#5: How Change Can Stick

1: “There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us.” In his Ted Talk, Simon Sinek gave this quote. This really stood out to me. While he used the example of Martin Luther King Jr., this reminds me of the students in What’s the Story?. We are faced with the challenge of leading others in a social movement of our choice. How can we do this? How can high school students inform the “real world” about these pressing topics? These are questions we need to be aware of as we continue to research and start creating awareness on our topics.

2: Peta is an organization that bodes to end animal cruelty. In this article, they reach out to anyone reading that has any pitches that they can fund. Under it is a list of how animal cruelty has been lessened in a few aspects over many years. We know what they are doing. We don’t exactly know how they will do it and we don’t know exactly why they are doing it. I think if they had a better action plan (and maybe they do, it was just not included in the article I read), and they shared their vision for the future and their purpose, they would get more support.

3: The Golden Circle: Why, how, what. All innovators use this concept, and those who don’t use it all are the ones who do not succeed in the same way that the ones who use it do. The “what” is what the companies make/do. All companies know this. I want to change the animal industry into one that is less cruel. The “how” is how they do this. I would like this to happen in a way where policies are changed so that this cruelty can be avoided as much as possible. The “why” is the most important. Why are these companies making computers? Why is this person trying to convince me to change my insurance? Why should I buy coffee from this specific company? These people who are the greatest innovators that we know, like Apple, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., have a belief, a cause, a purpose. Not just for the profit. Why do I want to change this industry? Humans, by far, are the most selfish species. We kill other animals to eat them when, by nature, meat is not necessary for our diet. We take resources from other animals. We harm animals when we test cosmetics with horrible chemicals that we shouldn’t be using on our bodies in the first place. I think that as humans we need to lessen our negative impact on this world. I think that we should stop harming animals because we are not the only ones on this earth, and at this rate, the earth will be striped of it’s resources sooner rather than later.

“Call for Innovation.” PETA, www.peta.org/features/call-innovation/.

Sinek, Simon. “How great leaders inspire action.” Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk, www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en#t-155034.

Ratner, Ben. “The HubSpot User Blog.” 3 Key Marketing Takeaways from Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”, blog.hubspot.com/customers/3-takeaways-from-start-with-why.

Riley Gallagher

3 Responses to “#5: How Change Can Stick

  • Hey Riley,

    I love the passion you speak with about this topic and you seem to really have your ideas organized. I agree that humans do other life forms no favors but you also must see that animals kill other animals for food, not on the same scale as humans and without the same environmental impact, but they still do it. Also meat if often time the only protein available to people whether it be from poverty or geography, but to say that meat isn’t a necessary part of the human diet is a privileged point of view. Finally I just want to address PETA, while they state their mission is to help animals their actions say other wise. PETA euthanizes about 85% of the animals that enter into their shelters: https://www.petakillsanimals.com/proof-peta-kills/#petakills

    Don’t get me wrong I am also an animal rights activist, I was a vegetarian until recently when I had to stop because I was not getting enough protein, but I think the best way to frame this topic is not through attacking humans but creating sympathy for animals. Humans are terrible and selfish and I completely agree but if you were pitching this to a wider audience I’m sure the statements you made in your pitch would alienate them not compel them to take action. Nothing turns people away from social change than calling them on their privilege.

    Either way you have a topic that is very important to me and I look forward to seeing how you develop it further. If you ever would like to talk about animal rights I would love to do so. Keep up the good work!


    • Hi Olympia,
      Thanks for the reply. I think that you are completely right, I need to alter whatever pitch I end up creating by the November meeting to creating more sympathy to the animals. I think it is important to mention what humans are capable of doing, but not making it the focus.
      Also, it can be a problem for a lot of people to not eat meat. I am coming from a place of privilege to be able to not eat meat, but science can back up that the human race was originally made up to be herbivores. My approach is to not make people go vegan or vegetarian, but rather show the bright spots of the food industry (dairy and meat). Whether or not I can change regulations? Doubtful. Another problem is how grass fed meat and dairy is often more expensive, and I wonder how those norms could be changed to make it the more desired decisions.
      Also, I didn’t know that about Peta. I don’t know exactly their whole mission, I just thought the article would go along with my post. I know their company does have controversy, but I don’t know enough about them to really make any judgments.
      Thanks again for the feedback, also I would love to talk to you about animal rights!
      Thanks again for the great feedback, it was really helpful!

  • Annie Bellerose
    5 years ago

    Hi Riley!

    Your thinking about Sinek’s talk made me think, too. Sometimes we look to “experts” or the expected for answers, but one thing I love about this program is that it allows YOU to become an expert and to inspire the change that you care about. Easier said than done, no doubt. But sometimes coming at something with energy and curiosity and passion is way better than knowing everything about it. I feel like you’ve embraced that as you’ve been exploring your topic.

    I wondering if it would be helpful to do a little more searching on what new solutions or approaches are being tried in terms of ending animal cruelty, maybe even narrowing the focus more to dairy farms as we had chatted about. Temple Grandin’s human slaughtering process could also be pretty interesting to check out. Here’s an article on her work: http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/19/temple-grandin-killing-them-softly-at-slaughterhouses-for-30-years/

    I think Olympia raises an interesting point about calling people out on privilege. I know we had also chatted about how you want to search for the bright spots – and how there are a fair number here in Vermont, as opposed to other areas in the U.S. – and then think about how to make those bright spots bigger. Do you think it’s possible to raise awareness without alienating people? How can you can get people in that place of privilege to want to spread those bright spots with you? I agree that creating sympathy for the animals – and perhaps for furthering some of the humane work that’s already happening – could be a really good way to focus this. You wrote in your response to Olympia that you could still focus on the negative impacts of what humans are doing in your pitch, but I think the bright spots focus allows you do also highlight the positives and implicitly help people see the negatives.

    Have you seen this article? https://www.diginvt.com/blog/exploring-humanely-raised-meat-in-vermont/

    It’s about being something called a “humaneitarian” – it’s worth a read!

    I’m excited to see you keep refining this.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts.


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