Helping animals in the new year

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Helping animals in the new year

With the new year almost upon us, many of us are thinking about plans and resolutions for 2010. Among them will hopefully be ways to help animals.

Here are some suggestions for ways you can help animals in 2010:

Go vegan. Adopting a vegan lifestyle is quite simply the most effective thing you can do to help animals. By going vegan you are reducing the demand for animal products and potentially saving hundreds of animal lives. The I Quit Eating Meat blog is one person’s story of his path from meat-eater to vegan, and all of the challenges he faces. Great reading if you are thinking of making the switch. We have a list of resources available on our website as well.

Request that vegan options be added to the menu at regular restaurants. I’ve recently become aware of just how significant this can be. There are many non-vegans out there who will choose the vegan option if one is available, but won’t ask for something to be made vegan if it’s not on the menu. If it’s easy for people to eat vegan at their favorite restaurant, then they are much more likely to choose those options. You also never know what effect it might have. A pizza shop in LA recently went all-vegan after someone asked them to add a vegan pizza to their menu.

Once a month, go out to eat at a regular restaurant and ask for vegan food. Call ahead and request vegan food and make a point of reviewing your meal on yelp.com, dinehere.ca, foodvancouver.com, martiniboys.com, and any others you think people might read. The idea here is to build up the demand for vegan food across all sorts of restaurants, which will make it easier for anyone to choose vegan foods.

Bring vegan cupcakes or cookies to your coworkers, friends, or family to show them how delicious vegan food is. My favorite recipes are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and a few other books. I bring her cupcakes to work sometimes and my co-workers love them. Best cupcakes ever.

Give away copies of significant books or DVDs to people you know. People are more likely to listen to people they know, and if you hand them a copy of Earthlings they might just watch it. Check out Operation Meat Market: one activist, one mission, and a whole lot of books for a story of one person’s project of handing out copies of Erik Marcus’s Meat Market.

Share links and videos on facebook, twitter, myspace, and any other online social networking site you use. The more voices in the stream of information presenting information about animals the better.

Start a blog about your experiences. Share your stories with others. You may not think that anyone wants to read about you, but if you can tell your story about transitioning to a vegan diet, learning more about animals, or living as a vegan, people will be able to gain inspiration for their own lives from your stories. If you like to cook you could write about cooking and share recipes. If you work out you could write about that. The I Quit Eating Meat blog I mentioned earlier has inspired many other people to make the same transition. Starting a blog is free on WordPress and who knows what impact you could have?

Volunteer with a local animal rescue or sanctuary. Being with animals first hand can really help to remind us why we are trying to help them in the first place. You’ll also be armed with personal stories about animals for the times when you are talking to people. Some friends of mine made a trip to Rest.Q Sanctuary to volunteer for an afternoon and posted a video about Kevin the turkey, and now people can see how sociable and friendly turkeys are. You’ll also be helping those individual animals. Some other local places to volunteer include Hearts on Noses, Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy, Small Animal Rescue Society, and Richmond Animal Protection Society.

These are just a few ideas, and quite obviously I’m focused on food animals (since they account for something like 95% of the exploited animals on Earth) and outreach. Other people might have other ideas about how to help animals, but the more we all do, the more likely we are to succeed.

What other ideas do you have? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. And happy New Year!


6 Comments

Wo_Dao

December 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm

oy, thanks Glenn….All the work and thoughts you and everyone else put in..it’s inspiring.

For me, I suppose I would want to socialize with people with a like-mind….much as if I were being around people in a sanctuary I love.

Times are tough, I wanna share the charisma. Yet ironically…I’m just rather shy around people. And once a person gets to know me…I’m rather blunt and direct…in a passive way, which turns brutal afterwards…much like a tough love thing.

Kinda like the “humane slaughter” BS out there. Some dare call it peaceful? I call it FALSE HARMONY!

…heh, see what I mean? Ah well.

The only thing left for me to do, is to be an example to people…for I wear no jacket or whatsoever when working in the cold. And I let co-workers know I’m vegan. And I never get sick either. HAH! Oh yeah.

Only problem is..people always ask “what do you eat?” And all that. Seriously, animals have names, and it sucks people put those animals names to a food recipe. Vegan food should have a unique name of all their foods too, and none of this “fake this fake that.” It’s VEGAN WITH A CLASS OF THEIR OWN! COME AND HAVE SOME!

I’m the worst cook ever also. To the point where I realize I’m suited for raw vegan, 811….and wishing to go fruitarian when I’m ready.

Ah well, best wishes to y’all and the New Years…you’ve all been inspiring to me…despite me lurking away in solitude; when I should try to make an effort to be around you people and share the charisma, but I hesitate due to my blunt personality.

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Joanne

January 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Hand out vegan outreach pamphlets to high school students! I’ve been doing it whenever I can all semester and I find that most high school students really want to help animals! Young people are more willing to make the connection than adults.

Becci

January 6, 2010 at 12:29 am

Okay, so I totally brought these awesome vegan sugar cookies to a friend’s place yesterday, and all the non-vegans were in awe of how delicious they were. They couldn’t believe that vegan desserts are just as good as dairy-based ones.

Here’s the recipe in case anybody wants to make them. I used 6 tablespoons oil and 2 of water rather than 8 tablespoons of oil, and they came out very sweet and fluffy.

http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6394.0

dawnofanewera

January 8, 2010 at 10:23 am

These are great points to consider. I always ask about vegan options at regular restaurants, however I would add that it’s important to speak to a manager about it, since your server probably won’t pass it on.

When I asked the “vegetarian” restaurant, Gratitude (they serve cheese with rennet), if they had vegan cheese substitutes, my meat-eating dad commented that I was “making a scene.” I informed him that it was my responsibility to ask for change. And it is our conjoined responsibility, those of us who are brave enough to have looked at what goes on in farming these days, to ask for change.

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