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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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Enewsletter

Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  November 21, 2005

 

This issue sponsored by DownBound:

 

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root…"
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving can be a hard time for vegetarians. Not only has the "true" meaning of the holiday (denoted right in the name!) seemingly been lost, the holiday often appears to be only about gorging oneself on the flesh of a factory-farmed bird -- an intelligent individual who suffered through her few months of life, crammed into a filthy building with thousands of others, having grown so fast that she is often lame.

Yet just as we don't allow the "norms" of society to pressure us into supporting today's animal agriculture, we don't have to let the actions of others prevent us from giving thanks.

And there is much to be thankful for! I am grateful to be involved with an organization that has such thoughtful, dedicated members. In the past twelve months, Vegan Outreach volunteers have requested almost 800,000 booklets to distribute. The Adopt a College program has passed 425,000 booklets, with more than 150,000 handed directly to students this semester alone!

And in the past week we have reached a new milestone:
the distribution of our 4,000,000th booklet!

We know -- from feedback received here at the office, comments received by leafleters, etc. -- that these booklets have a profound impact on the individuals who receive them. Given that the average American consumes about three dozen factory-farmed birds and mammals each year -- thousands over the course of a lifetime -- if only a small percentage of people receiving a booklet alter their eating habits, many hundreds of millions of animals have been spared a horribly cruel fate.

Even those who don't go vegetarian are much more understanding of animal issues, and more tolerant of those who do make compassionate choices. Indeed, the word "vegan" (which needed an explanation back when Vegan Outreach started) is commonly used today, and is, more and more, associated with thoughtful compassion; the term "factory farmed" is now understood to mean "cruel."

I am truly thankful to be working with you -- individuals dedicated to the absolutely vital work of person-to-person education. These efforts may not seem as "glamorous" as big, media-receiving actions, and the plight of the unseen animals suffering in today's factory farms may not appear as "urgent" as high-profile, high-visibility cases, but your efforts and support are accomplishing the necessary work of striking at the root of animal exploitation and unnecessary suffering.

This week, I'd like to share with you a larger-than-normal portion of the feedback we have received in the past few days. I hope it will leave you proud, inspired, hopeful, and, of course, thankful.
-Matt Ball


We had another great day today, meeting and having the occasional conversation with supportive professors, vegetarian, vegan and non-veg students, environmentalists and others who think about and strive to lead a morally consistent life. One memorable quote came after I offered a woman a booklet and she replied: "I got one yesterday. They work. They're very influential. I don't think I'm ever going to eat meat again."
-John Bowers (at right), Victoria, BC, 11/18/05

Today, I distributed 600 copies of Even If You Like Meat at Temple U, and 300 copies at La Salle U (both in Philadelphia). Temple students were very interested, and some mentioned that they had received booklets during previous leafletings -- one even mentioned having it pinned up on his wall. Several students said they were in the process of going vegetarian, and one expressed an interest in distributing Vegan Outreach materials herself. Temple's security guard head even sat in his car reading the booklet for 15 minutes with his partner before approaching me to discuss the vegan food options for students at Temple. Leafleting at La Salle also went well -- there were fewer students to leaflet, but several said that they had had enough and would not be eating meat any more.
-Nick Cooney, 11/16/05

This was a big week and we handed out another 300 EIs at the University of Guelph (for a total of 600 this week). People were really supportive and accepting. This is very promising, because the campus is starting to become flooded with your literature. Instead of becoming sick of campus activists, people are starting to take notice of us and are becoming more interested in our message.
-M, 11/18/05

I just read your article "Anger, Humor & Advocacy" -- wow! That really helped me see more clearly and rationally some of the conflicting motives, feelings, and issues that I've been grappling with. If only all vegans (& other advocates) would read that!
     I am very impressed with your whole website. It allows one to come away more informed without feeling too overwhelmed and disheartened at any real chance for change.
     During my time here at William & Mary I've learned so much about the suffering and injustice that occurs beyond the fairly safe & secure little world in which I was raised. Last year it all seemed to hit me especially hard and I was often stricken with guilt for my amazingly fortunate life when compared to that of others. I wanted to "save the world." I still feel this way, but now I have realized that a positive outlook is essential, no matter how gloomy the reality. Crying over all the world's troubles will never help anyone -- it will only serve to push others away.
-JJ, Williamsburg, VA, 11/17/05

Aashish Bhimani (at right; who took the week off of work to leaflet with me) and I handed out over 1,600 copies of Even If You Like Meat at UNC Charlotte today. Between us, a total of 7,671 EI booklets (and a number of Guides and AMLs) were given out in VA, NC, and SC colleges within the last 5 days.
     We met many people who received a booklet in the past and were profoundly moved by it. For example, at UNC Chapel Hill, a young woman came up to Aashish during the first class change and told him that she got the EI booklet last semester and has been veg since. During the second class change a young man told me the exact same thing! Not too shabby, considering that UNC Chapel Hill was only leafleted for 5 hours last semester. What is especially heartening about this is that they both received the booklet nine months ago, indicating that our approach not only brings forth new vegetarians, but brings forth new vegetarians who maintain their change.
     Today at UNC Charlotte, we encountered many individuals interested in going veg, vegan, getting active, etc., including one young woman who said she had just read the booklet and will never eat meat again.
     Towards the last few minutes of today's leafleting, I was virtually surrounded by individuals asking me questions/ giving me feedback. Two men came up to mention that they read the booklet and were moved by it. An older man came up to tell me that the booklet was excellent, while a young woman came up to tell me that she got a booklet from me last semester and wants to get active for animals. It was a great finale to a very successful and fun tour.
-Jon Camp (at right), 11/18/05

 

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