Class Assignments

Many veg activists want the classes they take and the assignments they do to also serve as a form of activism. Others want to write and learn about the subjects—vegan nutrition, animal welfare—that they’re most passionate about. This article will give you some great ideas on how you can incorporate your lifestyle into everyday school assignments, learn even more about the veg movement, and raise awareness.

Academic Disciplines included below:
English/Writing/Speech
Science/Health/Nutrition
Languages
Politics/History/Other Humanities or Social Sciences
Computers/Technology
Business
Religion/Theology/Philosophy
College Essays
Journalism/School Newspaper

 

English/Writing/Speech

  • Open-Ended Assignment:
    • Write on a life lesson. One example lesson might be that every person has the capability to improve the world, and veg activism is a way one can exemplify this
  • Current Events Paper:
    • Write about topics such as the recent activity of factory farm industries, agribusiness, or other scandalous companies (eg. the GMO labeling debate)
  • Biographical Report:
    • Present on a role model, and/or choose a significant figure in the veg movement—perhaps one that you know a lot about/read books written by, or the person instrumental in your switch to a veg diet; you may be able to include a few of the person’s tips and knowledge in your report
  • Persuasive/Argumentative Essay:
    • Why people should consider becoming vegan; perhaps organize by: Compassionate and Ethical Reasons; Health Reasons; Environmental Reasons; Human Rights Reasons; and Economic and Political Reasons
    • Why there should be more plant-based options in your school cafeteria
  • Expository (explanation) Essay:
    • Write a detailed description of factory farm conditions, specifics steps for making an involved vegan recipe, or a list of environmental issues mitigated by a vegan diet.
  • Creative Writing:
    • Incorporate a vegan/vegetarian character and highlight them positively, consider making them the protagonist
      • Give the protagonist, a pet (better yet, an unconventional pet like a chicken) and portray the animal as innocent, smart, and helpful, essential to the character’s success
    • Allegory:
      • An allegorical story comparing the Holocaust to today’s ‘animal holocaust’
    • Poetry:
      • Refer to PETA’s “The Dream” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhExhrht0es
      • Express your feelings and emotions through a poem about animal treatment
      • Write a poem about the beauty of animals, a pet, or of an experience at a farm sanctuary.
  • Speeches:
    • Any of the English topics work well for speeches
  • Class Discussions:
    • Question and discuss any animal, or vegan, related topics in classes such as English and History especially
  • Movie Project:
    • Use movie to describe veganism or raise awareness of animals. Involving non-veg people may be a great way to increase acceptance of the veg movement.

Science/Health/Nutrition

  • Project on vegan nutrition:
    • Why a veg diet is not only adequate, but beneficial
    • Nourishing one’s body and giving it the defenses it needs to stop disease
    • Why our anatomies are designed to thrive on a vegan diet
      • Use reliable sources such as scientific journal articles as well as books by Caldwell Esselstyn, Joel Fuhrman, Pam Popper, T. Colin Campbell, etc.
    • Project on environmental impact of factory farms industry in an environmental science class
    • Biology report: write a paper on a farm animal and describe how it’s killed, using details and descriptive language to make a point
    • In a nutrition or health class, suggest that the class watch a movie like Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., Super Size Me, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, or Vegucated, and for extra credit, write a review of each documentary
    • Science fair ideas
  • Psychology/survey experiment: survey public opinion of veganism among school community, then contrast it to actual facts; for instance, ask people if a vegan diet can provide enough protein, see what percent says yes/no/maybe, then show through research that it can
    • Qualitative/food science: test vegan/non-vegan foods and see which ones people think are tastier (make sure they don’t know which is which)
    • Psychology: for veg activists, test which one of your activist methods is most effective/efficient/costly, etc.

Politics/History/Other Humanities or Social Sciences

  • Write a history/world cultures paper on the agriculture and diets of cultures around the world, e.g. their methods of eating, cooking, hunting and gathering, etc.
  • In politics, write a paper on the political scandals of agribusiness and factory farming over the years, and how it influences life today
  • Politics/history/economics: a project looking into the subsidies that government provides to companies that sell animal products and the motives for doing so(i.e. conflicts of interest)
  • For a paper on a specific social movement or period in history, look at how the food industry is tied into different social movements (e.g. workers’ rights and slaughter houses)
    • The book Fast Food Nation does a fantastic job of outlining these problems over a large period of time
  • Write an international/economics paper about poverty and food subsidies/tax money that goes toward animal-product industries
  • If writing about a famous person, consider veg people like Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Coretta Scott King; also, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Pythagoras, and Da Vinci

Business

  • If you are asked to create and run your own “business,” try a food service company that serves veg options. Make a business plan and show that meatless dishes are cost-effective

Languages

  • Most of the ideas in this article could be modified to use in a languages project (if it simply involves translating something)
  • If asked to write something in another language, write about why you became vegan, your journey to veganism, or how to switch to veganism
    • To further your cause, bring a treat like vegan brownies in for your class to taste; such cultural ideas are usually welcome in a language class

Computers/Technology

  • Microsoft Word project ideas:
    • When creating a sample resume, mention activist/veg qualifications/jobs/positions you have
    • When asked to make a poster or flyer advertisement, do one asking people to save animals, a mock lost dog poster, or posters for starting a club or advertising an existing animal rights/veg club
  • Microsoft Publisher ideas:
    • Make your own veg restaurant with lots of menu options and recipes
    • Make a restaurant brochure or flyer that presents the menu or advertises the restaurant
    • When making business cards, exemplify your participation in the vegan movement through activist jobs and positions, or even just as a passionate vegan/animal lover!
    • If asked to plan an “event” (birthday, celebration, etc.), be sure to research vegan dishes/cakes/menus/catering and prominently display this on “invitations”
  • Microsoft Excel ideas:
    • If charting revenue/sales/financial values for companies or products, use animal-rights organizations, veg restaurants, products, foods, or even veg menu items from fast-food restaurants, or record revenue of veg-related movies like Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Vegucated, etc.
    • Track the foods you eat each day along with calories or other nutritional facts to show people the variety and adequacy of your diet
  • PowerPoint idea:
    • Present colorful, stunning pictures of ripe, simple vegan foods but also foreign, delicious vegan cuisine

Religion/Theology/Philosophy

  • For religious ceremonies or times when you must write a paper on a moral lesson, consider writing on your journey to veganism, creating a compelling story rooted in compassion for others and morality
    • For a Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ritual) or Confirmation speech about a moral lesson you’ve learned in life, you could talk about all the wisdom you’ve acquired since becoming vegan.
  • When writing on Catholic saints or choosing Confirmation saint names, research saints like St. Francis of Assisi who ministered to animals
  • When writing on religious role models, find out about vegans, such as Mayim Bialik, a Jewish vegan

College Essays

  • Write college application essays about your switch to veganism as your greatest hurdle (if it was) and how you overcame it
  • Write about veganism as the thing that defines who you are
  • If asked what you can bring to the college, mention starting a veg club or playing an active role in further developing a current activist club

Journalism/School Newspaper

  • A fantastic way to spread the word about veganism is through the media; writing for your school newspaper is great experience for writing on vegan topics and for initiating open discussion

 

Using these class project ideas is sure to help you reach your goals and spread the word even more!