About us

Marianne Thieme
Marianne Thieme is party leader and co-founder of the Party for the Animals. Following her law degree at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, she worked for a governmental advice bureau for several years. Her career in animal protection began as a fauna consultant for the Dutch Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals. Following this, she worked as policy advisor for Bont for Dieren (Fur for Animals) and subsequently as director of the Wakker Dier Foundation, an organization that campaigns for the abolition of the factory farming industry. In October 2002, she set up the Party for the Animals together with other animal protectionists. In November 2006 the Party for the Animals won two seats in the Dutch House of Representatives and Marianne Thieme became party chair.
Dos Winkel
As a fysical therapist and a teacher of othopeadic medicine, Dos Winkel has extensively traveled the world for over 40 years (USA, Australia, several European countries). During one of his courses on the Caribbean island of Aruba he became familiar with the underwater world. After his first dive he knew his world had changed. Since then, he has made over 4000 dives allover the world and he became well known as an underwater photographer. His work has been published worldwide. He has dived for almost a quarter of a century now and during this time he has witnessed the dramatic deterioration of the underwater world, caused by serious overfishing, massive bycatches, pollution with numerous toxins which are also found in many fish and acidification of the oceans. In 2005 he decided it was time to take action. Ever since, he has devoted his life to protecting the oceans. This resulted in, for example, his book “Wat is er mis met vis?! en visolie” (“What is wrong with fish and fishoil”), the foundation of the NGO, the Sea First Foundation (www.seafirstfoundation.org), the film ‘Sea the Truth’ and his new book “De Huilende Zee” (“The Crying Sea”) (published by ELMAR).
Barbara van Genne
Barbara van Genne is chairman of PINK!, the political youth organization of the Party for the Animals. During her studies Biology at the University of Groningen, Barbara got involved with the Party for the Animals. First as chairman of the work group Groningen, later as leader for the Water Board elections of November 2008, for the Water Board of Hunze and Aa. After she finished her master in Marine Biology, Barbara moved to Amsterdam, where she now works for the animal rights organization “Viervoeters”. Barbara also has a shared seat in the city council of Amsterdam. Through PINK! she got involved with the work of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation and because of her background in marine biology Barbara got actively involved in the making of “Sea the Truth”, to map the problems of the large-scale fishing industry.
Marianne van Mierlo
Marianne van Mierlo worked as a junior researcher at the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation. She obtained her bachelor in marine biology at the University of Groningen and is currently finishing up her master Limnology & Oceanography at the University of Amsterdam. Marianne researched wild dolphins in Florida and mangroves and sponges on the island of Curaçao. Besides her master studies, Marianne is studying to become a teacher. In this context, she is researching nature experience among high school students. She also cooperated in the making of the book “De Huilende Zee” by Dos Winkel. It is Marianne’s mission to bring humans and nature closer to eachother to live in harmony.
Karen Soeters
Karen Soeters is director of  the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation. She was the project manager for the much-discussed documentary Meat the Truth, was responsible for its sequel Sea the Truth and was one of the makers of a visual document about religious slaughther without stunning.  In addition to these activities, she also works as a lecturer of media psychology at the Institute for Media and Information Management, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and is a board member of the Dutch Vegetarian Society and Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals). During her Communication Science studies at the University of Amsterdam, she followed courses in law and political science alongside those in policy and media studies.  Karen Soeters has been interested in animal welfare and environmental issues for as long as she can remember. After graduation, Soeters also worked as a researcher for, amongst other employers, an international research agency in New York. In addition, she has been active as a consultant for a variety of organisations.
Niko Koffeman
Niko Koffeman is the founder and chairman of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation and also the elected member of the Dutch Senate for the Party for the Animals. Niko Koffeman has been passionately involved in animal, nature and environmental protection since he was 18 years old. He prevented the establishment of a landfill site in the Lickebaert area by planting a protest wood, he ran campaigns against blood sports and the genetic manipulation of animals, he was the co-founder of the Wakker Dier Foundation and achieved national fame as the result of the protest against the Royal Family’s participation in wild boar hunting. As the external campaign adviser for the Socialist Party, he managed to help them go from 0 to 25 seats in National Parliament, in a period of 13 years. Koffeman is the creator of “adopt-a-chicken”, “adopt-an-apple-tree” and the “VegaPolis”, a health insurance especially for vegetarians. The film “Meat the Truth” was also made based on an idea by Koffeman.

With a special thanks to Evert Blijenberg for providing a large part of the underwater footage