For those that work a standard 9-5 job, the day-in-day-out grind of a position that has no connection with your world-view can, over time, leave you cold and feeling like you are an insignificant part of a empty system. In an effort to make a positive difference in the world despite our unfulfilling jobs, many of us resort to sharing socially conscious posts on Facebook and other social media sites during our work break time. These posts are well intentioned and from the heart but, often times, are often only read by friends and family who already share our ethical world-view.
Below are seven ways beyond the typical social media posts to make a huge difference for animals and the environment from the confines of your work cubicle. And you don’t have to slack off from your job duties to make them work. As long as your cubicle has a telephone and internet access and you have a morning, lunch, and afternoon break, these tactics will make you an active and effective participant in the Eco-Revolution!
1. Keep up to date on all federal, state, and local animal and environmental rights legislation and call your representative regularly.
Legislation is a major key to any societal change. Many animal and environmental rights organizations closely monitor all pending federal and state legislation and post weekly updates and newsletters. Check out the National Anti-Vivisection Society’s database of current legislation for animals. They even let you know who your representatives are as well as their phone numbers.
Frequent calls to your federal and state congressman/senator can make a big difference on how he or she will vote. Kindly remind that you keep track of how they vote on the legislation that matters and that you voted them into office to represent your interests. Let them know that you tell all your friends how they vote and whether they reflect your ethics. Stay diligent in calling them regularly whenever appropriate legislation comes up, and recruit other like-minded friends to do the same — there is power in numbers.
2. Write editorial letters to local newspapers, bringing awareness to local animal rights/environmental concerns in the readership area.
Is there a local industry that is polluting the air of water? Write an editorial about it. Are horse carriages still legal in your city? Write an editorial about it. Is there a local governmental policy that is unfair to a certain group of people? Write an editorial about it.
Be specific and don’t be afraid to speak the truth clearly. Editorials are a tried and true method of social change. Lawmakers know that people who write editorials vote and so do their friends and readers!
3. Organize a screening of documentary at your local library or cafe.
Your local library is funded with your tax money. Most are very receptive to hosting screenings of different informative documentaries because they bring the local population in and promotes the library to the community.
Likewise, many local cafe’s or pubs have a small room for events and will often allow films to be shown knowing that all who come will purchase beverages and food. These screenings paint the cafe or pub in a good light as an establishment willing to support progressive ideas and the local community.
4. Sign and distribute online petitions.
Many a cynic will claim that petitions don’t have any influence on the recipient. It is all to easy to become jaded and ask yourself, “Do these petitions really make a difference or is it just a waste of my time?”
However, the fact is there are literally thousands of examples of online petitions that have succeeded at their intended goal and have created positive change in very specific situations.
Whenever you question whether signing a petition will make a difference just remember this: by not signing a petition, nothing will happen. By signing it, something great may happen. You have nothing to loose but everything to gain by signing a worthy petition.
5. Let coworkers know about your activism.
Tell them why you are organizing a documentary screening about anti-captivity issues or calling your state senators to support animal rights legislation. Many seeds are planted in seemingly insignificant conversation when you simply state what you believe and why you believe it.
Down the road, sometimes years later, this simple explanation bears fruit, sometimes when you’re not around to see it. In turn, these coworkers talk to their friends/family and the cycle continues. But it all begins by simply stating to someone what you believe in and why.
6. Find out about volunteering/demonstration opportunities taking place outside work hours, spread the news, and attend.
Many animal rights and environmental demonstrations take place on weekends. Utilize your break time during the week to spread the news to friends and colleagues. And then, most importantly, attend them!When a large group of people participate in a demonstration, validity of the cause is created in the mind of the observer who is passing by the demonstration.
If only a handful of demonstrators show up at a circus protest, most attendees of the circus will walk right on by and not think too much about the cruelty inflicted upon circus animals. But if 50 or 100 protesters show up and demonstrate, those attending the circus will intuitively begin to think that if animal cruelty means this much to such a large group of people, they may want to educate themselves about the issue and see what all the fuss is about.
7. Utilize the bulletin board!
Many companies and places of business have bulletin boards in break rooms where employees can post flyers, etc…If your employee break room does, utilize it by posting material for worthy documentaries, speeches, recipes, demonstrations, etc.
Naturally, some co-workers will question you and your convictions as you become more active and vocal about making a difference. But this doesn’t need to be a negative. Be prepared for their questioning and commit yourself to not being aggressive or overly defensive but, rather, see it as an opportunity to educate. Speak the truth clearly and kindly. Even those that don’t agree with you will respect you for your courage to speak up for what you believe in.
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