|Enewsletter • October 14, 2009|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Activist Profile: Leslie Patterson
Continuing our series of activist profiles, meet volunteer Leslie Patterson. Since January 2008, while working a full-time job, Leslie has reached over 44,000 individuals with Vegan Outreach booklets!
Here is an excerpt from her profile:
What made you decide to start leafleting?
Upon moving to Chicago, I looked at the various types of animal rights activism that individuals and groups were doing. Leafleting to promote vegetarianism seemed like the most direct action I could take to help animals, by taking their case directly to the meat-eating public. When I read the VO literature on advocacy I realized that their rationale supported my decision and that leafleting is the way that an activist can help the most animals.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
It is every activist’s dream to pull animals out of the farms and off the trucks and save them. We are sparing animals from these systems every time we go out and leaflet. Once you get out there it’s easy. The biggest hurdle for me was thinking that I did not have the time. But I discovered that I can do it by making it a priority and writing it into my schedule and onto the calendar on a regular basis.
Read the full interview!
Product of the Week
Leslie: “Joe and I recently discovered Kraft Minute Tapioca at the grocery store. Cook with soy milk, sugar and vanilla for delicious pudding in five minutes!”
Notes from All Over
Jonathan Safran Foer describes his and his wife’s struggles to give up eating animals. Useful information for advocates to keep in mind. Excerpt:
“While the cultural uses of meat can be replaced — my mother and I now eat Italian, my father grills veggie burgers, my grandmother invented her own “vegetarian chopped liver” — there is still the question of pleasure. A vegetarian diet can be rich and fully enjoyable, but I couldn’t honestly argue, as many vegetarians try to, that it is as rich as a diet that includes meat. (Those who eat chimpanzee look at the Western diet as sadly deficient of a great pleasure.) I love calamari, I love roasted chicken, I love a good steak. But I don’t love them without limit.
“This isn’t animal experimentation, where you can imagine some proportionate good at the other end of the suffering. This is what we feel like eating. Yet taste, the crudest of our senses, has been exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses. Why? Why doesn’t a horny person have as strong a claim to raping an animal as a hungry one does to confining, killing and eating it? It’s easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it. Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farmed animals.” Full article.
Notes from Our Members
My daughters came across your literature at
People’s Market in Ocean Beach, CA. The
booklets have had a huge impact on us. Realizing
how the animals suffer and what it is we are
really consuming has changed us in so many ways.
My daughters, now ages 13 and 14, have also
shared your literature with their friends at
A woman at work took a Why
the stack I keep at my desk and has decided
to go vegetarian! I followed up and gave her
to Cruelty-Free Eating. So that was
pretty awesome. And our vegan wedding went great!
We got a lot of positive feedback on the food,
and a Why Vegan? convinced my mom to
This booklet opened
my eyes to the cruelty of factory farming and
ultimately let to my adoption of a vegan diet,
and now I want to spread the word to more uninformed
meat eaters! Thank you and keep up the good
At North Hennepin
Community College, one woman took a flier and
said, “Even If You Like Meat…Oh no!
I’m not going to like meat after this.”
One vegetarian woman was so excited she jumped
up and down and squealed, “Oh I love you!”
She happily took a Guide. A guy came
back later, shook my hand and said, “I
read that book. It’s terrible. Thank you
for giving me this.” As a group of three
walked by, only one person wanted the flier,
but when I saw them ten minutes later, they
were having a discussion about whether or not
you could kill animals without being cruel to
them. We have to remember that many of the people
who take a flier show it to their friends.
to everyone at Vegan Outreach
for encouraging others to pass out these very
important booklets that show the truth about
the horror inside these factory farms. After
Ball’s book, some new people
are passing out booklets at colleges here in
Phoenix. Please accept my small monthly recurring
to help with the printing of these booklets.
At Scottsdale Community
College, Alicia (Shover) and I were shocked
at how many vegetarians we met. My favorite
response was a worried “Why did I agree
to take this?” Also, one gentleman was
very supportive and agreed Food, Inc. didn’t
go far enough. Another cowboy-looking gentleman
in his 50’s turned out to be a (former) cowboy!
He stopped drinking milk a long time ago, and
doesn’t even eat meat at home. He talked
about how the actual practice of farming does
things you’d never see in the cowboy mythology
version. He was sad about how the calves are
taken away in dairies.
At Michigan State
University, one girl told me she had been wanting
to go veg and was happy to get the pamphlet
and Guide. Another said she had gotten
a pamphlet when a freshman and then again as
a sophomore; she made the decision to go veg
the third time she got the pamphlet and has been
veg ever since. Met around 40 vegetarians and
vegans, which was also very encouraging at this
large ag school.