Pets give Invercargill candidates common link
Four of the city's election candidates pushed their animal affiliations at the Invercargill Vegan Society's political potluck meeting last night, saying why they love animals, and taking along a favourite vegetable dish. Tina Law reports.
STEPHNIE DE RUYTER
Democrats for Social Credit candidate Stephnie de Ruyter's backyard is a menagerie, but she admits to having a distrust of any animal taller than her.
"The horses, cows, llamas and anything that looks down on me. I'm not sure why, could be because I'm 5ft tall and I have issues."
Her pets - two cats, six bantams and two white ducks - simply arrived at her place one day and ended up staying. She called herself mostly vegetarian.
De Ruyter cooked a warm Moroccan quinoa salad with roast vegetables for the potluck dinner.
Lesley Soper's three chickens are "great characters". The trio were rescued from a battery farm a few months ago.
"We get a couple of eggs a day," the Labour candidate said.
Soper said animals were worthy of respect because they gave a lot to people.
"Animals are sentient beings with rights, not animals to be abused."
Veganism was something she had never practised, but she was briefly a vegetarian at university.
She prepared a favourite: Tabouli salad.
The Green Party's David Kennedy has been a vegetarian for 30 years. "I was living in the country, boarding with a family who ate meat for breakfast, lunch and for their evening meal. When I ended up flatting, I cut out meat."
He recently brought two hens home, and his cat, Pandora, is also a recent addition. Despite having pets, Kennedy said he would prefer animals lived in their natural environment. "I'm not against the farming of animals but I do think we're farming too many. . ." He took a cous cous vegetable dish for dinner.
National Party candidate Sarah Dowie loves animals.
She has owned five cats, five dogs and a guinea pig.
"Pets embody all the good things about human nature. They are great companions, they are loving."
When Dowie was younger, she did think about becoming a vegetarian but has never considered veganism. "I quite like dairy, so it would be a stretch too far. Animals deserve respect, but I eat meat."
She took a "glorified" lettuce salad for dinner.
The Southland Times