VIOLENCE TO ANIMALS MUST END NOW: AMEND GRP AGENDA AND ISSUE PRESS RELEASE STATING THAT THE GRP ENDORSES AND SEEKS TO PROMOTE VEGANISM
Short Title: Violence To Animals Must End Now
Floor manager / Shepard: Joshua Gerloff, joshuagerloff [dot] gmail [dot] com
Co-sponsor: Danny Factor
Committees from which you are requesting review and feedback: Adcom, Platform, Chapters.
Explanatory Background and Proposal Summary:
What does this proposal call for?
This proposal calls for the GRP to do three things: 1) Amend our Party Agenda to say that the GRP opposes unnecessary violence to animals, and endorses and calls for the promotion of veganism 2) Issue a press release stating the same. 3) Cease spending any GRP funds on products derived from animals.
Why is this proposal consistent with our 10 Key Values and the GPUS Platform?
The GRP values nonviolence. Veganism is all about nonviolence! The unnecessary use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment or any other purpose is unjustifiable. By endorsing and promoting veganism, the GRP will fully embrace nonviolence and extend a policy of mutual respect to every animal species.
GPUS Platform Part III K, entitled “Ethical Treatment of Animals” states at the outset that “Cruelty to animals is repugnant and criminal. The mark of a humane and civilized society lies in how we treat the least protected among us. To extend rights to other sentient, living beings is our responsibility and a mark of our place among all of creation. We call for an intelligent, compassionate approach to the treatment of animals. We reject the belief that our species is the center of creation, and that other life forms exist only for our use and enjoyment. Our species does not have the right to exploit and inflict violence on other creatures simply because we have the desire and power to do so. Our ethic upholds not only the value of biological diversity and the integrity and continuity of species, but also the value of individual lives and the interest of individual animals.” Our GPUS Platform then goes on to call for the end to a number of violent acts on animals, including but not limited to animal experimentation, animal testing and animal classroom demonstrations. As an affiliate of the GPUS, the GRP is grounded by the same principles: that animals are sentient beings and have rights, violence to animals is repugnant and cruel, and our species has no right to inflict this harm purely for our pleasure when alternatives exist. We feel then, especially at a time when consumption of animals is linked to the cataclysm of climate change, that it is time that a state affiliate of the Green Party specifies more explicitly and consistently that the only way to end violence toward animals is to endorse and promote veganism. With recognition of the need for animal rights/veganism growing around the world, and within our party (for example the establishment of the GP Animal Rights Committee in 2016), and the history of our party taking bold no-nonsense, zero-tolerance action when it comes to violence, we believe that only veganism is the consistent position of a Green who truly supports nonviolence and sustainability.
How would this proposal make the GRP more consistent in its advocacy of nonviolence and sustainability
Right now, the Green-Rainbow Party is committed to nonviolence, but fails to condemn violence to animals. The GRP supports the idea of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity, so in an abstract sense, animals matter in that they comprise part of nature. But what about unnecessary violence to animals?
It is wrong to hurt an animal unnecessarily, including for pleasure, amusement or convenience. Most of the ways that animals are used by human beings are unnecessary. In this era of abundance, the use of animals for food, clothing or entertainment when alternatives exist is wrong.
In 2009, the American Dietetic Association stated that:
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864/)
If an appropriately planned vegan diet is healthy and safe for humans of every age, it follows then that the consumption of animal products is unnecessary.
The availability of alternative textiles also makes the use of animals for clothing unnecessary. Those concerned with plastic pollution and “fast fashion”, there are natural fibers, such as hemp or bamboo, that can be used to make our clothing, bedding, etc.
Greens are certainly aware of how resource intensive and environmentally destructive animal agriculture is. Animal products represent large scale destruction of forests and ecosystems, a major strain on the world’s grain supply, topsoil runoff, dead-zones in our rivers and oceans, etc. Biodiversity continues to decline.
Veganism is the most important personal action one can take to halt climate change. Because of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, veganism is by far the largest personal step that a person can do on their own to halt climate change. Studies have shown that embracing veganism curbs more greenhouse gasses than installing solar panels on one’s home, buying an electric car or any other conceivable personal act.
Knowing all of this, humanity is free to live in harmony with nature and cease further unnecessary violence to animals.
The GRP will take the lead in promoting veganism, a gentle lifestyle that seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
The GRP will take the following actions:
1) By November 1, 2019 the GRP Party Agenda on our website will be amended from:
To counter the exploitation of people and the planet, the GRP seeks to strengthen and revitalize our communities so every person can be a creative contributor, have a decent life, and be free from fear, discrimination, and hopelessness. To that end, we seek to reclaim and rework the economic and political activities of our Commonwealth.
Part 1 - Healthy Communities
Healthy communities are places where people thrive and find meaning in their lives. Communities where all find a place and a livelihood are more stable and better able to deal with physical and social crises and disasters. Growing income inequality and the continuing transfer of wealth from the less to the more affluent undermine our society and the shared understandings on which it is based. We propose measures to strengthen the vitality of Massachusetts communities, funded with savings from superseded programs and shifts in sources of local and state revenue.
Basic Needs: To enable all to participate in their communities, we will prioritize measures to meet basic needs, adding community based programs to the standard safety net. We will act to facilitate local food production and make healthful, affordable food available in all communities, assure adequate and affordable housing for all, and provide universal health care. We will fund services which strengthen communities, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, day care, after-school and outreach programs, adult education, special needs and arts programs.
Part 2 - Sustainable Economies
Common Good: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was formed to work for the common good. To protect the commons, including land, water, air, and ecosystems, in the face of catastrophic threats posed by accelerating climate change, the Commonwealth must aggressively promote the transition to local, sustainable economies. Such economies are based on energy conservation and efficiency, distributed clean energy production, local organic agriculture, and public transportation with safe walking and bike paths between transportation hubs. Towards this end, we must generously fund environmental research, programs, and education, as well as regional planning and public transportation. The highest standards for environmental and public health protection must be applied to new and old technologies. Reducing use of energy from fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources need persistent attention and funding.
To (Changes are in bold italics):
To counter the exploitation of humans, non-humans and the Earth, the GRP seeks to strengthen and revitalize our communities so every person can be a creative contributor, have a decent life, and be free from fear, discrimination, and hopelessness. To that end, we seek to reclaim and rework the economic and political activities of our Commonwealth.
Part 1 - Healthy Communities
Healthy communities are places where people thrive, find meaning in their lives, live in harmony with nature, and respect all sentient beings. Communities where all find a place and a livelihood are more stable and better able to deal with physical and social crises and disasters. Growing income inequality and the continuing transfer of wealth from the less to the more affluent undermine our society and the shared understandings on which it is based. We propose measures to strengthen the vitality of Massachusetts communities, funded with savings from superseded programs and shifts in sources of local and state revenue.
Basic Needs: To enable all to participate in their communities, we will prioritize measures to meet basic needs, adding community-based programs to the standard safety net. We will act to facilitate local veganic food production, make healthful, affordable whole food plant-based living available in all communities, assure adequate and affordable housing for all and provide universal health care. We will fund services which strengthen communities, including, but not limited to, early childhood education, daycare, after-school and outreach programs, adult education, special needs, and arts programs. Because it is a basic need for all sentient living beings to be free from violence, we oppose violence to all animals and endorse and call for the promotion of veganism.
Nurturing Connections to Non-humans: Humans share this planet with a rich diversity of species. We recognize that communities that value the principles of peace and nonviolence cannot exploit anyone, whether human or non-human. By promoting veganism, we halt animal agriculture’s destruction of ecosystems and habitat that wildlife require to thrive; we also halt the unnecessary exploitation of domesticated animals.
Part 2 - Sustainable Economies
Common Good: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was formed to work for the common good. To protect the commons, including land, water, air, and ecosystems, in the face of catastrophic threats posed by accelerating climate change, the Commonwealth must aggressively promote the transition to local, sustainable economies. Such economies are based on energy conservation and efficiency, distributed clean energy production, local vegan organic agriculture, and public transportation with safe walking and bike paths between transportation hubs. Towards this end, we must generously fund vegan educational programs, environmental research, regional planning and public transportation. The highest standards for environmental and public health protection must be applied to new and old technologies. Reducing use of energy from fossil fuels and developing alternative energy sources need persistent attention and funding. Given that animal agriculture is the primary driving force behind climate change, we must provide economic incentives for vegan organic farming and provide nutrition educational resources on whole food plant-based eating. By promoting a whole food plant-based diet, we directly promote public health by preventing and reversing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and greatly reduce risks for cancer.
2) By January 1, 2020 the GRP will issue a press release (sent by email to the GRP Press List, ‘supporters’ email list and ,’members’ email list) announcing the above amending of our Party Agenda, explaining the reasons that we have enacted a policy to oppose violence to all animals, and endorse and call for the promotion of veganism.
3) The GRP shall not purchase products (e.g. food or clothing materials) that are derived from animals.
Financial Impact: It is expected that donations to the GRP will increase, in particular from the many people who support nonviolence, animal rights and veganism and also those who find that the GRP now has more credibility due to the GRP’s more consistent stance.
1. Comm Comm shall be charged with the clerical responsibility to ensure that the wording of the Party Agenda on the GRP Website is changed, pursuant to the amendment that State Com has authorized by adopting this proposal.
2. The Treasurer shall be charged with ensuring that party funds are not spent on animal products.
Hello Gentle Greens,
I have finalized edits to this proposal. Newest changes are bolded, italicized, and underlined.
Veganism is not about perfection. Veganism is a commitment to not exploit anyone, human or non-human.
Remember that the platform is a series of guidelines. The GPUS platform already has a strong statement about animal ethics. It has been there for years. Did you feel GPUS twisting your arm about anything? Are you vegan because of this position? But having this on our platform sends a clear statement that we oppose unnecessary violence to animals. Vegans and animal rights activists will see this as a bold action and will bring their enthusiasm to the GRP.
Thank you very much for your careful consideration of this proposal.
Vegan for the animals,
GRP apppointee to GPUS Animal Rights Committee
Short title: Eliminate U.S. military
Sponsors: David Rolde, Danny Factor
Summary: This proposal is for the GRP to take a position in favor of totally eliminating the U.S. military, reducing U.S. military spending to zero, and banning the use of military force by the U.S. regime.
Background: The U.S. military is a set of institutions that constitute a most violent and destructive curse against humanity and this planet. For over two centuries he U.S. military has engaged in genocidal bombings, invasions and occupations of numerous countries and has caused enormous human suffering, environmental and cultural destruction. The U.S. military serves the interests of imperialist monopoly capitalist corporations, the greedy and parasitic military-industrial complex, and the colonial white nationalist power structure that stole this continent from the indigenous people and instituted slavery of kidnapped Africans. The U.S. military serves no legitimate purpose. “Department of Defense” is a deliberate misnomer as it is really a department of imperialist war. The U.S. military is also responsible for an enormous amount of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The continuation of the existence of the U.S. military is completely contrary to the Green and Green-Rainbow key value of Nonviolence. And the continued existence of the U.S. military may soon lead to the destruction of the world and the end of life on Earth. It is imperative to shut down the U.S. military.
But the GPUS Platform and GRP Agenda currently do not communicate a strong enough position. The GRP agenda says, “Our Congressional delegation should be instructed to support downsizing of the bloated military budget”. The GPUS Platform says, “The United States government must reduce our defense budget to half of its current size.” The GPUS Platform also unfortunately says that the U.S. regime should militarily attack other countries if the UN Security Council rubber-stamps it. (The wording is, “The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
The GRP should take a position that we want to eliminate the U.S. military, and that the U.S. regime should never use military force. This is not an issue of degree, that some level of brutal polluting parasitic imperialist military would be ok and that we just need to reduce to the appropriate level. No, this is something that must be abolished. The world may not survive much longer with even five or ten percent of the current evil of the U.S. military. If the world is going to survive then the U.S. military is going to be eliminated, whether by the Green Party or by someone else. If there is some small positive function that is done by the U.S. military – and I don’t think there is – then that small program or function could be transferred to a non-military department.
- The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts will issue a statement: “Whereas the U.S. military serves no useful purpose and is used solely for imperialist war and to enrich arms manufacturers; and whereas the U.S. military wreaks terrible social and environmental destruction which is threatening the future of life on Earth; and whereas the U.S. military consumes enormous amounts of resources that could be used to sustainably provide for human needs, the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts recognizes that cutting U.S. military spending in half (or some other arbitrary amount) is not enough. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for the total elimination of the U.S. military and weapons industry and reduction of U.S. military spending to zero. This should include the elimination of all military spending whether it is part of the official “department of defense” budget or budgeted through other U.S. government agencies, e.g., nuclear weapons budgeted through the department of energy. We call for a complete federal audit to find and eliminate secret military spending. The Green-Rainbow Party will not support spending any money on offensive military attacks, invasions, occupations or threats against countries anywhere in the world or on producing or buying weapons which would be used for these purposes. We also oppose all U.S. arms sales to other countries. The Green-Rainbow Party demands that U.S. foreign policy be conducted through fair, honest and open diplomacy without violence or threats, and that the U.S. government recognize the sovereignty and interests of other countries as being equally important as our interests. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for a complete transformation of U.S. spending and economy out of weapons, war and colonial occupation. The Green-Rainbow Party is in favor of spending necessary to carry out this transformation and necessary to dismantle weapons. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for reparations to be paid to victims of the U.S. military and its wars all over the world. Veterans should have their healthcare paid for through a single payer universal healthcare system the same as everyone in this country, not through a separate military healthcare system. We recognize that eliminating the U.S. military is a big change, and therefore might seem too radical to some people, but we take this position because it is a moral and existential imperative”
- The Green-Rainbow Party will modify our Party Agenda to call for the elimination of the U.S. military and for the reduction of U.S. military spending to zero and to be in line with the above statement. The GRP will put this position in any future Platform documents.
- The Green-Rainbow Party will submit or support proposals to amend the GPUS Platform to make the following changes in Section I. Democracy, D. Foreign Policy, 1 Foreign Policy — Peace and Disarmament
- Eliminate plank d. “We recognize and support the right of the U.N. to intervene in a nation-state engaged in genocidal acts or in its persistent violation and denial of the human rights of an ethnic or religious group within its boundaries, and the right to protect the victims of such acts.”
- Eliminate 1. plank e. “The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
- Change the second plank b. from “Our defense budget has increased out of all proportion to any military threat to the United States, and to our domestic social, economic and environmental needs. The United States government must reduce our defense budget to half of its current size. The 2012 defense budget exceeded $700 billion, and that does not take into account military expenditures not placed under the defense budget.” to “The U.S. military serves no legitimate purpose and is used solely for imperialist war and to enrich weapons manufacturers. The U.S. military wreaks terrible social and environmental destruction. The U.S. military wastes resources that could be used for positive purposes. The 2012 budget of the so-called ‘Department of Defense’ exceeded $700 billion, and that does not take into account military expenditures not placed under the ‘Department of Defense’ budget. The United States government must totally eliminate its military and all military spending. Necessary expenditures for transition and disarmament are acceptable. Necessary non-military government functions that had been conducted by the so-called ‘Department of Defense’ may be transferred to other branches of government and continued.”
- Change the second plank c. from “The U.S. has over 700 foreign military bases. We urge our government to phase out all bases not specifically functioning under a U.N. resolution to keep peace and bring home our troops stationed abroad, except for the military assigned to protect a U.S. embassy. Many of these bases are small and can be closed immediately. We advocate further reductions in U.S. foreign military bases at a rate of closure of 1/4 to 1/5 of their numbers every year.” to “The U.S. has over 700 foreign military bases. All U.S. foreign military bases must be closed immediately and all troops brought home. Domestic military bases should be closed too. All U.S. troops should be discharged from military service and offered civilian jobs or economic human rights entitlements just like everyone else in this country.”
Implementation: The statement should be issued by Adcom. The GRP Platform committee should reconvene to modify the Party Agenda. The sponsors of this proposal, along with the GRP reps to the GPUS Platform Committee and GPUS National Committee, will be responsible for submission of the amendment proposals to the GPUS Platform Committee and/or conveyance of our support for these proposed platform amendments to GPUS bodies.
Financial Impact: None or minimal