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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > November 2017 > POLITICALLY CORRECT


Martin Whybrow meets Vanessa Hudson, leader of the UK’s only political party dedicated to improving the welfare of animals

There is no disguising the fact that the Animal Welfare Party (AWP) has an uphill struggle making a mark on UK politics. The country’s ‘first past the post’ electoral system is an almost insurmountable hurdle for nonmainstream parties. Now, with the UK’s impending exit from the EU, it has become even harder to gain a breakthrough.

However, if the AWP’s leader, Vanessa Hudson, is downhearted, she doesn’t show it. First, this is clearly still early days for a party that was only formed at the end of 2006. Second, the UK party can take considerable consolation and heart from the progress of some of its continental European counterparts.

The flagship Dutch De Partji voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals) started out in 2002 and has made great strides, most recently going from two to five parliamentary seats in the Lower House in March 2017 adding to its two in the Upper House, one in the European Parliament, 18 representatives in ten Provincial States, twelve representatives in twelve city councils and 15 representatives in Dutch ‘water councils’.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our penultimate issue of 2017. November is a wonderful month and for someone who loves layers, it truly is the season to be jolly (too early to mention Christmas?). Multi-coloured leaves fall from the trees to rest on muddy, waterlogged fields and the winter wardrobe starts to emerge in all of its glory. As such, we have put together a vista of vegan-friendly clothes, shoes and accessorises perfect for the cruelty-free fashionista or as early Christmas presents (last reference, I promise). November this year is going to be particularly special for me as I’m getting married. I am relinquishing my last name, which I am sad to see go despite years of fish-related jokes, but you will have to wait for the December issue to see what it will change to! Preparing for the wedding has not been too stressful, as the ceremony is going to be very small, but whilst searching for rings I came across an issue I had not considered before. In this issue we explore the ethics of diamond mining including the damage to our increasingly fragile environments, the impact on animals whose habitats are destroyed by diamond mines and the dictatorship which profits from the activity. We have also heard some great news which we think you will be excited about. Three important places have been given Special Protection Area status which means that over 200,000 birds will be protected from human disturbance. Birds including the beloved Atlantic Puffin and Arctic Tern will now have safe feeding spaces which will be safeguarded for the future. This announcement is fantastic news for sea bird species, some of which have been in decline for several decades. Finally, this month on Bonfire Night some people will celebrate Guy Fawkes’ thwarted plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The loud bangs and whizzes paired with blinding flashes of light can cause anxiety and stress to companion animals and, therefore, we explore how we can help them to remain anxiety free.