Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Some fundamentals worth mentioning. But briefly. This is a brave fight we are fighting with the dastardly omnivores. Talk to them but play a little hard-to-get, to keep them wondering. But if nothing else can be got across, then one thing at least. We need to have a nugget of truth, for omnivores to chew on in private – to do with humans relating to food animals!
As advocates for animals, we should first mention what we think about sentience:
Sentience implies a similarity between humans and animals - in the way we feel or suffer.
Poison - There’s a long-term ill effect on health, from ingesting animal products. One hundred thousand snacks and meals later, is it any wonder that we are dying from slow poisoning, or is it from guilt?
Conscience warns us that by conspiring with the Animal Industries we’re working against the animals. When it comes to ethics, morals and our guardian nature our conscience is a key player.
If vegans are discussing these matters with non-vegans, all this needs to be mentioned. And when we’re finished speaking, the principles of Animal Rights should be basically understood.
We, as vegan animal advocates, can in theory get people to this stage - understanding something which wasn’t properly understood before. But this is not the same stage as considering implementing veganism into one’s life. This is the earlier stage.
Big new ideas have to sink in, past a massive propaganda wall behind which we’ve all raised. Behind this wall we were taught that animals don’t matter.
If you ever get the chance to quote just one dull statistic, I think a very powerful one is: At year-end, 250 animals will have been executed for each animal-eating human.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
If we do get the chance to say something to someone, on this very important subject, what should we mention? There’s so much to say. But oftentimes, intuition says – “ Don’t say too much”. If nothing much then a few handy bites should be up our sleeves, to fill one of our brief response moments. But this ‘responding’ poses a bit of a dilemma for us. On the one hand, the less impact we make the less they will notice. On the other hand, the more impact we make, the greater the risk of being totally rejected. We might even become an ‘avoided person’.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
As animal advocates, our number one aim should be to never get nasty or never to be insistent. The seriousness of the (animal) issue isn’t necessarily shared by everyone, so the details I might want to ‘share’ with you should be kept in reserve. Use them when we can use them effectively.
When, for instance, we are sure we have their interest, their attention, and maybe even their affection, then we can talk. Probably not before!
Once they show interest (and we are watching for any signs of un-interest) it’s all fine. Go-ahead. We say what needs to be said and move on. But if there’s NO interest then talking about animal issues is a waste of breath, and we’re also likely to be offending them. Communication breaks down most often because we are stepping too quickly into one of my favourite subjects. In our case, animals or diet. Immediately a sensitive subject is alluded to, then warning lights predict something ‘boring’ is coming up. But instead of showing that big-yawn-boring-ness, there is a polite nodding of the head, and an encouraging benevolence towards the mention of that reverent subject, but the talking-about-which we’re not happy.
So, because we are dishonest (not wanting to hurt feelings, etc) we do polite. We show accepting-ness. We’re certainly not expressing our feelings – if that person is offended or embarrassed they won’t show it. Therefore we fail to notice it. And we carry on talking as if they want to hear what we’ve got to say, whereas they are wanting us to stop.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
2087: Thursday 19th October
Out of interest, not aggro
Aggressive vegans do neither themselves nor the Animal Rights Movement any favours, when we rub our opinions in people’s faces. It’s not necessary anyway. Most people are fully aware of ‘animal issues’ and often know more than they let on. They probably do realise the compromises they make by eating the food they eat, and the clothes and shoes they wear. But probably they also realise how irritating it is to be lectured by those they neither want nor recognise as authorities.
As vegans, we often adopt an authoritativeness in our voices, probably to be more persuasive. It happens but it’s unfortunate because it’s so off-putting. When our arguments stop being informative and logical and become emotionally predictable, useful communication ends.
The more unpredictable we are, the better we come across. We should be half entertaining and half educating, with the overall purpose of keeping the person we’re chatting to (the listener) on the edge of their seat, wanting to know what’s coming next. But our job is never to let anyone think that we aren’t clear and deadly serious, however we choose to act-up.
Vegans can’t possibly BE confused about where we’re coming from. Ultimately though it comes down to their feeling ABOUT US. That determines what type of vegan we are, to them.
Presentation counts for a lot - we need a calm exterior (i.e. a quietening-down quality) and a tone of voice that isn’t shrill. As soon as an omnivore is sure we mean no violence towards them in any form whatever, they’ll be able to say how they feel. And whether they say we’re speaking crap or whether they concede our points, it’s not a competition, who is right and who is wrong. Conversations on this level are about opening up to what is honestly felt, which is what we want. We surely want to light up the truth for them, in them. But such foreign attitudes vegans have! And we’ve got to find out how to translate the language of everyday vegan thinking, that connects. Interests them. Once they’re interested, then it’s a matter of holding their interest. To let them see we can stop and let them explain their interest.
Exchanging ideas and attitudes mustn’t be a win-lose-game. That’s not what it’s about. It’s more the freeing of the atmosphere to allow things to be said without being afraid of saying them. Then ideas, like the buds in spring, emerge, slowly perhaps, but emerge.
If it were me listening to you, talking about Animal Rights, veganism, liberation, etc, I’d be suspicious. I’d be waiting for the barb. But what if there’s no-barb in the vegan spiel. No dread. No embarrassment. No ego performance.
As the omnivore, instead of you telling me about your virtuous diets and virtuous conscience, I’d rather, first up, discover who you are. We’re not to here discussing house prices, we’re about to engage in a deep and meaningful. This isn’t a casual hail-fellow-well-met chat as much as an analysis of the other person. They analysing me, I them.
If I were an omnivore facing you, as a vegan, first I’d be wanting to get to know if you’re a shyster or not, for if so, I wouldn’t waste time listening. If you’re not a shyster, then maybe I’ll listen to what you have to say. Out of interest.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
We all need to know how we are seen by others, and the way others are seen by us. If we are role models (because we’re setting the example, because we’re the ones wanting to initiate debate and change) it’s entirely down to us to take the initiative.
First-up get over the superiority thing - we shouldn’t consider ourselves better. We’re vegan, that’s all. In many ways each of us has our own embarrassing faults, enough to match anyone else’s. When all’s said and done and all honestly added up, none of us can afford to feel ‘above’ anyone else. Even with the best arguments in the world (and of course we do have the best!) we shouldn’t flaunt that advantage, and anyway, it’s not a competition about me being better than you; it’s not about ‘me’ anyway, and we aren’t trying to win any brownie points here. This is not Arguments Central. It isn’t a persuasion game or an excuse for a fight. We’re surely trying to encourage people to crank up their brain cells, touch their hearts and get them to take this subject seriously. We have to be seen by others simply as facilitators of discussion not conversion agents.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
In the face of greatly differing views, we each seem implacable - vegans judging non-vegans for their weakness, they judging us for our preachyness.
Today perception rules - in all matters of food, omnivores see only what they want to see. They want to support the status quo. They don’t want to go down the path of boycotting products, since that leads to a huge inconvenience.
Trying to be consistent about what and what not to boycott, with all the self discipline that implies, is difficult. Life’s a matter of fitting-in, and if we don’t do things the way others do, we seem uncooperative. When it comes to ‘being vegan’, we’re considered to be outcastes.
Vegans want to alter things in a quite incredible way, so we’re seen to be people who want to deny others their simple pleasures of life.
“What’s so very wrong about a cheesy pizza or a quiche?”
That’s convenient perception for you!
So, vegans need to point out, if we ever get the chance, that there’s such a thing as an ‘imposed collective consciousness’ based on an ill-informed idea of herbivorous living. It’s down to us, as vegans, to better inform people.
Vegans take an important initiative here. We’re pioneering a certain type of change, the sort that heads straight into the very core of perception: how we perceive things that seem anti-pleasure but which we know as anti-violence.
We are up against what is not to be thought about. Were up against the predominant mind-set - you do it, so I shall too.