You know what might be the single most effective way for the animal protection movement to gain ground? Having more people think of themselves, not as vegans, but as animal advocates.
Being vegan is about cutting the harm your lifestyle choices inflict on animals to as close to zero as possible. As a vegan, the benefit you’re delivering to animals is really only the sum of the harm you’d personally be causing if you weren’t vegan.
But being an animal advocate, and not simply a vegan, is orders of magnitude more significant. Here, you’re attacking the problem of the tens of billions of animals being factory farmed and slaughtered worldwide. Your capacity to create change is limited only by your talent and commitment.
I’m probably as devoted to following a vegan lifestyle as a person can be, yet I rarely think of being vegan as part of my identity. Instead, I think of my identity—and my purpose in life—as being an animal advocate. It’s just so much more powerful.
What about you? How do you identify yourself? Would shifting your self-identification enhance your commitment to animal protection?