Worldlog Week 50 – 2008

8 דצמבר 2008

This week saw a number of important debates in which I took part. On Wednesday we had the first debate on the credit crisis and later that day the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) presented the agriculture budget. My colleague Esther Ouwehand and I were given almost an hour to speak in the agriculture debate. Many larger parties had less than half the time we were allotted. We used our time to launch a ‘major charge’ against the unsustainable policy of Minister Verburg of LNV.

The world has awoken with a jolt to the food crisis, climate crisis, biodiversity crisis, water crisis and the credit crisis. That is to say, the world could have been awoken because, as everyone knows, nothing is more difficult than trying to wake someone who is pretending to be asleep. The cabinet gives the impression, particularly with respect to its agriculture policy, that it has no intention of being awoken from its slumber. The minister is still clearly in a state of denial regarding the extremely negative impact the livestock industry is having on the variety of crises now affecting the world.

All these crises were caused by the greed of the West. In our hunger for ever more, we abandoned caring for our natural environment, our fellow man and animals. Man is the only species that deliberately destroys his own environment. We would rather exhaust natural resources in the short term than conserve these irreplaceable assets for others and for future generations. We are treating our most valuable assets as though they were virtually worthless.

The minister has ignored time and time again the desire of the Lower House to give sustainability and animal welfare a more prominent place in government policy. She systematically sets aside every motion. For example, even when the Lower House voiced its opposition to the drive hunt, the minister gave her approval to the shooting of more than 5000 wild boar. And this while scientific studies have shown that culling by shooting only encourages population growth and an unnatural population dynamic.

And when the Lower House wished to put an end to battery accommodation for chickens, the minister presented a wallpapered battery as the solution. She called it ‘colony accommodation’. What she in fact meant, however, was that she is again prepared to condemn chickens to years in penal colonies. These are just a few examples of the animal-hostile and unsustainable policy of the minister.

I also challenged the minister of LNV regarding the fact that the budget of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) for 2009 acknowledges that eating less animal protein can make a major contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Minister Verburg, however, continues to deny and twist the facts and she remains an obstacle in efforts to make protein consumption and production more sustainable. I am curious how the minister will react to my contribution to the debate, which will continue soon in the Lower House.

On Thursday Karen Soeters, Director of the NGPF – the scientific bureau of the Party for the Animals – presented Pamela Anderson with the DVD Meat the Truth. Pamela Anderson cooperated on the film made by the NGPF about the far-reaching consequences of the livestock industry on the climate. The green entrepreneur Henk Keilman, financer of the international version van Meat the Truth was present during the presentation.

Anderson is a confirmed vegetarian and has been campaigning for years for reduced meat consumption. In addition to collaborating on the film Meat the Truth, she campaigned against Kentucky Fried Chicken and against the pro-meat campaign of Jessica Simpson. Pamela Anderson also campaigns actively for Peta.

Until next week!