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How Jann Arden Is Fighting for Animal Rights 

Published on October 18, 2022

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Jann Arden

Known for her open honesty, self-deprecating sense of humor, and genuine compassion and care for her community, Alberta-based Jann Arden always has her heart in the right place.  

A respected pop singer-songwriter, Arden has garnered 19 top ten singles. In 2020, Arden was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame on the heels of eight Juno Awards, including Solo Artist of the Year (1994), Songwriter of the Year (1995 and 2002), and Female Artist of the Year (1995 and 2001).  

The beloved Canadian entertainer has also been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, celebrated with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame and bestowed the National Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. 

Arden is also a World Animal Protection Canada Celebrity Ambassador. Canadians, who are known to love their animals, were disappointed to learn in 2020 of Canada’s receipt of a failing grade (a “D”) for its animal protection laws. World Animal Protection’s global team assessed the animal welfare policies and legislation of 50 countries and found Canada’s legislation to be inadequate for the protection of wildlife in captivity, working animals, animals used in research and pets.    

Jann Arden Says We Need to Change How We Treat Animals 

Jann Arden on stage playing guitar.
Photo of Jann Arden by tamdotcom is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Often seen with her adorable furry friend, Midi, who Arden describes as “awesome company – kind of grumpy but funny and predictable and loyal to a fault,” Arden takes a high-level approach to animal rights.  

In a recent True North Living article, she says humans needs to take a “much more humane and compassionate look at what we’re doing to the animals that share this planet with us. If we plan on continuing to consume them, there needs to be drastic changes in how they’re housed, transported and respected by society overall.” 

3 Ways Jann Arden Is Using Her Platform to Help Animals 

Jann Arden talking to media.
Photo of Jann Arden by Alberta Flood Aid Concert is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jann Arden is using her platform to fight for animal rights in the following ways:   

1. She Promotes a Plant-Based Diet  

A vocal vegan for the last six years, Arden told Silver Magazine that she made the move away from meat for a number of reasons, but mainly as her attempt to address climate change. Large areas of forest in places like the Amazon are being removed to allow for grazing cattle, causing irreversible damage, she says. By eating a plant-based diet, she believes she is “saving the world one bite at a time.”  

2. She’s Exposing the Horse Meat Industry  

Arden has been also working hard to expose some of the more atrocious animal practices in the country, with a special concentration on Canadian live horse export and the horse-meat industry. Canada is one of the world’s largest exporter of live horses, sending more than 4,800 animals abroad yearly, mainly to Japan where they are slaughtered to produce raw horse meat.  

“It’s completely inhumane and completely unacceptable. They are loaded into small wooden crates three to four at a time and we are talking 17 hands high ― these horses are massive,” Arden told CTV.  

Through working closely with the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, Arden has made a huge impact in bringing awareness to the issue. In 2021, a petition with more than 75,000 signatures calling for the end of live horse exportation was sent to the House of Commons, and Arden has contributed financially to the cause. She has thrown her support behind the Horseshit.ca campaign, which continues to lobby the federal government and provides a place for people to donate, email their member of Parliament and purchase swag. Their tagline is “Say ‘Neigh’ to live horse exports.” 

3. She’s Outspoken About Examples of Animal Cruelty   

Arden has also been clear and upfront in her criticism of horse-drawn carriages in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, calling them “ridiculous,” “archaic,” and “cruel.” She has voiced her opinion about the Calgary Stampede Rodeo, saying it promotes animal cruelty, but notes there are several positives to the Stampede as well, such as the “animals of every description being cared for by enthusiastic 4Hers and proud families who have been farming all over North America for decades.”  

The dairy industry has also been on Arden’s list. As she pointed out to the Toronto Star last year, “In Canada alone, 200,000 dairy cows are culled each year under mysterious circumstances. Industrial farming is hell on earth for every single animal caught up in this repugnant system.”  

Jann Arden Isn’t Slowing Down 

As Jann Arden continues to expand her influence through her writing (her most recent memoir is titled If I Knew Then: Finding Wisdom in Failure and Power in Aging), and her CTV comedy series loosely based on a “fictionalized version” of her own life called JANN, it’s clear she’s not done speaking for those who can’t just yet. 

Lead image credit: Photo courtesy of jannarden.com.  

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The Author
Michelle Bodnar is a born-and-raised Calgarian with more than 15 years of writing and editing experience under her belt. Fun fact: When she was a kid, she read every single novel available in her elementary school library by the end of Grade 4.