Someone on Vegan:UK discussion group made a comment: They wrote:
“Something Timothy mentioned in another topic of mine inspired me to raise the following point about activism, inactivism, and abolitionism.
Is it compulsory for abolitionists to be vegan advocate activists also ?
If a person is abolitionist in principal but not an activist for logical reasons (such as poor health, remote location isolation, or well-founded fear of unavoidable long-term persecution), then is there another term for that ?
What if a person just sort of pooters about in a forum like this one (or suchlike) but never really mentions being vegan in real life (ie making a point of bringing it up in discussions with animal farmers or their offspring every day) ?
Should they just hang up their abolitionist boots and go home ?”
This response by Timothy E Putnam in response to this member’s question:
“Social change requires changemakers. Justice requires torchbearers. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Yes, you may face social ostracism. You may face abuse. You may face death.
But we have to be honest with ourselves. Change is not a result of wishing on a star. We can’t look with resignation, from the sidelines, at the state of our world. Our actions do matter. Our inaction also matters. And we are responsible for that choice. No matter what reasons or excuses we use, we are responsible for our lives.
Let me be perfectly clear on this point: it doesn’t matter if someone faces severe personal obstacles to advocacy, such as disability or poverty or sexism. When we choose to believe that we are powerless, we become so. We disempower ourselves.
Vision and commitment are both necessary for a transformed world. Vision is the framework and context within which to be and to act. Vision releases us from the weight of the problems in our lives and is the opening for possibility. Resignation replaced with potential. A path that distinctly departs from our past. Focused outward.
Commitment means that we stand as responsible for manifesting that vision.
Leadership is about manifesting your vision in a real and tangible way. A leader stands for that vision as if her life and the lives of others depend on it. That vision and commitment dictates a leader’s actions and ways of being. A leader defines her circumstances, rather than letting circumstances define her.
At times, perhaps most times, we may have to stand alone in our convictions. That is the test of leadership. No one will come forward in life and give you permission to be who you are. You have to give yourself that permission, and face the difficulties like the cliff faces the crashing tides.
You will fail. Over and over again. Get up and make your stand once more. Stand as the source for a transformed world.
No matter how brutal of a beating you endure, return again and again with an open heart, passion in your voice, and justice on your tongue.
I never said it would be easy to stand for justice. Only that it would be right.”