"Thanks for Vegan Outreach.
It's a start at the country I wish to go to."
We'll be speaking at various gatherings and conferences this summer,
so the Vegan Outreach office will be staffed sporadically. Be sure to contact
us well in advance if you need materials. You can order directly at veganoutreach.org/catalog/
Jack Norris will tentatively be speaking five times at AR2003
East, while Matt Ball has been invited to lead one session. You can see
the schedule here
(speakers to be added soon).
We are pleased and honored that Joe Espinosa (see below)
will also be attending AR2003 East and helping to staff the Vegan Outreach table.
If you are attending, please stop by our table (#73)
and say hello!
News and Updates
Find out the truth about “Animal Care Certified.”
Official release here.
On Monday, San Francisco's NPR affiliate, KQED, did an hour-long show on reforms
in the livestock industry. The guests were Janet Riley of the American Meat
Institute, Temple Grandin of Colorado State University, and Paul Shapiro of
Compassion Over Killing. RealAudio required.
A joint project of several organizations, Farmed Animal Watch keeps up on various
news, legislation, and contacts. You can also subscibe to the enewsletter.
From Michael Greger, M.D.
Why Vegan Outreach?
The following excerpts are from the featured article in our
current (May, 2003) print newsletter – the story of two activists' journey.
You can read the full version here;
a pdf of the newsletter if you aren't on our postal mailing list.
by Joe Espinosa and Marsha Forsman, Chicago, IL
For many years we spent a lot of time taking part in a variety of typical animal
rights activities aimed primarily at gaining media attention. At a certain point,
we sat back and asked ourselves: what is the result of our years of work and
hundreds of dollars spent on behalf of the animals?
By chance we noticed an organization that was taking a different approach.
Rather than struggling against individuals and companies, Vegan Outreach was
distributing booklets that detailed what animals go through to produce meat,
milk, and eggs. Their target audience consisted of those who expressed an interest
when asked if they wanted a booklet. Rather than spending large sums of money
and time on projects designed to help a relatively small number of animals who
were suffering at present, the group had a vision of turning off the seemingly
endless flow of animals that are used for food.
For all these reasons we decided to put down our signs, take off our costumes,
and take up the work of Vegan Outreach. In our years of work for Vegan
Outreach, we have distributed over 46,000 booklets because we believe that
it is absolutely essential to give people thorough and accurate information
on what animals endure on today’s farms, in order to inspire them
to stop supporting such cruelty. We also distribute Why Vegan? on
college campuses, at charity events, at train stations, even on busy streets—any
location that offers many passersby who can be asked if they would like
some information on vegetarianism. Keeping cooperative restaurants, health
food stores, and bookstores stocked with booklets is the other distribution
route we pursue.
We urge others to undertake these actions because doing so supports the most
efficient and effective path to significantly reduce animal suffering. Reaching
people one at a time seems more labor intensive than using the media to reach
hundreds of thousands of people at a time, yet the second scenario has been
more illusionary than real. Providing copies of Why Vegan? to interested
people promises much more. Each person moved to stop consuming animal products
will be sparing hundreds of animals from an existence of suffering and a horrible
death; just one twenty-cent booklet can stop more suffering and spare more lives
than most major campaigns.
I remember a few weeks ago that a reader wrote in questioning
the name of 'Vegan Spam,’ insinuating that 'spam' was in bad taste to
the animal rights movement.I disagree.
Naomi Wolf said (paraphrasing) that every movement,
in order to be successful and not burn out, needs to have joy and playfulness
in it. It reminds people of what and why their cause is worth striving for.
People want to be happy. If we can't make the animal
rights movement happy and playful (as you have done by turning a title into
an anomaly), people will be more attracted to it and more willing to be a
part of it. It's very important that vegans don't protray their lifestyle
as gloom and doom seriousness, or else we'll scare off all of the potential
You are correct about focus. I belong to about ten
animal rights groups who mail me two or three requests a week for donations.
When animal cruelty makes the headlines, that's what gets my attention and
my dander up. That's what I react to. But vegetarianism is not about reacting.
It's about action with meaning. As you say, giving my life meaning.
I don't dare go to a slaughterhouse. I can't even walk down the meat aisle
in the supermarket. I guess I will have to move to a country where people
act compassionately instead of react. And you know what? There is no such
country. So you are correct: we must continue to hang in there and hand out
the information. Thanks for Vegan Outreach. It's a start at that country I
wish to go to.
NS, Bonanza, OR, 6/6/03
I am very appreciative of your focus on the overall
alleviation of the suffering of our nonhuman animals companions, rather than
on some notion of "vegan purity" which is impossible to obtain in
our world today. We have to bear the suffering, rather than try to pretend
that we can separate ourselves from it by being "pure."
CR, Goleta, CA, 6/5/03
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.
POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865