In my upcoming book, the 2018 edition (and third edition) of The Essential Vegan Travel Guide, I’ve added a couple of brand-new sections: the Top 25 Vegan-Friendly Cities in 2018 (previously this was a list of the top 10…but there are so many now I couldn’t limit myself t just 10) and an all-new vegan travel activism section.
I’m so, so excited about the travel activism section and I couldn’t wait to get the word out about how to promote veganism while travelling.
Last week I shared with you my tips on how to spread the vegan message while travelling through education and volunteering.
This week I want to show you how to promote veganism anywhere in the world via advocacy and activism.
How to Promote Veganism While Travelling Through Advocacy
You might not even realise it, but you likely engage in vegan advocacy every time you travel!
Each time you enter a restaurant and ask if they have any vegan dishes, you demonstrate a demand for vegan food. This will be noted as increasing demand and strengthens the likelihood of more and more restaurants offering vegan options. Therefore, don’t be afraid to go into a restaurant that doesn’t have any vegan dishes marked on the menu and ask if they have any vegan options. In so doing, you proclaim that there are customers for vegan food. This simple gesture, repeated by others, will encourage restaurants to either clearly label their existing vegan dishes and/or add vegan dishes to their menu. Just like that, you’re an advocate for veganism!
Tell restaurants to mark their vegan dishes with a “V” or a vegan symbol, and to put on their website that they have vegan options (so people can find them when searching for vegan options online).
If you’re a good cook, offer suggestions on how the restaurant could easily adapt some existing dishes to make them vegan! Some chefs who aren’t experienced with vegan food might not realise how easy it is and how they could make their dishes suitable for vegans so easily.
Support local vegan businesses when you travel. If there are vegan restaurants in your destination, visit and support them!
Advocacy isn’t just limited to restaurants and cafes, though… Hotels are a great forum for advocacy, too! If you’re staying in a hotel or B&B that serves breakfast, ask in advance if they can provide plant-based milk and vegan breakfast options.
Don’t just stop with requests for vegan food, though. If you’re staying at a hotel that provides toiletries, it’s worth askingi f they can provide cruelty-free and vegan shampoos and soaps. While a growing number of hotels are offering vegan breakfasts and room service options, non-food items like toiletries are an overlooked area. It’s worth advocating for more vegan toiletries as demand is often seen as need and translates to results. Mission accomplished!
Maybe you are into traditional forms of activism, like protests, marches and demonstrations, and you want to continue your activism while you’re on the road. One of the best parts of travelling is connecting with others and you’ll find a special camaraderie in vegan activism. Plus, when you connect with local activists around the world, you’ll expand your community, exchange ideas and tactics and contribute to the vegan cause.
You can find local vegan activism groups on Facebook or Meetup.com. Be aware of local laws though — some countries prohibit protests and you don’t want to end up in jail!
Several readers have recommended searching for the local branch of Anonymous for the Voiceless/Cube of Truth, which organises silent street protests where masked individuals hold up videos of abuse in animal agriculture (while others nearby are available to answer questions and speak to interested members of the public). In my book, Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan and Christina, aka the Veganized Viking both share their powerful stories of Anonymous for the Voiceless.
More Opportunities to Promote Veganism While Travelling
I’ve got many more tips and stories in the upcoming 2018 edition of The Essential Vegan Travel Guide, out on April 9th.
Also, if you missed it, last week in Part 1 of this guide we talked about how to promote veganism while travelling through education and volunteering. I included some easy ideas such as sharing your meals with your Airbnb host or fellow host guests or volunteering for local vegan societies as you travel.