What is The Liberation Pledge? What does it say? Where does it come from? What are the pros and cons and why it is so important? Why did we choose to make it official? In this blog post, we’ll cover everything around The Liberation Pledge and how we came to do it ourselves and why.
THE THREE PARTS OF THE PLEDGE
The liberation pledge is a vegan pledge you take online. It consists of three main parts:
one | Publicly refuse to eat animals – live vegan.
two | Publicly refuse to sit where animals are being eaten.
three | Encourage others to take the pledge.
THIS IS WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE PLEDGE ON THE WEBSITE
‘Often when dining with others, we are forced to confront a disturbing reality: the corpse of a victim of violence on the dinner table. But this year, we’re banding together to push back against a violent tradition with the #LiberationPledge to show respect for victims of violence, to demonstrate opposition to a brutal system, and to push all those around us to build a more peaceful world by refusing to eat animals – or sit at a table where a victim’s body is being eaten. Be proud of this conviction – be open, honest and outright. Wear a fork bracelet as a symbol of this pledge, and to show support for others who have taken it as well.’
The goal of the Liberation Pledge is not to isolate vegans, it’s to start conversations about speciesism.
ONE | PUBLICY REFUSE TO EAT ANIMALS – LIVE VEGAN
One should be the easiest and already occurring when taking the pledge. Being vegan is the least we can do, not the most. New vegans even find it easier to adopt a new diet, than to actually withstand the social pressure.
TWO | PUBLICY REFUSE TO SIT WHERE ANIMALS ARE BEING EATEN
Number two is probably the hardest part of the pledge for some vegans and the most challenging one: refusing to sit, where animals’ bodies and secretions are being consumed. It is especially hard, when you’re the only vegan among non-vegan friends and family, and goes hand in hand with educating others on the horrific and cruel industry.
This part of the pledge states to refuse sitting with non-vegans at a table and have dinner, not to be rude and stubborn, but out of the simple and logical reason to avoid any kind of unnecessary cruelty and violence done to animals around you and especially while having meals, a moment of calmness and joy. It is also done to set a committed statement of not supporting this injustice, violence and cruelty that is happening to non-human animals, in any way.
Calmly explaining that you don’t feel comfortable around dead animals at a dinner table, can meet resistance or absolute understanding – depending on how close you are to your individual coworker, acquaintance, friend, family member, or loved one or how open, empathetic and caring they are in general. This may come with great incomprehension and intransigence at first, but it will make You as a vegan way more comfortable when accepted by your loved ones. An explanation is key. The understanding of the person sitting across depends on their openness for the topic as well as How you explain it to them. We’ll list a couple of explanations down below under ‘How We Explain our Decisions To Others’.
The pledge makes you get active on the topic and sooner or later every vegan will get active, out of the strong feeling and will to pass on the vegan message – out of this mass killing and destruction of lives. This feeling usually gets stronger and stronger. And activism is very important for the vegan movement. It means actively informing, educating and clarifying the public in order to make people see the truth of the animal industry.
Activism concerning veganism isn’t always an easy thing to do. It needs to come with lots of mental and physical strength, depending on how much you do and how much you let it get to you. Out of this terrifying topic and other humans trying to justify this cruelty, torture, and violence towards other living beings, because they’re not yet able to see, accept the truth and do something about it. Activism though is – more than we ever expected – so fulfilling. It gives someone the opportunity to speak up as a group, in a group of people, who feel just like yourself. You’re part of a community, which is so conscious of their own doings and fight for justice with their kind and strong hearts – for the animals, for a better world among all earthlings.
THREE | ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO TAKE THE PLEDGE
Encouraging others to take the pledge as well, is something wonderful to do. It gives other vegans the strength and trust, that they can do it themselves. We learn so much from each other every and we’re the strongest together, fighting for the animals. The pledge is absolutely doable. It requires a little bit of braveness and goodwill at the beginning to stand up for the animals and for yourself’s sake of mental health.
Especially when wearing the fork bracelet, there may and will be questioned by vegans and non-vegans. While you can explain the reason behind it, non-vegans may find it logical and rethink their own actions, which can bring them closer to veganism, when explained in a calm and reasonable way. As for vegans, it may also be something they would consider themselves, as they might already practice it, but want to make it official, or want this to be the official reason to make a statement towards family and friends.
The Liberation Pledge may not be possible for every vegan, and we need to accept and respect this. Situations vegans are in and the relationships they have with non-vegans and how much they care about (being with) those friends and family members or even colleagues at work, has to do a lot with their decision on taking the pledge or not. Vegans not taking the pledge are/still can be active and most of them will definitely pass on the vegan message. Especially when at the dinner table, eating differently will make others question and think or even feel bad out of their own bad conscience. Animal eaters will often ask why you’re vegan, which is always a good thing – it’s the perfect moment to start outreach.
THE LIBERATION PLEDGE LEVELS BY DIRECT ACTION EVERYWHERE (DXE)
Due to DXE The Liberation Pledge also has 3 Levels. 1 is the highest one and 3 the ‘easiest’. It is said:
LEVEL 1 | No places of violence – Vegan establishment only
Refuse to go to any restaurant that profits from animal exploitation or attend any events where there are animal bodies or secretions.
LEVEL 2 | No tables of violence – Vegan tables only
Refuse to sit at a table where there are animal bodies or their secretions.
This still includes going to an omnivore restaurant, but the table of the person who took the pledge will only eat at a vegan table.
LEVEL 3 | No corpses on the table – Vegetarian tables only
Refuse to sit at a table with animal bodies. Even if this includes sitting at a table where animal secretions (dairy and eggs) are being eaten, it brings a point across that animal corpses are cruel and disrespectful to the animal.
If you need more help or want to know the communities opinion on a certain topic or situation which is bothering you, join the Facebook Liberation Pledge Support Group.
THE FORK AROUND THE WRIST
It’s the symbol/logo of the Liberation Pledge and also always a conversation starter on veganism and why we chose to do the pledge. It also states our point of view and dining restrictions up front. Among vegans, we recognize the symbol right away and there are no further question concerning food and dining habits and opinions.
WHEN YOU KNOW IT’S TIME TO TAKE THE PLEDGE
Sitting at a table, where people are eating animal body parts and consuming animal secretions comes with so many mixed feelings: Sadness, angriness, frustration, paralyzation, judgments, and depression. We want to list what feelings we went through, and out of which mentally straining emotions we decided we needed to change something when eating with friends and family:
We experienced strong sadness when sitting at a table where animals were being eaten, because we know how this individual being got there. We don’t know his/her individual story, but we know his/her destined life of suffering. We, as vegans, see and feel the fear, the loss, the sadness of the once living being. We know that this was a somebody, not a something.
We also experienced a temporary paralyzed anxiety level and nervousness – a high state of discomfort. We stared at our plates, trying to blind out the others. We got disgusted by the cruelty being eaten right next to us, without any respect for the animals’ lives, without any further thoughts of violence. We got so disgusted, that we weren’t hungry anymore at all. We felt sickly paralyzed, frozen in the situation and moment, trying to keep up a good mood, when on the inside we felt empty of emotion. Our mind was fixed on the dead animals on plates. We couldn’t enjoy get-togethers at all but suffered quietly on the inside.
Out of the temporarily paralyzed anxiety level, rose the level of judgment towards those, being controlled and conditioned by tradition and habits to consume animals. Judgment and fury towards those, who do not understand the extent of injustice and wrongdoings yet.
It also shifted toward frustration, which resulted in a very numbed feeling, of not being someone’s self. Of being a bystander. The feeling of ‘not being able to do something about this cruelty and violence’ was very present and it definitely put us in a depressional mood in those certain moments.
Too many negative thoughts, too many negative experiences, and situations and not enough mental support, care and self-care in order to distance yourself from negative situations can quickly result in a short-term and/or long-term depression or depressional phases. Constantly having to deal with situations, which are mentally disturbing as it is against all of your personal views on life, and what vegans (and us as animal rights activists) are so strongly and passionately fighting against – can be very hard and heavy on someone’s shoulders to carry and tough to mentally deal with. It is so important to know fellow vegans and have a strong social environment, to see that you’re not alone in this, to receive love and respect for what you’re doing and fighting for and to be able to feel a 100 % yourself.
WHY WE CHOSE TO DO THE PLEDGE
We were already committed eating only at a vegan table for a few weeks unconsciously before we officially took the pledge. We decided to do so, out of different situations and experiences at non-vegan tables and out of non-vegan situations, as well as out of our strong commitment to vegan activism on a daily basis. We are confronted with so much negativity already – concerning the propaganda done by the media and industry, manipulating the public – that we no longer want to be confronted with the cruelty and violence in our personal, free time, when we should and want to feel comfortable, ourselves and want to be able to relax and not constantly see the violence.
A few months back, Kevin already told me about the pledge, but we were still figuring out things and were too much involved in sucking up information, that we were not ready to get further informed about the pledge. When Alex Bez from ‘Amazing Vegan Outreach’ visited Vienna for his workshop in November this year (2018), he reminded us of the pledge again, wearing a fork around his wrist – and as we were already practicing, we were finally able to publicly commit to it. Thank you so much, Alex, for your support and kind words, which changed so much for us!
We highly encourage other vegans to take the pledge as well. Our experiences so far have been amazing. We learned even more HOW to talk to family members, co-workers and friends concerning this topic and we celebrated our first promises to vegan festivities by those. Of course we also experienced resistance, but this didn’t make us regret but confirms our decision, even more, to stay strong and informative, in order to educate people for the animals, but also for our mental health all vegans truly need to take care of, because it can tilt quite easily when being too much affected by negative approaching responses. Good luck to you all – leave us a comment or send us a message about how you’re feeling about the pledge.
From this point on, I refuse to participate in meals where animals’ bodies are being eaten. #theliberationpledge
HOW WE EXPLAIN OUR DECISION TO OTHERS
We talk about our feelings
We like to explain that we don’t feel comfortable sitting at a table where animals’ bodies and secretions are being consumed. We feel sad and disturbed by what it is. And we ask for understanding. We explain why enjoying a meal together is so important to us, but comes with this condition.
We talk about the truth
like to explain the issue based on social psychologist Melanie Joy’s book ‘Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows’, where she explains the world of carnism and how brainwashed and disconnected our society is from farmed animals. We explain to others why we see it differently and if they wake up one day finding out all the meat they ever ate came from dogs, like their own companion animal, they wouldn’t be open to participating in such cruelty anymore and wouldn’t sit at a table with dog-eaters either.
We talk about one meal out of over 1000 a year
We also state, that it would just be fair to us and to our friends and family as well, if we could feel and be a 100 % ourselves and happy, not having to think about what is on the table the whole time. We ask for one meal out of many more to come, because that’s what it is.
We talk about support
We always come prepared with all vegan restaurants or the option of cooking for others – we truly enjoy that! And who can actually say no to a homecooked all vegan meal?
Last but not least …
Don’t take it personally if someone is not able to make the connection. Don’t take it personally if someone is not there yet and can’t see the horrific conditions, injustice, cruelty, and violence they are paying for. Kindly say that you think it’s a pity that it can’t be this way, but that you’re still ready to spend time with them before and after the meal, but ask for understanding that you won’t be participating in it.
Please note: All definitions of words and/or stated facts are based on the correct terminology and are carefully research and the sources taken are linked here or directly in the blog post. This blog post is also stating a personal opinion and views on certain topics.
All shown illustrations and graphics are our own and are highly restricted to be copied and used freely, without any permission. Linked accounts are out of personal interest and no paid collaboration.
About the Liberation Pledge / www.liberationpledge.com
About the Different Levels of the Pledge / www.directactioneverywhere.com
Reminder of The Liberation Pledge / Alex Bez from ‘Amazing Vegan Outreach’ → instagram