About the author

Matt is the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! The most recent is his blockbuster The Accidental Activist, which Amazon claims is by his wife Anne Green. So it goes. Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that we can’t list them all here. Before Matt’s unfortunate encounter with activism, he was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA (to impress Carl Sagan). His hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED}. He lives in Tucson with Anne, along with no dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, and only the occasional snake or scorpion.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Problem of Ego

As you know, VegFund and other groups do a lot of video outreach: online advertising, pay-per-view, and screening documentaries. Research has shown this is an important and powerful tool.

I recently received a comment from a longtime vegan and advocacy supporter, who said that since they see almost a video a day, they didn't see what good it would do to create another video, or pay people to watch a video.

You surely see the problem with this logic: our audience shouldn't be plugged-in long-time vegans. Rather, we need to reach new people - those who are not on any vegan mailing list or a member of any animal advocacy Facebook group. For the most part, non-vegetarians are actively looking to avoid any uncomfortable information. We have to go to them with information that will actually open their heart and mind.

Choosing the right message for new people is, of course, a significant problem for advocates in general: Consciously or unconsciously, we want our message to match with our morals and justify our lifestyle. We judge everything based on what we know and what we want.

However, we must understand that a message that excites us isn't the optimal message to get more new people to take a significant and meaningful step to help animals. We - longtime vegans - are in a much different place than someone who has followed the standard American diet their entire life.

To really make a difference for animals, we must reach new people where they are, rather than seeking "Likes" within the vegan bubble.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Totally!! I am vegan and trying to get more non-vegans to see....