Worldlog Marianne Thieme – Leader of the Party for the Animals
This February, I returned to Parliament after sick leave. It is good to get back to work! There is still an incredible amount of work to be done if we want to live on a habitable planet and free the animals by fighting for their rights.
Current state of affairs: man continues to wreak havoc on the planet. We are polluting our environment, causing an unprecedented loss of wildlife, cutting down the lungs of our planet and allowing the large-scale suffering of animals. The basic conditions for our existence, such as clean air and water, are more than ever under severe threat. This article from The Guardian clearly illustrates the dire situation we are in: biodiversity is declining, and that is a major threat to the world’s food supply.
So, what do our governments do? They turn to greenwashing: they do a lot of talking and negotiating, but in the end, they are still investing in the same old destructive fossil system. Take the Netherlands for example, which is one of the richest countries in the world, but is still found at the very bottom of sustainability rankings. The Dutch government calls itself “the greenest government ever”, while at the same time pouring 700 million euros into the dead-end street of the polluting aviation industry.
Thankfully, the call for a positive and radical change of system is growing louder and louder. Young people around the world are taking to the streets to demand stronger measures against climate change. Swedish pupil Greta Thunberg held an impressive speech at the World Economic Forum. In the Netherlands, our own youth wing PINK! took the initiative in organising school climate strikes last year. On 10 March, we will all take to the streets in a large-scale Climate March in Amsterdam. Resistance is growing against our government setting the wrong priorities and consistently putting short term economic interests above those of citizens and animals.
The time is ripe for a – plant-based – revolution: something that is also illustrated by our new documentary #Powerplant, which premiered last month in Amsterdam. #Powerplant shows scientists, artists (Moby!) and entrepreneurs, all convinced that a plant-based diet will become the new normal, because it is better for people, animals and the planet.
Joseph Poore, an Oxford University researcher who, according to The Independent, conducted “the most extended research ever” in the field of food’s environmental impact – concludes: “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, land use and water use. The effect is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
Moreover, a plant-based diet is increasingly becoming a feast for our taste buds. Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier has switched to vegan cooking: “This movement is unstoppable and as chefs, we have an important responsibility in this process.”
At the release of the documentary in Amsterdam, the place was packed. Packed with energy, enthusiasm, optimism and people wanting to turn the tide. It was wonderful to see!
In the coming period I will be touring the country with my new book “Groeiend Verzet” (“Growing Resistance”), in which I describe what it is like to be an activist in Parliament with a completely different way of doing politics, and how you can be successful by remaining true to your ideals. With the help of many wonderful volunteers, the Party for the Animals will be busy the next few weeks campaigning for the upcoming Provincial Elections of 20 March. Exciting!
I recently got to reveal a statue by artist Jantien Mook named ‘Ode to the Pig’ in Utrecht. The statue, which is travelling the country, depicts a giant pig taking a wonderful leap towards freedom. Millions of livestock animals are not so lucky. Do you want that to change? Sign the European citizen’s initiative “Stop the Cage Age”, following in the footsteps of over 500,000 other people.
And naturally, if you live in the Netherlands, vote Party for the Animals on 20 March! Or vote for one of our amazing sister parties, such as Finnish EOP (Animal Justice Party of Finland) on 14 April, Spanish PACMA on 28 April, and Portuguese PAN in October. Growing resistance!
Until next time.