The Power of Willful Ignorance by WOCADO

I saw this very powerful video yesterday. As I ‘m in the marketing/advertising business it caught my attention.
And I know that this is the way things happen. This is the way WE ALLOW things to happen.

The Power of Willful Ignorance

The moment we choose to look the other way, is the moment we give permission to the worst things keep happening and …getting worse.
It is the moment we arm the weapon on a soldier’s hand, it is the moment we let a child die because there is of lack of water or food, the moment we accept that animals are here to serve our greed and/or ego.
The moment we choose to ignore an injustice and not give a second thought on what we COULD do to stop it, is the moment WE side with the offender.

It is the moment we willingly murder humanity.

What can we do to reduce willful ignorance?

…”What then, can we do to reduce willful ignorance? One thing we can do is to have a more intellectually oriented, education oriented society.

[…] to engage the willfully ignorant intellectually, as difficult and painful as that might be. Learning should be a lifelong process, so we should let all members of society participate in learning through discussions of matters of importance. While it may be difficult to change people’s personalities or deeply ingrained willful ignorance, we should never underestimate people’s capacity for change. ” (source)

You do not have to be an activist in order to make a difference. As we cannot all be writers, painters, architects, musicians, doctors or gardeners, so we cannot all be activists. At least, I cannot be. But I have decided I will do, what my special talents, my education and my life experience allow me to do. And that is THINK, keep my eyesight focused on what I find is wrong, try to plant a seed of thought and awareness to my friends, my family, my fellow humans wherever they are. AND I will focus on changing my habits that feed the monster.

We all have our special powers, our abilities and talents and above all we can use our little brains, to THINK, learn, discuss and take action.

Watch the video and let me know your thoughts about it.

The power of willful ignorance
cannot be overstated.
This is systemized cruelty on a massive scale
and we only get away with it
because everyone is prepared
to look the other way.

Video Transcript:
Kate Cooper:
 I’m going to give you some of the secrets about how we make you buy what we want you to buy. So, as a marketer, when I’m first given a project, what’s my job? Well, my job is to make you want it, to crave it, to need it, to think that it is the best innovation in food since sliced bread.

How do we do it? Well, I’m going to give a really big example later that I’m going to break right down for you, but let’s just start by looking at a few fun little things. See here we have Shreddies, an old favorite, been around for years. Very popular in the U.K. and Canada. Without changing a single little thing about that product they remarketed them, rebranded them as brand-new diamond-shaped Shreddies. Food marketing genius right there.

In the 1950s, there was a very important innovation in food: the instant-mix cake. One of my personal favorites. When they were first brought out all you needed to do was to add a little bit of water. Who’s not going to love that? Well, actually, no one loved it. No one bought the bloody thing, so they did a little bit of research. And what they found was that the main consumer, the target consumer, the housewife, felt that it was cheating.

They didn’t want to pass off such an easy thing as their own baking to their partners, their husbands, their families, whatever. So what did the producers have to do? They had to make it harder. So now you had to add water and an egg, and sales exploded.

These examples, these are just chicken feed compared to what I really want to talk about tonight and that is: chickens, and pigs, and cows. So when we think about where chickens, etc. come from, we think about something like that. That’s also our instinctive idea, but we all know if we really think about it deeply, it’s probably a little bit more like that, but that’s a lot nicer. It’s a lot more romantic.

So how do we give you this impression? Well, there are three techniques that we use, the third of which is our secret weapon, and I am going to blow it for you tonight, so please stay primed for that.

Let’s look at technique number one. Everybody believes what’s on the label. So let’s look at some examples, some of my favorite, some of the ones I use all the time. I’ll use farm fresh. I’ll use 100 percent natural. I’ll use butcher’s choice. But what does that really actually mean?

Well, truthfully, it doesn’t mean very much. We see that on the label, we feel a bit more confident. But let’s have a look at what a farm really looks like. It probably looks like that. Now this is a concentrated animal feeding operation. I’m going to run that past you again. It’s a concentrated animal feeding operation. That’s not going to look great on a label, hence we use farm fresh.

Innovation number two. This is what we use: we focus on progress. Intensive farming was born out of necessity. At the end of the second World War, resources were extremely tight. Farming had to be by necessity very, very economical and we’ve learnt from that and we’ve built from that, and we’re able to now raise more and more animals in smaller and smaller spaces. So we got extremely good at it.

If we looked at a room of about this size and this were turned into a chicken barn . . . it’s a hundred-seat theater. How many chickens could we probably fit in this room now? I’m going to say about 4,000. It’s pretty impressive, isn’t it? It’d probably look a little bit like that. Now, the public aren’t going to be massively keen on that idea.

It’s my job to make them feel a little bit better about it. So how do I do it? Well, a basic principle of marketing. We use the right choice of words, and by using the right choice of words we can make the conversation, we can focus the conversation the way we want it to. So we’ll use an example of this.

When you look at that picture, where is your eye drawn? It’s drawn right to the middle of the page, massive letters. We’ve got: strive to optimize. What we’re looking at in the picture in reverse looks a bit like that. But this looks a lot nicer because we’re looking at strive to optimize. It makes us feel there’s progress. We feel good.

So the challenge for the marketers is to make the public feel comfortable about what they’re seeing. One of the side effects of intensive farming, of having so many animals in such a small space, unfortunately, is obviously disease because if you put so many animals into a small space they’re going to get sick. It is no secret that 50 percent of all the antibiotics in the world are used on farmed animals.

So how do you make the public feel okay with this? How does that happen? My job. How do I do it? I use the language of innovation. So we’re going back to our old friends at, and what they do is they say, “As farming has . . . become more efficient, veterinarians have incorporated new technologies and methods into practice.” This makes us feel good. This is positive.

Yeah, this is progress. And then when we’re marketing to future consumers, we would perhaps use something like this. This is a coloring book. Pigs and pork. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and what we’re doing here is we’re getting the children to focus on the fact that we’re using innovation. So by bringing the pig out from the muddy fields and into the clean barns we’re taking them away from all that nasty, dirty mud and all the diseases that are lurking there within. Positive.

So on to our secret weapon. This is what we really need to focus on. So these two techniques alone, they are not going to work. We need a securet weapon, number three. It is actually in this room right now. Secret weapon. It is: you.

So how do we do it? When you’re in the supermarket, you don’t want to think about where those products come from. You don’t want to think about how those animals have been reared, how they’ve been treated. The power of willful ignorance cannot be overstated. This is systemized cruelty on a massive scale and we only get away with it because everyone is prepared to look the other way. Thank you.

(transcript originally found on UpWorthy)

So, what do you think?

2 thoughts on “The Power of Willful Ignorance”

  1. I look forward to reading and listening to you. I know alot of the ignorance is going on and I am still shocked to see that there is no progress in the food industry. It is so disheartening to know that some have to make a living deceiving the public, and then go to the local watering hole and have a few so that they can go home and pass out to sleep. I feel for them, life is difficult as it is and when you have to lie to make a living, I suppose it doesn’t make the soul feel that great I am not sure about anything except we are the managers of this planet and we better get our thoughts in order as they are the reality here, and we need to think beyond ourselves as we are not the most important ones on the earth, life as a whole is the importance, and we should HELP not HURT. Soul growth.

    1. Welcome Diane and thank you for your beautiful comment.
      I love your words. Soul growth. Wonderful…
      THANK YOU. And I hope someday, somehow, the planet will forgive us for all this arrogance and willful ignorance…

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