Esther’s Blog: Ready for a dark green election campaign!

8 februari 2023

I’m back! Today, I resumed my duties as Political Leader of the Party for the Animals. My last blog was published in September, after which I was unfortunately forced to retire for a while owing to health problems caused by persistent overwork. Although that was far from an easy decision, it was a wise one. If we want to stand strong in our battle against the exhaustion of the Earth, we have to refrain from exhausting ourselves, after all. So, dear green hearts: do not forget to allow yourself a bit of rest and recuperation in due time!

During my absence, our MP Christine Teunissen took over my duties. I am incredibly proud of what she, along with the rest of the team, has accomplished. A fantastic job!

Esther Ouwehand returns to the Dutch Parliament and hugs colleague Christine Teunissen.

I have recovered well and am looking forward to getting back to work for our wonderful party. And above all: for our important mission! Never before has the movement for animal, climate, nature and environmental rights been so strong, and this is very promising! In December, I saw some wonderful photos and videos of the Animal Politics world conference, for which animal and planetary conservationists from 25 (!) countries had gathered in Brussels to share their ideas and attend seminars. It was great to see dark-green, animal-friendly ideals gaining an ever-increasing following in so many different countries. Only last month, I received the amazing news that the Scottish capital of Edinburgh aims to tackle the climate crisis by opting for a plant-based diet in government and schools cafeterias.

Speak out against the destructive Mercosur trade deal
The unique voice of the Party for the Animals is more important than ever. In the coming period, the European Commission will be making yet another attempt to get the Mercosur treaty adopted. A megalomaniac trade treaty with South America (including Brazil). This would be disastrous for the Amazon and the indigenous population of South America. Moreover, it would jeopardise the sustainability of European agriculture, as this treaty would force European farmers to compete with farmers who can produce under even lower standards. As the Dutch parliament, thanks to the Party for the Animals, had already taken this treaty off the table several years ago, the European Commission can be assured that we will be giving them a difficult time in the near future.

Demonstration against the Mercosur Treaty.

A call to my international followers: join local opposition to the Mercosur Treaty, and if no movement has been set up for this yet, organise this yourself!

In many places all around the world, we are fighting for major and necessary changes in relation to our food system. This is very much needed! All over the world, we must achieve a significant reduction in the number of animals kept for agricultural purposes, for the benefit of animals, people, our climate and nature – starting in the Netherlands, the world’s most livestock-dense country.

On 15 March, elections will be held in the Netherlands for Provincial Councils and Water Boards, in which precisely the topics referred above will be on the agenda. There is no time to lose if we still want to solve the climate and biodiversity crisis in time! People can still make their voices heard, in favour of a province with fewer livestock farms, less pollution, less odour pollution and more nature. You can be assured that the Party for the Animals will not make any compromises when it comes to our green ideals, in which we aim to ensure a healthy living environment for everyone, including people in rural areas.

And now: let’s join forces for a cracking election campaign!

See you soon!

Esther Ouwehand
Political Leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals