Updated: Mar 15
When most people think of activists they think of people going on marches, shouting and screaming, waving placards. Then there are the people that smash windows and chain or glue themselves to buildings, but there is so much more to activism, it is something that we can all do, and it doesn't have to involve getting arrested, hurting yourself is not a measure of how passionate you are.
What Is An Activist?
An activist is someone who does things to bring awareness to issues that they believe are wrong and try to change them, to make them right. Say you've found that, at school, teachers don't listen to the opinions of pupils, that they decide things that don't seem fair. You could decide that you're going to do something about it, you're going to start a petition against the changes. Or there could be a school trip and some children don't go because their parents can't afford it, what would you do to help your friends?
When it comes to vegan activism there are a lot of different ways to tackle the problem because veganism isn't just about food, it's about people's health, the animals and the environment. Also, activism doesn't have to be confrontational, there are subtle, quiet ways that you can go around spreading truth and getting people to change their minds and behaviours.
Vegan Activism Ideas
Go Vegan And Stay Vegan. When you first go vegan people will see the change, they will notice that you don't eat the things that you used to and that if they offer you their own food you will not take it. Going vegan starts a conversation and is the perfect way to tell people about the truth of eating and using animals. Staying vegan will show people how serious you are about helping the animals and will make them think about the choices that they are making. They will see how healthy and happy you are and may come to realise that eating a vegan diet is a good thing.
Support Other Vegan Activists. There are many vegan activists on social media and Youtube. They put content out everyday and by reading, liking and by subscribing to them you are both supporting them and spreading the word about their activities and views as doing things like liking and sharing will mean that companies like Youtube will publicise their content more. It is important, though, to only support the ones that you agree with. Just because someone is vegan and are talking about vegan issues doesn't mean that you will like the way that they go about things. You may find them too angry, shouting and confronting people, or they may be changeable, never really sticking to one view or another. Make sure that you are supporting the people that you believe in.
Review Vegan Restaurants And Foods Online. When people look for restaurants they will often use the reviews of other to decide whether or not to go. When you leave a review you help to publicise the restaurant so that more people will find out about it. It may be that you write about a vegan restaurant or the vegan options at a non-vegan restaurant, you're review could be good or bad, you don't have to lie. At least with a bad review the restaurant owners will see where they're going wrong and make changes. With vegan food most supermarkets have an online shop where people can review things that they're tried. This is a great way to let other people know how good or bad a product is and will increase the sales of the good products. Supermarkets will see this and sell more of these types of items, or, if the review was bad, they may stop selling the product and if it is their own brand they can reformulate it to fix the problems.
Start A Blog. A blog is a great way to spread the word about things that are important to you. You can share your views, spread information such as dates for vegan festivals and bring people together. Blogs have a great way of being a meeting place, you write your blog, people read it and leave comments and communicate with each other, it becomes a community.
Share Vegan Food. Whether it's sharing some vegan sweets, pointing out that your friend's crisps are vegan or throwing a party and only serving vegan food, sharing vegan food will show people how good the food is and that there is no missing out when you eat this way. It will also show them that vegan food is just food, not some weird alien mixture. What I've done before it make banana oat cookies and given them to friends, the response is always positive. Sharing you're way of eating with people also shows them how easy it is to be vegan; you don't have to go to specials shops, it's not expensive and it's not complicated.
Write For The School Newspaper. If you have a school newspaper submit an article, if you don't have a school newspaper start one. You can write about how animals are farmed and mistreated, how bad dairy is for your health, write recipes and reviews. Tell people how great Quorn vegan ham is in a salad sandwich, or how tasty meat free nuggets are with chips and ketchup, yummy and cruelty free. You could refuse school dinners that aren't vegan and take a packed lunch instead; when the school isn't getting your money they will take notice. You could petition your school to stop non-vegan activities such as cooking classes and dissection. You could even start a vegan club to support other vegans and help kids that are interesting in giving up meat, dairy and eggs.
Use Social Media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, everybody knows them, use that to your advantage. Whether it's educating people about how dairy can cause acne or being more positive about new products coming out, social media can reach millions of people very quickly, you can use words, pictures and video, take advantage of this.
Being a vegan activist doesn't have to mean marching through the streets or waving banners with pictures of hurt animals on them, you don't even have to leave home. Just by doing what you do and doing it well you can be a powerful voice in your community for the animals.