Worldlog Week 36 – 2008

5 ספטמבר 2008

Good news this week. According to a Deloitte Research survey, the Dutch eat less and less meat. Average household meat consumption in the Netherlands has dropped from 5.1 days a week three years ago to 4.7 days a week at present. And the arguments for eating less meat are exactly the same arguments that we, as the Party for the Animals, introduced in the political debate in 2006: the problems of factory farming and the fact that a major proportion of the world grain supply is literally swallowed up by livestock farming while there is a food crisis and people suffer from hunger in the very countries where the grain is produced.

Whereas the reduction of meat consumption was triggered mainly by increasing health awareness until a few years ago (a human-centred consideration), it turns out that animal welfare, the environment and food distribution weigh heavily in people’s decisions and that is a good thing. I am certain that this development will continue!

The new Vice President of the US, if it is up to McCain, Sarah Palin, is a hunter of the worst kind.

She propagates shooting wolves and bears from planes (just for fun) in Alaska, the only US state where this is still permitted.

In addition, she believes that global warming is an invention to frustrate polar bear hunting; she is also a proponent of oil drilling in Arctic wildlife areas (incidentally, her husband works for oil multinational BP) and she supports a large mining project near Bristol Bay that will ruin a large salmon population. In short, this is yet another important reason to hope that Obama will win the election.
Ms Palin after a caribou hunt:

Brrr, not a fine lady!

Here she is seen among the ‘Vikings’, is there anything more bizarre than that!

Finally, a huge smear campaign has been unleashed in the Netherlands for the purpose of damaging the reputation of organizations and persons that stand up for animals, nature and the environment. After a Dutch parliamentarian, Wijnand Duyvendak from GreenLeft, confessed in a book that he had participated in a burglary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs 23 years ago in order to disclose secret plans for the construction of nuclear plants, right-wing media immediately jumped on it with such vigour that he was forced to step down.

Next, the Dutch Minister Jacqueline Cramer was attacked in the same media, because she had signed a petition in support of freedom of the press 22 years ago, when the publication of the relevant documents was likely to result in prosecution.

And Greenpeace is being relentlessly attacked day in day out in the front-page headlines of the largest Dutch newspaper (De Telegraaf), because it is claimed to be a ‘terrorist organization’. The reason? They drop granite rocks in a sea reserve off the coast of Denmark to prevent the area from being fished empty. Read the full story here.

This past weekend, I used radio spots on the Dutch news network to call on people to join green organizations now as a reaction to the witch hunt that has been launched.

Until next week!