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It’s hard to ignore the explosive growth of plant-based living. Practically every supermarket and fast-food chain has 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 wide range of vegan food options. And amid a global pandemic, plant-based meat brands have seen sales surge as people are becoming more aware of the many dangers of meat and animal agriculture. In fact, market researches predict the whole plant-based food market will be worth a staggering $74.2 billion by the year 2027.
If you’ve witnessed the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle yourself, whether it be improved health or simply a clearer conscience, you’ve probably already tried to get your friends and family on board. Whether you’re an experienced vegan activist or a health and wellness professional wanting to encourage more people to ditch animal products and become healthier – there are simple ways to promote plant-based living.
Here are 11 examples that you’ve perhaps never thought about before.
1. Use your influence on social media
Even if you’re not an Instagram influencer with millions of followers – never underestimate the power of social media. It takes two seconds to repost an inspiring quote from Joker star Joaquin Phoenix on your story, and could spark conversation between your work colleagues, friends, and family.
Telling your own personal story of plant-based living can also be a powerful tool. Perhaps you’ve witnessed an incredible body transformation since cutting out animal products – or maybe you’re working with patients/ clients who’ve transformed their life on a plant-based diet.
Introduce your followers to accounts like Nutritionfacts.org and Switch4Good so they can be inspired by plant-based recipes, scientific research, and celebrity quotes. You could even start your own hashtag like #PlantPoweredFridays to get more people involved.
Social media is also a great way to draw people into the lifestyle based on their specific interests. If you know your friend is keen to reduce their carbon footprint – show them an infographic on how eco-friendly a plant-based diet can be. Or, if they’re 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 round 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, are filled with scientifically-backed information, and are a great way to initiate conversation.
Most films take on one of the three main reasons why people ditch animal products (ethics, environment, and health) – you can check out VegFund’s film recommendations which are categorized into simple topic codes.
Additionally, you can apply for one of VegFund’s FIlm Screening grants which will cover the cost of licensing the film and other event-related expenses including venue rental, vegan food samples, and marketing – this is a great way to spread the plant-based message en masse.
3. Cook plant-based for your family/friends
There’s an outdated belief that plant-based food can’t be tasty and enjoyable. But cooking a delicious plant-based meal for your loved ones is a great way to show them that cutting out animal products doesn’t mean their taste buds have to suffer.
Or, why not introduce them to an online cooking class? Whilst Covid-19 has postponed many face-to-face events, several plant-based companies have launched online cooking tutorials on social media platforms such as Instagram.
If you see yourself as 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 plant-based message
Vegan clothing businesses have propelled into the mainstream in recent years – and donning a t-shirt with a pro-plant-based message is perhaps the simplest way of promoting the lifestyle to every single person you pass on the streets.
You can get creative and make your own, try and find a second hand t-shirt on sites like Ebay, upcycle an item of clothing you already have, or support sustainable brands like Vegan Outfitters and their ‘Powered by Plants’ t-shirts: they also make great gifts!
5. Sign petitions
Signing online petitions is a quick and effective way of promoting the plant-based lifestyle and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
It takes two seconds to add your signature to a petition putting 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 also share these kinds of petitions onto social media once you’ve signed them to further spread awareness. Check sites like change.org and avaaz.org to find some, or create your own!
6. Take small actions to be more active
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. It’s also a great way to bring your advocacy online – as many meetups are still prohibited due to the pandemic.
You can also reach out for local volunteering opportunities – or find virtual events like film streamings and online cooking classes. Even during the pandemic, there’s still ways to get out there and volunteer – check out charities like Support + Feed (created by Maggie Baird, the mother of Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell) that are supporting vegan eateries as well as feeding the vulnerable.
7. Organize your own event
There have been an array of online events focussing on plant-based nutrition and health during the pandemic such as the Food Revolution Summit – which are a great way to educate yourself and introduce your friends/ family to learning more about plant-based diets.
If you’re a health professional yourself, why not set up your own summit or create your own video series? You could apply for a VegFund grant to help cover marketing costs and reach out to well known figures within the plant-based nutrition field – you never know who you could persuade to get involved!
8. Get plant-fit
You don’t need to be Nimai Delgado or a fitness guru to promote the plant-based diet benefits with your gym peers. Being an exercise enthusiast gives you the opportunity to use your body as the perfect example of how you can thrive eating a WFPB diet.
If you’re ready to do more, you’d organize a nutritional talk at the gym. Invite a health expert, plant-based nutritionist and more fitness fans to offer a full program.
9. Create an educational resource
Developing creative educational pieces is a tremendous way to advocate for a plant-based lifestyle.
If you’re a nutrition expert or know someone to partner with, you have the opportunity of reaching new audiences while sharing your knowledge and expertise in imaginative and even artistic ways. Think about creating a nutritional guide or a cute coloring children’s book.
10. Start a vegan/ plant-based business
Starting a vegan business isn’t exactly easy, but it can reap great rewards. If you think there is a gap in the plant-based market that is preventing people from transitioning to the plant-based market (aka the lack of vegan Battenburg in supermarkets) then use it to your advantage!
And if the current pandemic has cast doubt on the very idea of starting a business – just take a look at plant-based meat brand THIS who secured £3.5 million in their latest investment round (they even managed to get vegan footballer Chris Smalling on board).
11. Donate to plant-based charities
If you want to get involved in activism, but simply don’t have the time – donating to plant-based charities or animal sanctuaries is a quick way to help do your part. Most of the time, donations are essential for charities to continue running, and even the smallest amount of money can go a long way.
Charities like Plant Based Health Professionals use donations to fuel evidence-based campaigns such as pressuring the government to adopt a plant-based food system and pressuring hospitals to remove processed meat such as bacon from their menu.
There are hundreds more ways to promote plant-based living, no matter what your experience level, but hopefully this article will have given you enough inspiration to continue spreading 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 inspo!
If you think your financial situation could be a hindrance to your advocacy – VegFund offers grants to help fund events like film screenings, food sampling, research, and much more.
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