Slaughterhouses, Biggest Loser and Vegan Education

This morning I woke to see an article about a NSW slaughterhouse being closed to to the actions of one of it’s slaughtermen. So much for the claim that Australian slaughterhouses exceed international standards. I must disagree with Emma Hurst here, we don’t need to have CCTV cameras in slaughterhouses, we need to have slaughterhouses closed down.

Then there is the RSPCA approved and sanctioned use of sheep in a herding exercise as part of Channel 10’s The Biggest Loser¬†challenges, which once again shows that the RSPCA doesn’t really care how you use animals, just so long as you use them in a way that they approve of.

Which leads me to ask the question, Is vegan education enough? If so, is it effective?

How can we convince an already informationally overloaded public that going vegan will do wonders for the environment when a majority of the Australian population, and many vegans too, think that the carbon tax is going to help us as a nation reduce our emissions?

Aside from the obvious hypocritical aspect of using the claim that vegansim is good for the environment, whilst handing out printed flyers and brochures to whoever walks past, does this scattergun tactic actually work?

Or how about the proven fact that a diet high in animal products is bad for your health when we have all been conditioned to believe that there is a magic pill to help us or that dying of a Heart attack is normal, because it happens to so many people.

How do we educate the public that eating eggs is morally and ethically wrong when there are groups saying that eating eggs is ok, so long as you buy cage free ones. We can’t even use the agreement that they are bad for you, because they now have the heart foundations tick of approval.

Don’t get me started in the whole dairy issue or the supermarket duopoly selling milk for $1.00L.

The only way that your average consumer will take notice of the choices they make is when they start feeling pain at the cash register. Sadly there are no legal ways to increase the costs of animal products. Even if there was, the powerful meat and livestock lobby groups would easily exert a little pressure on the government and all of a sudden there would be grants and assistance packages being handed out all around.

I believe that the message needs to highly personalized for the individual you are talking to, and this cannot be achieved by handing out a generic brochure. Regardless of what compelling information is inside it.

Could it be that having a ‘bricks and mortar’ presence in places has passed it’s expiry date, and that it is more effective to have an online presence than it is to having people avoid hearing the vegan message because there are a group of you handing out brochures in town.

Have a look at how big the porn industry is, considering that in most cities you won’t find an adult movie store on any street corner or holding information stalls handing out brochures.

Who knows, maybe PETA has partly right with their idea of using sex to sell the vegan message…

What are your thoughts?