Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Transcript of ARZone Open Forum
27 November 2010 at:
2pm US Pacific Time
5pm US Eastern Time
10pm UK Time and
28 November 2010 at:
8am Australian Eastern Standard Time
topics to form the basis of tonight's chat, and while we believe that we will all benefit from a thorough discussion about them, as time permits, members will not be limited to only discussing these topics.
Fina:I think petitions are worthless, but they make people feel better, because they feel like they did something...unfortunately petitions rarely accomplish anything.
Carolyn Bailey:Hi Fina, I agree that online petitions aren't effective.
Tim Gier:Fina, do you think that anyone pays attention when 500,000 "sign" an online petition?
Fina:no, I do not think so, petitions are easy, you sit at home and you sign it, then they deliver it to whoever, and nothing gets changed
Brandon Becker:Petitions need to be addressed to someone who can actually make a difference and delivered to them, not just put online for everyone to express their outrage at some problem.
Brooke Cameron:Exactly, Brandon. I think some online petitions are effective if managed properly and actually
Fina:are there any real life examples out there that demonstrate that petitions can be effective? I would love to hear about it!
Tim Gier:Perhaps there's also a problem in that the people who sign the petition already agree with what it is trying to do-- the people who need to be reached are the ones who don't already agree, right?
Tejas:Wish Paul Watson was here again ... I get loads of Greenpeace sign petition mails
Carolyn Bailey:I know the petitions for the WWAWD were delivered to the Japanese embassies around the world, but, again, I don't think they have any impact.
Michael T Tiedemann:What about Change.org?- I have received responses from some people in public office that they are concerned about whatever the issues were that i signed about. They may have been computer generated response letters, but I always hope they listen
Tim Gier:Michael, I guess that validates what others have said about making sure that the petitions get properly delivered.
Michael T Tiedemann:Yes, on Change.org it tells you who they are being sent to. The response letters are my acknoledgement that"SOMEONE" in their office sees it and hopefully will note it I do also get some email responses
saying the petition could not be read because they need to know if i am a constituent otherwise they don't care
I think they might have a constructive purpose( may not be as effective) but constructive indeed. I, being a new vegan, go to these petition websites, gain a new prospect(change .org) yes that too, I think it adds to thoughts.
I think the net is only good for raising awareness about something and better yet, shocking the public with some data/information that otherwise would not be made public.
definately Fina There are many things online that I would have never come across in normal public/tv/news
Exactly! But where do we go from there?
I think Sadia made a good point, which is that people who are new to an issue or a cause are looking for lots of information online.
I agree with Sadie, I think the educational value can be great to those who actually read the petitions and the details within them.
it's good to know there are other people who care about the same thing I do too
We can use the Internet to raise awareness of issues and promote our viewpoints. This shouldn't be a substitute for offline activism among the general public, but in addition to it.
Yes, in times of sadness or feeling depressed or hopeless it is definitely comforting to ME knowing that I have a group of likeminded people who feel the same way online to talk to. Here and on FB
Unless you live in an area devoid of other humans, you should get out among the general public and speak out through tabling, leafleting, and other forms of activism.
Thanks Tim, and yes, for educational value alone, i think it is worth it. And yes Michael me too, I want to be able to connect to like minded thoughts as well.
Even if you don't like public speaking, you can leave information at the library, pin up stuff on the billboards at the supermarket etc.
I live in Florida; this pretty much sums it up...
There are also less formal ways of reaching the public. I try to talk to people every time I go out. Someone at the bank, or the market; if you are looking, there are lots of opportunities for reaching other people.
I worry that when I write my blog, that I am just "preaching to the choir" and not reaching non-vegans
I try to do a little of everything since I am not a great public speaker. Even wearing my "vegan" clothing gets lots of attention and questions initiated by others! :-) That definitely makes it easy for me
Yes, let's not miss any chances to educate others when we are going about our daily lives.
I agree, reaching out to people is easy enough
Some of the blogging, as Tim mentioned lays a foundation to help other vegans get information, to enlarge the resources, etc.
Likewise with AWESOME podcasts such as Veganacious!!!!! I make copies and give them to co-workers! ;-)
:-D I am realizing I do not have time for all the outreach I would like to do, so I decided to try to get a group started! Butterflies Katz had an article of different ways to do outreach - tons of ideas, too.
Barbara is going to be next week's chat guest!! I'm very much looking forward to it. :-)
And no 1 way is the best. I have people who like to read about issues and some would rather listen to the podcasts or watch a DVD like Earthlings.
LOVE created a Vegan Activism Comparison Chart: http://loveallbeings.org/living-veganism/vegan-activism-comparison-...
that's very cool
Yes, that's a great resource. One of the things I've found, though, is that it is possible to have extended conversations with people online.
That's true, Michael. Individual styles vary, no one way is better than others, it's very individual.
Michael T Tiedemann:
I also have an email signature that has information about helping animals, better health and websites to visit.
I'm also amazed at the number of people who follow conversations without ever saying a word. Our words reach farther than we might imagine.
And......I save all the "NO POSTAGE NECESSARY" if mailed in the US envelopes from junk mail, and I send a leaflet back to whatever the place is no cost to me! Someone has to open them. You never know
Michael, that is creative - any feedback yet?
I don't send my address for a response back, but you never know. I could have inspired someone to go vegan!
I recently saw someone was going door to door with vegan education!
I saw that too, Barbara. Dave Warwak was going door to door speaking to people about veganism and leaving them literature.
Morning, from Sydney
Hi Deb! Welcome
Brandon, you talked about your Facebook group which has something like 6000 members. How effective is it?
Brandon Becker:I have no idea how many readers of the group there actually are, as Facebook only gives statistics for "Pages" not
Michael T Tiedemann:FYI: Just in case anyone wanted to view my blog and pass it along....
I also am not much of a fan of Facebook in general due to privacy concerns and the fact that Facebook is a corporation and free speech doesn't apply since you are writing on their private property.
Thanks for the link Michael, I'll check it out.
That's a valid point Brandon. It is a commercial enterprise.
Thanks Tim and Brandon!
I get contacted on Twitter often and actually learned a LOT on Twitter from more experienced vegans and abolitionists. It really sped up my educational process.
It's actually easier to find vegans on twitter, isn't it Barbara?
I'm hoping this open source social networking site will get popular like Facebook so that I use it instead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora_(software) The link above didn't copy correctly. You can
copy and paste or visit the direct site here: https://www.joindiaspora.com/
I have a LOT of non-vegans on Twitter, even a farmer. People will tweet me they are trying to go vegan and it allows me to offer support and suggestions. Plus I learn from other vegans,
too. Time consuming, though.
That's great! That's my main reason for using FB these days. Originally it was just to keep in touch with family, now it is my main outlet to teach all my non-vegan friends
On a related note, did anyone notice that the "Voracious Vegan" blog is now just "Voracious" and that the author now says she eats animal products for health reasons?
Michael T Tiedemann:I didn't know that Tim
Charles A. Schliebs:Very nice group here--it seems like everyone is on the same page more or less, giving each other suggestions to move into new arenas, do things better, etc. I like that. No wackos wasting time. This is all very
interesting. I have saved all the suggested pages to read later and have never checked out Twitter but will now. I think Facebook is great for finding like-minded people but doubt that it makes much of a difference to others.
Ginny Messina wrote an excellent critique of the author of blog formerly known as "The Voracious Vegan": http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/do-ex-vegans%e2%80%99-stories-mak...
I agree Charles
May I ask something guys?
Please do, Debbie
My son is 28 years old and a lovely young man, and is very honest about veganism, he feels no guilt when eating meat BUT when eating meat he knows it is wrong, I was thinking of telling him to join Will Tuttle’s face
book page thought that might bring him some inspiration
What opened my eyes were Peta videos and Earthlings, what inspired me to continue on this journey was Will's book the World Peace Diet! Though I do not support Peta....they do silly stuff
Debbie, your son is like so many wonderful people who have not yet had the one moment when it all comes together and you wonder how you could have eaten animal products and contributed to so much suffering for so
Check out :"cognitive dissonance" Debbie. That explains how people stay with things they would otherwise view as wrong
Sounds interesting Susan thank u, and thank u Charles PETA annoys the hell out of me, but do do some good things
Another good way to find like minded people "offline", www.meetup.com
For my wife the moment was something she did not seek out--a short feature on the local news about chickens and cruelty. Why that one not too graphic local news item? Who knows?
You never do know Charles.
it can be hard to break a habit that tastes good, that u have been doing for so long, but he does know I only went vegan two years ago and I am 54
Yeah, Meetup.com is a great resource and you can find other vegans in your local area.
we never know which seeds we plant will grow
This leads right into the second topic, which is "What counts as activism, and which actions are counter-productive to helping nonhumans?" For example, is cooking a vegan meal, or vegan cupcakes, and serving them to unsuspecting omnivores, a form of activism?
Susan Skeels Sams:I think so Tim if you then tell them about what they are eating
Michael T Tiedemann:That's what I do!
Debbie Blundell:oh most definitely
Barbara DeGrande:It helps to change attitudes!
Charles A. Schliebs:Yea, I had been explaining things for a while based on what I saw in the animal health/ag world, but that one short had her crying for a couple days and she never cries.
Debbie Blundell:my daughter is having a vegan black forrest cake for her birthday lol, Lisa is so excited!
Michael T Tiedemann:And believe you me, it works. I have several friends at work that will NEVER try that Tofu SH--, and i made a stir fry with tofu, sesame oil and all kinds of stuff and they loved it
Charles A. Schliebs:Love the cooking vegan approach and telling them later. Gave an incredible chocolate vegan cake to someone and it really helped--told them what it was after they raved about it.
Susan Skeels Sams:I try to educate every chance I get but in a non-threatening way I simply talk about my own experiences
Michael T Tiedemann:Same here Susan
Barbara DeGrande:I find here in North Texas that lots of people are almost envious of my veganism but don't think they
Susan Skeels Sams:I think it's the same as with religion, you cannot push anyone into anything veganism is much like a religion
Tim Gier:That's interesting Barbara, do you think people want to do better, but are afraid of it somehow?
Barbara DeGrande:I find people get excited when I tell them I am vegan, they want to know more. People fear change, that is all.
Susan Skeels Sams:It must be the way you tell them Barbara. So true, fear
Barbara DeGrande:I get pretty enthused. My own cholesterol went down 100 points even though I hardly ate anything before I became vegan, but I think it is just general health. We have lots of obesity here.
Susan Skeels Sams:Any way that you can get them to listen is good
Debbie Blundell:With my son it is really just a form of laziness, i have told him when he goes out and gets take away to try something vegetable based instead of meat, he smiled and he would do that, we have to start somewhere i
am not forcing him to do it full on s but the sooner the better I think.
Family is the most difficult of all, Debbie.
he asked me if i went vegan before or after i watched earthlings, i watched earthlings and went vegetarian that night and vegan four months later
Susan I think that we should concentrate on the younger generations
Debbie, I would ask your son if he can think of reasons why he should be vegan. Rather than telling or showing him things, see if he can think through it for himself
I'm an agnostic Charles, there are similarities to religion as in the morals and ethics. I just remember when my family all became born again & wanted me to convert I think of that when talking to non-vegans try
not to turn off people
"Meat" eating is laden with symbolism, cultural meaning, mythologies, etc, It can be very hard for people to walk away from.
I look for common ground, which isn't always easy
I agree, Tim.
the younger you talk to them the better
Would it be better to try getting people to let go of non-dietary uses of animals first?
I think that would be harder Barbara, they can justify that the cows aren't killed, etc.
I was thinking of household products, shampoos, things they do use dead animals for, clothing, etc.
Sorry, I misread you
I think that if we can get people to reject medical experimentation on nonhumans then we can get to reject it all.
If someone stops eating flesh, they are generally more likely to stop eating other animal products. If someone stops eating all animal products, they are more likely to stop wearing animal products and oppose other
forms of animal exploitation.
Educating them as early as possible, even going into schools as some groups do
Help leaflet schools: www.adoptacollege.org
With most people I approach it first from the health perspective, as there is so much evidence, not to mention all the "extras" that wind up in the meat. I then layer in the animal issues carefully, & using environmental facts if relevant to target
That's exactly what I was talking about Charles, finding a common interest
Brandon: can you use whatever literature you want?
Susan, there's a group in Ireland called the Irish Animal Education Trust who go into schools and educate children from Prep thru to Grade 12. They do an excellent job too
Vegan Outreach sends me "Why Vegan?" pamphlets for leafleting since I prefer these to their other pamphlets.
Susan Skeels Sams:Great to know about the school programs. Gary Yourofsky does an excellent job traveling around the country here in the US.
Carolyn Bailey:I think Gary Y does an excellent job too.
Brandon Becker:Yeah, Gary Yourofsky does excellent presentations. You can see a whole lecture at www.youtube.com/adapttvideo
What does everyone think about things such as Fur Free Friday demonstrations? Are they counter-productive or are they part of the "any way you can get them to listen" approach?
Well fur use is up if that is any indication.
Protesting one day a year is better than none at all, but I think we should avoid single-issue campaigns in favor of vegan outreach.
Charles A. Schliebs:
Susan, agreed. I always want to go to the animal issues right off the bat, but that is not what got me to start exploring, so I cannot expect it of others.
Even tho I participated in a protest yesterday, I question the results
In what respect Susan?
I think protests are somewhat useful if the press covers it
We stopped the fur thing several years before even thinking about veganism. Great to stop it, but so easy for so many to compartmentalize that.
We need to get others to question speciesism in all forms. If we are going to protest one form of exploitation, let's use it to connect it with other forms and send an animal rights message.
Yes, Brandon. Great idea.
I agree Brandon.
It's hard to even get dog rescue people on board with us but I do agree Brandon We still have ageism, sexism, racism...
The problem I see with single issue events is the typical SSCS protests that occur at this time of year here in Australia, and I use this only as an example ...
A person attends a SS protest, refers to themselves as an "animal rights activist" and feels they've "done their bit" for other animals, until the next SS protest at the same time next year. They
then stop off at KFC on their way home ...
Yes, I see where you're going Carolyn
wearing their leather coat and sheepskin boots. They then continue exploiting all other animals in the same way as everyone else, looking forward to attending the same rally next year which reaffirms that they’re “doing their bit for animals.”
That is a problem
We go back to cognitive dissonance again
That's just an example, and one reason I feel most single issue events are not helpful.
People have a hard time seeing that connectedness of it all
Barbara DeGrande:And many of the animal "protection" groups are not vegan...
Susan Skeels Sams:"The Road Less Traveled" is an excellent book at explaining why most people do this sort of thing
Speciesism is the foundation all oppression. In advocating for nonhuman animals, we are also building a better world for fellow humans. Most human problems cannot be solved without rights for other animals: http://www.rpaforall.org/rights.html
I agree Brandon. It is foundational.
Agreed I believe most people don't wish to challenge their beliefs after a certain point in their lives that's what holds humans back, from evolving
Time is a factor, too. And the world is changing with lots of problems right now. Most people do not see how this is central to all of that. As an older person, though, I would disagree that older people cannot change! But Susan may be right in that less are likely to do so, not sure there.
True Barbara, change is coming one way or another I think that you, and all of us are the exception to that rule Barbara We wish to keep learning
I agree Barbara, my 82 year old mom has become very interested in animal rights and has nearly eliminated all animal products from her diet!!
Wow, you have an amazing family, Tim! Good for her!!!!
She's incredible :-)
Some people wish to keep growing throughout their lives, but unfortunately most do not
Brandon, you've raised an interesting point. Do you think the world will be a radically different place if it was vegan, or would it be like it is now, just without animal exploitation?
Until they get sick. Diabetes, heart attack, stroke. Then they want to be healthy and change the eating habits
Humans are truly pretty selfish creatures. As a whole It has to be about what's in their best interest that's where the change will come from and oops sorry for my pop psychology
The world would look radically different if humans no longer treated other animals as resources to eat, wear, or otherwise exploit and instead allowed them to live freely on their own terms.
Human society is built on the devaluation of other animals - enslavement and disregard of their habitats.
Yes, there will Barbara That is what I have difficulty envisioning....
Humans still enslave other humans
Sorry, I just jumped in, what's being discussed?
Since I just jumped in, can someone briefly tell me what is being discussed? Not to be dumb, i just don't want to derail the conversation heh
Alice, we're talking about which kinds of activism are effective, and how best to reach out to non-vegans. Of course, the conversation has meandered a bit, but that's a good thing!!
There will always be some level of conflict between humans and other animals since we share the world with them.
A young friend in Uganda told me people are afraid of animals, if they see any they automatically kill them right away.
There's definitely a difference between what affluent white westeners think and how the rest of the world views things.
Very true Tim
Steve Best talks quite a bit about how the vegan movement needs to reach out to people of color and the people in other parts of the world, who have different cultural traditions.
It took me a minute, but that essay touches on his main themes.
So what are our best tactics at this point in time? AS I've said, I think it's in investing in the children and un-washing their brains if we can find a way
In some parts of the world, nations of people are just getting the wealth to consume animal products and pollute the air; it is going in the exact opposite direction.
true and it's unsustainable
I do think that eventually humans will be forced to stop using animals because we are running out of the resources
What animals will be left?
eventually probably none, including humans, unless people wake up and realize things need to change in a big way I've been chastised for saying the if you're not a vegan you cannot be an true environmentalist
Valid point, Susan...
but I stand behind that
That's true, Susan
Lee Hall talks about the "free-living" animals in her latest book, and I agree with much of what she says about what we owe to them. I disagree with her conclusions about interaction/intervention though.
Susan Skeels Sams:Tim, I think that's a pretty broad definition of veganism
Roger Yates:I had the experience of going to a vegan Thanksgiving in Paris the other day - part of the Paris Vegan Day week.
Susan Skeels Sams:Do tell Roger
Roger Yates:Hi Susan - I will!
Tim Gier:Hi Roger, that must have been interesting---
Roger Yates:Tomorrow is Paris Vegan Day - but they have all kinds of events in the week running up to it. The Thanksgiving thing and an Italian
Susan Skeels Sams:I don't know anything about this Roger, is this a big event?
Carolyn Bailey:Sounds amazing, Roger
Roger Yates:They reckon that more than 1000 people will attend. It started small and grew, the organisers are keen to encourage the same
Susan Skeels Sams:I'm sure the Europeans are ahead of us on the vegan front too Us = US
Charles A. Schleibs:Back in, Susan, I tell my Sierra club friends that I cannot take them seriously unless they are vegan.
Roger Yates:Not sure about that Susan.
Paris is a procession of leather and fur
Were you able to tell if there were any non-vegans in attendance? Did you get any sense that there was outreach/education happening?
Yes, Tim... Lots of North Americans at the Thanksgiving -many not vegan lots wearing big leather coats so a lot to think about really
I have a question, I'm on the verge of being homeless, thinking about traveling. I don't have family. I spent the last week on the streets, how do you manage to stay vegan with such limited resources like a kitchen etc.? Sorry I probably phrased that question badly...
Alice, I don't know how prevalent they are in your part of the world, but where I live the Hari Krishnas provide free vegetarian and vegan food to all who ask for it. I don't know if that would help you..??
yeah, it's just while travelling I don't know how often I'll come by a Hari Krishna temple heh...
Alice, where will you be travelling? (Country)
I was thinking of the Vegan Exchange, I think they provide room and board in exchange for helping hands..
Oh yes I think I've heard of this...
Depends on time frame, but when I was younger we kept tins of dried fruit, nuts, always on hand if we were in an area without much produce...
haha that's good advice, perhaps I should stock up....I'm just worried, I actually relapsed with meat awhile ago, I have PTSD and had major depression, and realized that the meat was making me more depressed. It's
hard being vegan/vegetarian when your on the bottom rung of the social ladder
Can you contact someone where you are before going anywhere to see that your PTSD is being treated effectively? Priority ONE!
That's sorta what i'm working on right now, I don't have health insurance so I have to go through all the beaurocratic jumps to get some benefits
So sorry to hear of your troubles Alice...I must go but I've enjoyed this, it's the first live discussion that I've been a part of. Thanks to you all for being a part of my experience and for making the world a better place by being in it.
Stick with it; it is important.....
Alice McGarrah:Bye Susan
Michael T Tiedemann:Bye Susan!
Tim Gier:Thank you Susan, it's been great to have your participation,
Roger Yates:Bye, Sue
Susan Skeels Sams:Bye all, thanks again, you're all wonderful!
Michael T Tiedemann::-)
Carolyn Bailey:Thanks, Susan
Tim Gier:I think we've covered the two main topics for tonight's event quite well, does anyone have any more thoughts or insights about the
Barbara DeGrande:I need to say goodbye and thank you so much! It has been lovely...
Carolyn Bailey:Thanks very much for your input, Barbara!
Michael T Tiedemann:Bye Barbara!
Tim Gier:Barbara, thanks so much for your input tonight!
Sadia V Madie:Bye Barbara, looking forward to next week,
Barbara DeGrande:Thank you! Til then...
I always get a little irked when I see posts on fb from vegans that curse and yell at non-vegans for not "waking up". I politely let them know that I don't think that way works. I am told that I am weak and passive. I personally believe that the way they deal with people is wrong
I know everyone has their own way of doing things but if I was yelled and cursed at, i would never want to change I get very frustrated with them because they come across very elitist.
I agree Michael. Civility and respect are important.
it is how you engage is expressive of your own attitude towards life. so yes respect is vital for me as well Michael i saw your blog, awsome,very neat, meet your new follower :-)
Thanks Sadia! I truly appreciate it! It's not professional, but it keeps me sane and I really enjoy doing it!
My question is how do we get through to the AGRESSIVE vegans?
People already think that vegans consider themselves "morally superior", so when we talk down to people or disrepect them, we're not doing ourselves any favors. More importantly, we won't be doing anything to help nonhumans.
can i post an example i am currently reading from an aggressive vegan? it has some hard adult language
It's not like the information is not out there as to what animals must endure so you can munch down on a CARCASS !! Your FUCKING 100% herbivore...FUCKING eat like one. The above is NOT me talking but the person on facebook
We need to advocate politely, but firmly. Most have never questioned how humans treat other animals. Think about how you used to think before you were vegan and what arguments persuaded you to change.
he is talking to non vegans in regards to a video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqYXq5Od_E&feature=player_embedded#!
Tim Gier:Michael, you can imagine that if you, as a vegan, react to this vitriol as you do (and rightly so) then non-vegans can't possibly be moved
I try to explain that and am told that people won't listen to passive weak vegans, and that is why THE STRONGER AGGRESSIVE vegans are needed I think that is so wrong!
Its important to remember that not everybody has a supportive network that can help them with inital challenges, for instance i'm vegetarian, (which like I mentioned earlier is already a challenge for me) and as much as I want to cut
Brandon is right. Polite but firm.
ALL animal produce from my diet, it's hard to make that leap when your already having trouble. So if someone were to scream at me i'd feel pretty crappy because its not like it's something i'm not passionate about
Exactly Alice. And if I were NON- VEGAN it would make me want to eat more animals just to make the aggressive people madder!
I wonder what kind of pain someone like that is suffering with which makes them lash out with so much anger.
I certainly hope not I don't know Tim. I really don't. :-(
He attacked a friend of mine who was new to veganism, luckily she was strong enough to ignore him.
I ignore him as much as possible, but when I see people asking legitame questions and he beats them up, i try to explain it nicely
Yeah, it's unfortunate.
Maybe I should just defriend him and get on with my passive weak life . ;-) Thanks for letting me ramble on. I needed to vent. As always, Carolyn, Jason and everyone, thanks for this wonderful chat.
You are very welcome, Michael! Thanks for your participation.
:-) And my blog is http://avoice4animals.blogspot.com/ if anyone wants to take a gander :-)
oops, animal lingo not meant still working on that Have a wonderful evening everyone. Have a wonderful Birthday Jason! Goodnight!
Goodnight Michael, thanks for everything tonight.
Thanks again for letting the floor be open :-) I truly enjoyed the Members Only love chat
Tim Gier:love is good too!
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is a voluntary, grassroots, abolitionist animal rights social network created in December 2009 with the aim of encouraging rational dialogue in the
animal protection movement.
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