As a university club, KAR primarily reaches a student audience. They have 400 members and 30–50 active members, as well as 1,800 Instagram followers. Weekly events such as virtual presentations and in-person protests have established a regular interactive presence in the campus community. Events include:
- Volunteer events
- Donation drives
- Tablings at vegan events in the community
- Socials at vegan restaurants
- Sanctuary visits
KAR hands out flyers with information about the club’s goals and a list of the kinds of activities they host. The back of the flyer includes information about their partner organizations, Students Against Speciesism (SOS) and DefaultVeg, a movement for making plant-based meals the default while animal products are opt-ins, and not the other way around.
SOS partnered actions this year included the SeaWorld protest, which was a collaborative effort of three hubs in Orlando, Florida; San Antonio Texas; and San Diego, California (the cities of all three SeaWorld locations). KAR also joined the SOS sit-in campaigns at Urban Outfitters and Starbucks. Alexis recommends that young activists interested in speaking up for animals join SOS, which is open to anyone ages 13–24. The organization has hubs in nearly every major city around the country, and if there isn’t one in your city, you can start your own!
This year, KAR focused on a different animal rights topic each month. They created a schedule of small events that build up to larger in-person activism events. For example, the club hosted a presentation about animal cruelty in the fashion industry to prepare members for their Urban Outfitters protest. They hosted a SeaWorld presentation in preparation for their SeaWorld protest. This summer they spent a month focusing on the dairy industry in preparation for their Starbucks sit-in, where they handed out free plant-based milk samples and urged Starbucks to drop their vegan surcharge. They also upload informational Instagram posts to generate interest and awareness as well as promote the events connected to the month’s theme.
Before COVID, the club typically rented a room on campus and shared an educational presentation using PowerPoint. Free vegan pizza and donuts enticed people to attend and showed them how delicious vegan food is, all while they learned more about animal rights. During the pandemic, they couldn’t offer free food, but virtual events removed barriers to attendance. The club was pleasantly surprised to have out-of-state guests! They plan to continue to stream their events to include those who can’t physically attend.