Animal activist Connie Spence—known as “Vegan Batgirl” for shining a giant spotlight with vegan messages in cities throughout the United States—is launching the first-ever crowd-funded lobbying group Vegan Justice League. The group, which has thus far raised more than $6,000 in 11 days, will focus specifically on lobbying the government to reform the United States Farm Bill, which encourages farmers to produce meat and dairy, even when demand for animal products is low. “This bill incentivizes the meat and dairy industry to create a surplus every year because our taxes protect them from failing,” Spence told VegNews. “So instead of seeing [fewer] animals dying, as it would work in a normal capitalist supply-and-demand structure, we are seeing an increase because of the buy-back programs, bailouts, and insurance plans baked into the Farm Bill.” The group’s strategy is to hire professional lobbyists and to run political advertisement campaigns that expose politicians who are given financial incentives by the meat and dairy industries. The group hopes to kickstart its efforts this October by running billboard ads in Texas, Washington, and North Carolina, where farmer-backed politicians are most popular. “The idea for the Vegan Justice League is to centralize in the same way that farmers and farmer investors do,” Spence said. “Currently, there are more vegans than farmers, but they are more organized in politics.”
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