I slammed on the breaks late last night, to help a toad cross the road before a less empathetic human-in-a-car bulldozed over it. It's that time of year when toads travel to the pond of their birth to lay their eggs.
On my own agenda for today was attending the Party of the Animals' bi-annual general meeting. It is always a pleasure to see the enigmatic Marianne Thieme speak. But the best thing today was when the chair listed all the people that have been entered as Partij voor de Dieren candidates for the upcoming European Parliament election. Not only does the list include a lot of brilliant Dutch people but it also includes someone from South Africa - J.M. Coetzee! Apparantly there is no law that forbids this. If elected he will not be able to serve, because the law does state that EU parliament members need to be European citizens but that is another matter. A number of EU lawyers dived into the issue a couple of days ago when the PvdD submitted their list of candidates, surprising everyone. By next week we'll know whether John Coetzee's name will be printed on the Dutch ballot in May or not.
I love the humour in their work and the bold manoeuvres this political party makes. It is entering it's eleventh year in the Dutch parliament and is the largest and most succesful animal party in the world. It makes sense to look beyond our own species and our own borders when managing the planet. Take for example the new coal plant being developed in the harbour of Rotterdam. This should not be a subject on which only Dutch citizens can vote. The Belgians and English are just as likely to suffer it's air and water pollution as we are. The concept of borders is anochronistic in this globalised world. The same applies to other sentient beings and if they can't vote then someone should do it on their behalf.
UPDATE: On 14 April a Dutch election committee ruled that the three non-EU citizens may not stand as candidate.