Activist Stories

FEATURED STORY

Veg-Curious Co-Workers? How One Advocate Designed a Vegan Lunch-and-Learn Series!

Out of curiosity, Brian Stafford collected data to gauge whether his co-workers were interested in learning about plant-based eating. Based on his results, he created Plant-Based Power Up, a program that shares resources such as recipes and peer-reviewed studies, as well as informational sessions with a Food For Life Instructor and curriculum from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

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FOOD SAMPLING (Community Events)

Doggie Dash 2018 vegan food sampling

Read about the activists who table at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s annual fundraiser, the Doggie Dash, a two-mile fun run that attracts 1,000 participants. Learn how offering vegan breakfast samples helped spark conversations with shelter animal supporters about making compassionate food choices to help all animals.

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Vegan food sampling outreach at popular Canadian Expo

In 2017, Montreal Vegetarian Society (MVA) reached 8,000 event attendees with vegan food samples at The Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert, which promotes quality food for our health and the environment. Learn how the Montreal Vegetarian Society volunteers engaged with people interested in learning more about the benefits of vegan living.

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Vegan food sampling at an eco-village

Solutionary Events of Florida hosted a vegan food-sampling event at St. Petersburg’s Eco-Village in 2017. The “Farm to Table Experience” was a one-day event where members of the local community were invited to explore an eco-village and learn all about sustainable living, including the benefits of whole-food, plant-based eating.

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PAID-PER-VIEW (Community Events)

19-year-old brings Beyond the Lies to Virginia college campuses

In 2018 and 2019, Erika held paid-per-view (PPV) outreach events at local college campuses. Learn how she convinced 149 non-vegans to watch a short but powerful film in exchange for a dollar. The film sparked long conversations and serious interest in reducing or eliminating the use of animal products.

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An iAnimal video outreach event

In 2018, vegan activists in the United Kingdom (UK) hosted their first iAnimal video outreach event at the University of Newcastle. This event was designed to raise awareness of the harms caused by factory farming as well as the benefits of plant-based eating, using the power of video footage (and free vegan cupcakes!).

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Video outreach campus tour

Dzīvnieku brīvība hosted 12 video “paid-per-view” (PPV) events with a food-focused twist at several facilities at the University of Latvia. This experience allowed vegan activists to engage with an open-minded audience and a target demographic (millennials, ages 15–35) in conversations on veganism and animal rights and welfare.

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FILM SCREENINGS (Community Events)

Pop-up film screening in Hong Kong

In December of 2018, Mayse Artisan Bakery organized a vegan buffet accompanied by a screening of The Last Pig at a local pop-up café. The film sparked conversation about animal rights and compassion, while the homemade food and fresh baked goods created a sense of community.

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A rural outreach film-screening program

During 2018, Indievillage facilitated multiple screenings in Australia of the film Kangaroo: A Love–Hate Story. The goal of the program was to raise awareness about the barbaric treatment of kangaroos, with a special aim to educate individuals who have a significant influence on local attitudes toward this beloved Australian icon.

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Italy’s vegan film-screening tour

Vegan activists from the Italian organization Essere Animali hosted a highly successful tour of the new feature-length documentary film, The Last Pig in October 2017. Allison Argo (the filmmaker) and Bob Comis (the protagonist) joined the Italian activists on the tour, igniting discussions across Italy and helping the film gain nationwide visibility.

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FESTIVALS & FAIRS (Community Events)

Animal Pride Day 2019

In July of 2019, the animal rights group Animal Pride organized the first-ever Animal Pride March and festival in Konstanz, Germany. The festival featured vegan food and drink, speeches, music, artists, and a children’s tent. Learn how the event drew about 500 people from Switzerland and Germany, as well as 30 national and international animal rights and welfare organizations.

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Rice VegFest – Second Edition

Rice Vegan Society and the Peaceful Planet Foundation were proud to present the Second Annual Rice VegFest on March 24, 2019, at the Rice University Memorial Center in Houston, Texas. The family-friendly event was free and open to the public. Learn how organizers tripled their audience for a highly successful vegfest.

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Iowa’s first-ever vegan festival

Vegan activists organized the first-ever Iowa Vegfest in 2017 with great success. Attendees formed a line that wrapped around the community center even before the doors opened! Learn how the organizers planned a vegfest that attracted 1,200 attendees as well as local media attention while sharing information about vegan living.

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A summertime vegfest in Belgium

Belgium animal rights organization BE Vegan was delighted with the outcome of their summer vegfest, Vegan Summer Fest 2017, which attracted between 4,000 and 4,500 people. Entry to the full event was free, and an estimated 1,000 event attendees were non-vegan. Read on to find out what made this vegan festival a great success.

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LEARNING EVENTS (Community Events)

Supporting Communities of Color through Plant-Based Nutrition

In late 2020, eight Food for Life instructors took part in “Cooking to Combat COVID-19,” a community education initiative by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. VegFund awarded grants to the instructors, who offered a series of four classes at no cost to the students. Following the program, the first cohort of students reported positive outcomes after eating fewer or no animal products.

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Lagos Goes Vegan – and beyond

In April of 2019, Joshua Borokinni hosted the Lagos Goes Vegan Conference. This high-energy, media-friendly event was the first of several vegan outreach events that Joshua has organized. Learn how Joshua used powerful marketing strategies to drum up enthusiasm in his community while rewriting the narrative of what it means to be vegan in a modern African society.

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The first vegan pledge event in New Orleans

Peace Advocacy Network (PAN) has been running successful vegan pledge programs across the United States since 2010. In 2017, PAN took their pledge to New Orleans for the first time. Learn how PAN inspired 50 percent of participants to continue a plant-based diet after completion of the 30-day pledge and the rest to reduce their consumption of animal products.

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Preventive Cardiology Conference

Montefiore Medical Center in New York hosted the 2017 Preventive Cardiology Conference. Learn how this conference sold out their event and provided much-needed information about the health benefits of plant-based living, to a targeted audience of mostly medical professionals and inspiring attendees to change their life for the better.

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ONLINE CAMPAIGNS

How Faunalytics Makes Animal Advocacy More Effective

Faunalytics empowers animal advocates with the research, analyses, strategies, and messages they need to be effective. Their goal is to help animals by making relevant research data easy to access and understand. Learn how how their new video series, Faunalytics Explains, makes it even easier for animal advocates to access the data they need.

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How Descubrir La Comida gets 12,000+ new subscribers/month

Descubrir La Comida is an online and community campaign with the objectives of educating people about the realities of farm animals’ lives and supporting those transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Read about how they get more than 12,000 new subscribers per month.

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“Count Your Colors” — Making vegan easy

Count Your Colors is an online video series designed to show people how easy and delicious it can be to eat vegan! Through sharing weekly recipes inspired by the colors of the plant kingdom, this fun campaign is inspiring long-lasting behavior change that benefits people, animals, and the planet.

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Veganuary 2021: 200% sign-up increase in 3 years!

Veganuary is a charity that encourages people across the world to experience vegan living for the month of January, a time of new challenges and new beginnings! Learn how this free online campaign has provided support and guidance on how to go vegan to more than half a million people from 190 countries.

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Special Projects

Veg-Curious Co-Workers? How One Advocate Designed a Vegan Lunch-and-Learn Series!

Out of curiosity, Brian Stafford collected data to gauge whether his co-workers were interested in learning about plant-based eating. Based on his results, he created Plant-Based Power Up, a program that shares resources such as recipes and peer-reviewed studies, as well as informational sessions with a Food For Life Instructor and curriculum from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

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The Rapid Growth of Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week

Partnerships are powerful! What started as Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week in 2017 became Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week by 2019, and the idea is expanding across the East Coast! Learn how this initiative is bridging the gap between consumers and restaurants by increasing the awareness and accessibility of vegan food through a fun, innovative, and community-based experience.

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How Knights for Animal Rights thrives as a University Club

Knights for Animal Rights (KAR) is finding creative ways to sustain their activities in the short and long term. As a club at the University of Central Florida, they raise awareness against animal cruelty through a variety of fun and focused community events. Their story is a great example for vegan activists, especially if you’re looking to create a university group — or if your organization experiences volunteer turnover.

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Adapting plant-based education during COVID-19

Eugenia Soliterman, affectionately known as Nurse Eugenia, is a family nurse practitioner who created The Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diets Bootcamp Series to support her patients suffering from chronic and preventable illnesses. But, when the COVID crisis began, Nurse Eugenia transitioned her classes to a virtual platform. Learn how the online version of the series has exceeded expectations and now has the potential to help more people than ever.

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The kitchen that fuels the Akashinga vegan warriors

In Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley, the local heroes are an all-female, all-vegan, anti-poaching unit. Akashinga (“The Brave Ones”) have made global news headlines and are the subject of a short film from James Cameron and National Geographic Documentary Films. Learn how these rangers fuel their mission to protect wildlife.

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The Bull City Vegan Challenge

During the Bull City Vegan Challenge (BCVC), restaurants offer one new, 100% plant-based menu item, and restaurant-goers vote for their favorite dish. Learn how Bull City Vegan hosts a city-wide, month-long challenge to promote local vegan dining options in Durham, North Carolina.

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The Synagogue Vegan Challenge

In 2017, five synagogues in the United States and Canada committed to vegan educational programs for one year and received a $5,000 grant upon completion of The Synagogue Vegan Challenge. Learn how Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy launched this first-of-its-kind challenge to encourage veganism within the Jewish community and see how they’ve grown since then.

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2018 culinary competition and wellness expo

In March 2018, Real Food for Kids (RFFK) hosted its 6th Annual Culinary Competition & Wellness Expo at a secondary school in Alexandria, Virginia, bringing together a wonderfully supportive gathering of parents, educators, students, and other community members from across the area. This innovative educational outreach event had one singular objective — to engage students in the issue of school food.

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Promoting consistency in the labeling of plant-based products

In 2017, the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) conducted research on the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling restrictions of plant-based milks. This research laid the foundations for the first voluntary standards in the labeling of plant-based products and will help establish a fair and competitive marketplace for alternatives to animal products.

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Apply for a research grant

The body of research literature on the negative impacts of animal agriculture, the benefits of vegan lifestyle choices, the science of behavior change, and other relevant issues is growing. VegFund offers grants to researchers contributing to our vision of a compassionate world in which all people adopt a vegan lifestyle.

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