“Persuasion resistance”

Most people have built-in “persuasion resistance“, as salesmen call it. They don’t like to be convinced by others, they don’t like to be told what to do. Also concerning the food that’s on our plate, they’ll decide about that themselves. They need no government regulations or animal rights or vegetarian groups preaching to them about what to eat, and what not, how much of it, or how they should prepare it. They’ll make up their own minds about all that, thank you very much.

As changemakers, it is important to keep this in mind. All we can do is give people information, maybe show the flaws in their reasoning sometimes (when we’re talking to reasonable people), and let them work out the rest for themselves.

However, it may also be useful to point out to them that it is an illusion to think that they are entirely in control of their food choices. What most people eat is very heavily determined by agriculture and economy, culture and tradition, what our parents ate, and what commercial interests want us to eat.

As an illustration of this, check out the graphic from the counting animals website. The chart represents the US advertising budgets of different food cooperations, compared to those of animal interest groups. It would be interesting to compare this also with government budgets for healthy or sustainable eating.

5 thoughts on ““Persuasion resistance”

  1. “Most people have built-in “persuasion resistance“, as salesmen call it. They don’t like to be convinced by others,”

    So what does that mean? That we can’t talk to people about animal agriculture, even though it impacts not only the lives of billions of animals, but also our lives, and the entire ecosystem of this planet. Sounds like censorship to me.

    “they don’t like to be told what to do.”

    I don’t tell people what to do. I present rational arguments, and people are free to either accept those arguments or refute them.

    “Also concerning the food that’s on our plate, they’ll decide about that themselves.”

    No, they are not deciding just for themselves. They are deciding for the animals, who will die for their food. They are deciding for me that I want to live on a polluted planet and one that is rapidly heating up. And to add insult to injury, they want me to pay for their healthcare in the form of taxes, when they become sick because of their food choices.

    “They need no government regulations”

    Oh really, so they would not mind eating diseased meat, for example?

    “or animal rights”

    Then they are free to present a rational argument that will lead to the conclusion that non-human animals should have no rights.

    “or vegetarian groups preaching to them about what to eat, and what not,”

    It’s not preaching. It’s presenting rational arguments. And there already are laws about what cannot be eaten, for example dog and cat meat is illegal in the United States.

    “All we can do is give people information, maybe show the flaws in their reasoning sometimes (when we’re talking to reasonable people), and let them work out the rest for themselves.”

    No, we need to present the full argument that leads to the conclusion that killing animals for food is immoral. Let’s not count on their ability to figure it out for themselves.

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