MFA's GUIDE TO
IMPROVING YOUR ADVOCACY SKILLS

Going vegetarian is a great way to help animals on factory farms. But by also inspiring others to change their diets, you can spare thousands of animals per year from a life of misery. Here are some key tips on how to be a more effective advocate.

STEP
ONE
BE KIND, POSITIVE, UPBEAT AND FRIENDLY

People are much more likely to listen to us if they like us. By being positive and friendly—even when someone is giving us a hard time—we can stay true to our compassionate values and also be effective advocates. Rather than respond with defensiveness, we can disarm even the most committed carnivore with kindness and a sense of humor.

STEP
TWO
MAKE IT COOL, EASY AND FUN

Vegan eating has been stereotyped in ways that may deter people from really considering it. By presenting it in an appealing way, we can make people more interested in trying it out. Rather than complaining about the lack of vegan options at one restaurant, praise the tons of great vegan options somewhere else. People are drawn to things that are popular and that others are doing. Showing the growing popularity of veg eating, and mentioning celebrities who have ditched meat, can inspire others to follow suit.

STEP
THREE
DON'T BE JUDGMENTAL

Nobody likes to be judged or told what to do, and no one wants to think of themselves as a bad person. Research makes clear that guilt-tripping people about their choices makes them even less likely to change. So regardless of how you actually feel, don't act judgmentally toward others or tell them that they are killing animals. Is it true? Maybe. But you’ll be more likely to save those animals by not presenting it that way.

STEP
FOUR
SPEAK TO WHAT PEOPLE ALREADY CARE ABOUT

Most people oppose unnecessary cruelty to animals, including farmed animals. Most people don't want the planet to be polluted. And most people would like to eat more healthily—or at least think they should. Yet, these interests are probably not reflected in their existing food choices. Point out that veg eating is right in line with what they already believe and who they already are: compassionate, conscientious people.

STEP
FIVE
GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR

The average meat-eater often sees going vegan as totally unrealistic. Most people spend years transitioning away from meat before going fully vegetarian or vegan. For people who are hesitant to make a major change, encourage them to start with a smaller switch like going meatless on Monday. Congratulate people for moving in the right direction, and praise their incremental steps.

STEP
SIX
SHOW PEOPLE HOW

Many people would be open to going vegetarian if they had a better sense of how to do it. Basic "how" questions like what to eat, where to shop, and how to be healthy as a vegetarian can seem like major barriers to change. By showing people how to do it, you'll make the transition much less scary.

STEP
SEVEN
BE CONFIDENT AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

The fact that you're actively taking steps to stop animal suffering and make the world a better place is something to be proud of. Learning some basic suggested responses to FAQs, meeting like-minded people through joining a local veg group, and appreciating yourself for living according to your values are fantastic ways to honor yourself and strengthen your voice as an advocate.

STEP
EIGHT
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT

People may ask you questions on various topics that you don't know that much about, such as nutrition or philosophy. Don't feel like you need to know the answer to every question. It's OK to respond with "Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to that. But for me, once I learned about how farmed animals suffer on factory farms, I knew that I wouldn't want anyone to treat my dog or cat like this. I decided I no longer wanted to support that cruelty, so I went vegetarian."

STEP
NINE
ADVERTISE

Advocacy is kind of like advertising, so get the veg message out as much as you can. Wearing a pro-vegetarian T-shirt, putting a sticker on the back of your laptop or car, and sharing MFA's posts on your social media pages are great ways to get people thinking. You can also order vegetarian literature to give out to friends and family, to leave at businesses, or to pass out on the street.

STEP
TEN
KEEP IMPROVING AS AN ACTIVIST

There are many excellent resources out there for learning more and becoming an even more effective advocate. Here are a few that we recommend:

A Meaningful Life: Making a Real Difference in Today's World

Looking Inward: Activism and Self-Identity

How Vegan? Ingredients vs. Results

Want to be a More Effective Advocate? Put the (Vegan) Shoe on the Other Foot

Effective Advocacy: Stealing from the Corporate Playbook

Becoming a more effective advocate takes practice, patience, and trial and error.
Thank you for all you do to make the world
a better place for animals!


    

 
 
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