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! Next will be the bestseller "Losing My Religions." Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from more nonprofits than there is room to list 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 and no dogs, no cats, and no African tortoises (although he cares for all of these).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Psychology, Not Dogma

Our friends at Latest Vegan News have a great interview up with Dr. Gordon Hodson, a psychology researcher and professor. The entire interview is worth reading; here are some excerpts:

[A]dvocacy is about the group in need of support, not you. Don’t let your ego, pride, or hurt feelings get in the way. In the case of animal rights, keep the animals in mind at all times. They have little voice or recognition; animals are relying on advocates to keep calm, appeal to reason, and set a good example to others ... long-term change comes often from being genuinely convinced, not from being exposed to strong or dogmatic viewpoints. 
How do you think an “all or nothing” approach by advocates affects the cause?I think it can seriously hurt the cause. Most social change happens more gradually. If someone is interested in adopting a vegan lifestyle, a first step is doing less harm to animals (e.g., eating less meat; adopting a neglected animal). 
Do small steps matter?
Big steps can represent hurdles that are difficult to get over, setting you up for failure. And not just for advocacy, but for losing weight, quitting smoking, achieving work goals, and so on. Smaller goals are more obtainable, and you build on your strengths moving forward. There are decades of psychological research on the importance of setting clear, achievable, and reasonable goals.

By the way, here is the link to the videos mentioned earlier. And here is another good video featuring an upcoming star!

2 comments:

Christine said...

This reminds me of a quote I remember that says, "You can't jump a canyon in two small steps."

We not only have to build bridges, but even more important, we also have to get people to join us in crossing the bridge.

I really love this quote from the interview, "...keep the animals in mind at all times. They have little voice or recognition; animals are relying on advocates to keep calm, appeal to reason, and set a good example to others ... long-term change comes often from being genuinely convinced, not from being exposed to strong or dogmatic viewpoints."

Mikael said...

Great stuff and glad to see more and more validation for pragmatic, positive outreach.