Employment in veganism and animal rights?

I would like to apologize to all my faithful readers for not posting in 10 days! As you know, this is not like me, but I have been busier than ever lately. I'm still trying to hold it down with school, and work, and interning, and Vegan Drinks Philly, but I do intend on getting some more awesome recipes up really soon! I have been cooking and photographing them, I just haven't had time to type them up yet. I also have a newly recorded video and a podcast planned that you should look for within the next week or so. I'm also STILL without my MacBook. Luckily, I can work from my iMac, but it's just not the same :( Enough with the pity party, let's get this rolling here...

You may recall from last month that I started a new segment on my blog called Eating Consciously Q&A. I think I'm going to refer to it as FAQ now because blogger doesn't allow "&" to be used in tags. Anyway... moving forward, you can click on the FAQ's located on the right sidebar.

Well, today I am not giving you a recipe, but I am going to answer a question I recently received that I thought is something a lot of people struggle with, which is working a non-vegan job, or wanting to work in a more vegan job. Either way, it's a challenge most of us will face at some point when our careers collide with our ethics.

So, to get down to it, today's question is from Mary in Philadelphia, PA.

Mary asks:

I am actually looking for a job that is animal or vegan related, do you have any ideas how to find one?

Ed answers:


This is actually a bit of a complex issue. There are several things going on here and I will do my best to offer the advice that has worked for me so far.

If you are merely looking for a "job", there are some possibilities, but the positions are likely to be few and far between and also likely to be low paying positions with little opportunity for advancement. Not to imply that these job are not important, because THEY ARE! We NEED people to work for local animal advocacy groups, shelters, sanctuaries, and vegan restaurants. These types of positions are an excellent way to get into doing this type of work. In fact, you may want to consider contacting non-profit groups to see if you can do some type of volunteer or internship work with them.

Don't feel you have to stay local. There are places across the country and around the world that need help and even if they don't advertise it, you can always contact them to see if you could help through local outreach, writing assignments, or maybe even online marketing. This is exactly how I got my internship with Vegetarian Resource Group. I now help write for their journal, table at various events, do online marketing, and even help analyze cookbook recipes. This isn't a paid position, but it is valuable experience and a great way to make contacts.

That being said, I assume that like most of us, you are beginning to wonder how you can do this for a "career" and earn an honest living. I will tell you that we desperately NEED animal activists working as professionals in ALL career fields. You can specialize in animal law, vegan nutrition, or community education for example. It's really about pinpointing your strengths and figuring out how you can best utilize them.

Not to get all motivational speaker on you, but I am a firm believer in the ability to literally attract the things that you want. How does this come in to a career in animal rights? Well, since it is highly unlikely at this point that someone is going to walk up and hand you a job in the field, you have to create it. You need to conjure up the goal in your head and what your dream job would be and figure out how to make it a reality.

This is what I am doing in my field of education. Although I am still in school, I know already that there are no careers set up concerning veganism in the field of nutrition. That is why I am working hard to establish myself and learning everything I can about veganism and animal rights. Although my views are not supported through my academics, I have reached out to the few dietitians and doctors in the field that promote a vegan lifestyle to figure out what they're doing. Learning from their experience and incorporating my own spin on things, gives me a pretty solid foundation to build from.

My future goals include bringing vegan food products to market and being an advocate for veganism through cooking, writing, and speaking. I obviously have a more detailed plan that that, but it gives you an idea of what I'm getting at. Some important words of advice I once received while interviewing George Eisman, RD were "don't be afraid to be ethical", which I think is a mistake a lot of people make and what stops a lot of people from getting into a career in veganism and animal rights. Don't worry about what others in the field are going to think, or how the public will react. It's your job to create the change you want.

So, what does this all mean? Well, by all means look for that job or internship with an organization you admire and begin to figure out how you can turn it into a career path that will change lives. I hope this helps you. I would suggest searching on craigslist for vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights in the jobs section. You may also want to check out VeganJobs.org, but it's very limited. Like I said, don't wait for the position the present itself, go out and find it!


I promise I'll be churning out some new recipes shortly, including an awesome Eggplant Parm recipe that is to die for! Be sure to subscribe below so you don't miss it.

Subscribe to Eating Consciously by Email

I'm on Facebook too!

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget to consider conflict of interest issues in paid advocacy work. Once you start doing something like this for the money, it can get tricky. One way to avoid this is to help grow the vegan economy. If you're not the entrepreneurial type, that might be trickier until there are more vegan businesses that need help. I think the next best choice is definitely what was recommended above: Get a good job in a great field and bring your veganism with you. You can have an influence in a way you won't in the non-profit sector.



Propaganda propelled by a gay vegan.