I hear you!
Hello and welcome to Taste This!, the official newsletter of TasteBetter.com!
Hi, thanks for joining me again this week! I’m pretty excited about this one. It’s a short week with the Easter weekend coming up, but there’s a lot of great stuff going on personally and I think it’s going to be one of those “weeks that matter.” I hope you had a refreshing, recharging weekend and are ready to make the most of the time you’ve got this week too!
The results are in!
OK, last week we ran a brief survey about the newsletter and the website, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to cast their votes and share their thoughts – the survey wasn’t entirely scientific and I had a sense of where it was going to go, but there were a few surprises and I had a couple of “aha” moments.
For content, you overwhelmingly wanted to hear more about how to live in a world that’s full of meat eaters. It was like the results of a taste test between the world’s greatest cookie and a bowl of lima beans. Uncooked lima beans. Dry ones.
So that’s what we’ll be working on for the next few weeks, and probably a good while afterwards. Ideally the web content is going to mirror this, but I think instead we’ll have loose ties to a weekly theme. Honestly, I’m still working that part out, as you might have been able to tell by the relative lack of updates recently.
As for the newsletter format, the length and frequency seems to be working for most of you, which isn’t surprising, since you’re still subscribed 🙂
I’m going to drop the video format for now though – sorry if you’re one of the few people who used it, but I honestly haven’t been doing a good enough job with it to make it worthwhile, and I want to spend more time working on core things that help everyone. The audio version will continue though, so I suggest listening to it while making shadow puppets on the wall to self-illustrate the concepts. We’ll revisit the idea in a few months.
Now, before I make the newsletter longer than usual and offend everyone who took the time to say they liked it as it is, on with today’s core topic!
Ignore and surround
I can’t for the life of me remember where I read this. It may have been from a Tom Peters book, but I’m not sure, so apologies if you have to email me with an “I told you about this last week!” reminder. Anyway, it’s been in my head for a few days now, although as you’ll see the exact details are pretty much lost to me but what matters here is where I take this:
In some kind of activism scenario, a group credited their success with a strategy that looked kind of like this: ignore the hardcore resistance. They focused on signing on people who were easier targets and worked from there until all that was left were the hardcore people, who at that point pretty much gave in to the overwhelming support for the idea.
The key here is that the group then welcomed the former detractors with open arms.
I think there are several key takeaways here:
Spend your resources wisely. By focusing on easier converts, the group was able to achieve more in less time than if they spent all their efforts fighting with people who weren’t ready to change.
Social proof is powerful. We as a species tend towards a herd mentality. It’s not a good or bad thing; it just is. The more people see other people doing something, the more they’ll be inclined to do it too.
Don’t hold grudges. For vegan activism, this is admittedly a long way away from a global population viewpoint, but you could have a scenario where, for example, one remaining family member finally decides to join you. Celebrate this. Forget about any taunts, jokes at your expense, difficult meals, etc, recognize that you yourself probably had to come to a realization and decision at some point in your life, and be welcoming and above all helpful.
When I look at statistics for veganism, it seems to always be around 1% of the population. That’s clearly not enough to win more people over (social proof,) so maybe we need to focus on easier converts to focus relentlessly on getting that number up as fast as we can (spending our resources) and celebrate any “surprises” if and when they arise (don’t hold grudges.) I think Vegan Outreach has the right idea here with its campus leafletting campaigns, but what else can we do on a personal as well as a group level?
Thanks again for being a subscriber, and I hope you’re as excited about the upcoming weeks as I am! If you want to get in touch about anything we’ve been talking about here, you can just use the contact form and it’ll go right to me. I try hard to reply to everyone I can as quickly as I can, but please be patient – there are a lot of you reading this!
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This email goes out (almost) every Monday afternoon, see you next week!