Being an introverted vegan activist
The UK’s Vegfest Express, the group responsible for the Vegfest UK events and branding, recently put out a poll asking online participants to vote on what the most effective form of vegan activism is. Out of 92 respondents (a surprisingly low number), it appeared that the “best” forms of activism consisted of vegan info booths, school speaking, and vegan festivals. While each of these may have their merits, what’s the introverted vegan, who doesn’t want to pick up a megaphone, to do? Groups such as Direct Action Everywhere will argue ‘til they’re blue in the face that getting out of the house and onto the streets is the best way to advocate, but that’s never going to be everyone’s style, nor the most effective.
Introverts, as people who get their energy from a more quiet solitude and very much need their alone time, are often thoughtful thinkers. There’s no reason to build up public activism like protests and leafletting without considering more creative forms of getting the word out about veganism – from the comfort of one’s own solitude. I would argue that many behind the scenes vegan activities might be even more productive than those that are public! While I’m wholly extroverted, working behind a computer and often alone has helped to finely tune my solo activism methods, and I hope that sharing a few can prove that our movement needs and benefits from many different kinds of personalities and work styles.
Facebook is your new best friend.
Posting stories about veganism, sharing statistics, and discussing your lifestyle online can be an excellent way to expose animal rights to a large body of people, all at once. For many of us, social networking is where we keep in touch with family, classmates, coworkers, and friends we’ve met over the years, all with a broad system of beliefs and preferred methods of communication. Discussing veganism with the aid of the internet on your side makes it easier to share resources, scientific evidence, and factoids about being a vegan with your Facebook friends who are vegan-curious. Perhaps you can even put your spin on a vegan blog post you might stumble upon, and add commentary while sharing or e-mailing the article, or better yet…
Start a blog of your own!
Whether you’re wholly academic or more partial to sharing adventures and misadventures of being a vegan, blogging is a well-utilized tool for promoting veganism. You have total control over a blog, including what goes up, what kinds of comments come down, and what your personal expectations are of those who choose to communicate with you online via your website. Want to share recipes? Share those recipes and get all the feedback you could ever want! Interested in reviewing a book or posting a longer form of commentary about a post from your favorite vegan academics? The world is at your fingertips. Who knows, maybe another badass vegan introvert will come across your words and spread your ideas around themselves!
Cook vegan food and have friends over, in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t mind hanging out with a small group of people? Point them in the direction of veganism on your own terms, by hosting a non-vegan pal or two in your own home, while cooking tasty food (if you’re like me, you might opt for take out, though). Show them just how delicious the vegan life can taste! Being in a vegan home and consuming vegan goods is sometimes the best way to give someone the bump they need to make a lifelong change. It’s seeing a vegan in their “natural habitat” that makes the lifestyle look approachable, simple, and totally normal in a society that paints vegans as outsiders. Lead by example, enjoy yourself, and have some good old fashioned conversation about veganism. Who knows, maybe you can convert a much louder friend to start more and more conversations for you!
Veganism is truly a global movement, and now has never been a better time to reach a huge audience. With the aid of widespread publishing and the ushering in of the digital era, sharing your love of veganism with the world doesn’t require every single activist to only do activism one singular way. Get cozy, drink some tea, and fight for all animal’s rights to live unharmed and unused.