By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
"Why the cow?" This has been a burning question many curious minds have pondered — seeking answers from National Green Party founders, executive members and supporters alike. While an explanation shedding light on what has appeared to be a mystery to many has been clearly presented on the NGP Saint Lucia website — we will go further to share deeper insight into the Greens' outstanding, conversational symbol of choice.
It is noteworthy and has already been established that the Electoral Department of Saint Lucia Regulations requires a party or candidate to select a symbol from a list of presented options. With the exception of a cow, cock and hand, the remaining symbols of those available are all inanimate. The Green party chose the cow, a live symbol as a bold statement denouncing the practice of governments throughout the ages idolizing things (objects) — at times seemingly favouring them over people and the environment. Nature, life and food security are prominent on the Green agenda.
A Bit of Green History
The green party was originally established in Germany in the 90’s as a 'Peace' movement and expanded into a worldwide Environmental and Social Justice movement. At the party's core (heart) reside four core foundational values — ecological sustainability, social justice, grassroots democracy and peace (non-violence).
Examining The Symbol
So! What common facts do we know about the cow? For one, all cows are of feminine gender — the male counterpart being a bull (bullock) or steer. The 'feminine' is representative of Gender Equality — the cow therefore portrays and cleverly communicates this social inclusion. To expound upon this interesting gender point, the commonly used word 'heifer' is simply a young cow prior to giving birth to offspring. There is much to be recognised and appreciated about this calm creature.
Primarily, in addition to cows being peaceful animals — nurturing, continuance, fertility, productivity and supply (provision, inclusive of organic fertilizer, food and other products) are some of this animal's key attributes. This hardcore herbivore is deeply sentient by nature and reflects attributes of emotional balance, protection — particularly environmental, of the youth, elderly, women and the marginalised. Sharing, abundance (physical, mental and spiritual) strength, stability — in addition to conscious decision-making prowess, all mirror Green qualities and reflect in the policies.
Character of the Cow Not Found in a Symbol
These characteristics are but a few of the plethora which represent the cow — patience, nourishment, feminine power, potential, possibility, beginnings and calm are among other noteworthy traits. Who would have thought that this one animal carries so much weight both in the physical and metaphysical sense?
It is important to note the cow has been a symbol of growth in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. The longevity of the animal is synonymous with nature itself and her invaluable elements, which Greens respect and aim to sustain.
The Conclusion: The cow has been present throughout history and still remains! Similar to the deer, the plant-eaters (vegetarians) are positively symbolic, translating both respect for life (existence) — while conveying a message of peace, provision and harmony (synergy) with nature. These, among others, all happen to be attributes distinctive to the Greens and also valued by supporters.
Engage for Change
Subscribe to the National Green Party - St Lucia page to discover more about the NGP philosophies and delve deep into their constituency manifesto with the rollout of candidates this upcoming week. Connect with Greens through the Facebook Community, National Green Party - Saint Lucia (Community).