Once you learn about how farmed animals are exploited behind closed doors, you might wonder how to become a vegan activist. The following offers a comprehensive guide to opportunities for in-person and remote vegan activism, along with resources for financial and social support.
- 1. Join an organization dedicated to vegan activism
- 2. Advocate through vegan food and restaurants
- 3. Leverage the power of social media for vegan activism
- 4. Seek out public speaking opportunities as a forum for vegan activism
- 5. Write about veganism
- Get support, motivation and funding for your activism
- Let the journey to vegan activism begin!
1. Join an organization dedicated to vegan activism
Use the Global Animal Rights Activism Map to search by geographic location to find an animal rights organization near you. Here you can find opportunities to volunteer with groups like Meat the Victims, Direct Action Everywhere, Anonymous for the Voiceless, Animal Save Movement, Animal Rebellion, the Fast Action Network with the Humane League, and many more.
Vegan Justice League
The Vegan Justice League‘s mission is to reform federal laws and subsidies that undermine the growth of veganism in society. Because the government subsidizes animal products, these industries are effectively insulated from decreasing market demand for animal products. We’d like to think that we’re voting with our dollars, but while we are supporting plant-based businesses, the animal agriculture industry continues to overproduce because the government provides billion-dollar subsidies and buybacks.
So, the group fundraises to hire lobbyists to compete with the lobbying of Big Ag and to influence the next Farm Bill and end subsidies and buybacks for animal ag. Additionally, the group helps establish programs to aid animal farmers in transitioning to sustainable, non-exploitative businesses. To join the Vegan Justice League, members donate $1-$10+/month to help hire lobbyists in DC.
Through Vegan Outreach, you can join a Vegan Mentor Program to help someone else go vegan, start a Vegan Chef Challenge to increase vegan offerings in your area, use their leaflets to raise awareness in your community, review plant-based options online so that the organization will receive donations, or participate in campaigns with activists working to increase vegan options globally.
When handing out leaflets, try to offer people a tangible call-to-action following the information. For example, there’s the 30-Day Vegan Challenge or Vegan Bootcamp, which offers a 100% free educational program and community to help people transition into a vegan diet and lifestyle. Print the free vegan flyers from VeganActivism.org addressing different angles of the movement (climate, health, ethics etc). Vegan Outreach also offers booklets, posters and vegan challenge sign up forms. You can hand them out to people, leave them at libraries, colleges, supermarkets or hang them in public places.
The Vegan Society
The Vegan Society offers volunteer opportunities for those in the UK to volunteer in their office, as well as remotely for graphic design, video editing, writing, photography, organizing and advocating.
Peaceful Advocacy Network
Join the Peaceful Advocacy Network (PAN), which promotes living peacefully through veganism, social justice and environmental justice. It aims to eliminate violence in our lives by working against oppression and inequity.
In the activist group Surge, co-founded by Earthling Ed, you can become a mentor, campus rep or use your editorial or creative skills for their website.
Educated Choices Program
Through the Educated Choices Program, you can volunteer to teach children about kindness towards animals and promote a just and sustainable food system.
2. Advocate through vegan food and restaurants
Vegan Chef Challenge
The Vegan Chef Challenge is a month-long event created by Vegan Outreach in which chefs at local restaurants showcase new vegan menu items. Usually, ten to thirty restaurants participate, and the public votes for their favorite dishes. Most restaurants keep at least one popular vegan dish after the challenge is over. When a Vegan Chef Challenge is going on in a city, the participating restaurants will feature a month of new vegan menu items. Diners can enjoy the meals, vote, comment and post pictures of their meals. Restaurants receive awards based on votes. If there isn’t a challenge in your city, you can fill out a form to organize one or help volunteer remotely or in person.
Host a Veganuary Party
Using the UK-based Veganuary campaign as inspiration, share your love for the positive power of veganism by cooking vegan food for others. Cook and bake your favorite vegan dishes to share. If you like, make it a potluck and send your guests a list of vegan recipe websites in the invitation. Perfect for January or any time of the year!
Cater an event through VegCraver
Planning a big event, like your wedding or a business function? Advocate for using a vegan caterer. Likely, many people will be surprised that the food is vegan and say, “I didn’t know vegan food could taste so good!” Delicious food can win over many hearts and minds.
Request vegan options at restaurants
Always request vegan options when eating out. Even if you know they don’t have any, this helps create a demand for the products. Don’t be apologetic about it! Be sure to leave positive reviews on Yelp for restaurants with great plant-based options.
Food Not Bombs
Protest war and fight poverty by helping to recover mostly vegan food that would have been thrown out and then donate it. Food Not Bombs shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with people in over 1,000 cities, including the hungry, survivors of natural disasters, and people participating in strikes, marches and other protests.
3. Leverage the power of social media for vegan activism
“5 Minutes 5 Vegans” uses bots to retweet people who are expressing an interest in going vegan. They offer ready-to-go replies for 24 of the most common excuses (e.g. “Where do you get your protein?”, “I love cheese too much,” “it’s too expensive” etc).
You can also tweet celebrities you admire asking them to consider veganism. Similarly, you can “like” pro-vegan comments posted on non-vegan Facebook pages in order to have it rise to the top to spread information. You can also put a link in your social media bios to an impactful vegan Youtube video, like Earthling Ed’s viral speech.
4. Seek out public speaking opportunities as a forum for vegan activism
Offer to give a presentation about living a vegan lifestyle to your local Rotary club or other community service organization. Other options for finding speaking engagements include professional organizations, local non-profits, and your local library. If you get serious about it, you can create a profile on Speaker Hub to help find public speaking opportunities.
5. Write about veganism
There are endless opportunities to write to promote veganism. You can write to a newspaper to promote veganism or write to a school, grocery store or restaurant to request vegan options. One strategic way is to pitch the cause to organizations that aim to optimize health, be eco-conscious, or protect wildlife, yet ignore or have not made the connection to see how veganism supports their cause.
Appeal to groups with overlapping missions
For instance, is a dietician recommending meat and dairy to your loved one who had a stroke? Are you staying at an “eco-resort” that still serves hamburgers? Are you visiting a wildlife refuge that fails to acknowledge that destruction of land for farmed animals is one of the primary reasons they need protection in the first place?
To Health Professionals or Health Organizations
There is a significant amount of evidence that a plant-based diet (without any animal products) is one of the most important aspects of managing stroke.
I’m sure you are aware that USDA Federal Dietary Guidelines determine food served in hospitals and nursing homes, public perception of healthful food and health professionals’ dietary recommendations. However, these guidelines are heavily influenced by food industry interests rather than current science. Some other resources you might consider are: Plant-Based Prevention of Disease and the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine.
I wonder if you might have heard of the group Dieticians for Professional Integrity, who aim to eliminate the financial interests of the food industry from their recommendations.
In light of this evidence, would you consider offering a plant-based diet for (Name) to support her/his recovery from (condition)?
We enjoyed our tour today at your beautiful facility. I want provide a recommendation to support the mission of the center: I would love to see education staff and signage make clear to visitors that one of the most impactful actions they can take to protect (name of wildlife animal) is to reduce and avoid consumption of animal products.
Even if deforestation is acknowledged as a threat to them, the general public does not make the connection between deforestation and growing crops to feed farmed animals. Although there are many factors that can contribute to deforestation outside of animal agriculture, letting visitors know of one of the few ways they can have a direct impact would be much appreciated.
I would love to hear the thoughts of the Center about adding this action-oriented component to the education.
Thank you for your consideration!
Facilities that claim to be sustainable or eco-friendly while serving animal products
Dear (facility name),
We enjoyed our stay at your beautiful (resort/hotel etc). While we commend your efforts to make your operations sustainable, we would like to encourage you to take the most important step towards protecting our planet: offering plant-based meals. According to the largest-ever food production analysis conducted in 2018 and published in the journal Science, eating a vegan diet is the single biggest action each of us can take to stop the climate crisis.
Researchers assessed food’s impact by accounting for its land use, greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater usage, air pollution and water pollution. The lead researcher concluded, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth… It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car. Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems.”
Get support, motivation and funding for your activism
If you organize vegan advocacy event, apply for a grant with VegFund! It could be a community event (like a food sampling, film screening, street outreach, conference, or vegfest); special project (like school outreach, vegan challenge or campaign) or an online campaign with a specific call-to-action (such as vegan challenges, informative videos, and other digital marketing campaigns). On VegFund’s global event calendar, you can also find both virtual events and in person events, like cooking classes, film screenings, food tastings, wellness retreats, workshops, panels and more.
Vegan Reddit CheatSheet
Under the Ethics/Activism section of the Vegan Cheat sheet, you’ll find subreddits dedicated to animal rights, ending factory farming, animal advocacy, ethical living, vegan people of color, lobbying, speciesism, and the intersection of veganism and socialism and feminism and more.
As a tool to keep you motivated in your activism, sign up for Activist Hub! This resource allows you to see how many people you have inspired to watch documentaries, take a vegan challenge, request a mentor or go vegan! It also serves as an animal rights social network to keep you connected to and supported by other activists. You can add friends, join groups, create and share posts, and message other activists. You write down your unique code on outreach cards and materials to keep track.
Let the journey to vegan activism begin!
Be sure to take advantage of resources offered by organizations like the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy to enhance your skills as a vegan activist. The top five best ways to get involved in vegan activism are to join an organization dedicated to vegan activism, advocate through vegan food and restaurants, leverage social media, seek out public speaking opportunities, and write about veganism.
Be sure to use available resources to provide support, motivation and funding for your activism as well. By taking advantage of the many opportunities and resources on your journey, you’re sure to stay inspired as you promote veganism for social justice, health justice and climate justice – but foundationally, for the animals.