Monday, September 14, 2015

Tobias and What We Really Want


My good friend Tobias just put up this great talk (which has many parallels to this draft talk (below) that I just put up for comments). His follow-up talk is even better! I can't remember the last time I was so impressed by talks. (Bravo, Tobias — truly outstanding!)

Although the information in his talk is important, I found Tobias' answer to one question (at about 47 minutes) even more compelling (he makes the point explicitly in the second talk). The questioner said we are selling out our ethics if we ask for anything short of veganism. Tobias rightly notes that veganism isn't an end, but rather a means — a means to a cruelty-free world.

The bottom line isn't veganism, but reducing cruelty to animals. Don't worry about vegan, worry about why veganism matters — individuals like Bean and Pedro and Reba. And if we know that a certain non-vegan message is more likely to convince more people to take steps that reduce more cruelty to animals, then we aren't selling out our values by using the more compelling message. Rather, we are staying true to what we really want.

To look at it another way, it would be immoral to use the less compelling (but dogmatically "pure") message, because doing so would lead to more suffering in the world than if we had used a message that is more attractive and compelling.



6 comments:

Christine said...

"...it would be immoral to use the less compelling (but dogmatically "pure") message, because doing so would lead to more suffering in the world than if we had used a message that is more attractive and compelling."

Wow, what a powerful way to put into words what I never have been able to, Matt!

While I definitely understand the vegan need to feel the purity of sticking by your values, it's immoral to do that if in the end it leads to continuation of the suffering your values claim to protect.

Mikael Nielsen said...

YES!!!

Brian said...

These were great talks - thanks for posting. In one of the talks he says he doesn't advocate eat less harmful meat (such as happy meat, bigger animals - these are my examples not his). What do y'all think of that? Too many liabilities?

Matt Ball said...

Yeah -- you have to know your audience and what would be tolerable! :-)

Val said...

Thank you for this hopeful message.

PAULINE HODSON said...

WHY is the Meat Industry 'Ruthless to Animals' - WHO planned and executed Factory Farming. Lets Name and Shame them and Go Back 50 years for Progress in farming. SHOCKING WHEN are we turning back - NOW