Daniela Reiser joins us to discuss some extremely important concepts within the vegan movement: the idea of veganism as an echo-chamber and why this is a problem, the types of activism that have been shown to work (or backfire), the importance of being critical within a movement, diversity and inclusivity within veganism, and much more.
Daniela Reiser is the founder of the Social Change Makers Society, which provides individuals and communities a unique platform for all social justice issues. There, among many other things, Daniela creates educational videos and programs for schools to implement into their curriculum regarding discrimination and inequality.
Daniela's social media post that inspired me to have her as a guest on the show:
"I find it highly important to be critical within a movement, because it is easy to be consumed by an in-group mentality that makes it impossible to see how one’s own actions, language, and behaviours can become damaging in the name of a “cause”. Instead of calling those who question certain in-group behaviours as divisive or anti, it may be important to face how many are alienated by those whose identities are overly consumed by a cause that is other-directed and not their own."
Important topics and points you don't want to miss:
>> The idea of veganism as an “echo chamber” and in-group. Why is this a problem, and why does it need to change? Why (and how), within social movements, are some types of activism “preaching to the choir”?
>> Why Daniela and I both don’t engage in certain types of vegan activism. Learn about what Daniela’s activism does look like, and how it’s evolved over the years.
>> Daniela works hard to promote the work of minority groups (blogs, podcasts, talks, books, organizations, and much more) that are often overshadowed by mainstream vegan/animal rights groups and individuals. “We need to build bridges and a wider approach to include everyone”, Daniela says.
>> Activism comes in many forms. How we behave can be alienating to people in some cases - both vegans and non-vegans alike. Daniela makes the important point that “We have to know the real facts from both sides to be able to evaluate if what we’re doing is even working.” So, what’s working? And what isn’t? Are our actions really getting people more interested in our movement, or pushing them away?
Daniela's suggested resources:
>> Angela Gunther's thesis: An inquiry into animal rights vegan activists' perception and practice of persuasion (includes link to full text)
>> Living Light Culinary Institute - Vesanto (with Brenda Davis) teaches their 3-part series on vegan nutrition
>> Dr. Amy Breeze Harper's Sistah Vegan Project
>> Black Vegans Rock
>> Vegan Feminist Network
>> Food Empowerment Project
>> Pattrice Jones & the VINE Sanctuary
>> Carol J. Adams
>> Corey Lee Wrenn
>> A Rational Approach To Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory by Corey Lee Wrenn
>> Resources from Social Change Makers
Additional resources mentioned in the episode:
>> Debunking What The Health by vegan dietician Ginny Messina
>> Debunking Cowspiracy
>> Elementary Forms of Religious Life in Animal Rights Activism (Jacobsson, 2014)
>> Social Identity, Self Categorization, and the Communication of Group Norms (Hogg & Reid, 2006)
Connect with Daniela:
>> Daniela on Facebook
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