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reducing the suffering of farmed animals
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Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  October 26, 2011

Notes from Vegan Outreach

  Kalie Miller
  Kalie Miller opens another set of eyes at Sonoma State.

Holy Chicken, Batman!

It’s still October but Adopt a College activists have already reached way over half a million students this term!

524,450 at 539 schools!

Absolutely amazing!

Congratulations to every leafleter and donor who’s made this happen. Together, we’re changing the world, every single day!

Would you like to be a part of this, even if you aren’t able to leaflet? Watch this space next week for a great opportunity!

 

Link of the Week: Interview with Ginny

Gary Smith, who previously talked with Nikki Benoit, interviewed Vegan for Life coauthor Ginny Messina. The entire article is worth reading; one excerpt:

Vegan for Life

Though you are a registered dietician, you have written in the past that the best argument for veganism is the ethical/animal argument. Why don’t you believe that the health argument should be the driver?

I think it’s great if people want to talk about the health benefits of eating more plant foods and fewer animal foods. Unfortunately, though, we have no data to show that you need to go 100 percent animal-free in order to be healthy. So there really isn’t a “health argument” for a vegan diet, let alone a vegan lifestyle.

This means that if we want to promote veganism for personal gain or health benefits, we need to overstate the findings and tweak the science. And what does it say about our movement if we’re advocating for animals by using a not-quite-honest or not-quite-scientifically-supportable message?

Some might say that we should appeal to every possible motivation in getting people to stop eating animals, and that’s a tempting argument. I’d probably buy it if I thought it would work. But I don’t see that advocacy built on a shaky factual foundation or on precepts that are ever-changing can prevail in the long run.

An ethic of justice doesn’t change.

No one knows what the exact “ideal” diet for humans is, or if there is any single diet that fits that definition. I talk with my colleagues frequently about new research and whether we need to reassess some of our recommendations or advice based on the latest findings – because ideas about the best way to eat are forever changing. Who knows what the research will be showing 40 years from now? But an ethic of justice doesn’t change. The argument in favor of animal rights today will be the same in 40 years. So why not stick with the argument that is 100 percent unassailable, the one that we never have to scramble to defend in light of new findings?

In addition, I think there is a real problem in shifting the focus of veganism away from an ethic of justice for animals toward more anthropocentric concerns. It actually reinforces the idea that our food and lifestyle choices should be all about us – a belief that lies at the center of animal exploitation.

Full interview here.

 

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

 

Product of the Week

Seitan

Lauren: “Want fresh seitan but intimidated by the recipe? You can buy mixes online, including Etsy!”

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

 

Notes from Our Members

ECC student
This El Camino College student is stopped in her tracks by the truth.

Tons of questions today at the Community College of Baltimore County. For example: Did I think it was right to push my beliefs on others? For this one, I drew on something Eugene had mentioned before: when we confine animals, truck them to slaughter, and kill them, we are imposing our beliefs on them, and very violently so. By comparison, offering another individual a booklet is laughably mild. I’ve always liked the Howard Zinn quote, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” The status quo isn’t neutral; it’s been established by people and deliberate actions. There’s nothing wrong with questioning and challenging this – it is the only way we’ve ever made progress.
—Jon Camp, 9/19/11

Chris and I reached nearly 4,000 students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State. At both schools we met vegans and veggies, and students who are moving that way. Only a couple of students challenged us; many others who were polite, curious, or supportive. A professor of animal science even thanked us for our work, and said he thinks factory farming is terrible. A few different students told me that receiving our literature in the past had prompted them to explore vegetarianism.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/15/11

At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a junior in animal sciences stopped and told me she was increasingly disturbed by what she was learning and seeing in modern animal agriculture. I let her know that I, too, was in UIUC’s College of Agriculture when I started at this school way back in 1989, but being bothered by what modern farming does to animals led me to the animal protection work I do now. I mentioned that most people do not work in the field of their degrees, but that having that degree might make her a real asset to animal protection due to her understanding and expertise in the field. She eagerly accepted a Guide and AML.
—Joe Espinosa, 9//16/11

Erin Gaines
More students learn the animals’ plight at the University of Texas, thanks to Erin Gaines.

Students at Fullerton College always deliver! Yvonne had a guy come back with his leaflet, thank her for informing people, and ask what the best way to switch his family’s diets would be. She Guided him and he thanked her. I had conversations like that too; e.g., one young man said he’d started to cry in class. I handed him a hanky shaped like a Guide.
     At Cal State, Dominguez Hills, Steve and I reached 2,600 students, nearly doubling the previous record! Had numerous interactions with folks who are appalled by factory farm abuse, and are eager to dive into their new Guides. A young lady came back asking a few questions, stating that something “clicked” while reading the booklet. As of this second, she’s going veg for a month! If that works, it’s Next Stop: Veganism, baby!
—Nikki Benoit, 9/20/11

Was able to reach way more students at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with Sen’s help! One woman refused a leaflet saying, “No way! I can’t even eat chicken anymore because of that thing. I’m serious.”
     At the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, someone said to Sen, “This is gonna make me never eat meat again!” One guy said, “I read it. It’s terrible.” While having lunch in a campus cafe, we met a vegetarian guy who had received a flier from us earlier. He hopes to open a vegan food service on campus.
—Fred Tyler, 9/14/11

STC student
This South Texas College student is engrossed in learning the previously hidden reality.

Stopped by Miami Dade College briefly. One student said being veg was expensive. I gave her lots of tips on ways to make it economical: fewer meat substitutes and packaged products; more beans, rice, pasta, veggies, potatoes, and fruit in season. I also suggested including the value of just feeling better about making better choices that affect other beings who are less fortunate. She agreed and said she would try.
—Linda Bower, 9/19/11

Ravi (who got involved after being leafleted previously), Mara, and I had great interactions at Mercer Community College. Three different dudes thanked us for being out there. Burly manly men, so that was nice to see. On the other end of campus, Mara gave a student the booklet and boom, he stopped dead in his tracks three feet behind her and read the entire leaflet transfixed. She gave him a Guide. Another student enthusiastically told us, that was it, he was going vegan.
     Today, Mara and I had a fantastic day at Middlesex County College and Kean University. Numerous conversations. One administrator came up to me looking stern, asked what I was doing. “Handing out info on factory farming. Most people love animals, just don’t know how terrible factory farming is for animals and the environment.” He said, “Good for you!” and took a pamphlet, which was pretty sweet. A girl started off telling me we need to do all sorts of theoretical things. I eased into telling her to take actions you can control first, and she was convinced to change her diet. You should have seen her beaming smile of pride when I saw her later and she told me she had not ordered meat for lunch.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/16/11

Laquivia
At Occupy Charleston, Laquivia gives the Guide a thumbs up!

Being at Plymouth was great because of the super nice students. After I handed leaflets to two guys, one of them stopped suddenly, pointed at me, and then (I thought I might hear negative words) slowly and enthusiastically said, “I… LOVE… YOU!” His friend smiled widely, pointed at the leaflet and exclaimed, “We were just talking about this stuff!” They thanked me and walked away while looking through their leaflets. A woman asked if I am vegan. When I replied yes, she enthusiastically said, “I LOVE you! Keep up the good work!” Later in the day she walked by and said, “How’s my favorite person doing?” Shortly before I left, a woman who was wearing a sweatshirt with the words “I am not a freak; I am a vegan” stopped to show me the shirt and give me a hug! I’m feeling the love today!!
—Lana Smithson, 9/22/11

Lori, Diane, Jessica, and I reached over 1,600 students last week at Evergreen Valley College. Lots of great conversations and meaningful interactions; seemed like we met every student on campus! Lori and I then went to Branham High School, where we encountered super receptive students. We met a very excited vegetarian who had just decided a week ago to change.
     Two club members helped me out today at Butte College, Indran and Sarah. Sarah found a booklet in the library a few weeks ago and went veg, turned her boyfriend veg, and her sister has pledged to go fully vegan with her by the end of the year. And now she’s out leafleting for animals! Tons of conversations. I met two people who read the booklet today and are renouncing meat.
—Brian Grupe, 9/14/11

 

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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