The Vegan Society’s biggest ever campaign has launched! We asked Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research Louise Davies and Senior Communications and Campaigns Officer Elena Orde to tell us all about it.
What is the Future Normal?
EO: For me, veganism is an inherently hopeful movement. Vegans see the injustice in how other animals are treated and we all play a part in creating a more compassionate future.
That is what the Future Normal is – a time where animals are given the respect and rights they deserve. A place where they are no longer used, but recognised as individuals with their own personalities, preferences and desires.
Our new campaign looks ahead to the future that is possible. We’re appealing to people’s compassionate nature and asking them to reflect on their own values. And we’re providing support for those who want to make changes.
LD: Over the past few years we have worked hard to establish ourselves as a leading voice for veganism in the environmental sector, with our campaigns Grow Green and Plate Up for the Planet. This has been hugely important given the climate crisis. However, we have not lost sight of the fact that as an organisation, our core is built on animal rights.
The challenge has been coming up with an approach and a message that encapsulates the welcoming and inclusive tone we pride ourselves on, while not duplicating the valuable work of other organisations in the animal rights field. This is such an important issue and facet of veganism that it was worth taking the time to get it right.
Future Normal is the result – our biggest campaign yet, and one we are excited to build on in the coming years.
How can I get involved?
EO: We all have friends and family members who describe themselves as animal lovers but who are not yet vegan. Sharing an aspect of the campaign with them – whether that’s our quiz or one of our thought pieces – could be the first step to them deciding to make some changes.
You can find out about financially supporting Future Normal here. Chipping in £10 will enable us to reach ten carefully selected animal lovers with our campaign’s message.
We’ve also put together some content for you to share here, so please do take a look and help us to engage with as many people as possible.
How did the campaign come together?
LD: We started off by looking at some of the outcomes of our Pathways research and also delved into other behaviour change research. We wanted to develop a campaign that resonates at a deep level, so worked hard to create engaging content to provoke new thinking and hopefully lead to meaningful and long-lasting behaviour change.
We’ve worked with a fantastic creative agency, UP (who just happen to be vegan too). Up responded to our brief with powerful visuals and an approach that provokes curiosity and inspires change.
EO: Due to the switch to home working in March, we have needed to be more flexible and creative than normal. Our campaigns usually have an events-based element, but we needed to rethink this approach and focus purely on creating interactive and engaging online content for now. However, we do have an exciting online event in the pipeline.
For me, the most exciting part is always seeing our ideas come to life. I loved working on the Future Normal podcasts – sharing the stories of inspiring individuals in the vegan movement is always a joy, and I am sure that these stories will help others to engage with the topic. Similarly, filming our short videos in which vegans share their ‘lightbulb moments’ was a real highlight.
What are your hopes for the campaign?
EO: I hope that as a result of our work, many more people are given a way in to veganism. I know that so many vegans only regret not making the transition sooner, so hopefully we can inspire and accelerate this journey.
LD: I genuinely believe we’ve created something quite unique with this campaign. It’s non-judgemental, informative – and fun! I hope that people spend time exploring all the brilliant content on the website, and that this leads to a change in the way they lead their lives. Bring on the Future Normal!
What are your longer term goals?
LD: We’ve invested heavily in this campaign – not just financially, but personally and emotionally – so we want to see it have a long shelf life. We’ll be aiming to encourage a rejection of exploitation of non human animals via this campaign over the next 12 months at least. We’ll be exploring new ways of driving traffic to the campaign website, hopefully including some live events and out of home advertising.