“We won’t win them over with words. We convince nobody. Instead, they will follow when invited by example.”
Let me get right to the point: There is no room for shaming people for eating meat, drinking milk, or buying wool. I never experienced public shaming prior to choosing my vegan lifestyle, and I have no intention of shaming others to change behaviour.
We all love a healthy thoughtful debate. However, yelling “Meat is murder” at someone on the street eating a fat ass greasy burger, only causes defensiveness, and a perception that vegans are a banal confrontational bunch. Do you really believe that shame causes people to evaluate their food and clothing choices?
I personally make it a point not to tell people directly that I am vegan. I let them discover it on their own. And of course that is easy to do as my vegan choice is posted all over my social media accounts, etc. It makes for a much more interesting conversation down the road. “Oh, you’re vegan? Really? Where do you get your protein?” (…really?)
I am not talking about the brave souls picketing outside a chicken processing plant. They deserve a medal! It takes guts standing out there knowing that 90% of the people passing by have a sudden hate for your beliefs. Effective activists know that the last thing you want to engage in is direct confrontation. Activists move mountains with steadfast understanding of extreme injustice; they shine a light on what we are unwilling/unable to see. Taking the bait when someone throws a personal insult is an immediate loss of credibility. Take a lesson from activists in the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). These folks are covert and say nothing – instead, they move their conviction to direct action.
Picket, stand your ground, breath, and be peace. Or, adopt the approach of the “Vegan Badass” It’s your choice. If you feel the need shine a light on injustice, this is all you have to do. People are attracted to conviction and clear minded responses to their questions. The moment you shame or sling insults, is the moment the conversation shuts down.