Vegan Propaganda

jasonlmorrow's picture

Just sharing two images I made. I know very little about graphic design, but it's definitely a skill I want to learn. If you like them, feel free to click to open them in a lightbox and download. It's propaganda, so spread it! You may recognize the cow from our header on the homepage. I met her while visiting family in Oklahoma. It was sad to see her and her companions trapped behind fences right next to a gas station, with tags on their ears, but it was a beautiful experience to get so close. They all gathered around the calves to protect them from the strangers.

Historically I've had issues with the idea of rhetoric in general. In speech classes they teach three aspects of an argument: logos (reason), ethos (credibility of the speaker), and pathos (emotion). I've always really dismissed pathos. Not that I dismiss emotion, because that's not at all the case. What I have generally dismissed is the idea that the speaker's passion about a topic should be convincing, or that sharing a sad story along with the argument adds anything to it. An argument should stand on its own merits. Ethos I viewed a little more charitably, because whether the speaker is lying or misinformed will have some bearing on the argument.

The more I study neuroscience, the more I realize people aren't rational. We make our decisions unconsciously and emotionally. The cortex can have some input into a decision, but for the most part the unconscious parts of the brain simply deliver a conclusion to the cortex.That's one reason I'm a little more accepting of pathos. The other is that I'm trying to accept people as they are, as entire human beings, rather than just intellectual robots. Because an intellect-only robot just wouldn't make a very good friend. That also means embracing a person for who they are, including the way that they make decisions, whether logically or emotionally.

And, honestly, if someone was swayed only by logical arguments and wholly uninfluenced by pathos (like I like to think I am)... then, they are only that way because they feel that they should be. Or because logic feels convincing to them. There's no getting around the emotions or the unconscious.

So, for that reason, I have endeavored to change my communication style. I've softened my speech. We must speak to people in a way they can hear it. One day I hope to even study communications and possibly even the dreaded rhetoric. And here, there, am I jumping on the meme bandwagon.

I have to say, I also hate that this style of photo is called a "meme." A meme is any idea that spreads like wildfire, so this style of image is definitely one example of a meme, but not the sum total of memeness. One also can't "post a meme" right after it's created. It isn't a meme until everyone else shares it. Me and my linguistic prescriptiveness!