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Tim Barford - The secret of change is to focus all your energies, not on fighting the old, but on building the new

Tim Barford - The secret of change is to focus all your energies, not on fighting the old, but on building the new

| by Editor | Posted in Vlog

VegfestUK, Vegfest Scotland and Yaoh manager Tim Barford has taken to quoting Socrates as he clarifies his own position on a number of issues relating to the current UK vegan movement.



Following on from the success of VegfestUK London 2015 last October, which saw amongst other things (including record crowds and record numbers of stallholders) the first People’s Vegan Activists Summit, which included a platform for The Abolitionist Approach for the first time ever in the UK, Tim will be clarifying his own position and indeed that of VegfestUK over the next month or two.


In relation to the challenge that this has posed to numerous National Animal Groups, Tim Barford is quoted as saying, “The secret of change is to focus all your energies, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” (which is of course a very famous quote by Socrates).



VegfestUK events continue to grow at an astonishing rate and recently has taken a strong ‘go vegan’ ‘justice for all’ approach, with particular emphasis on supporting and encouraging volunteer-led vegan grassroots regional activism, and Tim is encouraging vegan activists all over the UK – and indeed the Globe – to support their local vegan outreach or indeed start their own.


VegfestUK organiser Tim Barford commented on the UK vegan movement - “It’s a grassroots movement at heart and it's grassroots volunteers that will be the game changer.”


''If we want the world to go vegan, it will happen a lot quicker if all vegans promote veganism and all vegans get out there and help educate others to go vegan. I don't agree with promoting less than vegan, and a lot of the single-issue campaigns around are counterproductive. If people go out and educate others to go vegan, we'll get there. Grassroots volunteer-led activism is the key.''


“If you want to be the most effective vegan activist, organise a grassroots vegan education outreach event. Events like the vegan festivals - even the small ones - are game changers for so many people right now. Don't wait for someone else to do it - do it yourself. Every town deserves its own vegan event. Get on it.”

Pig Freud at Dublin VegFest.

Posted by Roger Yates on Sunday, 1 November 2015


How to achieve unity within the UK and global vegan movement?

Simple. We all start promoting veganism for starters, and from a justice for all perspective. That way we can unite and deliver a clear vegan message to everyone.


Tim added, “I remain committed to a united vegan UK and global movement and hope very much that everyone else will in time feel the same, and promote the rights and justice for non-human animals as the very least we can do for them, and go vegan, live vegan and stay vegan, whilst helping others do the same.”


xxx Tim Barford Nov 2015


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  • by Gary L. Francione
    reply Nov 26 2015

    I agree with Tim in principle but building a vegan movement requires that we educate people about veganism as a moral baseline. And the bloated corporate animal charities are explicitly and unequivocally hostile to that idea, calling it "purist," "fundamentalist," "absolutist," etc. They spend millions promoting "happy exploitation," "reducetarianism," and the idea that it's just about "journeys" and not moral obligations. So promoting veganism as a moral imperative will necessarily involve countering the position of the corporate charities. But I completely agree with Tim (and with Socrates) that we need to focus on creative, nonviolent vegan advocacy and educating the public that veganism is not a mere option, or just a way to avoid suffering (along with reducetarianism, cage-free this and crate-free that) but is a moral obligation. That is what the Abolitionist Approach is all about. Gary L. Francione Professor, Rutgers University

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