Posted on October 13, 2020 by Liam Gilliver, Deputy Editor for Plant Based News
This is a guest post by Plant Based News, a multi-award-winning resource creating awareness about ethical consumerism, sustainability, and the plant-based lifestyle.
It’s hard to ignore the explosive growth of plant-based living. Supermarkets and fast-food chains have responded to the demand for animal-free products, making it easier than ever to make the transition.
Even meat giants like Smithfield Foods now feature a variety of vegan food options. Amid a global pandemic, plant-based meat brands have seen sales surge as people become more aware of the harm caused by meat and animal agriculture. In fact, market researchers predict that the whole plant-based food market will be worth a staggering $74.2 billion by the year 2027.
If you’ve experienced the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, whether it’s improved health or simply a clearer conscience, you’ve probably already tried to get your friends and family on board. Whether you’re a vegan activist or a health and wellness professional wanting to encourage more people to ditch animal products and become healthier, there are countless ways to share a plant-based message.
Here are eleven ideas to give you a solid foundation to promote plant-based living:
1. Use your influence on social media
Even if you’re not an Instagram influencer with millions of followers, don’t underestimate the power of social media. It takes a few seconds to post an inspiring quote from Joker star Joaquin Phoenix that could spark a conversation with your work colleagues, friends, and family.
Telling your personal story of plant-based living can also be a powerful tool. Perhaps you’ve undergone a positive body transformation since cutting out animal products, or maybe you’re working with patients or clients who’ve transformed their lives with plant-based diets.
Introduce your followers to sites such as Nutritionfacts.org and Switch4Good so that they can be inspired by plant-based recipes, scientific research, and celebrity quotes. You can even start your own hashtag like #PlantPoweredFridays to get more people involved.
Social media can draw people into plant-based living, but it works best to customize your message based on their specific interests. If you know your friends are keen to reduce their carbon footprint, share an infographic that shows how eco-friendly a plant-based diet is. Or, if you have friends who are worried about losing muscle mass when ditching meat and dairy, introduce them to vegan athletes such as James Newbury.
2. Netflix and learn
The next time your friends come around for a movie night, why not suggest watching an educational documentary such as What the Health, Cowspiracy, or The Game Changers? These films have inspired hundreds to transition to a plant-based diet with compelling and scientifically-backed information. And, they are great conversation starters.
Most films address one of the three main reasons people ditch animal products: animal welfare, environment, and health. You can check out VegFund’s film recommendations, which help you easily identify the film topics using a simple code system.
If you’d like to share a plant-based message with your community, apply for one of VegFund’s Film Screening grants, which cover the cost of licensing the film and other event-related expenses, including venue rental, vegan food samples, and marketing.
3. Cook for your family and friends
Even though flavorful plant-based food has become mainstream, some hold a persistent belief that it isn’t tasty and enjoyable. Cooking a delicious plant-based meal for your loved ones is an engaging way to show them that cutting out animal products doesn’t mean that their taste buds have to suffer.
If your loved ones like cooking, introduce them to an online class. Although COVID-19 has postponed many face-to-face events, several plant-based companies have launched cooking tutorials on social media platforms such as Instagram.
If you’re a bit of a cooking pro, you could even start your own virtual cooking class. You may be able to get financial support by applying for a VegFund grant.
4. Wear your message
Vegan clothing businesses have boomed in recent years. Donning a t-shirt with a pro-plant-based message is perhaps the simplest way of promoting the lifestyle to every person you pass on the streets.
You can get creative and make your own, find a second-hand t-shirt on sites such as Ebay, upcycle an item of clothing you already have, or support sustainable brands such as Vegan Outfitters (check out their “Powered by Plants” t-shirts). T-shirts also make great gifts!
5. Sign petitions
Signing online petitions is a quick and effective way to promote plant-based living from the comfort of your own home.
It takes a few seconds to add your signature to a petition that puts pressure on schools and hospitals to introduce more plant-based options or to call on the FDA to remove dairy from its dietary guidelines. You can share petitions on social media once you’ve signed them to help raise awareness. Check sites like change.org and avaaz.org to find the ones that resonate with you, or create your own!
6. Take small actions that have big impact
Becoming involved in plant-based advocacy doesn’t have to be daunting. Starting a discussion in a community Facebook page about your latest vegan product find or your new vegan t-shirt can be highly effective — and it introduces you to people outside of your social circle. Take the opportunity to expand your advocacy online during the pandemic.
Consider volunteering at local events — or find virtual events to support, such as film streamings and online cooking classes. Even during the pandemic, there are many ways to volunteer. Check out charities such as Support + Feed (created by Maggie Baird, mother of Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell) and Seed Releaf, which support vegan eateries while feeding the vulnerable.
During the pandemic, online events that focus on plant-based nutrition and health, such as the Food Revolution Summit, have been on the rise. Attend a webinar or virtual conference to educate yourself and encourage others to learn more about plant-based living.
Health is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. But there is so much misinformation out there, where do you start?
If you’re a health professional, consider organizing your own summit or creating a video series. Reach out to well-known figures within the plant-based nutrition field — you never know who might love to get involved! A VegFund grant can help cover marketing and other costs.
8. Get plant-fit
You don’t need to be Nimai Delgado or a fitness guru to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet. Being an exercise enthusiast gives you the opportunity to use your body as an example of how to thrive eating a WFPB diet.
If you’re ready to do more, organize a nutritional talk at the gym. Invite a health expert, plant-based nutritionist, and a fitness professional to offer a full program.
9. Create an educational resource
Developing educational resources is a tremendous way to advocate for plant-based living. If you’re a nutrition expert or know someone you can partner with, you have the opportunity to reach new audiences while sharing your knowledge and expertise in imaginative and even artistic ways. Think about creating a nutritional guide or children’s book.
Starting a vegan business isn’t exactly easy, but it can reap great rewards. According to Vevolution, now is the time to do just that — there are 3.5 million vegans in the UK alone. If you see a gap in the plant-based market that’s preventing people from transitioning to a plant-based diet (such as the lack of vegan Battenburg in supermarkets), use it to your advantage!
And if the current pandemic has cast doubts on your ideas for starting a business, take a look at plant-based meat brand THIS, which secured £3.5 million in their latest investment round (they even managed to get vegan footballer Chris Smalling on board).
If you want to get involved in activism but don’t have the time, donating to plant-based charities or animal sanctuaries is a quick way to do your part. Most of the time, donations are essential for charities to continue to run, and even the smallest contributions help.
Charities like Plant-Based Health Professionals use donations to fuel evidence-based campaigns. For example, a campaign can educate health professionals and the general public on plant-based nutrition, recommend public policies on diet and lifestyle, or request that hospitals remove processed meat such as bacon from their menu.
There are innumerable ways to promote plant-based living, no matter what your experience level. We hope this article has given you motivation to continue sharing the plant-based message. Even during these uncertain times, you can make an impact from a physical distance. Take a look at this list for more inspiration!
Does your project need funding?
If you’d like financial support for your advocacy, learn more about how VegFund grants help fund projects such as film screenings and learning events (both in-person and online), vegan challenges, mentorship programs, online campaigns, educational resources, and much more.