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Vegan Wins Top Food and Farming Position in UK Party

Outspoken activist Kerry McCarthy takes over top position in shadow council managing Britain’s farming, hunting, and agriculture.

Hunters and farmers in the United Kingdom may soon have to answer to a vegan activist, as Kerry McCarthy was appointed this month as the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The 20-year-vegan and vice president of the League Against Cruel Sports’ new position oversees issues including animal welfare, conservation, pesticides, and sustainable development. A part of the UK’s minority party, McCarthy’s shadow position sets her opposite ruling Conservative Party counterpart, Liz Truss, in the House of Commons, where McCarthy can put pressure on the ruling party in favor of reform. A shadow cabinet position if often thought to lead to a ruling, in-government position. McCarthy has been incredibly outspoken on a range of issues, including factory farming, the government’s use of culling badgers to control tuberculosis in cattle, resource depletion, food waste, climate change, colony collapse disorder, and the need to reduce meat consumption. In wake of the announcement, McCarthy tweeted that she was “very excited about new role as shadow Environment Secretary” and would “set out vision soon.”

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not clearly explain McCarthy's capacity as a shadow cabinet member. Corrections have been made to reflect this clarification.

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