- What is Mobile Vegan Video Projection?
- How effective is Mobile Vegan Video
- Where to set up Mobile Vegan Video Projection?
- What equipment do I need?
- Future directions
What is Mobile Vegan Video Projection?
Mobile Vegan Video Projection is a portable theater for showing
people the exploitation of non-human animals. It consists of a video
projector, sound system and movie screen and is by far the
most effective method of reaching the general public we have every seen
in our activist experience. Have you seen The Witness? This is
Faunavision without the van, a Faunette for the new millenium. Activists
across North America, from Toronto to New York City to Oakland, have
discovered the power of Mobile Vegan Video Projection.
Some features of Mobile Vegan Video Projection:
- Deeply impactful. Nothing speaks to people like video combined
with audio. Viewers react on a visceral level, emotionally
connecting with the issue in a way that does not happen with other
forms of outreach.
- Conveys a sense of urgency. The overwhelming brutality of the
acts depicted in the video helps viewers understand animal
oppression as a matter of life and death and motivates them to take
- Instant feedback. People stand there watching the video,
allowing activists to observe their reactions to the movie and
better understand our audience.
- Opportunity for dialog. Since everybody is standing in one
place, viewers can engage in conversation with activists, allowing
for a more thorough communication of the issues each cares about
than can occur with some other forms of outreach.
- Low ongoing operating costs, efficient use of physical
resources, especially compared with 'carpet-bombing,' numbers-based
- Easier on the activist than cold-calling forms of outreach. The
video, not the activist, draws people in. Viewers approach activists
with their questions and concerns.
Some disadvantages of Mobile Vegan Video Projection:
- Depending on projector brightness, may be vulnerable to ambient
- Like tabling, it requires a moderate set up and tear down time.
- Requires a large up front investment in equipment.
If we had to choose just one form of public outreach to do, it would
be Mobile Vegan Video Projection. We hope this mode of vegan education
spreads to every city.
How effective is Mobile Vegan Video Projection?
We've been talking about doing this ever since we first heard Andre
Inglis describe his experience doing this in Toronto. We finally put
together the setup and tried it out. The results exceeded our
already-high expectations! Here are some highlights from our first
evening of Mobile Vegan Video Projection:
- A few minutes after we started, a couple of young men watched
and they immediately recognized the connection between
racism and speciesism. This happened multiple times throughout the
night. One older African American man kept shouting, nearly crying,
This is me! This is what they did to N''s! It was heartbreaking to
witness. We have never seen any other tool be so effective at
allowing people to see the connectedness of oppression.
- A vegan student from a local university brought her friends over
to watch. They sat down on the sidewalk and watched the movie for
about 15 minutes.
- A woman watched the video for at least 30 minutes. Towards the
end, she said how the video was a very effective tool. She had seen
a video at a veal protest in her teens and hasn't eaten veal since.
She said she's going to have to reconsider her consumption of other
animal products, including dairy and eggs.
- A woman stopped to watch the video. Her family wanted to move
on; her daughter said she didn't want to watch the movie and the
woman shouted, No, you watch this right now! This is important!
- And, of course, there were many, many people who watched for
over 30 minutes each, each one very much affected by what they had
seen, wanting to learn more, asking us questions.
Clips of people watching the video:
Where to set up Mobile Vegan Video Projection?
Try looking for places with heavy foot traffic. If you live in or
near a tourist town, try looking around the tourist traps for places to
set up. Try not to block traffic, but at the same time try to set the
screen in a way that pedestrians cannot help but see the image as they
walk towards and past it. Setting up on the street in front of closed
storefronts is good since nobody will come out and ask you to move.
We've found many (though not all) corners near traffic lights are poor
choices, since the light turning green induces many viewers to leave.
If you're projecting at night, safety may be a concern, so keep that
in mind when choosing a place to park and a place to set all your
What equipment do I need?
Video of our setup
There is a
tutorial online on mobile projection. It�s what we used to construct
our setup. Andre Inglis put together another good site describing
how to build a projection theater setup.
Here are the components of our setup.
Component: Digital Projector
Specifications: 2000+ lumen, high contrast ratio
$400+, depending on brightness
Note: Two factors are
important with projectors: brightness (as measured in lumens) and
contrast ratio. The brighter the projector, the more ambient light you
can work with and the larger the image you can project. High contrast
ratios allow darks to show; particularly important with a video like
You Can Help Stop This.
Projector costs are going down and it's possible to purchase a 2,000
lumen projector for under $500. Projector bulbs last about 2,000-3,000
hours, after which they need to be replaced. If they're not well taken
care of, they may burn out earlier. Replacement bulbs are expensive:
On a budget: This is one of the most important pieces
of the setup. I wouldn't recommend skimping here, particularly on
brightness. It's important the projector be able to show the movie
clearly; the effectiveness of Mobile Vegan Video Projection depends upon
What we use:
Viewsonic PJ513DB. $429 from Amazon.com
and portability were considerations for us. We velcroed to the bottom of
the screen a laminated message that reads,
YOU can help stop this.
Go vegan today. This helps give people the context they need so they
know what to do with the information they just took in.
budget: craigslist is one possibility. Also, see Andre's notes
making your own screen.
What we use: $40 from a local
thrift store. A real bargain!
Note: Good sound is very important for making a big impact with
Mobile Vegan Video Projection.
On a budget: Try looking on
craigslist for used practice amps. 15 W is probably sufficient. 30 W is
What we use:
Roland Cube CM-30 amplifier. $175 from Amazon.com
Component: Deep Cycle Battery
Specifications: 86+ Ah (Group 27 or larger) is ideal.
Note: A standard car battery is not suitable for
sustained power. You need a deep cycle battery. Here is an excellent
primer on batteries.
Take good care of your battery and it will last you a long time.
On a budget: It's probably wise not to skimp here, but this is also
one of the most expensive pieces of the setup. If you can find a used
one that has been well-maintained, you can save a lot of money. You
could also buy a standard wet battery. It requires more maintenance than
a Gel or AGM battery, but is significantly less expensive, at least
initially (Gel/AGM batteries last longer, but cost more).
WestMarine SeaGel, 86 Ah, Group 27 size. $90 from craigslist.org.
Fully charged, it powers our setup for nearly 2.5 hours.
Component: Power Inverter
Specifications: 800+ Watt continuous modified sine wave
Note: Get a good inverter! The rest of the expensive
electronics rely on it. We recommend purchasing an inverter with
alligator clamps at the end so it's easy to connect to and disconnect
from the battery.
On a budget: I would avoid purchasing a
used inverter. If it is faulty, it may fry your other equipment.
What we use:
AIM Compact 1000 Power Inverter. $74 from theinverterstore.com. The
model we use doesn't come with alligator clamps, so you may want to
check out the
800 Watt model, which does.
Component: Battery charger
Specifications: Deep cycle/Gel/AGM charger
Note: Buy a good charger that specifically can handle deep
cycle batteries (and Gel/AGM if you have that type of battery). A
regular car battery charger isn't enough.
What we use:
BatteryMINDer 12 Volt 2-4-8 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Conditioner.
Highly recommended! It is the only charger on the market that can revive
batteries which have suffered a lot of abuse, e.g. from deep-cycling. It
works! Using another charger, our battery life had dwindled to 30
minutes. After using this charger, that same battery now lasts nearly
Component: DVD player
Note: Look for the ability to show subtitles and loop selected
On a budget: You can find a cheap, $15 DVD
player on craigslist that will do the job just fine.
What we use:
A $15 craigslist special.
You Can Help Stop This
Note: Short video introducing the vegan ideal of
Component: Portable table
A card table or other folding table will do. Look for something sturdy
enough to support the projector.
On a budget: Used is
significantly less expensive. Check the usual locations: craigslist,
thrift stores, yard sales.
What we use: A store display unit
repurposed as a table. Free from a local store after we begged for it.
Component: Convertible hand truck
Note: For transporting all your gear!
What we use:
CHT800P. $70 at Home Depot.
We purchased some of our components used. Even so, the total cost was
about $1,020. Purchased new, the complete setup would probably run
$1,250 to $1,500.
It should also be possible to power the setup with a portable
generator. This might save some money, since a small generator will cost
less than a new battery and charger. Depending on the quality of the AC
output, you may still want to invest in an inverter or line conditioner.
Be aware that a generator will add audible noise to the setup that does
not exist when powered by battery. This might not matter in an urban
environment. If you choose to use a generator, please let us know how it
works for you.
It would be helpful to have a literature stand so people can take
information for themselves without being approached by an activist.
We'd like for the activists to be easily identifiable so people know
who they can speak with about what they are watching. Perhaps there can
be another sign on the screen that invites people to speak with the
With a bright enough projector, it would be possible to project
videos onto the wall of a building, allowing the image to be 30 feet, 50
feet or even higher. We have found a candidate spot in San Francisco
that we look forward to trying out.
With a bright enough projector (and perhaps a high gain screen), it
may be possible to show videos during daylight hours. If this works, we
would like to show videos in high traffic areas at colleges during
school hours. An alternative would be to set up inside a tent.
We are not the first to build such a setup. Among others, Andre
Inglis, the NYC AR meetup and the folks at the Graffiti Research Lab
helped pioneer the use of mobile video projection. We are indebted to
all these people, as well as the many people who engaged in Mobile Vegan
Video TV, the predecessor to Mobile Vegan Video Projection. Thank you
for sharing your technological expertise; may mobile vegan projection
spread to every town!