Skip to comments."What happens to animals in factory farming is not right" (PIM FORTUYN'S KILLER SPEAKS)
Posted on 05/07/2002 4:36:10 PM PDT by aristeides
"What happens to animals in factory farming is not right"
Statement Animal Freedom (may 7, 2002). Volkert is not and was not a member of Animal Freedom. This text is from an interview done by phone 2 years ago.
Volkert van der Graaf
Even in elementary school I was interested in animals, the environment and nature. I was a member of the WWF Rangers, and we did things like picking up garbage in the dunes, etc.
I also used to fish, with my brother who was two years older. I used to get a kick out of catching fish. My brother put the worms on the hook. I did think it was mean on the worms and the fish. It just wasn't right, but apparently everyone thought it was normal.
During my high school years this feeling that something was not right, increased. People think it normal that you eat animals, and that you let fish suffocate in nets when you catch them. But inside me arose a sense of justice; such things shouldn't be happening in a civilized country, I thought, but there's no one to stand up for them.
When I was 15, I worked at a bird shelter in Zeeland. Only 2 percent of the birds that were brought in covered in oil survived. I wanted to prevent suffering, and I didn't agree with the suffering of the birds that died slowly from the oil in their intestines. At that place it was a taboo to end that life. The others thought you simply had no right to end it. At the same time they put out mousetraps to kill the mice that were stealing the bird food. I left that place, I didn't want to be inconsistent any longer.
At one point I wanted to stop eating meat, but my parents wouldn't let me because you had to eat meat. Only after I started studying in Wageningen I gave it up. The questions remained: is leather OK, is milk OK, are eco-eggs OK?
Then I became a vegan. It took some effort, but once you are one, it becomes normal fast, you know where to find things. Sometimes when you have dinner with other people, you encounter incomprehension.
During my studies I involved myself in the use of laboratory animals. I joined a regional group of the NBBV (anti-vivisection federation), did stand work, went to work for Lekker Dier, teach at schools, I've been involved in several actions.
As a member of the IUOD (Inter University Consultation on Animal use) we tried to bring back the number of laboratory animals used in education. We fought for the right not to have to use test animals in our studies, we made a survey on laboratory animal use for certain subjects, and we tried to offer support to students who were against this as well and told them how they could lodge their objections. We didn't want to impose a standard, but present facts. Students could make up their own minds based on the descriptions of animal tests and the procedure that they could follow to be exempted from animal testing. We asked them: do you want to cut into a dead piglet or into sharks that were caught as by-catch during herring fishery?
Now I'm working for Milieu Offensief (Environment Offensive) that is involved in the environment as well as animal welfare. Whatever your motives are for working here, you work together toward the same result: stopping the expansion of factory farming. The result is less pollution of the environment and less animal suffering. Through legal procedures we fight permits for factory farms and fur farms, using the law as our tool.
In the past few years we have been through as much as 2000 legal procedures, we won a lot, but now we are going to apply ourselves more to the heavy offenders of environment and animal suffering.
My actions don't come so much from love for animals, I just have a basic standard: "what happens to animals in factory farming is not right". For the rest I just act rationally, I don't have to be an animal friend to protect animals.
Many animal protectors act from the assumption that "nature is good", but every dark side of humans can also be found in nature. Protecting animals is civilizing people, as they say.
Meat is required for mental stability.
I am beginning to think that vegetarianism should be outlawed.
For the good of the Earth my ass.
I'm inclined to agree.
I wonder what these people think animals do to other animals?
In the wild you are quick, strong, ruthless- or dead. No in-between.
I want to load my BBQ grill in my truck, drive to Berkeley, park in front of a
Vegetarian reastaurant and start grilling hamburgers to give away to the homeless.
So what would they do?
I am cooking meat, but feeding the homeless.
The confusion alone would be worth it.
And less food and more human suffering.
THE TRUTH AT LAST!
This is absolutely bizarre. So, every dark side of humans that is found in nature is bad? When is he going to go out and kill animals for the "dark" things they do?
by Mikhail S. Gorbachev
President, Green Cross International
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the political storm that swept across the world a little over a decade ago was above all else a testament to the power of the human spirit to tackle adversity. The Cold War had posed a threat to security, liberty and development everywhere, creating a seemingly insurmountable barrier between the peoples of the planet. Yet, the right mixture of human vision and courageous leadership brought this dark period in our history to a peaceful end. Today we are faced with another threat, already the cause of great suffering for millions: the degradation of the environment. To meet this global challenge we again need a clear and unified vision, determination and decisive leadership.
The impact and forecasts of global warming are worsening; desertification is advancing; deforestation and pollution are endangering our ecosystems; and more than 1.2 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. We have seen environmental disasters with untold destruction of both human lives and nature: in the short term, during the past months there have been devastating floods across much of Europe and South Asia and the wreck of tankers off the natural treasures of the Galapagos Islands and Australian barrier reef; in the long term, vast areas of the Earth have been irrevocably scarred by the loss of ancient forests, mismanagement of river basins and contamination.
Many environmental experts warn these trends are now far too advanced for us to achieve real sustainability by means of gradual change; they believe we have 30 to 40 years in which to act. Time is short and we are already lagging behind.
While there are an increasing number of bold initiatives led by government and corporate leaders to protect the environment, I do not see emerging the leadership and willingness to take risks at the scale we need to confront the current situation. While there are an increasing number of people and organizations dedicated to raising awareness and provoking change in the way we treat nature, I do not yet see the clear vision and united front which will inspire humankind to respond in time to correct our course.
The example of the failure of leadership at the climate change talks in The Hague last November are disturbing. This failure lays at the hands of our political leaders, particularly the United States which has not yet even ratified the treaty, and, to a lesser extent, the business community which has increasing influence over government policies. Another worrying example of how we are going about things the wrong way is the increasingly closed nature of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos _ isolating delegates and pushing other interest groups further from the mainstream. In The Hague and in Davos we saw divisions into camps: North versus South, and pro- versus anti-"globalizationists".
This is a very grave situation. It is critical that we find a way to bring about rapid, sweeping change of human consciousness and actions worldwide -- something that enables us to provoke a large-scale shift of course in a very short time. This cannot be achieved if we remain divided.
The end of the Cold War offers an example of people-powered change that positively altered the course of history. We need a similar shift _ a fundamental shift in values _ to ensure that we do not miss this window of opportunity to save our beautiful planet, and ourselves. First among the threats we must face are those posed by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the freshwater crisis, and the impact of climate change.
A new way of thinking, a new world order that is based more on justice and equality and less on profits is needed. We thought the fall of the Berlin Wall would usher this in, but instead a more complicated world has resulted and, more worrying still, we are now even seeing signs of a resurgence in militarization.
What can be done? What kind of leadership do we need? I consider 5 points to be vital in this respect: 1. Reform the UN system in order to give more power for actions and the enforcement of UN decisions for peace and stability; 2. International Agreements, Conventions and Protocols relevant to disarmament, climate change, biodiversity, desertification, international watercourses, and others should be ratified without delay, and implemented with courage and determination. 3. Environmental objectives should be integrated from the beginning into development planning and any form of economic activity; 4. Political leaders -- and businesses -- should acknowledge and act on their responsibility to turn rhetoric into action and achieve environmental compliance; 5. Reverse the decline of international development, allowing developing nations to reduce their crippling debt, cover basic human needs, and access technologies to use materials and energy efficiently, with a minimum of waste.
If nothing is done to achieve sustainability in the first part of this new century, the prospects for humankinds survival will diminish. Still, if I thought it were hopeless, I would not join you in the environmental movement as President of Green Cross International.
Nature is giving us all the signs we need to develop a common vision for the future; we must grasp this message and act now. Governments, individuals and business - Let us move together, with bold leadership, to solve the environmental crisis _ Nature will not wait.
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