You’ve watched Forks Over Knives, read The Kind Diet and stocked up on enough nutritional yeast to feed an army. You’ve been enjoying the fruits of plant-based eating for some time now and you feel like you would like to give back to the vegan world that has been so generous to you. You wonder if there is even a way for someone like yourself to get involved in vegan activism. You don’t have a refined skill set and you’re not sure what your niche might be. You might not know it, but everyone can do something to spread the vegan love.
1. Start a monthly community potluck.
Planning a fun “bring a vegan dish” soiree is a great way to support other people who are vegan or are moving in that direction. According to a study done at the University of Pennsylvania, 75 percent of vegetarians will go back to eating meat. The social isolation some feel from eating differently from others may play a part in that. Wouldn’t it feel great to know that you gave another person the social support that helped them weather the course? The first step to planning a potluck is picking a date and deciding where to hold the event. If you’re not comfortable having it at your home, research free spaces in your town. Community rooms are available at many libraries, churches and fire stations. Get the word out by making flyers, starting a Facebook group or placing an ad on Meetup.com. Vegans love healthy food, so remember to put up a sign at your local health food, vitamin or grocery store.
2. Leaflet at a big event.
There are many organizations that provide inexpensive brochures and stickers to hand out at a public place. It makes sense to pick a location frequented by the people you feel are more open to learning about cruelty-free eating. Great places to find these types of people are high school and college campuses, areas near concert venues and heavy traffic spots such as subway and train stations. You don’t want to hand the brochures to people who are just going to throw them away so simply ask, “May I offer you a brochure on vegan eating?” Anyone can do it and there is no more effective way of reaching people. The animal welfare group, Compassion Over Killing, tells us that by leafleting for only one hour per week, you can expose more than 15,000 people to the message of vegetarianism in just one year.
3. Host a Vegan Bake Sale.
Every year, vegan groups around the world host bake sales in their communities between April 26th and May 4th. As a participant, you get to choose what organization receives the proceeds from your sale. You could give the money to your favorite animal sanctuary, vegan outreach group or campaign to end animal testing. Also, by putting yourself and your delicious vegan desserts in front of people, you’re educating the masses on how easy and delicious it is to eat like a vegan.
So, there really are no excuses. Whether you start a vegan potluck, leaflet outside the next Beyoncé concert, or get out your Easy-Bake Oven and start baking vegan treats, the choices are endless. Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” It’s time to get out there and start spreading the vegan love.
Crystal Gable, VLCE, is the communications director for Get Healthy Marshall, a non-profit community initiative that spreads the word about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. She is an organizer of the annual New Year, New Year, New You Health Fest - the 2013 VegNews Magazine “Must Attend Event.” In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, collecting vegan cookbooks and planning her next excursion. Crystal lives in Texas in a 1950s bungalow with her husband, daughter and their adorable cat. You can find Crystal on her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus.