How to Create a Vegan World? - Tobias Leenaert [IARC2017]

  • Опубликовано: 9 сен 2017
  • In this presentation (31 min), Tobias Leenaert (aka Vegan Strategist) talks about the importance of open-mindedness, empathy, rationality and positivity in the animal rights movement.
    ## About Tobias Leenaert ##
    Tobias Leenaert blogs at and is a longtime speaker and strategist. Together with Melanie Joy, Tobias gives vegan advocacy trainings all over the world for the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA). He is also the co-founder of ProVeg, an international pro-vegan organization with the mission to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. Tobias is the author of "How to Create a Vegan World: a Pragmatic Approach". He lives in Ghent, Belgium, with his partner, two dogs, and at least six cats.

Комментарии • 43

  • Spasoje Kulasevic
    Spasoje Kulasevic Месяц назад


  • H. G.
    H. G. 5 месяцев назад +1

    Beautiful presentation. Thoughtful, humble, and empathetic.
    I am one of those 99.99% vegans. For a long time, I avoided calling myself vegan. Whenever a non-vegan asked me if I was vegan, I would answer, "I'm not really vegan because once or twice a year when I'm traveling and there is no other option available, I have a vegetarian meal." Or, "I'm not really vegan because I'm concerned that plastic waste is harmful to animals, so I can't convince myself to systematically avoid wool in favor of synthetics." One day, I realized that I was turning non-vegans off by avoiding the vegan label. I was giving them the impression that veganism is impossibly difficult. They were probably saying to themselves, "This is crazy. If even this person can't call herself vegan, there is no way I could ever be vegan."
    (For those who are unaware, "synthetic" means "plastic". Your "acrylic" sweater will be around, in a landfill if not in an ocean or a forest, for possibly thousands of years after you're gone -- not to mention it releases tiny bits of plastic into the waterways every time you wash it. Blindly following a set of arbitrary rules doesn't always result in a better outcome for animals.)
    So, vegans: it really so important what someone else calls himself or herself? If relaxing the definition of "vegan" ever-so-slightly could grow veganism faster and save the lives of hundreds or even thousands of animals per second, what reason can there possibly be for not doing so? Note that the original definition of "vegan" included the words "as far as is possible and practicable". Modern-day vegans who insist on perfection are going well beyond the original definition and are inadvertently hurting the very cause they believe in.
    In my opinion, the word "vegan" should refer to someone who is doing his or her personal best to minimize animal suffering. According to this definition, someone who does Meatless Mondays or eats meat once a month because he likes the taste is not yet vegan, but someone who is working three jobs to make ends meet and sometimes, when a family emergency prevents her from preparing a vegan lunch to bring with her, eats a cheese sandwich from a convenience store to avoid going hungry is vegan. In a 90% vegan world, that person would be 100% vegan, and our job is to bring the world to that point. Veganism should not be about labels or about feeling morally superior to non-vegans. It should always be about the animals.

  • B Vegan
    B Vegan 6 месяцев назад +5

    Hi Tobias. I watched this video with interest. You make a lot of good points and I see the quality in the approach. However, in the UK the births minus deaths population growth is outstripping the rise in new dietary vegans by 6 to 1, so for every 100 new vegans per day there are 600 new people and it seems that this softly softly approach is not working. More animals are being killed today than were killed yesterday.Having been vegan for a while and heard similar arguments throughout that time, I am not expecting any major change any time soon so I was wondering what your strategy is when the numbers say no?

    • Ben
      Ben 3 месяца назад +1

      The future rate of change isn't set by the current rate, it can accelerate

    • Petka Antonov
      Petka Antonov 3 месяца назад

      Is your goal to increase the number of people that identify as vegan or to reduce animal suffering? Those are very different goals. It is reasonable to believe they might even be contradictory goals.

  • Rebecca Allen
    Rebecca Allen 8 месяцев назад +2

    Thank you. Beautifully said. This helps address some of the concerns I have had.

  • rob ruly
    rob ruly 8 месяцев назад

    There are no vegans, a cows milk demoniser doesn't qualify . You've been misled . Vegan is sexy , cows milk demonising isn't .

  • Roger Yates
    Roger Yates 8 месяцев назад +3

    Notice that Leenaert raises human rights analogies - but does deal with that, apart from saying it's not the same. The reason these reducetarians cannot address human rights analogies is because it makes their position disgusting.
    Oh, this guy, he goes once a year to a brothel where he rapes a trafficked person. The rest of the year, he has sex with people that volunteer. But - sure - he's a human rights advocate.

    • Petka Antonov
      Petka Antonov 3 месяца назад

      "Oh, this guy, he goes once a year to a brothel where he rapes a trafficked person. The rest of the year, he has sex with people that volunteer. But - sure - he's a human rights advocate."
      You are saying it's better that someone rapes trafficked people all day every day than just one time per year as long as they don't call themselves a human rights advocate. I think that position is 365 times more disgusting.

    • Tobias Leenaert
      Tobias Leenaert 4 месяца назад

      some context on this person:

    • Roger Yates
      Roger Yates 8 месяцев назад +1

      I think not. If we know the difference between moral and legal rights, for example, then the legal position does not alter the moral issues involved. Tobias Leenaert sanctions rights violations now in order to obtain some assumed benefit in the future. It is easy to be "pragmatic" when you personally will never be the one facing a slaughterhouse door.

  • Roger Yates
    Roger Yates 8 месяцев назад +3

    I hope people realise that the notion of breaking your own rules means engaging in rights violations. Tobias Leenaert has been encouraging people to engage in animal rights violations for years.

    • Tobias Leenaert
      Tobias Leenaert 4 месяца назад +1

      some context on this person:

    • Vegi Jen
      Vegi Jen 7 месяцев назад +2

      Roger, I'll just have some birthday cake with stolen cow's milk and battered hens eggs to show my office co-workers I'm a cool vegan. Then when I tell my vegan friends they better not tell me I'm not vegan. [bleeding sarcasm].

    • Roger Yates
      Roger Yates 8 месяцев назад +1

      You don't know what animal rights violations are?

      GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад +3

      What are animal rights violations? And please give some examples of when & how Tobias has been encouraging people to "engage" in animal rights violations?

  • Louis Dooner
    Louis Dooner 8 месяцев назад +5

    Beautiful :)

  • Havid
    Havid 8 месяцев назад +9

    Well done Tobias! You deserve the big applaus!

    • Havid
      Havid 8 месяцев назад +1

      See my reply to your other comment.

    • Roger Yates
      Roger Yates 8 месяцев назад +2

      You think? Why? - this is blatant sanctioning of animal rights violations at an animal rights conference. No-one should do that, especially there.

  • Bagam
    Bagam 8 месяцев назад +4

    I never heard about people trying to out-vegan each other by percentage. A vegan is simply someone who does not consume animal products as much as reasonably possible in order to avoid funding animal exploitation.

  • Neisser Trujillo
    Neisser Trujillo 8 месяцев назад +2

    No hay en español? T.T

    • BertasU
      BertasU 8 месяцев назад

      whole world has to learn english, why should you be an exception?

  • Kane Rogers
    Kane Rogers 8 месяцев назад +3

    Tobias' voice is very comforting.

      GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад

      Not sure if I believe that his voice is comforting much more "very" comforting or even his tone yet it's a presentation regarding 'his' perspective on how to create a "vegan" world. It's interesting yet why too analytical. I will purchase his book and break it down for a shorter presentation and adds some humor to make it more fun. Also kids/teens get bored so easily and I really wonder if this approach is how to make a vegan world with our youths.

  • Sharon Tucker
    Sharon Tucker 8 месяцев назад +6

    Great video! See also two equally wonderful Tobias Leenaert videos, "Strategic Communication" and my favorite "Making Compassion Easier."

  • BertasU
    BertasU 8 месяцев назад +4

    love these insights: )

  • Effective Altruist
    Effective Altruist 8 месяцев назад +2

    When you google "pictures to restore your faith in humanity" and you see a bunch of people who do horribly inefficient things with almost no impact... Damn you, Tobias :(

      GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад

      What the hell are you talking about? Faith? Why are you damning Tobias? Please try to explain.

    GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад +6

    I totally disagree with the projected portrayal of Gary Yourofsky. Gary may speak more blunt and direct yet I have never seen him in any ones face. The irony is Gary has done more to help Israel go vegan than any one. I gotta say I resent putting Gary in a bad light as he's not ever had a soft approach. Gary is more animal rights on a level that I believe kids understood best. He's just more a Rolling Stone than a Beatle. I can also say that I was NEVER bored at any of his lectures nor any by Dr. Steve Best either. And Best is right that ARA are just not active enough at this rate. Love Toby yet pragmatism doesn't always save animals lives and direction action isn't animal liberation either but it's the best solution to have Carnist rethink their behavior at a given time. Apparently Toby is focused more on veganism in very analytical approach to veganism with a strategy that doesn't focus enough on the animals as the main issue. Seems this approach is more focused on veganism being more about foods than so many other aspects of being vegan. I do agree with the issue of vegans being labeled in degrees which isn't being very productive yet I also think that a passive approach is not always productive when dealing with someone pushing slaughtered animals in your face.

    • Lander Hendrickx
      Lander Hendrickx 2 месяца назад

      Tobias Leenaert domino’s is in even more countries now ;) with vegan pizza.

      GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад

      +Tobias thank you for all that you are going too. And glad to read some positive words regarding Gary. As far as Israel is concerned, the Animals Rights March 2017 was the largest and strongest in history with 30,000+ which is AMAZING. I AGREE with what you wrote: "Very impressive in Israel is also the activist movement itself. The growth of this movement seems to be a very recent thing. When I talked to people about what triggered it, the name Gary Yourofsky, mainly known from his “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear” video, kept popping up. Yourofsky - who recently pulled out of activism due to burnout - visited Israel in 2012 and seemed to have galvanized the movement by his talks and many interviews in mainstream media. The Hebrew subtitled version of his video was watched over 700,000 times. Yourofsky is heavily criticized by many people for statements about women, Palestine, and a general misanthropic attitude, but his influence in Israel especially seems hard to deny. Time and again, I heard of prominent and less prominent activists having gone vegan because of Yourofsky." Not sure what statement Gary has made about women except regarding rape which I knew what he meant without thinking anyone would take him literally. It was how HE felt and I totally understood. FUR is a vile industry and so is animal skin products too. Most people don't react to his fantasies as he has often said and nor do I when it comes to how I feel. Yet we ARE entitled to how say what and how we feel here in America. If people fear they will be attacked for wearing animals then they shouldn't wear fur. To date I haven't seen anyone harmed for wearing fur yet I can't say the same about the bodies of animals that were slaughtered for their fashion. Sadly Joan Rivers only had a change of heart right before she died. Liz Taylor never did yet claimed to love animals. Such Irony and such hypocrites. That's speciesism for ya. And those like Anna Wintour know the ugly truth & facts yet she and those like her just do NOT CARE. Talk about EGO as +Wasp mentioned.

      GOLDENFLYWARRIOR 8 месяцев назад +2

      +Wasp yet that is how human behavior also works and human psychology shows. Psychology books used to also claim that being homosexual was abnormal in the 70's yet that also proved to be incorrect and a terrible theory based on bias. Gary has a strong personality and his approach may NOT work with every one yet his education has and he was an amazing speaker that most kids could respect and relate. His type of approach is what I admired. As a teacher in high school I can tell you that kids respect being "blunt" and direct. Yet with some kids it doesn't work. Have YOU even ever heard Gary speak in any colleges near you? And those that stereo type vegans are just ignorant being vegans are ALL types of people. There are ALL types of approaches. Different strokes for different folks. And Gary wasn't just lip service he was an Animal Right Activist. And even if he's no longer on Facebook or RU-clip he's still a hero for the movement. He was an awesome educator! And having 5 degrees myself, I give him much credit for everything he's done in the name of animal RIGHTS. He's not in it for EGO. He's also NOT selling anything and never was. His approach is NOT animal welfare yet animal rights. The focus is animals best interest 100%. LOVE GARY! Yet I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says either. I don't agree with everything any animal group says or does yet I am always willing to debate the issues. And in closing I gotta say that I can listen to him much easier than Ingrid Newkirk or Wayne Pacelle because I know their history and FACTS. I do know that Gary has strong opinions too yet that is his right. It didn't stop me from being friends with those activist yet he was not all wrong either. LOVE GARY! He's does see through so much bull shit. I support Peta too yet NOT a huge fan of Ingrid. I support HSUS too yet I wouldn't give to them except locally. Yet Sam Simon was there for Peta and so has Bob Barker. Sam Simon was also there for Sea Shepherds as was Bob Barker. Takes ALL kinds in this battle to save animals lives and EDUCATE others on FACTS. Peace.

    • Tobias Leenaert
      Tobias Leenaert 8 месяцев назад +1

      thanks for your feedback. it's a bit too hostile and too uncharitable for me to continue conversation with you, but i appreciate that help the animals. have a good day.

    • Bagam
      Bagam 8 месяцев назад +1

      Long post but I red your article so it's only fair if you read my post.
      I'm sorry but your article is a waste of paper, if printed, and electricity if shown on screen.
      If it was just 1.7%, that puts us on par with other countries. Why would Dominos have a vegan pizza only here then? why would all these vegan places pop up? to cater to a meager 1.7%? I don't think so.
      Hell I don't even live in tel aviv ("the vegan capital") and yet there is one vegan place and many others that serve vegan meals like burgers here. So the real estimate is probably what globes and channel two say:
      Also I like how you completely ignored the ALF movement in israel and the fact that they grew from just 2 people to probably over a thousand activists within 4-5 years while anonymous don't even come close and they exist for over two decades. "results oriented" lol.
      Also the ALF's lecture, "GlassWalls", is the most watched RU-clip video in israel with almost 2.5 million views. And guess what? I was part of anonymous's 22 challenge, almost everyone I asked there told me that he decided to go vegan because he saw the lecture. Know why? the lecture works similarly to the Gary speech. And you are impressed by anonymous and their "result orientation"...
      Finally what does the Palestinian occupation has to do with anything about veganism? You are just another one of those politically correct vegans that ignores the ALF to the extent that you would even find a place to talk about the occupation instead. You keep writing your articles we will keep fighting the real fight.