First, let me say thank you to everyone for your support and for sharing the video far and wide. It is essential that we hold Mr. Trudeau accountable for his response and what it means for animals across Canada. I've taken some time to think about what he said and how I would respond if I would have had the opportunity at the town hall. I have included Trudeau's original response to my initial statement and question of "What are you going to do to protect animals?"
Trudeau: "Everyone in Canada wants to make sure we are protecting animals and making sure we are not exploiting and abusing animals, and doing things that are inconsistent with our values."
Reichert: Mr. Trudeau, you started by responding to my question by saying “Everyone in Canada wants to make sure we are protecting animals and that we are not doing things inconsistent with our values." When you killed Bill C-246 you made a direct choice that hindered the protection of animals in Canada and went against the values of millions of Canadians. Canadians know animals deserve and need better protections, and you turned your back on them.
Trudeau: "The challenge is that this debate has been setup as a polarizing one between animal rights activists and farmers. That debate between primarily urban suit and tie wearing activists, and thank you for dressing up it's important, but the debate between urban and rural is one of those lines where animal rights ends up getting pulled at."
Reichert: You then went on to say that this debate has been setup as a polarizing one between animal rights activists and farmers. Mr. Trudeau, the question was not just about farmers, but was about violence against animals everywhere in Canada and what you are going to do to protect them.
Taking a cheap shot at me as a "suit and tie activist," and by the way I dress up everyday not just for you, showed the bias in your response. The fact is Mr. Trudeau, this is not about an urban/rural divide, this is about the objective suffering of animals being taken seriously wherever it manifests. Your response disregarded not only the systemic violence against animals in Canada, but also all the people who oppose animal suffering and exploitation.
Trudeau: "My recommendation for animal rights activists is to actually work closer with farm groups and rural groups who are also very concerned about animal rights and open to moving forward on respectful practices, but are very much worried and see it as an attack on them. Work with them to try to find a path forward that will be acceptable to all Canadians."
Reichert: You then go on to suggest that animal rights activists work closer with farm groups and rural groups. Mr. Trudeau, you took a hard stand at the town hall in support of a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body and for that I applaud you. However, I’m guessing you wouldn’t suggest for pro-choice activists to work with pro-life activists to find a solution that works for everyone. You certainly wouldn’t tell farmers to work with animal rights activists to be more compassionate.
Why is it Mr. Trudeau, that as a self-proclaimed feminist you oppose oppression and violence against human female bodies, but ignore the intersection of this violence against animal female bodies? Furthermore, why do you support the male dominated animal agriculture and animal use industries, while dismissing the concerns of the animal advocacy communities which have traditionally and continue to be upheld by the work of women?
Trudeau: "We agree on the values, we all agree that no we shouldn’t be importing cat and dog fur, we shouldn’t be doing terrible things and we know we need to move forward, but as long as it is setup as a conflict between urban and rural it won’t get to the desired outcome that you and so many people want."
Reichert: You then finished Mr. Trudeau, by saying we all agree we shouldn’t do terrible things to animals, but as long as it is a conflict between urban and rural we won’t achieve our desired outcome for animals.
Mr. Trudeau, how can we all agree on the values, but not have a government that acts to reflect those values in our laws. This cognitive dissonance is leading to the suffering, exploitation, and oppression of hundreds of millions of animals in Canada each year. Where is your integrity on this issue? This is not a conflict between ideologies, this is addressing the greatest contributor to climate change in the world today, this is about protecting the health of our people, and most importantly this is about protecting innocent vulnerable lives.
Mr. Trudeau, I am inviting you to respond to the question I asked you originally and not side-step around the issue. What are you going to do, in the rest of your time in office, to validate the concerns of millions of Canadians in rural and urban communities who care about animals, and improve protections for animals?
This is just the beginning of the revolution for animals we have been fighting for. Every animal activist and advocate should see Mr. Trudeau's disregard of our compassionate politics as a call to action for us to double our pressure upon the institutions and industries that mercilessly torment and destroy our animal cousins.
The time is now. Join us.
Here is the original video for those of you who have not seen it yet.