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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

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Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  September 9, 2003

 

Your Donations at Work!

Thanks to your support, Vegan Outreach was able to help Action for Animals table at the 2003 Warped Tour concerts, with a $1,000 grant and all the Why Vegan?s they could use. A total of 21,300 copies of Why Vegan? were handed out in 45 cities!

Here, Adam Russell (Story of the Year bassist) and John Feldmann (lead singer of Goldfinger) at AFA’s table, signing Why Vegan? booklets and Meet Your Meat CDs for their fans.

 

Do you live between Pittsburgh and Tucson?

If so, please click here.

 

A Great Day!

We're thrilled to present excerpts of this Washington Post article:

Animal Pragmatism:
Compassion Over Killing Wants Facts, not Fanatics, To Turn People To Vegetarianism

Thursday and Friday evenings outside the Metro station in Foggy Bottom or Dupont Circle, it's time for FaunaVision.

The side door of a white van is open to display a television screen. Hearing the elegiac piano soundtrack, curious about the flickering images, people on their way to dinner pause and watch.

They see sows living in crates so narrow they can't turn around.

Chickens caged for life so tightly they can't flap their wings.

Baby chicks getting part of their beaks burned off.

Pigs and cows dangling from chains on the slaughterhouse line, twitching.

But this greatest-horrors collection of undercover video, shot by animal rights activists, contrasts with the sunny style of the group working the crowd, Compassion Over Killing. Clean-cut in khakis and golf shirts, they've decided that the animal rights message – so often associated with shrill moralizing and PETA-style fake-blood-spattering guerrilla theater – might go down better with a spoonful of sugar.

"We need to stop looking at this as all or nothing, black or white," says Paul Shapiro.

It's not a message of compromise. It's something perhaps more shrewd: a message of welcome to flesh-eaters, on the theory that this will more effectively bring about the meat-free millennium. They're like missionaries for a vegan God who is not angry. Hell exists – it's there on the FaunaVision video – but salvation is as close as the vegetarian starter kits, recipe books and restaurant guides that the group hands out while FaunaVision rolls.

They're that particularly Washington breed of true believer: more pragmatic than absolutist. They gave up carrying coffins to McDonald's and chaining themselves to circus doors. Now they hand out free vegetarian food.

Americans eat more than 9 billion land-dwelling animals a year. This is what led members of Compassion Over Killing to an epiphany after dabbling for a while in anti-fur and anti-circus campaigns: Something like 99 percent of animals killed by humans become meals. COK decided the most efficient way to reduce animal suffering is to get more people to stop eating them, and advocate better treatment of creatures raised for slaughter. The tiniest bit of progress there would do the most good for the most animals.

It was a practical calculation: "We wanted the biggest bang for the buck," Shapiro says.

It's hard to gauge how much of a difference Compassion Over Killing is making.

Americans ate on average 312 eggs apiece in 1971, according to the USDA. Fear of cholesterol helped drive per capita consumption down to 234 eggs in 1995. Then the cholesterol picture got more complicated, and by last year Americans were eating 255 eggs.

"I don't think it's reasonable to expect an organization as small as COK is to impact national egg consumption trends," Shapiro says. "But I do think it's sad that all the efforts of the animal rights movement haven't changed those trends dramatically."

You can also sift for COK's impact in its daily encounters with people, the evangelizing for the not-so-wrathful vegan God.

On a summer Saturday, members are handing out soy "chicken" tenders near 14th and U streets NW. "When people say 'vegetarian,' you squint your face up and say, 'Oh, no,' " says Denise Pullen, also of the District. "But after tasting this, it changes your whole philosophy on vegetarian food. You can eat it."

 

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