When I first learned about the animal cruelty that is inherent in the mainstream food, clothing and beauty product industries, I walked around in a rage for a couple of years. I became vegetarian, and then vegan for ethical reasons, and have stayed that way for 17 years now, learning along the way about the myriad other great reasons to be vegan. Over the years my worldview and understanding of the issue of compassion in our world has developed, and I have worked hard, through various mediums and via a smattering of techniques, to raise awareness of animal suffering, about healthy food choices, and of the environmental impacts the meat and dairy industries have on our world.
But I, like many vegans I know, constantly struggle with the question, what is the best way to reach non-vegans? How do you walk that fine line between becoming the Debbie Downer that everyone wants to avoid and not staying silent about the things that matter? And what is the best medium through which to educate (but not lecture) people? I am a writer and photographer by trade, so those have been two ways I have reached out in the past, and with some success. I really believe in the impact still images can have on people; however, increasingly I am seeing the incredible power and immediate impact that film and video can have. Being in the midst of the digital age, as we are today, video reaches a wide audience, overcoming barriers that may be associated with literacy levels and (assuming the video is a powerful one) easily cutting through the noise of the overwhelming information that is thrown at us every second we are online.
I know that when I find a moving video, it stays with me. Take, for example, this video, created by a vegan with the online moniker Porolita, on her reason for being vegan:
I was so moved by this video that I sent it to a number of friends, and posted it to my facebook page – and they in turn have shared it out to their friends, and so the wonder and power of social media goes…what a wonderful way to share the benefits, beauty – and necessity – of veganism!
I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and on the Vegan Mainstream blog, we have been trying to include more video content. In fact, we have been encouraging people to share their veg stories – and this is one that touched a number of people recently:
If you have a veg story that YOU would like to share, email me at email@example.com.
Veganism reaches for a number of different reasons. As far as I know the jury’s still out on what motivates people to embrace the lifestyle. But what I do know is that a moving video has incredible power. If there is one that has moved YOU, please share it below.