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Hi good morning everybody
So this talk is indeed called how to create a vegan world and that's the title of my book
"How to create a vegan world"
and It's been called a book that everyone should avoid
by the vegan police and this is an actual quote
I didn't invent this.
This is actually somebody calling himself the vegan police.
But what I want to show with this is that, I'm sometimes
a bit of a devil's advocate within the movement
and some people would just simply say I'm the devil.
But so before I give some of my
perceptions about the vegan movement and what we can do better,
let me just say
very simply that I think that vegans of course are awesome. I was ...
Yeah, and in United States where I just was at the conference, we would say like give yourself a big round of applause
We're not gonna do that here
So umm... vegans are awesome
Why? because you have to deal with a lot of shit, you are
swimming against the stream, you're doing a thing that's really awesome
That's really great that has so many benefits for so many things and you're doing it in spite of the fact that
97% of the people or something is against you and is criticizing you and ridiculing you so that's why it's really
recommendable to be vegan of course.
So that being said, let me explain some things about what we could do better. In my book,
I used a metaphor I use a metaphor of the track to vegan ville
A hike to vegan ville, vegan ville is the village where we want everybody to live, we want
everybody to live in that village to be vegan, a vegan world right
I have
Subdivided the book in different part different chapters. It's about the first one is about getting your bearings
Where are we... the second one is about the call to action? What are we ideally going to ask people to do?
Third one is about motivations. What are the arguments we're going to use?
Then the environment is about like how do we create an environment? That's facilitating people's ...
Then I have a big chapter on communication
How do we communicate best with people like in an engaging way...
That like really motivates and stimulates them, and then finally there's a chapter on sustainability about how to keep on doing what we're doing
Both as vegans and as activists,
but today
I'm going to talk about another metaphor, and I'm going to use the metaphor of ingredients, and I'm going to talk about
four ingredients that we need
for a vegan world, four things that we need more of in our movement
And you can think more than four, of more than four things, but I'm going to just discuss these ones
and positivity
Those are the four ingredients that I see that we can use some more of.
So let's start with open-mindedness
if you like me you were
for a certain part of your life you were in a certain box
We could call it the box of "Carnism"
It's an ideological box, and it made you think that like Melanie joy says meat-eating is normal, natural, necessary,
you were just inside your safe box, and you were okay there
But then all of a sudden,
you get a bit... (you see the box move) get a bit restless inside the box
and then the light goes on the box opens and you jump out
as a vegan.
Right? and you start talking about all these things, and you start realizing all these things, these..
What.. what.. meat eating or animal products consumption is connected to..
environment, health, and so on.
and then what happened to me, is that I found that I was
all of a sudden
finding myself
To a certain extent, in another box.
In the box of veganism
and I was
Noticing with myself that I wasn't listening very much
anymore to others to non vegans and I was thinking I had found the truth.
and I was just repeating the same things all the time.
So I was saying things like veganism is this! And you're not vegan if you do that! and
vegans are that!.. like all kinds of things that were given to me that were like..
that I wasn't questioning anymore. So for instance this cartoon illustrates very well like if there's so I'm mostly vegan
But and the other person here says there's no you're not vegan if there's a bot
Right so there was no questioning anymore, and I I agreed with this and I don't think today
That's a good thing and I was always also going back like I see many people do going back to the definition of veganism
This guy Donald Watson invented veganism so many years ago
And we go back to his definition and his and that's that's a bit like a religion like going back to the original
scripture and and
I found myself doing that again and again, and here is a good test like to see to check your open-mindedness
This is an article actually. I thought it was a pretty good article. Why vegetarians or vegans should be prepared to bend their own rules
How do you feel about reading this title
are you motivated to read this article or are you saying like?
I'm gonna not gonna read that shit
You know, that's how you can test your own
open-mindedness. Or can you imagine that maybe it's a little bit more complicated than this maybe this serves for purposes of external communication
but when we think about it it may be a little bit more complicated so what I want to say is um..
You can be liberated from the carnist box
But you can end up in another box and just let me be clear if you're in a box
It's much better to be in this box than this box
Okay, but still it's better to be not inside any box at all and the way I put it sometimes is being vegan
means giving up animal products, it doesn't mean giving up thinking
So beware of dogma what's wrong.. Dogma is like not questioning things anymore
Taking things for granted and what's the problem with Dogma is that Dogma doesn't allow ourselves to improve.
Okay, and we have to constantly improve because there's so much work to do and we have to get ever better at it, okay, so
Open-mindedness these things can help you like think about questions like have I thought about this thoroughly?
Have I really thought about this or am I just?
Repeating something that I've heard all the time
Think about what information you might be missing. Think about what your own biases are when you talk to people etc and
See it like this practice slow opinion slow opinion is about being slow in forming an opinion
Not like on Facebook like right away saying like it's like this, and I think like this
I think this or that no just take a break and think
Like maybe I haven't thought this to me by need to think about this a little longer
And you say like for now I have no opinion or this is my preliminary opinion and it may change later
Okay, that's how you I think practice open-mindedness
The second one is empathy and
We are, as vegans, we are typically very good at empathy. This is Anita Krajnc
I never know how to pronounce the name. The woman who started the safe movement in the Toronto
And she's feeding. She's watering a pig here. I think it's a very nice symbol or icon of empathy and
Like I said we um.. opps..
Yeah, we're very good at empathy
especially for these pigs and these cows and these um..
Chickens but
We're not so good as empathy for meat-eaters or
for hunters or
for bull-fighters
you know
You could say
Really, do you need, do we really need empathy for these people? No? like seriously?
So I take Gary Yourofsky here as an example of somebody who's like really in your face, and who doesn't really
Take reactions of the people he's talking to that much into account. He just says it like straight like it is and
and um..
There's this. I mean on the opposite side of Gary Yourofsky you have something somebody like Thích Nhất Hạnh
Do you know him? He's like a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, and he's vegan, and he's spreading veganism
He's almost.. he's.. he won't be with us very long. He's he's very sick
He's a wonderful person. He's very compassionate. He's like a monk
He's like very zen, and he won't like scream in your face etc
I'm not saying either one of these approaches is the right approach. I'm saying like for myself
I'd choose usually a more soft a more calmer approach
And I think it is actually applicable and appropriate or useful in almost any situation
I can imagine that there's people thinking here like oh, there's definitely some people we don't need empathy for
People who are really really not nice
Can you think of some people like that they were recently in the news?
These people right do we need empathy for them?
Well, I think it might be useful, and I just want to illustrate
With this guy this is Daryl Davis. He's a black guy and
He um.. he grew up outside of America and he came back
To America when he was 10 and he had no experience with racism whatsoever and he was walking into a March
And he was the only black kid and all of a sudden people were throwing things at him. It wasn't a 1960s or 70s
throwing cans and bottles and bricks at him and
He just didn't understand. He said what is this about and?
He found out about racism
and he wondered like how can these people hate me if they don't even know me and
What he did was he went to Ku Klux Klan people and he befriended them
and he spoke to them and he listened to them and
He was open to them and he showed empathy towards them and the result was that he was able to get 200 people
Outside of the Ku Klux Klan he got them to give them their capes their robes to them to him and they left the Klan
So empathy worked for him
He's actually, this is a documentary about him on Netflix if you want to see that
So I think empathy or compassion and listening is never out of place
So it's about having an open mind, listening to people asking questions. It's about building a relationship
I think this is one of the
Most important things we can do if we want to influence other people, is to build a relationship with them
It's not to accuse them not to guilt-trip them not to like show no empathy for them, but build a relationship
Trying to understand them
So to be more, some tips to be more empathetic
You can under, you can try to understand the situation we are in, so some people know this this quote from me
Why do most people eat meat? Most people eat meat because most people eat meat right so this is a situation
We're in a situation where we're doing what everybody else does and it's quite kind of
Understandable that people are doing the wrong thing when so many people are doing the wrong thing so that's that's a situation or a condition
we have to take into account and
You have to realize that to a certain extent you are special
This is the adoption of innovation curve or model and it divides people into
into different sections from innovators to
laggards. So for instance if you had a smartphone
15 years ago already you were an early adopter or an innovator if you still don't have a smartphone. You're like on that end
And that's the way it is it's going to be with with vegans and with meat-eating with animal products consumption. You are the early
adopters and other people come later into the game and to a certain extent
We can say that you or we are the low-hanging fruit
The low-hanging fruit in the sense that it was easy to reach us
It was easy to reach us with these moral arguments. We heard about animal suffering and more or less rapidly we went vegan
With other people it's not like that. They need more than just moral arguments
So understand that you're not the same as other people
Secondly understand when you are dealing with people that you don't have all the information
I give you a very good trick to be more empathic and to be more calm like suppose
That this happens like somebody crosses you like like this guy on a motorbike like races past you on the highway
160 kilometres an hour when that happens to me I go like ...erghhh
Because they're like very unsafe, and they're like yeah
I get very aggressive about that and the thing that helps me is to think like well
Maybe he's on his way to his mom in the hospital
Who is dying or something like that that like really immediately shifts my my attitude?
I had it on the way coming here actually and I
I have to remind myself of my own strategies, and I did it and it calmed me down of course
It's going to be more difficult when they pass you like this. Okay, so it doesn't always, it doesn't work for everything
thirdly remember that empathy works remember that guy Darrell Davis with the Ku Klux Klan if
You find it difficult to have empathy remember that it's also question of effectiveness of creating results for animals
Rationality is the third thing. So rational
There's a lot to be said about it one recent example of where we were not entirely rational or not entirely
evidence-based or scientific was apparently the movie "What The Health" which has
Dealt with a lot of criticism of people saying like well
This is not scientific, and this is exaggerated etc and kind of like to a certain extent it backfired
Even though a lot of people were convinced by the movie
But I would say one aspect one aspect of being rational is like not to exaggerate vegan claims
And I say like when you when you when you do that when you present
Veganism as the solution for everything in the world for every problem you do, you are a vegalomania
So so let's try to keep it real a lets tried to not exaggerate the claims for veganism
but the most important thing that I want to talk under the flag of
rationality is
Purity, and I wish there was a day. I wish a day would come when I don't have to address this aspect anymore
But it remains apparently so necessary, and this is the most controversial part of what I have to say so we have these
Questions and discussions all the time about who is vegan and what is vegan right and I want to suggest
This I want to suggest three things
I want to suggest that there are people who are a hundred or two hundred percent vegan, they they are there um..
I want to suggest that people who are 99 percent vegan, who make small exceptions like very small
Exceptions that it's okay that they call themselves vegan, and we shouldn't like question that I'll explain it in a minute
And I also choose that suggest that there is a thing like 95% vegans people who are ninety-five percent vegan
Let me explain these things so first of all vegan 100% vegan
It's not
Easy to see what a hundred percent vegan is
okay, there are by definition almost fuzzy borders like if you look at this scale here it goes from like big ingredients to
Micro ingredients like like things that you can't even see the question is how far are we?
Going there, and at what point is somebody vegan. Okay, so you could?
You could say that you're only vegan if you have
Studied by heart this little book with 300 pages of possibly non vegan ingredients, okay?
This is hard to do
I guess nobody is vegan, but somebody could learn the book by heart, and say I'm the true vegan okay
and so you can have a situation where for every vegan there's another vegan who is more vegan and
We can all tell each other you're not vegan and this person tells the other one you're not vegan etc
We can play that game at nauseam at infinitum, and it's not productive
It's not useful, so let's not do that let's not try to be a level 5 vegan ok
this is a distraction and
Also, you have to know that it's not always that
Impactful okay, so for instance, just a simple example these people are dumpster diving
And maybe they're getting some meat now and them from this dumpster
And they're eating it it has no impact whatsoever on the market on demand ok and the other way around being vegan
It's not enough either
I mean there's animal suffering and there's environmental problems even preferences with chocolate which is it can be a vegan product ok the vegan chocolate?
Still requires a lot of water and can have palm oil
Which causes animal suffering so don't think that as a vegan as a hundred and ten percent vegan? You're there. It's not true
The second concept is that there is something like a 95 percent vegan
I don't think this is controversial
But I see all the time something like no doesn't exist you either are vegan or you are not it's like being pregnant
You are pregnant or you're not pregnant
There's nothing in between
Thought think that's a good way to look at things
I think a more useful way is to indeed say like there's something like a 95 or
85 percent vegan just like the raw food people oh..the colour is a little bit off. I think that's from the raw food and
Raw food people they say these things all the time like you're a 9..
I'm a 99% raw you know and we could say that about being vegan too and of course
40% vegan doesn't mean anything anymore, but likes let's say till 80 percent or something it is a useful concept, I think
So rather than seeing it like black and white in terms of being pregnant or not
Let's see it like maybe like a religion like in the sense that like these people they're religious Jews, and they're very religious
And they're following a lot of rules so they cannot on the Sabbath they cannot press an elevator because that's an action
And you can't do anything on the Sabbath so you have to get a special elevator
But but for instance jonathan safran for is also jewish, and he doesn't do these things
It's not so strict, but they're both jews
Right, so just just a matter of strictness. I think it's useful to see it like that
It's not to not see it as a binary thing okay, and the most controversial thing is
That I would suggest that people who make tiny exceptions. I mean very rarely that
If they call themselves a vegan we don't go out and say like well if you do that then you're not a vegan
You know I see that all the time
On the Internet if you do this than that you're not vegan. Veganism is the definition of this and that and etc?
So let me explain what I mean. For instance you're going to your grandmother
And she made cookies and there's agony in those cookies or whatever and you're a person
I don't do this personally and maybe you don't do this either, but there's vegans who say like yeah, just for my grandmother
I'm doing this once a year
did I go there and maybe you can imagine that this grandmother is like 99 years old and she will die the next year and
yeah, that's why you want to do it, and that's why you don't want to disappoint her or
Maybe there's a business meeting and you see that there's like
Impactful people around you and you know that if you're going to be very very strict
I'm not saying you should eat like like like like a slice of cheese or something
But some some maybe a tiny ingredient you you may have doubts about
Well that you don't make a scene and don't question if people do that
I think that's a good thing and I wouldn't push..push them out of the club for that okay
So let's look at this, let's go a little bit further. These are your meals in a year, that's
1095 meals. Suppose that one of those meals is
Not vegan. You see the little dot there?
One of those meals is not vegan and that that means that there's still potatoes and vegetables and there's
maybe like a fish or whatever so one third of that meal is not vegan right so, that's
0.03% of your meals is not vegan. Is that enough to say to a person, no, you're not vegan?
You don't belong to the club you cannot call yourself eat even though
They are so much more so much closer to being vegan than to anything else than two vegetarian or whatever
That will be silly I think right so
Of course there's just I understand that people have problems with this approach, so you could say for instance
What if we did this about people what if we said like yeah?
Well you can do a little bit wrong with people you can murder
Just one person one once a year or something well
That's not really comparable. Okay, so let me explain you what I'm not worried about here
And what I'm worried about so we may have different worries
I'm not worried about my mom
Forcing things into my throat like you know when she hears that I'm saying like well
These tiny exceptions is not too bad, and then my mom says to me like yeah
I heard you say that so this.. this cake has X in it, now you have to eat it. I just explained no mom
I don't do that. You know I can be still very clear about it, so I'm not not worried about them
I'm also not worried about confused waiters
You know people say like are we going to confuse the people in the restaurant
And they would not gonna know what to do etc
We can still explain it
And I think it's much more easy to explain what a vegan dish is than what a vegan is so I think?
Vegan as an adjective is much more useful, much less problematic than applying the word vegan to a person
When as a person, vegan is not so simple, when as a dish vegan,
It's much more simple. I'm not concerned about watering down veganism
I'm not concerned about veganism becoming something that it's not or that wasn't intended. It's in the end. It's not about veganism
It's not about the system. It's not about the definition or the ideology
it's about the animals that suffer or that don't suffer or that killed or not killed and I'm also not worried about the
98% vegan world. You see my chicken my chicken
thing in there, so I
Mean some people say like we'll end up with with something close to but not quite vegan
But I mean if we get to
98% that first of all that would be a wonderful thing and secondly if we get there the remaining 2% will take care of itself
Okay, I see so many people focusing and spending so much time on the final 1% while we're not doing the first 99%
What I am worried about is
alienating meat-eaters like by being
Extreme in all these things
and I'm not saying that veganism being vegan is extreme or that being a consistent vegan is extreme and
What I'm saying is that sometimes in our communication we can be extreme
I'm worried about alienating vegans something I see all the time on the web people
Shifting from one Facebook group to another because they can't stand the atmosphere in one Facebook group anymore
And they go to another that they hope is more open and more tolerant until that one becomes wrong too
And they have shift to another one have you come across that phenomenon online? so so..
This is a really bad phenomenon like that we that we constantly make our own group smaller and smaller
I'm worried about recidivism one of the reasons why people drop out is because they find it too difficult
okay, so we can make it as difficult as we want we can put the price of admission to our club as high as we want
but it's not good to put it like extremely high,
I'm worried about signaling like suppose that
You you think you're not a real vegan because you do this or that and then you're on
On a survey or something you say like well
I cannot take vegan I have to take vegetarian because this one time at my grandmother
I did this well
Then we're signalling that there's less of us
Than that there really are I think and that's not not a good thing for the economy for marketing etc, so
Let's not make a very small group even smaller
by being so strict about things let's not look, look at things as binary as black and white and
and here's three distinctions that I think are useful. First of all,
expectations you have
you can make a difference between the expectations from yourself and
expectations you have from other people. Be as strict as you want, maybe you don't have to expect the same thing from other people
Behavior can be different in private than in public you could be maybe as strict as you want in private and maybe
a little bit more lenient in public maybe for strategic purposes
Or you could do it the other way around you could like eat meat in your basement and be very strict outside
Make it make a distinction between consistency with rules and with the definition of veganism and with goals or results
this is something some of you may have seen before if you go to a certain city and you have to buy dinner for a
friend and you know in that one restaurant in that one in that city there's only two choices a
very bad vegan burger and a delicious vegetarian burger if
You're consistent with your rules
you will buy then, the very bad vegan burger
If you're consistent with results and with goals and with output and impact
I think you should buy then the vegetarian burger because they will say like oh my god. This is good
I can taste this again, and the other, they will say like oh my god this is dreadful
Okay, and the final one is positivity
Mainly my message is let's try to be more like dogs
Optimism is a moral duty. I believe in that it's a moral duty because optimism will get us
Further. It will be more sustainable for us. We will keep doing what we're doing if we have hope and
Of course we don't have to exaggerate it because we cannot be optimistic about everything and sometimes it would be dangerous like we don't have
to be naive about Donald here. I mean it's not not productive to say like oh everything will be all right, okay?
I think resisting. This is a good thing
Optimism or positivity also, you can do it towards other vegans first of all and there
It's it's very important, or it's important in general
To realize that you're not a mind-reader
To realize that you can never guess other people's intentions that you don't know why they're doing something
I see people
saying things like you're doing this because of this like people say about me like you're doing this because of money or so as if
I ever make money with activism or advocacy or you know
So so this kind of like trying to guess or trying to know what people's intentions or motivations are...
I don't think it's a very nice thing to do
We can also be more positive towards non vegans and that's very difficult if we see all this horrible suffering
It's hard to be positive, it's hard to be positive
Towards people like like a bullfighter
Something that helps me is one quote it may sound a little bit cheesy, but I like it
"Those who deserve love the least needed the most"
you understand that? so most of the time and some when we think that
a person has done something really bad
We take away all all the love and the support that we have we put them in prison
And they're probably the people who can use love and support the most so we have it backwards. I think
I think we have to remember that we are the first species and this is a wonderful thing
We are the first species to question our own diet
This is from a movie called La Belle Verte, and it's about aliens like who look like us from another planet
And they have missions, and they go to different
planets, to um...
to educate people and to
help them evolve and then the time comes when the
People there on that other planet ask that who is joining me to earth and everyone
Because earth is a very primitive planet and one of the people who comes down to earth and she has an influence on everybody she
touches and
There's one woman walking into a butchery and the alien woman she talks to her. She says like what is that?
What did you just buy, and the woman says like it's my meat. I just buy it to eat. What are you?
are you crazy and
A second later we see her sit down on the pavement and she looks at her meat like this she takes it out
And she looks and she's like and you see her wondering what am I doing?
That's what part of us are doing for the first time for the very first time and you have to see ourselves as we were
recently an ape
hanging around in trees
right and we were
Doing things all kind of horrible things. We're still doing horrible things, but today. We are
Modern beings we have technology since a couple of hundred years, and we have made a lot of progress
And you have to think about the next part that's coming, so much possibilities
For change for the good, change for the better, I think you have to believe in that
And if all else fails, and if you're still not positive
At night in front of your computer, and you're down with all the horrible things that people do
Then you can enter this in google pictures to restore your faith in humanity
and then you'll see pictures of
this guy
Giving water to koala and these guys
saving the goat from a stream or from the sea
These officers helping ducks across the street or
this person
helping cat
helping another one's dog out of the water, and this one my favorite
a fireman handing a cat back to their person, and you see the cat doesn't care much
But but look at the woman
Look how look how
How happy she is to have that cat back look at the care and the love that you see on that face?
And I think that it's very important
I think I would like you to think about people like that about people people who care
About animals about cats, and I know it's not a pig or a chicken and I know very well that maybe that very night
She had chickens or pigs on her plate
but she cares about that cat she feels love for an animal and I think most of us most people are like that and
That's something to believe in and that's something we can work with
Thank you very much
00:31:41,780 --> 00:31:45,000
I don't know if it's an for questions. Just saying, um.. if..if um..

You interested in my book. They have it at the buy back stand I'll be happy to sign a copy during the lunch hour
We have a lot of time for a question
Thank you for your talk. I agree with your
analyze of the use of the word vegan for
persons and I think also that we should use it for
Products or dishes and these are vegan products vegan dishes
I'm thinking we could even
definitely using the word vegan for
Entirely like we can say it's just a boycott of animal products
and explain to people with whom we talk about animal rights that when they
Have to choose between a product between two products one is vegan the other one is not that they have the moral
duty to choose the vegan one
so in this way they will
understand that it's
it's a moral obligation to do it when we have a choice and
And even I think in the future
We could even step using the word vegan even for products because if we want a society
Where the lives and interests of animals are respected all products are entirely plant-based
So we don't need the label vegan on all products
These are just normal products so at the end we will even stop using the word vegan for our products
What do you think of it?
Yeah? Thanks for your comment?
Yeah, I agree to a high extent
And I think in the future could very well be that it becomes a default and we don't need a word and and some
Some it's like an India sometimes you see non-vegetarian on the restaurants, so it shows that that's not a default
So, but I think at this point the word vegan is a useful thing maybe even for persons
But I just wouldn't like make it so, make not the the price tag so high to be able to call yourself a vegan
I think it's useful because it's an easy way to define
What you do what you are what your expectations are of food, so I think it's it's handy the problem
Is that it comes with a lot of bad connotations and associations, and I think also we are too strict about it
I wouldn't mind I mean I see people saying all the time like if you do it for health reasons then you're not a vegan
And you're a plant-based diet eater or plant-based diet or whatever
I don't think that's that's a very useful thing
I don't mind when people who do it for health reasons call themselves vegan it makes our group bigger. We need that so
For convenience and for signaling, I think it's a useful term
I just think we need to like make sure that people associate it with
Positive things with good things with an enlargement of choice with nice people
That I think what's the most important at this point in time about the word
So thanks for the talk I have one question
You had like, as far as I understood correctly. You said that all the people here
like the low-hanging fruit and
There were the people
Like we had some. I don't know
predispositions or whatever
to adopt
This lifestyles ideology or whatever you want to call it because of some I don't know some
Predispositions or whatever and I'm just wondering, what led you to the conclusion that
like when some kind special and the other people aren't
Well, I mean you could almost say like the fact that we are here and the other people are not
Shows that there's a difference between us and the other people right? So what could that difference be?
Think one of the possibilities is that we are just more open
maybe to put
To put our beliefs into practice, maybe we're more disciplined. Maybe we're more empathic
Like there can be me
I mean there's also differences like maybe we were
born or raised in the right environment, or we met the right people or we read the right books
But I think there might very well be some personality differences
That are that are important
And it is important to take that into account it is important to take into account that the other people are not necessarily
like us and may in fact be very different from us
And and just taking that into into account makes you
Make sure that you won't try to use the same solution for everybody
It's like one size fits only one you know
So we have to be I think
Adaptive in our in how we approach people and we say like if I talk to you I can try to see like
How you are what are your interests? Are you interested environment etc?
Maybe you're not into food at all or maybe you are into food
I can I can play into that in order to like take you along on that journey right so
It's just an important realization to to know that we are different
It's also important to know that we have a lot in common with each other and that many people
Care like the woman with a cat care about animals, so that's also something that we need to to work with
00:37:15,630 --> 00:37:21,290
I want to thank you for your point about rationality so as a scientist, I'm very much in favor of that

But given your last statement
Do you think there is a correlation between the early adopter thing and the fact that we're having a problem with rationality?
can you say it again? sorry,
the fact that there is a
Rationality problem do you think that might be due to the fact that we are early adopters?
I think you mean a rationality problem within our movement. I think it has to do
It has to do with passion also with the fact that like we so believe in this thing and we are so
Convinced that we're right about it that sometimes
We get a little bit blinded
We get a little bit blind for some kind of arguments for being open to other people for listening to other things so it
That's what I mean with being in the vegan box it closes us off to a certain extent to
Hearing more to listening more to hearing about arguments to hearing science we have very much
We have a very big confirmation bias we want to hear things that confirm our own ideas
because we want to be
Successful and also we want to be right
We want to be confirmed like everybody else you want to be confirmed their own opinion
so I think there's a there's a lot of things and I think
rationality is basically challenged as soon as an ideology shows up and
Veganism is basically a kind of ideology even though. It's I think a very great and a good ideology, but it may prevent us from
hearing everything there is to hear and
Reading all the arguments or being open to all the arguments. That's why I emphasize
open-mindedness so much yeah
I just want to add a question what we can ask
carnism omnivores
How we can argue? How many percent we can argue and then they can think about it and maybe
Can easily join our club?
Yeah! That's the possibility or you can ask like like, are you doing something like do you have at least like
a vegan day or whatever or do you have vegan meals now and then, I'm not saying that everybody I mean
I'm not saying the vegan label can apply to everybody you know like if you eat meat
every month or something that is done still, but yeah
but but but I think like you say it's really important to give people the feeling that they can be part of us and
That we don't give them the feeling that like even seeing things like yeah, you're well on the way
But you're not there yet or something
I think this alienates a lot of people and that's what the label does basically the label is useful, but it's also damaging
There's one over there
Hi, Thank you for the speech
Unfortunately I can't agree with some of the things here that I just can't start and I don't know where to start
But I think I'm gonna start with something that in Russia was yesterday
starting her lecture with showing has a story about the cow and about the milk products and
I think um..
I understand what you mean
I understand the ideology of making it
sorry for saying it less more shallow for me because being vegan it's something very special and
When you score the point when you're looking at the milk products, and you don't see cheese. It's not exception
It's not exception for me to having a
I don't know, anything, a yogurt, a cow's milk. You know anything of it
It's not exception when you score the point and you see it
And you see that bleeding cow dying cow is not exception
It's not exception to saying somebody that yeah, you are if you can but
You know what you can have it you can have a whipped cream you can have something like this. For me. It's just
really, and the same ideology to having more people to
Do a lot of things to you know invite them to eat less and less and less
Honestly, and personally, I will never agree to say something
That kind of person that is vegan because it's not for me being vegan
It's not about food, and this is the thing that I don't agree with your lecture
So Yeah, I mean I think this is this is a case where
I mean I'm I'm like you
I won't make these exceptions except for like like things that are so small that they're not comparable to a slice of cheese
But I think it's it's useful here to make the distinction between what you do and what you expect except
Expect of yourself and what you expect of others and I would just recommend that
We do the thing that gets them on board because if we get them on board that will mean
reduction of suffering for those cows
especially so
That's what I'm always looking at like looking at the impact of what we do
and I understand I mean I've been a vegan for 20 years, and I understand all the suffering but
There are some things that we do. I think in our passion and in our care and in our empathy for these creatures
That get other people further away from us rather than closer to us
And I think we have to get them closer, and it's not like I said it's not that anything goes
It's not like I will call somebody a vegan or I'll even allow them to say that
That to say that they're vegan when they're like
Making like like like a lot of exceptions or something
I'm just talking about like this this tiny things that that we are constantly on
people's backs and saying like you are not there. You don't belong to us. You're not vegan you can't use that word
I don't think that's a productive attitude at all
I think the people or the the beings that suffer most because of that attitude are the animals
So we can discuss it later. It's a long discussion
Sorry hello
I have heard of that many anti-speciesist or some anti-speciesist say that anti-speciesism is
much more a proper term to veganism because um..
One I think one biggest difference between anti-speciesism and veganism is it is entirely possible to ignore wild animal suffering entirely
while being vegan
What do you think about the topic of wild animal suffering and I think that using
the term anti species is better for
making people to care about and what they're suffering
mmm. Yeah, well first of all
Let me say like if you if you compare an anti speciesist's approach to a vegan approach
I think it's very valuable to have other
arguments in our arsenal of
arguments than moral arguments ethical arguments so health arguments environmental arguments taste arguments
They're all really important to use in this in our campaigning and our outreach and our advocacy
also, because these moral arguments they often create a lot of resistance with people people feel less worthy because you are
Vegan and they are not and it creates resistance
And they will like step away from you the distance will become bigger they can avoid you etc
So it's not to say avoid moral arguments, but use moral arguments together with the other arguments
That's why I would say like the vegan outreach, which includes
environmental health taste etc arguments is very useful then to your
Point of of wild animal suffering I do care about the suffering of wild animals, I think I think that's the the biggest
Discovery I made in the last few years. It was like to me like a moment like that
I said like the same thing as being vegan. Oh my god
I all these creatures and factory farms suffer
And then you say like oh my god all these creatures in the wild they suffer too, they suffer horribly
And there's so many of them so yeah to that extent I think
We should start talking about it and an anti speciesist
Argument, maybe maybe way to do that on the other hand I think like it's of course
This is a very difficult thing. This is maybe a next-level thing for later
I think within a context of of people like this today and has a talk like about it
I think right now or later today about wild animal suffering. I think it's important to raise awareness
especially within the movement amongst ourselves
I think talking to a wider audience about it
is is not easy as quite a challenge so I would of course prioritize and the factory farmed animals also because
We are personally responsible for that
But I think it's a very important issue. Thanks for raising it
I would be just strategic and careful with it at this moment
First of all thank you for your talk, I found it very interesting. I just want to give a comment to
The slide where you showed the two burgers
so you said there was by rule or by goal and
I I just want to say so I like the concept but my personal interpretation of that is a little bit
Different to yours that doesn't mean I disagree with that, but so if I want to go by goal
That is I wish to have a more respectful world where we respect each other so that's why I also agree
We should have empathy towards bullfighters and hunters
But so that means for a more respectful world
For me by definition that is a vegan world and so when I come into that scenario
I'm not thinking about whether to go with a vegan or vegetarian burger because the question does not arise from myself
I just think for my respectful world veganism is only just the beginning so we can talk about
plastic in the ocean, so we I mean I try to reduce my plastic consumption vastly I also only go for because I
Find it wrong to only care about animal rights and not human rights so like for clothing for instance
So I think it's just just the first starting point and I personally think to reach that goal
What can I do further even beyond veganism, so I never think about so even if that burger doesn't look that great
So I'm not I'm not carrying about the people sitting around me judging me or if I'm not doing it for them
If I was doing that for people that is people that I probably have never seen they don't have enough to eat
And I'm doing that for so many other reasons
But not because of other people so I would still go with a vegan burger even though. It doesn't look that attractive
Yeah, because because of the respect you say
yeah, exactly and so and also I never think about do I do I eat the vegan version or like with a little bit of
Milk or X in it because it's just a given
I think for me
And then I can look what can I what can I do beyond that
Because I don't think veganism is the answer to everything I think it's just one part that affects many different topics
But but I think what what can I what can I even do further
yeah, okay
Yeah, not sure if I understand, but maybe we can discuss it in private
afterwards Thanks I
I have a question towards
Empathy, you were talking about and you gave some examples
Which I understand which I can deal with and have empathy with, but you also gave examples
For the the bullfighter or last night. We watched the movie the kangaroo about I don't know if you have seen it, but it's about
Scouting and harvesting which is a very disgusting word for for killing kangaroos in Australia
How far would you go with your empathy like where's your is there a border is there a line?
you are pulling a rope you're pulling, where you say there's enough of empathy
This is not there's no discussion point anymore no understanding anymore for me
It's already a bullfighter. I can't have empathy with, sorry
It very hard
Yeah, it's hard for me too. Yeah, and I think we are this rumors
Completely overload. It was empathy. Yeah sure so yeah. Yeah, I mean I'm
Empathy does not mean approving of anything. Empathy. I use it in the in the way that if he tried to have empathy
We're just trying to see where this person comes from and that
Maybe the bullfighter has been raised in a tradition of this and maybe he has a inferiority complex
And he wants to prove himself or maybe his parents were like
Drilling this down to him that he had to become maybe he had no op..
I mean, there's so many things that you can imagine and
What he's like or how he's like and that can help you if you would talk to this bullfighter
Which probably you don't have the chance to but if you would talk to him that you would have like new opportunities to like
Raise something or influence them that's one thing. It's it's it's result-oriented and secondly. It's also I think
It's better for yourself. I mean if we go through life being angry at these people all the time
I don't know what that does to us in terms of sustainability and in terms of like our peace of mind
and in terms of like
spreading anger and outrage all around the world which happens so fast on Facebook, so
Every time I see something that infuriates me
It's not that I will push away that indignation or that anger
But I will try to find something that softens me a little bit so that becomes more
Bearable for me and that it might become more effective
In terms of communication towards them. It doesn't mean approving and I can perfectly
understand that there's people like you cannot have any empathy for I just experienced that as
it developed inside me and as I had as I got into the habit of like trying to look at things from their perspective
It helped me a lot both in communication and for my own peace of mind
but it's up to you to find how how you deal with that
Think it's almost always useful
00:51:46,880 --> 00:51:52,239
I mean, and I think I can I mean I talked to I was a visit to the prison some time ago

and and I talked to a murderer and
he had killed somebody and
He told me that
His nine brothers and sisters were all in prison
I mean that tells you something that tells you that it was like a household. That was not very functional right so
There's always information that you can gather that can help you like
Yeah, have empathy for I think almost
So regarding communication you mentioned
storytelling that we end up like making judgments or thinking about what why the other person's doing certain things and
I was wondering if you know or recommend any tools for effective
Communication for vegans I personally have studied nonviolent communication, and I found that very effective in my life, (non-violent? yes) and especially
When I talk to non-vegans as well
Yeah, what'd you think because we're such a small community that we should actually actively get involved in learning these skills
Yeah, I think I think it's non-violent communication is not easy to apply
But or not easy to consistently apply in all situations, but I find it a very beautiful thing. I think it's
It's one of the things that could make the world a better place if we all learn to compete nobody of us learn to communicate
Course but basically if you graduate at
From secondary education you have not learned to communicate in a way that is productive that is tolerant that is empathic
We have not learned that that will be one of the most
Important skills I think and and we teach that in our Seva trainings Melanie talks a lot about that
That's one of the most important skills that we can learn not just as vegans, but as humans so in terms of
Resources yes some Marshall Rosenberg and other books on communication. I really recommend that on my blog vegan strategist
There's a resources section in my book. Also. There's some stuff on communication that I that I recommend and it's
It's not easy to do but again
It makes you a happier person a better person and a more effective person. I think if you can communicate with empathy
So thank you a lot. We are out of the time so
Have a nice day, and thank you for this beautiful
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How to Create a Vegan World?- Tobias Leenaert [IARC2017]

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戴宇陞 published on November 1, 2018
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