Vegan activism used to terrify me.
It conjured up images of accosting people on the street, or staging sit-ins at farms or holding a vigil outside a slaughterhouse.
These are all incredible forms of activism.
If you have the nerve to do one (or all) of these things, then go you.
I don’t. I have an irrational fear of being told off (tres chic, I know), and would also find it terrifying.
I’m also not massive on leaving my house unless hugely necessary, don’t really like crowds, and, you know, don’t want to.
What I aim to do in this post is to inform you of the many big and small ways you can get involved in vegan activism. There are so many things you can do from the comfort of your own home, or in your everyday life, that barely impact your life at all but can save the lives of others.
1 – Go vegan
Going vegan is a form of activism in itself. You’re proclaiming, to yourself and others, your beliefs at least three times a day.
Remember that Natalie Portman quote?
“Three times a day I remind myself that I value life and I do not want to cause pain to, or kill, other living beings. That’s why I eat the way I do.”
When I was a vegetarian I claimed that I could never go vegan. Cheese was just too delicious. And I always loved the taste of meat. And now I’m vegan.
By showing others just how doable being vegan is, you’re doing so much for the cause just by existing.
If you need help explaining to others some good reasons to go vegan, check out this post.
2 – Support other vegan activists
Follow them on social media. Watch their YouTube channels. Donate to their Patreon if they have one and you can afford it. Share videos on Facebook. Retweet on Twitter.
3 – Learn about/go sabbing
This isn’t something I could ever do, because I’m pretty sure my family would disown me, but I try to support sab operations where I can. Kate, who I mentioned above, is part of a sab organisation, so check out her twitter for more information.
In short, hunt saboteurs try to prevent fox hunts from killing foxes. You’d think they wouldn’t be necessary because hunting with dogs is illegal in the UK, but unfortunately, it’s still rife. The sab groups cover the foxes scent trails with citronella and peppermint oil so the hounds can’t pick up the trail, and they distract the hounds so that the fox can escape.
4 – Leave reviews about vegan options in restaurants
I don’t do this, but I’m going to start.
If you go to a restaurant and discover that they have really good vegan options, leave them a review telling them so. That’ll encourage other vegans to go there, and, in turn, the restaurant will do more vegan options to keep their new vegan patrons. Theoretically.
I can’t really condone leaving bad reviews for places that have crap vegan options. I don’t believe in negative reinforcement.
My thinking is this: if I leave a review saying that there aren’t enough vegan options, the restaurant may just adopt a negative attitude towards vegans and refuse to cater for them/have limited options. I’d rather praise and encourage good behaviour rather than discipline for bad behaviour, especially in such a public forum.
However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a friendly email afterwards asking for more/better vegan options. If you could offer a few suggestions based on ingredients you think the restaurant may already have, even better. Bad TripAdvisor reviews are very damaging to a restaurant that may have genuinely never considered vegan options.
5 – Start a blog
I think this is such a good form of vegan activism because it’s what I do and I require validation.
Jokes aside, it’s nice to be able to share your views on veganism in a place that’s exclusively yours, bar the comments section (and you can turn that off if you’re a sensitive soul).
It’s a great way to show others how you approach veganism – we’re not all raw vegans, or junk food vegans or fruitarians…some of us are, shock horror, normal vegans (not me – I eat too much toast to be considered normal).
6 – Ask for vegan options
Supermarkets LOVE feedback. They thrive off it. So much, in fact, that often there’s an incentive – usually some kind of points bonus – for filling out their questionnaire. In the said questionnaire, there’ll be at least one place you can ask for more vegan options.
Supermarkets want to provide us with the things that we want, so if enough of us ask, they’ll try to accommodate. The more specific you are, the better. Don’t ask for ‘veggie burgers’ just in case they give you a burger made of mashed up vegetables. Ask for the Beyond Burger, or the Quorn Ultimate burger. (btw, the Coop do the Incredible burger which is pretty delicious).
Vegan activism needn’t be difficult
It can be as easy as watching another vegan activist’s YouTube video. Give it a thumbs up, maybe leave a comment. Help them answer any questions non-vegans have in the comments.
You don’t even need to sit an watch it – keep a few on repeat so that they get their ‘hours watched’ up and YouTube’ll start coughing up for ad revenue.
Buy someone’s ebook.
Subscribe to someone’s newsletter.
Have a dinner party for your non-vegan friends. Show people just how delicious, non-weird, and uncomplicated vegan food is. Gently move the conversation away from vegan cheese (unless you have Tyne Chease on hand) because it’s rank.
Shameless plug: if you’re considering transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or have a friend that wants to but doesn’t know where to start, plz sign up to my email course below. It’s a five-day FREE email series that aims to help people go vegan. You’ll also receive my monthly newsletter which is basically a link to the previous month’s posts and a stream of my consciousness. And who doesn’t want that?