Monday, February 20, 2012

Effective Advocacy Focuses on the First Step

A question for all of us as advocates: Do we promote precisely how we live — our particular food choices, amount and type of cooking, etc.? Or do we reach out to non-vegans where they are, so as to encourage them to consider taking the first step toward helping the animals?

While not about veganism, this article is a good summary of how many people moralize food preparation. This is true of some in the vegan community, where a focus on side issues comes at the inherent expense of providing the animals a voice.

Folks send Vegan Outreach a recipe and say, "Only takes 45 minutes!" with an ingredient list 20+ long. While foodie vegans with loads of time on their hands will love exploring new recipes, your average American — esp. young people — will simply dismiss the idea. If non-vegans think veganism necessarily entails learning entirely new foods and spending much more time cooking, they won't consider changing.

If our bottom line is helping animals, we have to reach out to non-vegans effectively. To do so, we can't argue from where we have arrived, but rather, work from where our audience is starting.