Stewart, one of our top leafleters, relates this discussion from one of the high school classes he teaches:
Male student asks: What difference does it make? They're going to kill all those animals anyway.
Me: Actually, because so many people are going vegetarian and eating less meat, the number of animals bred and killed has dropped by millions and millions in just in the past five years.
Female Student: Really? All right!! That's so cool.
I was thinking about the significance of the exchange last night. We are, in a way, the first generation of modern vegans, and we tend to see things differently than most people. Many people just don't see the connection, which is so ridiculously obvious to us. "Why not buy a turkey on Thanksgiving? The turkeys are already dead!" The majority of people don't even bother to vote because they feel their vote doesn't matter. And similarly, in the face of what they think would be a major sacrifice, they feel going vegan wouldn't make any difference either. So the gains we are making can now be used as an example that demonstrates that the less we buy, the less they die.