When vegans talk to non-vegans about “animal farms” and the other animal use that goes on inside them, non-vegans often claim that they “know” about farms and they already have the knowledge they need in order to make an informed decision about whether to consume animal products or not.
They may say that they are happy to consume other animals but they are opposed to “cruelty to animals.” They often claim that they are pretty sure that the other animals they have eaten have not suffered.
This video by sociologist Roger Yates, organising volunteer for the Vegan Information Project, looks at this issue in terms of socialisation processes – the lessons we learn as children about human relations with other sentient beings.
When non-vegans claim knowledge of other animal use, they are often recalling the vision of “free-range farming” they encountered as children in books – or because they may see, for example, cows or sheep in fields as they pass in trains or cars. Such scenes remind them of those early picture book stories of “happy animals” who live in farms.
This is part of the process of creating generation after generation of animal loving animal users who have been taught by the ideology of animal welfarism – the dominant way by which humans think about their relations with other animals – that “non-cruel use” is not only possible, but common. They’ll often agree with the proposition that animal farmers “love” and “care” about the other animals in their charge, and they’ll accept the notion that other animals eaten by humans have “only one bad day.”
Here’s a great part of doing the VIP’s Vegan Information Days in Temple Bar Square, Dublin.
We have a printed list of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and cafes in the Dublin area. More than usual went out on the 13th of July – about 25 in all. This is because we were using a new leaflet display for the first time [thanks Declan!], see picture left. The restaurant and cafe guide can be seen top left, next to a sign saying all the literature is free to take.
This means that shy people can get literature without necessarily having to come up to the gazebos. Indeed, this is the very reason why we made a large “A” board in the first place. We noticed back in 2013 that it took one person three weeks before coming up to the gazebo. One of the co-founders of the Vegan Information Project predicted that this would be one advantage of doing regular events in the same place and times.
It is very common that the vegans that we meet every week are accompanied by non-vegans. This means, armed with our guide, all these people are likely to be eating plant-based while in Dublin.
VIP also has a QR scan poster of the vegan/vegan-friendly eateries. With the right app, people can scan a map of the cafes and restaurants into their smartphones. If people don’t have such an app – or can’t get online until back at their holiday accommodation, for example – we send them the map link as a FB message.
It is very heartening when, later, or during the next day, the notifications come through indicating that they have accessed the link. That’s more people eating plant-based meals due to Vegan Information Days!
The Vegan Information Project (VIP) are happy and proud to share our 6th monthly video diary of 2017, covering the month of June. These videos document the VIP’s “Vegan Information Day” events which began in 2013. These are weekly 5-hour direct to the public vegan education events.
We believe that we must challenge the dominant culture – speciesism – which says that we humans can systematically and ruthlessly use and exploit other animals for our benefit. We reject that, and believe that we need to directly confront speciesist culture at the grassroots, community-based level.
The VIP’s values incorporate the concept of “The Great Refusal.”
We REFUSE what is.
We fundamentally challenge what is.
Grassroots pro-intersectional vegan education is so important. We tackle the issue of violence face-to-face. We talk to the “vegan curious,” and those who would want to maintain the status quo. We confront dominant violence with our vegan signs, our banners, our pro-intersectional literature, our talk.
We stand alongside the founders of the vegan social movement of the 1940s who stood for peace, non-violence, the moral evolution of humanity – and, for JUSTICE-FOR-ALL.
Many people come up to us to thank us for what we do. We give them strength to remain vegan, or to move closer to the philosophy of veganism. We are an island in a sea of violence.
JUSTICE-FOR-ALL = VEGANISM. JUSTICE BEFORE PROFIT = VEGANISM.
These are exciting times for the Vegan Information Project. We have purchased a second gazebo (when “our” second gazebo was reclaimed by its rightful owner) and bought a new canopy for the first one (the one that was usually red).
So now we have two white gazebos which look really good next to each other – as you’ll see from these brief reviews of recent Vegan Information day events.
The organisers of Cork Vegfest, which took place on Saturday 13th May, invited active groups – and a few businesses – to give 8-10 minute “lightning presentations” that showcase their work and values.
This is the talk for Vegan Information Project by Dr. Roger Yates, organising volunteer for the group.
Dr. Yates spoke about the VIP’s “Vegan Information Day” weekly 5-hour vegan education event in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, and dealt with a few “movement issues,” such as the suggestion that “vegan” is a scare word.
He also said a few words about the VIP’s pro-intersectional position.
The warmer weather is certainly making the life of the VIP volunteers easier. Having braved the Irish winter, it good to be able to take some layers off!
We have started to use two gazebos for the Vegan Information Day events now – and it’s proving to be a great success. After all, in a deeply speciesist culture, we need the vegan light to be bright and visible, and that’s always been the aim of the VIP from its foundation in 2013.
We’re also looking forward to making the most of our “tea station” in the coming months. The VIP tea station is a cafe area where members of the public can sit with a free cup of tea and a VIP volunteer to talk about veganism.
Here are some pictures from recent Vegan Information Days.
This is the Vegan Information Project’s 4th monthly video diary of 2017, featuring our double gazebo set-up. These 5-hour events run from 1-6pm every Thursday in Temple Bar Square, in the very heart of Dublin.
With our increased space under gazebos – 6x3m – we are able to experiment with different table lay-outs and features. We are pleased that the “tea station” is back, although it is not sunny enough just yet to be fully operational. The tea station (this is a cafe area where members of the public can sit with a VIP volunteer and talk over all things vegan) is something we are determined to improve in 2017.
We feel this is important because there is a growth in the numbers of “vegan curious” folks. Such people do not come to argue, or defend their speciesist practices; they are more interested in asking vegan-related questions. Therefore, having a relaxed sit down with a free cup of tea is perfect for that!
We hope that you enjoy our upbeat, uplifting, video diary!
In 2016, VIP and VEGO (Vegan Education on the Go) put together more than 50 video diaries documenting close to 400 hours of direct-to-the-public vegan education events in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, and Westmoreland Street, Dublin.
For 2017, we are producing monthly diaries, featuring a new initiative, the “gazebocam,” which shows time-lapse footage of the 5-hour events.
We’ve decided to record the VIP Video Diaries monthly this year and, so far, two have been published. We are extremely happy to report that it’s getting a little warmer in Ireland, so we can expect to be busier from now on. People tend to stop and talk for longer, naturally enough, if they are not freezing cold!
Enjoy these videos which document our events in January and February 2017.