Should We Aim For Popularity Or Credibility?

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What is it with the animal movement in this country where some people can say whatever they want, regardless of whether it is correct or not, and no one will bat an eyelid about it. Whereas others, who are saying something that is factually correct, they will be shot down in flames?

This article will highlight exactly what I am talking about.

What I would like to know is, once we become a ‘leader’ of the movement, whether self appointed or otherwise, should we still be held accountable for the things we say and do?

Or do our actions become sacrosanct?

This is what has happened recently, though not here in Australia, it happened over in the United States of America.

At the start of June this year, Ms Leigh-Chantelle Koch from Viva La Vegan, and Green Earth Group did a presentation at the Anti-Fur Society’s Animal Rights Conference about the progress and challenges in Australia.

Sadly, the information presented by Ms Koch contains more than just the occasional bit of incorrect information.

Ms Koch discussion on Koalas is where the noticeable errors begin.

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Leigh-Chantelle was partly correct in saying that Koala population is declining because of urban development and logging.

Though other contributing factors to their rapid decline in numbers is the drought conditions, attacks from wild animals and being ravaged by diseases. Which includes a strain of chlamydia and the koala retrovirus both of which have had a devastating impact on koala populations.

I should also add that Koala’s haven’t been hunted for their fur in nearly 100 years, so I really have no idea why she included that.

Leigh-Chantelle appears to reinforce the belief that fur farms are worse than leather because she dismisses the barbaric crocodile farms that exist in the northern parts of Australia.

Despite what the audience were told, they aren’t in the “red necky” areas of the Australia. While there may only be 14 ‘farms’, it is estimated that they account for approx 10% of global demand.

Kangaroos are also discussed, with the misleading of the audience continuing.

While it may have been a bit of sensationalism for an American audience, Leigh-Chantelle shouldn’t have exaggerated who goes hunting for kangaroos.

It isn’t a lot of people.

Nor do families bundle up the kids and take them out hunting for the weekend.

Also, the term ‘mob’ isn’t an indigenous term at all. It’s origins are from the Latin mobile vulgus ‘vacillating crowd’, having first been used in 1688, nearly 100 years before Australia was discovered by Capt Cook. Though mob is one of the collective terms for a group of Kangaroos, along with troop and herd.

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And the biggest annoyance to me was when Leigh-Chantelle once again mislead the audience by saying that we will soon be electing a new prime minister.

Despite what the current PM, and mainstream media tell us, this is simply not the case.

I am sure the above may not seem like a big deal to many people. The crux of the matter is that those who are giving presentations or doing talks, regardless of where, need to be spot on with their facts and the information that they putting out there.

By failing to adequately research what she was talking about, Leigh-Chantelle has just made it so much easier for anything else that she says to be discredited, or even dismissed.

Remember, being vegan and promoting veganism is something that we are behind the 8 ball with. If we do hope to challenge societal norms, rather than preaching to the converted, we need to be 100% accurate with all that we talk about.

What happens next is up to you.

Will you read this and challenge these leaders of the movement to improve themselves?

Or will you dismiss it, because it has been written by the muckraker, Cameron Blewett, about one of the members of the Australian Vegan Royalty, Leigh-Chantelle?

Which leads me to ask the question, what is more important for the animals, the credibility or the popularity of the presenter?

Edited: 30 Sep 2017 (Update formatting, punctuation)

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