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Tabling is easy and it’s a great way to get your message across. You don’t need a lot of people, just a few dedicated activists. Find a place with lots of pedestrian traffic - try a busy store or area of town, maybe near a university. This is a wonderful way to get information out and have time to talk to people about certain issues. You might also want to find out if local festivals, fairs or even Farmer’s Markets allow people or groups to set up information tables.

To set up a table around town, you might want to contact the mayor’s office or the local police station. You need to find out if you have to get a permit to set up a table at a certain location and how long it takes to process, how often you can use it, and if you can set up equipment (like a TV & VCR). Some may or may not let you sell merchandise, either way - take a donation jar. If you want to set up a table in front of a store such as a grocery or health food store, just ask the store manager. Let them know when you would like to be out and offer to show them the materials you will be distributing.

Keep we mind, you may be able to set up a table in some cities without needing a permit. Maybe try setting up a table and see if anyone tells you to leave!

What you need:

  • Table (optional: brightly colored cover)
  • Chairs
  • Donation jar (an easy way to raise money for your activities - start it off with a $1 in the jar)
  • Paperweights
  • Plenty of literature! Don’t forget to contact groups (like Viva!) well in advance to get lots of literature to distribute
  • A sign letting people know why you are there - Information on Veganism - and who you are if your organization has a name (i.e., Action for Animals!)
  • Posters on whatever issue you are focusing on
  • A sign-up sheet (to either boost your group’s numbers or get you in touch with others who feel like you)
  • A petition of some kind to help people get involved or a leaflet with a quick & easy what you can do

Make sure your table is organized and encourages people to come up. Don’t put too much literature on lots of different issues: Sometimes this overwhelms people. Be sure to have a lot of each flyer so people are not worrying about taking your last brochure instead of getting more informed.

Always be friendly and patient. It is good to let people know something about you - maybe it was hard for you to give up cheese, but once you learned about the suffering of the animals used in milk production you give it up and they can too! Let them know about all of the great tasty vegan foods that are out there. (Viva!’s guide Vegan Basics can help with yummy vegan foods).

If someone comes up to the table and does not agree with you (and will not leave), DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM. State your position again briefly, express regret at your disagreement, then turn to someone else - you are out there to reach people, not debate him or her. When you argue at the table you may miss someone else who you might have been able to reach.

Always have something for people to do. Have a petition for them to sign or a number to call or someone to write (e-mail or postal address). Let people know that their call can make a difference for the animals!


Download "Tabling" in pdf format.