Thank you for your interest in activism with the Caring Veg Community (CVC). The CVC is an all volunteer
run 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The mission of the CVC is to make trying vegan foods & veganism fun, friendly
and accessible. We are first and foremost an activist organization, but there are opportunities for social
events. Additionally, many volunteers who meet at activist events end up becoming personal friends
outside of the CVC. This document (along with this webpage about communication from Vegan
Outreach) covers the pre-orientation information. After reviewing this document, if you feel
comfortable with the specific CVC approach to activism please let us know and we can move forward
with the next step of the process, which is meeting for a 60 minute in-person orientation.
The activist approach is critical to the success of the CVC activist events. Given that the approach is
fundamental to the nonprofit, and foundational in each outreach event the CVC hosts, it is
nonnegotiable. All activists who perform activist duties at CVC events and while representing the CVC
must adhere to the approach.
The approach to activism is:
With this approach, CVC activists meet veg-curious people where they are at. We encourage small
transitional steps (for example trying plant milk) and never encourage anyone to go vegan or vegetarian
overnight or in a short period of time. The CVC leadership believes that encouraging small transitional
steps allows people to feel positively about taking steps toward veganism. When people accomplish one
small step (such as eating one vegan meal on a “Meatless Monday”), then they feel ready to take on
another step (such as switching out their cow milk for plant milk). The best thing we can do is to
encourage people to eat more vegan foods and expose them to new ideas. One strategy is to encourage
people to try one new vegan meal every week. Over time, people will have found so many vegan meals
that they enjoy, that they will be able to eat vegan nearly all of the time. Veg-curious folks who have
been mentored by the CVC have all ended up becoming fully vegan in their diets as a result of the “try a
new vegan meal every week” approach.
With the CVC approach, we want to be careful to bridge the gap between us and veg-curious folks. This
means finding commonalities instead of differences. This also means avoiding accidentally causing
someone to feel defensive or judged.
Ways we accidentally alienate people from a vegan message include saying things like “go vegan”, “you
can’t be a real environmentalist/feminist/animal lover if you aren’t vegan”, “going vegan is easy”, “why
aren’t you vegan?” or “you can be vegan”. All of these messages cause a defensive reaction.
Ways we can help bridge the gap include saying things like “we can make a difference by eating more
plants and fewer animal products”, “go at your own pace”, “everything we do makes a difference you
don’t have to be vegan to help”, “take small steps”, “That’s awesome that you’re an
environmentalist/feminist/animal lover! I am too and when I learned about how animal agriculture
affects __ I started making changes to remove myself from that and now I’m so glad that I did”
One controversial statement that the CVC agrees with as a strategic move to help reach the critical
mass tipping point is:
We find that people are likely to say “I can’t be 100% vegan” and then go and eat a ton of meat and
dairy if we ask them to “go vegan”. But when we encourage people to “eat more plants” to be 80%
vegan or 90% vegan we see that people make dramatic positive dietary changes.
We agree with the Vegan Strategist who says that motivating 10 people to eat 10% more plant foods
and 10% fewer animal products has the same overall positive effect as motivating one person to be
100% vegan. As a result, the CVC approach encourages small changes that feel realistic to people as the
most effective, and fastest way, to decrease the overall demand for animal agriculture to continue
(which thereby decreases the negative impact on animals, the environment, vulnerable communities,
Videos that we recommend every CVC activist view at some point are the videos posted on the Vegan
Strategist website here: http://veganstrategist.org/vegan-strategy/ (especially “Strategic
Communication” and “How to Create a Vegan World”).
The CVC approach to vegan activism can be difficult for some ethical vegans. The CVC was founded by,
and remains guided by, the leadership of ethical vegans. The end goal is full liberation for all human and
non-human animals, but the approach is less conventional and more strategic. The CVC uses this
transitional approach which feels conflicting to some ethical vegans because the leadership feels
strongly that this is the most effective and fastest way to get to a vegan world.
Additionally, the CVC has begun exploring interconnected oppressions. We recognize that systems of
oppression including speciesism, systemic racism, sexism, ableism, etc are all connected. As the CVC
moves forward, we recognize the importance of prioritizing taking a clear anti-racist, anti-sexist, and
anti-ableist stand when we engage in activism. This is a work in progress for all of our members, but
please know that it is our expectation that CVC activists keep their hearts and minds open to learning
about forms of human oppression that are connected and intertwined with veganism. Every person, no
matter who they are, plays a role in larger systems of oppression. As we educate ourselves and open our
hearts to new information, we are able to identify our roles in oppression, notice how we may benefit
from another group’s exploitation, and then work to dismantle that oppression. Some
recommendations for beginners are listed at the end of this PDF.
Finally, we are working to develop a culture of compassionate call-ins within the CVC as we work to
learn more about interconected oppressions and the exploitation of communities we are not a part of.
Calling-in is when a person takes the time to sit down with you and compassionately explain why
something that you said or did came off in a hurtful or harmful way. Being able to develop enhanced
communication, trust and respect among CVC members not only helps us grow as a group, but also
helps us become more effective activists. This is further discussed at orientation.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about the CVC’s approach to activism. We look forward to hearing
from you if you feel that activism with the CVC will be a good fit with your values!
Resources for further learning about interconnected oppressions:
-White Fragility (YouTube)
-1619 (Podcast- 6 episodes, we recommed listening to them in chronological order)
-Is Veganism Ableist (short online article)
-The Invisible Vegan (documentary)
-Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters (book- available on
Amazon, We are hoping to get it in the library: ask for it at the Columbus Library in less than 2 minutes
by following these directions)
-Beasts of Burden (book)
-Sexual Politics of Meat (book & website)
-Christopher Sebastian (author, speaker)
-Breeze Harper (speaker, author of Sistah Vegan)
Resources for better understanding the strategy & approach used at CVC events:
-Melanie Joy & Beyond Carnism