Working Towards A Cage-Free British Columbia
By Laveza Khan
In British Columbia, over two million egg laying hens are crammed together in cages, each with less floor space than a standard piece of paper. I recently connected with petition starter Ned Taylor, who is determined to ban battery cages in BC.
While Egg Farmers of Canada — a national organization representing Canada’s more than 1,000 regulated eggs farmers since 1972 — have pledged to end the use of battery cages (while still allowing other kinds of cages) by 2036, Ned believes that all cages should be banned on a far shorter timeline. His petition has gained over 57,000 supporters, he met personally with BC’s Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham to discuss the possibility of BC being cage free and most recently he has had his petition presented in Parliament.
Ned shared some insights about why this issue matters to him, what change he hopes to see and highlighted some exciting moments since he started the petition.
Why does this issue matter to you? What prompted you to take action?
My parents always bought cage-free eggs so I’ve been aware of the issue since I was a child. I could never understand why this practice has to exist. One day I decided I should sign a petition to end this practice, I then realized that no such petition existed, so I started one.
How influential has the petition been in your opinion?
The petition has been fairly influential for this issue. Through the public support gained I was able to bring the issue to the decision maker [Lana Popham] and gain support from other political leaders across the country (Elizabeth May, Andrew Weaver, federal NDP, etc.) I’ve been able to mobilize thousands across BC, spread awareness and have had the petition officially presented both at the BC Legislature and at Parliament Hill.
What advice do you have for other petition starters?
- You have to build a strong petition, the content really makes a difference
- Contact decision makers who can make change happen
- Updating signers is important in order to keep people informed and engaged
- Allow signers to connect with you directly, give advice, and get more involved
- Don’t go straight for the guy at the top. Work your way up the ladder of your decision-makers, be patient, but persistent.
Are there any moments you’d like to highlight since you started your petition?
Some of my favourite accomplishments have been witnessing Andrew Weaver (Leader, BC Green Party) present the petition in the BC Legislature, having a private meeting with my biggest decision-maker, Lana Popham, Agriculture Minister, and that moment when it started to surge and gain hundreds of signatures every minute.
Overall, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and progress for this petition, it’s incredible.
Ned is one of many Canadian petition starters using Change.org to have a big impact on animal welfare and policy issues. Support Ned’s efforts by signing his petition.
Join the movement – start your petition at Change.org.
Laveza Khan is a Canadian Outreach Specialist on the Campaigns team at Change.org.