Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
A Vegan World in 8 Years
Written by Tim Gier
Did you know that the world’s current population of human beings is about 6.7 Billion?
That’s a lot of people! If only 1% of them are vegan, that means that there are 67 Million vegans walking the earth right now. That’s a lot of people too!
So here’s the deal. Every vegan has one year to help one other person become vegan. Just one. Forget about reaching the masses, forget about starting a movement, forget about all that stuff. Just spend the next year finding one person who will commit, and I mean really commit, to ending all forms of exploitation of all other animals. If every person who is now a vegan would do that one simple thing, then 365 days from now there would be 134 Million vegans. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Guess what, in another year there would 268 million vegans. Just by having every vegan work all year long with only one goal in mind, and that goal is to find one new vegan.
In another year there’d be 536 Million, keep on working and the year after that over 1 Billion, and then there would be 2 Billion, and then 4 Billion and then, just 8 short years from now, there would be a Vegan World, if you want it.
One vegan, every vegan, each helping one new person become vegan every year for the next 8 years.
The World is Vegan, if you want it. It’s not a slogan, it’s a plan.
UPDATE: Some people have asked whether I’ve taken the increasing world population into account in writing this post. I have. I looked at the UN’s projections as reported on Wikipedia which predict 9.15 Billion people by 2050, or 40 years from now.
My use of the estimate of the proportion if vegans in the world at 1% has also been questioned. I’ve seen that number mentioned in connection with a Gallup poll taken in the US in 2007, but I do not know how accurate it is. But suppose that the actual proportion of vegans is only 0.01%, meaning that I guessed wrong by a factor of 100. Suppose that instead of 67 Million vegans alive in the world today there are really
only 670,000. What happens to my vegan world plan them?
Well, if every current vegan can convince just one other person every year to become vegan as well, and if each of those new vegans can do the same, then in 14 years there would be over 10 Billion vegans, more than the entire population of the world.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a realistic optimist; I am not a starry eyed dreamer. But the point remains. Advocacy for a cause is something that can be effectively done by a small group of committed activists who are intent on helping others make new decisions. We don’t need huge budgets, or high profile campaigns, or celebrity endorsements. If our message is a good one, and if our strategy is sound, and if our tactics are effective, people won’t resist. Convert a non-vegan, change the world.
I know a few people who are also struggling with being vegan because their food choices are not ideal, Richard.
If a person decides to become vegan and is isolated or without much support in their lives, it's incredibly difficult to learn how to live healthily and happily without the products they have always used.
I think those who continue to espouse the irresponsible propaganda of veganism being easy would benefit from a few days in the real world, with children, an isolated location, little support from their spouse, and the hundreds of other difficulties many many people face.
That said, under favourable conditions, veganism may be very easy. Unfortunately, we don't all have those favourable conditions under which we exist.
This was my introduction to Tim. On a forum I was on someone said that there 'was an idiot on a blog saying that there can be a vegan world in 8 years'. That piqued my curiosity (I like idiots). The rest is history. I would like to add that I have done my part this year encouraging & supporting two friends to go vegan. They in turn have a friend who has gone vegan with their encouragement & support.
A vegan world in 8 years? What are we waiting for......
I wonder how many people who become vegan for ethical and moral reasons (i.e. they consider it wrong to use other animals for their own purposes) would subsequently change their minds and stop being vegan? To me it seems incongruous, in the same way that I think it would be unlikely a person who supports equal rights for LGBT people would change their minds about that. So, when I hear of someone who was vegan but no longer is, I have to think that they were vegan for their own benefit (health or weight) or for the environment perhaps, but not really for the sake of the animals at all.
For instance, in 1979, I was vegetarian for about one year, after which I reverted back to omnivorism. While I realized that animals were like me, my reasons at that time for stopping to eat them were more about my feelings about my eating them than about the animals themselves. It was only much later when I realized that it wasn't about me at all, it was all about them.
UPDATE: Feb 2, 2013
I wrote this post when I was dreaming. Now that I'm awake I think it's silly.
Tim, could you please explain what part of this post you think is silly, or perhaps unachievable now? Do you think that speaking with people about becoming vegan is far more difficult than you thought in 2010, or do you have an issue with the maths?
If you think that speaking with non-vegans about becoming vegan, is far more difficult than simply presenting them with a moral argument for veganism, and expecting them to become vegan, I agree with you. Surely we must all agree with you, or we simply wouldn't have any friends or family members that were not vegan, would we?