I’ve been interested in animal rights for ages, but it wasn’t until I connected to the online community in the last several years, that I really started to see what is going on: the ideas, the arguments, the wins and losses, new products, and the larger conversation that is happening about animals.
If you are on any social media, read blogs, watch YouTube or just want to bookmark some sites, I’ve compiled a list of who I follow. This is, by no means, a complete compendium of every activist, thought leader, or worthy organization, but it’s a starting point. I will come back and update it if I learn that there is something/someone important that I forgot (or if someone points it out to me). Please add anything that you think is missing in the comments.
Unlike in the last post about sanctuaries, where I linked to multiple social media channels for each organization, I’m only linking to websites, here. Click around!
I am listing a few organizations that do general outreach and investigations, that I follow on various channels. I find these to be valuable because they share, not only what they are doing, but also news from around the world regarding veganism and animal rights. It’s also nice to support them with your follows, likes, shares, and comments.
- The Humane League – community and corporate outreach
- Mercy for Animals – undercover investigations, community and corporate outreach
- Animal Equality – undercover investigations, community and corporate
- Vegan Outreach – vegan outreach 😉
- PETA – the largest and most well known outreach organization; love them or hate them, they have made a huge impact for animals
- FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) – outreach and community organizers; founded by Alex Hershaft (Holocaust survivor and AR leader)
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a number of lawyers and few legal organizations making the fight for animals a full time job. It’s important to remember that the fight for justice is being waged on all fronts. Where some work on culture and reaching a critical mass of advocates, others work on helping individual animals in legal cases and establishing precedent for legal protections. Check out these organizations to see what they are up to and support them.
- Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)– files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm and set precedents
- Nonhuman Rights Project – focus on setting a precedent for the recognition and protection of fundamental rights for nonhuman animals
I don’t know what category to put these in. I am not religious, but I am Jewish and I know that veganism is booming in Israel and among Jewish communities around the world. Curious, I started following some Jewish vegan groups that approach outreach in different ways. I don’t follow any other religious groups, but I would be curious to see what outreach looks like in different communities.
This section also includes a campaign that expanded from a January thing to a year-round outreach tool, a data aggregator, and a funding organization.
- Shamayim V’aretz Institute – Jewish animal welfare organization that educates leaders, trains advocates, and leads campaigns for the ethical treatment of animals
- Jewish Veg – encouraging and help Jews to embrace plant-based diets as an expression of the Jewish values of compassion for animals, concern for health, and care for the environment.
- Veganuary – began a few years ago as a campaign to promote veganism as a new year’s resolution, it has turned into a robust, year-round, social media presence
- Faunalytics – research organization dedicated to helping animals by providing useful information to advocates to help them increase their impact
- VegFund – empowers vegan activists worldwide by funding and supporting effective outreach activities that inspire people to choose and maintain a vegan lifestyle
- VegNews – Probably the most popular printed magazine about vegan food, products and issues
- Laika – “LAIKA is a magazine. You could say it’s a quarterly vegan lifestyle magazine. Or you could say it is simply a clear assertion that a full, vibrant, exciting, interesting and satisfying life can be had — without ever having to inflict harm on another.”
Why is there only one thing on this list? I clearly don’t care about health. Maybe this is a project for another post… in the meantime the one item below is kind of amazing.
- Whole Health Club – a Colorado health club focusing on a vegan and holistic approach to fitness
Happy Animals (Sanctuaries)
It can be easy to feel hopeless when you immerse yourself in the reality of this issue. Sanctuaries can alleviate that hopelessness in a couple ways. 1. Witnessing animals that are not suffering is a relief. They are cute and happy and well fed and there is peace in that. 2. Knowing that these sanctuaries are valuable outreach tools is a good reason to support them with attention, publicity, and donations. There are so many that I follow that I put them into their own post.
There are a lot. I’m aspiring to be one of them. However, I’m only going to list a few excellent and popular ones (unless you send me more).
- Joyful Vegan (Colleen Patrick Goudrou) – This woman is awesome. She produces content on all fronts, is well-spoken and has developed a personal brand that appeals to a lot of very regular people.
- Vegan Bros (Phil and Matt Letton) – While kind of gimmicky, these two guys have a really solid philosophy of leading a revolution by example. They provide advice on how to do outreach effectively and make people envy the vegan life.
- Will Travel for Vegan Food (Kristin Lejuenesse) – At first glance, she may seem like just a food blogger, but I think Kristin is a superbly interesting person to follow because of the successful way that she created her own niche.
Vegan Food Blogs
There are too many… and this list has been made before. Here is a great list of vegan food blogs from The Minimalist Vegan. In addition, check out the way that BOSH makes cooking look simple and delicious with those trendy aerial view recipe videos.
- 300 Pound Vegan (David Carter) – former NFL player, Vegan Outreach
- Scott Jurek – ultrarunner; record breaker
- Patrik Baboumian – just look at this guy
- Rich Roll – named one of 25 fittest men by Men’s Fitness
- Meagan Duhamel – two-time world champion figure skater
- Tom Brady – Pretty much vegan; won five Super Bowls
- Entire NFL teams
Sorry guys. I am not linking to each celebrity’s personal site here, but I do think it’s worth looking over the list to see if there is anybody you might want to pay a bit more attention to. A fair number of these people are outspoken advocates for animals and they do interesting things. I only follow a few – Kat Von D, Moby, Russell Simmons, and Alicia Silverstone, but to each her own.
- Kat Von D
- Miley Cyrus
- Peter Dinklage
- Alicia Silverstone
- Joaquin Phonix
- Woody Harrelson
- Tony Kanal
- Russell Simmons
- Natalie Portman
- Ellen Page
- Jessica Chastain
- James Cromwell
- Ariana Grande
- Ellen Degeneres
- Liam Hemsworth
- Mayim Bialik
- Joan Jett
- Bellamy Young
- Casey Afflek
- Stevey Wonder
- Pamela Anderson
- James Cameron
- Rooney Mara
- Kate Mara
- Al Gore
- Evanna Lynch
- Reddit /r/vegan, /r/veganrecipes and /r/animalrights – all excellent sources for the respective information and community, as well as feeling hopeful when you watch the rate that the community subscriptions are increasing on these subreddits
- Your local vegan Facebook group
- Hampton Creek (Just brand)- the brilliant folks who figured out a natural and delicious way to replace eggs – now they have Just Mayo, Just Cookie Dough, and Just Scramble, among other products.
- Beyond Meat– makers of Beyond Burger (my favorite) and other delicious meat alternatives
- Impossible Foods – makers of the Impossible Burger – I’m going to be honest. I haven’t tried it, but I hear that it is the burger killer.
Yes, I know. I can really only shop at my local vegan shop, Nooch. And realistically, I do a lot of shopping at other, non-vegan stores too. However, I still like to follow and support vegan stores from around the world because I am proud of these individuals opening small stores, providing real solutions, taking money from the companies that don’t care, and making it easier to access real vegan food, so I show my digital support. Plus, when I visit other cities, I know where to shop. Here is a short list.
- Nooch (Denver, CO)
- Rabbit Food Grocery (Austin, TX)
- Veggie Rebellion (Glendale, AZ)
- Yam Chops (Toronto, ON)
- The Herbivorous Butcher (Minneapolis, MN)
- Food Fight! (Portland, OR)
- Vegan Republic (Berkeley, CA)
- Vaute Couture – I am the proud owner of a Vaute coat. It is warm, comfortable and I get compliments on it daily. They’ve gotten a bit pricier in the last few years, but I still like to window shop for other items and wait patiently for a sale. Plus, I love watching them succeed.
- Herbivore Clothing – t-shirts, stickers, accessories, etc.
- Cory Booker – New Jersey Senator – probably the most prominent, current American politician who is vegan; very active on social media
- Al Gore – long time environmental activist, the former VP went vegan and says he will stay vegan for all the reasons
- Jeremy Corbyn – Leader of the Labour Party, lifetime vegetarian, recent vegan; kind of a big deal
… and I’m stopping here for today.
This is may seem like a lot, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just seeing what is going on in the fight for animal rights will empower you and inspire you to do more. Even picking 5 – 10 favorites from this list will be enough to increase your exposure to some important conversations that are happening about animal rights.
Again, if you are reading this and feel like I’ve missed something vital, please add it to the comments. I am happy to update the list.