Effective Activism: Everyday Life

Posted in: Activism


Welcome to another installment of the Effective Activism series! This time, I will be sharing my favorite tips and tricks of how to be an effective activist in your everyday life. The largest part about being vegan is eating a diet free from animal-derived products. 97-99% of the animals that are exploited, tortured and killed every year are done so in the animal agriculture industry. The remaining 1-3% of animals are used in aquariums, testing labs, the fashion industry, pet breeding, and such, which is why when someone goes vegan they usually let go of animal products from their diet first, and then start to replace non-vegan personal care, home and clothing items as well as cease supporting animal entertainment such as zoos.

Being vegan is a huge step in the right direction for the planet and future generations that everyone should be proud of, but it is the bare minimum anyone can do for the animals. The next step to help animals is to get active by advocating for them. I fully understand that some people do not want to hand out leaflets at a local college, shout at people at a local “BaconFest”, or break into fur farms and free fur-bearing animals. There are plenty of easy things that everyone can, and should be doing to help animals every day.

The first, and probably the easiest, is to lobby for animals. There are many petitions on Change that you can support, or even create. Many of them go onto make effective change, and at the very least, they get issues out into the public realm. However, what is even more effective is writing a letter or meeting with local government to affect change. For example, I and many others wrote to the government in Hawaii to end the sale of ivory and the act actually passed. We, as individuals, have great power and potential to change the overall system.

The next is also super easy and simple for everyone to do – wear vegan-message clothing. Wear it to the gym, wear it to the mall, wear it to class, wear it while on vacation. It does not really matter, just wear it! The clothing does not have to be heavy-hitting like “Meat is Murder” shirts. It can be something as simple as a hat that says “Eat More Veggies” or a shirt that says “Friends Not Food”. If you don’t want to wear a message on a shirt, rock some awesome vegan leather shoes or a wool-free coat and when people ask you where you get it proudly tell them. Just like that, you helped saved some animals just by wearing stylish animal-free clothing.

The third, and my personal favorite, is making tasty vegan meals. If you happen to work with other people in an office-type setting, then you know that lunch is a very important social time. The first thing everyone likes to do is look at each other’s food and see what they’re eating. If your vegan lunch looks yummy, coworkers will ask questions about it. While it can be annoying to be asked questions about your lunch on a weekly basis, it is an important opportunity to plant seeds about vegan eating. If your work does potlucks, make your favorite recipe and bring it in to share. If you aren’t the best cook, order some food from a local vegan-friendly restaurant to bring in. Over time, people will become very interested. Plus, you have to eat anyway – make your meals count both for you (being delicious and healthy) and the animals (being an educational tool).

Those are my top three ways to be an activist everyday but there are countless others including:

  • Write a blog about vegan living.
  • Do vegan events at local restaurants.
  • Volunteer at an animal sanctuary or with a vegan organization.
  • Create a social media page dedicated to veganism.

As vegans, we are doing our best to create a world where animals can live free from unnecessary suffering. Being vegan is obviously a very important part of that, but we can, and should, always strive to do more.

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