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Viagra studies women First of seven talk summaries from AR2007.

Viagra studies women NB: Recordings of this and (almost) all sessions at AR2007 are available for purchase. Viagra studies women Recordings of a few of the panels I’ve spoken on at previous conferences are available online for free:

Viagra studies women The texts of a couple of my previous AR conference talks also are online:

  • Toward Total Animal Liberation, viagra studies women from the plenary session on “Engaging Other Communities” at AR2002
  • The Turtle Talk, viagra studies women from the plenary session on “Paths to Animal Liberation” at AR2006

Viagra studies women That said, viagra studies women here goes with the first of this year’s summaries: The Nature of Social Change

Viagra studies women I was on this early morning panel with Farm Animal Reform Movement founder and president Alex Hershaft, viagra studies women who started us off by distributing and discussing this outline. Viagra studies women Below Alex’s outline, viagra studies women you can read a summary of the presentation I gave last year on that same panel. Viagra studies women I said some of those things this time too and I won’t repeat them here. Viagra studies women I also said some of the things I said in this 2005 talk on the power of grassroots movements and again I won’t repeat myself here.

Viagra studies women This year, viagra studies women since we all had just listened to a highly structured talk from Alex, viagra studies women I groggily elected to give a free-form talk loosely organized around my thoughts on these three words: nature, viagra studies women social, viagra studies women change. Viagra studies women Since the notes from which I spoke don’t reflect what I actually said, viagra studies women I won’t be able to give as accurate an account of this talk as I would like. Viagra studies women Nonetheless, viagra studies women here goes:

Viagra studies women Change: Activists are always talking about how hard it is to create change but, viagra studies women actually, viagra studies women change is the only constant in life. Viagra studies women Change — biological, viagra studies women social, viagra studies women and ecological — is happening all the time. Viagra studies women Rather than thinking about ourselves as being at the very difficult business of creating change out of nothing, viagra studies women we can be more optimistic and realistic by thinking of ourselves as working within an ongoing process of continual change. Viagra studies women So, viagra studies women rather than creating change out of nothing, viagra studies women all we have to do is figure out how to get the change that is going to happen anyway to flow in our direction. Viagra studies women Since the direction of natural change is always back toward balance and since what we want is an end to the violent imbalances created by people, viagra studies women we ought to be able to draw on or align ourselves with natural forces as organic gardeners do by, viagra studies women for example, viagra studies women drawing upon the natural process of decomposition for compost rather than applying synthetic chemicals that produce short-term progress at the expense of the long-term health of the soil.

Viagra studies women (I meant to, viagra studies women but did not, viagra studies women go further into the metaphor of gardening. Viagra studies women Good gardeners are observant, viagra studies women thoughtful, viagra studies women adaptive and good at seizing unexpected opportunities. Viagra studies women In organic gardening, viagra studies women you have to very carefully assess the lay of the land, viagra studies women thinking about things like what the soil is like and how much sun the plot gets, viagra studies women before figuring out things like which varieties to plant and whether or not to mulch. Viagra studies women Too often, viagra studies women activists skip that step, viagra studies women applying their favored one-size-fits-all tactic [protesting, viagra studies women leafleting, viagra studies women or whatever] to any problem in any setting. Viagra studies women And, viagra studies women too often, viagra studies women we keep on doing that thing even when it’s clearly not having the intended effect. Viagra studies women Soon I’ll be posting something about how that habit led to missteps in the recent case of the famous football player and how a more strategic approach might have helped us to provoke anti-dogfighting activism, viagra studies women rather than defensiveness, viagra studies women in communities where that activism is most desperately needed.)

Viagra studies women Also in talking about change, viagra studies women I spoke of the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy and identified emotion as a source of renewable energy for activism.

Viagra studies women Social: All activism is social, viagra studies women in two ways: (1) activism is a collective endeavor in which (2) we are trying to change the thoughts, viagra studies women feelings, viagra studies women and (most importantly) behavior of other people. Viagra studies women If we want to change people, viagra studies women then we ought to educate ourselves (rather than just guess) about why and how individuals, viagra studies women groups, viagra studies women and institutions really do change. Viagra studies women For example, viagra studies women individuals do sometimes change their behavior (even when it costs them to do so) if they become convinced that what they have been doing is inconsistent with their ethical beliefs. Viagra studies women Corporations, viagra studies women on the other hand, viagra studies women are by definition amoral profit-seeking entities, viagra studies women so behavioral remedies that make their current course of action less profitable are much more likely to succeed than heartfelt pleas to behave more ethically.

Viagra studies women Both in seeking to change the hearts and minds of individuals and in working with fellow activists, viagra studies women empathy — the ability to feel where other people are coming from, viagra studies women even if you don’t agree with them — is essential to effective social change activism. Viagra studies women Activist organizations are nothing other than systems of relationships. Viagra studies women Empathy is necessary to keep those relationships healthy.

Viagra studies women Nature: Similarly, viagra studies women social change movements are systems of relationships that include organizations as well as non-affiliated activists. Viagra studies women Like ecosystems, viagra studies women movements are healthiest when they are diverse. Viagra studies women The only times that activism has led to significant social change has been when a variety of individuals and organizations were coming at the same problem from a variety of angles. Viagra studies women That means, viagra studies women among other things, viagra studies women that we need to quit picking on activists who share our goals but use different tactics. Viagra studies women Chances are, viagra studies women whether we can see it or not, viagra studies women what they are doing helps us. Viagra studies women The fear of direct action against vivisection motivates scientific institutions to listen to the people talking quietly and politely about alternative ways to do research.

Viagra studies women Just as we need to respect movement biodiversity and understand how our own organization or type of activism fits into the animal advocacy ecosystem, viagra studies women we need to understand how the exploitation of animals fits into the interlinked system of oppression that includes racism, viagra studies women sexism, viagra studies women and environmental despoliation (to name a few) along with speciesism and to think about how our movement can strengthen its relationships with movements that are working on problems that might not seem to be related but will, viagra studies women in fact, viagra studies women have to be solved in order to achieve animal liberation for everybody.

Viagra studies women I’m not at all sure in what order I said all of this, viagra studies women or even if I said all of this, viagra studies women although I did try to go from change to social to nature. Viagra studies women I know that I stressed emotion as a natural resource, viagra studies women the relentless nature of change, viagra studies women the importance of movement biodiversity, viagra studies women and empathy as an engine of change, viagra studies women since empathy inspires us to act for the animals while at the same time facilitating our interactions with other activists and the people we are trying to reach. Viagra studies women

Viagra studies women For sure, viagra studies women the summaries of my other talks (in which I did stick to my outlines) will be more coherent.

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