I was quietly cruising past the school fountain a couple weeks ago, when I was interrupted by solemn looking individuals handing out two dollars clipped onto folders with magazines about veganism and a collection of stories about barn animals escaping their cruel fate in factories. The only requirement to getting those two big dollars was to watch a four-minute video that exposed the gory and haunting truth behind the steel factory doors.
I love free money, so I lined up to watch the video. I’ve watched plenty of PETA documentaries about inhumane factory farming, and none of them significantly impacted me to change my meat-loving ways.
Therefore, the four-minute video that I watched wasn’t anything new, though a scene where the piglets were slammed against the ground did traumatize me for a few minutes afterward.
However, I decided to give veganism a shot for a week. Now, the main problem with going vegan for me at least is the cost, which the video disappointingly failed to mention.
It’s safer for my budget to remain an omnivore. For example, the nearby QFC has frequent deals on their meats, offering two for one deal or getting more discounts with QFC member cards.
In retrospect, that video left out a lot of crucial information about the initial steps to actually becoming vegan.
I’m tired of watching videos of pigs getting their throats slit or baby male chicks being tossed into a grinder alive. I’ve seen that stuff plenty of times and it’s overplayed in trying to convince people to switch to veganism. I understand that it happens daily and millions of precious, adorable and even sentient creatures are put through the inhumane suffering of factory life.
I’d rather watch informative videos about how someone can become vegan without spending over $5 for a package of poorly seasoned and oddly textured Tofurkey sausages.
The current vegan-marketing scheme needs a makeover that can not only influence people to become vegan, but also motivate them to continue their newfound diet with different meal plans or cheap and simple recipe ideas.
One can find countless videos of cruel factory farming on the Internet, and frankly I’ve become quite indifferent to them. They’re all so similar and watching them another time is like re-watching a horror movie and knowing when all the jump scares happen. The videos have lost their shock factor.
On the other hand, I understand why someone would have to market veganism in such a manner. There are some people who are completely oblivious about the process of how their juicy steak is butchered and prepared. It’s a shocking documentary and those who’ve never seen anything like it might be repulsed by their past ways and vow to change their lifestyle.
However, I’m not one of those people. I’d much rather see a fellow vegan student showcase his or her daily and simple meat-free meals. I’d rather have a few coupons for ingredients to get started on the vegan path than two dollars, which can probably buy me a crown of broccoli.
I think it would be better if the two vegan spokeswomen that came to our school also brought with them a tray of vegan samples. It would be more interesting if they let students try meat-free snacks and guess whether or not it was vegan, which they would soon find out that it wasn’t vegan and be amazed at how similar it was to actual meat.
There are so many different, fun and effective ways to market veganism without focusing most of the efforts on displaying explicit photos or videos of the monstrous animal factories.
I agree that veganism is incredibly beneficial to the individual and the environment, boosting one’s energy while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There’s no question that
becoming vegan is more effective to the environment than driving an electric car, or more humane. I also believe, however, that there are better ways to market veganism and convince someone to switch to the new lifestyle.