Postcard Writing Instructions

This guide can be used during postcard-writing shifts or on your own to create effective pro-animal messages for voter outreach by mail.

Use these instructions to create a personalized message. Once you've crafted your message, show it to a PAF organizer for feedback. Then, repeat that message on each postcard during the shift, adding the voter’s name and address. While this guide suggests research-based messages, it’s equally important for you to speak in your own voice.

First Step: Download MiniVAN

MiniVAN (a.k.a. MiniVAN Touch) is an app you’ll use to get addresses and track the voters you write postcards to. Download MiniVAN to your phone and sign in. (If this is your first time using MiniVAN, you'll need to create an account.)

Once you're logged in, find Menu > “Download a new list”, then “Enter a List Number”, and enter this number, separating the two parts into the two fields:

List Number: 45764981-38320

This will download a unique list of voters onto your phone– the app ensures no two activists will write postcards to the same voters.

Once you download the list, choose an address under the “Household” tab. Fill the address onto your postcard, with the names of each voter in the household. Then, in MiniVAN, choose the option "Sent postcard" for each voter. Once you do, those voters won’t appear on anyone else’s list, so make sure you don’t click that unless you actually fill out a postcard for that voter!

Checklist

Make sure you complete the following for each postcard:

Writing Messages to a Stranger

Try to make it clear that your message really was written by hand. For instance, it might help if you occasionally spill over the gray margin. Color pens (anything other than black) are highly encouraged.

Example Messages:

Hi Jessica and Nabin,

Thanks for caring about animals! I’m writing my neighbors in Denver about a pair of initiatives on the ballot this year. I'm volunteering to ban fur and slaughterhouses in the city because phasing out factory farming is critical for the climate, the workers, and the animals.

It would mean so much to me if you'd check out our website to learn more!

Olivia Hammond, pro-animal volunteer

-or-

Hi Jessica and Nabin,

As a fellow environmentalist and animal lover, let's make a change together!

VOTE YES to end fur and slaughterhouses in Denver.

Visit our website to learn more. Your support means the world!

Olivia Hammond, pro-animal volunteer

-or-

Hi Jessica and Nabin,

I'm writing as a fellow animal lover to ask you to join me in voting YES to ban slaughterhouses in Denver. Whether or not you eat meat, we can all agree that factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses have no place in the peaceful future we're trying to create.

Visit our website to learn more. Your support means the world!

Olivia Hammond, pro-animal volunteer

What to include:

  1. Address all voters in the household by their first names.

Dear [first names],

  1. Thank them for being animal supporters, and explain that you’re writing to your neighbors asking them to support pro-animal measures.

First of all, thank you for being someone who cares about animals! I’m writing my pro-animal neighbors in Denver about a pair of initiatives on the ballot this year.

  1. Name what the measures do, and share a personal explanation of why you are supporting them. Here are some suggestions based on our messaging research (there are more at the bottom of this guide):

I support these measures to ban fur and slaughterhouses in the city because...

  • I truly think evolving away from factory farms and slaughterhouses is a big step towards a more peaceful and sustainable future for all of us.

  • I believe that all of us, if we listen to our sense of compassion, know that these measures are on the right side of history.

  • whether or not we eat meat, we can all agree that factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses are not just or sustainable.

  1. Try to mention “the climate, the workers, and the animals.

  2. Ask them to check out the website to learn more and pledge their vote.

Check out our website to learn more and let us know whether the animals can count on your vote!

  1. Sign off with your name! We encourage you to use your full name if you're comfortable doing so, otherwise just your first name is fine.

  2. Optionally, you can draw an arrow from the word "website" in your note to the QR code to emphasize it.

Tips

  • Write slowly and legibly! If the voter can’t read your handwriting, you wasted your time.

  • Be aware that these may not actually be mailed until closer to the election. So, for instance, refer to “November” rather than “10 months from now”.

  • If you live in Denver, you can mention which neighborhood.

Writing Messages to Someone You Know

Letters to your friends and acquaintances should be similar, but you should open the letter with more of a focus on your connection to the recipient. For instance, you could start like this:

Hi Jessica,

I hope you’ve been well! You might have heard that I’m volunteering with a pair of pro-animal ballot initiatives in Denver this year, and I’m writing you personally to ask for your support.

Hosting a Postcard Writing Shift

If you are the host of a shift dedicated to writing postcards, you have just a few extra responsibilities:

  • Provide postcards, pens, and a few blank sheets of scrap paper for people to draft their messages.

  • Give a short speech at the beginning of the shift to get your activists hyped up about why we are doing this.

  • Run a simple Before & After Action Review.

  • Vet each activist’s message before they start mass-producing it to ensure it represents PAF positively.

  • Collect all postcards at the end of the shift, store them in a safe location, and hand them off to your campaign coordinator in a timely manner.

More Sample Messages

These message suggestions come straight out of Pax Fauna's research with voters. However, keep in mind you need to be concise to fit a message onto a postcard.

  • Industrial slaughterhouses are notorious for being inhumane and having deplorable conditions. Animals in slaughterhouses are often pumped with hormones, live incredibly close to one another, are susceptible to diseases, and do not have a quality life before they are slaughtered. These slaughterhouses should be banned.

  • Industrial slaughterhouses are inhumane and unsustainable, causing damage to the ecosystem and creating terrible living conditions for the animals housed therein. Animals brought to these slaughterhouses often die during transport, are starved on the way to their destination, or are beaten once they arrive. In addition, the employees in slaughterhouses are known to experience symptoms of PTSD as a result of the cruelty they observe.

  • The greatest argument against industrialized slaughterhouses is showing what that actually looks like in practice. They are cruel beyond measure. Animals raised in captivity, force-fed growth hormones, unable to ever move. Raised simply to be artificially big and slaughtered. It would be considered a crime against humanity to do so to a person, it’s a crime against all basic humanity to do so to an animal.

  • These facilities have a detrimental impact on water and air quality, in addition, there is the potential for the spread of diseases in densely populated and poorly regulated industrial farming operations. Transitioning to smaller, more environmentally friendly farming practices would not only mitigate these risks but also promote a healthier and more sustainable food production system for the long term.

  • Animals suffer unbelievable cruelty when being raised for consumption. Most never see daylight or touch grass until on the way to the slaughterhouse. They are force-fed, mutilated, cramped in cages, ripped from their children/mothers, some are burned alive, have their throats slit, and are thrown into grinders while alive.

  • Slaughterhouses are not only cruel and abusive towards the animals, but they harm local communities. They put out tons of pollution, and these companies are known to cut corners at every turn. The runoff from the process ends up in your water supply, the smell permeates your air, and having one near your home will even drive down your property value.

  • Slaughterhouses are known to subject animals to horrible living environments and inhumane practices. We all know that animals feel pain and experience emotions. We should ban slaughterhouses for their mistreatment of animals.

  • It’s not fair for any living creature to live a miserable life, locked in a cage and overfed to the point of pain and health issues. Then to have them die a painful and terrible death when there are better and more humane options.

  • Industrial slaughterhouses are not only cruel places for animals to be slaughtered and processed, they also are a cruel place to work. In 2023 the US Labor Department found that slaughterhouses were employing over 100 child laborers illegally. They do not care about people they employ. They do not care about the animals they slaughter.

  • I’m supporting the ban on slaughterhouses because of stories like this one from Jose Huizar, a whistleblower at Denver's lamb slaughterhouse, who told us how "You come home and you’re f***ed up from killing animals all day, or from the drugs most guys take to cope with it. Slitting throats, spilling guts, hearing them scream... It disrupts your family dynamic, how you’re supposed to relate to your wife and kids."

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