Following on from the previous two protest related pieces I have written, part I and part II, this third and final piece contains a few suggestions of what your average vegan activist can do to raise awareness about the plight of ALL animals, and promote veganism.
Sadly, there isn’t much glory – actually there is probably none, with most of it being ‘behind the scenes’ stuff so these suggestions may not appeal to those who like to be SEEN to be doing something or those who just need to shout out at people.
First and foremost, the most important thing that a passionate vegan activist can do is educate themselves about issues and forms of activism that will help ALL animals.
A good spot to start is Animal Rights Zone. They have a podcast where activists from the whole spectrum of the animal advocacy movement are interviewed and able to share their thoughts on relevant topics/issues.
Also within the site are a number of academic and non academic papers which will be of use to those who are willing to further their education and knowledge of the movement.
Joining in with other people who are able to support, help and encourage you with your activism cannot be over stated enough. This is just about finding like minded people, this is about creating a network or group of people that support each other, opening their minds up to new ideas and approach, along improving your activism via the sharing of knowledge and past experience.
GO WITH YOUR STRENGTHS
As we all have the same number of hours in the day, unless you are able to, don’t try and learn a new skill to use for the animals, stick with what you know and are already good at. If your skill is public speaking, hone that a little more to start giving talks on veganism. If doing research is your forte, research a particular topic for the group, or the person that is brave enough to start publicly talking about veganism.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Times are changing, and just because something has worked in the past, it does’t necessarily mean that it will work the same way in the future.
Let’s take the original circus protest as an example.
Supposedly the aim of the event was to raise awareness of the plight of exotic animals in the circus, and to keep the debate alive. Did standing in a park shouting and waving placards for a few hours realistically do that? If not, what other alternatives are there?
How much more awareness could have been raised if those 30 people who attended the protest spent those 2-3 hours creating blog posts or articles relating to the use of animals in circuses?
From there the trick is to link to the other posts that have been written, ensuring that relevant keywords are contained within the post. Then once google has crawled the site, the pages should start moving up on the google search.
Some terms that could be used are “Lennon Bros tickets”, “Lennon Bros circus”, or even just “Lennon Bros”. Admittedly, it may take a bit of time to bump the actual circus off page one of Google, though it can be done. Even if it doesn’t happen, to have articles written that draw attention to the use of animals for entertainment on page one of a Google search is creating awareness.
For example, this site contains an article or two about Teys Bros slaughterhouse, and Swift slaughterhouse which still appear on page one of a Google search. This site even appears on page one for ethical strip club due to a post that was written in February.
There are a number of different blogging platforms that offer free hosting, are easy to use, and can be set up within minutes. If you don’t know how to do it, I am sure that there is bound to be someone in your network who is able to help you set one up.
If you are serious about increasing awareness of the plight of animals other than human, isn’t it time you actually got serious about it?
Time to stop doing things just because everyone else is doing it.
Time to start asking the question, “Is this going to be effective?”
Time to start thinking of the animals, instead of just your own self indulgent needs.