2016 has been another huge year for veganism in Australia! Thanks to your active participation, veganism is being advocated on the streets, on radio, newspapers and online and on buses, trains and billboards. There have been a record number of animal rights and vegan events, including vegan festivals in nearly all major cities, vegan education events and vegan outreach, all organised by a record number of groups and individuals.
Below are a few of the highlights of 2016.
While Vegan Australia has being making submissions for a number of years, this year has shown these are having an effect. Vegan Australia made 11 submissions to inquiries into topics as varied as animal welfare, regulation of agriculture, the dairy industry, fisheries, 'free range' meat and eggs, Indigenous health and chronic health.
In each of our submissions we maintained the consistent message that all use and exploitation of animals should end. This clear message was well received, with one top Productivity Commission member acknowledging that the Vegan Australia submission was "well argued and seems consistent in its logic". There were some mentions of our submissions in the media, including The Land.
Alongside making submissions ourselves, Vegan Australia also publicised the inquiries and encouraged others to make submissions. Over 150 submissions calling for the phasing out of animal farming in Australia were received by a Productivity Commission inquiry into agriculture.
Vegan Australia produced a short 40-second video "Global warming: what can you do?" briefly explaining how animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming. It also shows how people can help cool the planet.
The video received over 13,000 views on Facebook and generated a lot of worthwhile discussion, giving us the opportunity to elaborate on a number of topics viewers asked about. While the video concentrated on the environmental aspects of animal agriculture, the discussion allowed us to explain that being vegan means avoiding unnecessary suffering to animals and that the positive environmental impacts are a benefit to this basic reason.
A number of issues, such as the Australia Day lamb ad and our submissions, allowed Vegan Australia to speak to the public through media appearances. This year Vegan Australia has appeared about 20 times on radio, online and in newspapers and magazines.
This year Vegan Australia maintained an active news service, publishing over 70 news articles on a wide range of topics. Check them out on our News site. One important area we have reported on is the mounting evidence of the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture and also the health benefits of a plant based diet. The mainstream media is also picking up and presenting these issues in a positive light.
Vegan Australia has a strong presence on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram and SoundCloud. Our main social media site is Facebook where we post regular news items, spreading the message to both vegans and non-vegans. This year our Facebook followers jumped from 4,000 in January to 12,000 in December!
This year we listed a record 2000 animal rights and vegan events around Australia! These included vegan festivals in nearly all major cities, vegan education events and vegan outreach, all organised by dedicated local groups and individuals. We provide this service to help people find vegan information, support and social connection.
To find out how to better represent the views of our supporters, we are working on a survey to be released next year. Stay tuned and please give us your opinion.
For their wonderfully professional and creative work, Vegan Australia would like to sincerely thank our dedicated volunteers. Our growth this year could not have happened without you. Thank you! 🙂 And if you would like to help out, please see our volunteer page.
Vegan Australia is solely funded by our supporters and donations from the public. With your generous contribution, you can become a vital part of Vegan Australia's work to promote veganism through our research, education, outreach and campaigns. Thank you for making the world a better place for all beings.
Finally, we wish you all the best for a happy festive season and we'll see you in 2017!