can one person make a difference?
I hear a lot, usually in regards to veganism, that one person can’t make a difference. that really couldn’t be further from the truth. nearly every great change in history started with one person. if people didn’t speak up on injustices due to the regressive notion that one person can’t make a difference, nothing would have ever changed. for example; slavery would still exist, women would still be legally bought and sold like products, women still wouldn’t have the right to vote, the holocaust would have never ended, rape/marital rape would still be legal in most places, forced castrations, child labor/abuse and beating your wife would all still be legal.
but, those are just social issues. what about big corporations destroying the planet? specifically, animal agriculture. most scientists, and people who have done research on it know that animal agriculture is extremely detrimental to our environment. even the IPCC said we have about 11 years until the planet is nearing inhabitability due to climate change alone (14-16% of greenhouse gas emissions comes from animal agriculture, even more than all forms of transportation combined). from climate change, to deforestation (80% of the amazon rainforest destruction is to clear out land for animal agriculture), ocean dead zones (overfishing is the leading cause of ocean dead zones, 46% of all plastic in the ocean consists of discarded fishing nets).
most people are against these things, most people are against animal cruelty. when people are exposed to videos/pictures/information of what goes on in the meat, dairy and egg industry, they’re disgusted and sad. people don’t naturally want to hurt animals. yet, most people hide behind the notion of “one person can’t make a difference” due to wanting to continue to live a convenient life, not wanting to go through the effort of changing how they’ve lived their whole lives, not doing enough research to even know why (or how) they should change in the first place.
it’s just an excuse. one that doesn’t hold any logical weight either. if this was about dog exploitation, no one would be holding back due to the belief that one person can’t make a difference. people are in an uproar about the state of our environment right now, but go silent when they’re confronted with the fact that their actions are a direct cause of it. all over i see people saying “why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?”, but then when they find out that something as simple as their food choices is the main cause of it, you’re met with “oh, one person can’t make a difference. i don’t have to change.”.
i’m not going to go on about why you should change right now, i’m going to explain why that specific excuse cannot logically be made:
1. supply and demand. the main reason why veganism (and many other boycotts) have made an impact is due to the simple fact that a company will not continue to supply for a demand that does not exist. no one will work for free, and large corporations are not exempt from this. they will be forced to change to what the people want if they want to continue making money. remember, these companies work for money, not ethics. even if it means the whole planet is destroyed in the process. greed is powerful. you vote with your dollar.
2. i’ve been vegan for only 4 years, and i’ve seen exponential change since i first went vegan. i’ve seen literally hundreds of new vegan products, vegan options showing up in restaurants that you’d never think would ever cater to veganism (most popular being: burger king, red robin, taco bell, etc.), i’ve seen entire vegan sections pop up in most grocery stores, i’ve seen restaurants turn completely vegan, i’ve seen dairy farms turn into plant milk farms, i’ve seen vegan products become nearly indistinguishable from non-vegan products, dozens of celebrities have gone vegan, i’ve seen a significant increase in plant based doctors and studies showing how much a plant based diet decreases your risk of our biggest killers (heart disease and cancer), tons of new documentaries exposing animal agriculture come out every year, most cosmetic companies have stopped testing on animals at this point, and meat, dairy and egg industries have already lost billions of dollars in sales due to people buying vegan alternatives instead. people who use the excuse of ‘one person not being able to make a difference’ blatantly ignore these changes.
3. one person makes a difference because you lead by example. i’m watching the changes because i’m a part of the change. you don’t see it because you are not. i don’t even have to say anything about veganism for people who find out that i’m vegan, to come up to me with a billion questions about it. questions are important because it means they’re curious. they actually care about knowing why you’re doing something. i’ve seen the people who have asked me the most questions go vegan and later tell me that i am the reason they went vegan. i get a lot messages of people telling me that they went vegan or chose a vegan option that day because of me, that if it wasn’t for me posting some information/a video the industry/simply just talking about it, they wouldn’t have even known that was going on. they wouldn’t have even known that there’s a plethora of other food/clothing/cosmetic options out there that offer the same amount of taste, style and look without the cruelty, environmental destruction, and destruction of your own health. i’ve seen a lot of my friends and family members go vegan just because i exposed them to it. no one would know something existed if no one spread awareness to it.
one person can and does make a difference. you don’t see it because you aren’t looking. I completely get the desire to mindlessly consume without having to think about how your actions effect others, do whatever you want. but, don’t try to lie to yourself about it. you know one person makes a difference. this doesn’t solely apply to veganism either. it can be applied to many other issues going on in the world currently.