The Animals We Use
After failing miserably at a long pamphlet in 2007, I decided to shorten it by 50% and focus on a different audience: people who use animals. I think part of the original work’s problem was that it was too ambitious–not to mention expensive to produce–and everything suffered. I wanted to reach people who use animals, but also people who don’t, yet who nevertheless advocate for the regulation of the use of animals or give money to organizations that do.
This pamphlet, by the way, is the same one I gave to someone whose response was: The argument for using animals isn’t the problem. The argument’s flawless. It’s just not gonna stop me from eating a steak if that’s what I want to eat.
So we already know that, at least for some people, words aren’t going to make them care. Words, apparently, do not engender empathy. Or a desire for justice. For that, we need images, I’m afraid. We need to see individual animals and read/hear their stories.
And we need support. I don’t know what the effectiveness of online support is, but I do know that talking to people, eating with them, shopping with them, surfing the Internet with them, sharing cooking tips with them, cooking for and with them, and making yourself available for sharing the emotional and social difficulties of a transition from using animals to using them less, does work. That’s what I do, and it works, as in–people go vegan and stay vegan.
Thinking Critically About The Animals We Use can be printed on one 11 x 17 sheet and folded in half and isn’t designed to make anyone into an activist. But it is designed to help its readers face their own rationales for continuing a behavior that they themselves probably don’t agree with. Like part of the original, it traces the conversations I have over and over again, with good people who simply aren’t educated about what’s involved in the use of animals, or they are, yet they continue to not align their actions with their knowledge and what they believe to be right.
And that disconnect is deadly and reeks of injustice.
I thought about calling the pamphlet Thinking Critically About The Ways We Use Animals, but liked the current title because I wanted to bring attention to The Animals first. I did create a but of a grammatical issue, but I’m not sure if it’s a distracting one. What do you think?