Online and offline you will find people that critique society changing movements. This is fine. Honest Dialogue is needed for anything to truly be accepted as ‘normal’. The problem however is when you take those critiques and compare it to worse or equal tragedy. I recently read an article by someone who made an outrageous claim that vegans do not care about human tragedy. This isn’t the first time, I have read several pieces accusing the entire feminist movement that they do not care about men, I’ve read pieces accusing the entire ‘Black Lives Matter’ of not caring about white people or their own black people who get shot by other black people.
This is absurd. If you were to focus on all issues and tragedies you would probably need to move out into the woods because pretty much everything has some human, environmental or social cost. You shouldn’t use washing powder because it pollutes our waterways with nasty chemicals, you shouldn’t text people because your phone is probably made by slaves and/or the material for it is at least, you shouldn’t wear clothes because they were probably made in sweatshops and the cost of transporting them.. well the environmental cost from transportation contributing to co2 should be enough to make you want to be nude for the rest of your life. Your life in the woods.
This is the logic that I see and hear from people. As Ricky Gervais once said “Remember, if you do a good deed, some f*** will always ask why you’re not doing a different good deed. They’ll be doing nothing of course.” I personally have found that this is the case. Having been quite active in the release of MPI videos regarding fish dumping I can honestly say that the masses of people do not enjoy activism. Trolls and social media users found me on social media, I never went out looking. I was faced with comments like “What about child poverty?” or “What about the whales”. Of course I realise that protestors and movements are dehumanised in public eyes so that they seem abnormal or unnecessary but for the masses of people to be telling a minority that they need to do more or do nothing at all, is a problem
Its nothing new however. Look at the anti-seabed mining activist group and the comments they receive from New Zealanders. “The economy”, “hippies’ or some racial slur as they’ve been portrayed as mainly Maori. People who take the time out of their day and have become ‘woke’ if you like, deserve a little more respect that what the public gives them.
Without activists women wouldn’t be able to vote, nuclear-free NZ standing up to a superpower never would have happened and we’d probably have a ton of extinct endemic species here as well. You better believe there were people who were terrified about women voting. This seems absurd now but there were. People demeaned the movement. People were also for nuclear ships visiting NZ. People also think nature will sort itself out. The public opinion seems to be distorted and it is more of a barrier to change that could benefit us all. You are allowed to tweet on your iPhone about the environment and spread awareness despite what people may try to tell you.