PoliticsThe Animalist Party, one more environmental candidate?

The Animalist Party, one more environmental candidate?

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At the end of January 2022, it is still adventurous to say that the Animalist Party will indeed have its candidate in the running for the first round of the presidential election. Hélène Thouy, a Gironde lawyer, is still in the – difficult – search for the 500 sponsorships of elected officials and local elected officials to have a bulletin in her name on April 10th. The candidate has for her that her only campaign theme is a rather fashionable subject. The videos of L214 or the appearance of opinion leaders who defend the animal cause have a lot to do with the media rise of the subject. “It’s an evolution of social mores. Thirty years ago it was still worn by few people, but values ​​are changing, ”notes Daniel Boy, political scientist specializing in political ecology.

As a result, the young Animalist Party – it was created in 2016 – had its first success in the European elections, with almost 500,000 votes, or 2.16% of the vote. Not enough to sit in the European Parliament, of course, but a score that put an end to the mockery of opponents. Hélène Thouy says it, she is there to “continue to put pressure” on the other parties on the issue of animal welfare. “We want the subject to be on the political agenda for the next five years. “And this pressure, there is a candidate in particular who feels it, it is Yannick Jadot. The environmental candidate plays a priori on his ground. A priori only because, as pointed out in his campaign team, “the subject has not always been a major priority for environmentalists”, recalls the deputy Cédric Villani.

Greens are walking on eggshells

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“At Les Verts, there were commissions that were interested in the subject, but there were many other questions that were considered more important,” confirms Daniel Boy. This year, there is no question of being outdone and the environmental program will reserve an “important” place for the animal question, assures Cédric Villani, who deals with the subject in the Jadot campaign. The L214 association, which noted the candidate programs in this area, gave 19/20 to Yannick Jadot’s project… against 20/20 to that of Hélène Thouy. This allows Cédric Villani to claim “close ties” with the Animalist Party: “We know them well! We have teamed up more than once, we have common concerns.

So why not go united to the presidential election? To this question, on the side of the environmental pole, we walk on eggshells, if we can say: “It is true that they were in their place with us, the door is also wide open. But we don’t pressure them. We have a deep respect for their approach, ”explains the spokesperson for the Jadot candidate, Delphine Batho. On the side of the Animalist Party, the question barely arises: “If we decided to run, it is because none of the parties and candidates present take the measure of the importance of the subject and the expectations of the population. in this area”, explains Hélène Thouy.

A precious independence

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Moreover, the Animalist Party does not recognize itself strictly speaking as an “ecologist”, the candidate claiming a “different approach”: “Ecology has always considered animals as species by denying their quality as individuals. To speak, as ecologists do, of the large mass of living beings to be protected, removes all specificity from animals. The Animalist Party, which describes itself as “single-subject” (it has no position on pensions, foreign policy, purchasing power, etc.) and cross-partisan, in fact values ​​its independence above all else. . And even when he makes alliances, as in the last regional or municipal elections, “we ensure a balance between the left and the right”, affirms Hélène Thouy. Thus, in 2021 there were candidates from the Animalist Party on the insubordinate list in Île-de-France, and on the LR-LREM list of Renaud Muselier in Paca.

According to Daniel Boy, who still classifies the political formation within the “ecological movement” in the broad sense, the independence of the Animalist Party may be a pebble in the shoe of Yannick Jadot. “For a long time, there have been so-called independent ecological parties, neither right nor left. And that has always bothered Les Verts then EELV. Because it’s always annoying to have 1, 2 or 3% nibbled away when you don’t get miraculous scores yourself. »

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The strategy of independence and a single theme nevertheless has its shortcomings. In the entourage of Jadot, it is emphasized that the project of the ecological candidate offers a global vision of society – of course: unlike that of the Animalist Party. In this logic, certain organizations committed to antispeciesism, such as that of Aymeric Caron (Ecological revolution for the living) prefer to join other candidates. In this case, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, rated 17/20 by L214. “We are not worried. We don’t want to lock animal welfare to the far left. Aymeric Caron has his strategy, we have ours. “And obviously, Hélène Thouy intends to stick to it.

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Janice Thomas
Janice Thomas is a content editor at 24 News Recorder. She has 5 years of journalism experience and she he is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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