UPDATE: An interview with Laraque explaining how he became vegan.
Great news from Canada, where former professional hockey player Georges Laraque has become perhaps Canada’s first vegan politician, joining the Green Party, which over the past five years has been growing in size and stature. Laraque makes no bones about what his priorities are: “promoting the link between physical health and the environment”, which sounds a lot like educating people about veganism to me.
It’s refreshing to see vegans coming forth in all areas of public life. Again, while many refuse to admit it, veganism is still regarded by many in mainstream society with confusion, derision and fear. Electing those with vegan views to public office is just one way of getting over the many stereotypes existing about this way of life. And as I’ve said in many posts, more vegans is the most direct way to changing society’s view about animals.
Amazing that – and please correct me if I’m wrong – we are still waiting for New Zealand’s first “out” vegan politician. It’s no small feat, believe me, and the person who achieves that designation will face many of the same prejudices and stereotypes as our first gay politician, our first transgender politician and others of similar disadvantaged groups. Take it from the first vegan member to ever grace Auckland’s law faculty. It takes time to break down doors of discrimination and get people to see that vegans are “people too”; just people with a different view of the importance of avoiding the consumption of animals and animal products.