Communicating about (or promoting) vegetarian and vegan lifestyles with non-veg*ns. For questions about getting along with the non-veg*ns in your life, you may want to use [living-with-omnivores]
Outreach is actively seeking to distribute an idea, often some form of knowledge or practice, beyond the community or institution that produces and sustains that idea.
Forms of Outreach
People conducting outreach usually interact with three distinct audiences.
- People who have never practiced vegetarianism or veganism. These people may be unfamiliar with the reasons why people go vegetarian, and likely do not know how to live a healthy life as a vegetarian. This form of outreach is sometimes denigrated as proselytism or "preaching" by people who would prefer not to be the object of outreach.
- People who are currently practicing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can be supported with motivation, practical information, and group support. (This website, Vegetarianism.SE, can be considered a form of outreach.)
- People who have ceased practicing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle may seek to be understood, and understanding their experience and reasoning is likely to be valuable to somebody practicing outreach.
Outreach can take many different forms.
- Having face-to-face discussions with friends and family, or even with strangers in streets and other public spaces.
- Distributing leaflets or talking to people on a stand at an event
- Festivals, potlucks, and other public or private events that help to build group identity
- Bringing your class a box of vegan cupcakes on graduation day
- Creation of media items such as documentaries, books, YouTube channels, blogs, and podcasts.
- Writing posts and comments on social media. This form of outreach is sometimes described as slacktivism.
Outreach as a form of Activism
Outreach is a form of activism that aims to change other people's behaviour without substantially affecting their circumstances. Outreach may be effective when people lack awareness about the "how" and "why" of vegetarianism.
Other forms of activism may not aim to change minds as the primary goal. For example, investing in vegan business is a form of economic activism. Creating a new vegan product is a way to change options available to people, thereby making it easier to make a vegan choice. Lobbying to repeal old laws or create new laws is an example of legal activism. These are examples of systemic change.
Theories of change can be used to hypothesize about the effectiveness of different forms of activism.
For questions about peacefully co-existing with people who do not practice vegetarianism or veganism, you may want to use the tag living-with-omnivores.