I received a letter from the very popular former co-leader of the New Zealand Green Party, Jeanette Fitzsimons:
The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a popular, modern and successful party that has left an indelible mark on New Zealand's politics and culture over the past 40 years....
For years we have pushed to have climate change recognized as the single biggest issue of our time. Recently, the Dominion Post's lead story read "Climate change evidence 'undeniable'." Scientists say we need to act in the next 10 years to avoid catastrophic damage....
That is why we are campaigning on shifting our economy to create green jobs, linking the concerns of our nation (the economy and climate change) together. Making homes warmer and more fuel efficient, providing better public transportation, stopping off-shore drilling and new coal mines complement our goal of restoring our planet's ecosystem....I have given my party vote to the Greens in all recent elections and intend to do so again. However, I felt compelled to respond to her and to Green MPs Gareth Hughes and Animal Welfare Spokesperson Sue Kedgley:
I also believe that climate change and the environment is the fight we need to win.
That’s why I challenged Gareth Hughes at the recent SAFE animal rights conference. When is the Green Party going to stand up for the only truly sustainable diet for our environment – a vegan diet? Gareth disappointingly indicated that he considered diet a personal choice.
I was involved several years ago in an email discussion the Greens did about adopting a vegan policy. While it was eventually revealed that your own research shows that even in clean green NZ, meat and milk production is an environmental nightmare, it was clear that several members involved in the discussion didn’t think we should ever be telling people the right way to eat.
And there this crucial issue has foundered. No policy was even adopted to require that Green functions buy so-called “cruelty-free” meats.
The Green Party tells people the right and wrong ways to travel. To treat employees… indigenous people… children. Was the successful repeal of protection for parents hitting children supported because it was popular - or because it was the right and civilised way forward?
Where is your precedent for accepting the status quo and preferences of an ignorant majority? While ignoring the plight of all farmed animals and institutionalised cruelty, you are also dooming the environment.
This is not Green.
Go beyond tut-tutting about the size of chicken cages and accept the UN’s declaration of the impact of animal farming on the environment. Be green in the consumer choice you make most often each day – the food you eat.