The Liberation Pledge: an alternative proposal

The liberation pledge is the brain child of the animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). The liberation pledge involves:

  1. Publicly refuse to eat animals – live vegan.
  2. Publicly refuse to sit where people are eating animals.
  3. Encourage others to take the pledge.

I really admire and like the idea in principle. The goal of the authors’ is to use positive peer pressure to change society.

If you think back even twenty years ago, it was common for people to smoke inside restaurants. That is now illegal in most countries. This phenomenal change primarily occurred through positive peer pressure. It began with non-smoking sections and progressed until most dining establishments realized the majority of their non-smoking customers didn’t want to sit with smokers.

This kind of discrimination can be phenomenally effective: but it takes numbers.

In order for peer pressure to work, the offender needs to feel like they are doing something wrong, and as long as the vast majority is, for example, eating meet, peer pressure won’t work too well.

An alternative liberation pledge:

Instead, I offer an alternative liberation pledge:

  1. Publicly refuse to eat animals or their secretions. Live vegan/vegetarian.
  2. Publicly refuse to allow animal products in your home. When you have the power to organize a social gathering, ensure only vegan/vegetarian food is served.
  3. Encourage others to take the pledge.

I really like DxE’s original version of the pledge, but it is impractical as long as people need to work around other people who consume animal products.

If you’re invited to a corporate event where others are consuming animal products, it would be completely impossible to entirely avoid being around the consumption of animal products.

Even taking a simple coffee meeting at Starbucks would be impossible, since Starbucks not only serves milk, but meat as well, together with pretty much every other animal product imaginable.

If YOU are choosing the meeting, find a vegan alternative if at all possible.

But if you aren’t, I don’t think being unable to conduct your business benefits the animals. I’m not an idealist, so I don’t see the benefit in cutting yourself off from the rest of humanity.

Do what you can

Not everyone is vegan. And even vegetarian’s can participate in a modified version of this pledge. By pledging not to consume the bodies of animals or allow dead animals in your home, you are making a strong statement. And since one of the major barriers to becoming vegan is fear of social stigma, this allows vegetarians to begin the process of moving towards veganism.



2 Responses to “The Liberation Pledge: an alternative proposal

  • Lief B. Youngs
    1 year ago

    The Liberation Pledge says you will not sit at a table that is not vegan. For some they can be around dead bodies being eaten if they eat before or after those people eat. For corporate parties we either don’t go or we email the organizer asking for the event to be vegan. Same goes for work lunch events. If we have to be present for one of these events we either sit at a different table or just remain standing. So, the bottom line is that we are being active and not passive with our veganism. When we use our voice to say why we are taking these actions it helps others to be able to ask questions and consider veganism. If you ask when buying food/drinks LOTS of places are very vegan friendly.

    I love your point about having a vegan cruelty free home.

    • Thanks, Lief! I think it’s a wonderful idea for those who can do it, and I fully support anyone who makes this decision. I wish more people who had control in organizations and are vegan (like CEOs and small business owners) would do their utmost to ensure events are vegan. It is harder, though, when it’s a mandatory meeting and you have little power over it, and will suffer financially if you stick with the liberation pledge. But definitely the more who can do it, the better!

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