Sorry for this post being a few days late, but last week was a busy one, and that is actually what I'm going to tell you about today!
I few months ago, I received an email inviting me to a "Messaging Event" hosted by an organisation called Animal Think Tank.
They are an organisation based in the north of England and their mission is to "build a powerful, resilient movement that can go the distance in ensuring all animals have their freedom embraced by society and protected in UK law."
Now, other than their name, the date and the place, I didn't really have much to go on about the event, but I was interested and said "yes" anyway. A couple of days beforehand, I received an email with a few more details, including some names and organisations I definitely knew: Viva!, Veganuary, Animal Rebellion, We Animals (me and one other person), a couple of filmmakers, Humane Society, The Vegan Society, Vegfest, Plant-Based Treaty and many others.
So I arrived at the Jewish Vegetarian Society on Wednesday morning more than a little nervous about the next couple of days. I did my usual and took seat right at the back in the corner because, you know, introvert, and waited for the even to begin. The room was bigger than expected but thankfully it wasn't the horror show of everyone sitting around a table where they can all see each other.
The day got started thanks to Animal Think Tank Founder Laila Kassam who set out the plan for the two days. (I won't go into her bio here, but if you click on her name, it will take you to the "Our Team" page of Animal Think Tank for a bit more information about who she is and what she has done.)
The first day was broken up into 8 smaller sections but it was essentially discussing the current narrative around veganism and the animal rights movement, how narratives and different approaches to messaging can affect human behaviour/reactions etc.
This day contained a lot of interesting ideas and information and the chance to get together in groups and talk things through really got the brain working.
The second day was a bit more figure heavy and focused on the research Animal Think Tank had found/conducted/are conducting and then ideas on how we can use the findings and what we learned on the first day to get together and come up with a unified strategy across the Animal Rights movement.
Conclusions From the Event
At the end of the two day event, I was feeling encouraged and hopeful. At times, as everyone who is vegan has probably experienced, it can feel like the you're on your own, like the world is against you and as if you won't ever be able to make the difference. Events like this, and knowing what Animal Think Tank plan to do with the information we all came up with, inspires hope for a better future, for the animals and for the rest of the planet.
I came away with some things that I can change and/or start to implement just within my tiny little photography corner. I met some great people, activists, animal lovers and organisations over the two days and hopefully we can all continue to do our bit and make the world a better for all it's inhabitants.
Also, in the last couple of weeks, I have changed the look of the website, created a Tiktok account (@jamesgibsonphotography) in preparation for the upcoming UK Tour and also an Etsy store! There you can get downloads of your favourite images and then they are yours to keep, print and frame in anyway you like, as many times as you like!