5 Vegan Beach Day Do’s and Don’ts

Ready to hit the beach? 🏖️

Warm weather and free time make the perfect combo for a fun beach day! You can cool off in the water, play volleyball on the sand, or lie back, relax, and let the sun and surf melt away your stress. Just remember: This should be an enjoyable day for everyone, including the many animals who live at or visit the beach. Choices you make can either harm animals or improve their lives—and since you’re an animal advocate, we’re guessing that you want to pick the second option. 😉

We’ll give you some tips on how to make your summer adventure a true vegan beach day by being compassionate to all animals. Here are five do’s and five don’ts:

DON’T Chase or Feed the Gulls

Image from Pixabay of a flock of seagulls

Some kids (and even some adults) chase gulls and other birds at the beach for fun. But how is it enjoyable to scare animals and disrupt their natural behavior? Some kids may not realize they’re frightening gulls by chasing them. So if you see this happening, politely tell the kids how scared the birds feel when they’re threatened.

Kids can be way more open to changing their minds than adults, so you might be able to stop their antics just by letting them know. Also, don’t feed the birds—it can cause health problems and encourage them to be more aggressive toward humans.

DON’T Pick Up Crabs or Other Small Animals

Crabs, fish, and other small animals call the beach home and want to enjoy their lives without being harassed. That’s why you shouldn’t pick up, trap, or catch them—and make sure no one else does, either. Imagine how terrified you’d feel if you were suddenly snatched from your house or yard by a giant. Telling others that animals can get hurt or die when taken from their homes can help them make kinder choices—especially if they’re kids.

DON’T Fish

OK, this one should seem obvious. But it’s important to know that fishing, even if it’s catch-and-release, is cruel. Fish are emotional animals who feel pain, and being pierced through the mouth with a hook and dragged out of the water to suffocate is excruciating.

Their gills often collapse and their swim bladders can even rupture once they’re out of the water. Human hands also disturb their protective coating, making them more vulnerable to predators. If you see someone fishing at the beach, try talking to them about how discarded line and tackle can harm wildlife. If they seem open, you can work your way up to talking about how fish feel pain and fear.   

DON’T Let Your Dog out of Your Sight

Image from Faith R. of her dog at the beach

Bringing your dog to the beach can be fun for both of you, but you need to do it right. One of the biggest mistakes people make is letting their dog out of their sight, even just for a moment. Unsupervised dogs can harm themselves or other animals in many ways: They can eat something dangerous, step on glass, or kill wildlife without you realizing it. If the beach allows dogs (on or off leash), always stay where you can see your beloved animal companion.

DON’T Pollute

Fish, birds, turtles, crabs, and snails want to live in comfortable and safe homes. When people leave garbage lying around, they’re polluting these animals’ homes with items that can hurt or kill them.

Animals can choke on bottle caps, get caught in plastic, or ingest toxins, causing them to struggle and die in agony as their loved ones watch in horror. Garbage can also force animals to leave their cherished homes, which messes with their natural living patterns.

Now that we’ve covered the don’ts, let’s go over what you can do for a top-tier vegan beach day:

DO Wear Cruelty-Free Sunscreen

Your fun vegan beach day can get ruined quickly if you get a sunburn, which can cause painful blisters and permanent skin damage. Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by applying cruelty-free sunscreen about every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.

So many compassionate brands make great sunscreens without testing their products or ingredients on animals. Slather on one of these options to help save your skin and animals at the same time.

DO Pack Vegan Snacks

Beach days just aren’t the same without tasty vegan treats. Pack your fave vegan snacks in a bag or basket, and remember to bring enough to share. (Delicious food tends to attract a crowd.)

Our vegan snackin’ tips for road trips can easily be applied to your beach outing—Chex Mix, Fritos, popcorn, peanuts, and Clif Bars are just as good on the sand as they are in the car. You can also bring fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and other healthy foods to keep your energy high throughout the day. With so many scrumptious vegan snack choices, you’ll be in for a fulfilling day of food and fun.

DO Pick Up Trash

There’s one kind of fishing we love: “trash fishing”! Take part in this award-winning initiative that’s inspiring people all over the country to clear water of trash. Lend animals a helping hand by picking up plastic bags, cans, bottles, or other litter you see on the sand or in the water.

Even if we weren’t the ones who polluted in the first place, it’s up to us as animal defenders to make selfless choices. A small action like taking 30 seconds to pick up a wrapper and throw it in the trash could mean the difference between life and death for animals. We’ll even hook you up with a Trash Fishing Provisions Kit so you’re 100% prepared for the task at hand.

DO Watch Animals

Image from Unsplash of a crab on the beach

Animals are amazing, and if you’re respectful, it can be OK to watch them from a distance. It’s fascinating to study animals in their natural habitats. Watching them this way beats going to a zoo every time—it’s better for the animals, as they get to live freely, and it’s better for you, as you get the most authentic experience available by observing them acting naturally.

DO Keep Your Dog Safe

We already touched on always keeping your dog in sight at the beach. Now let’s make sure they’re staying safe in every other way. For starters, never leave your dog in a parked car. They can die from heatstroke after just a few minutes, even in the shade with the windows rolled down a bit.

Also, gauge your dog’s well-being as they play—overdoing it can leave them sore or exhausted. Pack a water dish and fresh water to keep your dog hydrated, and find a cool, shady spot where they can lie down. Finally, be mindful of your dog’s paws on the sand and concrete—if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.


Looking for more fun ways to spend your summer vacation? Check out our picks for the best outings to enjoy that don’t exploit, abuse, or harm animals in any way.

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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