I don't know if he meant it in a matter-of-fact way or in a negative way. Regardless I had to look up the word for its exact meaning.
2. Any systematic, widespread dissemination or promotion of particular ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. to further one's own cause or to damage an opposing one. 3. Ideas, doctrines, or allegations so spread: now often used disparagingly to connote deception or distortion.While I am definitely a propagandist by definition 2, I don't engage in deception. I could be accused of engaging in distortion; after all, my blog is biased. I'm not writing objective news stories. But that is evident when you read my blog; I'm not trying to deceive my readers.
The reason I began "Digging Through the Dirt" was to counter the lies that the animal-abuse industry shoves in people's faces every day. Their advertisements are so ubiquitous that most meat-eaters (myself included when I was one) don't even realize they are being deceived. We see ads for hamburgers, fried chicken, dairy products every day. The producers don't tell us their products are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. They don't show us how the animals lived before they were slaughtered.
Nikki, who writes the blog "Generation V," wrote a great post recently that ironically addressed the issue of spreading our message.
[A friend has] asked several times why I can’t just quietly follow my lifestyle and leave everyone else alone. No social movement ever gained ground by people quietly practicing their beliefs at home. What if no one had spoken out against slavery? What if they’d kept their comments to themselves?She also refers specifically to veganism.
What if Peter Singer had never broached the subject of animal ethics and set a new generation of critical thinkers on the issue? If that were the case now, I, myself, wouldn’t have had the choice to go vegan because I’d have never heard about what was going on in factory farms. From another perspective, I’ve read countless stories of students who were grateful for the information handed out by activists, which allowed them to make an informed decision for the first time at the supermarket. How else would they have known?She's right. With the millions of dollars -- as well as help from the government -- that the meat and dairy industries have, who is going to spread information about veganism if not individual activists and non-profits?
When I was a teen, I saw a 1947 movie called "Gentleman's Agreement." Gregory Peck starred as a journalist who wanted to investigate anti-Semitism, so he pretended to be Jewish.
One scene, in particular, has stayed with me. In it, Kathy Lacy (played by Dorothy McGuire), a gentile woman who hadn't cared about anti-Semitism before she met Peck's character, tells Dave Goldman (played by John Garfield) about a recent dinner party. At the party someone told an anti-Semitic joke. Kathy proudly tells Dave, who is Jewish, that she was disgusted by it. Dave asks Kathy what she did. She says that she was just so disgusted. She didn't join in the laughter; she remained silent. Dave says that silence is complicity. By not speaking up when you witness an injustice, you are just as guilty as the people committing the act.
Nikki made a similar point.
I see this as an ethical issue rather than a personal one. Animal rights isn't a [pastime] or hobby like soccer or [scrapbooking,] and ethics call for action.(Image courtesy of PoliticalHumor.About.com.)