Worldlog Week 17 – 2010

30 אפריל 2010

On Sunday 25 April, we held the Party for the Animals election conference. The members established our candidate list and election programme at said conference. In addition to my position as leading candidate, our current member of the Lower House – Esther Ouwehand – remains the candidate list's number two. We also have another 15 competent people, who all wish to contribute and can contribute in parliament. At the conference I had a wonderful, encouraging feeling about the extent to which we are a party that thinks and acts differently to other political parties in the Netherlands. Last week we put all our energies into initiating our campaign: the election poster and flyers are being printed and the radio commercials have been recorded. We are out to conquer seats, because our goal is to win!

Hold on a little longer, the new election poster is coming!

This week in Canada at a meeting of the United Nations, the United States will lobby other countries to vote against proper labelling of genetically modified food. This is a worrying development, because if the United States manages to convince other countries, it will entirely undermine the position of (primarily organic) cultivated food. We hope that everyone will sign the petition today to prevent this from happening.

The American Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food have indicated that they find no reason to label genetically modified food, as it gives the impression that it is different to other foods. We think this is crazy, as genetically modified food is genetically adjusted in such a way that the plant can better withstand bacteria and disease. In this way we are creating and changing our food in a profound manner.

Last week, famous scientist Stephen Hawking made worrying statements about people's curiosity about alien life. In a new television programme on the Discovery Channel: Into the Universe, Hawkings admitted he is afraid that alien life could prove to be just as predatory as the way in which we ourselves deal with animals, nature and the environment. I wrote earlier that humans are constantly looking for other forms of life on other planets, while highly-developed forms of life on our planet can expect nothing more than complete inattention or wholly selective attention.

Dogs and cats are cherished, but the highly intelligent pig is denigrated and abused in the extreme. People are so contradictory in the way in which they deal with other life and with our living environment, that a total overhaul is the obvious answer. Is it conceivable that, if we found life on Mars at the level of a pig, that we would directly subject that life to our own outlooks and needs? What would give us the right to do that, and what would it say about our own level of civilisation and development? And is it possible that us earthlings could ever be tested on similar grounds by them, if they were to hold a higher level of intelligence? Is it not time for us to agree on something new for our planet based on this hypothesis of life on other plants and our interaction with it alone? Something in which the old Dutch saying of 'Do not do to the pig that which you do not wish would happen to you' would form the main theme?

And finally: more than 100 Dutch professors have demanded in a plea that intensive cattle farming in the Netherlands must stop. Sign the plea here. It would be wonderful for many foreign participants to be included in the Dutch list!

See you next week!