The formal political year came to an end yesterday as MPs took part in their traditional summer barbecue ahead of the parliamentary recess which runs until September 4.
The barbecue, held inside the premises of parliament, is paid for by the meat marketing board. Meanwhile, just outside, MPs were also treated to a vegetarian alternative which, the Volkskrant reports, did not find many takers.
‘This is not an anti-barbecue,’ Wouter van Eck of environmental organisation Milieudefensie told the paper. ‘We just want to let politicians find out how delicious vegetarian food can be.’
Labour MP and committed vegetarian Diederik Samson said it was a shame so few of his fellow MPs were sampling the vegetarian fare. ‘The nut burgers are very tasty,’ he said.
And Marianne Thieme, one of two MPs for the animal rights party PvdD, said MPs should not allow themselves to be feted by the intensive livestock sector. ‘Factory farming is bad for the environment and animal welfare,’ she said. ‘Their only counter argument is that meat is so delicious.’
Christian Democrat MP Henk Jan Ormel seemed to prove the point: ‘I am a vet. I love animals, even roasted,’ said. ‘The Netherlands should be proud of its factory farming. We earn a lot of money from it. If I was an animal, I would rather be on a Dutch farm.’
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