Tabling

Animal Rights Activism
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Moo-ving people toward compassionate living
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” -Gandhi

Tabling

Tabling is when one or more individuals volunteer their time to set up an information table filled with brochures, fact sheets, miscellaneous items, or any type of free literature available for the general public to review, take home, and hopefully share with others. Tabling events commonly take place at special events such as festivals, community 'home days' events, social justice gatherings, and conferences.

Setting up an information table in a busy area of town, festival, or special event is a very effective way to reach a large number of people. Choose a spot with a lot of pedestrian traffic. Find out where other groups in your community set up tables, and get a list of festivals and fairs from your local Chamber of Commerce, Department of Parks and Recreation, or Department of Tourism.

Asking Permission

Once you've chosen a good location for a table, call the mayor's office, the city manager's office, or your local police station to find out about the regulations that you'll need to follow. Ask the following questions:

Setting Up Your Table

To set up the most successful table that you can, you'll need the following items:

Arrange your table neatly and attractively. Remove rubber bands from pamphlets so that people can easily pick them up. Keep an eye on your donation can; don't let someone walk off with it. Leave a five-dollar bill and some change in the can to encourage people's generosity!

Table Manners

If visitors to your table seem interested, ask them to leave their telephone number and e-mail address. Thank them and let them know that you'll keep them posted. Encourage them to help by contacting their congressional representatives about a particular bill or company that you are targeting.

Don't spend so much time with one person that you miss contact with others who may be interested. Be especially sure not to waste time and attention on someone who disagrees with you; you may alienate people who overhear the argument. Instead, clarify your position briefly, express regret at your disagreement, and turn to someone else as quickly as possible. You may feel as if you're "backing down," but arguing at a table is a waste of time and can cause you to miss potential supporters.

Above all, remember to smile. Be friendly and patient. You, too, were once unaware of animal abuses. Let others know that your background is much like theirs, but that once you learned about animal suffering, you decided to take action. Lifestyles and attitudes are easy to change—you're living proof! And you can show others how to be more compassionate, too!

Also see Leafleting and Ordering Materials for tabling events.