Esther's Blog: Demand a Future

26 October 2023

It is important to first consider the horrific situation in Israel and Palestine. Our hearts are breaking. Everyone is beyond shocked by the atrocities carried out by Hamas. We can only condemn this unequivocally. We sympathize with the people whose relatives and friends have been murdered and kidnapped. And we sympathize with the civilians in Palestine, where people are killed by bombs and innocent people have been cut off from electricity, food, and water. We must condemn this violence against innocent civilians, too. In Gaza, more than two million Palestinians are trapped in a very small area. The situation there has been completely hopeless for years. Protecting civilians in Israel and Palestine must go hand in hand with offering perspective to people in Gaza. This must break the spiral of violence.

It is up to the international community to do everything in its power to enforce a ceasefire. To sit down with civil society organisations in the region (such as women's organisations) and look for solutions that do move towards peace. Human rights and equality must take centre stage, with the prospect of a secure future for all.

Despite the terrible situation in the region, there are some brave people who also try to help innocent animals. Like the people of Sulala Animal Rescue, who are active in Gaza. People who want to help the animals, too, can donate to these organisations.

Volunteers from Sulala Animal Rescue save animals in Gaza. The photo is the organisation’s own.

Security of our continued existence: the certainty of a healthy future

Meanwhile, the survival of all living creatures is at stake. We are in the midst of climate and nature crises, and this has major consequences for all of us, but most of all for people in already vulnerable countries, and the younger generations. Forest fires, floods and droughts are already causing food problems and casualties. Too many people can't meet their primary needs, such as enough food, water, and a roof over their heads. These problems are piling up because many politicians worldwide do not have the courage to make clear choices. In recent decades, they have mainly denied or ignored problems, kicked them down the road and used quick fixes. These policies protected big polluters at the expense of ordinary citizens.

All over the world, ordinary people are showing courage and are demanding that governments protect their future. The Party for the Animals stands with these people. Unlike other political parties, the Party for the Animals dares to make a very clear distinction between what is valuable and what we can do without. Health is more important than the business model of a large company like Bayer, which sells agricultural poisons such as glyphosate worldwide. Reusable products that meet our basic needs and personal development are more valuable than the disposable products of (online) companies.

There are national elections in the Netherlands in November, and you can help us to turn the tide. With us, you don't have to choose between influence or ideals, because with us, you get both. The Party for the Animals does what is necessary to guarantee a future for everyone and the security of our continued existence. With courageous politics that stand up for everything that cannot properly defend itself. Animals, nature, and the environment: if you protect those three, many of the other problems will be solved as well.

Your vote for the Party for the Animals means a vote for:

  1. Abolishing intensive livestock farming. The most important measure to conjunctively resolve the various crises is the abolition of the livestock industry. When we free the animals from the food chain, much less agricultural land is needed worldwide. We can give that land back to nature. More nature equals less greenhouse gases in the air. The livestock industry is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and one of the biggest contributors to biodiversity loss. In Europe, billions of animals are farmed each year. Animals that also have to eat. More than 60% of Europe's grain supply is used to feed animals in the livestock industry, rather than people. For each hectare we now use for animal feed, we could feed as many as four times more people if we grew that food directly for people.
  2. The certainty of more nature. Humans are part of an ecosystem and when nature is doing badly, we are doing badly. Nature can do without humans, but humans can absolutely not do without nature. Fighting the climate crisis and saving nature must go hand in hand. More nature means less climate crisis, more food security and more healthy air to breathe. The Party for the Animals fights for the rights for nature, so that it is better protected against the short-term interests of major polluters.
  3. The certainty of a healthy living environment and that major polluters will pay. The companies that have, for years, made billions in profits at the expense of animals, the environment, nature, farmers, and citizens must repay the damage they have caused. These include banks such as Rabobank, slaughterhouses, animal feed companies and other major polluters such as Shell, Exxon Mobile and Tata Steel. These types of companies need to change radically or disappear. We help the people who still work there to find healthy work at companies that do have a future. We stop subsidies for harmful companies. We invest that money in climate measures, so that the increasing number of people living in poverty don’t end up footing the bill.
  4. Healthy and affordable food for everyone - guaranteed. The Party for the Animals wants more farmers. The reality is that in the current agricultural system since the turn of the century, not the livestock, but the number of farmers in the Netherlands has halved. If we do not effectively combat the climate and nature crises, food prices will rise even further. Intensive agriculture and livestock farming are depleting and degrading soils. Water is becoming polluted and ecosystems are disappearing. This also jeopardises food security. To ensure the security of healthy food for all, we need to switch to a regional and more plant-based agriculture, where farmers work together with nature. We will no longer tax healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables. This way we make healthy food more accessible, without compromising farmers' incomes.
  5. The certainty of animal rights. Animals are conscious, feeling living beings. Like humans, they feel joy, pain, and fear. The way humans treat animals not only causes large-scale animal suffering but is also disastrous for humans themselves; think of diseases that can spread from animals to humans (zoonoses) such as corona and bird flu. The Party for the Animals wants to fundamentally enshrine animal rights in the Constitution.

Together we can turn the tide. Through peaceful, fearless, cheerful, and activist resistance to a system that has had its day. For a healthy future for everyone. For the security of our continued existence. Demand a future. If you want this, too, you can show it by including the Party for the Animals’ logo in your profile picture on social media, for example.

Until next time!

Esther Ouwehand
Leader of the Party for the Animals in the Netherlands