Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

I'm having breakfast in a cafe with my wife and there is a buffet. Most customers are making the best of their dollar by bringing their plates back to their tables with bulges of bacon and endless eggs. Of course I would not do what I'm about to suggest, but I just wish I could walk up to them and say "have you given no thought to anyone but yourself you savage?" The lack of insightfulness on their part is so frustrating sometimes to me.

 

Do you find yourself having the same unfortunate urges?

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I do, I did, feel contempt, and even had a fair few rants and rages.  Completely understand why you would feel this way.  But I've realised its utterly pointless.  As pointless as railing against a brick wall, in most cases. 

I'm reading a great book called 'Change of Heart' by Nick Cooney, its about the psychology of social activism.  He say's that passion and logic do not necessarily work, can be a waste of time, and even in worst cases, having the opposite effect, and recommends that if you want to learn how to be most affective advocate you can, then its important to learn how psychology works.  In the book he quotes numerous studies of human behaviour which explain a lot about the nature of people's defenses, and what kinds of approaches might make people more open to listening and to change.  What I've learned so far is invaluable, bringing a greater sense of acceptance and understanding of human tendencies and inclinations, and some good tips for ways to word leaflets and speak to people that will not immediately put them off.

 

 

 

 

That sounds like a really useful read. Thank you!

I understand the frustration, MIchael, but I try to always remember that almost all of us had that same lack of insightfulness not so long ago. 

I think one of the problems is, most people often don't give much thought to anyone other than themselves. 

Hi Louise, 

I've not read all of that book, but I do know it's a really good book, full of very interesting and useful information. Nick did an ARZone guest chat a few months ago, and his chat had a load of helpful information in it too. 

http://arzone.ning.com/profiles/blogs/transcript-of-nick-cooney-s-l...



Louise, London said:

 

I do, I did, feel contempt, and even had a fair few rants and rages.  Completely understand why you would feel this way.  But I've realised its utterly pointless.  As pointless as railing against a brick wall, in most cases. 

I'm reading a great book called 'Change of Heart' by Nick Cooney, its about the psychology of social activism.  He say's that passion and logic do not necessarily work, can be a waste of time, and even in worst cases, having the opposite effect, and recommends that if you want to learn how to be most affective advocate you can, then its important to learn how psychology works.  In the book he quotes numerous studies of human behaviour which explain a lot about the nature of people's defenses, and what kinds of approaches might make people more open to listening and to change.  What I've learned so far is invaluable, bringing a greater sense of acceptance and understanding of human tendencies and inclinations, and some good tips for ways to word leaflets and speak to people that will not immediately put them off.

 

 

 

 

 

You're welome.  Hope it helps you as much as it has me.  Still hasn't fully answered that despairing question.  'How could you ?!'  But its probably started to address it. 

Hi Carolyn:-).  Thanks for that. 

 

 

I agree, it's sometimes difficult.  But then I have to remember that for many years I consumed meat and animal products too.  Brought up to believe that 'meat and 3 veg' was the ideal healthy meal.  I chat to people about me now being vegan when they are interested.  What I do find is that it makes for a better outcome when people walk away feeling good about the changes they are about to make than feeling guilty about what they have done.

Thanks for the book recommendation, Louise. I have ordered that book from the library now - can't wait to get it.

What I find upsetting is that people won't look at the evidence you give them. Won't even look at a video or a picture or a print article. All the proof in the world, of animal torture and abuse is easily available, especially when you hand it to them on a platter. Yet, they won't look at it.

I can understand why they want to deny it - they would have to change their behaviour if they accepted the evidence. Yet, I didn't deny it when I saw the evidence. I just saw the need to change then. It took me many years to come to this conclusion, but nobody said to me in those years "Look at this video - look at this article. What you are doing is WRONG." If they had, I would have seen the light so much sooner.

I have quite a few very intelligent, well-educated friends - doctors, a psychiatrist in a top hospital position, educators, etc. They should be able to see and understand this - yet, they don't even choose free-range eggs, for Pete's sake! Though, of course I now know that "free range" is a red herring. But still, I'm just using that as an example of total uncaring.

My psychiatrist friend is a specialist in the pain field. So, he should be able to comprehend animal suffering, especially if he has ever given a thought to the animals abused in vivisection. The other day I saw him hoeing into a huge steak with gusto. Disconnect.

Hi Kath:-), Good to meet you. You wrote after another post I'd written that I'd sort of taken the words right out of your mouth, and here you've taken them out of mine ! I spent months feeling really p**sed at those who wouldn't even look at videos or information about animal suffering, especially family.  Sort of baffling really that people who claim to care, if only about you, can see you so distressed about something, and shut off entirely their empathy because they’d rather carry on having the pleasure of a certain taste or texture.

Those who are in the ‘caring professions’ or who see themselves as ‘spiritual’ and even ‘enlightened’, were also equally baffling in that they see themselves as so kind and spiritually awake, yet cannot see how enslaving hurting and killing animals is wrong.  Kind of made them seem like total hypocrites…as if their caring persona was just some kind of publicity stunt.

Often I’d find myself confronting these people with the question of their treatment of animals, and they would look shiftily away, huddle together, and cold shoulder me.  Because I’d mentioned the unmentionable.

Or, more likely, as Kerry say’s, I’d made them feel guilty, instead of speaking to them in a way that might make them feel good about making a different choice.  This book, A Change of Heart, is helping me to see how I could word things differently.

Also, what Nick Cooney talks about in the first chapter, gave me pause to consider my own issues in this.  I think that my own pain of not feeling heard, of being the outcast, denigrated or abused in various situations, (usually for speaking the truth about abuse and injustice in a place where it wasn’t welcome) (or perhaps, because I was speaking that truth in a way that was attacking and accusatory, so people felt guilty and defensive) is caught up with how I feel about the animals. 

This desire to be the most effective advocate I can, is helping me to put my own feelings finally aside, or in perspective.  To sort out what was my ‘stuff’ and what is a real desire and intent to help the animals.

Its really up and down this initial opening to see speciesism, how endemic it is.  Every day I’m finding new levels of realising how speciesist I’ve been, and seeing it more clearly everywhere.  Not just speciesist, but its all about power I think.  Nick Cooney talks about tests done with different groups of people where they took turns being the one’s who had power over each other.  Each group, were quite abusive to those they had power over. 

It seems that rooting out speciesism is about being honest with ourselves about how we use power, and to see when we are being exploitative.  For me its about seeing whenever I am misusing power in any relationship.  Which, if I’m honest, means not being so angry with people, being accusatory or attacking them, for something they simply do not yet see. 

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