COK Volunteers and Staff Mobilize for Animals

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

COK VolunteerFor years, Compassion Over Killing (COK) has led public education, legislative outreach, legal advocacy, and corporate campaigns for animals. In that time, we have helped countless people discover the benefits of choosing vegetarian foods, and supported them with free resources such as starter guides, recipes, meal ideas, and several local veg dining guides.

In addition to educating others about vegetarian eating, we also make it top priority to motivate and empower other advocates to effectively speak out for animals.

In July, COK Executive Director Erica Meier and General Counsel Cheryl Leahy spoke on more than 10 different panels and workshops at the 2011 Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles. Topics included campaign strategies for initiatives such as restaurant outreach, effective ways to advertise pro-veg messages, and engaging legislators and corporations to help reduce animal suffering and promote vegetarian eating. COK volunteers and Los Angeles staff also distributed thousands of pieces of literature and encouraged more than 200 attendees to comment on WeLoveSubway.com.

Motivated by the conference, COK supporters across the city gathered for a free lecture by Nick Cooney, Founder and Director of The Humane League, and the author of the handbook Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Social Change. Cooney’s presentation explained why research should inform action, and some of his key findings about best practices for animal advocacy, touching on key psychological concepts such as “foot-in-the-door” and “narrow options.”

This month, COK hosted two special workshops presented by the Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART). The Humane Education Program trainings, one for activists and the other for legal professionals, provided teaching tips, lesson plans, and role play to prepare participants to educate elementary- and middle-school age children on complex issues such as their relationships to animals and environment. The sessions also covered practical tactics for developing relationships with school bodies, with the aim of cultivating engaged young citizens and conscious choice-makers.

The old adage about “strength in numbers” couldn’t be truer. The more of us who are trained to be effective advocates, the more animals we can help. Interested in volunteering? E-mail info@cok.net.