The World Won’t Go Vegan Overnight.

Promoting a message you don’t really believe in to reach a goal you believe will never be attained is just as daft as all those people we see in food courts around the country stuffing their face with junk food, and drinking a diet Pepsi/Coke.

I would like to begin this piece by saying how much it bugs me to continually hear this self-defeating message being uttered by more and more people. What makes it worse is that more often than not, I am hearing it from those who are already vegan.

Whilst it may be true that the world won’t go vegan overnight, and those who aren’t vegan can use this as an excuse not to do it, especially when they hear it spoken by someone who already is vegan.

It seems to me that this excuse is being used far too frequently by groups to recruit for their campaign of regulation/reform, despite those recruited actually wanting to see an end to animal use.

Removing your emotional connection to the issue for a moment, take a look at what you are doing from an outsiders perspective.

Promoting a message you don’t really believe in to reach a goal you ¬†will never be attained is just as daft as all those people we see in food courts around the country stuffing their face with junk food, and drinking a diet Pepsi/Coke.

To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t really care if the world is or isn’t going to go vegan overnight, all I really care about is having the vegan message heard and understood by the person that I am talking to. Because that is the message that I believe in.

Consider for a moment those who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what they do. This is a group of people who are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get their message out to people. Have they given up because the world won’t go Christian overnight? I think not. In fact, it has probably strengthened their resolve to keep doing what they are doing.

Not being completely versed in their teachings, I may be oversimplifying it a bit, though I doubt that they would ever tell anyone that it is ok for them to take baby steps, and cut down on whatever destructive behaviour is being done.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the human soul is worth saving and will do what ever it takes to save it.

Most vegans believe that all animals are worth saving, yet most of us have given up before we get our first no, and head down the path of incremental reform rather than standing up for what they believe in.

The other thing that is worth noting too is the way that advertising works. Very few people buy a product or service the first time they are exposed to it.

The are a number of different theories as to how many exposures to something people will need before they buy, which is why we see so many repetitive ads on TV, radio and in the media. Take a note of how many times you see the same ads on TV during your favourite show, or throughout the week at the same time.

This is also why animal agriculture use billboards, and favourable media reports to reaffirm their advertising to consumers.

I don’t think that I need to remind readers that promoting veganism is contradictory to the socially accepted practice of animal consumption. We aren’t going to headway in saving animals from being killed if we concede defeat and say that if people swap one socially acceptable practice for another socially acceptable practice we will all be happy.

Maybe if we should stop trying to change the world, and focus more on saving 100 lives at a time, which is how many is said to be saved every year by going vegan, leaving the incremental reform for those who want to feel better about the animals they eat.

We know that telling people to eat happy meat won’t stop animals being killed or used, only the vegan message will, so why are we so easily convinced otherwise?

2 thoughts on “The World Won’t Go Vegan Overnight.”

  1. I really enjoyed this article Cameron. I think activists need to stop being afraid of the word Vegan. I have read that most people need to be exposed to a product 5-7 times before they buy. I agree with you that this can also apply with changing behaviours. People need to be exposed to the vegan message time and time again before they make the change.
    We owe it to the animals to promote veganism as much as possible.

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  2. I reckon it is not either/or it is …AND, that by saying ‘the world won’t go vegan overnight’ we are stating a fact (as unpalatable as that is and horrendous the kill rates this leaves us with), that by supporting welfare reform (ie legislation and consumer change campaigns) and animal welfare campaigns that have a wide and mainstream reach there is a potential to affect behaviour, there is cut through – that this “thing” that was dinner is now an animal, like Sally the Golden Retreiver at home, where the Go Vegan message is not reaching. I understand the Abolitionist approach AND think there is an opportunity for the Vegan message to add the AND – not in a destructive way, not in fighting the welfare reformists but by proactively and positively growing the campaign by adding the message – “there is no happy meat, meat-free means Vegan”, here’s where and how you can find easy ways to do that…- the best and most humane choice is to go vegan, now.

    Fact is it is not the vegan message out on National TV and in cinemas, it is the welfare message, that alone is unprecedented that there is anti-animal-food-industry advertisements mainstream at all. It is the Live Export Trade being discussed because an organisation got the message out there with ‘credibility’ (not saying there hasn’t been thousands of credible attempts to do this, but this one cut through and got picked up and is still reverberating in Australia) and using that spotlight and leverage now in a canny way to highlight Vegan as the most humane and ethical choice.

    If it takes 5-7 times of exposure, as mentioned above by Catherine, for an advertisement for behaviour to change then the Go Vegan message needs to be out there beyond the vegan websites, beyond us all talking to each other AND beyond the attacks on each other for being at different seats at the table. Yes, agree 100% that activists stumble on the “V”, get attacked (even by people one would think might be more compassionate on this journey) or the eyes glaze over, because most folk don’t want to know – undoing socialisation takes more than just wishing it were so and just saying treat people like adults and give them the facts – thats just part of the toolkit. It is a psychological and sociological phenomenon that as a whole the Animal Rights movement, with many messages and approaches needs to be working on. Go vegan is the answer, but most people don’t even know they have a question, yet. How about some billboards funded by the Abolitionist Vegans now in major cities around Australia with a positive message with a gorgeous flying hen…- “Want to End Factory Farming? Go Vegan. visit http://www.nonpartisanbestwebsiteforclearbutfriendlyveganmessagehere.org

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What are your thoughts?