We have a vegan Member of Parliament in Toronto! Nathaniel Erskine-Smith is the MP for Beaces-East York and part of the reigning Liberal Party. He held a Town Hall on climate change recently, with a panel that included the riding's MPP and city counsellor. Perhaps emboldened by the several Climate Vegan T-shirts in the front row, in Erskine-Smith's opening remarks he criticized our government's website which doesn't identify our diet as a way that Canadians can personally address climate change. I'm certain that the howl of approval from the front row shocked everyone, including Erskine-Smith, who barely concealed a wry smile. Though after the echoes died down, the town hall proceeded in the usual format, with a focus on fossil fuel policies, concerns for water and about nuclear power, and mentions of food as a solution became scarce.
Toby Heaps of "Corporate Knights" quote from the news article is promising:
"Heaps, who keeps an eye on the corporate approach to climate change, noted that the source of human greenhouse gas emissions could be summed up with three C’s: coal, cars, and cows." He said that smart businesses are like Wayne Gretzky and skate not to where the puck is but to where the puck will be -- certainly a nod to would-be vegan entrepreneurs everywhere. This could also be interpreted as a caution to farmers determined to persist in the feeding of animals instead of humans.
The frustration of the Climate Vegans was barely contained, and I'm sure that the occasional outburst from our contingency made it clear that our perspective was not being represented. We managed a decorum of dissent without being disruptive.
After the crowd had dispersed we had an opportunity to talk to Erskine-Smith and his mother, who raised him as a vegetarian. His son, born this month, was of course not in attendance but when asked if he would be raised vegan he replied, "Of course!"
JFK said that we should ask what we can do for our country. We must recognize the bravery of a vegan MP, representing a decidedly non-vegan population. Climate Vegan is dedicated to cleaning up both the natural and political environment, shifting the cultural terrain so that politicians like Nathaniel Erskine-Smith can infuse compassion into our laws and the operation of our society. Be sure to support his Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, sign the official government petition and write a letter to your MP insisting that they should support it.
If you walked past the Beach United Church around 6:30 p.m. last Wednesday night, you were likely handed a flyer by one of several East End groups shoring up support for their various causes. The Keep...
An important new documentary called "Food Choices" is now doing its first run on iTunes. It's $18 to rent (!) while it's in new release, but Climate Vegan has applied for a public screening license. You can watch the first 13 minutes on their webpage. The structure of the movie cleverly starts by appealing to the self interest of a plant-based diet's health benefits, then explores the ethical satisfaction of veganism. The last twenty minutes is a strong focus on the environmental impact of animal agriculture and the diet that supports it. www.foodchoicesmovie.com/... See MoreSee Less