|Enewsletter • April 21, 2002|
Here is some of the backlog from the past few weeks. Feedback is at the bottom.
"Stereotypes of teenagers range from lackadaisical slackers to juvenile delinquents, with the vast majority uneasily balancing somewhere in between. Challenging time worn standards of behavior is a required rite of passage for teens on their perilous journey to adulthood, providing fertile ground for vegan advocates preaching the gospel of veganism. In short, there is a natural intersection where education extolling the benefits of vegetarianism meets the adolescent desire to blaze ones own trail....
"Viva!USA, along with Vegan Outreach and the financial support of Animal Rights International, initiated a campaign on April 5 to reach out to students at 56 high schools in 24 U.S. states and five schools in Canada. Students were given Vegan Outreachs Why Vegan? pamphlets and Viva!s leafletsgeared specifically towards studentsabout pigs on factory farms. The groups plan to coordinate national efforts to target students at least once more this year...."
Thanks to all those who took part in this event – we hope you met with success! If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions for the future, please pass them along to lauren. If you have pictures of activists using our literature, please send copies to us (211 Indian Dr.; Pittsburgh, PA 15238), which we will also share with Viva!
New Stickers Available!
We are now selling these new stickers for 50¢. Once we can get caught up, you will be able to order them from our website.
"When 8-year-old Peirce Marston told his mother that he didn't want to drink his milk at Highland View Elementary School in Silver Spring because it gave him stomachaches, she started researching how a growing number of children in the United States have trouble digesting cow's milk.
"The solution seemed obvious to her: offer the students soy milk.
"'Even Starbucks has soy now,' Julia Marston said. 'I thought the schools would certainly be getting it soon.'
"But they won't. While many school systems would like to offer soy milk as a choice, the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't reimburse them for it except in cases of medical need. Cow's milk is required by law as part of the federally assisted meal plan, which some school systems depend on for more than half of their cafeteria funds...."
A vegan advocacy tip from Compassion Over Killing
While many groups, COK included, have been conducting vegan feed-ins using burgers for years, NYC activists have generally done feed-ins with vegan "chicken" nuggets instead. As an experiment, COK tried this out in D.C. recently and found the experience to be even better than using burgers!
KFC patrons who tried the nuggets were, in general, much more impressed than fast food customers who have been given vegan burgers in the past. One possible explanation could be that most Americans know that veggie burgers exist, while few know than vegan "chicken" nuggets do.
"More than $1 million in fines failed to stop Buckeye Egg Farm from unleashing fly swarms of "biblical proportions'' that plague nearby homes and schools.
"Threatening to throw the company's owner in jail didn't work, either.
"Faced with another round of resident complaints, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency today will announce that it's revoking Buckeye Egg's state permits, setting in motion a process that could eliminate one of the nation's largest egg producers and rid Ohio of one of its most- persistent polluters."
Note from Bruce G. Friedrich
"My previous favorite shirts, from Vegan Outreach and Vegan Action, elicited occasional questions and discussions, but usually from other vegans. This one is my dream come true: Even the people who don't ask me have to ponder the question to decide if they want to ask, so they have an internal discussion of veganism.
"I carry Why Vegan and PETA's 'Vegetarian Starter Kit' and give them to people who respond to the shirt. So far, all but one has accepted the literature. Even the one guy who didn't want the literature (he was a bartender and was working) listened attentively and then came over to the table where I was eating and told the group of us that he would be vegetarian the next time we came to the restaurant. Get one!"
Note – after we sell out of our current batch, Vegan Outreach will no longer carry shirts.
Feeding antibiotics to cattle and chickens can lead to drug-resistant bacteria in people, according to a new report. NPR's Richard Knox reports.
Nothing to beef about, court says of butcher's sentence
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, December 12, 2001
A USDA officer conducting a random inspection at Helmos Food Product Inc. caught the meat wholesalers "red-handed" when he discovered extremely unhygienic and unsafe conditions at the warehouse. Some of the meat and poultry was labeled with expiration dates from past years. Other meat was sitting around unpackaged and covered with feces resulting from a severe rodent infestation in the building. All the products in the warehouse were sitting below a canopy of black mold growing on the ceiling. To add insult to injury, Helmos employees refused to comply with the officer, throwing the meat away when the officer tried to take photos, and continuing to sell the tainted stuff behind the officer's back, even after a seizure order was declared. Later that day, the owner finally closed the warehouse, but not soon enough to avoid a judge's 2 year sentence and a $50,000 personal fine, and a $250,000 fine to his business. The court noted that eating meat or poultry might not be such a good idea, with Judge Terence Evans venturing that the number of US vegetarians would skyrocket if the public found out about the case. Understandably, Judge Evans recommended that future court dinners should be sure to include lots of vegetables and tofu burgers.
"Reflex's joyous 1983 song, 'The Politics of Dancing,' celebrates 'the politics of feeling good.' It would make a good anthem for veganism, a lifestyle free of animal products. Paralleling our growing knowledge of animal abuse in factory farms and the havoc these systems wreak upon the environment, light has come on the horizon: positive and heartening books on veganism have been published in the past few years .
"We all pause before making any radical and challenging change. While it is easy to envision living with microfiber shoes, herbal shampoos and cotton canvas briefcases, most of us have no desire to dine on sad platters of lettuce and soybeans masquerading as hot dogs. Recent cookbooks, however, have brought fresh air to vegan cooking, changing its reputation from an ascetic, politically correct, grim regime to one of savory beauty...."
"Vegan" question on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"
The $32,000 question on an episode of ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" was: "What food would a vegan not eat?"
The correct answer was, of course, E. The BK Veggie Burger.
From the Mailbag
At its heart, Vegan Outreach is about freedom – the freedom from having your life dictated by another's beliefs. Billions of animals suffer terribly because we impose on them a desire for their flesh.
Until we learn to respect all sentient beings,
there can't be peace on earth.
More than three-quarters of all egg-laying hens in Germany are kept in cages. The government recently declared the farming practice in violation of animal protection laws and decided to ban all hen cages by 2012.
"[S]cientific evidence suggests that Huber is misinterpreting the sounds of his hens. The EU Scientific Veterinary Committee found that caged hens suffer intensely and continuously. Cannibalism, heart attacks and broken bones are just a few of the symptoms scientists have linked to the cages. They say caged hens are not only inhibited in their movement, but in virtually all other aspects of hen behavior.
"In the new cages, hens have 300 square centimeters more space than in the old ones. That's about the size of three dollar bills. And the modifications have a mere alibi function. Cannibalism, for example, increases. That's because the hens have more room to attack each other, but not enough to escape. Basically, a cage is a cage."
From New Zealand:
"It is hard to erase the image of the tragic looking battery hen that I found myself holding last week at the launch of the SPCA's campaign to have the battery cage banned.
"It wasn't just that this chicken had lost a lot of its feathers. Or that its beak had been burnt off. It was the skin damage and raw, red patches all over its body that shocked me so much.
"The skin under this chicken's neck was raw, red and festering - presumably as a result of having to poke its neck through a wire cage to feed from a central feeding trough. There were raw red patches all over its body, due to the constant rubbing against other birds and the sides of her cage.
"This sad looking hen was a typical battery hen from a Wellington battery farm. Depending on how you look at it, this chicken was lucky to have lived so long. It was 18 months old. Typically battery hens are exhausted in one year and are slaughtered and replaced at that point."
"Virginia agriculture officials have ordered the destruction of nearly 300,000 turkeys and chickens in the Shenandoah Valley that have contracted avian influenza, the virus's first major outbreak in the state in two decades and one that has left farmers and veterinarians mystified...."
Off the Wires
McDonald's to Begin Importing Beef
"McDonald's is joining Burger King, Wendy's and other fast-food chains in buying beef from overseas, citing a shortage of the U.S. meat that's lean enough to make their burgers.
"'The supply just isn't there,' said McDonald's Corp. spokesman Walt Riker.
"For now, McDonald's is testing the imported beef in about 400 of its 13,000 U.S. restaurants, all in the Southeast. Customers won't know the difference, he said. 'We're running a small test using some beef that is top quality.'"
Books Available for Review
We have the following books available for review:
Contact us if you would like to review one of these. You keep the book.
Vegans rarely like to admit to the positive aspects of fast-food burgers....
When I read Why Vegan for the first
time, I was stunned at the enormous numbers of animals that were
being consumed in the U.S. The pictures were frightening – but
mainly in a persuasive way. When I first picked up the flyer, I
was a full-blown carnivore, without any intention of becoming vegetarian.
But amazingly, flipping through those pages really made me consider
what I was eating and how it was affecting everything around me.
It was at that moment that Idecided to try it, maybe just for one
day, because reading Why Vegan made me realize that only
one day could make a huge difference. Now, I am "sucked in"
to the battle against animal and land destruction as a "full-blown
vegetarian." Whether it's passing out flyers to interested
friends or taking a visit to Farm Sanctuary, I have really found
a place in the ongoing movement of animal rights. Not only am I
helping save animals and the enviroment, I am also leading a much
healthier lifestlye, one that, until now, i never really knew existed.
Thank you for all that you do! You have
revitalized my faith in the animal rights movement.
Please send me a Vegan Starter Pack. I
read your Why Vegan? booklet and I was so overwhelmed that
I immediately declared myself at least a vegetarian and probably
soon to be a vegan.
In 1995, I learned the truth about our food
and how animals are treated from Why Vegan. Since that day I have
not stopped thinking about what I learned from your organization.
Truly, my life changed - I began a vegetarian, I joined environmental
groups, and now I am working on my BA in hopes that once I graduate
I can work to better the environment (including animal rights).
Thank you for telling the truth.
Thank you for all the work you do; I've
been following VO since the mid-1990s, and you continue to produce
thoughtful, articulate materials. Thank you!
Damn, your texts about advocacy for AR are
so brilliant! I work for an AR organization in Sweden, and I'm
doing an activist manual right now, so you have given me a lot
of new thoughts and insights! Keep
up the magnificent work! A big vegan cake to all you people at
I think that Why Vegan is the greatest
tool possible. I will do my best to support you as best I can.
I'm writing you from Chile. I tell you:
I received this Why Vegan pamphlet and I'm very impressed. My friends
and I are doing a liberty fair project and on the side, we'd like
to include a vegetarian theme and would like to know if we can
get more copies of this pamphlet in order to circulate it through
I recently was given a paper to compose
in regards to your Why Vegan brochure. I must say that I
am truly disgusted by its contents. I just wanted to let you all
know that you are. I have never been so disgusted by my species.
Where are our hearts? Who do we think we are? I am truly saddened
in myself for essentially contributing to this by eating meat.
Animals are my inspiration and I am horrified that the things pictured
are being done to them. I think that using this material would
really open peoples eyes; as it has mine. I am so disappointed
in myself for being ignorant to the reality you have exposed me
to. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate people like
you. keep up the good work. God bless you and the animals.
I just wanted to say thank you (again) for
the Vegan Spam emails... I look forward to reading them (when I
get around to checking my emails).....I've been vegan for over
two years after being vegetarian for four...I have a very busy
life and after awhile its hard to keep seeking out the newest in
animal rights news and just general thoughts on the subject...your
emails help out alot...all the articles are very well thought
out and are full of heart...
Thank you for your outstanding work toward
creating a more humane and non-violent world. I am a community
college instructor and distribute your pamphlets in some of my
classes. As a result, many of my students reduce or eliminate the
consumption of animal products.
Thank you for the tape Meet your Meat. I
show it to all my customers, and it has made a real difference
in their lives.
About 2 days ago I decided to go vegan and
so far I am doing great. I have a vegan friend who let me read
a brochure entitled Why Vegan? and that was really the last
straw. I had to do it. I would appreciate my own copy of that brochure
or any information similar. I am trying to switch my mom over as
well and I would like to be better informed to answer my friends
when they say "You're a What?!"