Worldlog 8 May 2017

8 May 2017

On Saturday the 29th of April, thousands of people from all over the world went to march to ask for attention for climate change. In Amsterdam, the Party for the Animals also participated in this People’s Climate March. With the slogan ‘Less Meat, Less Heat’ we drew attention to the livestock industry’s destructive effects on the climate. As a matter of fact, livestock farming emits more greenhouse gases than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes together. In addition, the production of 1 ounce of beef requires no less than 1,500 litres of water. When converted, it means that by not eating meat for one day you can save as much water as an entire month’s worth of showers.

Despite these scientific based facts, policy makers still do not realise enough how essential and urgent it is to decrease the livestock industry. On the contrary, in the Netherlands – the country with the densest livestock population in the world – dairy farmers are now keeping 2.5 times as many cows as they did at the start of the eighties. No one benefits from this growth in scale: not the climate, not the cows, nor the farmers. The Party for the Animals wants to leave this dead-end road and choose the path of small scale, animal-friendly and organic agriculture and focus more on the production of vegetal alternatives.

In one of my previous blogs, I told you that our MEP Anja Hazekamp was going to Malta together with BirdLife to shed a light on the spring hunting of quails and other (migratory) birds. Already on the first day they encountered different illegal activities, such as the use of forbidden electronic bird decoys on the hunting grounds. These malpractices are in addition to the fact that the hunting of migratory birds, which are travelling to their breeding grounds, is in any case prohibited by the European Birds Directive. Anja asked the Maltese government to stop the spring hunting of migratory birds. Back in Brussels, she, together with nine colleague MEPs, asked questions about the illegal hunting on Malta and urged the European Commission to take action .

Our group in the Netherlands also asked questions about hunting. We pleaded for a hunting ban in nature conservation areas during the breeding season, given that the activities of hunters disrupt nature even more during these months.

Speaking of hunting… We received bad news from the US saying that Trump has repealed Obama’s hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, as a result of which wolves and bears are now declared an outlaw. Proof again that a powerful opposing view is needed. That is why I am so happy with the growth of our movement all across the world and the growing awareness among the population worldwide. It was encouraging to see that in Washington, of all places, the Climate March was attended by many tens of thousands concerned Americans. Encouraging, but at the same time dubious. Or like the American photographer and activist Ansel Adams said: ‘It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.’

Luckily there was also good news from the US. Los Angeles is going to ban the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This means an end to circuses, feasts and other events with wild animals. Guatemala also took this great step last month!

Until the next time.

Greetings, Marianne Thieme