In their wise and practical guide to effective animal advocacy, The Animal Activist’s Handbook, Matt Ball (Vegan Outreach) and Bruce Friedrich (PETA) advise,
“Rather than launching into a monologue about cruelty . . . we must lead people to recognize that what they already believe (cruelty is wrong) necessitates a change in diet.”
They recommend using “the Socratic method” which involves leading the conversation to where others are answering their own questions, leading people “to think about what it means to choose to eat animals.” It is a dynamic way for eliciting change in others rather than trying to impose it on them.
So is something called The Veg Monologues an effective tool for bringing about a change to veganism? I have struggled with this question. I know very well Why Vegan? But why The Veg Monologues?
I have attempted to describe the intentions of this project on the About page. I believe in effective vegan advocacy but I also believe that we vegans have a need to tell our stories and I believe that in telling those stories, in all their diversity, in sharing who we are as unique individuals, the general public will come to connect with us on a personal level and in that connection seeds may be planted, doors may be opened, a light might be shined.
So, yes, as advocates for veganism, let’s reach out to others, let’s draw them into a conversation, let’s lead them to coming to their own conclusions based upon compassion, or perhaps health or environmental concerns. But as individuals who are vegan, who care deeply for animals and our fellow human beings, let’s not be afraid to tell our stories, to be authentic to who we are.
Sharing our own stories may prove to be prologue to the many unique and wonderful stories of all those future vegans out there.