|Enewsletter • March 28, 2012|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Activist Profile: Cobie deLespinasse
Continuing our series of activist profiles, we meet Cobie deLespinasse! Here is an excerpt from her profile:
Who is a major influence in your life?
3. Vegan Outreach has been a major influence: Most important is what the organization does for the animals, but they also give us leafleters a chance to make a big difference. Vegan Outreach has helped make the past few years a very exciting time for me.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
I was hesitant about leafleting, for two reasons. First, I am awkward and often forget to make eye contact. Before I started leafleting, I wondered whether I should practice making eye contact for a few months before I tried to leaflet, because I was afraid I couldn’t be effective. Then I decided to go ahead and try leafleting, and many people took the booklets from me. I’ve been leafleting ever since. The fact is that most of the however-many-thousand booklets I gave out, I actually didn’t make eye contact with the people, and if I can improve on this in the future it will surely increase the take rate. But I’m very glad I didn’t wait to start leafleting until I was perfect.
The second reason I was hesitant about leafleting was that, although I had been vegan for the animals for more than a decade, I wasn’t sure when I started leafleting what I thought about the so-called “humane meat” issue. But I decided that people should have an opportunity to find out about what was happening to the animals, and I didn’t need to wait to start leafleting until I understood every aspect of animal issues.
Some suggestions: Try reading the Notes from Our Members in Vegan Outreach’s enewsletters, or suggestions on the Adopt a College and Vegan Outreach websites, to get some ideas on how to leaflet. Join the Adopt a College leafleting list to get support from others. One thing that may have helped me was that the first several times I leafleted were at showings of Food, Inc. at a fairly small movie theater where I usually handed out 20 or fewer booklets; I wasn’t trying to leaflet for hours.
From “Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach!” & Jack Norris RD Blogs
Product of the Week
Cobie: “I like SO Delicious soy ice cream. One of my former housemates used to politely laugh at how frequently she saw me eating soy ice cream.”
Notes from Our Members
good to be reminded
that although most of the bad news about
animal mistreatment relates to incidents, the
good news tends to be more about trends. Must
have something to do with the direction that
the arc of history bends towards!
Two days in February:
day of outreach with Diane and
Vic – we reached over 2,300 students at West
Valley College and San Jose City College. Many
comments, and one woman said she was changing
over to vegan.
day leafleting with Lisa at CUNY
John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Lisa had
a conversation with one man who said, “No
thanks, I like meat.” She replied, “Then
this brochure is for you! The title is Even
If You Like Meat!” He came back and
spoke to her and after the conversation he said
that he would cut down on meat, possibly doing
a “meat out” day each week. Amazing work.
the University of Illinois at Chicago,
I spoke with a Muslim student who had gotten
the booklet and came back to talk. She was quite
disturbed at the way laying hens are treated.
I shared with her that seeing the way birds
are treated in modern farming is what originally
moved me out of agriculture and onto animal
protection work, as it makes clear that there
is nothing animal agriculture will not do to
animals to cut costs / improve profits.
Joanna, and I had an awesome time
leafleting Grand Central Station. Great conversations
with people interested in going veg!
leafleting Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls
High School, a parent or teacher said she wanted
to go veg. She had good questions and planned
to do it once and for all. Later, a guy passing
who read my sweatshirt asked for a vegan booklet.
Even If You Like Meat booklets
and 9 Guides
at Northern Illinois University. I had several
quality conversations with students who claimed
“it’s just too hard to be vegan.”
I explained it isn’t about being perfect, it’s
about reducing the amount of suffering in the
world and living in tune with your values. Once
you explore vegan options, a whole new world
of food opens before you, and the choice becomes
easy. At the end of my day, a school newspaper
reporter came out and interviewed me for a story.
had a rewarding day of outreach at
CCBC today. I saw a girl reading a booklet with
a look of shock and disgust on her face. I went
over and talked to her. Reading the Compassionate
Choices pushed her over the edge and she
went vegetarian on the spot! In addition, I
sparked up some good conversations with people
about everything from ritual slaughter to organic
I love leafleting
Georgetown – full of such smart
and inquisitive folks. Kitty met a young woman
who went vegan as a result of us being there
a year ago, a vegetarian who got the Even
If today and is seriously considering going
vegan as a result, and a professor who is currently
writing a book on animal rights. I met a woman
who wants me to put her in touch with the Georgetown
animal advocate I know, and a professor who took
down my contact info because one of her students
wants to start a club on campus.
at Clark Atlanta and Georgia State.
I met one student who was absolutely thrilled
to get a leaflet and wants to get involved.
I also met a professor who’s been vegan for
31 years! At GS, I’ve never gotten so many contacts
in 2.5 hours time.
1,600 students at Miami Dade’s
North and Kendall campuses! Outreach was amazing
– so many positive and productive interactions!
I saw LOTS of people reading the booklet: Sitting
and reading. Walking and reading. Standing in
groups and discussing it. A number of people
said they wanted to eat fewer animal products.
One guy said, “This is going to be in my
head now. I didn’t know how bad things are.”
A girl waved her booklet in the air and said,
“This is a sign! I was thinking about going
vegan! This is THE sign!” A different girl
said to her boyfriend, “That’s it! We’re
going TOFU! These pictures are just too sad.”
An older woman stopped to talk. She said she’s
been vegetarian since age 13, and her family
has always given her a really hard time about
it. She was so thankful that this outreach is