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It is notoriously difficult to get people to break through their cognitive dissonance and see the reality. This page tells you the most effective animal rights vegan activism approaches for getting through to people, as found in a study of vegans.
What Is Cognitive Dissonance?
Somebody is suffering from cognitive dissonance when a reality they are presented with does not marry up with the beliefs they have always help. Because of this, it is easier to stick with the beliefs they have always had. They will try to justify their beliefs, even when faced with evidence to the contrary.
Why To Use Different Approaches With Different People
To make sure your vegan activism is working as effectively as it can, you will find you need to use different approaches for different people, depending on where their interests lie.
For example, not everyone will respond to the animal cruelty aspect of vegan activism, but if they have shown interest in the environment and wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, you can let them know about just how much animal agriculture is damaging the planet.
If they are concerned about world hunger, or destruction of the rain forest, explain to them how veganism helps resolve those issues.
Or, if they have a particular fondness for horses, you can tell them about the U.K. horse meat food scandal and the suffering of horses in slaughter houses.
A survey done in 2016 about why people go vegan, revealed valuable information about the most effective vegan activism approaches. Most people said they went vegan because of the influence of a vegan friend. This just shows the power individuals have at planting seeds in the minds of people, and gently chipping away at them until some will have a breakthrough. As long as you have planted the seed, it is time and effort spent well. It is important to do it gently, so as not to alienate the person.
Image: Different benefits to the world of veganism. Source
To be at your most effective, you should know your facts and statistics, and live by example. To learn more, visit this page.
Be Careful Not To Make It “Them And Us”
When you talk to people about animal rights issues and veganism, always do it in a friendly and calm voice. Being hostile, accusatory and confrontational will only get peoples backs up which makes them not at all receptive. If you were not always vegan, remember how you thought before you were vegan, and talk to people in the polite and friendly way you would have liked to have been talked to.
Never talk to them in a way that makes it them and us. Always include yourself when you talk about them, for example “I don’t eat eggs anymore because I researched the egg industry and found they have been hiding really horrific treatment of animals from us all”.
Image: Effective vegan activism: Be the vegan you would have liked when you were not yet vegan. Source
Study Results: What Causes People Go Vegan
I came across a very interesting and informative website that gives an insight into why people go vegan. It is a survey and is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the most effective ways to influence people. If you do your research and know your subject, you can do more effective vegan activism.
This survey was done in Australia in 2016.
Images: Why people go vegan. Source
Most Effective Videos And Documentaries To Share
As mentioned in the section above, people were surveyed about what made them eventually turn vegan. Many people mention the documentary Earthlings, and Gary Yourofsky’s Best Speech You Will Ever Hear. The documentary Dominion was released after the survey was done, but is another very important documentary for showing people the truth.
You can find all these, and more, videos, free to watch, here. These are some of the most effective vegan activism videos you can share to encourage people towards becoming vegan.
Some people find it difficult to get people to watch the videos, and are reluctant to do so. It may help to say to family and friends that you thought they would be interested in watching anything that helped them understand why you have chosen the vegan lifestyle, and why it means so much to you.
Most Influential Books To Help People Become Vegan
When surveyed about what was instrumental in them to go plant based or vegan, many people mentioned these books.
Free Animal Rights Posters And Leaflets
You can find access to lots of free animal rights leaflets, booklets and posters on this page.
Ways To Advocate For Animals
Share Information From this And Other Animal Advocate Sites
Sharing information from this site on social media. For instance, raise awareness of how vegetariansim and veganism can make the biggest difference to stopping animal suffering. Watch and then show others the videos on this page.
Keep Contacting Companies
Another thing to do is to keep contacting companies asking them to take animal products out of their foods. You can tell them that by having milk and eggs in their products, they are excluding whole markets of people, such as vegans and people with allergies to milk or eggs. You can remind them that the vegan movement is rapidly growing and that taking these ingredients out of their foods would see their revenue increase as new markets could consume them.
Support & Share Petitions
There are many other animal cruelty issues you can raise awareness of too. You can support and share campaigns and petitions, which there are many of online. As well as gaining support to stop animal cruelty, petitions and email campaigns are a good way to raise awareness of the issues.
You can also spread awareness in other ways, such as wearing the information for people to read on clothes and accessories. See our fundraising store for a selection of clothing and accessories that can help do that. There are T-shirts raising awareness about the true cruelty involved in a variety of issues, such as puppy farming, BSL, pet abandonment, and more, and T-shirts and accessories promoting things like adoption of rescued pets. There are also T-shirts exposing the cruelty of animal agriculture and promoting veganism.
Clothing and accessories with messages on are often conversation starters, or people can learn from the information on them without you even knowing. It could trigger them to do their own research that they would not otherwise have done.
Many Other Ways
You can find more suggestions of how to raise awareness on this page.
Image: Spread information about the cruel dairy industry and the cruel egg industry T-shirts like the ones below, printed both front and back, and available in a range of colours from our fundraising store.
If You Feel You Aren’t Getting Through To People
It is very distressing to think that you are not getting through to people when you are so passionate about animal rights issues. You can feel like the world is full of people who don’t care, and it is hard to live in a world like that.
Whenever you feel like you are not making a difference, remember that you have sown seeds, and seeds need time to grow into trees. They need looked after, watered, tended to, and that all takes time. If you keep feeding them (with information using the right approach for them), the seed will grow.
If you feel you are suffering so much that you need the help of a doctor, or therapy, do not delay. Your mental health being sound is important to the animals – because they need you well to most effectively help them – and important to the world, because the world needs people like you fighting to make a difference.
If You Constantly Feel Crushed
People say vegan activism , or simply being vegan, can take a huge emotional toll on the vegan. In fact it isn’t being vegan, or activism, that causes misery, it’s all the other people who aren’t vegan that cause it. Knowing that they cause so much suffering to innocent animals is what causes misery to vegans.
In any case, if you are feeling overwhelmed and full of despair, you need to concentrate on healing yourself before you can be effective in helping animals. Have a look here to see how. Afford yourself the kindness and compassion you would give to others. Self care is not selfish.
Many Other Ways To Help Stop Animal Suffering
On this site there are many varied ways you can help animals and help stop cruelty. In fact, there are so many different ways that there is something for every personality type, no matter what their circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about why we so urgently need to help stop animal suffering, please see the AidAnimals website. It will allow you to broaden your knowledge of many different types of world wide animal abuse, giving you the ability to help animals by spreading awareness and answering questions people may have. Please be aware that you may find the information distressing.
One great way to help animals is to share the information you have seen on this website. Doing so means more people could help stop animal cruelty, and that would make you responsible for more animals being saved from suffering. Together we can help people help animals <3
If there is any information missing from this page, or anything you would like to add, please leave a comment.