The vegan poster campaign has just launched today in London.
The Go Vegan World campaign launched in the UK last June, and their current campaign - which targets people for the New Year - started at the end of December in Birmingham on the biggest billboard in Europe.
The poster launch is calling for uncompromising veganism through complete cessation of all animal use.
We took some time out with Sandra Higgins BSc (Hons) Psych, MSc Couns Psych, MBPsS Director of Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary in Ireland, who told us about her campaign.
London is a vast and international city; we have seen a massive growth in veganism in the UK. How has been the response been so far in the UK?
The response has been very positive. Members of the public are attracted to the ads and interested in what the animals have to say through the campaign. The words that have been ringing in my ears since the inception of Go Vegan World are “I never knew”.
People are not consciously aware of animal sentience or of what other animals go through when they are transformed from feeling beings with an interest in their own lives, to the objectified parts of their bodies or personhood that we so thoughtlessly use.
It is really very simple: uncompromising vegan education grounded in the needs and reality of other animals, demonstrates that animal use is a moral issue, that veganism is the least we owe others, and that it is easy to go vegan and stay vegan.
Have you had any resistance or negative response?
Some sectors of the animal agricultural industry requested that the information provided in our ads on how the animals are tormented by our use of them be removed from public view.
Some premises selling animal foods refused to display the ads.
Despite some initial resistance Go Vegan World made history by getting the first ever vegan ad broadcast on TV.
How are the locations chosen in the cities?
The campaign targets a very broad audience on the basis that veganism concerns every man, woman and child on the planet. Because it is such a large campaign I have the comfort of being able to use a large range of advertising formats and locations.
Some ads are situated in areas targeting the populations deemed most likely to go vegan such as universities. Others are situated in areas where people have already identified with injustice, such as the less advantaged socio-economic areas targeted by bus ads. Many ads are chosen on the basis of their ability to attract attention because of their size or the fact that they are video ads.
These ads attract everyone from commuters, to professionals to students to shoppers. They are very striking at night so they attract a different audience at that time. The billboard on the M6, for example, is the biggest billboard in Europe and it targets everyone driving or stuck in traffic on that road. The campaign has also worked on the basis of frequency and repetition so that people see the same message in several different formats in a range of locations.
Some ads, such as the award winning bathroom ad campaign that aimed to dispel the myth of humane use and the myth that animal use is necessary, were chosen because of the dwell time they afford, giving the viewer time to read and absorb the message. Some of the street ads such as bus shelters or those beside seating areas also have this dwell time.
Many ads are strategically placed outside cafes and restaurants such as McDonalds or in retail centres outside supermarkets reminding people of who the animals were before they became what we call food or other products.
The contrast between the traditional and misleading portrayal of other animals as objects who advertise their own body parts and lives for human use, and the unique, feeling, trusting, innocent and defenceless beings who appear in Go Vegan World, telling the world how they are harmed by us, and asking us to stop using them, is very powerful.
Advertising is expensive, but effective. How do you fundraise, have you got any tips for grassroots vegan activists trying to raise money for campaigns?
Go Vegan World has been very fortunate to be the beneficiary of such generosity.
I have been a vegan educator for many years and my funding stems from my proven track record of founding Ireland’s first vegan farmed animal sanctuary, and working at the coal face of animal rescue and animal rights, along with my professional background as a psychologist.
Go Vegan World is just one of the activities of the vegan education centre attached to Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary Ireland. With the exception of part-time sanctuary staff at Eden, and some contract work, no salaries are paid, so all funding is used directly to benefit the animals. I do not get paid. I am driven by my passion to secure their liberty from us.
My funders know that they could not invest in a campaign that is more driven to make this world vegan. That is my tip: work for other animals as if your own life depended on it and let their voices be heard in this world.
Fundraising this campaign has been successful because it has been tried and tested in several locations over the last eighteen months and proved to be a wonderful way to raise awareness of the imperative to be vegan and cast a light on the dark and terrible world of animal use. It has also been successful because the campaign is breaking new ground. It is entirely inspired and informed by the residents at Eden.
For the first time in history the animals have taken to the streets. Many of the animals featured in the ads are not fictional or anonymous: they are real, feeling beings with names, histories, and personalities who have lived and died at Eden. They speak in the first person and ask the human world to respect their rights.
The campaign does not portray veganism as a humanocentric fad or through the lens of difficulty and deprivation. Because it is guided by the animal’s right to be free of human oppression, it portrays veganism as the serious social justice issue that is. Therefore, it does not flinch from broadcasting to the world what we do to them, for example, in the dairy, egg, entertainment and research industries or for demanding unequivocal and complete cessation of animal use.
This is evident in the ads that state that Vegetarianism is Not Enough, that Humane animal use is a Myth, that Less animal use is not enough for the ones who are harmed and killed. However, it does so in a way that demonstrates how feasible a lifestyle veganism is.
The website and Free Vegan Guide contain more than sufficient information on diet, nutrition, health, vegan products, environmental concerns and other issues of human concern, but it does so in a way that does not detract from the main issue which is animal rights.
I have worked hard to retain the campaign integrity and uniqueness as well as its consistent vegan call to action.
How can people support you and help you with your work?
The best way to support the work is to share the campaign as widely as possible. I ask people to discuss it with their non-vegan friends, colleagues and family to refer people to the resources of the website and to www.goveganworld.com and invite people to download the Free Vegan Guide.
The campaign also requires expertise and professional help. At the moment we have a vacancy for a designer to help with the technical aspects of bringing the campaign ideas to fruition on video and print ads, and someone to help with website management.
You can find out more about Go Vegan Worldhere