An Article Series from 


Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies

The minefield of careless words

From There's an Elephant in the Room blog
August 2023

Advocacy is about fighting for justice for the victims of nonveganism, fighting for respect for their right to live free of the persecution of our species. Added to this, there’s a huge and increasing overlap between animal rights and the unfolding climate catastrophe. When considering the big picture, it’s not possible to speak of one without the other anymore. The world we are destroying belongs to our victims every bit as much as it ever belonged to us.

Pig friends
Photo Credit: Selene Magnolia / Essere Animali / We Animals Media

There are things that we all need to know and remember when we set out to effectively advocate for the rights of our species’ victims.

  1. The majority of humans have been indoctrinated into nonveganism from an early age. They use or pay to use (which is the same thing) the lives and bodies of others as clothing, transport, ‘entertainment’, food, laboratory test subjects, ingredients and many other purposes while scarcely even giving it a thought.
  2. Most users of lives and bodies have virtually no knowledge of the realities that turn their victims into disembodied products on their plates, in their wardrobes and as ingredients in consumer goods. Many still harbour fuzzy notions of Old Macdonald’s Farm amid bucolic scenes of sunny fields with the word ‘humane’ hovering in their consciousness. The same soft focus fantasy applies to all the other nonvegan uses that are made of lives and bodies – it’s drilled into unchallenging audiences, beamed out of the pervasive media from cradle to grave.
  3. Most humans have little knowledge of nutrition and long ago fell for the lie that eating other individuals is necessary for humans. Even many health professionals have never looked further than the industry propaganda that pervades all sources of information to support and encourage their own personal preferences as well as that of their patients.
  4. Most nonvegans don’t want to change. Their habits are long established, ingrained, supported by propaganda from every screen, magazine, and fast food joint, and conform to the expectations of their peer group. To step out of line is mocked and/or frowned upon.
  5. And finally, the one that none of us can afford to forget – most of us were once nonvegan. I wasn’t born vegan and I’m not personally acquainted with anyone who was. This is a double edged sword. It carries with it a huge burden of guilt, but it also provides insight to a nonvegan mind. Like me, many of us used to have one.


  • Words as tools for advocacy
  • Less can be more
  • Words as wedges
  • The perils of talking the same language as exploiters
  • Opening the doors for those looking for a get-out


Please read the ENTIRE ARICLE HERE.


Return to Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies