Different Styles of Activism - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 06-11-2017, 02:17 PM
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Different Styles of Activism

There seems to be a trend I'm noticing where really sensitive type vegans are trying to convince other types of activists, that other styles are somehow ineffective or "mean" and that we should all subtly set personal examples and be completely non-judgmental of those poor ignorant meat eaters.

While this style of activism certainly has its place - in the yoga studio, in the meditation center, at the Buddhist or Jain temple, or in specifically dealing with immediate family members - it's far from always being effective in the real world.

I have seen numerous people say that "mean" or "pushy" vegans are what made them finally wake up. I have seen others specifically on YouTube saying aggressive condescending personalities like Vegan Gains are exactly what made them feel right at home with becoming vegan - it showed them that veganism wasn't always hippie, or what they considered wussy, and that it was for macho acting right wing leaning men too.

I personally wish my family had known more assertive vegans or vegetarians to help me stand up to my authoritarian grandparents who pushed meat on me when I didn't want it as a child.

Organizations like PETA and ALF can and do accomplish things which require either the legal power or audacity and bravery that gentler vegans may lack.

I am not saying that everyone should be an assertive activist, but I am saying that the lectures about being more non judgmental or less controversial show a real lack of a grasp on human psychology.

To compare, it's similar to responses to Trump being elected.

Some people seem to think it's best to meet in the middle or befriend Trump voters, while I see it as enabling fascists.

People like me think that assertive action against them is the only way. I am extremely fond of the Nazi punching memes circulating, and think trying to meet in the middle with fascists is like trying to reason with a shark who is about to eat you.

Still others belong to Antifa, and are actively out there physically fighting with the alt-right.

In the end, all of these methods realistically are going to work on some sub-group of a huge national population.

It takes all kinds.
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#2 Old 06-11-2017, 03:19 PM
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#3 Old 06-11-2017, 04:13 PM
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I agree, it takes all kinds to make a world.

I probably fall into the 'sensitive type' category. I went vegan essentially without outside influence. I was approaching middle-age, and was completely estranged from my family, indeed, from all of society. I was homeless at the time- living in my shoes, which had holes in them- when I decided to leave the animals alone. As a result, I don't feel compelled to convince others to follow my lead, and yet, since rejoining society, I can tell that my lifestyle does have influence on some omnivores, who express an openness and interest in my opinions, even though I don't actively push them. But at the same time, I have friends on the internet, who are just the opposite, who are very aggressive at pointing out the horrors of the flesh-food industry, and, while I may personally find some of their posts to be a little jarring, I do sympathize with their outrage and appreciate that, in their way, they are fighting for the cause in ways I cannot. In fact, I admire them for it.
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#4 Old 06-11-2017, 04:29 PM
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You are entitled to your opinion, but in terms of real world results, you're simply incorrect.

It's fine to use your own style but it's simply not enough by itself to get the job done.

I observe this on You Tube a lot, I'm not just talking about this forum, the self righteous scolding, telling people that only non judgment works and it baffles me that the most "sensitive" and politically correct vegans are ironically the most self absorbed and out of touch with reality, they actually think everyone responds to exactly what they respond to. It's just not true.
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#5 Old 06-11-2017, 04:48 PM
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I agree, it takes all kinds to make a world.

I probably fall into the 'sensitive type' category. I went vegan essentially without outside influence. I was approaching middle-age, and was completely estranged from my family, indeed, from all of society. I was homeless at the time- living in my shoes, which had holes in them- when I decided to leave the animals alone. As a result, I don't feel compelled to convince others to follow my lead, and yet, since rejoining society, I can tell that my lifestyle does have influence on some omnivores, who express an openness and interest in my opinions, even though I don't actively push them. But at the same time, I have friends on the internet, who are just the opposite, who are very aggressive at pointing out the horrors of the flesh-food industry, and, while I may personally find some of their posts to be a little jarring, I do sympathize with their outrage and appreciate that, in their way, they are fighting for the cause in ways I cannot. In fact, I admire them for it.

I think that quiet leading by example really works best in personal relationships, like with relatives and friends, and with certain personality types...people open to empathy over animal rights usually can be found taking yoga, studying Eastern philosophy or working directly in animal rescue.

I am not knocking the gentle or sensitive approach. I am simply saying it's not the only path.

Gentle and sensitive methods aren't good at reaching certain personality types, and sensitive people may not be good at doing undercover exposures of factory farms or taking unethical companies to court. That's what I am saying.

Everyone responds to different things. Everyone isn't going to wake up one day and have my personality or life experience. People watch Earthlings and are unmoved by it. Some people are only motivated by shock, other people want to identify with someone like themselves and don't relate to pacifists. That's all.
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#6 Old 06-11-2017, 04:50 PM
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These vegans you term 'sensitive' may not create the same adamant, hard core followers as your example of vegan gains, they have far more diverse followers. Like average, everyday moms, dads, kids, people who are becoming more aware of the benefits of reducing animal products. A wider range of consumers who influence production, and influence their friends, relatives, and the next generation

Quite frankly, I find your 'hero's' do more harm than good when it comes to impacting change.
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#7 Old 06-11-2017, 04:58 PM
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I think when you take a good look at early activism in music in the 70s/80s/90s you see a lot of anarchist or assetive punk music in the vegan scene, and yes, it did reach people and cause veganism to grow.

I also have said a lot about PETA and even perfunctory research will reveal all of the things they have accomplished.

Same with Gary Yurovsky, an extremely powerful, opinionated and sharp-tongued activist who accomplished a lot in multiple continents, over nearly three decades before retiring. People revere and adore him, just as others can't stand him.

One of the most effective vegan YouTube activists in the real world is Emily Moran-Barwick from Bite Size Vegan, sensitive though she is, in her experience, she consistently acknowledges the need for all types of activism, and actually interviewed both Gary Yurovsky and the aggressive Vegan Gains on her more family-friendly channel.
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#8 Old 06-11-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
These vegans you term 'sensitive' may not create the same adamant, hard core followers as your example of vegan gains, they have far more diverse followers. Like average, everyday moms, dads, kids, people who are becoming more aware of the benefits of reducing animal products. A wider range of consumers who influence production, and influence their friends, relatives, and the next generation

Quite frankly, I find your 'hero's' do more harm than good when it comes to impacting change.

Vegan Gains isn't my hero and you are obviously missing my point.

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#9 Old 06-11-2017, 06:28 PM
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I actually do agree that there's a place for honest, brutally real, activism.
I was responding more to your posts about this in general.
I would have never gone vegan if they were presented to me
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#10 Old 06-11-2017, 08:02 PM
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Here is a relevant Wikipedia entry on this topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology_of_eating_meat

It's not peer-reviewed, but it does cite peer-reviewed studies (with links at the bottom of the entry).
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#11 Old 06-11-2017, 08:22 PM
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I actually do agree that there's a place for honest, brutally real, activism.
I was responding more to your posts about this in general.
I would have never gone vegan if they were presented to me
But that's you. Everyone is not like you. That's my entire point.

A lot of meat eaters take the "I'm vegan but you don't have to be, don't mind me" attitude with the same permissive relief as a wife beater loves neighbors who mind their own business. It's utterly naive to think everyone or even most people are persuaded by such passive enabling, though again, people who care for you like friends and family might appreciate you setting an example quietly, or certain personality types who admire pacifism.

I never said everyone should be assertive. I said it's not OK to suggest that pacifism is the only effective activism when that's incorrect. It works some of the time. It doesn't work all of the time, or on every sort of person.

Remember that many people would not even think about quitting smoking until aggressive scare tactics and social shaming and legal action was taken by certain cities and states. When something has been culturally normalized like meat eating and smoking, there will always be the open minded people who read the health risks, and empathetic people who don't want their children to inhale second hand smoke, but then there's going to be this big group of smokers who just ignore you until more aggressive tactics are taken.
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#12 Old 06-12-2017, 12:11 AM
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I like Unnatural Vegan's commentary on this topic:


Here are a couple of articles from animal organisations linked to in the above video which may be worth reading with reference to effective activism:

http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/wp-cont...ngResearch.pdf
http://www.mercyforanimals.org/v-word
http://www.mattball.org/2016/06/can-...ifference.html
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#13 Old 06-12-2017, 03:17 AM
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Donald Watson didn't do so bad with being "assertive but not in a kick-ass way". It's a shame when aggression and assertiveness are, as is often the case, confused.

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Last edited by leedsveg; 06-12-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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