Worldlog week 47 – 2014
As I said in my last Worldlog, I will tell more about our visit to Belgrade. We were there for an international meeting with parties for the animals (in formation) from 11 different countries (France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Serbia, Sweden and Cyprus). In Belgrade, it became clear again how much our movement is growing. There was plenty of talk about building up association structures, developing party programmes and scouting and training of volunteers. My colleague, Esther Ouwehand, gave a presentation about the role of main driver in the political arena of a party for the animals. It is inspiring to see there is worldwide attention for increasing the representation of animals in politics!
In the Netherlands, it was an eventful week in the area of animal welfare. A broadcast of the Dutch TV programme Radar showed how much calves suffer in dairy farming. In both conventional and organic dairy farming, they are separated from their mothers shortly after their birth. Based on this, I urged State Secretary Dijksma to encourage farmers to let calves grow up with their mothers. Separating calves from their mothers harms the animals’ welfare and health and is not in line with sustainable cattle farming.
No matter what, it is important for us to consume less animal proteins such as milk, meat, fish and eggs to make cattle farming sustainable. A more plant-based diet is animal-friendly by definition. This change in our consumption pattern is also necessary to feed the growing world population and combat climate change. Producing animal protein is very inefficient, costs too much water, raw materials and energy. Thankfully, more and more good alternatives of plant-based proteins have been made and there is still a lot of innovation potential in that area. Last Thursday, I spoke with Bill Gates about this necessary transition. This video of Bill Gates, The Science Behind Plant-Based Proteins, explains why! https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jjlVq5GiHbo
Last Thursday, I asked questions about a shocking incident of a fox that had almost drowned and was shot dead by a hunter. After a long struggle to save itself from drowning, the animal had managed to bring itself to safety near a gate. Instead of receiving help, the fox was shot dead by a hunter from his car. Unbelievable…
But there is good news, as well! Thanks to one of our motions, the plastic soup in the sea will have to be better addressed. Plastic waste causes serious environmental pollution and animal suffering. So far, the focus was primarily placed on micro-plastics in cosmetics and plastic bags in the sea. We have pointed out for some time that a lot of other waste eventually ends up in the sea, as well. Thanks to our motion, balloons, fireworks and paint will now also have to be included in the new policy to tackle the plastic soup. ☺
Another breakthrough was realised in the Dutch province of Gelderland. In response to questions from us, the Dutch research bureau Alterra has assessed that the bulb-growing industry has detrimental consequences for nature and is therefore illegal. The local government body in Gelderland has already followed up on this outcome. We believe that the poisonous bulb-growing industry in natural environments must stop across the Netherlands and insisted on this in Parliamentary questions to the State Secretary. To be continued!
Have a good week, regards Marianne