Karolina Olejak, Interia.pl: You have stirred up a lot of emotions, even on the left wing, with the proposal to ban fishing.
Sylwia Spurek† My new “five for animals” covers different areas of life. Each postulate is for some a novelty in the Polish debate. So I’m not surprised they’re controversial. It was not only the fishing ban that caused emotions. Just because people are used to something and refer to traditions, doesn’t mean we have to stick to it.
Your colleague Bogusław Liberadzki, who sits next to you in one of the European Parliament’s political groups, takes a different view. In an interview with PAP you called your postulate incomprehensible, or even meaningless.
The fishermen themselves say that it is their hobby, leisure, relaxation and sport. Is it possible to hurt someone for entertainment or sports? Is it allowed, honestly? As Alice Walker used to say, just as women are not for men, blacks are not for whites, animals are not for people. They don’t exist for us. Why should we use them for entertainment?
Fortunately, few men today think that women live for them. It is different with animals. Our world is still based on their systemic use. We need to start talking about how to escape their exploitation and murder.
No doubt many people will be against it for various reasons. Any major reform is controversial. Not so long ago, the postulate about the ban on hitting children also evoked emotions. Today, following the introduction of the family and guardianship code ban on hitting children, most people do not accept corporal punishment against children.
SEE: Sylwia Spurek wants to ban fishing
There is always the argument here that we should not equate animals with humans.
Why? We should start with this question in many discussions, questioning traditions and customs that harm and cause suffering.
Let’s see what the discussion about women’s suffrage was like, how the early feminists were ridiculed, frightened and beaten because many men didn’t understand that women’s rights can be equated with men’s rights.
So a total ban on livestock?
We must strive for a complete ban on animal husbandry for milk, meat and eggs. When I propose to refrain from using and killing animals, become so-called breeding, I do not mean just industrial breeding, although we must start with industry. Large-scale farming damages the environment, destroys biodiversity, causes climate catastrophe, affects human health and quality of life, causes damage, suffering and death to billions of animals. Where do so many emotions come from when we want to talk about them?
For fear that without meat we will not feed all the people on this planet?
This is the argument based on a lack of knowledge. People are already starving, in the Global South, because something needs to be fed to the animals that are being massively reared for the Global North for meat, milk and eggs. Most crops are crops for animal feed, because someone “lusts” cutlets.
Including animal protection in the Constitution is another postulate. At what level?
Some countries have already enshrined animal rights guarantees in their constitutions. They can take a more general formula or refer to specific areas of life and groups of animals. The constitution sets standards for the legislator, and such a change would also be important on a symbolic level.
My “five” was created in response to the lack of progressive action by political parties. We can no longer sweep the problem under the rug, talk about human killing and humanitarian abuse. I suggested specific dates, because it organizes the discussion. We need to develop a roadmap for the dismantling and killing of animals by humans, with specific goals, a timetable, transition periods, time for public consultation and preparation for the implementation of these changes.
As for years discussions about abolishing coal were avoided, miners were cheated, politicians and politicians now dare to be afraid to tackle the topic of animals, the so-called breeding.
The discussion about animal rights must become substantive. Based on data, not referring to tradition, upbringing, existing beliefs, myths and meat lobby propaganda.
Your message is also not without emotions.
No, these are details based on research, views of scientists and specialized non-governmental organizations. These are postulates that they have put forward for a long time, but ignored and ignored. When I entered politics, I had the opportunity to talk about these postulates, but in an audible way. It is my duty to push the boundaries of public debate, to show the necessary solutions. So far I am the only Member of Parliament from Poland who is vegan. There are probably no vegans and vegans in the Polish Sejm and Senate. I hope vegans and vegans go into politics because systemic change is needed. I wish politicians would no longer be afraid to look at the joists and polls.
There’s nothing in the “five” about pets, why?
My “five” is not an exhaustive set of postulates, it addresses the main issues. There are no postulates regarding pets and companion animals, because harming them is much more unacceptable than harming animals, so-called breeding. But this area also needs to be changed.
Maybe we should go further and ban pet keeping?
I really like the book “The Little Prince” and the quote: you are responsible for what you have tamed. We have an obligation to take care of our pets, we must not breed them, we must prevent them from becoming homeless and avoid harm. A few years ago, with Dr. With Marcin Anaszewicz, we have proposed a package of solutions to strengthen the system of combating domestic violence – to complement the legal solutions around abuse of the family and to prevent harm to pets. Many organizations work in the field of dog and cat rights, let alone fight for animal rights, so-called breeding. Because yet, as Dr. Dorota Sumińska says: some we love, others we eat. And we see nothing wrong with that. It’s high time we started talking about the fact that no animal of any kind is anything, and that we need to stop treating animals as farmed as items.