Activist and animal liberation campaigner Seb Alex shows us the most impactful ways to peacefully campaign.
“What each and every single one of us can do to help the animals & raise awareness.”
You’re walking down the street and you see someone coming out of their way to hurt a stray dog. Most of you will instantly decide to get involved either physically or verbally to help the innocent dog; the victim. Unless you disagree with this action of helping the animal by means possible, you agree with vegan activism.
Around 4 years ago, while scrolling down my Facebook page I came across a photo of London activists sitting in a metro, holding laptops and showing footage of animal exploitation and slaughter. This immediately sparked a fire inside me to get active for the animals. At this time I was vegan by the meaning of following a plant-based diet. I abstained from buying any product of animal origin, and refused any product tested on animals. After all, veganism in itself is a removal of the exploitation of animals, it is inaction, not action. As vegans, we stop contributing to the exploitation. But one should ask themselves, is this enough for the animals?
The clear answer is no.
Although it’s incredible that so many of us have decided to challenge our beliefs and habits and change them to the better, we have to be realistic and remember that in times of injustice, silence or non-action helps the oppressor, not the victim.
For the past four years I have had the opportunity to join different activism events around the world, to raise awareness about veganism and animal liberation. In this blog, I would like to share with you different types of activism that we can all take part in. The beautiful thing about activism is that there is no ‘’one right way’’ of doing it. Different people go vegan for a variety of reasons, so we all can find what we are best at!
Educational Street Activism
Whether you live in a city or a small town, by joining Anonymous for the Voiceless or other street activism groups, you can have direct friendly and educational conversations with bystanders while showing footage that is gathered from national animal exploitation industries. This method is very effective as it is directed at the root cause of animal suffering: The Consumer.
We can all agree that a big part of this problem is the ‘’demand and supply’’ chain. Slaughterhouses will exist as long as there’s a demand of animal products.
These events are so powerful and very fruitful as most bystanders who stop to interact, do so out of interest and humility.
For around eight years now, what started as a small group of activists bearing witness to animals going into slaughter in Toronto (Canada) has grown into a network of 650+ groups. The Save Movement’s ‘’vigils’’ are peaceful demonstrations where activists bear witness of animals in trucks outside slaughterhouses and use their social media platforms to raise awareness about what is happening every second of every single day. This specific type of activism is very powerful as people get more affected by footage or photos taken at slaughterhouses in their own cities or towns than those they see in videos on YouTube or other online video platforms.
Via Social Media Outlets
Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and countless other social media platforms give us the chance to reach literally hundreds of millions of people around the world. Preparing educational YouTube videos, podcasts, cooking recipes, sharing photos, texts, articles, etc are a very effective way of spreading the word.
Stickering & Artivism
Too anxious to join street activism, film videos, take photos? That’s alright, stickering might be the thing for you! Stickering consists of either buying or printing your own stickers that have information about veganism, farm animal photos, powerful quotes, etc and sticking them in public places (supermarket products, restaurants, metro stations, etc)!
Are you a painter? Graffiti artist? Singer? Producer? Musician? Writer? Use your talent and skills! Vegan artists around the world use their art to spread the message about veganism on street walls, stages, museums, TV’s, exhibitions and other social spaces. Go for it!
Non-Violent Direct Action
Although direct action events such as peaceful disruptions of restaurants or supermarkets feel too confrontational for some people, more and more activists are taking part in such events as it has been used many times in history during social justice struggles. Members of the San Francisco based group DxE (Direct Action Everywhere) around the world and of other local grassroots groups usually use signs, laptops and leaflets to enter restaurants or supermarkets, disrupt by using megaphones and break the normalisation of animal exploitation.
It is important to note that although it may initially seem counterproductive, a person who disrupts respectfully and peacefully (without swearing or getting aggressive) can easily catch the attention and grasp the curiosity of the customers.
Talk, Cook & Inspire
Yes, as simple as that! Talk about veganism! With your friends, with your colleagues, with your family members. No need to be ashamed of it and hide it. After all, what is so extreme about not wanting to kill innocent animals? What is so extreme in spreading a message of justice and peace? Keep your head up and remember: The Animals need us to talk about them!
There are countless ways to do activism. Some people might not agree with some and agree perfectly with others, but it is safe to say that due to human psychology and behaviour, there’s no one perfect way of activism. That’s why we all, as individuals, matter in this movement. From street activists, to bloggers, to influencers, mothers, fathers, teachers, artists, doctors… All of us matter.
Let’s be active for the animals in the unique way we each can. Take the first step today, go vegan with Veganuary today.