What we do
The Party for the Animals raises important issues that are ignored by other parties. We promote the values that matter most: compassion, sustainability, and the respectful treatment of people and animals. And we underline again and again that the current crises concerning climate, food, economy, energy, animal welfare and biodiversity are connected – and can therefore only be tackled in connection with each other.
Our influence is much larger than the number of seats would suggest. Just by participating in the elections, so before we were represented in the Lower House, we acted as the pacer in the marathon. After our incorporation other parties suddenly started to act as if there was no need for the Party for the Animals because they themselves were in fact animal and environmentally friendly. That effect has only become stronger over time.
In response to our arrival in the Lower House, the parties in office started to pay increasingly more attention to animals, nature and the environment. During their campaigns they made great promises, but we had to wait and see if they would be fulfilled. After our arrival, the debate on the first agricultural budget was, thanks to our efforts, eighty percent focussed on animal rights and animal welfare. That attention is still there. The Party for the Animals’ arrival in the Lower House ensured that the topic of animal rights was explicitly put on the agenda of the the other parties. And the same counts for other matters, such as the effect of agricultural pesticides on biodiversity.
We make ample use of the instruments that parliamentarians can make use of. We file motions, apply for debates and vote on laws. We ask many Parliamentary Questions, which the Minister concerned is compelled to answer. This enabled us to draw attention to matters that would not be on the agenda otherwise and to force the Minister concerned to give his opinion. Also, we write initiative policy documents on, for example, ritual slaughter without stunning and the banning of hobby hunting.
We are not only active in the Lower House and Higher House, in Europe, provinces, municipalities and water boards, but also outside. We conduct campaigns, for example, against megastables, manure digesters, and international trade treaties such as TTIP and CETA. In 2011, the Growing Resistance campaign was started as a protest against the cuts on nature and the selling of it in the Netherlands. We sold over 26,000 trees to create new forest. We also bought almost 100,000 m2 of nature through a collection campaign. After the Party for the Animals’ call to the Lower House the selling of nature was finally stopped.
Additionally, we compose books, such as Meat the Future, dealing with the effects of meat consumption on, for example, food and water scarcity, biodiversity and use of land. We make films, such as One Single Planet, in which Marianne Thieme speaks with scientists, policy makers and thinkers about large sustainability issues which threaten our planet and about possible solutions to keep the planet livable for the next generations. We organise presentations and shows in support of our films and books. The books and films are made in collaboration with our scientific bureau, the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation. The Animal Politics Foundation, the organisation in which our international activities are incorporated, has translated the books and films in many languages to make them available to as many people as possible.
Media and public opinion
Our arrival has also ensured that more attention is paid to animal welfare and sustainability in the media and public opinion. At first, the media thought it was more or less a curiosity. But the public has become more aware of the necessity for animal rights and animal welfare, but there is still a world to be won. Luckily the animal rights movement is still growing. Our call to no longer see economic growth as a goal in itself but to look beyond it, is getting more and more response. We are determined to continue to play a driving role in this and to continue to feed the political and social discussions on these topics.