Early 2018, I was contacted by the founders of DierAnimal following the publication of my first article in the medical press, "Going against the Current (Opinion of a GP)". DierAnimal is the first united, national and bilingual political party for animal rights in Belgium. It not only aspires to act as a face and voice for animals, but it strives to build a more just society for everybody based on respect for all animals and humans from all walks of life. The industrialised animal food industry is the cause of indescribable, horrific suffering for millions of defenceless animals on our planet. This industry is also one of the major forces behind famine in underdeveloped countries while the West has an excessive food supply. It is an industry that is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all transport put together, an industry that is exhausting all the water sources on our planet, an industry that threatens the ecosystems of our oceans with overfishing, eutrophication, dead zones, etc., it is the main cause of deforestation. 90% of hormones found in surface water originates from animals used in the meat and dairy industry. Animal agriculture takes up ⅔ of agricultural land worldwide and is responsible for the use of countless pesticides.

On Thursday 7 June 2018, I had the privilege of attending a lecture by Philip Wollen with a few members of DierAnimal at the European Parliament in Brussels. This man is one of my biggest inspirations. He has been awarded so many prizes for his efforts for those less fortunate, for those without a voice and for his constant battle against injustice. His project "Winsome Constance Kindness" supports schools, hospitals, orphanages, museums, anti-whaling campaigns, ocean cleanups, projects for the protection of turtle nests, the Sea Shepherd fleet, films on social justice, wildlife protection, anti-hunting campaigns, medical equipment, food, animal feed and fuel supplies, cancer research, ambulances, palliative care projects, and so on. Philip Wollen started his career as a banker but exchanged his well-paid job (as vice president of the City Bank in Australia) for a life dedicated to helping others after visiting a slaughterhouse of one of his clients. For him, material wealth is of little worth. Instead he values emotional wealth and being able to mean something to others.

One of his best quotes:

"We torture and kill two billion sentient living beings every week. 10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one, and we are now facing the sixth mass extinction in cosmological history. If any other organism did this, a biologist would consider them a virus."

DierAnimal strives to achieve a long-term ethical and sustainable approach over short-term interests. This is what I, along with an entire group of specialists and motivated individuals, fully support.

Please find our political programme and more information on the website: https://www.dieranimal.be