Change in the Direction of Vegan Advocacy

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Change in the Direction of Vegan Advocacy

From Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary (PPS)

We urge Animal Rights advocates to reformat their advocacy model and prioritize educating the public about the violent exploitation and slaughter of billions of hens, roosters, their parents, cows, calves, bulls, nanny goats, billy goats, and their kids in the line of any form of egg and dairy production.

We at PPS would like to see the Animal Rights advocates stop using the old, outdated model of advocacy and vocabulary, which uses terms like "factory farming", "meat is dead", "meat is murder", "Meatout" etc.

We must recognize that "cage-free" eggs and organic milk are now being offered as the default alternative. Twenty years ago, vegan advocates could use the term "factory farming" because, at the time, there was no mass marketed "humane" animal farming alternative that could be readily found at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc.

We must clarify the central message of vegan advocacy. For decades, we have put 90% of Animal Rights vegan outreach resources into anti-"meat" messages, while leaving eggs and dairy as an afterthought, or at least giving the public and activists the impression that those issues are less important and less urgent. This is precisely why we have people who are lacto-ovo for decades.

Once the cumulative abuses in egg and dairy production are understood, it becomes preposterous for us to treat people who don't eat meat , but still consume eggs and dairy, as being "better than" meat eaters. Quite often, when vegetarians stop eating meat , but continue their consumption of eggs and dairy, they replace the flesh in their diet with dairy and eggs, which can result in even greater numbers of farmed animals being abused and killed. If we tell people that consuming eggs and dairy is less destructive than "meat" eating, we are not only failing to tell the truth, we are making our vegan goal that much more difficult to attain.

The strategy of prioritizing our anti-meat message over anti-dairy and eggs has failed the animals miserably. Consciously or not, our terminology when talking to the public as well as each other, often reflects this meat-centric approach. We often refer to non-vegans as "meat eaters", and refer to the "humane" propaganda as "Happy Meat". Again, we are focusing our advocacy against the consumption of flesh over the consumption of eggs and dairy.

The misperception by lacto-ovo "vegetarians" and the general public that "meat" consumption is cruel to animals, while egg and dairy consumption is less cruel, or not cruel at all, has been one of the biggest barriers to effective vegan outreach efforts for decades. The time is long overdue that we prioritize informing the public – and ourselves – about the hidden horrors of ALL forms of dairy and egg production over the far more obvious horrors of flesh production.

Once someone has been educated about the exploitations and violations inherent in ALL egg and dairy production, if they are at all inclined to act on that information by going Vegan, the "meat" part of the equation is intuitive. However, we have seen countless people who stop consuming "meat" because they do not want an animal to be killed for them, yet they still (often for decades) cling to the idea that there is no harm in consuming eggs and dairy because "chickens just lay eggs" or "cows have to be milked or they will die". They are so secure in the belief that eggs and milk just happen, and that no one is killed for them, that they actually beam with pride when they announce that they are "vegetarian" and would NEVER eat "meat"!

The concept that the meat on a plate is from a dead animal is one that even small children can understand – all the complexities and horrors of production might not be immediately apparent, but the fact that the chicken leg is a dead chicken can be readily understood. But children and adults alike might refuse to consume eggs and dairy if they were taught the truth about the animals who endure miserable lives and are all still killed, just like the "meat" animals were. If they intentionally stop consuming eggs and dairy based on their compassion and respect for all sentient beings, then boycotting meat is obvious.

We urge Animal Rights advocates to reformat their advocacy model and prioritize educating the public about the violent exploitation and slaughter of billions of hens, roosters, their parents, cows, calves, bulls, nanny goats, billy goats, and their kids in the line of any form of egg and dairy production. If people are receptive to this information, you can be assured they will intuitively understand why they can no longer support flesh production either.