|Enewsletter • September 9, 2009|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Question of the Week: Good for World, Good for Self
As part of your Principles of Advocacy, Vegan Outreach says to set aside personal biases. Why should a person look at the world as a whole rather than doing something for the good of themselves?
Of course, many people are egotistical and selfish. In my experience, though, few people are so self-centered that they don’t care at all about anyone else. We are moral beings, and most of us want to live an ethical life.
Taking an objective look at human history, however, we see that humans have been capable of great rationalizations, of going along with prejudices and supporting practices that, from our current perspective, are horrifyingly immoral. If we want to do what is right, to live consistently true to our stated values, we need to challenge assumptions, ask questions, and work from first principles.
Interestingly, “doing good” for the world is, ultimately, good for us, too. There is little to no evidence that pursuing only our selfish, short-term ends leads to happiness; indeed, the opposite is true. Evolution has left us with a nature that always wants “more,” regardless of what we have. By being a part of something larger than ourselves, we can lead a meaningful life and find real, sustainable joy.
Product of the Week
Kathryn: “The Merry Hempsters lip balm is great!”
Notes from All Over
Notes from Our Members
this guy outside the Galleria
Mall in Houston (Eugene Khutoryansky) handed
me the booklet that has changed my life forever!
a concert, I overheard one person
telling her friends: “This is the pamphlet
that made me go vegetarian.”
University of Colorado, Boulder,
three people told us they had gone veg after
receiving VO literature in the past. One guy
had gotten a brochure five years ago and has
been veg ever since. He told me, “Your
strategy is really working.” One of the
others said she has been veg since getting VO
literature over a year ago and is now transitioning
leafleting Duke University, a
guy said, “I love to eat animals.”
I asked, “Factory farmed animals?”
He stopped in his tracks, turned casually to
me and said, “Well, I think what they do to
animals is horrible.” He spoke for about
a minute more and concluded by saying, “So,
yeah, factory farming’s not cool.” He took
a booklet, thanked me for the conversation,
and offered his hand for a shake. As he started
walking again, he told me with sincerity to
“keep up the good fight.”
morning of outreach at the University
of Missouri, Kansas City. A young guy came back
by to ask me more questions about the literature.
He said he wasn’t aware of what goes on at factory
farms. He said it had definitely given him something
to think about.
day of outreach at the University
of Missouri, Columbia. Some said that they had
received a booklet last semester and I followed
up with, “What did you think of it?”;
many responded that they were cutting back their
meat intake. One student refused a booklet saying
that he is a hunter; I replied that this is
about factory farming, the other end of the
spectrum; he then took the booklet. I also heard
from one student who said she became vegetarian
after receiving a VO booklet two years ago.
University of Illinois, Urbana,
I heard from 18 vegetarians and five vegans.
One of the vegetarians let me know that she
had become vegetarian as a result of getting
a booklet from me last semester.
outreach at the University of
Wyoming, Laramie, with over 1,000 booklets handed
out. There were many good questions, and lots
of individuals reading the booklets.