|Enewsletter • December 9, 2009|
to save a huge number of farmed animals
this holiday season? Throw some cash toward
Vegan Outreach. Now is an especially good
time to donate, since they’ve got a
matching grant opportunity up to $70,000 –
every dollar you donate can now go twice as
far as usual.
Notes from Vegan Outreach
The Gift That Keeps On Giving!
Every week, thousands and thousands of new individuals learn the hidden realities of modern agribusiness, as well as the case for making compassionate, ethical choices.
Every week, we share with you stories of people whose lives were changed by a documented, detailed Vegan Outreach booklet – lives changed because of your donations.
Because of your donations, every day at every meal for the rest of their lives, these people will make the compassionate choice, and set an ethical example to everyone around them.
your gift to the animals, to humanity,
Please join with the many other dedicated individuals who have contributed to the matching challenge by making a fully tax-deductible contribution that will be doubled, dollar for dollar!
You can use a credit card to make a secure donation online, or send a check or money order to:
Vegan Outreach | POB 30865 | Tucson, AZ 85751
make the gift that keeps on giving –
Activist Profile: Darina Smith
We continue our series of activist profiles with volunteer Darina Smith. Since November 2008, while working a full-time job, Darina has reached over 13,000 individuals at colleges and other venues like the Warped Tour; she’s also reached many thousands more as an organizer for Mercy For Animals. At this year’s MFA gala in Chicago, Darina received the Ariel Nessel Grassroots Activist Award. Profile excerpts:
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from Slovakia where I lived until the age of 21. After graduating from college, I made a bold decision to come to the US and I’ve lived in Chicago since then. I became an American citizen in 2007.
What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?
Several times when leafleting, I’ve had individuals approach me in a very hostile manner, but eventually come to agree with the pro-veg points, thanks to me hearing them out and responding in a respectful manner. Dale Carnegie would have been proud and I highly recommend his book How To Win Friends and Influence People.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
For me, it’s always worked to just look at the pictures; I realize how insignificant my discomfort is compared to how these animals suffer every day, every hour. By leafleting, we are helping them more than by anything else.… For me, the sense of pride and accomplishment after each leafleting is overwhelming!
Read the full interview!
Product of the Week
Darina: “I am a fan of Match meats. It’s an excellent brand of vegan mock meat with different kinds: ground beef, sausage, chicken, even crab cake! It is sold in many Whole Foods stores and can be ordered online. I am also a fan of Trader Joe’s brand of soy nuggets. They are delicious; let your non-veg friends try them and be amazed! Further, they are very affordable (only $2.99/box in Chicago), which helps to counter the argument that eating vegan is expensive.”
Notes from All Over
Notes from Our Members
spring I was handed a Vegan Outreach
pamphlet at West Virginia University. I have
now been vegetarian for seven months. I wanted
to let you know that your pamphlets really make
friends who are vegan, and they
told me to look more into it. I found your site,
fell in love with it and am seriously considering
becoming vegan. I had no idea about all the
suffering and I would like to do my part to
help reduce it.
Lana Fuerst (at right), Fran, and I
leafleted Miami Dade College (Wolfson Campus)
where Al Gore was speaking. Then we went over
to the International Book Fair to leaflet. One
man who was with his family said that he had
seen some shocking footage recently and was
very interested. They asked for some extra leaflets
to share with additional friends and family.
Many at the Al Gore event agreed that he really
needed to shift the focus onto animal agriculture.
One lady said that she had been vegetarian before
and that the leaflet was giving her motivation
to do it again.
day at the University of California,
Merced, and Merced College. A number of people
told me they had been moved to change from getting
a booklet previously. A student approached me
because an ag professor had requested 30 leaflets
for his class. I accompanied the student back
and gave an impromptu speech about our work.
It turned into a discussion about factory farms.
The professor remained very neutral, he would
raise some points and then I would raise some
points and a few students would ask questions
or insert comments. Both the professor and I
really seemed to agree on the point that consumers
really don’t know where their food is
coming from. I got a few laughs from the students
and they didn’t seem bored or overly annoyed
of my presence. Even got a round of applause.
at CUNY York College, many people
sincerely thanked us for handing out leaflets.
Furthermore, many recognized it from previous
semesters – e.g., “You gave me this
last year and it made me change, so thanks!”
Others said they were trying to go vegetarian.
amount of interest at the University of North
Dakota, Grand Forks. One woman
took a leaflet and said, “This might make
me be vegetarian.” One woman said, “No
thanks. I’ve seen it. And I rarely eat meat
now.” One guy told me, “I read it
and I had the cheese pizza instead of the chicken
basket.” He was happy to get a Guide.
550 students at Truman College
and DePaul University today. One student said,
“I got one of those a month ago and it
has changed everything for me.” He got
lots of encouragement and more information.
Later, a student who had taken a booklet earlier
stopped to thank me for the pamphlet and let
me know he is going vegan.
Tennessee State University, Phil
Letten and I were joined by members of Raiders
Against Animal Cruelty, and we reached nearly
3,000 students. We saw hundreds reading their
booklets, and met lots of vegetarians and others
expressing interest. Four pledged to go veg
to me; one girl texted her friend to say she
was now going veg after getting pamphlet. Two
students asked for booklets to go along with
speeches they are giving; I also helped a freshman
prepare a talk on going veg.
a presentation at an Arizona State
University-sponsored women’s conference and
was well-received. I distributed booklets and
talked about the environmental benefits of eating
local, organic, and vegan, as well as why I
went vegan which stemmed from my concern for
reducing animal suffering, wanting to widen
my circle of compassion to include animals,
etc. Two people have told me via email that
they’ve reduced their animal consumption since
my presentation, and I’ve shared recipes and
vegan products with another person who attended
the talk. My PowerPoint’s also been made available
to attendees and they’ve invited me back to
talk next year.
day of outreach at West Virginia University,
where I had numerous conversations. One young
woman came up to say that she’s been a vegetarian
since receiving a booklet on campus last year.
One young man said, “No thanks,”
and I politely replied, “Thanks,”
something I try to give to everyone, essentially
thanking one for their time. The guy came back
to state emphatically how refreshing this approach
was, how it was not what he was used to from
anyone doing any form of outreach. The only
way we, animal advocates, are going to get the
general public to enter the extended discussion
about this issue is by being the type of individuals
with whom they’d feel comfortable entering a