Update from the field:
There is so much beauty in a tiny bit of hope. When you have spent so much time dealing with people who cling desperately to the dogmatism of the past and want to fight to the death to defend things that have no defense, use false facts and science to support unsupportable positions, and basically start to wonder if things will ever change... I love when I find that glimmer of hope.
Today I was out making my rounds at grocery stores. And one of the great parts of having stores that I frequent as part of my activism tour is that you really start to get to know some people really well. Usually it is employees, but can also be customers at the same store that you run into on more than one occasion. But, overtime, you find that people that you once might have thought were a long shot for willingly adopting veganism are deep down internalizing the message. And I like to let people know this subtly. I know if you just come out and say, 'You are totally becoming a mental vegan' it might rub them wrong.(A mental vegan is someone who knows they are going to become a vegan someday but their addictions are still clinging to eating meat, eggs or dairy). But, if you just share that their existence gives you hope because you can tell they are a good person inside and that you can tell that they are not someone who wants bad things to happen to animals, it goes over much better. Sure, you are basically saying, someday you are going to be a vegan. Yet, the magical moment is when the give you the tacit, 'You are right.' They might not use those words, but they accept your definition of a good person as someone who would choose not to harm animals and they accept that they are that person. And finally they don't deny that someday they will likely live up to that standard.
I know that this is a far cry from what we all hope for. We want people to stop eating things that result in and from harm to animals. But, if we fail to see the positives around us, we are doomed to feel overwhelmed and like our efforts are wasted. Celebrating the smallest of successes is part of survival in the world of activism.
So keep watching for little glimmers of hope. They are there and you are helping to make them happen!