For Vegan Advocates: Get Involved!
Choose from the following opportunities and then register your event so that others may find you.
Coordinate a Public Gentle Thanksgiving
A great form of outreach, public vegan dinners are a fun way to demonstrate the great taste and many benefits of cruelty-free holiday cuisine. Below are tips on how to go about planning a public dinner:
1) Form an organizing committee to help with the planning. Ask friends and family to help you out and encourage fellow animal advocates in your community to join you.
2) Choose a venue. Ideal possibilities include:
- Vegan-Friendly Restaurant (the food will already be taken care of!)
- Campus (see below)
- Church or other place of worship
- Community Center
- Civic Hall
3) Make a food plan. Here are some ideas:
- Work with your local Vegan Meetup! FARM is reaching out to some of the over 800 Vegan Meetups with over 200,000 members. Locate your local Vegan Meetup, let them know about the opportunity to support new and aspiring vegans, and ask how you can help coordinate a Gentle Thanksgiving Meetup in your community.
- Hire a caterer to supply vegan food.
- Make it a potluck. Ask each guest to bring a vegan dish to share with others (be sure to specify that vegan means no meat, eggs, or dairy). In order to ensure that all dishes are covered, consider asking guests with last names beginning with letters A-D to bring appetizers, E-L to bring a side dish, M-R to bring a main course, and S-V to bring dessert. Don't forget to ask someone to bring a Tofurky.
- Make the food DELICIOUS! Nothing keeps people happy and committed like amazing, tasty food (and nothing turns them off faster than bland, yucky food). Do it right by offering the best of the best. See our recipes for suggestions.
4) Get funded. Funding may not be needed for potlucks, etc. When extra funding is needed, here are some ideas:
- Ask attendees for donations. To help cover costs, consider asking for donations from guests or a fee to attend.
- Ask Vegan Advocates for food donations. Check in with local vegans or other to see if they'd be willing to donate food for the occassion. They may be eager to donate their favorite dish or even purchase a Tofurky or two for the occasion. You can also contact local natural foods stores or vegan food manufacturers for food donations.
- VegFund. Generous, easy grants to help pay for your vegan food outreach. Visit VegFund.org.
5) Promote the event. Publicizing your plans to community members is the best way to ensure a good turnout. Remember to you're working to attract new and aspiring vegans, not just established vegans. Below are some easy ways to get the word out:
- Make flyers with event details and distribute them around various places in your community -- hang them up on bulletin boards, natural foods stores, veg-friendly restaurants, etc.
- Facebook and other social media, emails, etc.
- List with local Vegan Meetup organizers.
- Utilize newspapers by posting announcements in the classified sections.
Coordinate a Campus Gentle Thanksgiving
Much of FARM's 10 Billion Lives Tour, local Pay-Per-View events, and other outreach has attracted thousands of students. Avaiability of vegan food and vegan resources are often lacking especially on campus. Follow the general guidelines above (Public Gentle Thanksgiving) with focus on attracting students.
Things to consider:
- Timing: Hold an event well before the Thanksgiving break (so students are still around).
- Spread the Word: Advertise on campus -- campus bulletins, chalking sidewalks, flyers, class announcements, student group notices, etc.
- Consider working with a locall Vegan Meetup to host a student-specific Meetup.
- Food Samples: Food outreach/sampling is also a great campus opportunity. Offer great food samples (hot chocolate with vegan marshmallows, pumpkin pie, Tofurky samples, etc.). See Food Samples for more information.
Distribute Food Samples
Food samples demonstrate the benefits of a cruelty-free diet through delicious vegan food. Great vegan food can open minds and hearts. Offer samples of alternatives to turkey and other animal products (like dairy-free nog, milks, whipped cream, desserts, candy and more) at a busy downtown location or in your local supermarket. Store managers may be willing to donate product for sampling or give you a discount -- plus you have a steady line of customers and a supply of product for people to immediately purchase and fall in love with.
Consider asking for a donation or discount coupons from Tofurky and/or purchase turkey-alternatives at your local natural foods store.
When distributing samples, it's most effective to have clearly visible signs explaining what kind of food you are giving away. Be sure to let people know what brand you're serving and where they can purchase it themsevles.
Visit VegFund.org for more food outreach tips and to find out how you can get reimbursed for distributing vegan food.
Fresh Start Friday
Fresh Start Friday is our NEW national initiative to refocus our outreach on the day after Thanksgiving when people are again more receptive to considering compassionate eating.
It's also an opportunity to remind people that none of us are perfect. Holidays are an easy time to slip up and revert to eating animal products. It's even harder for new and aspiring vegans. Remind people that if they stumble, it's not the end of the journey -- they can keep trying! Every meal is an opportunity for a fresh start.
Get the word out:
- Personal Touch: Print this form and gather pledges the old-fashioned way. Then upload the information here (coming soon). Or use your Smart Phone and enter names online at LiveVegan.org/pledge.
- Online: Forward the LiveVegan.org/pledge link and invitate people to commit or recommit to themselves and to the animals by explore compassionate living.
- Double Duty: Combine food sampling, leafletting, video screenings, and/or other outreach -- and ask people to take the Live Vegan Pledge at the same time.