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Non-Violent Vegan Education

PEACE car

I have a strong feeling that animal rights advocates, vegan organizations, animal welfare organizations MUST unite under ONE focus; Vegan Education. Yes, we should forget about our relationships with institutional exploiters and asking for better conditions, forget about using violent tactics to overcome violence imposed on others, and use all our resources to offer free creative non-violent vegan education to the masses who are the ones demanding (with their purchases)  institutional exploiters for their products.

Many people will go vegan, if they get the right education. Hundreds of young people from around the world come to a vegan educational center in New Zealand where I volunteer. They come in non-vegan and they leave vegan in just a few days. Why? Because they are getting a whole package deal and experiencing all the how to’s and the authentic reason for being a vegan. They see many vibrant vegans around them. They are educated with good non-violent videos, such as: A Life Connected. They learn while there about how to prepare vegan food and what vegans eat, etc. They talk with long-time healthy vegans who are coming from a space of Love. It is a superb way of making vegans.
 
I’ve hosted ‘vegan sharing circles’ in Florida. I use the meet-up site to advertise. I usually have to turn people away and stop at 55 people. They are not planned, but ‘in the moment’, and every one of them has been a beautiful experience. Everyone has the floor for a few minutes to introduce themselves and speak something about the subject of veganism. The experienced vegans are inspiring, the aspiring vegans get inspired. Each year when I hold these, (when I go to Florida to visit my family), someone becomes vegan, and some become abolitionist-vegans. (Everyone receives literature that I wrote, and Abolitionist Approach pamphlet, and other literature.) We have a huge banquet of delicious vegan food that my brother and I make; which I believe should accompany all events. Delicious vegan food speaks a thousand words.
 
That is why Gentle World, at one time, created The Vegan Restaurant in Hawaii. The incredibly delicious food was used to speak to the people. And it did! Many, many people became vegan from that restaurant. People who came into dine, were never preached at. The food did all the talking. There were centerpieces on each table with quotes from DaVinci, Einstein, Tolstoy, Gandhi, and other great minds in history that spoke of abstinence from animal foods.
 
At my poetry reading/book launch in Sydney, another person became a vegan. When I have events, it is not about me, but about me being a voice for the animals. We have to attempt to rid ourselves of ego and keep the focus on the animal’s plight, with all our advocacy work.
 
Elizabeth Collins of NZ Vegan Podcast (in New Zealand) sets up a kiosk in Auckland city with abolitionist vegan literature for all the passer-bys. They put posters up on a big wall too for people to peruse. I’ve set up on the main streets, in the past, with free samples of ‘Seitan BBQ or Seitan Teriyaki’ along with printed recipes to handle out to people. We can take our vegan education to the streets. Though, I could not, in good conscience, give out the Vegan Outreach “Why Vegan” booklet because I don’t think it gives the right message, I do like how their volunteers go to college campuses and engage conversation with the young adults and hand them literature.

Billboards and commercials would be good for organizations with money. Use your money to really do something that will benefit animals. Penetrate the mainstream speciesist mindset with vegan campaigns. Commercials, billboards and literature should be non violent; and that includes towards humans; non-sexist, non-racist, non-homophobic, non-ageist, etc.
 
The photo pictured here is a beautiful example of non-violent vegan education. The Vegan Society of P.E.A.C.E in Houston, and the artist Michelle Gunnett who hand sketched the design for the volunteers to paint the old limo. It was seen by 250,000 spectators in Houston. They passed out free fruit from the windows. Passing out literature would have been good too. The car was ruined from a hurricane, sadly, but I wanted to keep it alive in this blog, because it is a wonderful representation of non-violent vegan education. If I had been one of those people who saw it on the road, I would think vegans are beautiful, colorful, vibrant, peace-loving people, like they are.

This article originally appeared on the Veganism: A Truth Whose Time has Come website

M Butterflies Katz

M Butterflies Katz is based in the USA and New Zealand and has been a vegan for over 3 decades. She runs the blog Veganism: A Truth Whose Time has Come, previously wrote for the now-retired Australian Vegan Voice magazine and is the Co-author of Incredibly Delicious; Recipes for a New Paradigm by Gentle World

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