Worldlog Week 45 – 2008

8 נובמבר 2008

I have had a fantastic week: I got married!! We had a wonderful day. I would like to introduce to you all to my husband, Jaap Korteweg. He is an organic agriculturalist and animal activist.

P.S. By the way, Thomas Schlijper took this photo, so to him the honour and the copyrights…

This week was obviously completely overshadowed by the American elections. Although I personally am more drawn towards the points of view held by Ralph Nader, the independent Green party candidate who won a half a million votes, I'm very happy that Obama won. No, I don't expect he'll effect any revolutionary changes, but I'm rather pleased the world was not saddled with Palin and McCain.

Nieuwe Revu, a Dutch periodical, asked me to write a “Dear Mr President” letter:

Dear Mr President,

How brave of you to assume command of a sinking ship!

To quote Alan Greenspan: “We're not smart enough, as people. You should not expect infallibility from us as supervisors” and “I have seen the error in believing that the free market could regulate itself better than with government supervision.”

Your crew are currently busy rearranging the deckchairs on your ship, and you’ve decided not to chart an entirely new course. You are for the death penalty, against gay marriage and you defend private ownership of firearms.

You are inheriting the most serious credit crisis, currency crisis, climate crisis, fresh water crisis, raw material crisis, food crisis and animal disease crisis the world has ever seen.

When formulating your policies, please keep an eye to conflicts of interest, between humans and animals, rich and poor.

On a small planet such as ours, we cannot afford any conflicts of interest. We're all in the same boat. It's sink or swim.

When it comes down to the wire, we all have one common goal: survival.

We can learn a lot from animals about survival. They would never allow any of the abovementioned crises to develop. We are using the thing that separates us from the animals (our intelligence and ability to make moral decisions) not to our advantage, but to our disadvantage.

The most precious things we have, clean water, clean air and biodiversity, we have sold for nothing but a handful of small change.

Everything we have valued these past few decades has lost its glamour. We have to change tack, it is unconscionable that almost half the world's grain is consumed by cattle, while children starve.

If every American swore off meat for just three days, that would save as much CO2 emissions as removing 50% of traffic from American roads. Yes, you can!

Animal activists also won an incredible victory on the day of the presidential elections in California. Voters could let their voices be heard on a law countering the growth of factory farming and after counting 95% of the vote, 63% of voters appear to want measures against factory farming, giving animals more room to move! This is a wonderful victory for which I have recently congratulated Wayne Pacelle, President of the Human Society (who I recently met during takes for, and at the première of Meat the Truth). The Human Society has done very well and is an inspiration for all other animal protection organisations!

See you next week!