As you know, I maintain that for those concerned about animal exploitation, the decision to go vegan is the single most important thing one can do. If you want to do more, then you should engage in creative, nonviolent vegan education.
This week, I became aware of another example of nonviolent vegan education in action. The Vegan Abolitionist site has a nice, one-page, simple, and straightforward description of the meaning, basis, and importance of veganism. It is available in English and several foreign languages.
This joins other similar efforts, including our own Abolitionist Approach pamphlet, now available in English and eleven other languages, the Boston Vegan Association pamphlet, the bilingual (English and French) pamphlet distributed by The Starting Point is Veganism, and, of course, the vegan/abolitionist materials of the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.
These are just a few examples of low-cost efforts to educate the public about veganism. There are many people out there who, in their everyday lives, are engaging in creative, nonviolent vegan education. Just talking with your friends and family about veganism is a most important form of activism.
The only way that we will ever end animal exploitation is by shifting the paradigm away from the status of animals as property and toward the status of animals as moral persons. That is not going to be accomplished either by legislative fiat or by violence of any sort. It is going to come from determined individuals who embrace nonviolence, apply it in their own lives, and share it with others.
I know that animal advocates get discouraged at what seems to be a lack of progress. This is true of all advocates for social justice. But always keep in mind the words of anthropologist Margaret Mead:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
And keep working everyday at creative, nonviolent vegan education.
Gary L. Francione
© 2009 Gary L. Francione