'Chalktivist' Speaks Out After Vegan Message In Australia Is Called 'Vandalism'

Is this kind of action effective?
Activist Charlie Hoskins believes chalktivism can be effective (Photo: Instagram)

Activists have covered a bridge in Melbourne, Australia with pro-vegan messages written in chalk - leading various media outlets to brand the action 'vandalism'.

But UK-based 'chalktivist' Charlie Hoskins has told PBN he believes this form of action is effective.

The messages have been spotted on Princess Bridge across the Yarra River - among other locations.

Love animals

As well as the bridge, writing can be seen on the sidewalk nearby, as well as a walkway near Hamer Hall and Southbank Promenade.

The slogans - which appear to have been written in chalk - say 'If you love animals don't eat them' and 'Choose vegan'.

Pictures showing the activism were shared on Facebook.

One response said: "Saw these awesome messages over the Yarra on Saturday. 

"High five to whoever wrote them."

Chalktivist

UK-based vegan activist Charlie Hoskins, who has taken part in chalktivism before, spoke to PBN about why he believes this style of action is effective.

He said: "I have done lots of different kinds of activism before. These involve speaking to people face-to-face or via social media. 

"I thought writing a message in chalk and then walking away would give people the chance to form their own opinion without feeling threatened by the presence of a vegan."

The bridge in Melbourne (Photo: Facebook)

Slogan

According to Hoskins, he chose what message to chalk ('end animal suffering - live vegan <3') because it is 'short and sweet'.

He added: "No one has to stand for too long to read the message. The 'end animal suffering' part was to get those walking through the university that day to connect with their morals as I feel that whether you eat meat or not, no one wants harm inflicted upon animals. 

'Live vegan' was a simple way to suggest a solution to this. 

"I added a love heart at the end, so people did not feel shamed by the message, as that was not my intention."

Reaction

Hoskins says the reaction was mostly positive.

He adds: "I saw and heard a lot of buzz on Snapchat that day as students posted this on their stories. 

"Of course, there were those who reacted negatively, but I feel it is essential to respond to these people with the most kindness, no matter how tough. 

"These reactions often come from a place of distress, in my opinion, as it is often the first time they have had to think about animal welfare."

He believes this type of activism is effective, and plans to continue, saying: "I will keep spreading the message unto every animal is safe and sound. 

"Anywhere that there is a high footfall, I will be there with my chalk."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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