Worldlog Week 26 – 2010

3 July 2010

Japanese Greenpeace activist Junichi Sato had accepted an invitation from the Party for the Animals to meet with the Lower House committee on Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Sato, who is being indicted in his own country after he exposed corruption in the whaling industry, spoke from experience as he informed the commission about Japan’s role in whaling.

Japan maintains that it catches whales for research, but the whale meat turns up in Japanese supermarkets. As part of his fight against whaling, Sato and a second activist intercepted a transport smuggling the meat of illegally caught whale. But instead of the whalers being hauled before court, it was the two activists that found themselves in the dock. The Party for the Animals considers the attitude of the Japanese government with respect to whaling to be shocking – it is not only the total indifference to the ban on whaling itself, but its attitude towards citizens who try to expose the abuses. Hopefully the meeting with Sato will provide the Dutch parliament with fresh impetus to put whaling back on the agenda.

Austrialian scientist Frank Fenner predicted recently that the human species will be extinct within 100 years if policy remains unchanged. I tend to agree with my colleague Stephen Boyden who says: “We have the scientific knowledge to do it [reverse climate change], but we don't have the political will”. For us at the Party for the Animals, these words formulate perfectly the challenge we all face. Not by exclusion, but by including as many people as possible in the solutions that are necessary for people, animals and the environment. Fortunately, the United Nations has appealed for a reduction in the consumption of meat in order to combat climate change. We’re headed in the right direction!

A cool piece of news: On Thursday 24 June, Brian May, the guitarist of Queen states the following on his weblog: “We visited Holland for the launch of WWRY Utrecht … which opens in September. Because of this I became aware of a strong movement for animal welfare over there. I think we need to learn from these excellent people. Cheers all, Bri”.

Flemish socialist politician Tobback labels a vote for the Party for the Animals as ‘decadent’. The fact that “several hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens consider the interest of dogs and cats to be of the ultimate importance while unemployment rises and billions of euros have to saved – a society that tolerates that kind of thing is decadent – period.” I sent Tobback a letter with our political programme and my book ‘Het gelijk van de dieren, het geluk van de mensen’. Apparently Mr. Tobback has not yet found the time to examine the background to our party or he still really has to get used to the idea – as do a great many Dutch citizens.

Finally, a sad report from Belarus, where they are planning to shoot dead 30,000 beavers because they gnaw at trees. It won’t be long before they are blaming deforestation on animals…

Until next week!