Fifteen Things You Can Do as an Animal Rights Activist Instead of Jumping on Stage and Screaming Incoherently this Election Year…
By now, we’ve all heard what happened at Joe Biden’s rally last night. (A tired rehashing of this, and this…) In an age when people actually do have to fear for their lives due to the proliferation of easily accessed guns, is this really a smart idea? Not just for the politicians and public figures but for the well-intentioned activists who could get killed by a panicked security guard with a gun? I don’t think so.
Here are fifteen things you can do instead.
1. Be “out” as a friendly and helpful vegan so people will know to come to you with their questions or when they need support.
2. Volunteer to take people to grocery stores — including dollar stores! — to show them how and where to find affordable and convenient vegan food.
3. Teach a cooking class in your community or for your friends, family and neighbors.
4. Leave vegan starter kits behind wherever you go: The gym, public transit, the DMV, the library, hospital waiting rooms, medical offices, etc. Contact the organizations to have them sent to you, which most will do for the cost of shipping.
5. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
6. Dedicate time every day to promoting animal rights and veganism on social media.
7. If you own a home, install a Little Free Library and stock it with cookbooks, pro-vegan booklets and more. Thrift stores and library used book sales are great places to stock up.
8. Another option modeled on the same idea is a Little Free Pantry, allowing you to offer free vegan pantry items for those who may be experiencing food insecurity. Non-food items like feminine hygiene products and toilet paper are also helpful.
9. If you have a neighbor or know someone who’s elderly, injured or unwell, offer to walk their dog, feed their animals and/or take them to the vet so their needs are being met. Everyone wins!
10. Use your Facebook birthday fundraiser to ask for charitable contributions to your favorite organizations and sanctuaries. Please “think local” as these small, grassroots groups most need our support.
11. Organize a vegan bake sale and donate the proceeds to worthwhile non-profits and sanctuaries. If you plan and promote it well, you could raise thousands!
12. Roll up your sleeves to do the hard but critical work of building alliances with human rights organizations and activists. Prove that you care by being present, showing up, listening and being supportive.
13. Wear pro-vegan t-shirts to do “soft outreach” whenever you get the chance. I can’t tell you how many conversations this simple and easy habit has sparked for me at the grocery store.
14. Grow a pollinator-friendly garden to help these vital beings thrive.
15. Volunteer for local animal advocacy organizations that don’t encourage you to risk your life by jumping on stage at high-visibility events to scream incoherently and without context for five seconds.