Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reaching, Not Preaching


A preview of tomorrow's amazing Enewsletter:

Last night, I was chatting with host and longtime Vegan Outreach member Hoss Firooznia. He was talking about how creating change isn't always as simple as giving people facts and these individuals then deciding if the facts alone warrant making changes. Rather, individuals decide to make changes if they would accord with their already-held beliefs. People have a tough time admitting that their previous way of living was wrong. So it makes sense to give them a way to change while still saving face.
     That is what I have always liked about the Vegan Outreach approach – it allows people the opportunity to make changes while still being able to save face, not forcing them to answer the big, broad questions at the very beginning. And then the changes lead to more changes; soon the originally-held positions have also changed. It's actually quite subversive.
     I saw the results of this approach today at Rochester Institute of Technology. One young woman came up to tell me that three years ago, she received an Even If You Like Meat on campus. She liked the idea of "you don't have to be perfect" and immediately cut her meat consumption to basically nothing. She told me that since receiving the booklet, she has consumed meat three times -- an average of once per year. The not all or nothing proposition sold her and continues to keep her on board.
     Also, a faculty member told me a story about her co-worker – she once got an Even If You Like Meat and tacked it to her bulletin board for whatever reason, continued to look at it, to make changes, and is now vegetarian.
     And Hoss was telling me about a colleague of his who had recently gone veg. He asked her what the original inspiration was; it was receiving a booklet on campus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – way to go, Joe!)
—Jon Camp, 4/22/10 

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