There are a lot of questions surrounding animal activism, such as: what is the best technique to use in order to be one? Should I publish pictures of animal atrocity on social media websites? Should I, instead of focusing on what is negative, direct my attention to the changes that I want to see in the world? Should I talk about it to others around me, or just do what I believe is right and let others learn from my example? Should I continue to watch videos about the mistreatment of animals if I am already aware of what happens to them? How can I help animals when I have a hard time watching the videos that depict the atrocities being done to them?
That’s a lot of questions, for sure. However, these are the things that you should think about once you have realised what is happening behind closed doors in the meat, fashion, cosmetics, medicine and entertainment industries. You feel the urge to become an activist to inform others about this serious issue.
You have to understand that it is completely human to feel sad about what is happening and to want to share this understanding with others. You are, before anything else, a spiritual being, even if most people have forgotten that aspect of their lives. You are also a social being that feels the need to share. It is therefore normal to want to share new understandings with others.
However, depending on how you go about doing that and who you speak with, what you share might be received, or it could perhaps not even be listened to. This depends on many parameters – some that you can control, and others that you cannot.
We will soon be 7 billion humans on earth. Therefore, there is much more than just one way to convince people of an ideology that will be accepted by every one of these 7 billion people. We all have a different level of consciousness. Our way of perceiving the reality that surrounds us is what can differ greatly from one person to another. For example, someone who thinks that he is nothing more than his first name, his nationality, his education, his salary, and his pay, will surely live life like a robot that does nothing more than consume whatever is offered without trying to understand what companies are hiding behind the items consumed. On the other hand, there are people who have a more multidimensional sense of themselves, meaning that they exist on many levels – physical, emotional, spiritual – and that they are able to understand others, the Earth, and animals. The two perspectives on life are totally different because the levels of consciousness are different. Therefore, you need to find a different technique for each person, just like teachers who know very well that there is much more than one way for their students to learn.
Now, since everyone has their own perception of things, they will only understand what they want to understand. They may not try to step back and take a look at the big picture. Some people, for example, know that animals have a conscience and can feel pain, just like us. Therefore, they have chosen not to eat animals in order to avoid inflicting pain on other living beings. These people might want to see more vegan recipes on social media websites and not pictures that depict animal suffering. They might state that they are fed up of seeing these pictures and let you know that they are not happy to be subjected to them yet again. However, there may be another person, sitting behind another computer screen, who will see that same picture and finally start understanding. There isn’t one perfect way to let others know what you feel about animal suffering.
That being said, there are certain rules that you can follow which will help get the message across.
The first one is to keep your anger at bay. Do not post pictures on someone’s Facebook wall of a cow getting his eyes plucked out just because you don’t like that person and you want to force him to wake up. You are not doing this to get revenge against others, nor are you doing this to hurt anyone. Activism is not about insulting others, either. Do not attack someone who refuses to leave that kind of picture on his Facebook wall. He may or may not agree with you, but either way, it’s his Facebook page; he can do what he pleases with it. Afterwards, if you show hatred or anger you may very well end up wondering why others do not listen to the message of caring you are trying to spread, even if it is obvious.
Teamwork is another important aspect of activism. Once someone chooses to become vegetarian or vegan, just remember that no one is perfect. If you see him eating meat just once, do not become judgemental. After all, this person is trying to do the best he can, so let him be. You need to get as many people as possible to push the movement ahead along with you, and breaking ourselves up into little groups that constantly argue will only hurt the cause in the long run. Plus, there is no reason to point fingers at others. We are all humans, and we all make mistakes. This goes for any aspect of life: when someone is attempting to change for the better, it is much easier to see that change happen by encouraging him than by continually pointing out his errors.
This also means that you have to be careful and to try not to make yourself seem as though you are superior to others. Yes, being vegan is a good cause, but you are still just a human being, like everyone else. By being friendly, you have much more chances of making others want to become like you. You do not need to be perfect in order to encourage others to change, either. If you are a vegan that sometimes wears leather shoes, it’s better than the vegan who believes he is better than others and judges them for what they do, but follows the strict rules of veganism to a tee.
What else? Well, we can start focusing on what we want to see instead of pointing out what is wrong with this world. Therefore, choose to reduce the amount of pictures of animal suffering you post to a minimum, since they carry a negative energy with them. I say reduce because some people need to know what is going on, but stop once they have understood the message. Many have no clue that the animals who will be part of their dinner suffer, so you do have to educate them. Afterwards, though, you can teach them that veganism is easy, fun, tasty and energising! You can also teach them what else they can do in order to put an end to the misery. Spreading more hatred and negativity will not help the world. Keeping things positive and light will go a long way.
The best way to do this is to maintain a positive attitude. Someone who is too negative will influence others and keep them from wanting to join in the fight against animal torture. Although it is difficult to find the perfect way to proceed with activism, a positive attitude is definitely the main ingredient needed to succeed with any activism endeavour. Keep your intentions good, and you are more likely to be listened to.
Remember, though, that you are the first one who needs to change if you wish to change the world. Before you start communicating your message to others, make sure your energy is clean, your intent is pure, and that you do what you tell others to do. Stay happy and positive in your activism. Don’t force yourself to speak of something that makes you sad. Others will feel that you are not comfortable talking about it and will probably not listen or refuse to make the changes you wish to see because they will feel your energy.
On that note, happy activism!
Photo credit: flickr.com