As the glitter dust settles on the New Year and we promise ourselves 2016 is going to be the best yet, perhaps our thoughts have turned towards our animal friends. Maybe one of your new year’s resolutions is to do more to help. Your decision to go vegan already makes you a hero for our fur buds out there; there is nothing more powerful than making a statement with your plate. But if you want to step it up a notch or two in 2016, here are five easy ways bump up your animal advocacy.
Volunteer at an animal shelter or sanctuary
This is a great option for those animal-lovers who may be a little too shy to raise their voice in the street. Whilst we need the bold and brash waving placards in the name of animal justice, we also need people at the back end of the movement. We need people in the lost dog’s homes, the farmyard animal sanctuaries, the racehorse rescue group convoys. For the animals that have been given a second shot at a peaceful life we need people helping to clean their pens, feed them, groom them or just shower them with cuddles. There are incredible organisations, like Edgar’s Mission in Victoria, that are doing very powerful work providing homes for mistreated or abandoned animals and they need A LOT of help. This is a great way to be more active because you can meet like-minded people and you could end up spending every second Saturday snuggling a baby goat — and what could bleat that? 😉
Become a team member at an animal advocacy organisation
Many nation-wide animal rights organisations give you an opportunity to join their campaigns by becoming a member. You can usually register online and from there you’ll be contacted about demonstrations, letter-writing drives, fundraising campaigns and national days of action. This is a great one for animal lovers who are pinched for spare time because you can choose the frequency of your involvement. Animals Australia has an Action Network that you can join to become more active in campaigns and events under the guidance of a team leader who provides support and advice. Check out the websites for the animal rights organisations in your state or country.
Put on an apron and try your whisk at baketivism
One of the best ways to open someone up to a conversation about animal rights is to tickle their sweet tooth. It is a nice, gentle way to broach the subject of veganism and it also shows the person gobbling down your chocolate frosted peanut butter cupcake that choosing to be cruelty-free does not mean choosing a life of deprivation, devoid of flavour. So bust out your apron and break down those misconceptions that vegan food is all lettuce and tofu. If you hold a bake sale you can also raise money for your favourite animal charity at the same time!
Pick one animal rights issue and create a campaign
Whether it be live exports, super trawlers or stopping a rodeo coming to your town — if you laser beam focus your efforts on one issue you’re passionate about the results can be powerful! You can start a Meetup group and gather your cruelty free comrades to brainstorm how to take action. If you succeed, and small groups of passionate activists are making a huge difference every day, the feeling of solidarity and empowerment will be immense. Break out the high fives!
Join a vegan Facebook group
There are loads of vegan Facebook groups that are city, country, age, and interests based. By joining one of these groups you not only get to interact with other vegans online but people will usually use the platform as a way to share their personal activism. Whether that be petition signature collections, group events, invitations to demonstrations or requests to write to brands and organisations, it’s an easy way for you to hear of ways to get involved from the comfort of your keyboard — and to support other vegans in their own attempts to bump up their activism.