The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on July 26, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

image (1)By Sasha Keenan, VRG intern

As a recent high school graduate, I can attest to the often crooked priorities of adolescents. We are usually caught up in the temporary: scrolling through our Twitter feeds, chatting about the latest drama, and stressing over prom dresses. Consequently, we sometimes fail to discuss broader issues.

I maintain that awareness is the first step to change–no one can begin to fix a problem if they don’t see a problem. That’s why I made a tenacious effort to promote veganism throughout my high school career.

I never wanted to change every one of my readers by writing about veganism. Instead, I hoped to start a conversation with my peers and shed light on a matter that is not given enough attention. In retrospect, I am happy with the work that I did because it encouraged people to ask questions, and, more importantly, to question themselves.

Promoting a veggie diet in a publication as a high school student might require a leap of faith, but can also allow young people to take the first step towards change. Here are a few ways to be successful when writing about your diet as a high school student:

1.Decide what type of publication works best for you

With each different high school comes a unique student newspaper set up. At my school, our publication was considered a “student forum for expression” and was published exclusively online. Since our publication was not technically owned by the school, we were able to publish whatever we wanted to without prior review from administration. This made it easier for me to publish articles about veganism for my school publication. Other situations might not allow as much leeway, and in that case you could start your own blog or newsletter. Either way, it’s important to determine what type of publication you’d feel most comfortable writing for.

2. Develop your voice and solidify your stance

Since you’ll be writing frequently, it’s a good idea to develop a voice that’s both unique and familiar to your readers. Perhaps more pertinently, you should decide what it is about veganism that matters to you–ethics, environmental issues, health–and infuse your writing with the passion you feel for a particular problem. Personally, I’m very concerned with water resources and droughts, so whenever I wrote about veganism, I would always tie my point to the shocking truths about water consumption and livestock production. As a result, my readers were consistently encouraged to care about the issue, too.

3. Advocate for yourself on social media platforms

Teens have the advantage of being social media savvy–use this to your advantage. Each time you publish an article, tweet it out, post it on Instagram, link it to Facebook, or email it to your relatives. I’ve found that almost 90% of the traffic we received on my high school publication was from social media link clicks. In other words, it’s unlikely that readers would go directly to your site, but if they saw a link to your article on social media with an eye-catching picture attached, they would probably check it out.

4. Submit your work to publications with wider audiences

Once you’ve got the writing and sharing down, challenge yourself by submitting your work to a publication beyond the walls of your high school. Though this may seem daunting, it’s relatively easy. Most major publications have a teen branch, and several online blog-like publication including The Odyssey and Elite Daily are always willing to accept work. By doing this, you’ll be reaching a larger audience and making a name for yourself as a writer.

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