Thursday, February 5, 2015

Not Everything Is Equal. Or Even Positive.

A great summary (on a FB thread) from Mikael Nielsen (and not just because he quotes me!):

When it comes to activism, I do what I do based on my experience, feedback from other activists I respect, books I have read, what I see the animal agriculture say about the groups that do this kind of outreach, and research I have seen on the best ways to reach people. I think that these days we know more than ever about what works and what doesn’t. But I think there is still much to learn and perhaps new research will show that we should be doing other things to reach our end goal. But till then I will stick with what I think is the most effective to reduce as much suffering as quickly as possible, on the road to total animal liberation.

I think it’s irresponsible to not evaluate our actions as activists and just say that anyone doing anything is great. While I applaud anyone that wants to help animals, obviously some actions are far superior than others. Which actions those are is debatable, but if you think all actions are equal then I think you are doing a disservice to the animals. We also need to think about not only who our actions are turning on, but who our actions are turning off. If they are turning off more people than they are turning on, should we still be doing it?

At the end of the day we all want the same thing and I think everyone on this thread has much more in common than not. Much love for that.

I’ll end with a great quote from Matt:

“It is not enough to be a righteous vegan, or even a dedicated, knowledgeable vegan advocate. The animals don’t need us to be right, they need us to be effective.”

Joe chimed in with:

The pertinent question to consider is not just has an action ever caused anyone to change their behavior, but what is most likely to cause the greatest number of people to change their behavior in the direction we are seeking, sparing animals. Let's not forget that advocacy can hurt animals. Despite our good intentions taking an action and not paying attention to the negative data, those who do not change or those we inadvertently moved further from the change we were hoping for, can mean that animals will suffer and die due to our actions. Take the suffering of animals seriously enough to not ignore the negative data.


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