Published by Ashley Palmer.

As you can imagine, around the PETA office, I’m always hearing about the latest and greatest vegan events, experiences, and food. It’s hard to make time for it all, but here at PETA, you don’t have to twist our arm to do that research for you. 😉 Here are some “bucket list” items straight from the people who seem to have done and seen it all:

1.  Master a vegan recipe and make it your own.

My husband grew up eating huge servings of scrambled eggs every weekend morning. We’re talking six cholesterol bombs in one meal. Needless to say, I had quite the challenge to find a vegan replacement for his favorite dish. After many failed attempts in the kitchen, I finally created my very own tofu scramble recipe. Two years later, it’s still his favorite dish, and we eat it every weekend morning. Sometimes foods are more about rituals than anything else, and now we have a tradition of our own.

2. Put your First Amendment rights to good use and take part in a PETA demonstration.

When it comes to speaking up for animals, nothing quite compares to the experience of standing on the front lines. My very first demonstration was in PETA’s hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. We were protesting Ringling Bros. and its cruel training methods. Standing on the sidewalk and talking to passersby about how baby elephants are torn away from their mothers and violently trained with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods gave me a renewed sense of why I got involved with animal rights in the first place.

3. Visit an animal sanctuary with a nonvegan friend or family member.

If you’ve got a friend who just refuses to watch another one of your “sick videos” but still continues to eat meat, this is the event for you. Far too often, we are sucked into seeing animals only for what they’re capable of offering humans: meat, eggs, milk, etc. When you visit an animal sanctuary, you see firsthand what animals are really capable of offering. They form strong bonds, they play, and they rely on us to keep them safe. You—and your guest—will never view animals the same way again.

4. Adopt a companion animal from an open-admission shelter.

If you have the time, money, and energy, please consider adopting one of the millions of animals who desperately need a forever home. Whether you’re looking for a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a bird, or even a hamster, chances are there is an animal just right for you at your local shelter. The unique bond that is created when you save an animal’s life is indescribable, and you’ll change their life just as much as they’ll change yours.

5. Inspire someone else to go vegetarian or vegan.

This is the grand finale. You know you’ve made it once the people in your life start taking notice and start altering their habits accordingly. I’m not talking all or nothing here—every meal helps. If you can inspire your dad to try Meatless Mondays—or your mom to have a veggie burger at the family cookout instead of a beef burger—you’ve won. This is a huge victory for animals, and you deserve a pat on the back. Go you!

Did we forget something? Let us know what you hope to do before you “kick the bucket” by leaving a comment below.

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