|Sunday, 09.09.2018 12:30-13:20 Room A|
|The importance of scientific method and rational thinking in animal advocacy|
Raising the debate about animal products brings cognitive dissonance to the forefront: the meat paradox. This paradox is commonly lowered or neutralized by biased arguments. What if we could also be affected by implicit biases while doing advocacy? Even when we are aware of their existence, we still can unconsciously distort reality because we want our opinions to be true. When this happens, it can be harmful to animals in the long term: if we spread misleading information, even naively, it will backfire. The meat industry, the media and the public opinion then have an opportunity to discredit our movement, overlooking animal rights.
A rational, objective and scientific mindset is even more essential when it comes to specialized areas in which we are not experts. Not everyone can be a registered dietitian who talks about vegan nutrition or a climate scientist who talks about the influence of animal agriculture on climate change. Nevertheless, it is still manageable to identify a large amount of reliable information without being a specialist thanks to a few "tips and tricks" on how the scientific method and research work.