This September, in town squares around the country, at food festivals, outside restaurants and from our own dining room tables, Viva! supporters rallied together taking action to save wildlife while putting an end to animal suffering. Together and individually, we took to the streets and got active online to spread awareness of the widescale positive impact we can all have by simply making the switch to a vegan diet.
This collective action was part of Viva!’s Swaps to Save Wildlife Week of Action, promoting our recent Eating the Earth campaign. Alongside drawing attention to the impacts that meat, dairy, fish and eggs are having on the world’s wildlife, the week of action focused on raising awareness of the simple vegan swaps that are available on the high street.
Several vegan groups got involved as 17 stalls were held across the UK – using Viva!’s Swaps to Save Wildlife stall packs. From the cityscape of Glasgow all the way to the rural settings of Redruth in Cornwall, people got together to celebrate vegan food and how it provides one of the key solutions to the climate and ecological crises that the world is currently facing.
In Stoke-on-Trent animal rights activists helped people make the connection that what we eat in the UK has far-reaching consequences, while handing out a variety of free vegan food samples including Smoked Applewood cheese and meat substitutes from Aldi’s extensive Plant Menu range.
In a Cornish village, one couple held not one but five outreach events all with a different theme to showcase the amazing diversity of vegan cuisine. They had a pizza night, summer picnic, curry night, afternoon tea and ended with a plant-based BBQ. Inspired by how well these events were received, they have set up a Facebook page and website called The Cornish Snacktivist – an educational platform about the impact of animal agriculture on the planet.
Stratford-upon-Avon’s event gained traction in local newspapers when the stall was held as part of the annual food festival, impressively putting vegan food and activism on the map in a historically meat and dairy heavy environment. The stall got a lot of footfall and positive responses, with the Mayor Gill Cleeve, a passionate vegan herself, getting involved, helping raise awareness of the wild animals being impacted by eating meat and dairy.
Viva! staff also joined in on the streets, in partnership with our fantastic local volunteer group, to change the minds and hearts of the Bristol public. We gave out free vegan cheese samples – where some people were so pleasantly surprised by the vegan Applewood that they said they could see themselves making the switch to plant-based alternatives. Other cities where stalls were held empowering the public over this Week of Action included Blackpool, Coventry, Scarborough, Cambridge and Glasgow.
Getting Active Online
In addition to in-person outreach events, supporters got active online to raise awareness of our crucial messages, taking part in our daily actions across the week. Actions included asking people to sign-up to become a door-dropper of our impactful Eating the Earth leaflet – after which we saw a surge of requests for the leaflet packs meaning that we will reach nearly 5,000 households across the UK that might not have heard of Viva! or the Eating the Earth campaign before.
And the week didn’t stop there! At Viva! we were busy focusing on the ‘why’ it is vital that we make the switch to a vegan diet on Viva!’s social media channels, using eye-catching infographics and sharing the heartbreaking stories of wildlife threatened with extinction due to meat, dairy, fish and eggs demand.
We are ecstatic to see that this week has inspired action, created new connections, involved local businesses, and welcomed activists old and new to spread our important campaign messages. Overall, this week of action brought activists from all walks of life together and showcased that with empowering messages and good food the public are extremely receptive to talking about veganism.
Together we will continue fighting for the planet and all the animals who live on it.
Continue to get involved
You can still get involved in our Eating the Earth campaign by holding your own Swaps to Save Wildlife stall or door-dropping our impactful campaign leaflet.