PPS Calls for Change in Direction of Vegan Advocacy
Peaceful Prairie is calling for a "Change in the Direction of Vegan Advocacy," which I think many of us have intuitively begun for our own reasons. The change has two components: language and strategy.
Twenty years ago, vegan advocates could use the term "factory farming" because, at the time, there was no mass marketed "humane" animal farming alternative that could be readily found at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
Now, sometimes you really are talking about what is known as "factory farming" for whatever reason. But if you’re not, and if you believe there’s no such thing as humane farming, you do your own message a disservice by using "factory farming" as your descriptor because that creates an opening for the acceptance of an alternative.
Furthermore, the focus on "meat" is a mistake, as it leads people directly to lacto-ovo vegetarianism, where we’ve all seen people spend years, if not decades. I’ve often spoken about how I like to begin with eggs and products made from milk in my advocacy because I think that’s more efficient and effective. If you educate someone about what is involved in milk production and they object to it, they have nowhere to go. They likely already know that animals we use for food are treated horribly and unjustly, so if you begin by discussing the animals most people don’t know are treated horribly and unjustly, you’ve just given the person you’re speaking with the final bit of information they need that will position them to eliminate all food products made from sentient nonhumans. (Not that they’ll do that overnight).
The PPS statement expresses a similar sentiment, but also gets into the more basic notion that:
The strategy of prioritizing our anti-meat message over anti-dairy and eggs has failed the animals miserably.
We all know that this really is a matter of education. My guess is that most vegetarians simply have no idea what it takes to produce their beloved cheese, and would in fact never think of cheese as a sibling of the product called "veal" that they vilify.
I do understand that there is a difference in the way we (aesthetically, emotionally and mentally) experience flesh on a plate and cheese on a pizza. But I think that the difference is largely learned as it’s associated with the source of the food and what occurred at the point of origin (i.e., they myth that someone died for steak, but not for cheese), and I think it can be unlearned. But not by itself.
And that’s where we come in. Send your "conscientious omnivores" to The "Humane" Farming Myth, send your consumers of cage-free eggs to "Can You Tell the Difference?" and don’t forget the "Happy Cows: Behind the Myth" slideshow at HumaneMyth.org for your pizza and ice cream lovers.