Vegan MK asks for non-leather seat in Knesset

Knesset likely to reject request; Blue and White’s Haimovich offered to pay for the replacement out of pocket

April 29, 2019 20:49
1 minute read.
Vegan MK asks for non-leather seat in Knesset

Blue and White MK Miki Haimovich asked for her seat in the Knesset’s plenum to be replaced with one not upholstered with leather. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Soon-to-be Blue and White MK Miki Haimovich asked for her seat in the Knesset’s plenum to be replaced with one not upholstered with leather.

“Most leather in the leather products industry is made by animals who were taken advantage of in other industries, mainly the meat industry,” Haimovich wrote in a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. “Those animals undergo great suffering and, for most of their lives, are victims of violence and neglect.

“I am a vegan for six years and a vegetarian for 28 years, and for reasons of morality and conscience I do not use leather at all,” she explained.

As such, Haimovich said she will not be able to sit on the chair.

She requested that the upholstery be replaced by the end of the Knesset’s summer recess, which would most likely be in October. She said she would be willing to pay for the change, and suggested that the new upholstery look similar to that of the other chairs.

“In the future, it could be appropriate on principle to replace all the chairs in the Knesset to ones that are not made of leather,” Haimovich wrote, “so the Knesset can set an example as it has in many other areas, such as putting solar panels on its building.”

A source in the Knesset said that Likud MK Sharren Haskel and former Zionist Union MK Yael Cohen-Paran, who are also vegan, made similar requests in the past but were rejected. Meretz leader MK Tamar Zandberg is a vegan, as well.

Haimovich is an activist for animal rights and the environment who effectively used her status as one of Israel’s best-known journalists to make documentaries on the subject and draw attention to it.

She brought the “Meatless Monday” movement to Israel, and together with then-Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, convinced the Knesset to serve more vegan dishes on Mondays.

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