How to Be an Activist
So you’re all fired up about animal rights and determined to change the world, but where do you start?
Anyone can become an effective advocate for animals – all you need is passion and commitment. But these simple tips can help you maximise your impact and make sure your message is loud and clear.
Know Your Stuff
Whether you’re debating testing on animals or expounding the joys of going vegan, having a few key facts up your sleeve can make all the difference when it comes to being persuasive. So read up on the issues you’re passionate about and keep up to date with new developments. PETA’s blog and issues pages are great places to start.
Have the Courage of Your Convictions
Animals often can’t make their voices heard, so they need you to be brave in speaking out on their behalf. So please, if you ever see or learn about an animal who is being abused, don’t keep quiet because you’re worried about making a fuss – shout about it! It might feel scary the first time you stick your neck out, but you’ll be glad you did afterwards, especially if your actions help save someone from suffering.
Learning about some of the horrific things that happen to animals is often difficult. But rather than becoming depressed, try to channel your energy into action! You’ll feel much better knowing that you’ve done your best to change the situation. And while it can sometimes be frustrating trying to make people understand why animal rights matter, remember that they are much more likely to listen to you if you stay calm and upbeat instead of getting angry.
Use Your Initiative
Don’t wait for permission to take action on the issues that matter to you. Be proactive. No local animal rights group in your city or at your university? Start your own. Have you seen foie gras, angora or some other unethical product on sale? Fire off a letter to the manager. Is an animal circus or other cruel event coming to your town? Organise some leafleting on the streets. Animal rights issues are everywhere, and there are so many opportunities to do more – all you need to do is keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to speak out at any time!
Lead by Example
Animal rights isn’t an abstract issue. It’s a way of life that can affect everything from the clothes you wear to the food you eat. In fact, your compassionate cruelty-free lifestyle can also have a positive influence on the people around you! By cooking delicious vegan food for friends and colleagues or boasting about the great pair of new non-leather boots you’ve just found on the high street, you can challenge preconceptions and show your friends how easy and accessible it is to make kind choices.
Make Your Voice Heard Online
Whether you’re inspired by Instagram, a terrific tweeter or a Facebook fiend, online channels can be a hugely effective way to spread kind messages and help raise awareness. Use social media to share campaigns, inspiring stories and other animal-related content and to connect with like-minded others. Of course, following PETA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is an excellent start!
Remember That You’re Part of a Movement!
You’re not alone. All around the world, hundreds of thousands of people care deeply about animals and are doing everything they can to end cruelty and abuse. Our individual actions can be hugely powerful, but when we act together, we can achieve even more! Meeting other people who share our ideals and goals can also help us stay motivated and focused. Look for local groups or meet-ups to find other compassionate people near where you live, and please sign up to PETA’s Action Team to hear about urgent alerts, demos and other events happening in your area.