First off I have to start this by saying just how incredible of a public speaker James Wildman (the videos speaker) is. I was blown away by his ease with presenting. Public speaking is no simple task. It takes courage, memorization, good use of language, a likable demeanor, and an attention grabbing presentation.
Wildman is funny, easy to relate to, and most of all sincere in his talk. He really hits on almost every issue and argument that has been brought up about/against veganism. Wildman also makes great use of his slides as visual aides and evokes imagery from the points and examples he uses.
This was the first pro-veganism video presentation I ever watched and I have to say it was a great precedent to start with. It succeeded in making me yearn for more information from more speakers, with even more perspectives and valid arguments.
If you’re a site regular you most likely recognize this woman’s face. This is Melanie Joy the author of “Why We Love Dogs Eat Pigs And Wear Cows,” and one of the recent, March is National “Vegan” Reading Month – at The VE Spot picks. You can see our review, memorable quotes, and more from the book here.
This speech’s main topic is on the term coined by Joy herself, “Carnism.” Carnism is an ideology that teaches people what animals to eat, it also teaches people that meat is normal, natural, and necessary. Carnism reflects the beliefs of speciesism where man is placed at the very top of the food chain, looking down on all other earthlings. Man is more powerful and intelligent, therefore deemed as more valuable and worthwhile.
She discusses the psychology of our eating habits, why we eat the things we do, why we view other creatures as lesser than ourselves, why we inflict so much pain on fellow earthlings, without even giving it a second thought.
Just a few notes about the video, there is some audio disruption/annoying noises in the beginning while they are having trouble with their microphones but it only lasts for a few minutes then it’s back to normal.
This presenter, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, has such great energy. She even manages to keep her cool even when the talk gets off to a rough start. Colleen covers two main aspects of veganism, the myths surrounding animals and the food industry, and the social aspects.
The segment on the social aspects was especially powerful. She talks of how vegans shouldn’t feel bad about being vegan when it comes to non-vegans people. We should be proud, offer up informative reasons for why a vegan lifestyle is a positive choice. Make room for open discussion with a focus on education more so than being right or wrong. Don’t stress over trying to come up with the absolute perfect answer, one that just by hearing it the listener will instantly convert to veganism. Just speak your truth.
The speaker Gary Yourofsky has a very down to earth demeanor. He gets right to the point in the beginning of his discussion. He unabashedly points out what the moral definitions of the things we deem as wrong and cruel: murder, rape, slavery, are. He point blank asks the audience, “In fact what is your definition of a holocaust? Is it the massacre of human beings or the massacre of innocent beings?”
He begins evoking thought and contemplation from the audience by connecting directly to their childhoods and reminiscing upon how when they were children they loved animals, were fascinated by them, would scream and cry and fight if they ever saw someone hurting an animal. We are taught to love animals then as we grow up we lose that love and become blinded by Speciesism. We become conditioned to see some animals as edible, some as companions, some as expendable, and some as profitable.
Yourofsky does not beat around the bush. He is completely unforgiving. He refuses to “schmoose” people. He just spits the truth and doesn’t apologize for doing so. He sternly asks you to consider the meanings and repercussions of your actions after you hear this speech, after you’ve become aware, he implores you to begin aligning your thoughts and ideals to your actions.
So, what did you think of our top picks? Are they part of yours too? Any you’d add to the list?