The Downside of Activism; Dealing With Defensiveness and Resistance
This show is created for the non-vegans, or who we optimistically refer to as “yet-to-be vegans”.
When speaking to activists, what kind of pre-vegan are you? Do you listen with an open mind when presented with new information and allow your long-held beliefs or hypocrisy to be challenged without your ego getting in the way? Do you shoot the messenger and have an emotional hissy fit, like the characters depicted in the Vegan Sidekick comics? Do you consider that the person giving you the information is coming from a place of love, and feels the desperation and vulnerability of the enslaved, manipulated, tortured and murdered animals whom they are speaking out for?
Animal rights activists are simply people who had their eyes opened to the truth at some point, and decided to take action to save lives. They aren’t necessarily sales and marketing experts or highly-trained motivational speakers, but are often told to change their strategies for better results (by those with no intention of giving up animal cruelty) despite the fact that many of us utilize nearly every strategy we can possibly think of. A clever activist friend of mine suggested that I say “how about this: you tell me what to say to make you go vegan, and I’ll say that to you, and you’ll go vegan, right?”
The Psychology of Social Change
It is easier to lie to people than to convince them that they have been lied to, and the bearers of truth often become the victims of those who ‘shoot the messenger’. Join us for a discussion on the common reactions activists encounter while attempting to convince people to live by their own stated moral values.
Most people claim to oppose animal cruelty, yet when asked to adopt a vegan lifestyle, emotions run high, common sense goes out the window and friendships are lost in the worst-case scenarios. Before I became an activist, I never would have imagined this reaction to be so common, especially amongst the loved ones whom I held in high regard for their compassion and common sense. It wasn’t long before I found out I wasn’t alone in feeling isolated from my community, friends and family…fellow activists had the same experience despite using a variety of approaches and tactics.
How is it that speaking out on behalf of animals and removing ourselves from the system that exploits them is considered more extreme than what we do to animals for the fleeting palate pleasure of a “tasty meal”? In this episode we will discuss cognitive dissonance, critical thinking, cognitive bias, and how to win this fight for the animals, the planet and humanity.