We have had another wonderful party congress! At this congress, the list of candidates for the municipal elections in the Dutch municipality of Groningen was established. Niko Koffeman, senator and founder of the Party for the Animals, discussed the work of the party’s scientific bureau, NGPF. Politics should be more about the power of the idea and less about the idea of power, Niko said.
Political scientist and author of De Voedselparadox (the food paradox) Herman Lelieveldt was a guest speaker at the congress. He talked about how politicians pass on all responsibility for food that is friendly to the environment, people and animals, to consumers, even though consumers cannot possibly compete with the powerful and massive companies. Instead of using national regulations to support major polluters, we should deploy these regulations to protect our planet and all its inhabitants.
Party for the Animals Congress
I concluded the congress with a speech in which I announced that at the start of 2019, we will launch a new documentary on the consumption of animal products as the leading cause of many major problems. But it will also offer solutions to these problems. In 2007, our documentary Meat the Truth already caused quite a stir in the political sphere and the agricultural sector. The facts presented in the documentary about the devastating effects of the agricultural system on our planet were met with disbelief.
Today, these facts are common knowledge and even an important advisory council for the government is calling for a radical change in farming policy. With our new documentary, we want to show the world that the problems caused by the meat and dairy industry have only increased since 2007. The livestock lobby is one of the most powerful lobby groups in the world and it is only trying to increase its influence on the existing system. You can count on us to not shy away from uncomfortable truths in our new documentary. The conclusions will be at least as shocking as those in our last documentary.
Meat the Truth documentary
There is a great need for change, and this change needs to come from the bottom up, from advocates such as the Party for the Animals. And it has already begun. Since 2006, the number of vegans in England have increased by 350%. Vegan food has become fashionable. We are part of a major social movement, a movement that is on the winning side. A movement with radical criticism of our current system, but which also provides real sustainable solutions. We raise awareness of a new, higher interest that is planet-wide and transcends the divisions of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age and social class.
Between 20 and 24 June, delegations of our sister parties from all over the world – from Australia to Canada – will travel to Brussels and The Hague. Some organisations from e.g. Morocco and Turkey will also be present. Together, we will discuss how to address the issues in the livestock industry, live transports and all those other atrocities. On 22 June, I will give a lecture as part of this meeting at Leiden University in The Hague. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public, but the number of tickets still available is limited. You can book your tickets here. With respect to our international guests, my lecture will be in English. I hope to see you on the 22nd!
A great success for our European group: a majority of the European Parliament has supported the Party for the Animals’ proposal to stop subsidising bullfighting via the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It is estimated that currently, millions of euros end up with breeders of fighting bulls each year.
Lastly, a success in the Dutch parliament: thanks to a widely supported motion of the Party for the Animals, the government must show how it endeavours to eliminate palm oil as a fuel. The Netherlands is Europe’s largest importer of palm oil and this has to stop. After all, the production of palm oil involves widespread destruction of habitats, rainforests and bogs. An area of rainforest the size of a million football pitches is cleared each year to produce palm oil, causing the orangutan and Sumatran tiger to be at significant risk of extinction. We will do everything in our power to halt the import of palm oil as soon as possible.
Until next time!