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THE VEGAN AGENDA
It’s interesting that people seem to be so bothered by what they call the “vegan agenda.” Does the animal agriculture industry have an agenda? Yes, of course: It’s MAKING MONEY! In contrast, the vegan agenda is to stop animal cruelty, exploitation, and slaughter. Which agenda does a compassionate, ethical person support?
Most vegans had been convinced by relentless corporate propaganda, which instilled in us that it is healthy, necessary, natural, and completely normal behavior to consume flesh, organs, and bodily secretions of animals—until we started really thinking about it, and did our own research. Before we questioned it, we believed all of the advertisements and what almost everybody said about needing animal products for protein and “humane slaughter” and all of the other lies that come from the meat, dairy, and egg industries, which incidentally, make huge campaign contributions to politicians so that they will pass laws that benefit them.
Furthermore, the media is a culprit too because the animal agriculture industry is a very large source of income for them. Why doesn’t it occur to people that there could be some bias involved here, about MONEY? Do you think that vegans are being paid off by the broccoli industry? No, most of us actually spend our own money to try to further the animal rights movement to help the animals. We aren’t making a profit. The only benefit we get is the peace and knowledge that we are not contributing to the pain and suffering and slaughter of these defenseless, emotional animals, and that we are trying to stop it.
EVERYONE BELIEVED THAT CIGARETTES WERE HEALTHY!
Do you remember when our governments and politicians and the media told us that smoking cigarettes was perfectly healthy, even during pregnancy? That was only a few decades ago. Were they wrong about that? There was plenty of propaganda out there from the tobacco industry that convinced almost everybody that cigarettes were healthy, and the tobacco industry made a lot of MONEY.
The point is that of course when there is an industry that is motivated solely by PROFIT, that industry will use its power and influence and money and really, ANYTHING to influence the government, the media, and anyone else who will help promote its AGENDA, regardless of any detrimental effects to anyone else (or the environment)! Turn on the television right now, and you will probably see an advertisement for slaughtered animals or their bodily secretions. Isn’t that promoting an agenda?
Vegans aren’t getting paid trying to help animals. We are up against very powerful, wealthy corporations who will do whatever it takes to convince the public that their product is healthy, necessary, humane, and guilt-free, which is exactly what the tobacco industry did. Think about who has something to gain: A small group of vegans who work hard to advocate for suffering victims by exposing the truth, or multi-billion-dollar corporations whose sole purpose is to make MONEY? This is not very difficult when you actually THINK about it.
Who has something to gain? Who is motivated to spread false information and propaganda? And most importantly, which of these agendas aligns with your personal values: the one for peace, compassion, and non-violence, or the one for greed, exploitation, and violence?
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THE VEGAN MOVEMENT
The great ethical struggles of our time——against slavery, for civil rights, for women’s rights, for LGBTQI+ rights——all initially encountered the same ridicule as the animal rights movement does now. Ridicule is a defense mechanism used by people to attack when someone tries to make them aware of an uncomfortable reality.
It’s difficult to accept that you have been causing and funding unspeakable cruelty to others. Most vegans had to face that they too were once unintentionally complicit in the horrible torture and suffering that animals endure. We have been there. We understand. Many of us also clamored disbelief and ridiculed vegans because we thought it was too terrible to be true, and we didn’t want to think about it or acknowledge that we were a part of it either.
But it is all true and very well-documented——and very well-hidden by the animal agriculture industry. But the vegan movement cannot be stopped because the truth cannot stay hidden.
Someday animal rights will become an accepted norm (if humanity survives long enough!) because of the ethical reasons, as well as the health and ecological reasons that we can’t continue to ignore.
It’s never too late to stop being a part of it. Do some research. Watch some videos. Talk to a vegan. Find out about all of the delicious and nutritious alternatives. The only regret most people have about becoming vegan is that they wish they had done it sooner.
THE 10% “TIPPING POINT”
Scientific research shows that a committed minority can drastically change public opinion. Once 10% of a population is committed to a rigid belief, it’s inevitable that the belief will become the prevailing opinion of the entire population. The key is to remain committed.
Referred to as THE TIPPING POINT, the key, according to the scientists, is to stay committed to the goal! We can’t give up! The animals are counting on us!
Everett Rogers’ 1962 book “Diffusion of Innovations” describes how ideas are spread using a “diffusion of innovation distribution” bell curve (see image). We are the “innovators,” a small percentage of the population. Veganism is being introduced to the mainstream now because of us. We have incredible influence – and we cannot give up!
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2002 book “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” further developed this idea. He wrote, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.” The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea or a social behavior crosses a threshold and spreads exponentially. WE ARE ALMOST THERE!
In 2011, research by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center, published in the journal Physical Review E, used computational and analytical methods to validate the tipping point as a phenomenon with the inevitable outcome of acceptance by the majority of a population.
“To reach their conclusion, the scientists developed computer models of various types of social networks. One of the networks had each person connect to every other person in the network. The second model included certain individuals who were connected to a large number of people, making them opinion hubs or leaders. The final model gave every person in the model roughly the same number of connections. The initial state of each of the models was a sea of traditional-view holders. Each of these individuals held a view, but were also, importantly, open minded to other views. Once the networks were built, the scientists then ‘sprinkled’ in some true believers throughout each of the networks. These people were completely set in their views and unflappable in modifying those beliefs. As those true believers began to converse with those who held the traditional belief system, the tides gradually and then very abruptly began to shift.”
This rule has implications for religious beliefs, political views, fashion trends, and yes, VEGANISM! As a recent example, we saw this happen with same-sex marriage in the United States. Public opinion supporting same-sex marriage in the vast majority of states in the ‘90s was well below 10%, but once 10% was reached, public opinion gradually changed: By 2013, public support for same-sex marriage in the US had solidified above 50%, and by 2015, over two-thirds of Americans supported same-sex marriage.
For more information on the tipping point phenomenon, visit Freakonomics.
The report Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 by research firm Global Data reveals that American consumers who identify as VEGAN currently make up 6% of the population – up from 1% in 2014! (Global Data uses extensive research and analysis to provide businesses data, insight, and “commercial intelligence” on a global scale.)
The percentage of VEGANS is rising in many countries all over the world. For example, according to global market research firm Mintel, in Germany 5% of adults claim to be vegan, and for 16- to 24-year-old Germans, 10% claim to be vegan. We are almost to the tipping point!
Once we get to the 10% tipping point, VEGANISM WILL PREVAIL!
WHO IS JUDGING?
When presenting factual information, vegans are often accused of JUDGING non-vegans. Facts are not judgment. When you present facts to people who then say, “Stop judging me,” simply tell them that facts are not judgment, and that if they feel judged, then perhaps they should ask themselves why they feel that way.
Here are examples of some facts:
Animals have central nervous systems; plants do not.
The building blocks of protein (amino acids) are all found in plants.
There is no biological requirement for humans to consume animals or their bodily secretions.
Vegan food is grown and harvested, not born and slaughtered.
Dairy cows and egg-laying hens are sold to the meat industry when their milk or egg production declines.
And it goes on and on... They may choose to disagree with the facts that you present, but that doesn’t mean that you are JUDGING them.
When they say that a vegan is judging them, they mean that the vegan is forming a negative opinion about them based on thoughts, feelings, and observed behavior.
And ironically, JUDGING is exactly what they are doing with regard to chickens, pigs, cows, etc., as exemplified in this comic by Vegan Sidekick (below). To prove that point, simply ask them if they eat dogs and cats.
Call them out on how THEY are actually doing the JUDGING when they accuse you of judging them!
And emphasize that all you have done is given them factual information; therefore, if they feel judged by you, then there must be a reason they feel that way (perhaps GUILT...because they know exactly what happens to the animals who suffer and die to create and become their food).
YOU DON'T LIKE VEGANS?
That’s okay because this is about ANIMAL CRUELTY, not about vegans. You may not like vegans, but do you agree with the message that animal cruelty is wrong? Please don’t dismiss the message and ignore the SUFFERING ANIMALS just because you don’t like vegans. That’s called “shooting the messenger.”
If someone told you that cruelty to dogs is wrong, would you dismiss that message just because you didn’t like the person or the way the person was presenting the message? No, I suspect that you would still agree that cruelty to dogs is not ethical or compassionate.
Vegans are trying to get you to broaden your perspective to include chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals as part of your values that animal cruelty and slaughter is wrong. Vegans are simply telling you that there is a healthier, smarter, and more compassionate way to live.
It's about the animals, who are the suffering victims of unnecessary choices, not about vegans.