With the newfound passion that usually comes along with any vegan, there is usually a strong urge to spread awareness about the lifestyle and all of the negative effects an omnivorous diet has on our heath, the environment and the animals. Even though ‘activism’ is believed to be something that only “confident” people can do, the truth is, everyone can participate in activism, in a variety of different ways. Here, we will go through the different types of activism.
Outer circle activism
This type of activism refers to activism that is directed towards the public and people who you don’t personally know. This is an effective type of activism to reach large groups of people. There are many ways in which this type of activism can take place.
Demonstrations: This tends to be the type of activism more “passive” vegans shy away from, because it is highly stigmatized. It usually involves some kind of public “performance” involving a large group of people and takes place in populated areas. An example of this type of activism is ‘anonymous for the voiceless’, where individuals hold up screens containing footage of the mistreatment of animals in factory farms. When practicing this type of activism, make sure to allow people come to you before you talk to them, or to talk to those who have already stopped to watch the demonstration. It is also important that when participating in this type of activism, you are (or are accompanied with people who are) quite informed on the topic of veganism so you’re able to confidently answer questions bystanders may have.
Giving free samples of vegan food to the public: This is often very effective as to put it frankly, people generally just love free food. The giving nature of this gesture results in a greater likelihood of people viewing vegans and veganism in a more positive light.
Wearing vegan merchandise: If you are someone who is slightly shyer and finds it difficult to talk to strangers, wearing vegan merchandise/clothing is a great option for you. There are many brands such as ‘Beetxbeet’ and ‘Veganized World’ that help to spread the vegan message in an effective and humorous way. This method of activism is additionally effective at starting up conversations with minimal effort of verbal initiation on your part.
Inner circle activism
This type of activism involves the promotion of the vegan lifestyle to your friends, family and those who are close to you. There are a few ways in which you can become involved with this type of activism.
Promoting vegan establishments/products: This is an easy way to promote the vegan lifestyle in a more subtle way. Whether you are obsessed with a particular vegan restaurant, a vegan clothing brand or maybe a new variety of vegan cheese on the market, share it with your friends. Tell them what is that you like about your newfound discovery! if it is a restaurant or cafe, invite them out to eat there! People are much more likely to become open to veganism if they are able to see how accessible it is to them.
Education: This is very effective if people are passionate about a certain aspect of veganism such as: animal welfare, health or the environment. You can use that passion to tell them why veganism will align with their pre-existing values. For example, if someone is worried about climate change, you can educate them on the fact that animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change and perhaps recommend a documentary like ‘Cowspiracy’ for them to watch.
Sharing personal experience: This is very powerful as people are usually more susceptible to change if you appear to be “relatable” to them in some way. Therefore, sharing your experience of why you chose to live a vegan lifestyle and reminding them of the fact that you weren’t always vegan yourself makes the jump towards veganism seem a bit easier for them. This is because you can acknowledge the fact that you once found it hard to transition and share tips on what kept you inspired to keep going and what you learnt along the way.
This one is self-explanatory; however, it refers to activism which occurs through the internet and on social media platforms. These are some ways you can practice activism online:
Making you own content: This can be anything from a simple Facebook text post to an online vegan E-book or the creation of a vegan YouTube channel, every form of activism counts. Creating online content is often an easier way of spreading your message to a large group of people if you find it difficult to “find the right words” during in-person interactions. This allows you to research, plan and produce something you are proud of and gives you the time to communicate your knowledge to the world in an effective way.
Sharing other people’s content: If you are new to veganism, or simply don’t have the time to make your own content, sharing other people’s content can still be very effective. You can even add a small comment to the shared post to add a personal touch to your post and state your agreement towards it.
Liking other people’s content: Something as simple as a ‘like’ can have more impact than you think, as more ‘likes’ results in greater exposure. It is also powerful to like and comment on other peoples posts about veganism as it gives them support and allows them to continue to spread awareness on the issue.
After hearing about all the different types of activism, hopefully you will find the right one for you! Good luck in your activism endeavours.
Alexia is an Australian based writer who is interested in topics such as social justice, animal rights and environmental sustainability. Since becoming vegan in 2015 and gaining awareness of the animal injustices occurring within the meat and dairy industries, Alexia wishes to spread awareness about animal welfare issues and in turn, promote the vegan lifestyle.