WHY DOES THIS EXIST
This site is based on these ideas:
Most people do go out of their way to help animals that they see suffering.
Most people do already ascribe to vegan or vegan-like ethics. In other words, if they were faced with a choice between having to kill an animal for food or eat a healthy beans-and-rice-and-veggies meal, most people would choose not to kill the animal.
Most people have an "avoid-causing-suffering" point of view. However, they live in a way that is inconsistent with their true values. The world has taught them various ways to overlook this conflict, by 1.) training them to see specific animals as products for their use or consumption, and 2.) hiding how their choices cause so much suffering
Most people who consume animal products want to avoid thinking about these moral conflicts. They want to continue doing what they've been doing and what everyone around them is doing. Having to think about this discrepancy can make them angry (that old cognitive dissonance we all know so well).
The more people spend time thinking about these ideas, the more likely they are to come to the same conclusion. Given the chance, they can easily discover that our society is hypocritical about how we treat animals, that something needs to change.
Because we believe the above, it means we aren't afraid that our approach will make people more likely to eat dogs.
Sure, there's always the teeniest chance we could make people more nihilistic and more uncaring than they already are. But we believe most people really do love animals (especially dogs) and they want to reduce animal suffering––they just don't know how.
Elwood's Organic Dog Meat is designed to help non-vegan folks understand that their actions don't align with their existing ethics.
WHY DOG MEAT
In most of the Western world, there’s no animal more highly regarded than the dog. We shower dogs with love and respect. Most people have fond memories and associations with dogs.
The goal of this project is to get a Western audience to consider an alternate world where "man’s best friend" is treated like a product. Elwood Dog Meat presents dogs in the same way animal agriculture treats cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, turkeys, and fish. Our content mostly pulls directly from farmers' social media posts websites, blogs, and ads (or comments from those defending them), but with a little more truth than the industry wants us to know about).
We want to draw attention to the similarities, to the ethical hypocrisy. This isn't an original idea, of course; many people have drawn comparisons to the double standards, hypocrisy, and speciesism around how we treat different kinds of animals.
Our goal is also to evoke emotions. We communicate this idea in a way that leads to people having a range of emotional responses to it (laughter, surprise, confusion, anger). Hopefully, some of those people will spend time looking at this site, making connections, and having conversations.
The more people think and talk about these ideas, the better. The more conversation and thinking that we spark, the more people will realize that true respect and love for animals means extending it to all animals, not just the ones we have sentimental attachments to.
We are trying to maximize the amount of time people spend looking at this website, trying to figure out if it is real. If they've invested a minute or so on this page, even if they get angry and leave and initially reject the ideas, questions and doubts may get lodged in their mind and they may be more likely to consider them later.
5 STEPS FOR THE VEGAN CURIOUS
LEARN ABOUT THE ISSUES
Animal agriculture doesn't just hurt animals, but our health, the environment, and our communities.
THINK ABOUT YOUR BELIEFS
Many arguments in favor of eating animals are based on unexamined beliefs that you may not actually agree with.
JOIN YOUR LOCAL VEGAN FACEBOOK GROUP
Every state has a vegan group, as do major cities. Don't be intimidated--many are very welcoming to newcomers! (And if they're not, find another group. Don't let one sour vegan spoil veganism for you!) Ask questions, get shopping tips, restaurant recommendations, etc. There are also vegan groups for so many subsections: Pregnant vegans, gluten-free vegans, vegan athletes, etc.
JUMP ON IN
(YOU GOT THIS!)
Think you just want to give it a try?That's amazing! Everyone here at the farm is rooting for you.
Some tips: Keep learning, keep remembering the animals, and don't let perfection be the enemy of good.
Veganuary (unaffiliated) has a free 31-day vegan challenge. They'll walk you through it with coaching emails, recipes, meal plans, and tips.
TIPS FOR SHARING ELWOOD DOG MEAT
With social media messages, try not to immediately anger or turn off people. This may mean not "showing your hand" right off the bat. Err on being subtle, ambiguous, and gentle to get people curious and interested in reading more.
Here are some recommendations to get people thinking:
Make your posts gentle and non-confrontational. The goal is to make people curious and want to read more. For example:
"Is this real?"
"This makes me so mad."
"Have you seen this? It's wild!"
"Did you hear there's a farm doing the same thing but with dogs? elwooddogmeat.com."
"I've heard about that same farming problem! This farm was talking about it: elwooddogmeat.com."
It's easy to score cheap points and mock people, but we don't believe that helps the cause. Avoid communication that makes it obvious what your intention is and avoid being cruel. For example, avoid writing replies like, "How'd you like it if they killed your dogs like this?"
Gotcha moments feel good, but it's hard to come back from them and have an open dialog about veganism. Remember: Despite their actions, these folks are animal lovers and you're showing them something that is extremely upsetting. Being gentle with them creates room for meaningful conversations.
Place our Leave Behind Cards, posters, or stickers on community bulletin boards. For the bold, we also have shirts and hoodies and other stuff (BE SAFE OUT THERE!). Again, the goal is starting convos.
You can find all of the swag here.
It feels good to DIY stuff (it's cheaper, too!). Feel free to use what you want from this site in your own activism--stickers, leave behind cards, brochures, posters, etc. (The more fonts and font sizes, the better.)
Wondering where to start? We pull a lot of design and copy inspiration from the meat and dairy ads and social posts we see every day.
Please follow the mission of being kind, avoiding gross photos, and making it look real enough that people go huh? and want to go to the website.