Choosing to use a fork instead of a knife is at once a personal choice and a bold statement. This is because it's a choice that represents taking a stand against animal cruelty. Anyone who decides to switch to a plant-based diet for compassionate reasons is already a vegan activist.
But for many vegans, this is not enough. They want to find other ways to help animals. They want to spread veganism and compassion by exploring how to get involved in vegan activism.
Just as each person's vegan journey is personal, so is their road to vegan activism.
Every journey starts with a step... Here are 10 steps to becoming a vegan activist.
The first step to vegan activism is your awakening. This is when you make the connection between animals and what you put on your plate and decide that you can't be complicit in animal cruelty any more. You decide to move towards a more compassionate lifestyle.
2. Go Vegan
Once you've taken the decision to go vegan, you take the step of removing animal products from your diet and wardrobe. For some people, the transition takes time. Some choose to slowly eliminate animal foods one by one. Others go cold tofurky.
There's lots to learn when you make the switch to a compassionate lifestyle. You become an obsessive reader of product labels at the supermarket, deciphering what ingredients are vegan and non-vegan. You read up on plant-based protein and calcium sources. You become an expert on vitamin B12.
You also want to know the truth about factory farming, animal testing and fur farms. You read books and watch documentaries. You learn as much as you can to educate yourself but also so that you can inform others about the cruel truth of these industries and practices.
Once you know all the facts, you're sure you don't want to support any industries that exploit animals in any way. Becoming vegan is taking a stand. You let your friends and family know about your decision and why it's important to you.
It helps to reach out and connect with other vegans and activists. There's strength in numbers. By meeting like-minded people, you exchange ideas about how to spread veganism and how to get involved in vegan activism. You also get to know what's happening in your community.
Once you know the facts about animal cruelty, you want to share them with others. It's up to each person to decide the approach they want to take. But the goal is the same: to show it's possible to live in a different, more compassionate, way.
Sometimes the best way to inspire change in others is to set an example. Extend your compassion to others, even those who may not be ready to understand your lifestyle. Host a vegan dinner for your friends or bake a batch of vegan cupcakes to share with your co-workers. Once they see that vegan dishes and treats can be delicious and cruelty-free, this may inspire them to consider a more compassionate lifestyle.
8. Wear it on your sleeve
Some vegan activists like to wear a symbol that represents their commitment to living vegan and compassion for animals. Some get a vegan tattoo or wear a badge that says: “Ask me why I'm vegan.” This is a way to get the message out and invite discussion.
Wearing a piece of vegan jewelry is also a way to wear your ethics and make a statement.
Until Every Cage is Empty : Spread the message with this ring created from a discarded sterling silver seafood fork.
Vegan for the Animals : This sterling silver Liberation Cuff was once a vintage Kirk & Son dinner fork
F*ck Fur : The message on this sterling silver cuff is loud and clear
Until Every Animal is Free declares this vintage flatware fork which has a new life as a piece of vegan activist jewelry
9. Spread the word
There are many ways to share information and spread the word about veganism. You can reach a wide audience by writing blog posts or recording vlogs or podcasts. Spark discussions on your Facebook or Instagram page by sharing your vegan story, your favourite recipes, facts about factory farming, or your experience visiting an animal sanctuary.
10. Get involved
Connect with online groups to find out what activities are planned in your area.
If there are no groups in your community, create one!
Want to gain more confidence before becoming an animal activist? Make sure to check out the Animal Activism Mentorship program.
Another way to help animals is to volunteer at an animal shelter or sanctuary.