It’s time for a new rubric on this blog! News. Mainstream news in The Netherlands is depressing. It has to be shocking, sensational and topical. Because of this news gets negative and people who only follow this news feel like the world around them is changing in a bad way. They lose trust in people and companies and they lose hope. Besides that, it makes people feel powerless. Yet, it has been scientifically proved that the world gets better every single day for humans. And so, I want to share a news-article every day and post them once a week. It will be a mix of positive and bad news, but mostly positive, to make sure that positive news has the upper-hand. And on top of that, I want to share along with that article a practical tip on what you can do today to change that news. This could be a lifestyle change, a petition to sign or a social media campaign to support, anything. To make you feel in power, because we are! This way you’ll know about the positive news, how to keep it that way, the negative news and how to change that!
Positive news! Albert Heijn has introduced new vegan foods again. The Sea Burger, omelette, boneless wings and a Dutch snack too, Frikandel. The vegan section is growing and that is a good development. More options and better options. Source: Instagram account @veganamsterdam.
Practical personal tip: try eating vegan as much as you can and in this case buy these new products, to show Albert Heijn that we want more vegan food.
Bad news, but not exactly from today. What I am about to share happened a short while ago. But since I find it so important, I still want to fit it into this first post in this rubric. I want to talk about Moria. Moria is a refugee camp in Greece, it holds about 13.000 people under terrible circumstances. That is horrible enough, but on September 10th there was a fire which burned the camp down. Where the situation was dire already, it now turned into a humanitarian disaster. People are literally on the streets with absolutely nothing. Source: Damn Honey podcast episode 50.
Practical personal tip: give money you have to give. It does not have to be much, anything helps. Skip that cup of coffee on the go or that fancy lunch today. Bring you own sandwich to work and give money to support these people. They need food and medicines. But most importantly, we need to give refugees a home. So, besides giving money, spread awareness. Encourage other people to donate. But most importantly: vote for a party which lets refugees into our country. One party in The Netherland who sees refugees as people and not as a burden is Bij1. I find that everybody should be able to come to our country for a better life, not only if you’re fleeing for war. What right do I have to live here because I was born here? I was lucky, that’s all. We must use that privilege to give money and a home to others.
Positive news! Today Extinction Rebellion held gigantic protests in Amsterdam as they have been doing for an entire week. They are blocking the streets to raise awareness for the climate crisis. I don’t really like their way of protesting today, blocking streets. But I do love their protests in general. They are very active in the fight against the climate crisis and they have very specific demands. Today they demand for civilians to be included in the making of Dutch climate policies. Right now, the lobby of big companies is stopping most action being taken by the government. Protesting raises awareness and changes things. Source: Extinction Rebellion.
Practical personal tip: become a member of Extinction Rebellion and try to participate in protests whenever you can. Also want to fight climate change on a more individual level? Live an eco-positive lifestyle.
Positive news! The godmothers of Damn Honey, a Dutch feminist platform, have launched a new book again! They produce one podcast a week, have written two prior books and soon they’ll be touring through the country too. The two prior books are about feminism, but mostly for adults. About motherhood, work-life and some more things teenagers mostly don’t come in contact with (yet). The prior book are of course relevant to young people too, but not everything in it is. So, this third book is more about for teenagers, young women. It’s about pleasure during sex, periods, secretion and more. All things which are still taboo and aren’t discussed much. No more shame, no more slut-shaming, more focus on women during sexual education! Source: Damn Honey Instagram.
Practical personal tip: follow Damn Honey! I find it the most accessible platform to learn about intersectional feminism. And trust me, if you don’t know about feminism, you don’t see what’s wrong in society. If you learn about it, you start to recognize it and can be better. Do better. We have a lot to improve still! And also: read this book! Or if you know anyone who is young (maybe your child, sibling or friend), share it with them!
Today on the site of Animal Rights there was a story. A story of a cat named Ziggy. Ziggy was sold on Marktplaats (sort of a Dutch Ebay), where people sell mostly secondhand stuff. This is legal in The Netherlands but has huge consequences for the animals. They are sometimes raised in terrible conditions and people breeding the animals have no license. The animals are often sold way too early, which later causes behavioral problems. This makes people get rid of the animal soon too, leaving them behind in an asylum. Animal Rights wants to stop the selling of animals on Marktplaats (like it has been prohibited in Belgium). Therefore, they have a petition on their site, pleading for animal rights. Source: Animal Rights.
Practical personal tip: First of all, never buy animals on Marktplaats! Or even better: don’t buy them at all, but adopt animals in need at an asylum. Share stories like these from Animal Rights on your social media to make people aware. Also, sign this petition to give animals rights (no, this does not mean that animal should vote or something, it means that they are treated with dignity). If you can, donate to Animal Rights and vote for PvdD if you want animals to be treated better.
There’s a Dutch tv-program which researches all things around food. Since a while, there are claims on certain eggs, claiming they don’t cause baby birds to die. This causes confusion, because most people didn’t know that when you buy eggs you cause chicks to die. And so this is good and bad news. It is horrible, but people should be aware. Source: this episode of Keuringsdienst van Waarde.
Personal practical tip: Don’t buy or consume eggs. It’s highly unethical and it causes animals to suffer. Need some motivation, read this post about all the ethical reasons not to consume eggs. There are good replacements for eggs in baking, like this one. But for scrambled or boiled eggs, try this or this recipe.
Good news! Tom Dumoulin is a Dutch cyclists, one of the best of our country. He used to be sponsored by Vion, a gigantic meat company. An action group, called Shut down VION! has convinced him to end this sponsorship. He thought it was a horrible company and is not longer sponsored by it. I think it’s time for more athletes to speak their opinion and choose sponsors who support their views. Source: Shut Down Vion.
Personal practical tip: well, if you’re every sponsored by a company (which I would barely ever suggest because it’s a conflict of interest and I hate advertisements), choose a sustainable company. And even more important, educate yourself about the things that’s wrong with this (and all) meat supplier(s). And then, go vegan.
*Disclaimer: not all news articles are exactly from that day I mentioned above. Sometimes I share a news article from a day earlier or a day later. I just try to sum up what’s happened in the past week in 7 days.