There is more than one way to be an animal rights activist. Heading down to a street corner and shouting about animal rights abuse may make you feel better but you might not be reaching anyone else.One thing that really baffles me as a vegan is the public’s response to stories and images of animal abuse. I have never understood why when a viewer is disturbed by a photograph they feel anger towards the person who is showing them the picture. They even call the act of showing them the picture ‘extreme’ and ‘violent’ — yet they go on perpetuating the horror depicted in that image by eating and wearing animals.
As God once said: “If you don’t like seeing pictures of violence towards animals being posted, you need to help stop the violence, not the pictures.” He said this in his human form of Johnny Depp by the way. That is my belief anyway.
In saying that though, there is no point in narrow-mindedly campaigning for change because many folk won’t respond. You need to be open to thinking outside the box. Or inside a particular box, a hot box, a box where you can set the temperature and make magic happen. Oh dear, I’m losing you, aren’t I? I’m talkin’ baketivism comrades!
The term ‘baketivism’ was coined by legendary vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It explores the idea of raising animal rights awareness and opening up a positive dialogue about the cruelty-free lifestyle with cinnamon buns and blueberry cheezecake.
It needs to be considered that giving people chocolate frosted cupcakes may work better than giving them lectures. Or that the smell of salted caramel banana bread still hot from the oven might do more to spark a conversation about compassion than footage of beef cattle being beaten.
Perhaps the best way to pull on someone’s heart strings is to go in through their sweet tooth?By bringing vegan baked goodies into your office or organising a baking-related fundraiser (remember those lamington drives aussie kids?) you can also break down that common misconception that being vegan means living a life of deprivation. I know I have definitely cooked treats in the past that have had the consumer utter with surprise, “geez if this is what all vegan food tastes like, count me in!”
Also, if you enter a bake-off or host a bake sale you can help human and non-human animals alike. You can pique interest in the vegan lifestyle through your baking and you can donate the profits to your favourite charity or social justice campaign.So, what are you waiting for? Slip on an apron, flip on the oven, whip out your muffin trays and become a baketivist! You might even raise some real dough (wink, wink) for your favourite charity.
If you aren’t much of a baker but want to give baketivism a go, the flour-dusted babes behind Bake Mixes — certified organic vegan bake mixes — can help you out. If you got the May Vegan Box you would have received their scrumptious Raw-Cacao Bliss Balls mix. Their Banana and Cinnamon Muffin or Cacao-Chip Chia and Oat Cookies mixes would be a welcome addition at any bake sale or pot luck dinner. Check out their website: www.bakemixes.com.au