There are many ways you can help animals and raise awareness but I wanted to break it down into 7 Easy & Effective Ways that anybody can do or take part in, even from the comfort of your own home. This is a collaboration I did with PETA which is so incredible because they are the reason I’m vegan and the reason for me becoming an animal activist. If it wasn’t for their brave undercover investigators I would have never seen the realities of what happens to animals used for food, fashion, entertainment, etc.
I understand how scary it is to stick up for something you truly believe in, especially against an industry this big. I see people who silence their opinions and lose their authenticity in attempt to be liked by everyone or to appease both sides. I understand that you don’t want to be met with opposition but the animals need you now more than ever before.
Why you should stand up and speak up for what you believe in:
- It is a liberating expression of free will – don’t be a blind follower, be the full expression of yourself
- Don’t lose your identity – standing up for your beliefs and making tough and uncomfortable decisions can make a massive positive difference. Losing your own identity can do enormous damage to your confidence and sense of self-worth. Ultimately, it leaves a dent in your life, or you become a shadow of who you truly are.
SPEAK UP, STAND UP & FIND YOUR VOICE!
People are becoming more and more aware of what’s going on behind closed doors aka farm doors due to the increase in undercover footage, exposes, and disruptions at factory farms, and laboratories all around the world. Now is the time to spread all this information and open peoples eyes and minds to the possibilities of living a life free from harm.
It took me a while to decide that I wasn’t going to let the opinions of others stop me from standing up and speaking out for these animals. I was and still am met with conflicting opinions, get into arguments, and have even been in trouble with the law.
However, what some activists do to raise awareness might not appeal to you, the way they do it, or the way they speak out might not be the way you would do it, and that’s okay. I want you to find something that works for you! Heck, even wearing a vegan t-shirt raises awareness, just do something!
1. STICKER FUN!
Activism can be fun and easy, especially with stickers on your side. They are versatile and can be used anywhere. Click here to order your free supply of animal rights stickers.
- On your laptop – strike up a conversation at the office, or a local coffee shop
- On your phone – attention of bystanders
- On the fridge – to remind housemates
- Bumper stickers
- Put it on your check receipt before leaving a restaurant
- Slap a sicker on your outgoing mail – you never know who it could inspire
- At a concert – they’re a form of self-expression, flaunt them at concerts, festivals etc.
2. GET ACTIVE ONLINE
Join animal rights social networks online and share animal issues, investigations, and the many victories. If you like it, share it! Don’t be afraid to speak up! Don’t be afraid what your followers might think or say, the animals need you.
TAKE ACTION ONLINE
Signing petitions, sending emails. PETA has won many victories online including convincing the army to stop conducting cruel experiments on monkeys.
GET INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION
Right now animal issues are being debated all over the internet. Get in there and politely let people that know animals deserve our respect.
DOWNLOAD PETAS APP! Easiest way to take action on their campaigns.
Often the pen, or computer really is mightier than the sword and you don’t need to be Shakespeare! Writing letters to newspapers, businesses, and legislators is an easy effective way to help animals.
You can get get great exposure for animal rights issues by writing letters to the editors of newspapers or magazines. Not only will you be reaching thousands of readers but you will also bringing your concerns to the attention of policymakers, who often refer tot the opinion pages to learn what issues really matter to the public.
Read local papers and magazines to get ideas for letters. Watch for articles, ads, or letters that mention animals
Ads for rodeos, circuses, fur stores. Articles about medical experiments on animals.
Letters don’t have to be rebuttals – circus in town? Noticing a lot of strays? Let people know how you feel. Use the calendar for inspiration. Mothers day? Remind your community of the animals whose babies are taken from them for dairy.
- Write on good news & bad news – thank the paper for its coverage of protests etc.
- Be brief, sometimes one paragraph is enough.
- Make sure its proof read
- Make the first sentence catchy – get readers attention, stick to the issue.
- The letter should be timely. If you’re responding to an article it should be submitted no more than 3 days after it was published.
Don’t just write to the biggest papers in town – small weekly papers can reach hundreds even thousands of people.
If there’s an issue you feel very strongly about ask to write an opinion piece for the local newspaper. Send the article to the editorial page editor with a note explaining why this issue matters to readers and asking them to publish it.
You can also write, or call television and radio stations to protest against cruelty to animals.
Don’t have time? Post a quick comment online in response to blogs, newspapers, magazine articles and tv.
Some tips on style:
- Increase your credibility – mention anything that makes you qualified to write about this topic. As a former fur wearer, etc.
- Try to tell readers something they’re not likely to know such as how chickens are exploited for eggs.
- Keep personal grudges and or name calling out of letters.
- Don’t give lip service to anti-animal arguments – speak affirmatively.
- Avoid self-righteous language and exaggeration.
- Use positive suggestions instead of don’t go to the circus. Let’s take our families to non-animal circuses.
- Avoid speciest language – instead of it or which use she or he or who.
- Criticise the cruelty not the newspaper.
Leafletting is one of the best ways to educate people about animal rights issues. It’s not only easy but also effective. Put the right information in the right hands and BAM! Minds are changed.
Don’t wait for people to approach you – walk up to them with a smile and positive comment like have you gotten one of these yet?
Make eye contact, be prepare for questions, don’t waste time arguing, dress for success.
You can even post leaflets on bulletin boards in public areas.
Setting up a table with resources about animal issues is an effective way to engage the public and provide information about animals rights.
- Setting up: make sure to get permission from wherever you plan on setting up. All literature is displayed neatly.
- Personal appearance – you are put together and look approachable
- Engage people – friendly opening line – hi did you get one of these yet?
- Answering questions – Educate yourself on the issues before you go. Give them a copy of what you spoke about.
- Answering tough questions – if there’s an answer you don’t’ know get their contact info and offer to have someone get back to them. If you don’t know – it’s ok just don’t lie.
6. HOLDING A DEMONSTRATION
Holding a demonstration is to show people how animals are abused in factory farms, fur farms, and in laboratories. It’s one of the easiest ways to reach a lot of people. If your event is covered by the media, you have the potential to reach thousands more.
- Plan ahead; before you get started you can contact PETAS action team by emailing ATeam@peta.org. They will walk you though the steps, send you free posters, and leaflets.
- Getting permission; some cities require a permit, call you local police department and ask if you need one to organize a peaceful demonstration. Create a Facebook event and get others to join you!
Have people handing out leaflets during demonstration, smile, be polite, you’ll change more peoples minds by being respectful and having engaged conversations. If the police do arrive calmly tell them you have your permit or you were told you don’t need one.
7. PASSING ANIMAL-FRIENDLY LEGISLATION
An essential part of any movement for social change is the effort to create new legislation. You don’t need to be an expert on law or politics to lobby your elected officials but you do need to know how to communicate with them effectively.
The first step is to find out who they are. Next, get to know as many legislators as you can. Don’t wait until you and or your group want to introduce a bill or lobby your legislator to vote one way or the other on an issue. Lay the foundation before you start a legislative campaign. Attend town meetings where legislators meet with voters to answer questions. Write to thank them for taking specific positions that you support. Arrange to meet with them. Establish a rapport.
- Individualized letters by mail
- Phone calls
- Individualized letters by fax
- Individual emails
- Form letters and emails
Be sure to always provide your name, address, and phone number on the envelope. Check PETA’s guide for contacting your legislator for more info.
- Discuss only one issue at a time
- Keep it short, one page letter to 2 max.
- The more personal the correspondence appears the more seriously it will be taken
- State purpose in first paragraph
- Don’t assume they know about the issue, provide lots of information.
- Don’t argue with emotions, use facts.
- Identify the bill or ordinance by title and number
- Never threaten
- Be polite and positive
- Clearly state what you want done – urge a government agency to investigate a laboratory.
Meeting with officials
When meeting with elected officials, keep the following tips in mind:
- Make an appointment way in advance
- Dress professionally
- Know about the legislator and his or her voting record
- Be friendly and positive
- Don’t turn down a chance to meet them a legislative aide;go to thr meeting as if you’re meeting the elected official
- Know the title and bill number of legislative you want to discuss
- Don’t wear animal rights buttons and or t-shirts
- Know your facts
- Don’t become emotional
- Make your points brief and clear, thank them, don’t waste their time
Remember how you communicate is as important as what you communicate. People who care about animals are often stereotyped as too emotional. We can change that by doing our homework, staying calm and polite and keeping our statements concise.
Cruelty-Free With Me & PETA