Take Action

Many people wonder what they can do to help build a more compassionate, equitable, and sustainable food system. Check out the resources below to take action. Last updated: Thursday, June 2, 2022

 

Farmed Animal Advocacy

Worldwide, billions of animals are farmed for human consumption, trillions if we consider fish. What organizations can you support to help them?

  • Support an organization advocating on behalf of farmed animals. Animal Charity Evaluators is dedicated to identifying organizations that help animals most effectively. Check out their 2021 Recommended Charities here, which include Faunalytics, The Humane League, Anima International, Dharma Voices for Animals, Essere Animali, FIAPO, Mercy For Animals, Sinergia Animal, xiaobuVEGAN, and more.
  • Sign CIWFs petition calling on world banks to stop funding factory farms.
  • Visit a sanctuary for farmed animals with family and friends. According to a study by Faunalytics, attending a sanctuary tour can inspire people to change their diets in the long term. Check out the Farm Animal Sanctuary Directory by vegan.com and the map compiled by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to find a sanctuary near you.
  • Consider volunteering at an animal sanctuary.
  • Would you like to turn your advocacy into a career? Head over to Animal Advocacy Careers and Vegan Jobs.
  • Check out Encompass’ Talent Database for Black, Indigenous, and people of the global majority interested in using their talent to support the animal protection movement.
  • Are you planning to launch your own animal advocacy project? VegFund empowers animal advocates worldwide through grant funding.
  • Are you a student or teacher? Schedule a presentation by Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC) at your school to start a classroom discussion about the connections between industrial animal agriculture and many global crises. FFAC also offers educational programs for high school and college students.
  • Are you a veterinarian interested in taking a stand on behalf of farmed animals? Check out the project Our Honor.
  • Take care of yourself. Faced with the realities of factory farming, many animal advocates feel overwhelmed. Check out this self-care guide compiled by The Humane League.
  • Sign Animal Equality’s petition calling for a ban on the importation of foie gras made by force-feeding in the U.K.
  • Sign the petition launched by the European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe, collecting 1 million signatures to ban fur farms and farmed fur products in the EU.

 

Workers’ Rights

Our current food system is based on worker exploitation. Meat industry workers, for example, are often members of vulnerable groups, including minorities, undocumented immigrants, and refugees. How can you help the food industry and farmworkers?

  • Brave New Life Project supports workers to transition out of the animal agriculture industry by providing them with one-on-one employment assistance.
  • Sign this petition started by The Humane League to hold Tyson Foods accountable for endangering workers’ lives during the pandemic.
  •  Venceremos is working to ensure the human rights of poultry workers. Vencermos has also started a petition to protect workers from COVID-19.
  • Support the Food Empowerment Project’s work to ensure farmworker rights by supporting corporate, legislative, and regulatory changes.
  • The Public Justice Food Project works to build a food system that ensures the health, safety, and dignity of work for food system workers.
  • The HEAL Food Alliance, a multi-sector and multi-racial coalition supported by the Food Chain Workers Alliance, also works to protect food workers.

 

Dietary Change

Our current consumption of animals fuels the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance, and many other issues. Animal agriculture also involves the slaughter of trillions of sentient beings every year. Fortunately, there are resources designed to help us to transition to more plant-based diets.

  • Sign up for Veganuary, a program that helps people worldwide to go vegan during January.
  • In February, the Afro-Vegan Society celebrates Black History Month by hosting Veguary, a free month-long online program that highlights the achievements of Black trailblazers and encourages people to try a vegan lifestyle for a month.
  • If you want to give veganism a try in April, sign up for VegWeek.
  • Vegan Outreach offers the “10 Weeks to Vegan” program designed to help people in 40+ countries to try a plant-based diet. They also match participants with local vegan mentors.
  • Head over to Switch4Good to learn how to go dairy-free.
  • Check out the Vegan Women Summit, a global event and media organization created to empower women to build a kinder, more sustainable world.
  • The Universal Meals program developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine helps to offer meals that work for almost every type of diet. Share the recipes they developed with The Culinary Institute of America to help companies, schools, universities, and other public institutions to provide more inclusive meals.
  • Green Tuesday Initiative is another program to help organizations reduce their environmental footprint by offering more plant-based diets.
  • Check out DefaultVeg, an organization that works to make plant-based food the default.
  • Sentient Media also reports on the best ways to transition to more plant-based diets. Check our recipes, plant-based guide, and 20 top vegan protein sources.
  • Looking for a restaurant that offers plant-based options? Head over to HappyCow and find vegan-friendly food sites worldwide.
  • Food Empowerment Project’s guide helps you find plant-based replacements for animal products.
  • Attend vegfest to taste delicious vegan food available near you.
  • Contribute fruits, veggies, and other plant-based foods to a local community fridge.

 

Marine Animals

Trillions of marine animals are caught and raised for food every year. Check out these organizations and resources dedicated to protecting marine life and ocean ecosystems.

  • Reduce your consumption of seafood by checking out these recipes and World of Vegan’s seafood guide.
  • The Aquatic Life Institute has created a coalition of animal organizations urging labeling schemes such as GLOBALG.A.P. to consider the sentience of fish.
  • Oceana strives to protect marine life and has already protected almost 4 million square miles of ocean.
  • The Ocean Outlaw Project is a non-profit journalism organization that produces investigative ocean stories about human rights, environmental issues, and labor concerns.
  • Sea Shepherd Education provides resources for teachers and students, and kids’ activities.

 

Timely Action

Food system change requires year-round action. Check out the events, programs, and other opportunities below to learn what is going on this month. We have also included opportunities to engage on social media since a 2022 study found that social media posts can transform diets.

  • January:
    • Sign up for Veganuary.
    • The U.S. celebrates National Milk Day on January 11. Share information about the ethical, health, and environmental impacts of dairy farming on social media (#NationalMilkDay).
  • February:
  • March:
    • March 1 is National Pig Day, a good time to share information on social media about how animal agriculture impacts pigs (#NationalPigDay).
    • March 22 marks World Water Day, so consider addressing the impact of animal agriculture on global water bodies (#WorldWaterDay) or take part in local action.
  • April:
    • Sign up for Veg Week.
    • Celebrate Earth Day, a day highlighting the need for environmental action every year on April 22. Check out Earth Day’s dietary guide and share other resources on how dietary change can help to tackle climate change (#EarthDay).
    • Contribute your time to a local non-profit for National Volunteer Week and Global Volunteer Month.
  • May:
    • Participate in Mental Health Awareness Month by taking good care of yourself and other food and animal advocates. Check out this self-care guide compiled by The Humane League and raise awareness on social media (#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth).
    • Learn about the dangers of ag-gag laws on World Press Freedom Day, which takes place every year on May 3 (#WorldPressFreedomDay).
    • May 22 marks the U.N.’s International Day of Biological Diversity, a good opportunity to explore how agriculture impacts ecosystems and biodiversity (#BiodiversityDay).
  • June:
    • Raise awareness about dairy farming on World Milk Day, which takes place on June 1 every year (#WorldMilkDay).
    • Animal Rights Awareness Week takes place during the third week in June every year and often focuses on companion animals. Raise awareness about the experiences of farmed animals during this week (#AnimalRightsAwarenessWeek).
    • National Animal Rights Day is observed annually on the first Sunday of June (#AnimalRightsDay).
  • July:
    • Plastic Free July is a movement that helps people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Raise awareness about the plastic pollution caused by fishing during July (#PlasticFreeJuly).
  • August:
    • World Plant Milk Day is hosted by Plant Based News every year on August 22. Join the celebration and discussions about the benefits of plant-based milk (#WorldPlantMilkDay).
  • September:
  • October:
  • November:
    • Support organizations that advocate for food system change on Giving Tuesday.
    • Raise awareness about the health risks associated with animal agriculture during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which runs from 18 to 24 November (#WorldAntimicrobialAwarenessWeek).
  • December:

 

Advancing Racial Equity

Marginalized communities are especially impacted by the inequalities of our current food system. At the same time, many People of the Global Majority work to build a more inclusive food system. Here are some groups to check out, follow, and support.

  • APEX Advocacy strives to increase the number of BIPOC individuals who participate in animal activism.
  • Vegans for Black Lives Matter accepts vegan members on every walk of their journey. The group highlights the importance of demonstrating compassion for the plight of humans as well as animals.
  • Harlem Grown is a non-profit that strives to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives by providing mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition.
  • Grow Where You Are is a social enterprise in the field of local food systems. The initiative partners with organizations and individuals to bring food abundance to communities and works to produce local food without harming animals.
  • Mariposas Rebeldes is an Indigenous and Latinx collective working to foster community, restore relationships to the land that were lost through forced dispossession, imagine alternatives to capitalism, and promote food autonomy through cooperative agriculture.
  • The Food Empowerment Project (FEP) is a vegan food justice organization centered on people who have been most harmed by the contemporary industrial and colonial food system—BIPOC, farmworkers, and women of color.
  • Community group East Oakland Collective pushes back against racist policies and fights for meaningful, lasting change—including equitable access to food.
  • The Afro-Indigenous-centered community farm Soul Fire Farm distributes food to communities in food deserts and reaches 10,000 people each year through its initiatives.
  • Veggie Mijas is a collective for people interested in plant-based lifestyles who have marginalized identities and/or experiences with food insecurity or food apartheid.
  • Afro-Vegan Society is a non-profit organization working to provide resources and support to help people in marginalized communities transition to vegan living.
  • Black Veg Society educates the public, predominantly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, on the benefits of plant-based diets.
  • The 10 Million Black Vegan Women Movement plant-based nutrition and community support to support the health of African American women.
  • Chilis on Wheels make veganism accessible to marginalized communities in the US through meal shares, food demos, clothing drives, and mentorship.
  • Earthseed Land Collective is a collective led by Black and Brown leaders addressing systemic oppression through cooperative ownership of land, democratic decision marking, skill-sharing, and land stewardship models.

 

Global South

Communities in the Global South are disproportionately affected by food choices made in the Global North. Here are organizations that work to build compassionate, sustainable, and equitable food systems in the Global South.

  • The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) is an Indian organization working to help farmed animals and increase the availability of plant-based products.
  • xiaobuVEGAN is a Chinese organization working to help farmed animals through dietary change.
  • Vegetarianos Hoy is a Chilean non-profit promoting more ethical, healthy, and sustainable ways of eating.
  • The Food Empowerment Projects speaks out against animal abuse, environmental degradation caused by factory farming, unfair working conditions for farmworkers, and issues of food apartheid. They provide resources about ethical food choices, including a chocolate list.
  • A Well-Fed World is an international food security organization advancing plant-based foods. Among many other projects, they run Plants-4-Hunger, a program that supports plant-based hunger relief projects.
  • Million Dollar Vegan provides education about the benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle and provides free plant-based meals to essential workers and underserved communities around the world.
  • KARA is a non-profit based in South Korea working to close dog meat farms.
  • Unión Vegetariana Argentina promotes plant-based diets in Argentina.
  • EligeVeg is a program run by Mercy For Animals that collaborates with companies to help them increase their competitiveness by providing delicious, innovative, and sustainable solutions through an increase in plant-based foods.
  • Amor por los Animales Bolivia (APLAB) promotes respect and compassion for animals through education, volunteering, social-political awareness, and citizen participation.

 

Environmental Action

The environmental impacts of animal agriculture are chronically underreported. Check out these resources and organizations and learn how to take action.

  • Our World in Data, a project by Oxford University, provides extensive information about the environmental impacts of food production, including a comparison of cows’ milk and plant-based milk and different protein sources.
  • Calculate your diet’s foodprint with the BBC’s Climate Change Food Calculator.
  • The Center for Biodiversity provides information about how animal agriculture negatively impacts biodiversity.
  • Check out Earth Day’s dietary guide and share other resources on how dietary change can help to tackle climate change on April 22.
  • Learn about environmentally-friendly diets in A Well-Fed World’s Eco Food Guide.
  • Have you ever heard the argument that many people cannot afford to adopt plant-based diets for environmental reasons? Invite them to take a look at this study.
  • Would you like to know more about the climate claims and emissions of meat and dairy companies? Check out this study by GRAIN and IATP and DeSmog’s profiles of JBS, Tyson, Vion, and Danish Crown. According to a 2022 study, the emissions of JBS are now bigger than Italy’s.
  • Despite its massive climate impact, meat players often portray meat as sustainable and essential to feed the world. Check out the industry’s most common environmental claims and how experts respond to them at DeSmog.
  • If you want to learn how to tackle widespread claims about the environmental impacts of cattle grazing, take a look at “Grazing Facts.” Their resources include case studies, a webinar series, and a list of grazing myths.

 

Animal Testing

Every year, millions of animals are used as test subjects in laboratory research. What can you do to help them?

 

Farm Transitions

Food system change is impossible without farmers. Check out these resources for farmers who want to transition from raising animals to growing plants for food.

  • Miyoko’s Dairy Farm Transition program offers opportunities to dairy farmers who want to explore alternatives to their current operations.
  • Mercy for Animals’ Transfarmation project helps farmers transition from industrial animal agriculture to plant-focused farms raising plants such as hemp and mushrooms.
  • Animal Outlook, Miyoko’s, and Mercy For Animals have created an online toolkit for U.S. livestock farmers that includes state-specific resources.
  • Rowdy Girl Sanctuary has launched the Rancher Advocacy Program (RAP) for farmers who want to build a more sustainable and compassionate food system. The 4th RAP Summit takes place on 30 July 2022.

 

Media Outreach

A 2022 study found that news articles about animal agriculture can have a positive impact on people’s diets. Unfortunately, the media rarely reports on the impacts of animal agriculture. Check out these resources to transform our food system through writing and photography.

  • Register for Sentient Media’s “Advocate to Journalist” course and learn how to write and get stories published.
  • Apply to become a member of Sentient Media’s Writers’ Collective to access benefits, such as our online courses and a biweekly “writing opportunities” newsletter.
  • Health news and diet news especially can be confusing and is sometimes influenced by lobbyism. Check our five steps on how to navigate this tricky media landscape better.
  • Check out research provided by Sentience Institute to learn how many animals are raised on factory farms in the U.S.
  • We Animals provides 13,000+ royalty-free images and video clips that document the experiences of animals worldwide. They also offer a masterclass and a fellowship for those interested in telling animal stories through photo- and videojournalism.
  • The media sometimes perpetuates misleading claims spread by industry lobby groups. Learn which narratives and strategies agribusinesses use to resist science-based climate action in DeSmog’s Agribusiness Database.
  • Undercover investigations conducted by organizations such as Animal Equality, Animal Justice Project, Government Accountability Project, and SEED Undercover Investigations play a crucial role when it comes to exposing the secretive livestock industry. Keep an eye out for new information exposed by investigators.

Did we miss something? Please send details for new resources, events, and opportunities to [email protected] and we’ll add them to the list.

 

Featured image credit: Land der Tiere