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Thank you everyone for being here today, to listen to me talk and all the other speakers
and also just for being here in solidarity for the vegan movement.
It's so important that we stick together,
that we help each other, so that we can better help the animals.
And today that's I wanna talk about, I wanna talk about how to help animals.
Through my own experience I have learned a few things in interacting with people,
in spreading this vegan message in ways that we can best convey what is happening
and how people can take action.
Before I get into that,
I'd like to just tell you a little bit about my background
and how I became to be a passionate vegan animal rights activist.
So for me, it all started about ten years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer.
They gave me about six weeks to live if I didn't start treatment straight away.
And this was the first time that I've ever experienced what it was like to suffer.
I've never known suffering before, I was living the cushy life,
just like most of us do,
always enough food in our stomach, always a nice place to sleep,
always shelter, always water, cushy.
And it was this experience of suffering and not only that,
but coming out of my suffering, that started inspiring me to help others.
I put on 25 kilos while I had cancer and got all kinds of different sicknesses and that during that,
so I was very blessed when a man, who's a personal trainer,
helped me lose that 25 kilos and help me get my health back.
He helped me out of my suffering.
This is one of the greatest gift we can give someone and this is what he'd done for me.
I was so inspired by this that I wanted to help others as well,
so I became a personal trainer too – very passionate about helping others out of their suffering,
very passionate about helping people achieve more energy,
better health and all the things that come with it.
And I was on this journey eight years as a personal trainer,
that I started working on a cruise ship
and I met a man who was very wise, a very wise Indian fella, old man.
Basically he told me that eating animals is bad karma.
And that's the first time I ever cared about it,
when it was about me. I thought:
“What? This could be bad for me? Yeah, I know it's bad for animals,
but this could be bad for me? Ah, OK, I'm gonna start thinking about this".
I always believed there was no such thing as a healthy vegetarian.
One of my personal training mentors told me that, he says:
"No such thing as a healthy vegetarian", I said:
“Good, I don't want to be one, I don't want to have to look into it, fantastic”.
When this man told me that eating animals is bad karma, I said:
“Yeah, there's no such thing as a healthy vegetarian, though”
and he said: “Well, I've been vegetarian for twenty years”
and I said: “Shit. Alright, well in that case, um, maybe it is possible,
maybe you're a freak, but I'll look into it, I'll look into, I'll see what it's about”.
I looked into it and I started learning,
how much healthier it is to cut animal products from your diet, reducing the chances of heart disease,
cancers, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes... so many diseases.
We have right now an epidemic of illness and disease.
We could have an epidemic of wellness and health. So much potential here.
And I decided: “OK, I'm gonna try this for a week,
I'll go vegetarian for one week, purely a selfish experiment to see how I feel,
to see how much better I'm gonna feel".
Three days in,
instead of feeling like I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, because I hadn't had any protein,
I felt the opposite.
I felt so much energy, I felt so strong, I felt like I needed to sleep less,
I felt happier, I felt good! Three days in.
Before that, I was one of the biggest meat-eaters you know.
I even ate steak for breakfast.
I was working on a cruise ship, it's buffets.
I was taking advantage of that, I was piling my plate up with flesh of dead animals.
And no wonder I felt better after three days!
But it was a shock at the time, because I never believed you could be healthy.
So feeling good inspired me to look into it more -
what's this, why do I feel so great, there must be something to this.
I looked into it. I learned the health benefits,
but I also see that so many people have another reason for becoming vegetarian.
And that reason is: “because I don't want to contribute to harm to animals”.
Obviously, as we know in the vegan crowd, that that's not quite the answer,
but a lot of people don't understand that yet.
They think vegetarian is the good answer here, that's what we do,
that's how we live in alignment and we stop hurting animals.
I've never cared about animals before, I really didn't.
I feel bad saying that now, but the reason why,
and I realize now, is because I never understood who they were.
I didn't understand that they were capable of caring about their own life.
I didn't think they could, so I thought: “Why would I care about their life,
if they can't even care about their own life". It made no sense.
I've seen footage of animals being slaughtered
and my reaction was: “I'm not going to feel guilty about that,
that's what we need to do to be healthy”.
Seeing everyone else's reasons for being vegetarian,
I thought: "OK, I'm gonna check this out again, what's happening in the slaughterhouse,
what's happening before these animals become this neatly wrapped
package on the supermarket shelf, what happens.
I see it again for the second time.
This time I had a new perspective,
because I knew now that we can live and thrive without consuming animal products.
So seeing this torture, this mutilation, this murder of these innocent beings,
it led me to the question...
If we aren't eating animals for health - we don't need to kill and eat them to survive and be healthy -
What are we doing this to them for?
And I assumed there'd be a great answer,
I thought there must be a good answer, because everyone hates animal cruelty,
everyone loves animals, so surely there's a fantastic answer why we do this.
And I looked and I looked and I looked and I learned the best answers we've got,
the best justifications we've got, are taste, habit, tradition and convenience.
None of these reasons are good enough justification to cause this unnecessary harm to animals.
And I didn't care about animals, but I know injustice when I see it.
I know unnecessary violence when I see it. I know oppression when I see it.
And they are not the types of qualities I want to be.
They are not the type of things living in alignment with the kind, peaceful,
respectful person that I strive to be and I always have.
And I learned that.
And I became a vegetarian for a whole new reason,
it was for animals.
Soon later, I learned it's not just about flesh,
it's about all the ways animals are being used in our society.
All use is exploitation, all exploitation is a form of abuse
and all abuse is immoral.
I learned it's about dairy,
products containing animal products, products that have been tested on animals,
places that exploit animals for entertainment and for testing.
It's about all the ways we use animals.
This is when I learned about veganism. I heard a little bit about it before, my friend had gone vegan,
who I didn't know very well, and someone came up to me one day and said:
“Grant has gone vegan” and I was like: “what the hell is that?”
and he said: “I don't really know, but he doesn't sit on leather couches”.
I was like: “What? That is weird man, he used to be normal in high school”.
Vegan - always thought it was this extreme thing, unnecessary,
why do we have to be vegan, why?
Because all the ways we use animals causes them harm.
Because no living being deserves to be the slave or the property of someone else.
I got to a point where that was the only thing that made sense.
Since when was it extreme to not want to harm animals, when did that become extreme?
What's extreme is saying we love animals and we're against animal cruelty,
while we pay people to mutilate and torture and slaughter animals
for foods and products we don't need, that's extreme.
I decided to take a 365 day vow of silence for animals.
I thought it'd be a great way to raise awareness for them,
because you don't need to care about animals to
be intrigued by some crazy Aussie guy not talking for an entire year and traveling around the country.
I thought that will be intriguing to a wide range of people,
this could be a good campaign to raise awareness for them.
I had the idea after hours and hours of meditation and that was kind of the problem,
because after that many hours of meditation, all ideas seem awesome.
I'm like: “vow of silence for a year, that's a good one!”.
I would never have thought of doing that and following through with it unless I came from that place.
So that was my goal, that's what I did last year,
I travelled around the country to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence.
To promote the abolition of animal exploitation. Because nothing less, I believe,
is good enough, we need to abolish this, this needs to end for them, completely.
I don't want to talk too much about that journey today, because probably half
the people here have already heard me talk about it and this is a vegan crowd.
I'm assuming most people here are vegan. If not - cool!
But you probably are.
So what I want to talk to you about today is how do we help animals.
Now first and foremost, for anyone here who isn't vegan,
and I know there are some people here who aren't vegan, because I spoke to you today -
everyone else just leave the room, all the vegans get out, I'm focusing.
For those people who aren't vegan,
the first thing I just want to talk about, is to single you all out.
No, just to tell you why veganism is important.
Veganism is important because of our core values,
because of them also, but let's just talk about us for a second.
We have core values already of veganism before we were vegan.
Almost everyone here was not born vegan,
almost everyone here believed at one point that veganism was extreme
and that they would never become a vegan.
Veganism is what is already in our heart.
If you agree that causing unnecessary harm to animals is wrong, then by that belief,
by your own belief, you are obligated to become vegan.
Because anything less than being vegan
is going in conflict with your core values of nonviolence to animals.
Anything less.
Veganism is the first thing we should do to help animals.
But it's not necessarily helping animals.
Veganism stops hurting animals, it stops our contribution,
we become vegan and we stop paying people to mutilate and kill animals for us.
Obviously that's so important, that is step one,
that is perhaps the most important step, perhaps equally important as step two.
Step one, if you care about animals, you stop hurting them.
You don't buy free-range, you don't go vegetarian,
you don't buy humanely slaughtered animals.
Step one, if you don't want to hurt animals, is become vegan.
I'm not expecting you to do it overnight, you might - and a lot of people do -
you might feel like you can't,
I understand where you're coming from there, but that is your goal
and don't stop anywhere on that path of you getting there until you're there.
It's incredibly easy, it's incredibly healthy. We are all, most people here are vegan,
we're just normal people, we're not highly intellectual, necessarily, when...
- who, someone laughing? “I am highly intellectual, thank you very much”.
We are not necessarily particular religion,
we are not necessarily tofu lovers, although I do love tofu now, before I hated it,
but it's actually quite good if you haven't tried it.
We are not necessarily caring about our health or the environment,
we don't even necessarily have to love animals -
I didn't.
All you have to agree with is that it is wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals.
And if you agree with that, you believe in veganism.
That's it.
That's step one my friends, become vegan.
Step 2: Because it does not end there,
it's not just about “ Cool I'm vegan now, let's go have some launch,
there's this new vegan place opened up”.
I mean yeah, that's great, support the vegan businesses and everything,
but there's more to this.
We need to become active, we need to take action
and we need to help these animals in need, because what is happening to them...
I want to remind you what is happening to them.
They're getting their beaks cut off,
so they don't peck each other to death in their confined crowded prisons.
They're having their tails cut off, so other animals don't eat them of them.
They're having their teeth clipped, so that they out of stress don't eat into each other.
They're being castrated when they're just babies with no anesthesia.
Baby male chicks are being sent into a blender, blending them up alive.
Baby boys in the dairy industry are being sent to the slaughterhouse to have their throats slit,
because they do not produce milk. Their moms are hooked up to painful milking machines
and forcibly impregnated and their babies are taken from them.
And all of these animals end up at the same slaughterhouse.
Humanely slaughtered,
which as we know, means nothing for animals. Humane means to show compassion,
there is never a compassionate way to exploit someone,
there is never a compassionate way to kill someone who wants to live.
There is no humane slaughter.
What is happening to animals right now is worse than your worst nightmare.
What's happening to animals right now, you would not wish on your worst enemy.
The worst offenders on this planet, pedophiles, sex offenders, murderers,
do not get treated anywhere near as badly as the way we treat
the most innocent and vulnerable beings on this planet.
And the worst part is that this is so prevalent in our society,
almost everyone is involved in this,
knowingly or unknowingly, understanding what they're contributing to or not.
This is 1.5 trillion innocent beings that this is happening to every single year
and that's a conservative estimate. That's 1.5 trillion lives who feel pain
and suffer just like us, who deserve respect just like us.
We need to put ourselves in the animals' position.
One of the best quotes I've ever heard that has fueled my activism, is:
“Speak up for animals the way you would want to be spoken for,
if it was you in their situation”.
Think about that, think about what's happening to them, speak up,
be proud as a vegan, you should be proud, you are on the side of justice for animals,
you are on the side of justice, of a new revolution,
the fastest growing social justice movement of our time.
If you're not vegan, if you're fighting against vegan,
you are on the side of the oppressors, you are on the side of violence,
you are on the side of injustice to those innocent and vulnerable beings.
Animals cannot do this without us,
we need to do more than become vegan, we need to spread the vegan message,
we need to inspire other people to become vegan. That is step two.
Help others do what you've done. Don't be afraid to do it. This is a gift,
not only for the animals, this is the least they deserve, veganism is the least they deserve.
But this is a gift to people you are giving,
how good do you feel now that you are vegan,
how much better do you feel that you're living in alignment with your core values
of peace and justice and respect to others,
how good does it feel to know that you can eat such amazing food and no one had to die.
How good does it feel.
It is good, it is something to share,
not just for the animals, but for our friends, for our families.
And no one else will do it.
Vegetarians will not promote veganism. People who buy free range will not promote veganism.
We need veganism promoted, because that is the only thing
that will bring an end to animal exploitation.
Because I'm sure I speak for most people here,
I don't want regulated animal exploitation,
I don't want happy animal exploitation.
I don't want people to feel good about their choices in consuming animals,
because it says "humane tick" from one of the animal organizations.
I'm sure most of us here do not want that and neither would the animals.
They don't wanna be exploited at all, just like we wouldn't.
The only people that will promote a vegan message, the abolishing of animal exploitation, are vegans.
Each and every one of us. We are the only ones who will do it.
Be empowered by that, you have a purpose, you can save lives, you have something so important,
you've made a connection that almost the rest of the planet has not yet made
and it's so simple, it's shockingly simple,
and yet most people have still not made it.
If you don't want to harm animals,
you have to become vegan - that's it.
That might not seem like a lot to you now that you've made that connection, but it is.
It is a powerful statement when you say "I'm against all animal use",
it is a powerful statement to say that you don't consume any animal products
and you're a healthy normal person.
This is what we need to do, this is how we help animals.
I know a lot of people are afraid to talk about veganism,
or they're afraid to do something for the vegan movement,
they don't want to ostracize themselves from their friends, from their family,
and I understand it, there are struggles like that, there are troubles.
I would recommend the first thing you do, the very first thing,
is to remember that our friends and our family and every other person who is
not yet vegan on this planet, is not our enemy, they are not our enemies.
They cannot help it, just like we couldn't help it before we were vegan.
We didn't know any better.
It was not our fault that we were all born into a world that has conditioned us to love some animals,
love dolphins, love dogs, love whales,
kill and eat pigs, cows, chickens, fish.
We've been conditioned since school
we need calcium from cow's milk, we need protein from animal flesh.
We've been taught these things, we've been told:
“A meal is not a meal unless there is some piece of an animal on there somewhere”.
Our friends and family are no different.
They cannot help that they have been born into this world.
Don't make them your enemies.
Help them, help raise their awareness.
How do we do that?
As you know, as being a vegan, most of you here,
you gonna get asked a whole lot of questions that seem totally ridiculous.
You know, “What about plants, don't plants have feelings too?!”
I get asked that all the time
and it's incredible how serious people are when they ask this.
And maybe I would have been the same before I understood.
What I would recommend firstly to become an active vegan,
is to learn the answers to all of these questions. It's easy,
there's so many websites dedicated to it,
there's a book called “Eat Like You Care” that is dedicated to answering the
“But what about protein, but what about free range,
but what about humane, but what about plants”.
When you learn the answers to these,
this is just basic sales.
Cut that part out of the video.
This is what it is, though, we're trying to sell something to people,
we want people to get this, we want people to take it on in their life.
There is a list of objections.
I had plenty myself: “Can I keep big muscles?”
Obviously I haven't been doing much training, but you can.
World-record holding strongman's a vegan,
so he proves that, I don't need to.
But there's a whole bunch of objections that we all have.
When you have objections to something, it makes it easy to say no.
You know like, you might speak to a vegan and then you can walk away and think:
“Yeah, but...you know, you can't be healthy as a vegan”.
There are plenty of these as we know, all the questions we get asked.
When you run out of objections, when you have no objections left,
that is when something starts to really make sense,
that is when you actually really want it.
When you got no objections to veganism,
veganism is all that makes sense.
And that is when people will become vegan,
when they don't have any objections left or at least not enough, it doesn't outweigh any more the facts.
It doesn't outweigh the necessity, the moral obligation to become vegan.
As vegans, please learn the answers to all these questions,
because I remember when I didn't know the answers to them, how frustrating it is,
when you know in your heart that this is right and then someone asks you a question and you say:
“Look I don't know, but I know I'm right”.
That's not heaps convincing.
But it's true, you are right, you are on the side of justice, don't forget.
And never forget that, but it helps very much, when you try to inspire people to become vegan,
to be able to answer all their objections.
When you answer their objections, don't just say...
they only wanna hear a little bit, they're probably just asking sometimes to be polite:
“Ah, OK, but what about where do you get protein”, just trying to keep the conversation going or something.
Answer lots of questions. So they say:
“What about plants, don't plants have feelings?”
and you can sit them down here and: “Listen, my friend...”
No, you can say, look, what I always say is: “Good question”.
I answer questions like they're the first time I've been asked:
“Good question. I had that question too.
Plants don't have feelings, they don't have a central nervous system,
no brain no pain. They don't feel anything as best as we know
and we're quite convinced that that's the case".
Then: “...but even if plants
did have feelings and you're a plant rights activist or something,
we feed far more plants to animals to fatten them up, six to twelve times more,
so there are far more plant casualties from feeding plants to animals".
So you've answered 2 things there, we're wasting so much food.
Then you can talk about:
“And all this grain, all this food that we're giving these animals,
often we're importing this food from countries with the highest problems with starvation and malnutrition.
In fact, all this food we are wasting, giving to animals to fatten them up
and only getting so little food in return, all that food,
we could use so much more effectively, so much more efficiently.
We could stop wasting it
and we could start putting it to these places who really need it and leaving it there”.
You've answered three questions there, they're like: “Oh god,I wasn't expecting all that”.
When someone says: “Where do you get protein?”,
you go: “Good question, that's what everyone wants to know.
Where I get protein? Protein is found abundantly in plant foods:
fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, it's in there.
I know, I didn't believe it either, it is and it's good quality protein”.
Then you can explain:
“In fact, every single nutrient that you need can be found in those foods
and there are more deficiencies on average in a standard diet than in a vegan diet”.
So then you've answered that, are there any other deficiencies?
Boom, we don't need to talk about iron, we don't need to about vitamin D.
And then you can say:
“In fact, the world record holding strong man is a vegan,
Mr. Universe is a vegan, world record holding ultra marathoner is a vegan”
and they're like: “OK, I get it, you can be super healthy and ripped and muscly as a vegan”.
When someone asks:
“What about free range?”
cause this is a good question, people generally believe free range is good enough.
You can say:
“There is no use of animals that is OK, all animal use is exploitation and it is all wrong.
No matter how good these animals might have it,
even though free-range usually means next to nothing for animals,
no matter how good they might have it, they all end up at the same slaughterhouse".
You can explain that to them and then you can explain more about what happens to dairy,
what happens on the egg farms, what happens in these "humane" places,
that is so far from humane, that it's impossible not to see it,
when you hear it, when you understand it.
You can answer many questions in one
and that's what I'd recommend you do, cut through those objections as fast as possible.
A good question to ask people is: “So what now is stopping you from becoming vegan,
what's stopping you from becoming, how can I help you become vegan?”
It's a great question, it puts it back on them now: “Huh, good question, I don't know".
And - "maybe just I don't have any recipes” - “OK, here's some recipes”.
- “Oh, I don't think the food's good” - “Here's some delicious food”
- “ I think it's expensive” - “Potatoes are, cheap my friend”.
We can do it, it's easy.
This is important, this is what we need to do,
we need to help people become vegan - our job as activists.
Something I've noticed amongst all you beautiful people and in the vegan community in general
and this surprises me not at all and I was there not long ago too and I still go there sometimes,
even though I believe now it's not effective.
Less effective.
What I've noticed, what you probably noticed too,
is the harsh way that these conversations can go sometimes,
the aggressive way, the insulting, the name calling,
the fight that happens between a vegan and a person who's not yet vegan.
It doesn't need to be like this and in fact I think we are doing animals a disservice
by communicating with people in this way.
I'd like to give you an example,
when I was in Melbourne doing a talk and usually I talk about my own journey
and try to inspire people to become vegan.
And half way through, two people walked into my speech, walked into the talk and they sat down.
They were glaring at me,
had their arms folded and they're looking at me like this.
And I was thinking: “Wow, I think I'm about to throw down”.
It was a husband and it was his wife. They glared at me the whole time,
they didn't laugh at the parts I think are funny and they did not clap at the end.
I was like: "OK, something up, something's weird about these two,
they're in the wrong room, I don't know why they're here".
Question-and-answer, the guy puts his arm up:
“James, that's all well and good, but what about the farmers?”
Good question, that is a good question, where do you get protein, not complicated.
What about the farmers? That's a more complicated question.
But there is an answer to every single one of these objections.
I learned he's a dairy farmer, I say: “My friend, yes,
we need to look after the farmers, of course we do,
it's not their fault that they've been born into this as well.
We need to look after you guys too. But not at the expense of someone else, ever.
And also, animal agriculture is completely unsustainable,
you're going to have to change sooner or later anyway.
Make it sooner, that way we'll do less damage and we'll have far less animals killed.
Also, you can transfer your farms into many different things that will still get you profit and revenue.
There are options here”.
That was a short answer of his question.
And we started going at it, back and forth, back and forth.
This went on for about 20 minutes, right?
And I was starting to get a little bit agitated, because it was full on, I had a whole crowd of people,
he's asking me some fairly challenging questions, good ones.
And at the end of the day, we should never put profit over valuing someone's life
and that was my bottom line there.
But other people started to chime in and they started to say their piece.
And I tried to be respectful, I tried to be kind and understanding that this person is not the enemy,
the system is the enemy, the paradigm that animals are here for us to use is the enemy.
But not everyone...I mean, so the people in the crowd started getting a little bit hostile towards him,
because he was being slightly condescending,
slightly insulting, you know,
like he was coming from not a very nice place.
And I felt the energy in the room change and I started feeling agitated.
This is normal, when someone writes to you: “Yum yum yummy yummy bacon bacon bacon”,
which is common,
and when they say:
“Ah, that's such a cute lamb, it would look so good on my BBQ”,
or when they say: “Vegans, stop shoving your opinions down our throats” -
and if anyone's shoving an opinion down their throat, it's literally the people who aren't vegan,
shoving an opinion, quite literally down their own throat.
So, it's frustrating
and you get anxious and you get agitated and you get angry.
This is what was happening to me.
Now we have three options, this is how I say it:
We have three options when it comes to communicating with others.
Option A): You start up here, they start down there.
You're trying to be kind, you're trying to be respectful, you're trying to be understanding
and this person brings you down.
They're not being...like they're being insulting, you get into a slinging match of insults, of name calling
and you go down and you both go like this.
That is the least effective type of communication.
Their defenses are up, in fact you might even push them further
into their already believes that veganism is wrong, you can push them further into that...
Second option: they're insulting, they're condescending,
they're getting you angry, they're trying to push your buttons
and you stay here.
And you can remain calm, peaceful and respectful.
This is a better form of communication, because you are keeping your cool,
you are sticking to the facts and they kinda look a bit silly.
Better.
The third, the effective form of communication
and this will happen to you, I'm telling you that,
because it happened to me.
We can bring people up.
They can bring you down, we can bring them up.
If you stay respectful of this person as an individual,
if you respect that they have an opinion that is different to yours...
you don't need to respect the opinion,
but you can respect that they have it and you can treat this human,
who is a victim of this conditioning, just like we were, with understanding.
When they're throwing this insults at you, they're gonna know:
“OK, this isn't really fun,
this person isn't biting, they're not playing my game and they look very much chilled.
I'm gonna come up there”.
Then you can have effective communication, you can plant seeds.
This is where the seeds that are planted sprout into something special.
With this man, I felt…and that sounds easy,
I know, I'm saying that it's easy, let me explain how to do that.
This man and the vibe of the room started changing, I got agitated
and I felt it and I felt like we're all kind of dropping down and we'll have a fight.
And something I've learned through hundreds of hours of meditation
is that when we have an uncomfortable sensation,
we wanna run from it, we don't wanna feel it, we want to escape.
Or we want to resist it, "I don't wanna feel like this, I feel so angry, I hate this feeling". We fight it.
A better technique: to come out of that suffering and to not add layers,
you're already feeling it,
don't add another layer by saying “and I don't want to feel like this”, another layer of resistance.
When you feel like that, when someone's pushing your buttons,
getting you mad about whatever, bacon and all that, you can say,
you go into yourself, don't run from it, feel it, what does that sensation feel like,
what does that anger feel like, observe it, don't run.
And when you observe it,
you teach yourself that you can handle it, you teach yourself you don't need to run,
you don't need to go down to that level. You're not going to help the animals down there,
not very much, maybe, but rarely.
You stay cool and this is what happened in this situation with these dairy farmers.
And I went into this place, “OK, hang on” and I just felt what was going on,
I just accepted it, “there's agitation, that's OK”.
And I went to this Buddha place man, Buddha ass.
“Listen my friend, I understand where you're coming from,
I used to feel just the same, I understand you're resistant to this conversation,
because its questioning values that you've had for a long time,
I fully understand that, but understand where we're coming from -
that this is wrong, what is happening to them,
profit is not a good justification for enslaving, torturing and killing innocent beings”,
et cetera et cetera.
I said: "So I gotta stop with you, we've got only with 20 minutes, there's other questions here".
Answered a few more questions, the next question was “How do you stay so calm?!”
Good question, that's what I'm trying to teach you right now.
And this is a question I get asked a lot,
on online communication as well.
So after that, I was chilling, talking to some people,
he comes over with his wife - his wife was glaring at me at least as much as he was.
Comes over, shook my hand, he goes:
“James, what about this? James, what about that?”
A few more questions, fair enough, a long list of objections.
I answered his questions, he said:
“Well you've just got an answer for everything, don't you, buddy".
I said: “Well, there is an answer for everything, man”
and he said: “Well maybe I'll call you later, if I got more questions".
And I said: "Well, I'll be hanging by the phone, man”.
He shook my hand, he said...he smiled,
I mean, during our conversation, when anyone else was getting a bit involved, he was getting angry,
he almost stormed out of there a few times.
He smiled, he shook my hand, we had a joke,
his wife said to me:
“Thank you for opening our eyes to this way of thinking”.
And I was like...“No ways”.
It is a powerful way to communicate when you remember that they are not the enemy.
I have some quotes that helped me so much when it comes to communication, and it's:
“Hate the sin, but love the sinner”.
If someone is doing something you don't agree with,
you know if someone you love is purchasing animal products, you can say:
“I love you, I respect you,
I will never respect your decision to pay people to harm animals for you,
but I love you”.
You don't need to hate the whole person,
it's just that action.
“Don't blame and shame people, inform and explain”.
That was a quote that just slipped out of my mouth one day,
I was like: “Uh oh I'll write that down, that rhymed, sounds good”.
“Don't blame and shame, inform and explain”.
The facts are powerful enough, the truth is powerful enough,
you do not have to lie, you do not have to yell,
you don't have to make someone feel terrible, the facts will do that themself.
“Don't blame and shame, inform and explain”.
Thirdly:
“Forgive them, for they know not what they do”
Forgive them, it's not their fault,
please try to remember that when we're dealing with these people.
These two dairy farmers walked out of that talk that day with a smile on their face.
With a good taste in their mouth about vegans, thinking:
“Wow, there's actually something to this whole vegan thing”.
They could have walked out of there - and they nearly did - thinking:
“Oh, vegans, oh my god, I can't wait to tell all my friends, what idiots,
they make no sense, I hate them, they're so angry".
There's an angry vegan vibe, yes, and some activists are effective in this aggressive approach
and I'm not saying...look, if that resonates with you, cool, do it.
Do I think that's the way that we're going to reach the most amount of people?
I don't.
Through my own experience, that's not the case.
We reach people when we talk to them with understanding.
That has been my experience and I believe for most people here, who are peaceful, kind, respectful people,
talk to them in the way that you wish someone spoke to you before you were vegan.
And if a kind way resonates with you - OK, do what feels right for you -
but I do believe that the best way is to come from a peaceful place.
This is something that we all have a responsibility for.
As Einstein said:
“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act”.
Every single person here, who has made the connection,
has a duty to act on behalf of animals.
And take that seriously,
because this is not some mundane diet choice,
this is the difference between enslavement and freedom,
between torture and peace, between death and life.
This is serious and you understand it and you are a part of this revolution.
One person does make a difference and together we are changing the world.
Thank you.
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This Speech Is Your WAKE UP CALL!

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羊奶 published on January 8, 2018    羊奶 translated    Samuel reviewed
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