Vegan Bodybuilder Wins Seat in Australian Government

Vegan politician and bodybuilder Emma Hurst of Australia’s Animal Justice Party was recently elected in the New South Wales upper house, beating out pro-farming opponent and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm. “We’ve shown once again that when we all come together, our movement is more powerful than anything the Shooters and Fishers or the National Party can throw at us,” Hurst posted on Facebook. “Tens of thousands of residents voted in the Animal Justice Party because they saw what we saw—that it is time for change. We will make a difference.” Hurst, who has been vegan for 19 years, wants to phase out the production of eggs in Australia, transition the dairy industry to plant-based farming, and use contraceptives to reduce the kangaroo population instead of killing them. She also hopes to prevent puppy farming, ban caged chickens, improve the quality of life for dairy cows, and stop deforestation to preserve and protect Australia’s koala population. “I won’t be some politician full of empty promises—I plan to do whatever it takes to make changes for animals because there are still millions of hens in cages, there are koalas having their homes torn down, and there are animals being shot from the skies,” Hurt said. “For them, we must seize this opportunity.” Hurst, who is a psychologist, will be the Animal Justice Party’s second representative in the upper house after party president Mark Pearson.