since you chose to criticise me in person publicly I’d like to take this as a reason to explain something. 

I can’t remember having ever criticised you as a person. True, we had some discussions, some just the two of us, some with other people. Sometimes we had the same opinion opposed to others but we also spoke about things which we had opposing opinions about. According to you I’ve “debated your philosophy” what seemingly is a proper reason to ask me to unfollow you.

Philosophies have only one purpose as far as I know. It’s to be debated. 

I came to the impression though that you may have felt criticised personally by debating this philosophy of yours. 

I know that people sometimes identify that much with an idea that any critical word on that idea is regarded as criticism of the person. Especially often that can be seen in persons who are dictators. A lot of people lost their lives as “traitors” for criticising terrible philosophies. I think we all have examples of that on our mind. From former times up to the present. 

I honestly didn’t expect that kind of thinking from you. And I repeat it, I never intended to criticise you as a person.

You may ask why I chose to discuss about things you post. 

You may have noticed that I “like” even retweet and support a lot of the tweets you deliver. Maybe you haven’t noticed…I have no idea if you check who supports you without commenting. 

And then from time to time you retweet or post stuff that I can only recognise as propaganda. As this little video with the injured piglet that motivated you to comment it with “humans are the cruelest”.

I am absolutely with you in the critics of industrialised animal farming. You know that. Things urgently need to change. Not only for the animals but also for our environment and us humans. We all are concerned by this. 

But I distanced myself from this video you posted and from your comment. I even apologised for contradicting you with that.

It’s important to me. This little video and some others published by this organisation and also other organisations you quoted in the past fulfill all aspects of being propaganda. 

They aim at peoples feelings. This little video aims to influence it’s viewers feelings. 

It carries no information at all. Nothing I can check. I can’t see where and when in what situation and by whom this pictures are made. I get no connection, no pros no contras. This video isn’t made to inform me, to enable me to build an opinion. Pictures, text and music aim clearly to my emotions. I am asked to pitty those animals and to condemn the humans in this vid.

Propaganda works. Nearly always. In this case it obviously does. It made you comment about humans. In a way that, with all due respect, is not true. I’m pretty sure you don’t even believe that yourself. I have the impression that you would exclude yourself from that general statement. And very likely you would exclude a good many of those people you deal with every day from this judgement. And I personally exclude myself as well from that and in addition I exclude all of my loved ones and my friends from it. And I guess that’s what practically everybody will do. So it can only be a very little number of people being cruel on this planet. 

That seems to be contradicted by this video. 

And that’s what makes it terribly dangerous. It wants us to believe that some people are cruel by doing things like that, or by buying and eating meat. It’s “the others”. 

It’s always easy to have general judements about “the others”. They don’t appear in our lives, we don’t need to listen to their side of the story. And of course it’s always great to request “the others” to change. Their lives, their opinions, their values, their attitudes. Because that’s all wrong, cruel in this case. Opposed to us, who are good and right of course.

You connect a request with this propaganda video. People shall reconsider their life choices and go vegan. The organisation who is responsible for publishing the video isn’t as strict in this as it also states that eating less meat would be good thing. That’s true after all that I’ve learned. 

It’s pretty much nonsense though that a few people going to eat less meat because of such a video do stop animal suffering in industrialised animal farming. It’s much more necessary to achieve that.

So I wondered what makes this organisation do what it does? Why posting propaganda videos with a recommendation about what to do? 

What I found is the following.

On another part of their internet appearance than the videos there is also a recommendation about how to go vegan. You find blog posts and you also find a shopping list for newbies. 

How incredibly thoughtful one might think. They have thought about those very confused and emotionally wrecked people who land on their site after watching enough videos. 

When you look at that shopping list you find, that they do not provide you with a list about what’s important to eat in your new life. 

No.

They tell you to go to “Joe’s Trade”. They tell you what of their products are useful to your new diet. They praise the products this chain sells. 

I’ve taken an interest then in Joe’s Trade. I’ve never been to one as not being American.

It’s incredibly interesting. Joe’s Trade belongs in majority to a foundation that was founded by one of the brothers Albrecht. The two brothers Albrecht founded Aldi in the 1950s in Germany. They became enormously rich. And when they died their money was transfered into several foundations that are lead by children and family members of those two brothers. I haven’t looked i to the details of the foundations though. 

The foundation that own Joe’s Trade is the main Albrecht-Foundation called Markus-Stiftung, led by one the Albrecht children.

That all is commonly known, but not much more. As the business strategy of the Albrect family is secrecy. They actually do come from my home town. Their family estate isn’t far from my home. I’ve never ever seen any of them. And I wouldn’t recognise any of them because they never appear on any pictures. They are pretty secret.

But they are incredibly rich. Because they are really successful in their businesses. 

And they own Joe’s Trade. 

It obviouly is a chain aiming at people who are interested in what they buy. I read that buying at Joe’s Trade has a bit of a cult status. They sell organic stuff for example. But exactly as Aldi they never tell you who produces the stuff that is sold as their own under their name.

So, where is the connection? Why does a non profit animal organisation recommend to start a new life based on Joe’s Trade products? 

My guess is that the connection lies in the people they aim at. Those who have certain values but don’t look too close into things. Those who are busy but want to be amongst the “good ones”. 

The concept would be brilliant, if it really is a concept.

First you influence the people emotionally. And as soon as they’re ready to really say they want to change their lives you send them to the right shop. 

But! Important:

I have to say, that I just spent very little time with fact checking these things. The facts I mention about Joe’s Trade are valid. But I have no idea if there really is a business connection between those two companies. Maybe there are donations? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just stupidity by this animal organisation. Maybe they don’t know what propaganda is. Maybe they advertise for Joe’s Trade for free without intention? 

But maybe they do know and do it deliberately? Would be interesting to find out. I don’t have the time or the means to do that. So I will not research it further.

But as well I will surely not spread their videos, their message or their name.

So Michelle, I’m sorry that you felt criticised by me. I only did criticise your post. I hadn’t written this all down up to now. I hope though this helps to solve any misunderstandings about my intentions.

Yours

Dorothea