To call the 2020 Election historic would be an understatement. This year, a record number of Americans turned out to vote for either President Donald Trump and now President-Elect Joe Biden, with over 161 million Americans estimated to have cast their ballot, the highest ever in American history.
As you may have heard from practically every news outlet out there, this election was fundamentally about what it means to be an American. And quite frankly, they’re absolutely right. A global pandemic, unemployment, climate change and sustainability are just some of the hot topics that were up for debate on the 8th of November - although bipartisan support in the Senate and the House of Representatives is essential to get anywhere with these issues, it’s undeniable that legislation and key social policy can only become law with the President’s signature. Here at Lives without Knives, we’re going to analyse what a Biden Presidency would look like for American vegans, and whether there’s any hope for social reform towards sustainable development.
Nonetheless, before we look at his policies, it’s important to consider the population that voted him into the Oval office in the first place. According to a poll conducted by vegan media platform Veggly, approximately three-fourths of vegans surveyed plan to vote for Joe Biden, with 75 percent of the poll putting support behind the Democratic half of the ballot. Several experts have proposed that vegans emphasised votes for Biden because of his campaign’s preliminary focus on key environmental issues. Alex Felipelli, the founder of Veggly, explains his theory, stating: “Most vegans are pro-environment and want better protection for animals, so it’s no surprise the Trump administration has very little support from this community.”
It’s unsurprising that Trump overturned and disregarded several Obama-era policies about wind-energy and meat-reduction. Biden used this to his advantage throughout his campaign trail, as a matter of fact. In fact, sustainability and climate change were at the very forefront of Biden’s marketing campaign, including several speeches targeting voters in predominantly vegan and vegetarian communities. As of now, Biden’s team is also in the midst of drafting and assembling his ‘climate-action’ team, aiming to reduce meat consumption, factory farming, and CO2 emissions and emphasise investments in solar energy as well as renewable resources.
“Republicans insist they want bipartisan climate legislation, not a return to executive action, but their visions of capturing carbon from coal-fired power plants and expanding nuclear energy do not align with Mr Biden’s promise to phase out fossil fuel-powered electricity and move to solar, wind and other renewable fuel sources.”
Of course, Biden’s election comes at a crucial juncture. President Trump infamously pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement - thankfully, Biden has already begun preparing for the United States to immediately rejoin these negotiations.
Biden has also recently appointed John Kerry as his special envoy for climate change and given him a seat on the White House National Security Council. Kerry served as Secretary of State under Obama and was key to mediating the original Paris agreement.
If you’re reading this and smiling, great! After four years of an outright denial of climate change, it is definitely rewarding to see an individual that acknowledges the need to reduce meat consumption and understands its detrimental effects on the environment - What we need now is to ensure is that these speeches, promises and campaigns are enacted as concrete action as opposed to being left empty. We all understand the urgency of the situation at hand, and with a new transition of power, it’s vital that we emphasise how important sustainable eating and consumption is to the wider community.
“Well done is better than well said.”
Written by Aiswarya Rambhatla
Edited by Kadence Wong
Poll Shows 75 Percent of U.S. Vegans Plan to Vote for Joe Biden |