11th December, 2015
The Vegan Vote – Vegetarian Corbyn’s a Winner
I suppose I am going to do something quite rare for Middle Vision – try to illustrate how Corbyn is achieving something positive for Labour.
Among the “controversial” choices that the vegetarian Corbyn made when picking his team was the vegan Kerry McCarthy to Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. People scoffed, but Kerry has gone to demonstrate concern for meat and dairy farmers, just as the vegetarian Hilary Benn did when he took on the role in government, and just as anyone would have done for wheat farmers if he or she had been gluten intolerant.
Inspired by a similar party in the Netherlands, vegans founded Animals Count! in 2006 with the belief that every vegan in London would vote for them, thus giving them a seat in the European Parliament under proportional representation. I did not see it happening, and the goal is yet to be achieved, even under the change of name to the Animal Welfare Party.
Many vegans vote for other parties or do not vote at all, and similar can be said for many of the groups that the Corbynites think that they will “have in the bag” come 2020.
As a vegan myself, I want to see the vegan community support the Labour Party as we are the most willing and able to care for animals; how much can the Green Party introduce into the UK legislature? Although support for Labour makes you stand out as everyone else is Green, Animal Welfare Party or perhaps Liberal Democrat as a result of the party’s position over the Iraq War.
There is a lot of admiration for the vegetarian Tony Benn, but he did only adopt the lifestyle because of his son Hilary, so perhaps Hilary should be the recipient of all the love!
I was delighted to attend the recent Labour Party conference in Brighton and find the Vegan Society exhibition stand being visited by many Labour members. It seems the Society may have cottoned on to just how effective the Labour Animal Welfare Society and the party as a whole has been in supporting animal welfare and bringing in legislation that has been popular with the public, such as the fox hunting ban.
The trust that Kerry McCarthy can generate can only help with this and she went on to grace the cover of the next issue of the Vegan Society magazine, along with a picture of Jeremy Corbyn inside and reports of what a good reception the Society had received at conference.
And I am just thrilled that at last there is hope that those who want to vote for animals, and even the environment as well, will see the Labour Party as the way forward. I hope that the party will not squander this goodwill and will one day win over voters from other parties and special interests.
By Paddington Baby