animals for slaughter.
“Vegan issues are climbing up the political agenda faster than ever before, in line with the increasing prominence of veganism as a mainstream belief in society,” added Baker.
The Tip Sheet probes ten policy areas around animal use, plant-based nutrition and equalities, as well as plant-based solutions to global climate change and food security, with specific questions to put to Parliamentary Candidates. It is a platform to inspire debate, and encourage discussion of vegan issues which have, in the past, been so frequently missed off political programmes.