Writing letters and emails puts pressure on politicians and businesses to change their ways. Viva! supporters write protest letters to local companies and restaurants if they are concerned about products which they sell – there have been lots of successes this way!
Why not write a letter to your favourite magazine or local newspaper letters page? Your letter will reach thousands of people and may force them to rethink their actions! Literally hundreds of letters by Viva! supporters are printed in the local press each year, bringing the message about animal suffering and vegetarianism to millions of people in total. Choose something which you feel passionately about (for example, animals being incorrectly stunned for slaughter or the environmental benefits of a vegan diet) and do your homework – use this website and the Viva! website to find facts and figures to back up what you’re saying. Keep your letter fairly short (around 200-300 words if possible) and polite – remember, the paper is more likely to publish a letter if it shares information with readers, and less likely to publish if it’s about how outraged someone feels (even if you’ve good reason to be angry!). Always mention Viva!’s contact details at the bottom – sometimes the papers edit them out to save space but many print them and people do get in touch with us as a result.
You can also write letters to MPs and companies telling them that how you feel about their actions, this reminds them that they are being monitored by the public and may encourage them to change their policies. Marks & Spencer, for instance, recently stopped selling factory-farmed whole duck after a campaign by Viva! including thousands of people writing to them. The Government and MPs have immense power over animals by determining the laws which are supposed to protect them and, as politicians, they will not ignore public opinion if it is strong enough.
One Activist got in touch with us to give her thoughts on the use of letters and e-mails to make a difference, here's what she had to say:
"I wrote to my local newspaper because I wanted more people to be aware of vegetarianism. I was really happy that my letter had been chosen. I really hope more people my age try to write to newspapers promoting being veggie, it’s really easy to do and could influence other people to become veggie!"
Alexandra Burgess, 14, Rochford