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This past long weekend, a group of local individuals, including co-hosts Alison and Gillian, took part in the 2nd ever “What Gives?” event, which consisted of many hours of procuring personal toiletry item donations plus making 300 delicious vegan meals that we then gave out to residents in Canada’s most poverty-stricken neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside. Gillian and Alison recap the event and speak about the connection of all oppressions. A big shout-out as well to local activist David Isbister, who spear-headed this whole event!
Tobias Leenaert, How To Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach
For our feature interview, we have activist Tobias Leenaert on the show, who hails from Belgium. Tobias is a long-time animal advocate, and founder of the organization Ethical Vegetarian Alternative, and co-founder of the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, and a new organization called ProVeg International, whose mission it is to reduce animal consumption by 50 percent by the year 2040.
Tobias, also known as The Vegan Strategist, blogs at veganstrategist.org. Here, he provides arguments why pragmatic and friendly activism and communication work as effective tools in animal advocacy. He’s recently written a book on this topic, called “How to Create A Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach”, and in this interview, he tells us more about his ideas in how to create a better world for the animals.
He speaks about the goals of the vegan movement, and why he believes that using a variety of strategic approaches is needed to ultimately achieve animal liberation. We also discuss some of the obstacles to achieving a world that ends animal suffering, often having to do with the psychological barriers that humans face, such as preferring conformity over individuality, and the reality of cognitive dissonance (when values don’t align with actions).
A Discussion on Effective Communication For Creating a Kinder World
As animal advocates, we at Animal Voices try to effectively communicate with you, our listeners, by sharing the many issues facing animals these days with the aim of educating people to help make the world a kinder place for all beings.
As Tobias has pointed out in his book, we must be pragmatic in our approaches to advocating for the vegan movement. Everyone comes with different life experiences and therefore it’s not a “one size fits all” when we try to speak with people to help them understand why and how to help animals. Different people may be driven by different motivations, depending on their backgrounds, lifestyles, and the way they view different issues in the world.
In this discussion, we speak about some of the ways in which we can effectively communicate the vegan message to others. We encourage animal advocates to be open-minded, good listeners and friendly when communicating with people. This will enable us to learn and engage better, which is both a win for the animals and for a kinder world!