A few days ago I wrote a post about how I felt that ‘we’ collectively are losing the battle for Animal Rights. In this post, I offer up a possible way that we can make it heard.
People everywhere have tried various approaches to have the Animal Rights and associated vegan message heard. To a certain extent, it may have worked because veganism is slowly becoming more accepted, though the Animal Rights one isn’t.
It would be fantastic if all we had to do was quote some section or article of the Shadow Proclamation and everyone would immediately stop exploiting non-human animals. Unfortunately, that only happens in Science Fiction, whereas here in our world, we have to do things a little bit differently.
Sadly, there are far too many vegans who are happy to accept the softly softly approach of incremental change as a way of heading towards the ultimate goal of Animal Rights. This approach does not work, and we have seen time and time again that when it does fail it fails on such a huge scale that even the most passionate meat eater is disgusted by what they see.
With letter writing, protests, online petitions, and the like being virtually ineffective, how else can we get the message across?
There is only one way that will make government, business and individuals sit up and take notice.
That is by inflicting pain on them.
As much as I would love to say get the thumb screws out and clamp them to your local MP, this is not what I am talking about.
Even the most timid of vegans is still in a position to inflict pain on the government. This is done by not voting for them at the next election.
Those of us who are in Queensland have the best chance to make all the parties sit up and take notice, and that is not to vote for ANY of the political parties on 24 March. A vote for any of the political parties whether it be ALP, LNP, Greens, Katters Party, Country Party, or whoever is a vote for accepting things the way that they are in all areas of politics. If the person that you put number 1 on the ballot paper is a member of any political party, you stand next to no chance of being able to influence how they vote on bills.
Giving your primary vote to an indepenant does a number of things. It sends a clear message to the political parties that you the voter have had enough of the way that things are; it lowers their primary vote count, which is something that the political number crunchers love; and it also means that there is a better chance of them not getting public funding. Under Queensland rules, any candidate that gets more than 4% of the primary vote is entitled to make a claim to the AEC to recover costs.
Votes and funding are the only things that political parties and government understand. We have seen the leader of our commonwealth government make a promise before the election, then once in office do exactly the opposite. At the state level, we have a leader that went to an election without disclosing what she was going to do after the election, and in direct conflict to public opinion.
The way that businesses feel pain is through a loss of profit, which is usually directly related to their ability to sell stuff. If they are a publicly listed company, the other way they feel pain is through their share price.
The only way to legally inflict pain on a business is to get people to stop buying their products.
The nice softly, softly approach hasn’t been as effective as many would have us believe.
Going all warm and fuzzy by telling people about the health benefits, the environmental benefits, and even going on about how you’d be helping the animals has failed them all miserably. PeTA even tried appealing to the male ego and some females’ with their recent ad campaign and that didn’t really do much at all.
The ‘focus on the positive’ stuff is no longer working with any message that is aimed at society. Australian cigarette packets have gone from warning labels to graphic pictures with the next step supposedly being plain packaging.
The continual road safety messages are becoming more ‘in your face’, and people still aren’t hearing the message.
The only option left now is to make their choice to consume/use animal products more painful than the perceived pain that they would feel by going vegan.
How do we make it painful for them. Sadly once again the thumbscrews isn’t an option and we should only do those things that we are legally allowed to do. Because ending up on the wrong side of the law or in prison is going to be painful and counter productive to us.
So, how do we inflict ‘pain’ on the average meat eater?
We have no other choice other than to be brutally honest when talking about animal use. Continually showing footage of what happens in slaughterhouses, what happens in vivisection labs, what happens to entertainment animals, etc. We shouldn’t be looking for the awful abusive footage, because that can be discounted as coming from a rogue operator, as it has in the past. We need to find footage of what goes on behind those walls in slaughterhouses that do meet the government standard and are approved by the RSPCA, or whatever other group there is that is looking for incremental reform.
This is a battle that we cannot loose. Just because it is not our lives on the line, doesn’t mean that we can become complacent about regrouping and developing new tactics.
The ‘advertising’ of the Animal Rights message is the only one that has stagnated and refused to move with the times. We are still standing around at fairs, events, etc handing out non threatening brochures and playing nice.
The more that we are told that we should ‘tone down the message a little’ the more we should turn it up. If it wasn’t working they would be telling us to stop what we are doing.
We need to be as relentless in our pursuit of Animal Rights as those are who continually exploit them are relentless in their use.
We need to do this today. Tomorrow may be too late.
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (30+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about it and giving other animals equal consideration.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.blog