Today, at 22.15 pm, an full length chapter of national program “En la mira (In sight)” will be about the treatment animals get in slaughterhouses and factory farms, and the work of EligeVeganismo. It’ll be 90 minutes long. It’ll be in primetime. National TV. Every TV in Chile will be able to see it. Right after the news.
I’m incredibly amazed and happy. It’s amazing to see where out work has gotten to. Hundreds or thousands of persons will see it tonight and finally question what they do to animals. Some of the journalists who participated into this went vegetarian, which is at least a little step in the right direction (I met them once but haven’t seen them since, so I’m not sure if they went vegan or vegetarian).
I’m profoundly proud of my fellow activists, particularly the ones who are working investigating places like slaughterhouses, dairy farms, factory farms, etc. I know how depressing and stressing it is, and I know I wouldn’t be able to go to such places every week, month after month. They are so fucking brave and deserving of my admiration.
I just hope that tomorrow will be a much better day than today, and that we’ll wake up to a much better world.
This list is elaborated based on my experience as an animal rights advocate, for the last two years, with the abolitionist organization EligeVeganismo. This is mostly useful when interacting face to face, for as far as I’ve seen, internet debates have a bit different rules.
- Blaming the Government/McDonalds/the Industry/etc:
Why? Because people get the idea that the problem has nothing to do with them, but falls on somebody/something else. They just leave all responsibility for their actions and keep on doing what they have been doing. If you tell X that animals are exploited because fast food chains buy animal products, they will believe that there is nothing that they can do about it, and keep on eating meat and buying leather. People need to take responsibility for their own actions.
- Saying “The animals you murder/Your slaves/etc”:
Why? Because people do not like to be shamed on, or feeling guilty. I have learnt that most people have never thought about their relationship with non humans, because it is a given, something that we are thought from an early age. Most people are speciecist not because they are bad people, but because that’s what they’ve learnt. So once they are familiar with this topic, they can understand the implications of their doings. AsMelanie Joy said “Eating animals is just a given; it’s just the way things are. Because carnism operates outside of our awareness, it robs us of our ability to make our choices freely—because without awareness, there is no free choice.” What to do instead? Talking about the animals we murder and exploit. That way, the person doesn’t feel like ze’s being judged, or that the vegan feels superior, but that this is a general critique, not a personal attack.
- Saying “Animals are my friends/brothers and sisters/I love animals thus I’m vegan”:
Why? I wrote about it here. When vegans talk about non humans in such a personal way, people understand that being vegan is a matter of emotions, how a person feels about animals. It makes it much more subjective. Veganism is about respect, not about love. Love cannot exist without respect, but that doesn’t go the other way around.
- Mixing animal rights and religion:
Why? For most religious people, their own religion is not debatable. So if the vegan or the omnivore start talking about what the Bible or any Holly Scripture said about animals, it’s already a lost debate. Either the vegan and the omnivore have different religions (or one of them lacks religion), or they have different interpretations. Not a good idea.
- Dressing up as an non human animal:
Why? It’s funny. You just can’t take a dude dressed as a pig seriously. People take it as a joke, and don’t understand or see what lies within. (EligeVeganismo did a performance like that once, and it was based on people’s reaction that we decided not to do more like that).
- Giving too much information at once:
Why? For most people, this is the first time they think about animal exploitation, and giving them too much information may be confusing. Other than that, it’s easier for them to dilute the idea of animal exploitation if they talk about many other topics. Of course, if people ask about nutrition, or environment, or where they can buy tofu, you tell them, but always trying to get back to the original topic.
- Promoting vegetarianism (other than a transition):
Why? Being vegetarian is eeeeasy, eeeeasy, and it’s much more comfortable to stay vegetarian (when you have the means to go vegan). Of course, being vegetarian is something great for people who can’t go straight forward vegan (for example, underaged), but it’s not the solution to animal exploitation. As a vegetarian diet still consumes animal by products it perpetuates the object status of animals, their commodification and their slavery.
- Talking about issues that have nothing to do with animal liberation:
If something else comes to mind, I’ll add. But this is it so far.