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It’s not always easy to get your school to adopt a dissection choice policy or to add veggie burgers to the lunch menu all by yourself. One of the best—and most fun—things you can do to help animals at your school is to start an animal rights group, and since the new school year has just gotten underway, there’s no time like the present!
If you’re at a university, you can get all the info you need to start a group on this page instead.
Starting a student animal rights group is really a piece of vegan chocolate cake. Just follow these three steps and you’ll be golden:
Step 1) Get together!
Before you do anything else, you need to decide who the core members of your group are. These are the people who will help coordinate your group’s events and campaigns; basically, this should be a group of 4 to 10 people at your school who are vegetarian or interested in animals and want to make a change.
Step 2) Get sponsored!
Talk to your teachers and other teachers at your school to see if they’d be interested in being your group’s sponsor—meaning they’ll let you meet in their room at lunch or after school, let you use their printer to print out materials, and help keep your group organized. If you can’t find a teacher to be your group sponsor, try asking the librarian or your guidance counselor.
Step 3) Get organized!
Call your first meeting to discuss your tactics. At this meeting, you should decide who will be responsible for what, what your group’s goals for the year are, how often you want to meet, and most importantly, what your group is going to be called. We suggest “Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” but if you can come up with a clever acronym like BARC or PAW, that works too. Be realistic with your goals, and don’t spread yourself too thin—if you plan to veganize your cafeteria, focus on just that for the first quarter or semester. You can’t do everything at once!
Also, check out these missions, which you can do as a group:
And of course, check out our video guides about tabling on your school’s campus and raising a buzz at your school—two of the most important things you can do as a group!
That’s all there is to it. Click here to download peta2’s new “Start a Group” pack, with some more tips and ideas on what your group can do once you’ve gotten started. The pack also includes a sign-up sheet for you to use to get new members signed up and a sample tear-off flier for promoting your group’s events.