Veganism is growing. We have technology to thank for it. From social media to mobile applications, advocating for animals can be a click away on our computers, tablets and smart phones.
What defines an activist? According to the Oxford Dictionary, an activist is one who “campaigns to bring about political or social change.” Location is not part of the criteria. We can spread compassion and share our veganism without leaving our home or office. Our reach can be as limited or as wide as we like in hopes our messages will resonate with one person.
First, let’s talk about time. It can be a luxury for some of us. Busy schedules and multiple responsibilities may seem insurmountable. However, if our passion to create a vegan world is strong, we can spare a moment to make an impact. Downloading a vegan app, sharing a news story or donating online to an animal sanctuary can take just a few seconds. It doesn’t require travel, can be little to no cost, and will help many.
Activism is not just for extroverts. Introverts, like myself, can find our vegan voice behind the screen. Where protests, speeches or direct action may not be our style, technology gives us the tools to loudly speak out in our own way. The simplest act — a 140-character tweet or an Instagram post — moves veganism forward.
Not sure about how to become a digital activist? Here are some ways to get you started on using your voice through technology!
- Social Media: Social media is one of the easiest ways to communicate and network. From Facebook to Periscope, social media offers a number of platforms to speak up for the animals. Text, photos, videos, etc. allows us to connect with like-minded and interested people who can share our message and grow the reach of veganism and compassion for all
- Blogging/Vlogging: Do you enjoy writing or being in front of the camera? Blogging or vlogging (video blogging) may be for you. You can tell your story and share what inspires you in your vegan journey in written or video form. Recipes, commentary, travel. Show the world why a vegan lifestyle is good for all and easy to adopt!
- Support an Organization: Many vegan-related organizations rely on public support. If they have a website or social media presence, you can help to take their cause globally. From giving a online donation to a Facebook like, your support helps them help others of all species
- Shop Vegan Online: There is power in the almighty wallet. Buying vegan products online shows consumer demand as a form of advocacy. It demonstrates to brands that we will not shop for goods in which animals have been exploited. Whether you buy from a vegan retailer or Amazon, our collected voices will be heard through the money we are willing to spend
- Download an App: Mobile and web applications can build vegan businesses as well as be a resource on vegan living. From Vegan Xpress to V-Cards, downloading an application further shows there is a vegan consumer demand. It also sends a message that we’re in tune with the fast pace of technology
- Use Your Skills: If you have skills in the digital space, use them! You can turn them into services promote veganism. Web developers, graphic designers, digital marketers, media producers, etc., build their portfolios at work or home by showing how you use technology for the greater good
The power of your message is only as strong as your passion, purpose and approach. Technology will gives us the tools to send those messages quickly to our interested audiences. You pick the medium that fits your personality and style. We all can do our part, wherever we are in the time we can give.
Digital activists are everywhere working to make change. By reading (and sharing) this post, you became one! What are you going to do next to change the world for animals?
Carmella Lanni-Giardina, VLCE, is one-half of the blog team, The Food Duo and co-hosts #VeganFoodChat on Twitter. She loves technology as much as vegan cupcakes. Carmella can be found in NYC-area coffee shops, drinking tea and writing on IT, marketing and all things vegan. She can also be found online at http://about.me/eclanni.