Party for the Animals
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated" (Gandhi)
The Party for the Animals is neither left nor right-wing. Their supporters come from all corners of the political spectrum, from socialists to liberals. What they have in common is that they all believe that the way in which animals are treated in our society is disgraceful. Their supporters deem animal welfare to be so important that they are able to push their differences with respect to other issues aside. The Party for the Animals is not a one-issue party, but a big-issue party. The way in which they as a civilization interact with our living environment is central to our philosophy. They believe that this is a big issue. In this regard, party leader Marianne Thieme often refers to a remark made by Mahatma Gandhi. According to Gandhi, the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. These are wise words, which are perfectly in keeping with our vision of a more humane society.
Marianne Thieme is chair of the parliamentary group in the House of Representatives. She studied law at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Even before her studies, she took a great interest in the plight of animals in our society. To her great disappointment, her law course devoted precious little attention to the issue of animal rights. They hardly play a role in Dutch legislation. In August 2006, the agricultural magazine Boerderij (‘Farm’) had proclaimed her to be ‘the most important woman in the Netherlands with respect to the position of farmers’; this was even before she was elected to parliament. Readers of the popular women’s magazine Viva voted her the ‘Hottest Politician’ of 2006. In late 2006, the Dutch parliamentary press selected Marianne Thieme as the ‘Political Talent of the Year’. In January 2008, the youth organisation of the ChristianUnion, the smallest of the parties in the current Dutch governmental coalition, declared her ‘The Angel of the Year’. In this way, the ChristianUnion youth expressed their appreciation for the way in which she strives for justice for all living creatures. At the beginning of 2008, the Dierenbescherming (the Dutch Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) chose Marianne as the ‘Animal Protector of the Year’.