“[C]rucial meeting with Premier Wen of China, and then 5 minutes to grab a steak,” UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown tweeted during the penultimate day of the Copenhagen climate talks. Less than five minutes: the time it took Dutch Party for the Animals MP Marianne Thieme to tell a packed audience at a screening of her global warming documentary, “Meat the Truth”, at the Copenhagen Klimaforum that all official dinners hosted at COP 15 by the Dutch environment minister were vegetarian. I wonder if Gordon Brown attended any. Five minutes: perhaps that’s what Thieme had to convince the Netherlands’ prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, to address the meat-climate connection during the high-level segment of COP 15. (She was meeting him at 11 p.m. the night of the screening.)
Less than five minutes: the time Thieme had to give a DVD of “Meat the Truth” to government delegates and heads of state she passed at the Bella Center. “Sarkozy was too quick for me,” she admitted. But, she told us, the Dutch government is studying imposing a tax on meat. It’s also apportioned six million euros to explore transitioning from industrial animal agriculture to something more sustainable. Less than a minute: what it took Thieme to wrap up her Q&A session with this: “To get rid of factory farming, that’s what I intend to do.” Estimated completion time: more, alas, than the five minutes it took Brown to eat his steak.