It may take a while, but this SXSW panel featuring vegan activists Laura Beck and Stephanie Bogdanich convinced me that vegan bloggers will eventually take over the world, one bake sale at a time (along with sharing bloggers). And maybe the sharing community can learn a few tricks from these two passionate (and very funny) vegan bloggers. Here's what I learned:
- Shocking people with graphic photos of animal cruelty can get some motivated, but it will also turn away many from activism forever. Keep it positive and inclusive.
- Instead of confronting people about their eating habits, hand them a delicious vegan cupcake.
- Talk about food to people in the food community and weave in messages about veganism. You don't need to lead with your message, find ways to meet people on their terms.
- Connect with local restaurants both online and off. Ask for what you want in a positive way.
- Bring vegans together for events in your local community. Build community. It makes it easier for people to live the vegan lifestyle when surrounded by friends who reinforce it. Vegan Austin Rocks is an online community that brings vegans together offline in a variety of ways and supports the lifestyle with guides, reviews, and recipes.
- Hold a vegan bake sale. One Austin sale raised $3,000 for a local shelter. Raise money for a variety causes to bring a wide range of people in contact with veganism.
- Start a regular vegan happy hour in your town or go to one. Check out Vegan Drinks to find or host an event.
- PETA recommends promoting cruetly-free or veganism as a lifestyle, something that's holistic and attractive.
- Carrotmob stores and restaurants that offer vegan options. A carrotmob event rewards local businesses for good behavior by mobbing them with new customers on a specific date. And Carrotmobs are a kind street agitprop and party, i.e. really fun.
- Promote Meatless Mondays in your town.
For more vegan goodness, follow Laura (@vegansource) and Stephanie (@veganlazysmurf) on Twitter.