My stance on animal-welfare
Having a sound Green outlook on animals is a central priority of mine.
The central ethos behind our policy in this connection, in the Green Party, is to call for nothing less than a complete re-framing of the way in which all of us relate to the animal world. No longer to be perceived as mere things that can be manipulated and mistreated as commodities in a mainly profit-orientated world, animals should rather be seen as sentient beings worthy of our respect. We all know that this is true of our own dogs and cats; it is just a question of extending that respect to animals who are exploited in factory-farms, in sport, etc. .
The Green Party is also very aware of how animal rights and human rights go hand in hand. The amount of land and water needed to sustain animals destined for slaughter is entirely disproportionate to that needed to grow vegetables. As resources begin to dwindle, and with land-use under great pressure, this is not an issue we can continue to take lightly. Worldwide, the amount of grain sent to feed animals could be redirected to prevent more than a billion people from going hungry, not to mention the high rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes that are associated with the meat industry.
Existing Green MEPs have been strong advocates for animal welfare in the European Parliament, for example by backing a campaign to reduce the time that it is legal to transport animals as 'live exports'. If I am elected on May 22nd - and I was just 1% short, last time - then I will be a similarly strong voice for our animal kin.
Overall, we in the Greens would like to move towards a more humane system where animal welfare is seen as beneficial not only to the animals themselves, but also to the environment, human health and in eradicating global poverty and famine. This is about a win-win: caring better for animals, and helping to produce a happier world for humans in the process.