• Elizabeth Flora Nixon

Veganism and Propaganda

"PROPAGANDA DOES NOT DECEIVE PEOPLE; IT MERELY HELPS THEM TO DECEIVE THEMSELVES."” Hoffer, E. (1955) The Passionate State Of Mind University Of California

Propaganda often has negative connotations as a result of its prominent and questionable uses throughout war. Despite this, it can be utilised as a positive tool. Propaganda is purely a mode of communication to promote an idea; with the intention to alter and influence a community's perspective. Often there is a political motif behind the publication of propaganda; but recent examples demonstrate it's use within more environmental activist and cultural formations. A prime example being vegan activism and animal rights.

There are without doubt varying scales of propaganda in terms of extremism, and offence. Distressing images are often released of animals in dire living conditions, but the moral of intruding to attain many of those photos in the first instance, can also be questioned. The intent to expose how some animals are treated is fair; we have a right to know where our food comes from - whether we are interested or not. However, the villain-isation of farmers, is not. The means of which this information is presented to us, is where I believe veganism crosses into the realm of propaganda. Sometimes brutal and imposing (think people wearing black, sporting creepy masks, publicly presenting horrific coverage of the meat industry) outside your local coffee shop. For eyes of all ages to witness. This is a very extreme act, in my opinion, for the fear is evoked predominantly by the humans. The horrific coverage is nothing short of abuse, but the manner in which its presented to be seen, is unnecessary.

Propaganda material released by vegans has a distinctive message; but is often presented in a twisted way. A way that allows you to see your choice of diet and consumption; one that has been embraced by humankind for centuries, as inhumane. Who knew that certain depictions of our current lifestyle choices, nothing we didn't already know,

when presented to us on a plate (literally), is enough to make our skin crawl. Guilt ridden imagery floods the media, before the population could really understand what veganism meant.

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 © 2020 by Elizabeth Flora Nixon