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Creative, Non-Violent Vegan Advocacy (A Beginnerís Guide)

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More important than the venue or media used in advocacy, however, is the quality of the content. Excellent vegan food, a powerful vegan message, and friendliness and charisma will obviously do much better while tabling at a festival than bland or unappealing food, a message of compromise, and mediocrity, aggression or a judgmental attitude. And good photography, terrific vegan recipes, and well-researched, convincing writing will do better online Ė all other factors being equal Ė than content of lesser quality.

Finally, quality entails knowing what not to promote. Encouraging the purchase of animal products purported to be produced under Ďethicalí conditions (free-range, cage-free, humanely-raised, grass-fed, organic, etc.) serves only to reinforce the common, traditional belief that it is morally acceptable to use other animals as resources for human consumption.

The same can be said for the confused and confusing message generated by the promotion of a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which ignores the violence inherent in the production of milk and eggs (not to mention the barbarism involved in the manufacture of other animal-based products including clothing and toiletries), as though these equally brutal industries should somehow be exempt from the moral examination undertaken by those who view meat production to be an intolerable form of injustice.

The fact is that none of us needs any animal products in our lives. We exploit animals and consume the products of their bodies because of pleasure, amusement, convenience, and blind tradition Ė all trivial reasons to rationalize the brutality of unnecessary exploitation. †Sadly, no matter what we say or how well we say it, the fact is that most people wonít go vegan simply upon hearing our message. However, as vegan advocates, veganism is the message we should exclusively and unequivocally promote. †Anything less Ė promoting vegetarianism, or the consumption of Ďhumaneí animal products Ė betrays the fundamental truth that brings us to veganism in the first place: the understanding that we must bring an end to all exploitation if we are to move beyond the pandemic of violence that underlies our current cultural paradigm.

It is not unusual for animal advocates to be deeply troubled and frustrated by the state of our society and its hardened attitude toward animals who are not human. But social change, while often slow, is also unpredictable, subject to tipping points, paradigm shifts, and peaceful revolutions in attitudes and behavior. As someone who advocates unequivocally for widespread veganism, donít forget that you are among the gentle, strong, and independent-minded pioneers of a growing, positive, and peaceful movement to protect our environment, improve public health, and most important, to eventually end the social acceptability of violence and injustice inflicted on the innocent.

With a little effort, courage, creativity, and the willingness to share what weíve learned with patience, persistence, and understanding, we can all help others to understand the significance of this essential change we are trying to bring to fruition.

In the words of Albert Schweitzer,

ďA man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.Ē

Ö

with Dan Cudahy

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Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World Ė a†vegan intentional community and non-profit organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the†reasons for being vegan, the benefits of†vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition.

Dan Cudahy is author of†Unpopular Vegan Essays: Unpopular Essays Concerning Popular Violence Inflicted On The Innocent.

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101 comments

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6:37AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

Great article ! Also some wonderful comments. I for one am happy to have chosen to live vegan.I am rather bewildered that there are so many comments from one who is not interested in vegan living. Why spend so much time saying we are wrong ?

11:31PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Bill C
you are a responsible pet owner?
that is interesting Bill - and once again you tap dance away from dealing with the actual facts here.
you will say anything to not admit that while you care about your pets, you pay people to mutilate and kill other animals for your pleasure.

my how noble that makes you sound.
referencing women's rights, the sterilization of the mentally challenged in the sixties and all the rest is your smoke screen to NOT ANSWER THE QUESTIONS - WHY IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO POISON OUR WATER? WHY IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO TAKE THEIR LIVES? WHY IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR MOUTH? WHY IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO CRAP OUT THEIR BODIES? WHY IS IT YOUR RIGHT TO CRAP OUT HORMONES AND ANTIBIOTICS INTO OUR WATER SUPPLY?

it IS NOT YOUR RIGHT BILL.
make yourself sound as noble and grand as you like - you still do these things.
you do them Bill, not us. WE ARE THE ONES WHO REFUSE TO HURT THEM OR OTHER PEOPLE. we are the ones who WILL NOT DO IT. we are the ones who pay for your "rights" and the ONLY ones speaking for their lives.
not as grand as you Bill, who brags about doing the very least for his pet's health, but we all try.

3:27PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Thank you so much!

12:02PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

I type this to make a point. When a person stands firm infront of the illogic of what some feel is a "movement" and that person is able to shut down the "movement: with 1 simple question; its not a movement that understands its own words.

When the same people can point to what apperas to be a puppet proflie and it disappears, logic dictates that the observation was likely correct.

I have nothing against people who choose to be Vegan anymore than I am concerned about omnivores; its the Vegangelicals whose concept of being Vegan is like a religous cult where the religon screams my religion is better than yours so therefore I am better.

That just does not fly with me.

Diet is choice and when you take off the rose colored glass, taste we enjoy becomes one of the last pleasures a human has before death. For my Mom it was peach cobbler, to others it is fried chicken with hot sauce and with others it may be fast food. Makes no difference

They have that right

6:57AM PST on Feb 6, 2012

Dan you choose to do things because you wish to and you have no regard for the reality nor consequences of your actions. You have focued all the world woes to a pinpoint when the vision is so limited you could care less about immedicate need. It shows in your profile, been here 3 yrs and have 4 stars. I got thousands in the same timeframe, it means nothing outside the site but here it shows who agrees with who.

The reason I chose stopping the things I did was they are unreachable goals for the masses, but for the individual reachable; I do not care if a person chooses to not have sex, not drive or not have fun it is their choice.

Humans have choices because of rights in human society. Animals have the right to have humans protect their welfare under law, we even protect entire species who could be a source of food. We have also chosen specific food animals and for the masses you will never stop that. Smart people would try to educate with gentle hands to moderation

Remeber 1 thing Dan not one of you radicals could answer the question about rights; which clearly says the ideal will fail.

7:27PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

I've also claimed that there is a "good chance" that liberal democracies will go vegan, but again, that's not a prediction. It's only an estimate of probability.

7:23PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Sex and driving are not necessarily harmful, Bill C, so I do those things. Exploiting and killing the innocent are necessarily harmful; that's why I don't do those things. Pretty simple.

I've never claimed that liberal democracies will have widespread veganism someday; I've only claimed it's possible. Big difference.

7:49AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Jordan I took a second to look at your profile, you have 1 "friend" who happens to be a radical vegan.

My guess is your just a puppet profile so if you get booted from the site your original profile stays. I do suggest you stop making comments about me on other threads, Care2 does not care for that at all.

7:27AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Dan I see you have chosen to do as you said you would not as I am not Vegan.

Sex is not necessary, driving and even fun not necessary, why do you do these things?

Your argument meat is not necessary falls of deaf ears, the computer you type on is not necessary, it has horrific ties to harsh working conditions, but yet you use it.

I feel sorry for you Dan, not because your Vegan as I have no issue with that; your the quack physician who milks the last penny a cancer patient has with false hope. Anyone who thinks the world will go Vegan presents thought that borders delusion.

You remind me of the "BearMan" a researcher who actually thought and believed he could walk up to wild grizzly and say cute little bear; well they ate him and his girlfriend.

Starvation and hunger can NOT be fixed with some shift to Veganism, it's BS statistical manipulation and you know it.

Diet is a choice we make the choice out of religious issues, respect, medical need, finances and location (plus many more). The Dali Lama eats meat, he also tells the monks to eat meat when the gift from the poor who give is the mostly prized thing they have, nutritious protein.

Necessary means food, shelter and clothing for protection; past that humans make choices. Face it vegetarians can't even agree that the word means one who consumes plants; fish, chicken are not plants.

But you still avoid the question of rights as I knew you would

2:52PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

how do we get "Eskimos" to be vegannnnn

oh nozzzzzzzzzzzzzz

hey, look on the bright side. if the artic gets warmer they can grow more veggies and won't need to eat seal and whale.

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