Depending on where you live, you may be a bit hesitant to host a protest or do outreach with other volunteers in a public location with heavy foot traffic. But demonstrating outside stores is only one way to speak up for animals. There are tons of other ways you can take action, either from the comfort and safety of your own home or without coming into close contact with anyone.
Here are 13 safe and effective ways to help end speciesism during the pandemic:
Call stores (Urban Outfitters, Canada Goose, etc.) and their headquarters.
Call stores and speak with whoever answers the phone or executives of brands to let them know that selling the skins, fur, and feathers of exploited animals is unacceptable. Directly voicing your opinion to decisionmakers and other employees is one of the most effective ways to make your voice heard. Never underestimate the power of picking up the phone and telling a company what you expect from it—this tactic does work.
Call the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH squanders billions of taxpayer dollars every year to fund cruel experiments on animals that don’t help humans or even other animals. Call NIH and tell it to stop supporting Elisabeth Murray’s painful experiments in which she cuts into monkeys’ skulls, mutilates their brains, terrifies them with fake spiders and snakes while they’re locked inside small cages, and then kills them. These “studies” have never helped anyone. They’ve been going on for over three decades and are as unjustifiable today as they were when they started.
Put our Urban Outfitters brands hanger tags on clothing in stores.
Use our hanger tags to inform the public about the cruelty they’ll be supporting if they choose to buy animal-derived materials. Money-obsessed companies care about cash flow above all else, and items like wool sweaters, leather jackets, and cashmere gloves will be a lot less profitable once more customers become aware of their horrific origins. The louder we are, the sooner animal-derived materials will no longer be worth trying to sell.
- Put stickers on signs and around other public places.
Stickering is a great way to get a message out there. We have beautiful and informative stickers that speak out against animal abuse in the areas of dissection, fashion, food, and more, plus anti-speciesism stickers. Order some today, and put them in highly visible locations at eye level to make sure lots of people see them.
Sign petitions and action alerts.
Signing petitions is a super-easy way for hundreds of thousands of people to make their voices heard in one big flood—demonstrating urgency and great awareness. Every signature means an e-mail is sent to the appropriate decisionmaker, so every single one of them counts. Take some time to sign action alerts and petitions, letting cruel companies know that we’re watching them and demanding immediate action.
Create a sign to take a selfie with or put in a window, in your yard, or elsewhere.
Use your creativity to turn heads, catch eyes, and provoke thought. Signs can give people information that they’ve never considered before. Tell the public that animals are not ours to experiment on, that raising and killing them for food causes pandemics, that they need their skin or fur, or that using them for entertainment is exploitation. When you plant seeds, new ideas sprout.
Host a virtual meeting with your hub.
Take advantage of the many virtual meeting platforms to take action for animals while building a sense of community within your hub. Use Netflix Party to host animal rights movie screenings, use Discord to plan virtual events that your hub can participate in, and use Zoom for book club meetings, letter-writing parties, animal-friendly art meetups, and more.
Create TikTok challenges.
Everyone loves a challenge—and a good one can go viral. Speaking up for exploited animals and letting people know about the horrors they face, all under the guise of a challenge, is a brilliant way to spread awareness. Think about the systemic abuse that animals are subjected to, like confinement to gestation crates and battery cages, violent shearings, or painful experiments, to inspire ideas (but of course, don’t do anything dangerous or harmful). Brainstorm ideas with your hub, and use TikTok to post your challenge. Make sure you all use the same hashtag!
Making infographics for your story or grid is a great way to convey a lot of potentially confusing data in an easy-to-digest manner. Use your creativity and graphic design skills to share important information with your followers regarding the environmental effects of animal agriculture, the failure of animal experimentation, the horrifying abuse animals endure for clothing, etc.
Make tutorials encouraging vegan living and promoting animal-friendly products.
Nothing is more trustworthy than a product testimonial from someone you know who isn’t profiting from its sales. Share tutorials using your favorite cruelty-free products, pictures of your favorite vegan food delivery using the geotag to promote the restaurant, or a nice photo or video of you looking fresh in your vegan #OOTD. Share what you’re cooking or how to read the labels on tags when shopping. Tell people how to determine whether a product is cruelty-free. Things that are obvious and normal to you may seem foreign and overwhelming to some of your followers, so show them the ropes in informative videos.
Inform others about speciesism.
Make videos explaining what speciesism is and giving examples of it. Explain that animals are autonomous individuals who have complex thoughts and can form meaningful relationships. Help folks realize that each animal is someone, not something, and that we shouldn’t refer to a sentient being as “it.” Remind your friends, family, and followers that intelligence is not the measuring stick we should use when deciding whose interests deserve consideration. Our ability to suffer should be the determining factor—and all animals can suffer, so insist that they deserve rights. Humans have no right to experiment on them, eat their flesh, wear their skin, make them perform, or exploit them in any other way.
Use your special skills.
If you’re good at designing clothing or accessories, writing and singing songs, creating artwork, or building things, put your skills to good use by speaking up for animals. Don’t underestimate the value of being a good speaker or writer or being into fashion, makeup, or baking. You can use your hobbies, interests, or talents to spread our anti-speciesist message.
Create chalk art.
Doing this is always fun and easy, especially when you are staying home and want to get a bit of fresh air. Your art can be as simple as a few words or as elaborate as a beautiful drawing, an exciting footpath, or a game (think hopscotch for animal rights). This is a simple way to get your message out to the public, and it lasts until the next time it rains.
The ideas for actions you can take from home are endless. Set a goal, whether it’s one action per day or one per week, and work your way through this list—then try other ideas, or start at the top of the list again. Changing the mind of one person and getting them to go vegan can prevent nearly 200 animals a year from enduring the worst suffering you can imagine. So use your platform, voice, and passion to spread the word that animals deserve rights and be the person who shared that one piece of info that changed someone’s mind—like someone was for you.