A police officer patrols the Bernard Ave. and Richter St. protest on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Rick Wonnacott)

A police officer patrols the Bernard Ave. and Richter St. protest on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Rick Wonnacott)

‘There’s no room for a rib fest’: protesters shut down Okanagan streets

Green-shirts peacefully protested over the carnivorous weekend

Two major intersections were shut down for a period of time on Sunday, Aug. 25, by protesters in green shirts advocating for animal rights and climate action.

Seventy-five protesters lined the cross walks at the intersection of Bernard Avenue and Richter Street and Harvey Avenue and Richter Street.

“In the midst of a climate crisis, there’s no room for a rib fest,” 25-year-old Kelowna Climate Save member Tessa Gordey said. “(Protesting) was not fun for us… but we need to wake up and make changes.”

READ MORE: Crash closes Highway 33 in Kelowna

READ MORE: RibFest Kelowna’s top moments

RibFest Kelowna spurred the protesters to take a stand, with Kelowna being one of the many meat festival locations that have been met with activists.

Gordey, a vegan of eight years, said the protesters received both support and frustration, but that it’s imperative for people to consider what their habits are doing to the planet.

“Why cause the most amount of harm possible when you can choose the least?” she said.

Proceeds from the volunteer-driven RibFest go towards charities such as the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise, among other international programs.

The hard part for Gordey and fellow protesters, she said, is they know the festival’s proceeds are donated, but the charities are, ironically, helping those most affected by climate change.

Representatives from RibFest Kelowna said, “We cannot make everyone happy.”

Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide released through livestock production accumulates to 10 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Canadian government. This is excluding emissions from fossil fuels or fertilizer production.

Outside of Canada, agriculture emissions in developing countries have increased by 32 per cent between 1990 and 2005. The subsequent deforestation and harmful agricultural practices represent about a third of global emissions, according to Agri-Food Canada.



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
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