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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



Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  October 12, 2011

Notes from Vegan Outreach

Link of the Week: Animals, Not Arguments



When I went vegan 20+ years ago, a common theme was to “win an argument with a meat eater.” Every topic was fair game, and every question or theory – no matter how tangential or absurd – was argued fanatically.

I fell into this trap, too, parroting the most outrageous claims about impotence, water usage, etc. It took me a long time to realize the point isn’t to show how many claims I had memorized, or to glorify my veganism, or to “defeat” a meat eater.

Rather, the bottom line is to help animals by helping more people make informed, compassionate choices.

However, many dubious “pro-veg” claims continue to float around today, undermining effective advocacy for the animals.

For example, some vegans feel the need to claim that veganism is “natural” (whatever that might mean). To this end, the vegan diet (as though there is a single vegan diet) has to be perfect in and of itself, no planning required, and no supplements.

This leads to one of the most harmful claims: that we don’t need to worry about particular nutrients, especially vitamin B12.

Jack Norris

Jack Norris (right) has worked against this for as long as Vegan Outreach has existed. If you aren’t familiar with Jack’s research on B12, please be sure to check out this post, links therein, and new posts (listed below).…

Still, many activists think, “If one argument for vegetarianism is good, then ten are better, and 100 are even better!”

But this is actually the opposite of how human psychology works. An argument for significant change isn’t strengthened by volume. Rather, any case for change is a chain – only as strong as its weakest link. Every additional argument offered to a non-vegetarian both dilutes and distracts from the strongest argument for making compassionate choices.…

The question we must each ask is: Will we work for the animals in the world as it is? Each of us can make a real, significant difference. But we can’t afford to make my past mistakes or try to win an argument. Rather, we must focus on the animals.

—Matt Ball

Full article here.


From “Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach!” & Jack Norris RD Blogs


Product of the Week

Bunny Fruit

Jennifer: “Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks say vegan right on the box, and 100% Vitamin C.”

Please submit your nominees for product of the week via this page; previous entries here.


Notes from Our Members

Carol Misseldine
Carol Misseldine stops a biker in his tracks at the College of Marin.

Even though I started the day feeling blue, I was cheered almost immediately at Irvine Valley College. As if scripted, a young couple walking and reading their leaflets gave me a thumbs up. The guy’s chin quivered as he thanked me. Was thanked by numerous people, hugged four times, inspired at least two former vegans to come back, gave the finishing touches to a young girl entertaining vegetarianism, and heard “Help animals? Hell yes I will… I love animals” more times than I can count. And smashed the former record at this school.
—Nikki Benoit, 8/24/11

At the University of Colorado’s Freshmen Welcome, I went back to my bike for more leaflets and saw six or so students taking a group picture by the sign on the back of my bike, which reads, “Be kind to animals…Please don’t eat them.” As they were walking away I heard them say something about everyone in their house being veg.
—Barbara Bear, 8/19/11

18 dedicated folks joined Jeff and me to leaflet Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk, where we reached 3,387 interested people. We met soooo many vegetarians – handed out 60 Guides and seven AMLs. One guy told us he’s been vegan since getting a booklet at Arizona State three months ago.
—John Oberg, 9/3/11

Kara Phalen
Kara Phalen is enthusiastic about helping the animals at Mt. San Antonio College.

The take rate at Oak Park River Forest High School was excellent; nearly every student replied with “Yes! I love to help animals” to my “Info to help animals” line. I was super pumped up after leafleting, and can’t wait to go again.
—Darina Smith, 9/8/11

Before dinner, I leafleted Yale’s giant Morality class as the students filed in. During the class, the professor asked people to raise their hands if they forgo eating things they would otherwise, out of concern for the suffering of nonhuman animals. Some 10% of the class of 600 raised their hands.
—Eitan Fischer, 9/6/11

I tabled at Montgomery College’s student activities fair, and leafleted next to the table. The school’s main table was giving free hot dogs to the students; this year, there was a veggie dog option, and there were none left by the end!
—Jon Camp, 9/9/11

Reached 1,480 students at North Carolina Wesleyan College and East Carolina University. One student said she was vegetarian for years, but went back to eating meat because of gluten allergies. I informed her of Jack’s blog, gave her a Guide, and told her I have vegan friends who are gluten free. Returning during the next class, she thanked me for being on campus and is now returning to vegetarianism.
—Rob Gilbride, 9/12/11

Jeannie Trizzino
Jeannie Trizzino changes another life at Chico State.

Teresa and I blew out the old record at Central Connecticut State, reaching 1,314 students, and giving out many dozens of Guides to vegetarians. Two students want to get involved leafleting. Had some good conversations; e.g., after reading the literature, had at least six people pledge to reduce their consumption of animals/products by half.
—Karen James, 9/12/11

Ideal crowd at Richard Stockton College, where Mara and I reached 1,000 progressive suburbanites. Saw lots reading cover to cover. Had a nice bro-down yesterday, a large football player asked me, “What’s with this crazy vegan thing, break it down.” I started, “The word vegan, my brother, is just another word for love, combined with intelligence.” We parted friends after 10 minutes and he said he would read the pamphlet and eat more plant- based foods.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/8/11

Future superstar leafleter Paulette joined me for a quick leafleting at Millennium Park. I had a nice conversation with a Christian and, among other things, we discussed how Jesus would feel if he saw how the animals were treated in today’s modern factory farms. We both agreed that he would be horrified. He seemed to think deeply on this point.
—Mikael Nielsen, 9/4/11

Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown makes the compassionate case at Denver’s Auraria campus.

A group of people gathered to watch three seals being released back to the ocean, so I decided to leaflet the crowd!
—Lana Smithson, 9/11/11

Today was amazing, as Jeni, Vic, Lori and I reached 4,564 students at Mission College and San Jose State – awesome take rate, awesome conversations. We met a ton of interested folks including one young lady, Julia, who has been vegan for a year since getting a brochure. Vic got the contact info of a young lady who wants to get involved. One person said they were going veg on the spot!
     Friday, Seth, Jeni, and I set yet another record – 1,241 students reached at Las Positas College. Cool conversations with interested folks – the level of interest in the literature has skyrocketed over the last few years. So many people genuinely seem to care.
—Brian Grupe, 8/25/11


Prevent 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

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