Pt14: The Ballot & the Bullet

Nowadays, it seems like the whole world is a-buzzin’ with political discourse, debate, and intrigue. Whether you’ve just voted in the Dutch general elections, or are faced with political considerations on a different patch of planet that you call your home, it can become difficult to gain a clear understanding of your choices, and of the criteria your choices are based on. Politics concerns every aspect of life that’s worth establishing rules and agreements about and, speaking from my own humble experience, it can easily become an overwhelming topic, especially around voting time.

 

To help gain a sense of clarity, many people identify a particular issue as being the most important to them, something they have a clear opinion about and which will make it easier to recognize the political party that best represents their interests. To a small business owner, this particular issue might be taxation. To a young family, it might be education and child-care. To others, maybe healthcare is the most pressing issue. No matter the issue, one thing is universally true: the world and the needs of its people are constantly changing, and politics should be our tool to implement the changes we need. Changes for today, and for the days to come. And when I think of an issue that covers not just my own little country but the whole of humanity, from the Netherlands to New Zealand, from public health to the environment, one big topic comes to mind: our shift to sustainable agriculture and production of food.

 

The world and the needs of its people are constantly changing, but it’s difficult to change the way we do things on such a grand scale. When it comes to sustainability, we are in need of impactful change, but when change happens suddenly we almost experience it as violence. We call such sudden change in how we live a “revolution”, a word which we remember from history books and which, to be fair, was often brought about by violent means. Yet in these times, a revolution is taking place which doesn’t bring violence, but which abolishes it. A revolution which will lead us to take better care of our planet, the animals that live on it, and ultimately, ourselves. A revolution by the name of Veganism. But should this revolution come at the hands of the free market, or of politics?

 

The answer, of course, is both. On the side of the market, vegan businesses like ours are constantly growing and developing, spreading the vegan lifestyle and making it more available by the day. In July this year, plant-based brand Barvecue will be opening the world’s largest plant-based smokehouse in North Carolina. The well-known Swedish brand Oatly has announced the opening of its first factory in the U.K in 2023, where it will be mass-producing dairy-free milk. And cosmetics company Garnier is now officially certified cruelty-free under the Leaping Bunny Program, and has stopped using all animal testing for their products. As we can see, the market is reacting to the people’s desire for animal-free products.

It goes without saying that politics should reflect this same desire, and that it should move towards regulations that ensure a future which is sustainable in the long run, a future which is vegan. Well folks, that’s simply my two cents on the matter. I won’t tell you how to vote, or what to prioritize in your life; I only hope to have made your choices a little easier, whether it’s today, tomorrow, or years from now. Let us all work towards this violence-free revolution for a cruelty-free world, and in doing so remember the undying words of Abraham Lincoln: “The Ballot is stronger than the Bullet”.

 

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