Worldlog Week 51 – 2009

18 december 2009

I returned yesterday from the climate summit in Copenhagen and it was depressing to see how economic interests dominated the negotiations over and above the interests of future generations. The agreements made will do very little to avert the huge climate disaster that is threatening our world. The protesters outside the summit pointed out how intensive cattle farming damages the environment, whereas I hardly heard anyone mention it inside. Government leaders are closing their eyes to harsh reality.

However, the enthusiasm displayed by the hall full of people at our screening of Meat the Truth, a documentary by our scientific office, at the Climate Conference 2009 fills me with hope. Increasing numbers of people are discovering just how perverse and destructive cattle farming is.

The Netherlands is currently dealing with the largest outbreak of Q fever in the world. Thousands of people have fallen seriously ill with this animal disease, some have even died. The cull of more than 35,000 animals will begin this week. This is a cull that could have been prevented and I am extremely sad about this state of affairs. The Party for the Animal’s submitted no less than 11 questions in writing, and 11 times we received a reply that proved the extent to which the government underestimated the problem.

The Netherlands has the densest population of cattle in the world and we call down one animal disease after the other on our heads.

Economic motives have lead to the mass killing of even healthy animals – the preventative cull is deadlier than the disease itself.

Goat's milk processors came out with a very sick statement last week. They expect the cull to have a favourable influence on the price of goat’s milk.

The minister also announced that the media is not allowed to show images of dead animals being moved by machinery. According to the minister these dead animals should be literally swept under the rug, while this would be an excellent opportunity to educate people on the damage that the meat and dairy industries wreak. We also ask what the cabinet will do to compensate the human victims of Q fever and the loved ones of those who die of the disease for everything they had to go through.

Both humans and goats suffer at the hands of intensive cattle farming. The nativity scene will not have animals in it this year – the Christian Democrat politicians have proved they value money over ethics. Nearly 40,000 people in one week signed the Party for the Animals' petition to stop the mass slaughter of healthy animals. The government is uninterested but the tide shall turn! During the latest elections in Amsterdam, The Party for the Animals received more votes than the Christian Democrats, and they've always been the nation’s largest party. More and more people will open their eyes – we must stop intensive cattle farming.

I wish you all a peaceful holiday season and plenty of optimism for the coming year. I hope we will be able to deal animal exploitation a decisive blow. At any rate I hope that even more people will be convinced to never eat or drink anything that originates from the intensive cattle farming system. Live the change you want to see!

The Worldlog will return on 18 January!
Marianne Thieme