Worldlog Week 08 – 2013
We've had another breakthrough in animal welfare this week! Our motion to lower the European fishing subsidies was accepted. The Dutch government will now have to work to lower this highly unsustainable subsidy form in Europe. The sky-high subsidies have meant European fleets have grown far too large. Between 2007 and 2013 alone, €4.3 billion of subsidy money went to the European fishing industry.
Fish populations can simply not withstand this enormous stream of fishing boats. Seventy percent of fish stocks in European waters are now threatened with extinction…so we definitely need to act now!
This week, the Netherlands has made a huge fuss about the horse meat scandal. Businesses in several European countries are involved in selling what should have been 100% beef, but that later proved to contain some horse meat. That is why I asked parliamentary questions on this topic. I would like to know such things as how horse meat being added to beef managed to pass inspection and not be noticed earlier. The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, the Netherlands' inspection agency, is now investigating whether Dutch beef contains Romanian horse meat.
This horse meat fraud has apparently been going on for more than five years. This scandal clearly shows how bad it is with the meat industry, and how our need for the cheapest meat possible has lead the meat industry to defraud us (horse meat is cheaper than cow flesh).
During my parliamentary questions, I asked about the story of stray dogs ending up in animal feed. A very grisly (possible) second meat scandal. I will tell you more once I've received the answers to my parliamentary questions.
Unfortunately, Spain's trying it on again: ‘bull fighting as cultural heritage'. Change.org has set up a Spanish petition to prevent bull fighting from being recognised as a cultural heritage. It is in Spanish, but you should be able to sign your name!
Those who assert we can return to unbridled economic growth need to rethink that idea. Just one party in the Netherlands does not believe in unending economic growth on an earth that's shrinking in terms of resources. That party? The Party for the Animals! 😉 Only we see that economic growth is not the solution, but the problem.
Next week I'm speaking at The International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition at the Loma Linda University in California. Go to http://www.vegetariannutrition.org for more information.
And on 28 February I'm going to present my ‘Idea for the Netherlands'. I'm going to defend the following stance in a debate centre in Amsterdam: We can only feed the world by transitioning to eating much less animal proteins, and much more vegetable proteins. Cattle farming is a dead-end street, it cannot feed the quickly increasing world population in any form.
Relatively speaking, the Netherlands has the most cattle in the world and acts as a butcher and diary farmer to many other countries. 70 billion kilograms of fertiliser also makes the Netherlands the dirtiest kid in Europe. The argument of further intensification, building megastalls in and around the Netherlands, and keeping even more animals than the 500 million that are already slaughtered each year, I believe, is unacceptable. I'm curious to see how it will turn out!
Cordial greetings, Marianne