When someone uses the phrase “animal rights activism” , our mind conjures up the image of a group of passionate vegans protesting, marching and lining the streets advocating for animal rights. There are also other forms of activism that could come to mind, such as a person being engaged in an intellectual debate or interview at an event. All of these forms of activism share one thing in common: each of these occupies a limited space and time.
We also tend to think of these forms of activism as somehow separate from “normal life”, “a kind of a hobby” that one does during free time. These forms of activism are certainly valid and valuable, and their effectiveness to change hearts and minds varies greatly. They also require the person engaged in such an activity to be intentional and purposeful constantly.
I want here to advocate a second type of animal rights activism that can significantly broaden the concept of activism and makes it possible for a much larger number of people to partake in it, with minimal effort and intention: Passive Activism!
Passive activism is built around the idea of turning ordinary acts into acts of activism by “activising “ the media through which these acts take place. Allow me to explain that with a concrete example. Consider the situation of a vegan who is also passionate about animal rights, but he/she feels like they are not doing as much as they would like to really help animals. Or the case of another vegan who has become overwhelmed because of his direct animal rights activism. They both think they would like to do more given a chance.
Let’s also assume that both of these vegans are passionate about travelling. Up to this point, they have been booking their trips through one of the many mainstream travel websites. Their desire for helping animals and their passion for travel are two different aspects of their lives. The only way for them to engage in animal rights activism is to directly take part in an activity centered around helping animals.
Passive activism is a kind of activism that allows both these vegans, and many more, to bridge that divide. It’s not the act itself that’s different; it’s the medium through which the act takes place makes a difference . Unlike the commercial travel booking platforms, The Vegan Stay is built around logistically and financially supporting animal sanctuaries accomplish their missions. When the vegans mentioned above partake in travel using The Vegan Stay, they pursue their passion for travelling as usual, with the added benefit of supporting sanctuary as they strive to change minds and hearts.
Founder of The Vegan Stay