When the French Animal Rights party was launched 6 months ago, I was doubtful. What does it mean to vote for a monothematic party focused on the animal cause? Is it really responsible to vote for an Animal Rights party in the legislative election? Aren’t there more important things to think of even when people are like me very concerned by the animal cause?
I wondered what I should do, so I decided to meet the founding members of the French Animal Rights party to listen to their arguments and form my own opinion. I came back so convinced that now I stand for the Animal Rights party in the third constituency of the French established outside France*.
Animals are omnipresent in our life. France is the first country in Europe with 63 million pets. However, most of them aren’t on a leash, they are on our plates, in our clothes, in our entertainment (hunting, zoos, bullfighting, tanks…) They come in the composition of so many products such as glue, dye, softener, grease. They are also used to test the effectiveness or toxicity of cosmetics, toiletries, household products, medicines and various materials….
In France, 3 million animals are slaughtered every day; 1 billion in one year in appalling conditions. Animal exploitation also has an impact on our health (meat consumption increases cardiovascular diseases and reduces resistance to antibiotics), our environment (livestock raises greenhouse gases and pollution), and even our safety (There is a link between animal and human violence). But our economy today is based on the massive exploitation of animals. The economic interests at stake are enormous. For the record in 2016, the bovine sector alone generated a 9.4 billion turnover.
The animal issue is a central issue. It questions our relationship to otherness, to animals as well as to humans; it challenges us on our economic model; it encourages us to develop a long-term reflection on our environment, our health, our future and the future of the planet. “In a few decades, the emergence of animal rights parties will be seen as a key moment in the 21st century. Alternative to the right-left opposition, they are opportunity to radically transform our society “(Dominique Lestel, Teacher in Contemporary Philosophy at the ENS).
We are all concerned with animal rights protection. And this question cannot be solved solely by individual actions or through civil associations. It needs to be brought forward and debated at the political level by giving a voice to the growing numbers of people who care.
For the 2017 parliamentary elections, the French Animal Rights party has an extensive program, which proposes, in particular, the adoption of an animal welfare charter to the constitution, the creation of a ministry of animal rights not subject to the Ministry of Agriculture and the abolition of the worst practices in livestock farming and entertainment. The whole program can be viewed on the website www.parti-animaliste.fr.
Finally, when we think about what is surprising, it is not to vote for an Animal Rights party. On the contrary, what is incredible today is the little importance that is attached to the animal issue in politics.
So yes, a vote for the Animal Rights party in the 2017 parliamentary elections is a responsible and eminently political choice.
Animals count, your voice does too!
* The third constituency of the French established outside France: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, United-Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland