HOW DOES VEGAN ACTIVISM WORK?
Looking back at other social justice atrocities in history, there is a pattern in how individuals from those periods are remembered. Let’s take slavery in America as an example, the people who didn’t own slaves themselves, but didn’t do anything to help the slaves, aren’t really thought of any differently than the slave owners. It’s only the ones who stood up against oppression who we look back on fondly. The same can be said for women’s suffrage. History has taught us that If you aren’t working to fix the problem, you are part of the problem. Get on the right side of history, become a vegan activist.
There are a lot of ways to get involved, here is a list of some of the more common ones:
Being a happy healthy vegan
There is nothing more convincing then what we can see with our own eyes. If you’ve been vegan for at least a few months people have probably noticed you are looking healthier and more energetic. Just by being living proof that animal exploitation is unnecessary you are already helping the animals.
Vegan logos on clothing
Just being vegan is effective for influencing friends and family, but what about everyone else? Wearing vegan branded clothing reminds strangers that animal consumption is unnecessary, and you’re the proof.
A billboard can cost upwards of $10,000 a month, but your car is a moving billboard and putting a couple stickers on it costs nothing. If you want a VAoA.ca bumper sticker just e-mail us and we can help you out.
Most of us spend way to much time on social media, but we can make some of that time into a positive for the animals. Posting about vegan food, inspirational vegan stories, or videos that show where the animal products are really coming from are all effective ways to do activism from home. There’s also petitions to sign, and misinformation to correct.
Did you draw on the sidewalk when you were a kid? Well you can now. People usually pay attention to where they’re walking, some vegan messages on the sidewalk are even more effective than posters. Here’s a tip, the thicker the chalk, the bigger and faster you can make them.
Posters and flyers
There are laws that prohibit putting up posters almost everywhere, but if you know of any vegan friendly businesses that may want to promote a vegan message you could try asking them. There’s also message boards and other places that encourage sharing events and information via posters or flyers.
Leaflets and pamphlets
This is the first one on the list where you might actually have to talk to a human in person 😬 but don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert like Earthling Ed to hand out leaflets. If you aren’t comfortable talking about the benefits of veganism yet you can just hand them out on the go, or put them on cars windshields under the windshield wipers instead.
People all over the world seem to think the bad stuff only happens somewhere else. Well we’re here to tell you it happens here too. 98% of meat sold worldwide is raised on factory farms. There are thirteen slaughterhouses in Alberta. That means there are thirteen buildings, where cold, sad, hungry, and terrified innocent animals on trucks are driven in to, and refrigeration trucks carrying chunks of there dead bodies later drive out of. The purpose of a vigil is to go and witness the animals on the trucks being driven in, and to connect with them for a moment, maybe give them some water and show them some kindness and compassion for the first, and last time in their unimaginably horrible lives. If you want to see for yourself, you can find a list of all the slaughterhouses in Alberta including their address and what animals they slaughter in a subcategory of the Vegan in Alberta section. If you are interested in going with a group please consider joining one of the four chapters of The Save Movement that operate in Alberta. You can find a list of them, and many of the other Alberta based animal rights activism groups, in a subcategory of the Get Involved! section.
Regrettably, we normally can’t get random meat eaters of the street to come attend a vigil and witness to the atrocities of animal agriculture first hand. What we can do is bring it to them. This tactic requires a tv, a way to power the tv, and masks. Usually it’s done with 3-4 activists. Earthlings is a popular documentary that shows what’s happening to animals worldwide, the concept behind an Earthlings experience to show the documentary to people on the street. Activists, usually wearing animal masks and standing perfectly still, hold a tv and signs encouraging people to watch the footage. This same approach can be applied to any animal rights video you want to share with the public.
Cube of Truth
This is the fastest growing, and arguably most effective form of activism worldwide. A Cube of Truth is a complex variation of an Earthlings experience requiring at least 5 people. Activists wearing Guy Fawkes masks form a square. A minimum of one person per side holds a screen displaying slaughterhouse house footage, any additional activists on each side can be holding truth signs or additional screens. The activists who form the cube are known as cubers and the event is considered performance art. In addition to the cubers, who stand perfectly still and don’t communicate with each other or the public in any way during the performance, there are also outreachers. The outreachers job is to engage with the public. As people walk by, some will be drawn in and watch the content on the screens, when these individuals appear to be interested in what they are watching, an outreacher will approach them. The outreachers attempt to educate people about what they are watching and other aspects of veganism, with the end goal being to get the person to commit to taking veganism seriously, preferably by signing up for a vegan challenge which provides a mentoring program for new vegans. The organization that created this concept is called Anonymous For The Voiceless. If you are interested in participating in one of these events in your area please visit cubeoftruth.org
We all know what a protest is, people holding signs and reciting cleverly worded chants in an attempt to raise awareness about a specific issue. Anyone can organize a protest, the hardest part is the time spent making the signs. If you are fortunate enough to live in Calgary or Edmonton you can join in on Peta protests when they come to town, usually twice per year.
A disruption is a form of protest which seeks to disrupt a business or gathering. Instead of protesting from outside, they often take the protest right into the place they are protesting and do their demonstration inside until they are removed. There aren’t many activists who participate in these types of events, but this style of more aggressive direct action has been gaining popularity lately thanks to groups like Direct Action Everywhere and the Animal Liberation Front.
The same groups that popularized disruptions have also had success with open rescues. You may have seen people saying “open rescue is not terrorism”, and of course that is true, but unfortunately in some countries walking into a slaughterhouse and taking a nearly dead animal to receive medical attention is considered comparable to terrorism. The activists who are brave enough to do this usually do it in very large groups to minimize the chances of arrest and prosecution. The animals they take with them are the ones they find in trash cans or left to die in other places due to profitability concerns. These animals are given treatment, and the ones who survive are taken to sanctuaries to live a life that the loved ones they left behind couldn’t even imagine.
Volunteering at sanctuaries
Sanctuaries are farms where rescued and otherwise unwanted animals go to be taken care of by compassionate caring animal lovers. With the assistance of vegan volunteers and donations from animal lovers, these sanctuary operators do their best to ensure the animals get to live long, happy, and healthy lives. For a list of local sanctuaries, please visit the appropriate subcategory of the Get Involved! section.