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Jordi Casamitjana, the author of the book “Ethical Vegan”, looks at the intersection between veganism and politics.

I always vote.

Not always for the same parties, but I do vote (in fact, I just voted a few days ago in my local elections in London).

Having grown up in Catalonia in the 1960s when it was under a Spanish fascist dictatorship and elections and political parties were banned, I have always felt good when casting my vote every time some government asked me for it. Being allowed to vote was an improvement in my life. It felt good when democracy came back to Catalonia in the late 1970s and I cast my first vote in the early 1980s. It felt good when I voted for my local elections in England after having emigrated there in the 1990s, and when I was allowed to vote in the UK national elections after becoming a British citizen at the turn of the millennium. 

The idea of not voting would never cross my mind as it would feel like an act of disrespect for those who in the past fought for such a right to be available to anyone. After all, if I did not like the politicians, parties, or policies on offer, I could always express this by abstaining — or voting for no one — as opposed to not casting any vote. And voting doesn’t cost anything (unlike other fundamental rights such as health care or good legal representation, in some places).

I am very aware that my vote may be quite insignificant, and in systems where only a couple of candidates or parties can realistically win, my vote may not make much of a difference. But that’s not the point. The point is exercising my right, to preserve that right. Otherwise, I fear I may lose it — we, immigrants, don’t give anything for granted.  

The issue of rights is important to animal rights ethical vegans like me. After all, we are fighting to give non-human animals more rights, so it would not make any sense if we thought such rights are trivial.  But I sometimes hear vegans saying that they don’t do “politics”, only veganism. Is that possible? Can one separate veganism from politics? Or even, can any good political system be divorced from veganism? What should vegans do about voting? Can voting advance the veganism cause? What would politics look like in the future vegan world? I know, too many questions, but should I dare to attempt to answer them (that’s another question)? 

If I had a publicist of any sort, I am sure would suggest that I stay away from this subject; it’s too divisive. But when talking about veganism from a global long-term perspective, can I really avoid talking about politics? And if I talk about politics, is it honest if I don’t define where I stand in the political spectrum?

Well, living in any community, and doing things with other people, is divisive anyway, as people may have different opinions about how to go about it, and not everyone may get to decide. Not talking about it doesn’t change that. In fact, it could make everything more complicated, as people’s assumptions may be proven wrong. I rather know earlier what are the political inclinations of my friends and neighbours than unpleasantly discover them at the least opportune time.

If I want to address the issue of politics in veganism, I should go for it openly, and let the chips fall where they may. 

So, you are warned; undiplomatic personal political positioning ahead!

The Vegan Movement

Animal Rights march in London in 2019 (c) Jordi Casamitjana

One of the good things about the term vegan becoming more well-known and used in mainstream society is that we now have more delicious vegan food available everywhere. One of the bad things, though, is that more people may use the term incorrectly, or co-opt the concept of veganism taking it somewhere far from what it should be. Luckily, we have the definition of the Vegan Society to set things straight:  “Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

I like this definition — I certainly use it a lot in my writing — and as an ethical vegan, I live following it to the full (as opposed to dietary vegans, or plant-based people, who may only follow part of it). However, I think something is missing from it. Over the years, the philosophy of veganism, and the lifestyle it created, have become something bigger. As the number of people following this philosophy has grown, and they have created identities, organisations, communities, economies, campaigns, policies, and sub-ideologies, something else has been born: a socio-political movement. That’s not surprising; many ideologies have done so. Many “isms” (such as feminism, pacifism, or liberalism) have done so. In the same way that, under environmental pressure, evolution created multicellular organisms after the number and interconnectivity of unicellular organisms grew, people sharing the same ethical beliefs that shape their behaviour may generate social movements if they feel social pressure against them leading them to coordinate their aspirations.

Social movements are “movements” because they attempt to move the status quo from a state of being wrong or unfair for the members of such movements — or who they represent — to a better one for them. And veganism, having been born as a reaction to what the establishment does to animals by exploiting them as commodities, wants to change this paradigm and “move” society toward another one — what we call “the vegan world” where sentient beings no longer suffer because of exploitation or cruelty perpetrated by humans.  So, the philosophy of veganism seems perfect for the generation of a social movement, and this is what precisely happened. There have been people following the philosophy of veganism for millennia all over the world, well before the term was first coined by the Vegan Society in 1944. But after the creation of this society, when veganism was secularised and made available to everyone, is when we see an international transformative social movement growing, which has not slowed down since. But veganism is not just a social movement. It is a socio-political movement, and as such, it cannot be separated from politics. 

At its most basic and wider meaning, politics is the total complex of relations between people living in society. If we narrow it a bit more at a national level, it is the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, and the debate between parties having power there. If we narrow it even more by looking at any institution, it is then the activities of the governing body, members of rule-making organizations, or people who try to influence the way institutions are governed. And if we look at any community or group, then it is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. In other words, regardless of the scale we are looking at, it is about what people do and how they decide to do it when they get to live and/or work together in groups. 

So, if you have a group of people who, as part of their rules of living together, decide to exploit animals, that is politics. Or decide to give rights to some animals but not others, that is politics. Or decide to create laws that regulate how others (human or otherwise) can be exploited, that is politics. Or who get together to protest how others are exploited, that is politics. Or create communities where it is not allowed to harm or exploit animals, that is politics. Veganism is politics.

Everything veganism focuses on, the victims of human oppression or the humans who exploit animals, happens because of politics. And anything that veganism wants to achieve are political goals. So, no, vegans cannot promote veganism in a non-political way, because veganism is intrinsically political. 

Which Wing does Veganism Fit in?

Jordi Casamitjana in a protest in London against Brexit (c)Jordi Casamitjana

If you wondered, I am left-wing. I have always been (what do you expect? I grew up being oppressed by a far-right regime that could not be further to the right). But what does it mean to be left-wing? Well, in a political left-right spectrum, it means to be sufficiently towards the left by being opposed to right-wing politics and not feeling comfortable being described as being in the middle (or being of the “centre”). But such a spectrum can mean different things depending on which sort of policies you are looking at (such as social, economic, historical, geographical, ethnic, religious, administrative, cultural, or ideological).   

The terms “left” and “right” in a political context first appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly were divided into supporters of the king to the president’s right and supporters of the revolution to his left. In this respect, as I am a Catalano-British republican as far as the monarchy is concerned (not to be confused with a “ US Republican”), I am left-wing.

Ideologically, the left wing is characterized by an emphasis on ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism, while the right wing is characterized by an emphasis on concepts such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reactionism and nationalism. From that point of view, I am also left-wing. However, as far as Catalonia, the Basque Country, Scotland, or other nations within nations that want independence is concerned, I am in favour of it as I support self-determination (which I guess could make me a “nationalist” of sorts in the eyes of those who don’t understand that independentism and separatism are different things — I am pro-EU as well and I am in the opposite end of the spectrum of those who sought UK’s separation from it). 

According to the academics Andrew Knapp and Vincent Wright, the Left seeks social justice through redistributive social and economic policies, while the Right defends private property and capitalism. In this regard, I am also left-wing, as I tolerate capitalism rather than enjoy its existence and social justice is important to me. I am aware that I am in a capitalist society, and I engage fully in capitalist practices, but I often feel guilty about it even if I have little choice in the matter. Although I am trying to consume less, better, and more kindly, at the end of the day I am still a capitalist consumer (although reluctant). And on the social justice issue, I always sided with the Davids rather than the Goliaths — perhaps because I had always been a David who would have benefited if wealth and power would have been more fairly distributed. 

In more modern times, especially in the US with its weird dynamics between neo-conservatives and neo-liberals, being right-wing has been often associated with being anti-government, libertarian, religious fundamentalist, white-supremacist, anti-immigration, xenophobe, and believing in conspiracy theories. From that point of view, I couldn’t be more left-wing.  

I would not go that far as saying that I am a Communism sympathiser, though, as I don’t feel any of the historical or current countries with such a label have been true to the progressive left-wing ideals I am comfortable with (all the communist regimes I know were still patriarchal totalitarian oppressive societies). As a pacifist and an ethical vegan who follows the ancient principle of ahimsa (do no harm) — one of its major tenets — as widely and often as possible, I am not a far-left militant who would support a violent revolution or even a “social justice warrior” who engages in aggression against oppressive people.

I am not an anarchist-type either, as I am not averse to the concept of government per se (I like when governments ban cruel and speciesist activities) and my animal rights campaigning has always been done from within “the system” and without breaking the law. But, on the other side, as an eco-vegan and intersectional vegan, I often have not felt aligned with many centre-left policies of the socialist parties in power (or close to it) in the countries I lived in, which I found have drifted too closer to the neo-con right and were not green, egalitarian, and equitable enough for me (especially regarding speciesist policies). And as far as neoliberalism is concerned (which sees citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling in “the market” supposedly set to deliver benefits that could never be achieved by planning), it does not feel like “home” to me. 

But a left-wing policy in one country or community may be right-wing in another, depending on where their “centre” is. However, in all the countries I have lived in, I always voted for parties, candidates and policies that were definitively not part of the Right.   

I am not an expert on politics or someone who has studied political theory, but, having spelt out my blatant left-wing bias, the question is, do I think that veganism is left or right-wing? If you are a very right-wing person, you would not like my forthcoming opinion (which is, of course, my personal opinion only, not necessarily the opinion of the publisher), but you can easily dismiss me because of my bias, and move on. But if you are only slightly leaning right, or somewhere in the middle, and you think of yourself as an ethical vegan, please consider the following: veganism is intrinsically anti-speciesist (against the discrimination of any being for belonging to a particular species or “type”), and veganism is progressively looking forward to the vegan world when there will be better equality for all (across species and races). These two essential attributes make veganism intrinsically left-wing from a philosophical point of view. 

Veganism is not reactionary, looking to return us to the Stone Age or the Middle Ages. It is progressive, looking to move society to a future vegan world in which equality will reach a level never seen before in human history. Veganism is not capitalism-centric (although Californian fake meat — and not that fake — producers may not be happy to learn) as it is not driven by consumers, but by activists, philosophers, artists, scholars, and campaigners. They may be happy to consume the new alternatives to animal products, but they are consuming them to get the energy to move the entire society toward the vegan world, not for the sake of consuming them in a neoliberal paradigm. 

Veganism is not an economic trend about what people should buy, but a social movement about what people should do. There is indeed a vegan economy competing with a carnist economy, but this is just part of a wider movement. If people spend all their money only buying products from vegan companies, but continue eating animals, wearing them, riding them, keeping them captive against their will, and experimenting on them, the vegan revolution (or the plant-based evolution) would have failed. 

I am not alone in this view. In a 2020 online debate organised by the animal rights scholar Roger Yates titled Alliance Politics in Left-Leaning Movements, Ronnie Lee, one of the founders of the Animal Liberation Front, said the following:

“It’s important to remember that there are two spectrums of left and right: one is the social spectrum and one is the economic spectrum. For instance, a lot of people obviously think of Hitler as a right-wing, and socially he was very right-wing. But economically, he was actually in the centre. So, we need to understand that there are these two spectrums, and on both of those spectrums, our movement has to be left-wing.

If you look at the social spectrum, for instance, we have to be opposed to racism; we have to be opposed to homophobia, or sexism, because if we’re not opposed to those things, it doesn’t make it logical to be opposed to speciesism. You can’t argue against speciesism from a rational position if you are a racist, a sexist, or a homophobe. It just doesn’t make sense. So, we have to be, from that point of view — apart from those other forms of oppression being appalling in themselves — just from the point of view of being able to argue for animal liberation and having a rational foundation for our position, we have to be opposed to those other forms of oppression and prejudice. 

And with regard to the economic level, we have to be left-wing economically as well. We are never going to achieve animal liberation under capitalism. And the reason for that is because capitalism drives materialism; it drives consumerism, and it drives the destruction of the natural world, which is a huge area of animal oppression. So, for the sake of animal liberation, we have to be opposed to capitalism.

The other reason is that, at the moment, it’s interesting all this concern about the economy. That there’s been this reduction in the economy and everyone is kind of upset about that. And we have to get people back to work; we have to get people in the shops to grow the economy. We don’t want to grow the economy. We need to shrink the economy. We need degrowth; we need to stop taking stuff from the natural world because everything we take from the natural world that we don’t absolutely need for our well-being and survival causes the suffering and death of other animals quite unjustifiably. We have to have degrowth.

But if you are going to have degrowth, if you’re going to have less stuff for everyone, you have got to have redistribution of wealth. Otherwise, what will happen is that the rich will be all right because they can easily lose half their stuff — and they’ll be okay — but the poor are going to really suffer. So, if you are going to have degrowth to actually bring about animal liberation, you’ve got to have redistribution of wealth; you’ve got to have some kind of socialist system, or either eco-socialism or green-anarchism. We have to have one of those types of systems — which, in actual fact, are very similar — as the political and economic systems of our world. Otherwise, we are not going to get animal liberation, and otherwise, the poorer people in our world are going to suffer.”

This view doesn’t mean that you could not incorporate veganism into a right-wing political framework, party, or policy. You can do it, but it may not be a natural fit, and you may need extra effort to push it in. For instance, it may be difficult to advocate against speciesism but uphold some form of racism at the same time. Or try not to harm dogs, cats, pigs, or cows but carry on going hunting deer riding a horse, as this is what “your kind” has traditionally done. 

And this does not mean either that right-wing people cannot be vegan. They of course can — and I met several that are — but one thing is individual people (with their idiosyncrasies, contradictions, and inconsistencies) and another thing is a global social movement. If you are a dietary vegan, a health vegan or are not interested in abolishing all animal exploitation (you only don’t want to be part of it for personal reasons) if you are right-wing there may not be a strong incompatibility between your veganism and your political stand. And if you are a vegan who is right-wing from an economic point of view but left-wing from a social point of view, you may be closer to the aims of the vegan movement as plant-based people may be closer to the lifestyle of veganism.   

But the most extreme socially far-right people, we don’t really want them as part of our movement, anyway. I don’t want neo-Nazi thugs, misogynistic rapists, homophobic murderers, abusive fascists, or violent white supremacists to become vegan now because they are not helping the veganism cause. They are driving people away that may not want to join vegan spaces if they know these types of people are tolerated there. Humans being what they are, in the future vegan world these types of people may still exist, but hopefully, most of them would be in prison where they would not have any other choice than to consume only vegan products given to them by the then vegan authorities. 

Anyone from any political affiliation or inclination may choose to become vegan, but as far as the global socio-political movement of veganism is concerned, if it is not mostly progressive and left-wing it will struggle to transform society as it aspires to do. 

But hey! what do I know? I am just another lefty, right?

Voting Vegan

Jordi Casamitjana and Vinny the Fox in a 2017 mock campaign in the UK
run by LACS (c) Jordi Casamitjana

If anyone can be vegan but the veganism movement itself should be left-leaning to be consistent and advance further, who do vegans have to vote for? There is no easy answer as this is a very complex issue (and I don’t think it is my role to advise who people should vote for). It gets complicated because you could have the impossible choice between a self-defined vegan candidate that may be socially right-wing and one non-vegan from a left-wing party that supports animal exploitation. For instance, you can be a Tory (member of the UK Conservative party) and be anti-hunt. Traditionally, most Tories are pro-hunt, but a new group was created called Conservatives Against Foxhunting who have been campaigning alongside vegans against hunting. Or, for instance, being an anti-bullfighting politician has been strongly associated with being left-wing in eight of the nine countries where a bullfighting industry is still operational, but in the ninth, France, not so much. 

And then we have the issue of tactical voting, in which is advisable not to vote for your favourite candidate — or the candidate that most aligns with your values — but for the candidate or party most likely to defeat the one you feel further from. And we also have “protest” voting (voting for the party that opposes the governing party as a protest for their failures) or “encouraging” voting (voting for a small party you like which cannot win, just to boost its numbers and encourage it to keep trying).

Some people are left-wing but vote for right-wing candidates. In fact, perhaps due to populist misinformation campaigns sadly characteristic of the post-truth era we live in, many working-class people are now voting for right-wing parties, when as a class they traditionally voted left (the last General Elections in both the UK and France have shown that). Many young voters may not even realise if they are voting right or left, because they may not really know what this means (it may be something that was well understood by most people in the 20th century but not anymore).

If only there were clearly vegan political parties with only vegan candidates and all the right progressive policies, right? Well, there are now. Today we can already find totally vegan political parties in some parts of the world. Europe has led this new trend that will undoubtedly end up spreading throughout the international political landscape.

It all started with the emergence of Green Parties that were based on ethical policies beyond the right or the left. Today there are green parties in about 90 countries, but the first ones started in 1972 in different countries at the same time (Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland). Although these parties are sympathetic to the animals’ ordeals, the policies of green parties have not prioritised animal welfare, let alone veganism. Because of this, politicians concerned about animal suffering created a different kind of party to address this deficiency: “animalist” parties (aka animal welfare parties). 

The first one was created in Germany in 1993: Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz (Animal Welfare and Human Environment Party). In 2003, the Dutch created Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals), and the following year the Spanish created PACMA (Partido Animalista Contra el Maltrato Animal) with a strong anti-bullfighting approach. Since then, many other countries have created animalist political parties.  Most of them belong to the European group Animal Politics EU (formerly Euro Animal 7).

The Dutch Party for animals is probably the most successful animalist political party, in the sense that it holds most seats at the national level (the Dutch Lower House and Senate). Marianne Thieme, the founder, is vegan (like the rest of the leaders). Some of the animal welfare parties may be vegan political parties disguised as welfarists, as they are run by vegans, and have vegan and abolitionist policies. They may still have the term animal welfare in their name, but they have already evolved into promoting veganism. One of them is the Party for Animal Welfare created in Ireland in 2018, led by Carol Johnson, who is vegan.  Another could be the Animal Welfare Party created in the UK in 2006, led by Vanessa Huston (an ethical vegan for 28 years). 

Although Europe has been leading the way, animalist parties with a distinctive vegan flavour can be found on other continents. For example, in Australia, we have the Animal Justice Party, which has several elected representatives in state parliaments and local councils; in Canada, we have the Animal Protection Party of Canada founded in 2005, led by Liz White (also an ethical vegan); in the United States, we have the Humane Party, created in 2009, which despite its name is a vegan party. Andrew Kirschner was their first candidate for the United States House of Representatives from Florida. Later, in 2016, they launched their first candidates for President/Vice President of the United States (Clifton Roberts/Dr Amie Breeze Harper). The first vegan animalist political party with the term vegan in its name is the Veganerpartiet (The Vegan Party) founded in Denmark in 2018 by Henrik Vindfeldt and Michael Monberg. 

And then we have politicians of progressive traditional left-wing parties that are now vegan or plant-based, which could be good candidates for ethical vegans to vote for in areas where there are no vegan or animalist parties, and there is no need to vote tactically. For instance, in the UK, there have been at least five Labour MPs who are vegan (one of them was even a former member of the Hunt Saboteurs Association), and one of them, Kerry McCarthy MP, has been a member of the House of Commons since 2005. And in the US, New York recently elected its first plant-based Mayor, Eric Adams, who is implementing quite a few vegan policies.  

Voting for vegan politicians from progressive vegan parties would be a very acceptable option for ethical vegans. But they can do more than that. They could join these parties and help them campaign, and ultimately, they could become candidates themselves. They could take vegan politics to all sorts of institutions. They could become the vegan candidate for a student election, a union election, a club election, an association election, a neighbourhood election, and, as far as governments are concerned, go from a parish council to the president or prime minister. 

But more often than not, voters will not have any vegan or animalist party to vote for, or any vegan candidate (or at least plant-based). In that case, whatever individual policies the remaining candidates offer should allow vegans to decide which ones seem more vegan-friendly. Those vegans who don’t want to know the details of the candidates’ policies are less likely to cast the “wrong” vote from the veganism point of view if they choose green or progressive liberal parties to vote for, but each election and geography are different, so generalisations like this may not always work — in some jurisdictions, some centre-right parties may have more vegan-friendly policies than far-left parties.   

In any event, regarding voting, vegans should treat this choice as any other choice they face. Trying to avoid the exploitation of animals as much as practicable and possible, and if there is not a clear vegan alternative for them, choosing the most vegan-friendly option will have to do. 

The Politics of the Vegan World

Love Music Hate Racism baloon in a 2019 anti-racist march in London
(c) Jordi Casamitjana

If we, simplistically, look at the world divided into right-wing and left-wing people, it may appear to be contradictory to say that the veganism movement should be fundamentally left-wing, but then at the same time be working to persuade the entire population (including the right-wing half) to become vegan. But the assumption that everyone is left or right wing is an incorrect one. It may look like that these days, as those who have taken a side are much more vocal than those who have not. But in the future — the future vegans dream of, that is — this division will no longer exist. Not because most people would be in the centre, but because I hope right-wing politics will gradually have vanished. 

If society progresses, it means that it moves away from the past. And in humanity’s history, the past was fundamentally right-wing. From the Kings, Pharaohs, and Emperors of ancient history to the 20th-century fascism and Nazism (passing through the medieval feudal systems, slavery, and imperialism), the past was mostly right-wing. However, from the Enlightenment movement in the 18th century to today, the alternative “left-wing” opposition has been growing (creating revolutions, making nations independent of empires, banning slavery, promoting human rights, women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, etc.). And part of that tradition has been promoting animal rights, which made the vegan movement possible. Veganism is very much part of that progressive social justice tradition propelling the world towards a fairer, freer, and more compassionate future, where there will no longer be room for the old-fashioned right-wing approach.

In that world, politics may become “ahimsa politics”, prioritising doing as less harm as possible to anybody or anything that can be harmed (yourself, other humans, other animals, and the environment). A new system where progressive eco-friendly egalitarian policies have banned all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty; that has transformed animal agriculture into regenerative veganic agriculture; that has put an end to the global climate crises by stopping fossil fuel emissions and rewilding major areas of the planet; that has abolished zoos, wildlife trade, hunting, vivisection and the consumption of any animal product; a system where speciesism (including racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination of “the other”) has been eradicated. A new political system where carnism only exists in the history books. 

Which exact form the economic and social dimensions of this new system will take, remains to be seen. Different parts of the world may adopt different systems within the global framework of ahimsa politics. As Ronnie Lee mentioned earlier, some may take the form of eco-socialism (which believes that the capitalist economic system is fundamentally incompatible with the ecological and social requirements of sustainability), or green anarchism (which extends anarchism beyond human relations). One political ideology belonging to the latter is Veganarchism (the anti-speciesist perspective on green anarchism), which has existed for many years and was pioneered by French vegan anarchists of the early 1900s, such as Louis Rimbault

New local variations of ahimsa politics may show up (perhaps some close to Anarcho-naturism or Green syndicalism), and even the concept of a nation may disappear (with smaller and bigger geographical communities gaining more political control). And there may even be community political systems emerging that we cannot even imagine now (such as neo-eco-capitalism without a consumer market or materialism). There are too many variables, and cultural diversity is too high, to be able to make any convincing guess. But whatever our political systems change into, if they are not within the framework of the non-harming and egalitarian principle of ahimsa politics, there will still be the need for a vegan movement to continue transforming it.

The vegan world is an aspiration that we vegans have, but we don’t really know how we are going to get there. We can, of course, speculate (and I have done so in my book “Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world” and elsewhere); nobody knows how as we are talking about a distant future, several generations from now. But what we know is that, somehow, we need enough ethical vegans on this planet to make it happen, and we don’t have enough yet. The world’s population of ethical vegans needs to be growing until we reach a critical mass, and we can start to change the current unsustainable carnist system much faster. We don’t know how many that means, but for me, it is clear that we are talking to a critical mass of ethical vegans, not just dietary vegans, plant-based people, vegetarians, or flexitarians. 

Getting the critical mass of vegans is not so we can sufficiently reduce the demand for animal products and in doing so hopefully reduce the supply (it remains to be seen if this neoliberal model can work on a global scale). Instead, it is to change the political landscape so we can start passing the laws and policies needed to build the vegan world. We still need to do vegan outreach to create vegan politicians, civil servants, and other decision-makers, not just to create vegan consumers, but as these policy-makers are drawn from the general population, the more vegans there are the higher the chance that vegans become politicians who get enough votes to be able to accelerate political progress toward the vegan world. 

We don’t need the neoliberal capitalism paradigm to build such a world, as vegan consumers will not be the drivers to it then (although they may look are the drivers now), but progressive vegan politicians, and the ethical vegans who vote for them, will be. They are the ones who change the way people relate to each other and the environment because that is what politics is all about. 

We need more vegans, not because we need vegan consumers, but because we need vegan voters.

So, if you are an ethical vegan, please vote for a vegan world.

I certainly will.