Esther’s Blog: Idealism is the new realism!

25 November 2020

As I’ve already previously stated this year: we are at a turning point. Around the world, citizens are flocking to the streets to demand climate action. A wind of change is blowing. All kinds of measures that the Party for the Animals and its sister parties have been proposing for years, measures that were previously deemed unrealistic idealism, are now clearly necessary steps that scientists agree we must take to protect our health and to keep our planet livable. Some examples:

- A growing number of people refuses to support animal agriculture. The amount of people that no longer consume meat and dairy is growing at a fast rate. Top scientists point to the destructive impact that the animal industry is having and even politicians from larger, established parties plead for a radical reduction of livestock numbers.

- The support for free trade agreements, which worsen environmental issues and infringe upon human and animal rights, is crumbling.

- More and more people agree: the current economic system no longer serves our human values. Politicians of traditional parties are increasingly uncomfortable with the effects of their own neoliberal policies. As shareholders grew richer and richer, ordinary citizens were left out in the cold. A growing number of economists also says: we have to move towards an economy that stays within our planetary boundaries and that guarantees the wellbeing of both humans and animals.

In short: our current reality is showing that it is high time to be making radically different choices. It’s time for Plan B: idealism is the new realism!

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An animation by Greenpeace that explains how the animal industry is destroying our planet. Meat, for example, is the single biggest cause of deforestation.

Plan B
“Plan B: Idealism is the new realism” is the title of the new party programme of our Party for the Animals. Next year in March, we’ll have elections for the Dutch House of Representatives. The party programme was launched last week and come December, we will make an English version available as well.

In the programme, we demonstrate that it’s actually quite strange that two thirds of our land is used for agriculture. Huge areas of land are used in order to export products of the animal industry. We ship pork all the way to China, and cheese all the way to Canada. That has to stop. Our animal industry is not actually feeding the world, but rather sucking the life out of it. Scientists of the University of Oxford, amongst others, have established that we can use the scarce resource that is land much more efficiently by transitioning to a more plant-based diet. We would have the ability to feed more people using less land, causing less animal suffering, and emitting less greenhouse gases.

That means that agricultural lands will be freed, enabling us to give land back to nature and help our planet thrive again. We could even use pieces of agricultural land to provide humans with their basic human right of an affordable and sustainable home. The plans of the Party for the Animals are focused on creating green jobs and offering future-proof alternatives to farmers. An honest income for all of us, rather than subsidies for polluting multinationals. The health of both humans and animals comes first.

There’s no time to lose, and a world to be won. With our new party programme, we’ll continue further on our path of joyous, activist politics for a livable planet. For all of its inhabitants!

A positive change

Raccoon dog.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that we need to radically change our approach to animals and nature. Slowly but surely, that idea is permeating the policies of various governments. Thanks to the efforts of the Party for the Animals as well as many civilians, the Dutch fur industry will become a thing of the past once and for all in early 2021. Denmark recently had to enter lockdown again because the coronavirus mutated in mink farms and subsequently made the jump back to humans again. The Danish government has now halted all mink farms. Our Danish sister party Veganerpartiet demands that the fur industry closes its doors in Denmark once and for all as well. And rightfully so. The industry should not be allowed to restart at the cost of public health and on the backs of millions of innocent animals.

Another proposal by the Party for the Animals was adopted this month: one that bans the import of fur products. In The Netherlands, raccoon dog pelts from China, amongst other countries, are imported on a mass scale and sold as collars on winter coats. For raccoon dogs, the fur industry is hell on earth. Thanks to our adopted proposal, the Dutch government now has to work to establish a European import ban on products from the repugnant fur industry.

Speaking of Europe: our Party for the Animals team over in the European Parliament has dealt another blow to the barbaric practices of bullfighting. Thanks to our proposal, EU countries are no longer allowed to grant agricultural subsidies for the breeding of fighting bulls. Bull breeders will now receive less money to fund their cruel activities.

Last but not least, some good news from our international political movement. Our Australian sister party, the Animal Justice Party, has won two seats in two municipality councils. Amazing! A great and highly necessary step for Australia. Because as the impressive documentary Dominion has shown, it’s not great to be an animal over there. A must-watch! Previously, another representative of the Animal Justice Party, Andy Meddick, impressed people around the world with his maiden speech. For anyone looking for a bit of inspiration: view his speech below. Goosebumps guaranteed!

Stick to your ideals, and till next time!

Esther Ouwehand
Party leader, Dutch Party for the Animals

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Maidenspeech by Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick.