The Swiss have hit back at Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten who has been living in Switzerland for most of her life by denying her request for a Swiss passport for the second time. The local political party of her canton said no because they feel she “has a big mouth”, claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty and has been vocal about church bells being rung at 6 am in her village. And she’s not a fan of the local tradition of racing piglets, either.
In Switzerland, locals sometimes have a say in the naturalisation requests of people in their canton, and in Holten’s case, a majority were against it. Now her request is in front of the ‘Conseil d’État’, the council that decides on cantonal matters. Dutch site Joop.nl when relating this story told of a family from Kosovo who were refused Swiss nationality because they walked around their village in jogging suits and the locals didn’t like that either.
Activism aside, according to Swiss site 24heures, Holten is the ideal candidate and had been given a positive review in the beginning of the process. She’s been living in Switzerland for 34 years, speaks the local Swiss German dialect, provides for her three Swiss-born daughters and has never committed a crime. Holten says if her village is not going to let her get a Swiss passport, she’ll move down the street to the next village where the decision on naturalisation is made directly by a Board without any input from locals.
In the comments section of 24heures, the opinions range from ‘piss off back to the Netherlands’ to ‘the Swiss pride themselves on direct democracy only when it suits them’. And then not in a jogging suit.
Last summer we told you about a new law that allowed Dutch citizens to call for a non-binding referendum, in this case to veto Ukraine’s entry to the European Union. On 6 April, the Dutch will vote on a non-binding referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, a vote and campaign that happens to fall at the same time as the Dutch presidency of the European Union — as if they didn’t have enough on their plate already.
One things the Dutch Party for the Animals doesn’t want on their plate is chicken, so they’re encouraging people to vote ‘no’ in the video below. One of the baddies happens to be one of the world’s biggest producer of broiler chickens for starters. As well, a lot of people throw around the word ‘oligarch’ without knowing what it means, now you can learn more about it and hear how horrible it sounds in Dutch.
“According to Transparency International Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe. Ukraine is ruled by oligarchs. Take Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP): it is one of the biggest poultry producers in the world and annually slaughters 332 million chickens.”
Long story short, billionaire Yuriy Kosiuk owns it, puts his money in tax havens in Luxembourg and Cyprus, is friends with President Poroshenko and has his fingers in way too many pies. The Dutch Party for the Animals considers him and the Ukrainian government corrupt, and wouldn’t be totally wrong in saying so. MHP’s motto is “if you want something done well, do it yourself”, and that seems to include bullying the government.
Ukraine has always been the doormat doorway to Russia, stuck between maintaining old Soviet relations and sucking up to the European Union. The people of Ukraine are the real losers of any deal, chickens and all.
Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten living in Switzerland has apparently upset the Swiss by claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty. The Swiss media was straight up in their answer and told to move back to where she came from if she didn’t like their culture. Holten has been widely labelled as a complainer since just before Christmas, she complained about church bells being rung at 6 am – too early in her opinion – in her village.
According to Wikipedia, cowbells have been around since the Iron age and have been used on cattle around the world. However, in September 2014 Swiss researchers did conclude that cowbells are often too loud and too heavy. The problem is that having foreigners complain about your traditions is not always the best way to go, something the Dutch deal with six months out of the year before Sinterklaas.
Controversial artist Tinkebell has announced she will report a theft with the police after a TV Rijnmond reporter took two snails from an exhibit with him. TV Rijnmond handed over the snails to Dierenbescherming (‘Animal Protection’, an association with 200,000 members and 31 local chapters) for further study.
Tinkebell is currently exhibiting some 1,000 live snails with beads glued to them as part of a larger exhibition at the Villa Zebra children’s museum called Ah, wat lief! (‘So sweet’). The exhibition is supposed to explore and challenge how children look at animals—which ones do they find cute, and which ones do they find horrid.
Earlier Tinkebell exhibits centered around exposing the hypocrisy of animal lovers by doing the exact same thing they do to animals, but within a completely different context. In one instance she made a leather purse, with the leather from her own cat. She also let hamsters run around a showroom while they were imprisoned in tiny plastic balls she had purchased at a pet store, something for which she was prosecuted but ultimately acquited.
I have been painting all the snails I find in my own garden for years. [One day I spotted my neighbour salting his garden to kill snails and] I began to wonder where the snails came from, where they were going and how old they would get. In order to answer my own questions as well as try to change my neighbour’s mind, I started to paint numbers on the snails in my garden. There were many of them…
A year later and much to my surprise I saw that the snails were still moving through my garden, numbers and all. Wow! So then I numbered the unmarked copies in a different colour.
Another year passed and now three generations of painted snails were moving among my plants, and the year after I started with a new ‘tactic’, that of ‘beautifying’. I added glitter, flowers and little paintings. Each year my snails looked different, and that is how I kept track of different generations.
The Lekker Dier foundation, a farm animal welfare group, announced last Thursday that the best mud pit for pigs in 2012 is the one in the farmyard of the Van Leeuwen family in Buren.
“This pit is large, nice and deep, and muddy. Perfect for a lovely cool down in this warm weather.”
This year marked the eighth time the trophee was awarded. Only one percent of the 12 million pigs in the Netherlands have access to mud baths. Pigs use mud baths to regulate their temperature and to keep their skin clean from parasites.
Buren is a village near Tiel, in the largest province of the Netherlands, Gelderland.
Check the Stad Tiel article for some photos of happy (and even smiling) pigs.
Coba Beugeling who works for the animal welfare centre in Lelystad, Flevoland is planning to let children lease rabbits for a month. First, the child gets a speech on how to care for the bunny and if after a month they still get along, the child can keep it, with their parents’ permission of course. Proefkonijn (roughly ‘test rabbit’ although in English we say ‘guinea pig’) was initiated so that people don’t just release rabbits into the wild when they don’t want them any more. Guinea pigs and hamsters will soon be part of the leasing fleet as well.