July 10, 2017
Thirty-six years ago, Shanasy Bratt gave up animal products and has never looked back. She has been plant-based for more than half her life and continues to advocate for animals–but now, in a very unique way.
Shanasy is the Pod leader for 10 Minute Armchair Activists, a virtual Pod where members can find and share effective activism tips they can implement from the ease of their own home. She started the Pod over a year ago because although she has always believed in activism, due to some eye issues, Shanasy is not always able to drive or leave her home to gather with others.
“I was an inactive activist, with a cause I was quite passionate about,” she explains. “Then it occurred to me that there were probably lots of other people in the same boat.”
Whether people are confined to their homes due to health issues, disabilities, familial caretaking, or just have busy work schedules and limited time, Shanasy is determined to help everyone find an easy way to make a difference and share their compassion for factory farmed animals by taking action on a cause close to their hearts. She feels that if people know an action will only take 10 minutes, they are much more likely to do it.
Shanasy is adamant about what she calls, “positive activism.”
“We need to show others that our stance is all about compassion for all sentient beings,” she says. “We can be much more effective if we are not stirring up the defenses of those we are trying to share our message with.”
Back in the 1980’s when Shanasy was first getting started, the plant-based world was “isolating and quite challenging.” Back then, there was no internet to help people join forces or share images and messages globally. Now, it is much easier and Shanasy believes social media has been the powerful driving force behind this.
Social media is great because, as Shanasy says, “many are willing to do things online like sign petitions, post messages, share videos and more.”
In fact, in recent years, social media has nearly reinvented activism, acting as a catalyst for larger change by giving people a voice and platform they wouldn’t have had in the past.
“There is a big opportunity for activism on social media for people who don’t want to–or can’t–leave their armchair,” Shanasy continues.
Every day, Shanasy interacts with her members (nearly 90 on her Pod site and over 300 on her Facebook page) by sharing information, resources and ideas to encourage others in their activism. Her daily tips are designed to be completed in under 10 minutes, which Shanasy hopes will inspire more people to get involved.
“I work hard keeping abreast of current studies showing which animal activist campaigns are the most effective,” Shanasy says. “It’s not enough to just post anything–we must always be thinking, ‘what’s going to stimulate the most attention; create the highest emotion; and stir the most action?’”
Although growth and engagement have been slower online than Shanasy expected, she is hopeful that with continued strategy and commitment, membership will expand. Her activism tips rotate between the three main benefits of a plant-based lifestyle: human health, animal well-being, and environmental conservation.
“Whether you believe in being a reducetarian or you’re an abolitionist–the ultimate goal is the same–to end animal agriculture,” Shanasy explains. “We need to all come together using our different approaches harmoniously. We have to always remember that what grabs one person’s attention may not grab another’s.”
Shanasy wants her Pod to stimulate the plant-based community to ultimately step up their activism game, and she encourages people to go beyond ten minutes of activism every day as they find their particular niche or skills in the movement.
In between posting tips on her Pod and Facebook pages, Shanasy also runs another Facebook page called Super Quick Plant-Based Recipes, where she shares tons of delicious, WFPB meal ideas that only take 20 minutes or less to prepare and use as few and as simple ingredients as possible.
“Besides helping busy plant-based cooks, my main intention is to show meat/fish/dairy consumers how eating plant-based doesn’t have to take a lot of time and can be quite easy without complicated or expensive ingredients,” Shanasy says. “Whether they go fully plant-based or not, hopefully this will spur them to at least include more plant-based options.”
Contact Shanasy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shanasy’s other Facebook page, Super Quick Plant-Based Recipes: https://www.facebook.com/SuperQuickPBRecipes/.
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