More On Seth Godin and Indirect Arguments

A reader asks:

What is “wonderful” about the essay by Seth Godin? He’s promoting egg consumption. I don’t see how, in any way, this is an “indirect” promotion of veganism, especially considering that Godin himself is not vegan.

Before I begin my response, I need to get one thing out of the way: I never used the phrase “indirect” promotion of veganism, in my blog entry and I don’t think it accurately captures the point I was seeking to make.

The question that seems most worth addressing is: can something bring us closer to a vegan world without specifically endorsing veganism?

An essential component for learning algebra is the simple arithmetic you were taught in the first grade. Didn’t your first grade teacher therefore lay the groundwork for you to learn algebra, without ever once mentioning the word?

Expecting people to go vegan from one conversation or one blog entry is like expecting first graders to learn algebra. While it could certainly happen, for most people, a gentle and non-threatening nudge in the right direction, by having a few simple concepts explained, is a vital first step.

Godin’s audience is probably ten times bigger than my audience at Vegan.com. His piece got a ton of omnivores to begin thinking about the ethics of egg production. I’d call that a huge win, and I think it’s something that ought to please every animal advocate.

After reading Godin’s piece and spending a few weeks reflecting on it, do you think that most omnivores would be more, or less, receptive to a vegan argument? My bet is they’d be vastly more receptive. And that’s all because Godin started them thinking about the ethics of animal agriculture, without frightening them away by using any insane-sounding V words.

All other things being equal, I think I’d be far more successful in convincing people to go vegan if they’d previously read Godin’s piece.