Vegan Activism The Right Way

“I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends – the fear, the terror, the pain – and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.” 
Rai Aren

This article is about how to help people make the choice to change to a vegan diet.

Below are ideas how to engage in vegan activism, how to convince people to change to a plant based diet.

The article explains the pit falls of aggressive activism and explains the correct way to approach people.

What Kind of Activism Convinces People to Go Vegan?

Vegan activism is a divisive topic, and the jury’s still out on which tactics are most effective at convincing meat eaters to change their ways.

But I think you can go too far in the wrong direction, with an end result that’s not what you’re aiming for. Two incidents in the last week or so came to my attention, causing me to revisit this question.

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If you don’t have the time to read the whole article above here are the main tips for successful activism

“1. Focus on progress not perfection. There is no way to be 100% vegan. A lot of people are afraid to go vegan, because they’re afraid of making a mistake. Let people feel that mistakes are a part of being vegan.

2. Keep in mind all the negative stereotypes people have had of vegans, i.e., negative, self-righteous, pushy, etc. Not falling into any of those categories as a vegan activist is some powerful sh**.

3. Let people address the info on their own terms. People appreciate it and are more likely to change.

4. Look professional or at least mainstream. Scientific research has shown that people take you more seriously. When people take you more seriously, animals don’t die.

5. Don’t argue or debate. If someone gets upset at you, listen to them. Then put out your hand, introduce yourself, and ask them questions about themselves and their life. Then try to find something to relate with them on. Only bring the conversation back to the animals if the conversation flows there. People are more persuaded by you when they like you and feel they can relate to you.

6. Don’t compare factory farming to slavery or the holocaust. It offends people. And then they leave and go eat meat.

7. Internalize that eating vegan is easy as f***. People like easy things.

8. Internalize that eating vegan is normal and mainstream. People are more inspired by what’s normal than by what’s ethical. People want to follow the crowd.

9. If non-vegans hate you, you’re doing it wrong. You will inspire people to change. And you will piss people off. Your goal is to minimize the number of people you piss off, and increase the number of people you inspire to change.”

I don’t entirely agree with all the points raised but most of it is sound advice, for instance to my way of thinking it is acceptable to point out that factory farming is comparable to slavery however one should do so in a non aggressive and diplomatic way. I admit I hesitated to publish my post here on the subject of animal slavery because of the sensitivity surrounding this issue. I think the key to successful persuasion is to always be diplomatic and sensitive, never insulting or intimidating. Most of the arguments I have had with people here on line have been with vegans who throw around insults and push their point of view with, shall we say, a less than amiable approach.

Often simple thought provoking information gets people to think, such as pointing out that if meat was a natural food we would not have to cook it and we would not need an implement to kill it. Natural carnivores and omnivores do not cook their food,  and they don’t use a weapon to kill it either – so obvious I know but few people, including myself at one time, think this way. This was an argument used right back in ancient times.

Plutarch challenges the idea that man is naturally carnivorous; an excuse so often used today to justify the eating of meat appears to have been used for its justification in ancient times.

The following is indeed a very persuasive argument against meat being a natural food for humans and will often leave even the most ardent meat eater lost for words.

“We declare, then, that it is absurd for them to say that the practise of flesh-eating is based on nature . For that man is not naturally carnivorous is, in the first place, obvious from the structure of his body. A mans frame is in no way similar to those creatures who were made for flesh-eating; he has no hooked beak or sharp nails or jagged teeth, no strong stomach or warmth of vital fluids able to digest and assimilate a heavy diet of flesh. It is from the very fact, the evenness of our teeth, the smallness of our mouths, the softness of our tongues, our possession of vital fluids too inert to digest meat that nature disavows our eating of flesh. If you declare that you are naturally designed for such a diet, than first kill for yourself what you want to eat. Do, it however, only through your own resources, unaided by cleaver or cudgel of any kind or axe. Rather, just as wolves and bears and lions themselves slay what they eat, so you are to fell an ox with your fangs or a boar with your jaws, or tear a lamb or hare in bits. Fall upon it and eat it still living, as animals do. But if you wait for what you eat to be dead, if you have qualms about enjoying the flesh while life is still present, why do you continue, contrary to nature, to eat what possesses life? Even when it is lifeless and dead, however, no one eats the flesh just as it is; men boil it and roast it, altering it by fire and drugs, recasting and diverting and smothering with countless condiments the taste of gore so that the palate may be deceived and accept what is foreign to it.”

Another good way to encourage people to go vegan is to share with them some good vegan cooking as suggested in this PETA article:

7 Friendly, Fun and Easy Ways to Persuade Others to Go Vegan

Cook and share vegan food

“It’s easy to overcome any prejudices against plant-based food by showing people how delicious it is. You could try throwing a dinner party for friends, offering up a menu for your family dinner, cooking an evening meal for your housemates or bringing tasty animal-friendly food and drink to parties and festive events. Perhaps you could cook a delicious vegan cake to share with your co-workers and only reveal that it’s vegan after the compliments have come flooding in.”

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Note the emphasis on friendly, I cannot emphasis enough that insults and aggression will not persuade anyone to change their way of thinking and frankly often makes them more determined to continue their present eating habits.

Finally advice from the Vegan society

4 great tips to help your friends go vegan

Read our positively upbeat personal stories explaining how we’ve supported our friends to go vegan, and get some advice on doing the same.

“There are few feelings that are better than one of your friends announcing that they’re going vegan. This is partly because we may have played a part in their making such a positive decision – it reminds us that each of us is instrumental in growing the vegan movement. Whether you stay up late with your friends having philosophical debates about animal rights and applied ethics, or you share the message by wearing a vegan T-shirt, there’s no best way to help other people make the connection. Anything which opens another person’s eyes to the possibility of going vegan is a good thing. ”

As veganism is such a big part of my life, sometimes I worry that my friends see me as ‘the vegan one’. Despite the fact that veganism is hugely important to me, for this reason I sometimes find myself staying quiet. I’m sure there are many people out there who feel similarly – nothing would make us happier than our friends going vegan, but we can be hesitant to share our views with them due to stereotypes of the ‘preachy vegan’. If this resonates with you, here are some tips to boost your confidence, as well as ideas about how to encourage your friends to go vegan.

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It is nowadays a lot easier to change to a vegan diet and lifestyle and more and more people are changing to a plant based diet.

‘Going vegan’ is predicted to be the biggest food trend of 2018

International delivery service Just Eat reported an increase in vegan and vegetarian orders in 2017.”

“The most recent survey conducted in the UK found that over 542,000 people are following a vegan diet – an increase increase of more than 3.5 times the number of vegans over the past decade, making veganism one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements. The movement is being driven by young people making more ethical and compassionate choices – 42 percent of all vegans are in the 15-34 age category compared to just 14 percent who are over 65. This indicates growth is likely to rise further in the future. In total an estimated 3.25 percent of the British population, around 1.68 million people, are either vegetarian or vegan.

Meanwhile in the USA 6 percent of the population now identify as vegan, showing a increase of 500 percent since 2014 according to research provided by GlobalData.”

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For the sake of animals, your health and the environment change to a vegan diet and help others to do so.