Effective Vegan Advocacy - advices by Melanie Joy, PhD
What is effective vegan advocacy?
Effective vegan advocacy represents communicating in a way that increases the chances of others allowing themselves to be influenced. It does not “change” hearts and minds, but rather “opens” them.
Four key obstacles to effective vegan advocacy
- not knowing one’s audience
- underdeveloped advocacy skills
- advocate’s emotional reactivity
- lack of information (about veganism, animal rights, systems of oppression etc.)
Know when not to advocate:
- when your sustainability will be compromised
- to an audience which is highly resistant to veganism
Do not expect the facts to sell the ideology.
Asking someone to stop eating animals is not simply asking for a change of behavior. It is asking for a shift in consciousness - which will not occur until they feel safe enough to do so.
Advice for effective vegan advocacy
- create a safe environment and avoid taking the moral high ground
- discuss rather than debate
- find common ground and remember your own carnism
- share your own story
- debunk carnistic defense mechanisms
- do not overinform your audience
- focus on the positives of veganism and nourish them
- avoid stereotypes - people are not cast in the same mold
- we all stand for more than just our ideologies
- carnism requires caring people to support harmful practices
- think about non-vegans as the victims of carnism and potential allies in spreading veganism
- be aware that both, non-vegans and vegans, are people
- avoid triggering concepts and phrases (''murder'', ''corpse'', ''you should'')
- say ''I do not know'' when you do not know, then research the subject and learn the basics of carnism and veganism
- avoid black and white thinking – encourage others to be as vegan as possible
- be compassionate to yourself, know your boundaries and respect them
- know there are reasons for hope!