When many people think “vegan activist,” they may conjure up an image of an angry protestor outside a slaughterhouse or a social media personality with hard-hitting hard-to-watch content. But activism comes in all different forms, and for Roxy Velez, creative animated storytelling sends the right message.
Velez — who initially went vegan for her health, and then discovered the ethical side after watching several documentaries — is the co-founder and creative director of Vexquisit Studio in Germany; “exquisit” is the German word for exquisite, and the “v” stands for vegan.
With her partner David Heidrich, Velez unites two passions through her work at the studio: motion design and veganism. The duo and their small team specialize in visual storytelling. They work with brands in ethical vegan, ecological, and sustainable industries.
The Power of Vegan Animated Storytelling
According to Velez, the power of vegan animated storytelling lies in its accessibility. Not everyone feels able to watch graphic videos of animal cruelty in the meat industry, often making the content of this nature counter-productive.
But through animated storytelling the same information can be conveyed in a way that makes it less intrusive and intense for the viewer. “Through the combination of a well thought out process, it can achieve a higher chance to engage and captivate any resistant audience’s heart,” Velez told LIVEKINDLY via email.
These facts make animated storytelling a vital tool when it comes to progressing the animal rights movement, says Velez, if the right strategy is in place. The story, script, art direction, design, animation, and sound must all be considered with the target audience in mind, and how the message will speak “directly and specifically to their conscience and hearts.”
She explained, “this way it becomes a smart tool for spreading awareness and empathy, helping people to make the connection and wake up any deep feelings and emotions.”
Opening People Up to Veganism Through Animation
Velez has seen it all in action, naming her video series for the Center of Effective Vegan Advocacy (CEVA) as one of her most impactful projects.
The center — which aims to increase the impact of vegan advocacy around the world — was founded by Dr. Melanie Joy, the author of “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows,” and Tobias Leenaert, the author of 2017’s “How to Create a Vegan World.“
“[We] soon noticed the results when people were reacting less defensive and [more] open to the idea of supporting or embracing a kinder lifestyle,” she added. “I keep on recommending people to go and watch them – on repeat!”
Animated Storytelling as a Vegan Marketing Tool
It’s not all about hard-hitting animal rights messages, Velez also believes that animated storytelling is a handy marketing tool for vegan and sustainable businesses. She said, “I am always happy when I see more vegan businesses pushing up their video content game, this is one of the biggest tools that will help them succeed and one day replace all animal products.”
She explains that Vexquisit Studio has now also started producing work for commercial brands too. “This is really exciting for us,” she says. “We are so happy that these brands exist in the first place! So to be able to collaborate with them with what we do best is a great honor.”