For details about AR 2009, please take a look at arconference.org.
These are notes from the presentation called “Engaging The Community”
Speaker 1 – Saurabh Dalal, International Vegetarian Union
- Why engage community? To create better awareness of the practices or rationales of different people or organizations
- Also because it gets media attention to particular issues and recruits new members or volunteers
- Considerations when reaching out:
be realistic about your goals and how to achieve them
set tangible, measurable goals
- Social marketing concepts:
what are the values, beliefs, and needs of community we’re trying to engage?
what is value of us to community?
what are the myths, stereotypes, etc.? Dispel these myths
- Limitations: language barriers, long-term effort
- Potential topics to use to engage other communities: environment, social justice
- Examples: Earth Day worked well, green festivals
- Key ideas: provide something of value to the community you want to engage, make it win-win
- (He spoke too quickly for me to catch everything)
Speaker 2 – Doll Stanley, IDA
- The number one thing in any relationship is give-and-take. Any relationship has a “what’s in it for me?”
- How to engage hunters, fishers, etc. – treat them like you’d want to be treated. Treat them like a rescue animal. (They may have unacceptable behaviors, but they CAN change.) It all starts with respect.
- Hunters seem to dislike animal testing. But it requires education to get them to change their own behaviors that support animal testing.
- Story about a hunter who was very angry about a local vegetarian… but after some time he came around and is getting involved in dog rescue.
- The only obstacle we face in engaging our community is our own fear
Speaker 3 – Kath Rogers, Animal Protection and Rescue League
- She does vegan education
- “As animal advocates, engaging the community is one of the most important things we can do” (paraphrased)
- The animals aren’t able to express themselves in a way the community can understand
- Motto: “There is no such thing as vegans and nonvegans, there are vegans and not-yet-vegans.”
- Try to do education without judgment (my thoughts – not possible, but worth striving for)
- Prop 2 helped both sides realize that animal advocates ARE mainstream
- Endorsements – achieved through sheer hard work and asking virtually every business to endorse prop 2
- Story about getting the San Diego Tribune’s endorsement: won through passionate individuals’ letter-writing
- Created a mantra and used it as an elevator speech: “all animals, including those raised for food, deserve humane treatment.”
- Stay focused on the issue: cruelty
These are just notes and not transcripts. I may have misheard or misinterpreted some of the speakers. Take these posts as platforms to jump off, ideas and inspiration, not as the gospel.