AUSTRALIA’S vegans could finally be able to celebrate a “prestige year” after a major win over the US in the US Supreme Court case.
Key points:In February, the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that a California ban on commercial meat processing violated the US ConstitutionA new “Meat Free America” initiative has been launched in the stateThe state is hoping the new initiative will result in a drop in demand for veg in supermarketsThe court ruling was hailed by many animal rights activists as a major victory, with vegan activists saying they could now celebrate the last year of “Prestigious Vegan Year” and see a “significant reduction” in demand.
“We’re celebrating the end of a year that was extremely disappointing, especially for us vegans who have had to face the daily onslaught of cruelty and discrimination from the food industry,” said vegan campaigner Linda Boonen.
“It’s been very difficult to navigate the political landscape and our inability to use our veg to be our voice and to be the force for change in our country.”
Key points -The state of California is hoping to make it easier for vegans to shop in supermarketsIn December, the court ruled in favour of a California restaurant owner, who claimed his “Pledge” to not buy meat was a breach of his state’s Animal Welfare Act.
In its decision, the appeals court said that the state’s ban on retail sales of meat by retailers was constitutional.
“The Supreme Court found that the prohibition on meat sales by retail outlets violates the Constitution because it bans commerce among the states and is substantially related to an establishment’s policy of ‘pandering to the public’ and promoting meat consumption,” the court said.
“While the ban is valid, the ban on sales by private parties is not.”
In January, the Supreme Court decided that the US government’s “MeatFree America” campaign was not illegal, so it could continue.
On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court overturned that decision.
“By allowing private parties to sell meat, it effectively places the state of commerce in a position of government control,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the decision.”[The] Court does not view the California law as a ‘law of the land’, but rather as a legal fiction enacted to serve a specific political purpose.”
In a statement, Mr Kennedy said: “The ‘MeatFree’ initiative has no bearing on the state, the food service industry, or the public.”
California continues to be a model for the rest of the country, and it will continue to serve as a model to the world.
“Its a victory for animal welfare, for a new kind of food, and for all of us who love our food.”
The new MeatFree America initiative, which is backed by a new group of animal rights and environmental groups, aims to make shopping easier for vegetarians in the world’s largest market.
“What we’re really looking for is people who are not vegans, but have some veg,” said Dr Lisa Smith, the group’s national communications director.
“So they can go shopping with their kids and say, ‘I have meat.'”
The MeatFree Australia initiative has a lot of work to do.
“There are a lot more stores than before, and a lot less veg.”
But the fact that we’ve got a major consumer movement to do this is a really positive step.
“The organisation’s website says it will start offering veg-free products, including vegetarian chicken and veg lasagne, next year.AAP