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A Peek Into the Life of an Activist

Are activists just those loud people protesting, chanting their battle cries and waving their signs? Are they people who walk in marches and write letters to their congressional representatives? Or do they simply post their opinions on Facebook?  I like to think anyone can be an activist, as long as you believe in what you’re doing.  But some people are activists for a living, and this Wednesday, Vanderbilt will get to hear from one of these selfless people.


On October 12th, the Vanderbilt Initiative for Veg. Awareness (VIVA) will host an advocate from the national animal rights organization: The Humane League.  She is spending a month travelling across the south-eastern region of the U.S. to visit colleges.  On campus, she will be involved in three events: a Pay-Per-View, Leafleting, and a Presentation. 


Pay-Per-View: From 10-2 at Sarratt Promenade, there will be a table claiming that you get to make a dollar just by watching a video.  This isn’t a lie, it’s a Pay-Per-View style of activism. This allows The Humane League (THL) to share their undercover factory farm videos with many students.  Getting paid a dollar is just the incentive, but what VIVA and THL would love for our peers to learn is just how horrifying the animal agricultural industry truly is.  We’ll send you off with a Veg. Starter Kit and you’ll be a dollar richer…try not to spend it on beef jerky.


Leafleting: Students all keep our heads down and our headphones in on campus to avoid any awkward eye contact and god-forbid…people trying to summon your interest with a leaflet.  But studies have shown that 1 out of every 50 people given a vegetarian-activism leaflet will actually make the switch, so it’s worth the effort. Activists don’t want to ruin your day, so if you don’t read the leaflet at least recycle it.


A Crash Course in Compassion Presentation: In Garland 101 at 5 pm, The Humane League will discuss the change in our food industry over the past 60 years.  It’s more drastic than you might think, and not all negative changes involve animals.  Activists are kept up to date on all the legislative changes to our food system and have extensive knowledge concerning ethics and policies concerning the meat industry.  If you’ve ever had a question or interest in the philosophy behind vegetarian and veganism, this is the time to hear from an expert!


This is just one day in the life of an advocate, and most days she works from home, organizing Campus Representatives and helping design Humane League marketing initiatives and policy change campaigns.  The life of an advocate is a hands-on one, but their work can make all the difference in the lives of animals and the health of our environment.


VIVA hopes to see you at one of the events on campus this Wednesday!

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