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The Animal Protection Party of Canada: Featuring Jordan Reichert
By John Reichert

image: Brodie Frehlich Photography. Led by Liz White, the Animal Protection Party of Canada (APPC) is Canada’s only federal political party that gives the animals and the environment a political voice – the powerful, national voice needed to secure protection for all animals and the environment. Jordan Reichert is the APPC West Coast Campaign Officer. Vote for Jordan Reichert October 20th for Victoria Council. A win in a municipality will have positive ramifications far beyond the city, since many federal and provincial legislators begin their careers at the municipal level. Jordan’s work as a Victoria city councillor would show voters across Canada that legislators like Jordan can both advance animal and environmental protection issues and be tireless advocates of the best kind for the constituents. See his platform of public policy that reflects the values, needs, and diversity of Victoria here.

The Animal Protection Party of Canada is committed to the promotion and adherence to veganism. All of our team is vegan as are a great number of supporters. However, you don’t have to be vegan to support us. We are an inclusive political party that is just as dedicated to being compassionate and welcoming to those who are not vegan as we are to the animals whose interests we have in mind when expressing vegan values.

Veganism is, for many people, an ethical choice to act in accordance with their values of love for non-human animals by not eating, wearing, or supporting businesses and industry that use or exploit these animals. Veganism is not about being perfect, but doing the best we can to oppose the systemic violence in our world against non-human animals and the tremendous environmental impact these industrial processes have.

Veganism is an extension of our belief in the unalienable human rights recognized and laid out in the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights. Some of the basic principles that underlie our values are the following:

– Non-human animals have the same intrinsic value as human animals in that they are different in their ability, perception, interests, self-expression, and cultures, but share a common animality with us that is equal.

– Non-human animals are sentient beings; commonly understood as having their own subjective capacity to feel, perceive, and experience the world.

– Humans are not entitled to withhold these basic capacities from non-human animals any more than other humans.

– The degrading or devaluing of non-human animals is tied to the devaluing of other humans. “De-humanizing” other people is generally viewed as treating someone like an “animal.” If we degrade animals as being of lesser value, then we enable this derogatory standard and injure ourselves in the process.

As a political party that is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the environment, we also recognize that veganism is an essential component of inhibiting the environmentally destructive processes of industrialized animal production. Meat and dairy consumption are incompatible with a sustainable environmental policy.

– Approximately 18% of green house gas emissions are from the animal agriculture sector. This exceeds the entire exhaust emission from all transportation. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM

– Animal Agriculture water consumption is over 50 trillion gallons annually. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/HFStudyPlanDraft_SAB_020711.pdf

– Animal Agriculture and livestock feed production occupy approximately one third of the earth’s arable land. http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/News/2006/1000448/index.html

What degrades our environment also degrades our health. Animal products have been shown to be detrimental to development and health of humans as well. It is an injustice that our political representatives have not done more to protect us from these toxic and injurious foods.

– Red meat and processed meats have been classified as “probably cancer causing” and “cancer causing” by the World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

– Dairy consumption has been linked to an increase potential of prostate and breast cancer as well as early onset diabetes and other health issues. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products

– Because of the increasing level of mercury and other toxins in the oceans which fish absorb, eating fish may be toxic to humans. https://www.epa.gov/fish-tech/epa-fda-advisory-mercury-fish-and-shellfish.

Much of the concern and research conducted around animal use industries impacts on human health and the environment come from an initial increased awareness of the ethical concerns related to these industries.

  • Humans kill over 60 billion farmed animals per year, not including fish and marine life killed which is only measured in tonnes, this easily amounts to over 100 billion animals per year world wide.
  • Violence, neglect, and cruelty are commonly found on factory farms and in slaughter houses as has been documented in numerous undercover videos.
  • Workers in these facilities are also treated inhumanely and are exploited for their cheap labour, and are coerced to not speak about this poor treatment publicly.
  • Non-human animals may never see the light of day or feel the earth beneath their feet in these settings.
  • These same practices carry beyond the agriculture industry and are just as present in the fur-farming, pet breeding, and animal research industries.
  • Our ocean systems and marine life are in collapse due to indiscriminate over-fishing.  Fishing is also the largest contributor to ocean plastics in the world.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

While it may seem daunting at first, there are many cities that have vegan communities that can help with this transition. Sometimes the most powerful political choice does not come from government, but by what citizens choose in their own lives.  One of the most powerful political choices you can make today is to go vegan for your own health, for non-human animals, and for the environment.

  • Seek out local vegan communities for support in your transition. If you can’t find a local group, try starting one.  Odds are there are others in your community that are also vegan curious.
  • Educate yourself about how to be vegan responsibly.
  • Volunteer with local vegan and animal advocacy organizations to connect your new practice with purpose.
  • Have fun! If it feels like a chore or a bore mix things up.  Find recipes and restaurants that satisfy you.
  • Give it a chance.  Going vegan requires a commitment and so make sure you give yourself time to adapt.  Remember practice makes permanent, not perfect.

NOT CONVINCED?

Read “The Case for Veganism“, an article by APPC volunteer, Alex Wilmot.

VOTING FOR ANIMALS IN 2018

In 2018 some municipalities have opted to reform how they elect local councillors.  They’ve cast aside the “first-past-the-post” electoral system and have adopted the “ranked ballot”.

Provinces considering adopting modern, democratic electoral systems give APPC a real possibility to elect legislators, as has happened in other countries like the Netherlands where the Party for the Animals holds five seats in the National Parliament.

Publishers Note: When I asked Jordan Reichert why the Proportional Vote referendum, coming to British Columbia in the Fall, is so important to the animals, this is what he said:

“Changing to a proportional representation electoral system is the single biggest action we can take to help animals in B.C. and across Canada.  Animals in countries where proportional representation exists have stronger protections and in many cases have animal political parties that are empowered to hold the government accountable when policy effecting animals comes to the table.  Proportional representation will empower people as voters to express their concerns regarding the treatment and use of animals in our society in elections.  That concern is reflected by them being able to vote for parties or candidates that represent the interests of animals, as well as people and the planet.  Under the current system, it is winner take all with all other votes rendered meaningless and it is very difficult for smaller parties to be recognized. Under proportional representation, even if a party doesn’t win a majority of seats, the percentage of votes they did receive is not wasted and they will still acquire the corresponding seats in the government. Seats mean representation and representation means accountability.  Animals will not be on the political agenda unless we can hold the government accountable and to do that properly we must be inside government.

As the only multi-issue party, the Animal Protection Party of Canada believes that through proportional representation we will be able to challenge the government on the laws and policy that lead to the systemic violence against animals across the country in animal agriculture, hunting, trapping, angling and beyond. If we care about animals, the environment and our own health, then we must have a more democratic electoral system which enables us to elect representatives who will challenge the status quo. ”

Further details about the referendum: A referendum on electoral reform will take place by postal ballot between October 22 and November 30, 2018, in the Canadian province of British Columbia.  For more benefits of proportional voting see here.

Jordan Reichert – West Coast APPC Campaign Officer – Bio:

Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Jordan is an mental health and addictions worker, animal advocate, and community organizer in his home town. In the fall of 2015, he ran in the Canadian federal election in Victoria, B.C. for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.

Jordan has been employed at Island Health for the past 9 years and continues helping people experiencing mental health and addiction issues through their recovery.  He is the founder of the Victoria Horse Alliance and co-organizes a number of organizations and events including the Vancouver Island Vegan AssociationVegtoria Veg FestAnimal Advocacy CampPets OK B.C., and the View Royal Rabbit Rescue.

In 2014, Jordan graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria with a double major in sociology and philosophy. After the 2015 federal election, Jordan became the West Coast Campaign Officer for the Animal Protection Party of Canada and is employed by the Animal Alliance of Canada.

He has written numerous papers, blogs, and given public presentations on political, animal and social justice issues. As well, he has often volunteered his videography, photography, graphic design, and editing skills to local environmental, social justice, and animal advocacy organizations in need of pro-bono support.

Jordan is an experienced community leader and advocate, and has presented to council many times on a variety of issues including budgets, infrastructure, banning single use plastic bags, promoting a guaranteed basic income, recovery services, animal advocacy, as well as affordable and pet friendly housing.

Although Jordan is not yet a city councillor, he is regularly contacted by residents in Victoria for his advice and opinion on a variety of issues affecting them in the community which he is happy to help with.

Jordan Reichert can be reached at his Victoria office at jordan@animalprotectionparty.ca.

Get to know more about Jordan Reichert in the Podcast by LIVEGAN: http://livegan.buzzsprout.com/128075/744294-e36-jordan-reichert

Liz White – Party Leader – Bio:

Liz White is a long time resident of Toronto, Ontario.  She began her career as a registered nurse and has spent all her working life advocating for a fair and just world. She has spent over 30 years as a community activist, and has worked on issues including advocating for the disadvantaged, animal protection and aboriginal land settlements.

In 1987, Liz White began working with the Toronto Humane Society, an experience that redefined her activism.  She is a founding member of Animal Alliance of Canada and has remained with the organization for over 25 years.

In 2005, Liz White became the leader of the Animal Protection Party of Canada (formerly the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada).

Liz White has devoted herself to practical measures that result in substantive improvements for animals and the environment.

Liz White can be reached at 416-462-9541 ext: 23 or liz@animalprotectionparty.ca.

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