Ryuji Chua is an animal rights activist based in Los Angeles. Although he does not live in Japan, his profile totally justifies his presence on the show: Ryuji’s parental heritage is half japanese, and he has experienced almost a year living in the country. But more than his roots, it’s Ryuji’s direct and energetic activism - especially his short videos on Youtube - that makes him such a unique character to chat with. So when I was presented with the opportunity of meeting him during one of his trips to Japan, I made sure to seize it!
My discussion with Ryuji covers a wide range of topics: his childhood and teenage years in France, his love for animal documentaries as a kid, the motivation he had going to study movies in the USA, the importance of improving your social skills and making real connections, about being a good listener, Ryuji’s path to veganism, why both vegans and omnivores need to reaffirm their own values, how sometimes vegans are loud and clumsy in communicating with others, Ryuji’s approach to activism, which message between ethics or pragmatism goes further in helping animals, romantic relationships and the use of comparisons when talking to non vegans, choice of words when talking morality with people consuming animal products, and finally morality and meaning.
Having Ryuji on the show was a real pleasure, and his knowledge and energy made our discussion extemelly engaging to me. I hope you will enjoy listening to his story and views as much as I did.
- 0:02:48s - Ryuji’s childhood and teenage years in France
- 0:10:45s - Ryuji’s love for animal documentaries
- 0:12:30s - Going to the USA to enter a film school
0:13:55s - Looking for a fresh start - about realizing your potential for self growth
0:20:55s - Trying to be part of the cool crowd when you’re different...and failing at it
- 0:23:40s - Social life and making real connections - about the importance of improving your social skills
- 0:28:50s - Being a good listener is key - but building meaning while talking as well
- 0:37:25s - Ryuji’s path to veganism during College - “Sapiens” and the stories we tell ourselves
- 0:54:05s - Why non vegans can feel threatened in their integrity talking to vegans - about the need to reaffirm your own values
- 0:59:10s - How (new) vegans can be clumsily loud about it
- 1:03:35s - Ryuji’s approach to activism and how to spread the message
1:06:35s - Ryuji’s telling his parents about being vegan
1:15:00s - Sensitivity to meat and animal products among vegans - the role of staying in touch with animals
- 1:24:00s - Ethical veganism or plant based: which message holds the most potential for change?
1:33:00s - The importance to encourage people reducing their meat consumption
1:37:15s - About the impact my family activism had on my father diet
1:38:50s - The shortest way to a vegan (friendly) world - being smart in your consumer and activism choices as a vegan
1:43:50s - Ryuji considering producing (more) videos in Japanese
- 1:49:30s - Feelings in a romantic relationship where one is not vegan - about the use of comparisons in talking to non vegans
1:56:55s - My opinion on the importance of societal norms when considering why people will not go vegan
2:03:30s - Are really open and win-win romantic relationships possible?
- 2:16:40s - Good/bad or preferable/less preferable? - about how vegans should talk about choices for better communication with non vegans (is ethic/values objective or subjective?)
2:20:10s - Why is suffering wrong? - is it meaningful to talk to people with different basic values?
2:23:55s - Metaphysical queries and the meaning of life… or absence thereof - the importance of bringing meaning in your own life
2:32:10s - What if Alien came to Earth and used humans as cattle? - how to talk to people who say they would be ok with that
2:36:20s - The “I can therefore I should” argument - with great power comes great moral obligations
Introduction BGM: "Corporate Japan" by Birocratic (http://birocratic.lnk.to/allYL)
Additional notes and links
- Ryuji’s activism Facebook, ‘Peacebyvegan’: https://www.facebook.com/peacebyvegan/
- Peacebyvegan on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCalf6t4VdIx55Ppqpl83oBg
- Peacebyvegan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peacebyvegan/
- Peacebyveganjp (Japanese account) on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peacebyveganjp/
- “How to Create a Vegan World”: http://veganstrategist.org/veganworld/
- Tokyo Vegan Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/vegan-389/
- Vegan Tokyo: https://vegantokyo.org/
- ciplantgo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ciplantgo/