Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Strategic communication in order to veganize the world – Tobias Leenaert [IARC 2015]


good morning everybody everything I say you should see as being preceded by a big fat I am H which means in my humble opinion okay I’m going to say some controversial things maybe but I would like to you to remember that our intentions are all the same we all want the a vegan world me too the thing is just the question is just like what is the best the fastest way to get there and I’m not saying I have found the best way I’m not saying like my opinions are like gospel truth or whatever it’s just what I think works I think some things work less or don’t work but it’s for you to decide I just want to make you basically want to make you think and if everybody anybody thinks about bringing that chicken here please at least wait till I’ve finished my talk ok I’m gonna talk about three things the importance of activism like why it is really important that you go beyond just being vegan and your role here so you do that I’m going to talk about strategic communication which is the main part of this talk and I’m going to like give you like nine or ten tips to take it easy because I’m I’m saying like how to be the best ambassador you can be and that’s like putting a lot of pressure on you but I also want you to be like sustainable activists and to be happy in your work okay that’s what we finish with so the importance of activism this is the vegan world that we want and who do we have to realize that we have what I call civilians those are people not professionally paid or not professionally working for an organization and we have some professionals and the civilians there are many more of them than of the paid professionals so volunteers with organizations or just individual activists they’re terribly terrifically important okay that being said just a side note and as my own opinion or something I want to give to you related to the discussion of yesterday about Sebastian’s talk and I see in our movement a lot of criticizing of organizations and I would like to say that and and these these critics criticisms a lot of the time come from grassroots groups and from individuals and these are just a few things that I would like to tell you that organizations are different in a lot of ways than individual activists okay organizations they need to partner up they want to reach a big audience they need sometimes to make compromises okay they need funding it’s not it’s not shameful to look for money you know we have in our movement people criticizing organizations all the time because they’re raising donations and because they’re raising funds of course they need to raise funds okay we have against us a massive industry of animal abuse with incredible amounts of money at our disposal okay so we should do our best to have as much money as we have in our movement and as much people that we can free to be working professionally for the movement the whole time this is very important if we’re gonna see like we don’t need organizations we don’t need professional people we just need volunteers and grassroots organizations we can do a lot with that but we cannot do any everything with that okay so both the grassroots level the individual level and the organizational level are very very necessary so if you think that you have a problem with an organization I’m not saying that it’s wrong to criticize on the contrary we have to keep watch on organizations what they’re doing but we also have to make sure that we’re not judging too quickly and probably we don’t always know the entire story behind an organization decisions an organization cannot even always publish their their strategy or their whole opinion because the enemy could be abused it could make bad use of it right so you don’t always have the whole story so one thing I would like to say is this practice slow opinion and slow opinion is something that you can apply in everything in your life there’s something going on or going on here also about one person who’s been accused of some things and some people are taking that what the information they got just at face value and judging very quickly but you can always think like do I know the whole truth do I know what’s happening here and postpone your judgement a little bit till you have till you think you have the whole information maybe sometimes you never get it at all okay so it’s not a shame to have no opinion at all about something all right that’s just by way of introduction now concerning individual activism suppose that every one of you or every vegan in your country turns one other person into a vegan in five years and those people that you have turned vegan do the same thing with somebody else then in 30 years you would veganize your country I mean depending on where you are and how many vegans there initially are but it can go really fast you can have really a snowball effect so it can be like like this like an explosion okay so it’s really important to be active and if we would all communicate in a great way that would be really brilliant now this is a bit of a controversial slide I think sometimes we’re attaching too much importance to our own consumption to what we eat what we eat is just a small part of the impact we have on the eating of animals okay if one of you goes vegan that’s great but the way you communicate about that has a potentially much bigger influence than your own consumption you understand that if you communicate well you can maybe make 10 or 100 vegans in your life and that will be all together have that happen that will have a much bigger effect than just yourself going vegan so you’re going vegan is important definitely but activism is even more important so another way to look at it is this a vegan sir a vegan saves the number of animals but a vegan who convinces another person to not just go vegan but also like reduce their meat consumption do whatever do something good has saves more animals okay so another way of putting this is like this what goes into your mouth is less important that what comes out of it okay remember that and another way to look at this is that actually we have even more than just our communication or on consumption we also have our time what do we do in the time we have and what do we do with our money okay so there’s four big factors that I see there’s our own consumption look or communication there’s our time and our money okay and it would be really silly to focus on that small size that is our own consumption all the time and some people even focus not on that small size but on a very tiny spot within that small slice or like somebody eating honey or something or like you know very small things that are comparatively not that they’re an important but they’re comparatively that details compared to the whole picture okay so sometimes it looks to me like this a vegan can do nothing bad a non vegan can do nothing good have you ever seen it like that have you ever come across this attitude this is of course not true I mean you can be doing great things as a non-vegan you know and we accuse or a part of our movement tends to tends to accuse like people like celebrities who are in the media and they do a lot of good but they’re not vegan you know so they’re worthless of course that’s not the truth they can do much more than we can that Peter Singer is not a vegan but he will do more good than I can do ever in a thousand lifetimes in his life and he’s not a vegan okay so try to compare those things try to compare like what people do what people spend their money on all these things don’t just focus on that small slice of your own consumption even though that’s important to all right and speaking of which there’s this saying in our movement that veganism is the moral baseline you’ve heard it I think I don’t really agree with this I think it’s a dangerous thing to say because almost automatically it puts us ourselves on a pedestal it puts ourselves higher than the others whatever they do if they’re not vegan they haven’t reached a moral baseline they may spend like thousands of dollars a year to good purposes to good causes but they haven’t reached a moral baseline if they’re not vegan right can you see how how destructive that may be to our relationships with other people and can you see how that like is like saying like okay we have reached a moral baseline and so we’re the good guys you know I think this is a very destructive thought and I’ll talk about it later so strategic communication I think it’s all a matter of balance so you can be you can have different degrees of being committed to the cause you can be very very like neutral and you can be like a vegan yourself or a vegetarian or whatever and you can not talk about that very much and on the other hand you have the people who talk about it all the time you know it’s the joke of like how do you recognize the vegan he will tell you in the first two seconds you know of meeting him and and then in the middle there’s a balanced position so let’s just discuss this or go over this very briefly the people who are like I would call them not passionate enough they say like it’s my personal choice and other people while they do what they want and it’s like choosing the color of your wallpaper and I chose blue and they choose yellow and it’s all equal I don’t think that’s true of course we’re talking about sentient life we talked about suffering so one opinion is worth more than the other okay so you have to be the people among you who would be afraid to like reach out to people and talk to them and would be afraid to like say their opinion I I think and you can be more sure of yourself in the sense that you have rationality behind you there’s a great case to be made for veganism or for meat reduction or whatever and there’s empathy behind you you have empathy within you I hope you do it for for the animals you do it for for love for care etc so maybe some of you the older people remember this movie license to kill with James Bond I say you have a license to veganize okay you have a license to when you are convinced that something is good and you have rational reasons for it and you have empathy behind it then I think you’re really allowed and maybe even you have a small duty to do some stuff okay and on the other hand is like the too forceful approach like people can be rude they can be aggressive they don’t know how to stop like I used to be a person who’d never stopped talking about veganism like you had like a person in front of you for one minute and then you had to think like what’s the best way to use this minute you know to veganize them by the time they leave me you know and so we use every opportunity and every known opportunity right sometimes it’s not a good opportunity if there’s like a family party and everybody’s having fun and then there’s some guys some uncle like starting to to have a conversation and it turns out to be kind of nasty now you have to know when to stop and when to know like not to spoil the conversation for the other people vegan police you may be familiar with it I’ll talk about it later the people who like really are very meticulous and use the magnifying glass on everybody’s eating habits it’s also about us versus them conflict model we the vegans and they the non vegans okay it’s it’s very it’s not very productive to see things like that The Meat Is Murder rhetoric and you find a lot of forceful vegans in many Facebook groups I’m sure some of you have the experience that of being in a Facebook group where where it’s really nasty and I would just say like leave that group I mean don’t don’t look for that kind of of company because it’s it’s not good for yourself it’s not good for the cause all right so generally speaking about forcefulness about like the way you talk the way you push your opinions etc I think I’m sorry I don’t have a nice graph I just recently do it but like this forcefulness is like there’s a relation with a number of people on board and the more people on board with the cause the more forceful you can be like if it’s about rape or child abuse or murder you can be of course you can be really forceful and there’s laws against it etc and if it’s like about bullfights or fir it’s less less sex I’m in less frowned upon but it still there’s a lot of people on board against it but meat for instance 97 percent of the people is not on board yet so you have to be more careful there ok so there’s like in this correlation between forcefulness and number of people on board so the more people on board the more forceful you can be so what is balanced you’re able to discuss things in a diplomatic way in a positive way you can choose your moments you can this is very important you seduce with good food food is like a a wonderful asset of our movement I mean if you’re like in into like I don’t know it’s campaigning of poverty campaigning or whatever the link with food is of course much further away we can use food every day to seduce people and like I said in my other talk yesterday it’s really important to give people a good taste experience so that like they become more open towards your arguments all right this is um a thought experiment I did on my blog like suppose there was there were a week there was a vegan island and it’s full of vegans I hope nice vegans and and you could choose to live there you can choose to be here in society and do your work here okay who would be on the I I mean and suppose on the island you don’t have much communication with the omnivorous world and you just enjoy life there as a who would be on the island some people you would be the only one on the island companion for you okay some companions and so you can see this metaphorically some people may be better at being on an island and with an island in this sense I also mean like you you are in a group of vegans together maybe working in a vegan community in restaurant or whatever and some people are very well suited to be in the in the non vegan world and to do outreach and it’s good to recognize what you’re what you’re good at and maybe you’re like not patient enough to be in the outside of the island maybe you belong on the island and and help vegans there you know help vegans do things and help make life more comfortable and nicer and happier for vegans and the other the other option is to like do your work and and and and do the other kind of work and make more people vegan you know that’s like a thing you can see two options you have all right so the next the next advice is and again it’s all just advice and just my opinion do what you want is to be nice I think being nice is maybe the most important character trait of a successful ambassador or a successful vegan and being nice means different things I think it’s about being kind and compassionate about listening to people about having a sense of humor about being open minded being open minded is sometimes a big problem in our movement and I’ll talk about some of the lemmas later and I hope you don’t shoot me or throw at that chicken here you’re careful when judging being positive and not angry Todd talked about anger yesterday anger doesn’t help anger doesn’t make you better activists it makes you less effective okay and it makes you less happy and it makes you burn out sooner you may think it drives you but it burns you out okay it will be different for different people and sometimes well let’s say at least hatred of course it’s very very negative anger sometimes may motivate you choose your battles wisely this means like spend your effort where it’s used okay don’t spend your effort on things that are not important and sometimes it’s just not worth your time you can wonder like what do the other people want when you’re discussing when you’re discussing with another person do they really want to know something or do they I really want to be annoying you know do they want to like make a fool of you do they want to be an asshole do they want to be right whatever you know and also look at what you want you may not always have and let’s let me speak for myself I I know I I don’t always have the right intentions or the pure intentions when I tried to convince people of something sometimes I just want to be right sometimes it’s ego it can be like a desire to dominate it can be just be a desire to show how intelligent I am how that I want to show off that kind of thing right these things are not very not not the best motivations they’re very human and they will be inside you but try to be aware of them okay the good motivation the right motivation is I think to help the animals and to make the world a better place and also to help the other people the people in front of you the omnivores to be happier and to be more satisfied in their lives also it’s not just about arguments when you’re when you have a discussion with people there’s different things you can do you can of course you can have these discussions you can talk about like oh yeah animals have rights and the other one says they don’t and you discuss and you discuss etcetera that’s the that’s the intellectual argument but you can also do you can do different things you can you can give them practical information like where to get food or how to cook or whatever you know you can give them a food experience the taste experience you can cook for them you can see like okay well you know I don’t want to have this discussion with you or let’s leave it that this come eat with me next Saturday and we’ll talk them you know and and it will be a whole different vibe normally if your food is good you can also give them a feeling you know a person when they meet you when they talk to you they will have a certain feeling when they leave you and I think our assignment should be like in life in general to leave people with a better feeling than the people that they encountered you with okay make them feel better after they leave you that’s very important okay so it’s not about with just winning arguments next is adapt your arguments very important we talked about people who were here yesterday about how we don’t always have to talk about the animals I think it’s very important to see where people’s interests lie and to talk about those interests so people may be interested in health in animals in an environment and hungry in cooking in religion and whatever try to see what they’re interested in and try to get them alone by talking about that alright and then you can switch to other topics etc also adapt your arguments in terms of like their level of education their general interest like I said they’re also their function there maybe like maybe some summers you have the chance to talk to public officials in a local or a national or a regional government you know and then you talk about other things then then what you want to talk about you know there’s some things that will be relevant to them there’s some topics like a politician is occupied with there’s some I mean if you talk to the Minister of Health you’re going to talk about that topic of course okay so there functional society is very important also adapt according to whether your conversation with them is public or private it’s it’s very well possible that you have a conversation and a lot of people are listening in it’s it’s very different than when you have a private conversation okay can be media can be just a big group of people at the dinner table or whatever it’s it makes a big difference and apart from adapting your arguments you also need to adapt to your call for action I think so you call for action is what you ask people to do okay we talked about that also but the great vegan handicap I call it the great picnic a handicap is the fact that some people told me handicap is not a nice word but I don’t know the better word for it’s just like in golf again your handicap so it’s like you start with a handicap in the sense that the other people are very defensive already before you even talk to them if you’re just a vegan the matter of fact that you’re a vegan puts them in a defensive position right because feel guilty already because they know in their heart that something is wrong with what they eat most of them do I mean even if people say like we can kill animals for food most of them will say we can kill animals for food but these animals should be raised humanely or whatever they should have a good life and they know that the meat they eat just comes from the supermarket just comes from any restaurant so they know there’s a discrepancy between their values and their behavior and they will feel guilty and probably often the conversation that they will have with you it’s like a conversation that weather will have between different parts in their heads between different voices in their head but there will be on the defensive and they will be looking for ways to get out and we should not give them excuse not to listen or not give them an excuse to be angry or whatever with us so we have to be very careful and this is not about like being careful that we don’t hurt their feelings or whatever even though that I think that we shouldn’t hurt people’s feelings but this is in the first place to make them listen to make them open-minded and to have a real conversation okay so try to take some of this defensiveness away by being very nice so now a question is like some people think that we should always be entirely open about our goal like we should always tell that the end goal is veganism I don’t know if I agree with that necessarily it’s like it’s like this guy he’s tried to hit on this this woman and he says like I want to marry this is like their first meeting and he says like I want to marry you and have your babies you know he’s very open about his goal but that’s maybe not the best way to progress okay maybe it’s like yeah different ways that are better like you show you from yourself or invest side and you take little steps and you just like ask for a date and you then you ask for something else and another date etc etc you know so of course the comparison is not like entirely apt but you you you get the meaning like it’s not really necessarily the best way to talk about the end goal right away it’s like sometimes you have to ease people into things especially if we’re asking so much of people we’re asking them to change their life almost if they see the truth of this they know they have to make some serious changes you know when I was vegetarian I always had the feeling like this is this milk and his eggs I can really see that I have to stop it someday too and I really avoided that idea I knew some part in my mind already knew that it was it was very true that eggs and milk and and other things were just as bad as meat but I really didn’t want to believe it because I knew I had to like change make another big change in my diet all right so I think this is a good thing to keep in mind help people to make the first step rather than the last okay the important thing right now in this situation in the this moment in the evolution of our movement is to make as many people as possible to cross the threshold they are full of wrong ideas of prejudices of misconceptions about veganism the vegan lifestyle about animals about whatever so make them take the first step so that they can see that some of these misconceptions are really misconceptions okay and if you ask for a lot they will often not do anything keep impact in mind having a big impact is not telling it like it is telling it like speaking your truth it’s not like talking about what you want to talk about it’s not about winning an argument in sales they have this saying when an argument lose a customer okay so if you’re a car salesman and you have like an argument with your customer and the customer says like I want this car back of your unit he fixes for me and you’re the car salesman and you win the argument the customers probably not coming back he’s going to like buy his next car with another person because he doesn’t like you and he lost from you okay so winning an argument is not necessarily that we’re thinking like we have to have all these answers right and we have to like be able to answer every question sometimes that’s very useful when you’re like in a very rational intellectual cerebral conversation but very often it’s much more important to be nice you know and to encourage people and to recognize them all right so having a bit big impact what is it it’s doing or saying stuff that makes people open to our cause that makes people more prone to listen to us to try things to open their heart to open their mind okay that I think is the thing so a question is do we want a vegan Club or do we want a vegan world it’s not really question of course you want a vegan world but when I look around me a lot of the times I think that veganism is something that was invented by two guys long ago who said like let’s try to invent the world’s smallest club you know so you know this is how it looks people see veganism as something very difficult and what they trait when they try to take the first step so when they think like okay I’m gonna go not gonna come over there’s something on the other side who says stop are you vegan enough can you join us do you have your vegan ID card are you level six vegan you know so I looked up a picture for the world smallest group and I found it on Facebook world’s smallest group this is the world smallest group yeah I’m the only member if you join it I will kick you out can you see the parallel so we do all kinds of things to make it more difficult for people to join us and to put up like a very hard image of veganism like we we say with a lot of pride all the things we don’t eat you know I don’t eat this and that and that and that and it may be good in some circumstances to like really show people what veganism is of course I’m not discussing that or debating that but it’s not a matter of pride or it’s not a matter of like this is going to like make look things very difficult or like when you’re at somebody’s house and you there’s something that is on the table you’re going to expect it like what are the eat numbers in here etc and you make it really really difficult okay the vegan police is here so now a controversial thing I’ve been accused of being an anti vegan and I’m certainly accused of being a non vegan you know because I do things like this like this this didn’t actually happen to me it’s an example for somebody else but I would do it too and again I hope no dead chickens here suppose you go to a person’s house he’s invited you for dinner and he’s he’s in or they are omnivores and they don’t have much experience with vegan food but you’re friends and they have this day they they took her vegan cookbook or a vegan recipe from from the internet and I made a really nice figure lasagna and they bought soy milk which they never bought before and so it’s it’s it’s entirely thing except somehow during the night it becomes clear that they didn’t pay attention to the well they used lasagna the dough with eggs in it what do you do well you say like ha no I’m sorry I’m vegan and I cannot eat this or will you make an exception who would make the exception here ok who would who would who things like there it has to be nice way to explain to these people that you can’t eat this ok so most people would make the exception I think if we think I mean I’m open to the idea that you can explain to these people that you don’t eat this I mean that you’re not gonna eat that night or you stop in mid eating you know like you put your fork down when you hear there’s like eggs in the lasagna and you say like I’m sorry I can’t eat this I think we may have the idea that we can explain this very well to them but I’m very critical or sceptic –all to the idea that this won’t have a damaging impression ok these people have cooked especially for you and then you’re not gonna eat their food and they may say like oh I understand yeah it’s perfect I understand that you don’t eat this etcetera to your principles at such a but I think this will leave a damaging impression and so I would eat the lasagna ok so a solution of course is and I’ve actually met sky to never eat out at all I met this guy at a vegan Congress and he wasn’t eating there okay because he wanted to be safe he doesn’t want to like he doesn’t want to put the responsibility on other people to make sure that they are preparing something entirely right for him and I found that I don’t think that’s very very productive because we have to be out in the world I mean unless you’re on the island but we have to be out in the world and and make sure that people are kind of confronted in a nice way preferably with our choices with our food choices you know so another way to think about this is like this what you eat that small bit of lasagna of again that lasagna is way less important in my humble opinion compared to like the effect you can have okay and you may think that that is it is a matter of effectiveness because these people now will not be will think you’re inconsistent etc but I think this idea this danger of people thinking that we are inconsistent it’s mainly in her heads it’s not an issue for them I mean some people laugh at us because we’re in Custis but again they will always be able to find inconsistencies the world is not consistent people are not entirely consistent ok consistency I think is overrated alright another controversial thing don’t mention the bees ok or at least not the e numbers all right when people ask you what veganism is and what you eat and what you don’t eat I would say like yeah meat and fish and and dairy and eggs but there’s no need to go into the details ok there’s no need I mean if they really want to know and they ask more and more you can say that information but don’t fall on tier the information I don’t think it’s necessary at all it’s really important to give people an idea of veganism and of being a vegan as something that is feasible that is doable ok that is achievable and those tiny amounts of animal ingredients they don’t matter that much for now ok and some people would say like ok but then you are I mean that’s what people tell me that I’m advocating people to infringe or to harm the rights of other beings ok if you see it like that very theoretically that’s fine but I think I’m consistent with my view of reducing animal suffering and I’m more consistent when I’m taking into account the whole reality and the pragmatics of the situation rather than just the theory and the definition of veganism I don’t want to be true to the definition of veganism I want to be true to what’s behind it to the reduction of suffering okay so sometimes you hear this this idea like that that I mean that we are that some people like me are too much involved with image and and and with what people will think but yeah do we need to concern with that with image and with what people will think of our message do we need to be concerned with their feelings and my answer is of course we do we are in the business of changing hearts and minds it’s all about image it’s all about like it’s kind of like selling a product right you are selling a message to them so you have to be at your best and you have to make sure that you’re giving in an image of veganism and of vegans as something that people say but this is something I could do this is a movement I want to join all right very important I think and I think the most important thing I want to share with you is this principle and some of you may seen it and may have seen it in my earlier presentations iyanya and this stands for you are not your audience you are not the people you want to reach you’re different from them in several ways right so just some illustrations about how people are different from us this is the jamie oliver who tried to introduce healthy school lunches in schools and so what happened was that the kids didn’t really like these lunches and just just went out to eat at Burger King a McDonald’s in the neighborhood of the school and so the school said like let’s make sure these people these students cannot go out of the school cannot leave the school during lunch and they have to eat the healthy lunches and some women were so enraged with this that they took the orders from the students through the to the gates to the fence of the school like they said like you want a whopper and a double mat and mac mac and cheese or whatever and then they went to the in the neighborhood and brought back like 70 orders for these students okay so that’s the originality we have to deal with people don’t like their choices being infringed and they want the right to eat crappy food or this this is the Heart Attack Grill in the United States the Heart Attack Grill is the place where the burgers are so big that they literally pose a risk of heart attack and so the the waitresses are running around like nurses dressed up as nurses and the burgers are called like the triple bypass or the quadruple bypass or the quintuple bypass etc okay and a spokesperson for this order he was kind of the greeter like when people come into the restaurant and there was this guy at at the entrance he was a very big guy and he said hello to the people welcomed and he died of a heart attack okay so this is funny and not funny at the same time but it shows that people are walking in these traps with their eyes open that’s how irrational we are about food that’s how people are different from us different from the realizations that we have achieved you know so I think the most important skill for any activist in any movement is the ability to walk in other people’s shoes and that means the ability to see our message the way they see it as much as possible how do other people perceive our message okay that’s a skill that’s really needed and in the vegan movement that sometimes I can see sometimes really absent okay so let’s see in what ways can people differ from us in what way could we imagine that people are entirely different so that they would perceive our message in a different way so people may differ in for instance and they have different motivations that have different culinary tastes maybe they don’t like vegetables they have a different health or physical condition that may make it easier or harder to go vegan or to reduce their meat consumption they may be in entirely different environments they have different time available their tempo their pace of change is different they may be not flexible they may be more open to guilt or less open to kill probably most people in here are more open to guilt feelings than the average population and that some of us helped to go vegan but we should make the mistake to think that other people are also open to guilt it’s not because something worked for us that it will work for our real work for other people and indeed from research we see that guilt usually doesn’t work it doesn’t help okay it makes me pull people in general more prone to do whatever they shouldn’t do instead of doing the right behavior okay so let’s let’s have like a little fall experiment suppose I’m a super locavore vegan and a super look for vegan as a vegan who like eats only it doesn’t exist okay it’s just a thought experiment but it’s a vegan I mean yeah it exists in a sense but it’s a vegan who says like I’m only eating products from my own backyard and from my friend’s backyard because I know that every plan based product that has been cultivated or raised on on the big fields has necessarily entailed the suffering of small rodents and birds and such and when I do it in my own garden I make sure that as few animals as possible aren’t being killed much less than you with your normal vegan diets you know how does this feel to you I’m sure your some of you are already thinking of like some excuses not to go super low cover vegan right so it’s a good thought experiment to imagine somebody doing something even better than you maybe if you let’s assume this is better it makes you not feel entirely comfortable most of you are not gonna say like okay this guy has a point I’m gonna go super low cover vegan right most of you are going to try to find excuses they kind of kind of feel guilty that kind of feel attacked whatever okay so sometimes try to put yourself in the position of the person you are talking to like this can be of helpful exercise there’s other other exercises that we can do to try to like try to imagine you’re an omnivore this is Bill Clinton explains how why he became a vegan of course he’s not really a vegan eats fish now and then or even more things now but back at the time this was the way it was in the media we as as vegans are kind of angry because the term vegan is misused but can you imagine that for a normal only four person it might have advantages that a vegan Asst or veganism has seen as something that is not that 100 percent black and white you know we wanted to be very black and white but maybe in the eyes of the public it would be better if it were different this is Beyonce who like did something like a vegan vegan period for three months or for three weeks or whatever and that’s also that’s been that’s been getting a lot of criticism but try to look at it from the other way spurt from the other peoples purpose perspective from the omnivores perspective you know this is a celebrity who has a lot of influence and she’s showing that and he can his mainstream that it’s like a normal thing to do that anybody can do it that you can do it temporarily as an experiment which is like a very interesting thing for people I mean many people don’t want to commit like for life right away to veganism but they would be interested in doing an experiment like this okay imagine some words how some words look like to an omnivore if we say meat is murder or there is rape do you think an omnivore will be you’ll feel like charmed when is being accused or they’re being accused of being a rapist you think that helps that is helpful you can think about it try to think about it from the other person’s perspective try to like imagine you may have to take some psychedelics or whatever try to imagine you are them okay try to imagine how it was before you were vegan the Holocaust on your plate same thing to a lot of people this is offensive and or for instance Morrissey a couple of years ago comparing the murders in Norway when like 70 people are killed he says it was nothing compared to McDonald’s okay all these things are examples of what I’m what I mean with the difference between your truth and what works and that’s not necessarily the same if you think this is true for me this is my truth and I want to say it I need to say my truth it’s not necessarily effective okay so try to make that distinction yeah good so let’s not do this anymore let’s not like stop people and investigate them to see if they’re pure enough and now I come to some controversial thought experiments leave dogma at the door so I would say like confirm that you don’t know everything to other people to yourself you we don’t know everything we don’t have the whole thing sorted out okay it’s not as black and white as we think we are imperfect in several ways and also there are some really important dilemmas okay there are dilemmas it’s not that clear-cut okay so I’ll present you with some dilemmas so would every anybody among you ever eat meat there’s some some people raising their hands what if I say like would you eat meat for a hundred thousand dollars and you could give the money to an animal rights organization who would do it okay who wouldn’t would not and who didn’t raise their hand at all okay so a lot of people doubting so we could make this even simpler for you for the people who doubt suppose we’re in a restaurant and there’s a person saying he has ordered a steak and I saying well actually I feel kind of sick and he has taken a few bites but he’s not gonna finish it and there’s let’s suppose there’s like a millionaire at the table and he’s saying like to you he knows you’re a vegan well this steak is going to be thrown away in the trash and if you eat it then I give you a hundred thousand dollars would you eat it then think about it at home in your bed or whatever you know I would eat the steak you know that’s that’s the kind of thing you don’t have to agree you don’t have to disagree you can just think I just want to make you think beyond the generally accepted things that we think about okay so another question would be its another thought experiment to be just yeah we don’t have much time left oh really yeah oh damn it okay I’ll skip some things so yeah no good excuses for being vegan sometimes you see something like this stop trying to make excuses there are no good ones to make one example would be like a that I heard for real like it’s like a wife that says like my husband will beat me if I am if I go vegan if I if I introduce vegan food in this house a woman in in an abusive situation you can all say like you should leave that guy etc of course but sometimes things are not so simple so think about think further than just the accepted things alright so I’ll finish with this last part about taking it easy because there’s a lot of pressure on us there’s a lot of pressure to take to change the world on us and I want to give you some things that give hope and that may release some of the tension or the pressure first of all you have to realize that this is the hardest struggle ever I think right we are we don’t have the support of the people of the beatings we defend the beings we defend our voices okay this has never happened in any other movement hardly okay I think we are dependent on the beings we try to defend or try to help to a degree that no other movement has ever been dependent or no other world has been dependent on the victims like in terms of slavery I think we were less dependent on slaves culturally economically than we are right now on the use of animals okay using animals as a very or eating animals eating meat is a very old habit a very old custom it’s addictive in a way it’s primary and we have to change that it’s not easy okay so there’s a lot of reasons well why it’s very difficult think about the strategy I discussed yesterday reducers are important too so you don’t have to feel pressure to get everybody to the vegan level to the level six figure level you know when they reduce it’s very important in the sense that they will make it easier for everybody to be vegan and it’s not just about ethics not just about animal rights it’s also about the other reasons it’s also about making it easier at setter so as choice increase becoming stricter gets easier and as people eat vegan as that try vegan for whatever reason their defense goes down in compassion can grow okay it’s not just about you it’s about well you can see people as a bucket so they’re a bucket in the sense that a bucket that needs to be filled and at a certain point it’s going to overflow and you add some drops to the bucket you don’t know how full the bucket is already and you add some drops and some other people will that drops and at a certain point the bucket the bucket is full all right so you it’s not just you it’s there people are influenced by a lot of factors in their environment so the pressures not all on you believe in people it’s really very important to have a good positive image of people we can all it’s very easy to hate people it’s very easy to say like people are monsters and they do all these things to people to animals and to other people etc but I think it helps really if you focus on the positive and you have to force yourself a bit for that and you have to like learn that learn how to do that and something that helps me is this thing those who deserve love the least need it the most okay those who we think deserve loved need the least would be most helped with love with support with understanding right but that’s the people we don’t give it to that’s the people we put in jail etc you’re not a saint yourself yeah you haven’t eaten meat probably most of you have eaten meat before right and you have blind spots six we are winning we are definitely winning if you look at this is the budget the just the advertising budget of the big or good organizations and this is the entire budget not just advertising of animal rights of the biggest animal rights organizations so if the battle is dis unequal and still meat consumption is going down or stagnating in Western countries it means we’re winning okay next point I’m am almost done empathy versus compassion we think empathy do empathy is the ability to feel what others feel and we think this is a good thing but is not necessarily a good thing feeling what others feel feeling their pain feeling misery in the presence of misery can burn you out much more important is to stand strong there and have care and compassion caring compassion means that you are very aware of the suffering but you’re strong and you’re positive and you’re cheerful and you want to help it’s not a virtue to feel the pain or the suffering it won’t help it won’t help you and it won’t help the animals be grateful be grateful for your vulnerability because your vulnerability helps change things and be grateful for being in a position to help so many people cannot be in a position to help they need help we can help we have to be grateful for that and finally you’re an animal – you’re an animal – you deserve happiness you deserve rest you deserve relaxation and the animals will need us for a very long time still and I hope they can rely on you for as long as possible and preferably for life thank you

19 Replies to “Strategic communication in order to veganize the world – Tobias Leenaert [IARC 2015]”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *