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Meet The Candidate: Animal Protection Party

Karen Levenson calls for an end to government subsidies for fossil fuel industry, as well as animal agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining
20210911 Karen Levenson candidate pic submitted
Karen Levenson is campaigning on behalf of the Animal Protection Party of Canada.

Not enough is being done to address the climate change crisis, including reducing the impact of animal agriculture, says Karen Levenson. That’s why she’s seeking to represent Guelph in Parliament.

“Climate change is affecting everyone and no one is going to get out of it with a free ride,” said the Animal Protection Party of Canada candidate. “We are in an absolute crisis and it’s not getting enough attention. … The climate change issue is not going to be dealt with just by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.”

Levenson and her party are calling for an end to government subsidies for animal agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and fossil fuel industries.

“These are the main contributors to climate change and we will not solve climate change without it. It’s ridiculous to fund fossil fuel companies or animal agriculture companies and also talk about climate change action – it’s not going to happen,” she added.

“Unless we change our diet and lifestyle, we are going to be creating years and years of hardship for our future generations including our children and grandchildren.”

Animal agriculture’s contribution to climate change goes beyond the methane produced by factory farming animals, Levenson noted. It includes clear-cutting of land to house livestock as well as feed crops, which reduces the environment’s ability to sequester carbon from the environment. 

Animals of all sorts are being impacted by climate change, including humans, she stressed. In some cases, it’s forcing species to migrate to new areas in order to survive. When one species is impacted, it causes a domino effect throughout the food web.

This is the third federal election campaign for Levenson, who represented the then-Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada locally in 2008 and 2011. She received 73 and 116 votes in those respective elections.

Asked what differences she sees between those elections and this one, the first thing Levenson pointed to is pandemic precautions. She’s not planning any door-to-door canvassing this time around, and said she wore a mask when seeking nomination signatures.

“I’m not sure people are really into this election,” Levenson said of the other major difference. “They had an election two years ago and many are looking at it as a power grab. I’m not sure there’s a real desire to be put through this election.”