Advocacy Tools + Tips

Use the table of contents or scroll through our online advocacy toolkit to learn approaches and strategies for being an effective advocate for animals, the planet and public health and for resources to support you in your outreach efforts.

Learning about the issues

Having a strong understanding of the issues and facts surrounding the industrial animal agriculture system is an important foundation upon which to build your advocacy work.

There can be a lot of misinformation online, so be sure to choose credible sources to support your arguments. Below is an example statistic to get you started and a list of more stats with sources. You can also find additional information on the Vancouver Humane Society website.

Transportation is a very stressful process for farmed animals and Canada’s current transport regulations allow for some species to be transported for up to 72 hours, without food, water or rest.

Communication Tips

It’s no surprise that advocates are passionate about creating change and helping others to go vegan. When we learn the reality about how farmed animals, people and the planet are exploited through the industrial animal agriculture system, we want to do everything we can to address it and we want others to come to that same realization.

Communicating effectively and respectfully is crucial to being a successful advocate. Think back to when you first started to learn about the issue of animal agriculture and its impact on animals, people and the planet. Likely it was from another person or resource that helped you to better understand the issues and empowered you to make a difference. People are more motivated to make change (and long-term change in particular) when they feel supported to do so and when they feel that the decision was theirs, rather than when they feel attacked or shamed. Let’s focus less on winning arguments and more on winning allies.

Below are some communications tips and strategies to consider in your advocacy:

Online Advocacy: Social Media

The rise of social media platforms, such as facebook, twitter, linkedin, instagram and tiktok, have enabled us to instantly connect with large numbers of people from around the world. Consider how you can use your social media accounts to amplify a diversity of voices and share online petitions, campaigns, and content from advocacy groups. Social media advocacy is also a great opportunity for personalizing your own efforts and sharing your perspectives, like posting your favourite plant-based recipes or writing about your thoughts on a particular topical issue. Social media is about being social, after all, so be sure to post engaging content and be open to conversations and comments. That said, stay respectful and constructive in how you converse online (hint: ignore comments intended to pick a fight). Focus on leading by example. Below are a few resources you can share to get you started:

‘Be Kind’

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Share our Plant-Based Pledge and encourage people to subscribe to receive a free plant-based recipe sent to their inbox each week.

Subscribe to VHS updates

Stay informed about VHS advocacy campaigns by subscribing to receive email updates about our work. This link will take you to the main VHS website in a new browser tab, but you can navigate back to PlantU after subscribing

Writing a blog or opinion piece

If writing is a skill-set of yours there are plenty of ways to incorporate it in your advocacy efforts. You can start your own blog, where you can share posts highlighting your perspective on different topics and then share those blog posts to your social media accounts. When writing blog posts, keep in mind the following tips:

Consider additional opportunities that will help your message reach an even wider audience, such as writing a letter to the editor or an opinion piece for news publications. Below are a few tips from VHS’s Communications Director and an example letter to the editor and op-ed.

“Letters: Milk, meat producers bridle at new food guide”

Originally published in Vancouver Sun

“It’s not surprising that lobby groups for the meat and dairy industry are upset that Canada’s new food guide may encourage Canadians to eat less meat and dairy…”

“OPINION: COVID-19 exposes another dark side of Canada’s meat industry”

Originally published in Daily Hive

COVID-19 has created a crisis for the meat industry, with workers falling ill, slaughterhouses shutting down, and fears of meat shortages emerging…”

In-Person Advocacy

There are many different ways that you can raise awareness and support change in your day-to-day life.
Think about the places you shop and eat, such as your favourite restaurants; the grocery store you frequent; or your/your child’s school cafeteria, and how you can help encourage a transition toward more of the options being plant-based.

Supporting Food System Change

Engaging with decision-makers

Engaging with your elected representatives is an important strategy for advancing food system change. These decision-makers are regularly lobbied by industry groups, making it crucial that they also hear from constituents about the issues that concern them. You can find contact info for your local Mayor and City Council on your municipality’s website. Below are more recommendations for who to reach out to and a few ideas for framing your approach.

Provincial decision-makers: Your MLA

Your Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is your provincial representative. Find your B.C. MLA contact information below.

Provincial decision-makers: Ministers

Provincial Cabinet Ministers are MLAs who are responsible for specific portfolios of government policy. For example, Minister of Environment. Find a list of B.C. Cabinet Ministers below.

Federal decision-makers: Your MP

Your Member of Parliament (MP) is your federal representative. Find your MP contact information below.

Federal decision-makers: Ministers

Federal Cabinet Ministers are MPs who are responsible for specific portfolios of government policy. For example, Minister of Environment. Find a list of federal Cabinet Ministers below.

Approaches to engaging with decision-makers


Keep in mind your specific skillsets and how you may be able to apply them to your advocacy work or to help advocacy organizations and campaigns. Whether you’re tech-savvy, or enjoy event planning, writing, research, working with data, graphic design, photography, or cooking, these skills (and more!) can help build stronger and more diverse teams and effective advocacy campaigns.

Animal Justice Academy

If you’d like to learn more about how to be an animal advocate in your community, the Animal Justice Academy provides a free, extensive course in animal advocacy with a vibrant community of learners.

What’s next?

Visit our recipe library for meal inspiration

Visit our recipe library for meal inspiration

A man uses a mobile phone to find plant-based restaurants

Find plant-based restaurants and shops near you

Watch educational videos on plant-based living

Watch educational videos on plant-based living