In this month’s edition of Vegan Life Magazine, there’s a feature on the upcoming EU Referendum. Even though I’m not allowed to vote, I believe that it is absolutely imperative for the UK to remain within the Union for a really long list of reasons. I won’t go into all of them here, because we’d be here all week, but I do want to touch on the issue of animal rights on the back of this particular article.
The Vegan Life article is as balanced as you can be in this debate, letting both sides present their arguments. I really do urge you to read the entire article, because it’s very interesting, but for the purpose of this post, I want to zoom into one particular issue. The article quotes the Conservative farming minister, who says that, after a Brexit, they would put in place a scheme that would “include measures that improve animal welfare”.
Do you actually believe that a party that has shown nothing but contempt for human life worth less than 50k p.a. is going to make ANY effort to increase animal welfare? That a government that openly supported lifting the ban on fox hunting is suddenly going to turn around and implement animal welfare standards that it “couldn’t do before because EU/red tape”? That a movement headed by Boris, whose admittedly snigger-worthy haircut is just further proof of just how little respect he has for his position and his electorate, and Nigel, whose arsehole-factor is too great to even start to discuss here, is going to even make a half-arsed attempt at promoting animal welfare? I’ll say it again.
I’ll be the first to admit that the EU is not perfect, on animal welfare issues or any other topic. Its livestock export policies, for instance, are abysmal. But it has also implemented a ban on animal testing for cosmetics, which is a welcome improvement and a sentiment that we can continue to build on. And, with a review of the EU Common Agricultural Policy coming up in 2017 (a fact which has been largely ignored when Brexiters make agriculture-based arguments, quelle surprise), campaigns have already launched to lobby for lasting improvements. Have a look at Oatly‘s petition, for one. There is significant potential for positive change, if only we cared enough to get involved.
The UK wants to continue trading with the EU, even in the case of a Brexit. This would mean that it would have to continue accepting EU regulations, but have no voice in their creation. This includes animal agriculture policies. Leaving the EU, realistically, would be unlikely to achieve any UK-led improvement in animal welfare.
Really, this is just another example of how the Brexit campaign is based on lies and deceit. Don’t fall for it. Don’t vote out.
Disclaimer: I receive the digital version of Vegan Life Magazine free of charge in exchange for a blog feature. The opinions presented in this piece are my own and not representative of Vegan Life Magazine.
P.S. The rocky road slices are Lazy Days Foods, available in the Free From section of most supermarkets. You need them in your life, trust me.