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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is #86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916



Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  May 29, 2002


I am very pleased to learn of the availability of ¿Por Qué Vegano? There is hardly any animal protection literature available in Spanish, and it is so greatly needed!
RC, Kanab, UT, 5/15/02

News & Announcements

¿Por Qué Vegano? A Success!


By the time you read this, we will be nearly through the first printing of ¿PV? (pdf) Your support is needed to be able to continue to supply these to activists.

Paul Shapiro of Compassion over Killing writes:

More and more people in the United States use Spanish as their primary language, so having effective literature like Why Vegan? available in Spanish is absolutely essential.

During COK’s feed-ins, I’ve found that people who speak Spanish are generally grateful that we have copies of ¿Por Qué Vegano? on hand. In fact, many people have been so happy that we have Spanish literature that they’ve even taken extras for their friends and family members before having even read the booklet!

¿Por Qué Vegano? is an increasingly crucial advocacy tool that hopefully will be used by more and more activists. Remember, it’s not only English-speakers who eat animal products. We need to reach everyone!

Please consider making a special donation to help us print more!


Tours Update

There have been a number of developments since we originally wrote about a multimedia tour earlier this year.

May 19th, 2002, marked the maiden voyage of the CARE-a-Van, Canada's first FaunaVision mobile. The Compassion for Animals Road Expedition (CARE) will be traveling around the U.S. and Canada from September through January.

Seattle's Action for Animals will be tabling and leafleting at this summer's Warped Tour. They'll be at even more locations than last year. Based on past experiences, they expect to be able to distribute over 10,000 copies of Why Vegan at the shows, with more in the local areas. Erin Boddicker of The Fund for Animals will also be distributing thousands of copies of Why Vegan during travels around the country this summer.

Other members are planning "mini tours" in their area (look for more discussion on this in an upcoming Spam), and it is possible that another national FaunaVision tour might be utilizing copies of Why Vegan in the next year. Thanks to everyone who has offered support and assistance!



1. Safeway and PETA

Safeway becomes the first grocery chain in U.S. history to pledge to make much-needed improvements in the living and dying conditions of farmed animals. The $34 billion-a-year Fortune 50 company, including its six subsidiaries, follows the lead of fast-food chains McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's, which, bowing to PETA pressure, have now begun to hold their slaughterhouse suppliers accountable if they cause a high degree of animal suffering in certain specific areas.

The agreement with Safeway also includes: Immediate implementation of unannounced audits of Seaboard Farms in Oklahoma, a major supplier of pig meat, where a PETA undercover investigator videotaped screaming pigs being beaten, bludgeoned, and slammed to the floor. Safeway has pledged to cut off suppliers who fail audits.

Bruce Friedrich comments: "But maybe a bigger result is that the shift in national debate really begs the question, 'Where do we get off eating these feeling beings in the first place?' Once corporations begin treating animals better, everyone is forced to consider that animals are not automatons or widgets, that they have interests, needs, desires, and more. As this consciousness grows, the vegan world we all want draws nearer."


2. Viva's Duck Campaign Still Flying High:
Another store dumps Grimaud Farms duck meat

Viva! has received correspondence from Huckleberry's Fresh Market in Spokane, Washington stating: "We are no longer purchasing or selling Grimaud Farms' ducks. This is due to the information we received from Viva!"

"We are excited that Huckleberry's has decided no longer to carry duck meat from Grimaud Farms," said lauren Ornelas, Viva!'s U.S. Campaigns' Director. "It is good to know that when presented with the facts, Huckleberry's will make the right choices."


New Viva Day of Action

Viva is organizing a worldwide day for farmed animals on July 13. Get more info.


Farm Animal Well-Being Task Group Chucked by US Department of Agriculture

"This administration is interested in the welfare of producers, not animals."
–Dr. Peter Singer, President, Animal Rights International


Organic Poultry Get Outdoor Access

The National Organic Standards Board met this month to determine the requirements for poultry to be labeled as "organic." Congress has authorized the Board to make recommendations to the USDA regarding the definition of substances and practices which can be labeled as organic under the Organic Foods Production Act. Despite heavy lobbying by factory-farming interests to minimize requirements and profit from the nearly $8 billion organic market, the board voted 12 to 1 to keep outdoor access as a requirement. The board has stated that "access to the outdoors fulfills an integral role in health care and living condition requirements in organic poultry production." Noted one organic producer, "Organic has to mean something."



Since the fall of 1999, has been an active member of the vegetarian community, helping to advance global vegetarianism by promoting vegetarian restaurants around the world. In the process, VegDining has taken great pride in actively supporting many nonprofit vegetarian groups [including supplying cards to Vegan Outreach -ed.].

With the dramatic downturn in the web economy, VegDining like many other websites can no longer depend on online advertising – particularly vegetarian-only online advertising – to pay its bills [ hosts Vegan Outreach banners for no cost -ed]. VegDining relies on purchases of its VegDining Card, the international vegetarian dining discount card. As well, it depends on the continued support of vegetarians through submissions of reviews and updated information about vegetarian restaurants.

To all of you who have supported VegDining either through purchases of VegDining Cards, submissions of reviews, or by telling your friends about us, we sincerely thank you. To others, please consider supporting our work in any of the ways described. Through your support, VegDining will be able to continue its work promoting vegetarianism around the world.


New Feature:

Food Spotlight

One of the most difficult and frustrating questions is "What do you eat?" To those who have been vegan for so long, the question can seem absurd. It is all too easy to forget what a vegan diet might look like to much of the public.

There are many reasons why this is a difficult question. You can answer with along the lines of "Duh" – "Pasta, potatoes, rice, bread." But this can often sound as though eating vegan means only eating side-dishes. You can go the "fancy" route – "Seitan, quinoa, muesli, tempeh," or list types of food – "Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern." It shouldn't be too hard to guess the reaction of the general population here. You can stay simple, and say, "Veggie burgers, dogs, soy milk," but this can lead to potentially bad experiences ("I tried a veggie burger (dog, soy milk), it was awful! I could never be vegan!")

It isn't clear how to address this. So we're just going to spotlight some of our favorite foods here and hope for the best! We know that many people won't have access to these products (especially you in Slovakia), and others will find something outrageously objectionable about each choice (diglycerides of unknown origin, owned by bfd corporation, encouraging people to eat 'meat-like' substances! etc.), but you can't please everyone!

First in the spotlight is Lightlife's Gimme Lean, Sausage and Ground Beef styles. Here at the Vegan Outreach office, we eat this all the time! We put it into sauces, lasagna, tacos, etc. Every dish we've served with this to a non-veg has been universally enjoyed. We order by the case at our local co-op and freeze it.


For what it's worth, we eat BK Veggies every chance we get–and I have noticed that every time I order them, strangers in line feel free to try them too. I could really see the effect in action recently at the Minneapolis airport. As the older big guy with the big voice, I was the silverback gorilla, and all the other primates seemed to take my cue about which leaves to eat. I could overhear the conversations as younger guys behind me changed their minds.
–Merritt Clifton, editor, ANIMAL PEOPLE.


A Cage is No Place for a Hen

by Karen Davis
The Litchfield County Times
Litchfield, Connecticut
May 3, 2002

I would like to respond to Kathryn Boughton's article about Odge's egg farm, "In Sharon, Sunny Side Down" (March 29). Last evening, as on many evenings over the years, I was outside filling water bowls and watching our chickens enjoy themselves in their big fenced yard. From now until September they stay out until around nine. Even then, a few hens will dart off their roosts for a final run around before settling in for the night. It is thereafter so quiet you can hardly believe the activity that's been going on in that yard since daybreak.

One reason I'm out there is to teach about fifty white leghorn hens to go into the chicken house at dusk, instead of roosting in the trees as they wish. I do this to protect them from the owls and raccoons that occupy the yard after dark. These hens, along with twenty others, arrived at our Virginia sanctuary a few weeks ago–a handful of hens rescued from an egg farm in Florida, in which 170,000 caged hens were gassed or crushed to death, and 30,000 hens starved to death, after the company declared bankruptcy in January.

I hate forcing the hens off the branches, where they look like beautiful magnolia blossoms and softly lit candles among the shiny green leaves. That my interference upsets them is clear from their voices and from the anxiety with which they now approach their favorite roosting area, albeit in dwindling numbers. These hens are drawn to the trees in their yard as instinctively as their wild relatives are drawn to the trees in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

Many people are surprised to learn that chickens evolved in the tropical forests. Many are even more surprised to learn that chickens bred for the food industry retain their ancestral instincts and social behavior. One of the benefits of running a chicken sanctuary for 15 years is the opportunity I've had to observe and interact with all kinds of rescued chickens. Regardless of how varied their outward appearance or how varied their personalities, chickens have a daily routine embedded in their genes that consists of foraging (scratching for food) in the morning, sunbathing and dustbathing in the early afternoon, foraging in the late afternoon, and roosting at sundown. Their activities are accompanied by emotional expressions that show how much they enjoy their earthly delights.

A problem with operations like the one in the article in which hens are stacked in wire cages is that however convenient for management they may be, they are not suited to chickens, whose constant egg laying in these systems is not the result of "happiness" but of feed stimulants and artificially extended daylight hours that keep hens' overworked ovaries pumping out eggs.

Hens and roosters run around a lot, but in caged layer operations the hen never gets to take a step. She may even be intentionally starved for two or three weeks to manipulate the economics of egg production in the practice known as forced molting. Chickens instinctively peck because they are foragers-they use their sensitive beaks as hands. What are they supposed to do in an environment that prevents their natural beak-related behaviors from being expressed? What can they do in a barren cage where the only material available for taking a dustbath is other birds' feathers?

Poultry specialists recognize the inappropriateness of battery cage systems for hens, which are being phased out in Europe during the next ten years on welfare grounds. The educated public doesn't want them, and no wonder. As explained in the February 2002 issue of Poultry Science, "Hen welfare in a battery cage system is compromised due to the absence of litter, laying nests, and perches, as well as to the hen's inability to move."

Hopefully people will think about these things the next time they go to the store and see those "cheap" eggs that cost the prisoners who laid them dearly. Chickens need to be outdoors where they can forage, dustbathe, sunbathe, lay their eggs in peace, and experience the earthy satisfaction of being chickens. Otherwise the egg, traditionally a symbol of rebirth, is now the symbol of a tomb.

Karen Davis, PhD, is the founder and President of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.



I completely keep your stance that all we can do NOW is to try to lessen the suffering of animals as much as possible, i.e. as much as we are able to. Since we live in this technocratic world, no one can say that he or she is a "pure" vegan. A pure vegan, as some people claim to be (and criticize the BKV-proposal for example) WOULD NEVER TOUCH A COMPUTER!! LET ALONE WRITING an email. This is just a midpoint, a route to better world. I'd love to live according to my ideals, but unfortunately it is not feasible. Because all the people who are vegan from their deepest hearts would rush to self-sustainable community, leaving the rest of the world to itself - which would lead to total destruction of the whole planet. However, our job is to promote love, understanding, and our cause. We have to educate and teach others and raise awareness to gradually change the way this society works. I agree, that YOU would be better off if you were a pure vegan and did not use ANY conveniences of this world, but in the long term, you'd harm those you want to help much more.
     Look into the future, not only at the immediate outcome.
MK, Slovakia, 5/17/02

Two weeks ago, my mother picked up a Why Vegan at a concert. Since then, I’ve become determined to stop the inhumane torture of animals. I’ve stopped eating animal products all together. Please send me tons of brochures!
JH, Gary, IN, 5/15/02

BTW, I am in the process of getting an electric vehicle, and one of the EV owners I was talking with this weekend is also vegan. We had the "why did you become vegan" chat and he says it was your website that finally pushed him over the edge to veganism...great work guys!
AB, Long Beach, CA, 5/13/02

Just being veg is wonderful in itself, but to be able to spread the word and help people to understand why it is such a worthy cause makes it so much more fulfilling! It is hard to get people to see the big picture, no matter how I explain. Your pamphlets help immensely. After all, it was one of your pamphlets that got me to go vegan.
JA, Greenville, KY, 5/11/02

Why Vegan is an excellent publication to provide to academics, as it is well cited and well written. I'm happy to distribute them as much as I can.
IM, Washington, DC, 5/7/02


Every Donation Prevents Suffering

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865