|Enewsletter • March 3, 2004|
Further Reading from "A Meaningful Life"
Thanks to everyone who sent in feedback during the past week (see below) -- you even outnumbered those who unsubscribed! Here are other links of interest:
No Spam Zone Updated
If you want materials from VO for your Great American Meatout event, make sure you order now. Friday is the last day we can be sure to get orders to you before March 20.
The Vegetarian Site Contributes 10% of March Sales to VO
"Are there people in your life - friends, family members and co-workers - who still eat meat? Do you often wonder how compassionate people who care about peace, the environment, and ending world hunger can continue such a destructive habit? Don't you wish they'd give vegetarianism a try?
"Well, ask them to register in the Eating for Peace Veg-A-Thon, June 1 - June 21, 2004. They can join hundreds of others across the country who will be giving up meat for 21 days and raising sponsor pledges (just like in a walk-a-thon) for humanitarian assistance to children in war-torn countries around the world. Registration is $25 ($20 if registering before March 21) and each participant will receive a sponsor sheet, an Eating for Peace button, a Vegetarian Starter Kit (with vegetarian recipes and info on vegetarianism), and discount coupons for vegetarian products.
Pen Pals Wanted
Gavin Matthews is looking for an e-mail pen pal. Also, longtime Vegan Outreach member and inmate Mike McKeehan is looking for a correspondent: DIN: 00B0263 | Wende Correctional Facility | Wende Rd. P.O. Box 1187 | Alden, NY 14004-1187.
"Researchers at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in Los Angeles need vegan and vegetarian volunteers 18 years of age or older for a study conducted on morals and social reasoning. You must be a resident of Los Angeles County, Ventura County, or Santa Barbara County to participate. All information is confidential and anonymous. No travel required—data collected via mail.
"Earn $1.00 and the opportunity to be entered for a raffle to win $75.00 after you participate! Contact Ken for more information at (805) 443-4245 or email your name and address to KLIBERATORE@ALLIANT.EDU"
Feedback on "A Meaningful Life"
I really like the essay. Compassionate Action for Animals has long felt the same way about activism, which is why we focus on factory farming and veganism for all of our work.
I think you missed one important element of activism, however. I'd call this "post-conversion support." You touched on this when you mentioned Jack encountering so many failed vegetarians. Besides people telling us they didn't feel healthy, we've also heard many people say that "it's just too hard." If you dig a little deeper, you generally find that "too hard" means a couple things. One, no social support. This person had no friends or family who were also veg*n, and many of the people in their social network were outright hostile to veg*nism. The other thing that "too hard" can mean is that it was too inconvenient. They didn't know where to shop, they felt like they could never eat out again, etc.
At CAA we try to address both of these issues. First, we try to offer some social events like potlucks, dine-outs, or other outings (bowling, ice-skating, etc.). There's nothing particularly veg*n about ice-skating, of course, but if you've recently turned vegetarian and you don't know anyone else who feels the same way about animals you do, then it can really be a relief to meet some like-minded folks.
Second, we have our veg guide (www.regveg.org), which we hope can become a worldwide comprehensive resource for veg*n-friendly dining and shopping. Right now, we have really good coverage for the Twin Cities here in MN, where we operate, and so we can tell people with confidence that if they look at the guide they can find a place to eat. We also can use the information in the guide to print more focused flyers, like "places to eat near the University", and so on.
I think it's important
to consider these things as a vital part of
any group's outreach efforts, because it's
not enough to simply get someone to become
veg*n. You also have to help them stay committed
to that choice.
I just finished reading your essay, "A Meaningful Life" and wanted to compliment you on a masterly work. I have seldom read an "animal rights" piece that is more articulate, intelligently designed, and on target.
I am relatively new to the animal rights movement. Certainly an examination of our cruelty to one another, including even our own children, would suggest that animal welfare is just one of many horrible injustices extant. After reading Matthew Scully's book, Dominion, I was overwhelmed by the litany of problems but decided that by far the most harm was being done by factory farming. I was reassured to note that you have also arrived at a similar conclusion.
Let me close by saying
thanks for the many good ideas you shared
and mostly for presenting such a well grounded
philosophy and rationale for each of us doing
what we can to improve the situation for animals,
even if the benefits are not manifested in
I just wanted to thank
you for sending me such a well written, and
inspiring article. It really hit me hard,
and reminded me so vividly, why I decided
to start eating a delicious vegan diet. I
feel better physically, and I feel better
about myself knowing that the animals are
at least a little bit better off, thanks to
my choice to GO VEGAN! :)
What a GREAT essay
-- not only truthful, but very sincere. As
Jane Goodall once said, "Only when we
understand can we care; Only when we care
shall we help; Only if we help will all be
saved." Once people are able to open
their hearts and minds, they can understand
and then truly care about the dire suffering
surrounding us all. Once people care, they'll
truly help in even the smallest of ways and
lastly, once they begin to help, well, there
is hope for a better world. Thanks again for
all you do for the animals.
Dunno what to say about
this but YEEHAW!!! RIGHT ON, MATT!!! A body
of work with both philosophical and sociological
import is developing out of Vegan Outreach
which I am sure will have enduring importance
not just for the animals (which of course
is most important), but in the studies of
philosophy and sociology as well. I remain
THRILLED to be a supporter of what I think
is the most meaningful endeavor of its kind
This is a wonderfully
written document. It should touch the hearts
and minds of many who are at a stage in their
lives when they are trying to make the decision
to become vegan. Thanks for a great article!
Your essay brought
tears to my eyes! It's philosophical, logical,
and thoroughly thought-out, but perhaps most
important, it is passionately practical. The
best I've ever read on veganism. Thank you
for being there to validate the feelings of
those who strive every day for a meaningful
Thank you so very much
for your phenomenal organization and for the
guidance and support you give! I found "A
Meaningful Life" more helpful to me than
anything else I've read on striving for optimal
advocacy and maintaining being vegan. I have
been vegan for almost six years and reading
this powerful message reinforces to me how
grateful I am to be part of the progress too.
Wonderfully put, great
resource and encouragement to make goals and
focus. I find it all very overwhelming at
times; I'll keep this handy.
I just wanted to let
you know that I thought this piece was well
written and inspirational. Thanks for reclarifying
everything and giving us all a reason to continue!
I just wanted to thank
you for the great article. I found myself
in agreement at basically every point. I am
going to forward it to our list. Hopefully
it will help some of our new members who are
unsure of our approach to animal rights understand
why we do things the way we do.
Words can't express
my appreciation for your article, "A
Meaningful Life." There are sections
that I'm going to re-read over and over and
over, and keep handy to read as a constant
reminder to myself. My only wish would be
that every single vegan activist in the U.S.
Just read "A
Meaningful Life." I plan to print
it out and read daily. What a powerful piece.