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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  •  March 1, 2006

 

Notes from Vegan Outreach

Thanks!

Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far to the next printing of Even If You Like Meat.

We'd also like to give a special thanks to everyone who has set up recurring donations. This reliable, constant support is vital in helping Vegan Outreach maintain our campaigns.

For less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee, you, too, can be a major donor for the animals!

If you haven't had a chance to contribute, you can donate securely on-line here (and can set up automatic donations through GiveDirect -- monthly or quarterly recurring option on second page), or send a check or money order to:

Vegan Outreach | P.O. Box 38492 | Pittsburgh, PA 15238-8492

Above, Eleni Vlachos leaflets at UNC Chapel Hill; photo by Jon Camp.


Jon Camp's Fifth Week in the South

Like previous weeks, week 5 of my southern tour was a highly effective one. With volunteer help, a total of 3,278 Even If You Like Meat booklets were individually handed out to students of Sam Houston State U. (SHSU), Stephen F. Austin State U., U. of Louisiana at Monroe, Mississippi State, and U of Alabama.

There were a number of memorable experiences throughout the week. One took place at SHSU when a man came up to ask me -- in a somewhat accusatory manner -- if my gloves and shoes were made with animal products. I calmly and politely told him that they were not, but that even if they were, the goal of my outreach was not to act as if I were morally perfect, but to simply reduce the level of animal suffering in the world. The man I was speaking with suddenly became reflective, psychologically disarmed, and I told him to have a nice day. While some animal activists search for ways to be completely free from hypocrisy, I've always found that admitting to imperfection adds credibility and opens the door to dialogue.

At the University of Alabama, I was joined by wonderful local activist, Kit King. In less than five hours of outreach:

  • A man told Kit how conservative he is and how certain approaches on animal issues irked him. This said, he had nothing but praise for our Even If You Like Meat booklet, mentioning how it made sense and how he especially liked the non-accusatory manner. Minutes later, a young woman came up to say essentially the same thing.
  • A woman brought out a fruit cup telling us that she purchased that instead of meat. Minutes later, a man said that, because of the booklet, he ordered pizza with mushrooms instead of meat.
  • A man came up to tell me that he was very interested in veganism but had concerns about health. I answered his questions and gave him a Guide To Cruelty-Free Eating.
  • A man said how elated he was to see someone out doing animal advocacy on campus. I gave him a copy of A Meaningful Life and told him what Vegan Outreach is about. He came back an hour later saying how much he agreed with our approach. He mentioned an interest in leafleting U of AL, took down my email address, etc.

In conclusion, last week was another of the best weeks of outreach I've participated in -- positive, constructive, and full of new inroads created for the animals.

Above, Monica Ferroe leaflets at LSU; photo by Jon Camp.

 

Question of the Week: Jesus

"Why don't you tell everyone that Jesus was vegan, as shown in The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ, by Charles Vaclavik?"

It might be reassuring to believe that Jesus was vegan. However, since most people won't believe Jesus was vegan, no matter what arguments are put forth, we don't believe it is a good idea to make claims that provide people an excuse to ignore the actual cruelties of factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses. It is our opinion that the case for vegetarianism is strongest without trying to add controversial and distracting claims, no matter how compelling we might personally find them.

The Christian Vegetarian Association does an excellent job of promoting cruelty-free eating within a Christian context.

 

Product of the Month

During March, you can get a free Johnny Rocket's Streamliner (buy one get one free coupon here). Bruce Friedrich says, "This is the best restaurant veggie burger around – so bring a meat-eater and treat them to this burger. It’s fantastic."

Send your nominees for Product of the Week to info (at) veganoutreach.org; previous products can be found here.

 

Notes from Our Members

At his event in San Jose, Erik Marcus said that when people who don't have a background in nutrition or medicine try to give nutritional advice about veganism, they end up hurting our movement. So, I appreciate that Jack Norris is an R.D., and offers solid, unbiased, informed advice.
     Some of us were inspired to do leafleting after hearing Erik speak about how effective Adopt a College is. I'll be ordering some booklets and leafleting.
-ME, 2/22/06

Here is a portion of a conversation I had last week at Cal State Los Angeles:
     Guy: Well, is this against animal cruelty, or eating meat? I mean, I wouldn't shoot my dog or anything, but...
     Me: Why not? Why wouldn't you shoot your dog? (he looked at me in surprise) Would you cut off your dogs toes, as is done to turkeys? (I know this sounds confrontational, but it wasn't. The conversation had a very friendly tone.)
     No.
     Would you castrate a dog without anesthetics, as is done to pigs and cows?
     No. But I just eat meat; I'm not causing any of this.
     Whether you kill someone or hire someone to kill someone, you're just as guilty. Just food for thought.
     He insisted on shaking my hand as we parted ways. Moral of the story: When people say dumb things, we should just take it in the spirit that it is offered. If they rattle us, then they win. If we take it with a grain of salt, then that is all it is.

On another note: Matt Ball's "How Vegan Is Enough" lecture at AR2005 was refreshing. I almost didn't go because I was afraid the answer would be that there was no limit to how vegan one should be, that it might be some fire and brimstone speech with someone reciting the entire encyclopedia of animal products. Many people hear about all of these trace animal products and think veganism is beyond impossible.
     My free-range / organic ovo-lacto wife absolutely loves Vegan Outreach, because of your focus on preventing suffering and non-obsession with trace animal products. It's making her journey much easier.
     I remember when one person asked how he could convince his brother to go vegan -- he'd been at it for years and years to no avail and basically felt like a failure. If he couldn't convert his own brother, he thought, how could he affect anyone else? Matt told him to forget about his brother, that his brother wouldn't turn vegan to spite him, if for no other reason. Matt told him to go to a college campus, a concert, a record store, and hand out literature: "Some of them will read it, become vegetarian or vegan, and you will have saved thousands of lives." I took great comfort in that remark -- it was as if a huge burden was suddenly lifted from my shoulders.

I remembered that talk earlier today. I was very tired and my back hurt, but I was able to distribute 750 EIs at Pasadena City College. On the drive home I started thinking about an old riddle: How many physicists does it take to change a light bulb?
     Two. One to hold the bulb and one to rotate the universe.
     I think that holding the light bulb is easy, and rotating the universe is sometimes difficult. However, that light bulb must be changed.
-Stewart Solomon, 2/22/06

 

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