May 28, 2007

Roger Yates, and other thoughts

Posted in animal advocacy, companion animals, veganism at 3:57 pm by nevavegan

Hey cool. Roger Yates on his blog on human-nonhuman relations, mentions the discussion from “Sean.” That’s not “Sean,” that’s Sean, my husband. Sadly I have no way to email Roger Yates and let him know, and he has turned off comments on his blog.

Other than that, my upset over the whole conference debacle continued for several days and I haven’t really been posting because everything that pops into my mind to say is just exceedingly negative. So it seemed better to bite my tongue, err, bite my typing fingers…

But this one thought did come to me. I got into a debate previously with someone from HSUS about their webpage devoted to finding a good dog breeder. Their stance was that they had tried everything possible to convince people to adopt, and so, since they had realized some people will still just ignore adoption and go to a breeder, they decided to provide information on how to find a good breeder.

While I did understand the frustration, truly I do…. Maybe I should say how deeply I understand the frustration. I’ve been involved in companion animal rescue quite a few years now, and still people I otherwise respect, and people who I have educated on the issue, have still gone to breeders. So yeah, I feel your pain, so to speak.

My issues were 1) putting it on the web allowed people to bypass all adoption information and go straight to the idea that “good dog breeders” do exist and they could find them, and 2) Really, you’ve tried EVERYTHING to promote dog adoption?

Immediately idea from the mundane to the wild and wacky flooded into my mind. Have we tried tv commercials on companion animal adoption? Have we asked all the dog and cat lovers in Hollywood to push the inclusion of adoption as a plot point on popular shows and in movies? Have we put on “Shelter Dog Shows” in the middle of town to show off how absolutely gorgeous and loving all these dogs at the shelter are? Can we get more articles in periodicals about the reality of companion animal overpopulation? What about a “shelter dog ambassador” who would go around visiting mayors and elected officials to educate them on shelter and overpopulation issues? He could be a very well-behaved (obviously) shelter dog and his message could be “Dear mayor, please help save my brothers and sisters at the shelter.” Maybe the news would cover that.

And so on and so on….

So here’s my thought. When we say that we’ve tried everything to promote veganism, could we instead apply some of that same creative insanity to this issue. What if we all stopped worrying about seeming foolish and put aside fears of voicing a bad idea and we all just spilled our brains and our guts to come up with as many ideas as possible for promoting veganism.

My ideas are much the same. Can we get our pals in Hollywood to push for a “normal” character on a popular show to be vegan? Not the wacky, hippy character, but could a likable, well-grounded character simply order the veggie burger when everyone goes to the diner together? Can we air commercials and do print ads for veganism.

My commercial idea was to have all kinds of normal people giving a quick shout as to why they’re vegan, like one woman saying she’s doing it for the environment, and a guy hugging a piglet or something saying he’s doing it for the animals.

Can we host vegan food samplings? Not just giving out veggie burgers, but with a variety of really good vegan food, so that people will realize the variety and fun of vegan food.

I thought also, and I’ll try to come up with this, that it might be cool to make some vegan-promoting things that can be worn by people who have to either dress nice or wear a uniform to work. I can’t wear t-shirts or typical buttons to my work, though I put message buttons on my purse. Some days I have to look super-professional so even those buttons have to go. So what if I came up with some jewelry or lapel pins that look really good, but still say “vegan” on them. It would be like people who wear a small gold cross all the time, inconspicuous but allowing us to subtly get the message out.

How about some “Vegan festivals” in the larger cities. We’d need some help, that’s a huge undertaking, but it would allow local businesses to go out and promote that they’re vegan friendly and maybe local vegan musicians and artists would participate. Might be cool.

Well, for better or worse, that’s my brain dump on the topic. Maybe more to come. What are your ideas? What’s the wackiest, most original, most creative thought you have on promoting veganism?

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