The Problem with Strays
In the modern world, when most of us think of stray cats and dogs we typically don’t recognize that even though several countries and governing bodies have found ways to tackle the issues that come with having homeless animals on the streets (such as: shelters, castration, vaccination etc.) , the weight of this dilemma is still very much ongoing and prominent till this very day. In fact, most people seem to be quite ignorant and unknowing towards all the problems that arise when these animals are left unattended and their country/state/county of residence refuses to take care of them.  A recent trip back to my hometown of 12 years; Thessaloniki, Greece, sincerely opened even my own eyes as an already vegan individual, to how disordered the living situation for these poor creatures really is.  The first thing I learned is that in countries like Greece, where the complication in question has reached problematic levels, there’s still no single official sector that fully accepts responsibility for animal welfare, the few chunks of it that exist are quite shattered and unavailable in most areas. The result? Numerous strays, way too many per city and while several municipalities have at least taken some responsibility to vaccinate and chip some of them, most are not castrated and unfortunately have a very short and miserable existence.  Furthermore, doing research for this article pulled me deeper into the rabbit hole of reasons why we should all be fighting to get animals off the streets for good. Let's take stray dogs as an example: just a few quick incidents of trouble they cause include littering with feces that no one cleans, noise pollution and dangerous traffic accidents that not only result in the dogs’ deaths but also endanger humans. Dogs tend to fight during mating season too, which means that biting other dogs and even people is yet another risk. Biting can also spread diseases such as rabies, if these animals are multiplying at an alarming rate due to lack of castration, makes vaccinating all of them even harder, like a domino effect. Lastly, even though many residents of local places attempt to provide food and “shelter” for the strays, some people commonly poison said food, the animals end up dying, this then leads to horrible odour, parasites, rotting and more hot spots for the spread of different diseases. Additionally, feral cats pose an even bigger concern. While they are equally as affected by precisely the same dangers as dogs, felines run an even higher risk of spreading diseases just by existing and being unvaccinated, these include: toxoplasmosis and cat scratch fever. Most importantly, stray cats are known to contribute to the extinction of several mammal species worldwide because of their predatory instincts especially when they’re born in the wild. Lastly, they spread their offspring in staggering numbers: in a seven year period, a pair can create up to 400,000 babies.  Now that I’ve elaborated on the obvious negatives of having animals pushing for survival on the streets, with barely any help from us humans, I’d like to direct your attention to some possible solutions of how one could raise awareness and do something about this themselves, maybe even get the government involved if enough people are on board!  Of course, getting informed as one individual already does a lot of good, you’re already reading this article after all! Perhaps this can get the ball rolling and you could do even more research on the subject online, or through local shelters and your country’s sources of information concerning animal welfare. Next, spreading the word is essential. Tackling this obstacle requires local communities and countries themselves to pay attention and take things more seriously than just chipping and/or vaccinating some animals, this is clearly out of control. Volunteering or even donating to suitable organizations created by people interested in getting strays off the streets for good is also a brilliant idea to make a small change for the better, just think of all the impact you could be making, even just saving one life is to be applauded! Finally, if you have no time or money for volunteer based activities, consider spreading the “adopt don’t shop” mentality always. That way, these poor homeless animals can have a cozy home instead of a pavement or a shelter cell and hopefully authorities can direct their attention on the entirety of the matter at hand more sharply.  If you would like to help support the constant efforts of citizens trying to help homeless dogs/cats survive in Greece, check out the links below for some insight:  https://saveagreekstray.org/en/ http://www.love4pets.gr/english  https://greekanimalrescue.com/
Get Involved With Our New Animal Rights Map
Getting involved in a local animal rights group is a great way to connect with other vegans and make a difference in your community. But you may not know where to start or what groups are around you. That’s why we created the Animal Rights Map!  The Animal Rights Map catalogues over 2,500 different animal rights groups operating all over the globe. Simply go to AnimalRightsMap.org and navigate the map to find your city. Here you will be able to find any group in or around your town. Click a marker and a hyperlink will pop up. By clicking on the link provided, you will be taken directly to the group’s website or Facebook group. From there, you can find upcoming events to attend, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to get involved in your local vegan community. If you don’t see an Animal Rights group that you know, please tell us by clicking, “Submit a group” on the left-hand side of the page. If there are no groups at all in your area, you could start one (and make sure you let us know)!  Attending events and volunteering for Animal Rights groups in your community is mutually beneficial. You’re spreading awareness of animal welfare and veganism while also making new friends and networking with vegans in your community, it’s a win-win.  Using your voice to uplift an animal rights group’s message is one of the best things you could do to get us closer to liberating the animals. AnimalRightMap.org is your best resource to find a group looking for a passionate activist like you. The more people that get involved, the closer we are to achieving meaningful change.
Online Activism: 5 Minutes 5 Vegans
Lots of vegans want to promote the cause but don’t know where to start. That’s what 5 Minutes 5 Vegans aims to solve, by quickly and effectively answering questions from the vegan-curious.  5 Minutes 5 Vegans is a web-based tool that uses Twitter bots to scan and display posts from individuals looking for help with making the vegan switch. The site provides responses to the most common vegan questions and fallacies. Users can select and edit these responses to reply to a potential vegan’s tweet. In 5 minutes, you can motivate 5 vegan curious people to take the leap and adopt a vegan lifestyle. Why Online Activism is Important Social media has the power to influence potential vegans at a global scale. 5 Minutes 5 Vegans reaches people who are curious about the vegan lifestyle, but may not have any vegans around them to answer their questions. Whether you’re a veteran activist or a total amateur, 5 Minutes 5 Vegans encourages all vegans to get involved. The website is easy to navigate and incorporate into your daily online routine - it only takes 5 minutes after all. In the middle of a global pandemic, it can be difficult to get involved with in-person activism. But, anyone with a device that connects to the internet can use 5 Minutes 5 Vegans, no social distancing is required. Physical gatherings may be on hold, but activism doesn’t have to be. The animals certainly can't wait.   Using 5 Minutes 5 Vegans  The feed of tweets from vegan-curious people our bots work hard to gather are displayed on the right. The left side contains a list of the most common vegan curious concerns, questions, and myths.  Go through the Twitter feed and decide on a tweet you want to respond to. Awesome, you picked a tweet, now click on the prompt that best fits the subject matter of that tweet. This will display an answer to the prompt in the text box below. Copy your selected prompt by clicking the icon in the bottom right hand corner of the text box. Next, click directly on the tweet you want to reply to. This will open the tweet in a new tab, where you can paste your answer as a response to the tweet! We recommend that you edit the reply or add your own information to make the answer more relevant and prevent being flagged as spam.  In this example, the tweeter is talking about fried chicken. For my response, I chose to remove the original recommendation for Beyond Meat and leave just Gardein, as Gardein has breaded faux chicken products and Beyond Meat doesn’t (as of yet). When using this tool, we also recommend to look at the replies and ensure others have not already responded with the same answer, this will also help prevent your tweet from being flagged as spam.  You can sign up for an account at the bottom left to create and save your own custom replies so you don’t always have to edit the pre-filled prompts. This makes your 5 minutes quicker and more effective, maybe you’ll even reach 6 or 7 potential vegans! To Sum Up There you have it, easy peasy online activism. If you are anything like me, you are probably connected to the internet for the majority of your day. It only takes 5 minutes out of that entire day to put a little more good into the world and help 5 people adopt a vegan lifestyle. Utilizing social media as a tool for vegan activism allows us to reach the most amount of people to accomplish our number one goal of liberating our animal friends. Now head over to 5minutes5vegans.org and help your first 5 people go vegan, we’ll see you there! 
Why a global pandemic is closely tied to animal agriculture.
It is no secret that humans inherently have a tendency to overeat meat and animal products in their entirety. Whether someone is  only occasionally contributing to the industry or supporting it deeply, the fact still remains that all this contributes to animal agriculture as a whole, that continues to be the hot topic for the root causes of diseases, pollution and our planet’s overall declining condition today. So how is this issue engaged in the matter of a pandemic such as the current one then?  First off, the root cause of many infectious diseases encountered in humans in the last decade are known to have animal origin (these viruses are also known as zoonotic). Quite frankly, it isn’t even necessary to jump to the few serious recent incidents of zoonotic diseases, (such as COVID-19)  to understand the sheer effect that consuming animals has on our health, just look at H1N1 (swine flu), salmonella, e-coli infections, psittacosis etc.  Therefore it should be of no surprise that an average person’s lifestyle choices could be very closely related to a bigger problem, that of an even stronger virus taking over globally at any possible time. Furthermore, it has also been shown that systems like the one of industrial livestock production are one of the leading causes of other global concerns such as:  less soil degradation, water pollution, and deforestation.  Many of us seem to come to the conclusion that “foreign” places should be held responsible for the spread of pandemics. However few of us seem to forget that in every single slaughterhouse, animals are packed together in small spaces and they coexist under horrible and filthy conditions. Surely it should be obvious that such handling of livestock is a breeding ground for contamination and infection. On the same topic of meat industry measures, we are often met with the case of antibiotic resistance which when overused poses a huge pandemic risk as it helps strengthen and mutate bacteria. Antibiotics, as we know, are often  used for the treatment of crops, animals and humans, therefore the meat and animal products which the population tends to consume are also heavily pumped with the same chemical compounds.  Lastly, animals aren’t the only ones mistreated and in danger of spreading certain viruses to the world. The conditions for human workers in an average slaughterhouse are sadly, equally as devastating. It has continuously been reported that the positions these people are assigned inside each meat processing plant, force them to stand so close to each other that it makes safety practices such as social distancing impossible to follow. A grand example of this phenomenon already worsening an existing pandemic is the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Gütersloh meat factory in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.  So what can we as a society do, to control the spread of such chaotic diseases? We must prevent the meat industry from thriving and diminish animal agriculture once and for all, and of course all this begins on our plate and the companies we put our money into due to our lifestyle practices. In light of this recent pandemic, maybe you’ll drop the red meat and poultry and switch to some delicious cruelty free Seitan, or a nice tofu wrap, perhaps you will make an extra step and start buying cruelty free cosmetics too! As crucial as it is to modify our lives to not support such mistreatment, it is also necessary to spread the word regarding information such as this article or similar, this helps to urge more people into deliberating about the world as a whole and the threats it’s often  faced with.  More pandemics mean more global suffering, extinction and corruption, that will inevitably happen if we refuse to change our ways and listen to reason. Veganism helps everyone, it benefits animals, the environment and human individuals. Start with baby steps and remember that these are steps to push us all towards a brighter future! Take the first step by signing up for our free 30 day vegan challenge!
Vegan Cheat Sheet: a stop for all your vegan needs!
When people find out that I’m vegan, there’s often an onslaught of questions that follow, such as:  “Is it hard to be vegan in Taipei?” Nope, it’s not hard being a vegan here at all! There’s a flourishing vegan community and plenty of vegan restaurants! “Is traveling hard as a vegan?” Nope! There are resources like HappyCow to find vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants practically anywhere. I’m always happy to answer these questions and discuss veganism. I like to think that my transition to veganism was quick and painless, so I didn’t have many of the concerns that people who are considering making the change do. Even so, I still come across resources that make it that much easier every now and then. For a new vegan, embarking on the lifestyle may seem much more daunting, especially if you live somewhere less vegan-friendly. The last blog post discussed our Vegan Bootcamp and the 30-day challenge that can help you slowly transition, but if you just want to jump in, then the Vegan Cheat Sheet may also serve you well. The Vegan Cheat Sheet is a convenient one-stop shop for any vegan resources you may need, whether that’s recommended documentaries to show a friend or links to talented vegan recipe-creators. You can find information on all aspects of veganism, as well as studies, activists and activist groups, and news. There are also links to vegan fashion lines and vegan food delivery services. Today, being vegan is easier and more important than ever. Whether or not you’ve made the transition, the Vegan Cheat Sheet is worth checking out!
In this season of COVID-19 self-isolating: try Vegan!
In this season of COVID-19 self-isolating and social distancing, one of the silver linings has been the opportunity to make more headway in self-development, whether that’s learning a new instrument, getting back into art, or teaching your pup some new tricks. If life’s just been too busy, then it’s also provided some free time to finally read that book or watch that TV show! If you’ve been curious about veganism, then there’s never been a time like now to give it a shot, especially if you’re living in an area where most doors are still closed. For a lot of people that want to try to make the transition, one of the big obstacles is going out to eat with friends and finding vegan options that aren’t just some fries and a sad salad, but social distancing means that there’s more opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, or just have some more control over your diet in general. For that extra push, Vegan Hacktivists developed Vegan Bootcamp—https://veganbootcamp.org/—a totally free, 30-day challenge that provides a wide range of resources to help anyone who’s vegan-curious to make the transition. There’s a wealth of information on why veganism is so valuable not only to the animals, but also to your health and the environment, and motivating clips of animals to remind you of why you started the challenge in the first place! As you move through the 30 days, you earn points that can be used on coupons to use at small vegan businesses. On your next grocery trip, maybe you could try getting tofu instead of eggs for a “scrambled tofu” or a coconut milk-based creamer for your morning coffee! A dollar is a vote, so just trying out some vegan products is supporting the movement, and that’s how you can be helping out from home.  And if you’re already vegan, then invite a friend or family member to try the challenge! As soon as you sign up for the challenge, an invitation link unique to you is created for you to share. You can track how many folks have signed up and completed the challenge. Based on our surveys, we know that the majority of people who complete the challenge continue to live a vegan lifestyle, so there’s some activism with just the click of a button (or, a few)!
Sneak preview of our upcoming project: My Daily Dozen!
Hey everyone! We're actually working on 4 different projects right now but we wanted to give you a little sneak preview of one in particular, My Daily Dozen! Some of you may already know about Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen (see attached): 🌱 https://nutritionfacts.org/daily-dozen-challenge/  There's an amazing mobile app, but no web-version, so we decided to make one! This version is especially exciting because you'll be able to include and customize new additions like Yoga, Meditation, Acts of Compassion, Sleep, and whatever else you'd like to add to your daily diet or routine! We may or may not be able to do this in collaboration with Dr. Greger, we're waiting on that right now, but either way we think this will be awesome for folks trying to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Naturally, we'll be adding some default activism cards to promote folks becoming active for the animals when they visit :) Here's the preview! https://imgur.com/a/kOxn6WS Let us know in the comments what you think! We'll be making more posts soon so we can show you what else is in our project pipeline. As always thank you so much for your support! 🐢 💕 
It's been a while! New Projects, Advisors, and more!
Hey everyone! It's been a while - we're not so great at keeping our blog up to date, but we promise on the flip-side we have been doing great with our organizations activism! 😅  A lot has happened in 2020! 🐄  Let's start with the two really big things that took up most of our half-year: Save Movement We were able to build the Save Movement (now known as Animal Save Movement)'s new website! This website should be live soon but it was a pleasure to work with Animal Save's team to build them something that is going to be far cleaner and more modern. Animal Rebellion We were also able to build Animal Rebellion's new website! We're in the process of pushing it out live as we write this, very exciting, and we've never worked with a more passionate bunch of activists before. We're really thankful that they reached out to us for support and we really think everyone is going to love how their new site runs and looks. Some other updates include: 🐤  ―We launched a new team! Team Carrot, lead by project leader Daniel. We'll be making a separate post describing the project they are working on right now, it's exciting! ―We've made some vital structural changes to how our teams communicate, work and track - our project leaders have been set-up with better tools to collaborate with their teams in a easy and efficient way. Our work has sped up without losing quality as a result! ―We completely re-did our instagram! If you haven't already, go follow us there @veganhacktivists, we've been able to forge some great relationships with other activists with the goal of supporting and collaborating with them. ―We've been working on a super secret project, a new street outreach organization that has the tools to measure the effectiveness of their individuals outreach. We can't reveal much more then that but keep an eye out, it's going to be game changing! ―We now have Seb Alex and Mic The Vegan as advisors! Advisors provide us a lot of value when we ask for advice with our upcoming projects. We created the advisor program because we know that we don't know everything, we prefer to learn from others! ―We also have some big big news for Vegan Bootcamp coming up, but we'll also be making a separate post just for that! Keep an eye out on our patreon / your email. ―We're finally confident enough with our infrastructure to be able to start trying to double the amount of teams we have, so if you know another 40 or so vegan developers... send them our way, positions are open again! :) That's it! 🐖  We plan on doing better with our blog- thanks for bearing with us. Your support means the world to us. If you have any questions, leave a comment below - and thank you again! David 🐟 Vegan Hacktivists
2019 Vegan Hacktivists Year Review!
Wow - It's only been a year since we started and I'm already so incredibly proud of our team and the accomplishments we've made since then. We've all been really excited about making this post for a while now because we really wanted to see how much ground we've covered as an animal rights organization in just a short amount of time. But just for those who don't know how we started this, I'll let everyone in on that this was all an accident. I started this organization on New Year's of last year, almost exactly a year ago. As a moderator of the r/Vegan reddit community I wanted to build a website that had a bunch of vegan resources beautifully displayed and accessible instead of having to share several links when doing my online outreach. A few people offered their time to help me with the site and before we knew it we were working together daily building it. While we were working on the project we decided to create a discord (a chat server, similar to a forum but live) to be able to communicate better, but we had to name it - we landed on Vegan Hacktivists as a fun little pun. To cut a long story short, as more volunteers jumped on to help we began discussing several other project ideas and, well, one thing led to another! In the blink of an eye we connected with several vegan organizations and activists who heard of us and needed our help. We started to build better organizational and team structures for the Vegan Hacktivists as we continued to get more and more requests for help. In a short amount of time we grew from 3 volunteers to over 50 in 12 months! Today, in just one year, we launched 12 new projects which include websites for activists and organizations such as Meat The Victims, Planet Vegan, and the Rancher Advocacy Program, but also some of our own ideas. We launched Vegan Bootcamp, our most successful project which is a new 30 day vegan challenge site, and we launched 5 Minutes 5 Vegans, a 5 minute online vegan outreach website for activists. Both of these sites brought something brand new to the animal rights scene that no-one else had done yet. We scratched itches with Vegan Playlist and My Vegan Tree, and while those two projects weren't necessarily original ideas or successful, they helped us learn to work as a team on the way and developed our skills. We built out VeganActivism.org and VeganCheatSheet.org, both which have become incredibly popular by just word of mouth, and we were lucky enough to get James Hoot, Alex Bez, Leah Doellinger and Ryuji Chua on as advisers - we can't begin to thank them for their time and guidance. We're working on building partnerships with Animal Save Movement (formerly The Save Movement), Animal Rebellion, and and a few other organizations behind-the-scenes - more to come on that soon! We also have 2 new projects in the pipelines, both of which we're really excited to announce in the beginning of 2020. Thanks for reading, let's keep it up for another great year! :) The Vegan Hacktivists
Announcing the new Vegan Hacktivists blog!
Today is the day we're launching our new blog! We'll mainly use this as a tool to keep everyone up to date with our projects, announce new ones, and general organizational blog posts - but we also plan to have some fun and do interviews with our volunteers, activists, and advisors! Our content creators may also release some fun posts every so often outside of the scope of the Vegan Hacktivists surrounding vegan activism in general. We took some of our older Patreon posts and posted them here for historical purposes and to fill the new blog in a bit. We'll still announce new projects earlier on Patreon but those posts and other fun content will eventually hit the blog as-well after our patrons have had a good look! We still have a lot more to get done before the blog is fully up and running but for now, thanks so much for reading and see you in the next one! The Vegan Hacktivists
Our newest project: VeganBootcamp.org!
We're so so happy to announce that we've released Vegan Bootcamp! It took several months longer than we thought it would but we're so proud of what we accomplished among the countless of volunteers that put work into bringing this project to reality.  https://veganbootcamp.org/ We're especially excited about the analytics that we're able to (anonymously) gather on how many people are where, how long they stay there, and if they completed the challenge. We're able to optimize certain challenges that we see people struggling with so that the entire 30 day challenge is set up in the best way possible for folks to succeed. Activists can now login and create a special custom shortlink to see how many people clicked, signed up, and completed the challenge. We can almost guarantee that anyone who's completed the challenge has a close to 90% chance of not only being a "plant based" vegan, but being an ethical vegan. The challenge has folks watching Dominion, Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives, among many other educational videos - all while slowly transitioning and replacing foods throughout the 30 days to the point of making it easier than ever. Folks can then spend stars that they earn as they complete challenges to unlock coupons from participating vegan stores and organizations! Please signup, check it out, and share where possible! We'll be keeping a close eye on this project, updating it, and we're going to hopefully have activists start using this link as either a replacement for Challenge 22, or side by side! Thank you so much as always for the support here on Patreon, it means the world to us! Thank you! :)
New website, new teams, new projects!
Good morning everyone! We're stoked to announce our new website located below: https://veganhacktivists.org We've added a services section, projects section, and a few other neat pages that expand on who we are and what we do. The team members page is not fully filled out yet (we have a lot more people to put up!) but other then that we're really proud of what we have done! We're growing fast - we have a total of 37 volunteers between developers, project leaders, graphic design, content creators, etc. That's 20 more then we had just less than 2 months ago! We're making sure our organizational structure is set up so we're not overwhelmed, although it's a fantastic problem to have! 🙋🏻  Let us know what you think of the new website in the comments below, and as always, thank you so much for your support!  💕