Winning Hearts and Minds, Not Arguments And Debates: Part III Of III

Every time you communicate with someone about veganism, you are planting a seed. It's crucial you choose your message wisely and appropriately

John Oberg

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You are going to influence someone today. A conversation you have with someone on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook today will be a deciding factor as to whether or not that person alters their behavior in the coming days, months, or years. Even if the person you’re communicating with doesn't go vegan overnight, you’re getting the ball rolling. You're planting seeds that will eventually sprout into a new compassionate way of living.

Understanding your audience is crucial to finding success in your efforts for the animals. Identify what kind of messaging is going to work with them. If your audience is younger, they're prime for the 'go vegan' ask. If it’s older people who may be more set in their ways, then a gentler ask, like Meatless Mondays, may be more successful.

Understanding your audience is key, according to John Oberg (Photo: John Oberg)

Don't get caught in the vegan bubble. Social media is wonderful in many ways, but in one particular way it can be quite counterproductive. It puts us into silos and bubbles with others who already think like us. These can be very hard to break out of and most of the time, we don’t even realize we're in them. The consequence is that we end up preaching to the choir. It's the general public that we need to reach with the animals' message - much more so than other vegans. So don’t let the only community you associate with on social media be others who think and act just like you. You'll lose your ability to influence the troves of individuals out there who need to hear our message.

Have outside interests to show you're not just a two-dimensional person who only cares about animal rights. If you’re reading this, then the plight of today's farm animals is probably one of your top priorities. This is great, but don’t come off as overly obsessed with only this one issue because the general public may begin to take everything you say with a grain of salt. Zealotry is going to turn off more people than it's going to turn on.

Knowing the horrors of factory farming, it can be tough to focus on using the right ask, language, and tone, but it’s far from impossible. Ultimately, there is one golden rule with all of your efforts for animals on social media: treat others with respect, especially those who disagree with you, and everyone will take your message more seriously.

John Oberg

John Oberg is a social media pro, dedicated to making the world a kinder place for animals by utilizing the power of social media. He recently launched his own independent project for animals through Patreon. Prior to that, he served as Director of New Media for the international animal protection organization, The Humane League. And prior to that, John served as Director of Communications for Vegan Outreach. In both of these roles, John oversaw social media for the organizations which led to a tenfold increase in following in both, as well as over 1 billion views of content posted to these pages.


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