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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

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Enewsletter

Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  January 16, 2013

Notes from Vegan Outreach

  Dawn Ratcliffe
 

Activist Profile: Dawn Ratcliffe

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we interview Dawn Ratcliffe, a longtime leafleter (over 100,000 reached, and counting!) and VO’s 2013 Southeast Coordinator!

What made you decide to start leafleting?

Having done a considerable amount of tabling, event organizing, and other forms of activism, I came to realize that just because a particular project requires countless hours of preparation, doesn’t mean that it’s the most effective and efficient use of time. And while leafleting may lack the glamour of other types of outreach, it is not only one of the best uses of time but one of the simplest forms of activism for effecting change. The work of Vegan Outreach definitely had an impact on me, although I didn’t quite understand how college leafleting could be so impactful until I actually did it.

What was your most positive leafleting experience?

There have been so many over the years, but it was an outing in September of 2012 at the University of North Florida that had a profound impact on me and reminded me how important this work is. A woman shared with me a story about two pet lambs who she had befriended and spent countless hours with every week over the course of two years during her childhood. One day, her parents slaughtered them and then fed them to her before telling her that she was eating her friends. She went vegetarian that day. She was thankful for the Compassionate Choices booklet that I handed her and is committed to going vegan, as she sees it as not being consistent with her values to continue eating animal products, especially when she thinks about her animal friends she lost years ago. Needless to say, we both started crying as she relayed the story to me. Her absolute love for those animals was so intense and her experiences will undoubtedly influence others to make positive dietary and lifestyle changes.

Full interview here.

 

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

 

Beyond Meat

Product of the Week

Dawn: “Beyond Meat is in many Whole Foods in CA, all of AZ, some places in MD, UT, KS (shock, right?), NM, and CO, and is being launched elsewhere soon.”

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

Photo: Beyond Meat

Notes from Our Members

Mary at Mt. SAC  
 

I leafleted a woman today at Mt. San Antonio College [Mary, left] who had wanted to go vegetarian for years! She didn’t have any good resources, and her husband repeated the usual misconceptions about the standard American diet. I talked to her for a while, showed her part of the Guide, and she stood nearby reading for a few minutes. I left her alone as I leafleted other students, but she came back to me with more questions. She is giving a vegan diet a shot, and she even joined me in leafleting for almost two hours! She’s a natural leafleter, too!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/10/13

This was my most productive semester of leafleting yet! Not just in terms of total people reached, but in how many people were interested in moving towards vegetarian and vegan diets! Students are becoming more familiar with vegetarian and vegan eating through popular culture, documentaries, and their college courses. Many people are open to it, we just have to reach them and give them that final push. As one student told me at Miami Dade College, it’s just not fair what we do to animals.
     Thank you to all of the donors who make this national campaign possible. You are truly the engine that drives this social change, and it’s because of your membership and support that together we are able to reach youth across the entire country and beyond! Thank you!
—Jeff Boghosian, excerpted from his semester report

At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, I met 7 vegetarians and 3 vegans. A bunch of folks were super supportive and thanked me for what I was doing, and quite a few people passed me saying, “No” or “No, I don’t want to look at that,” but then came back after a few steps and requested one, saying genuinely that they’d read it over. One person hailed me down when I was walking through the union and said, “I wanted to thank you for giving me that booklet. I read it all. I was hiding in the corner of the union, bawling – that stuff is horrifying. I was just on the phone with my friend from South Dakota – we’re going to eat less meat.”
—Sen Holiday, 10/17/12

Students at CSU Fresno

Huge day at North Centers Community College and Fresno State – Jonathan and I reached more than 1,600 students. Highlight of the day at Fresno State for me was chatting it up with a small group of sorority women [right] who were doing a breast cancer awareness display. I bought some raffle tickets and noticed they had VO booklets, so we chatted. At least 2 of them were already seriously considering changing their diet, so I’m glad I stopped by. I gave them all Guides.
     At Folsom Lake College, a woman took a booklet, stopped, and choked up. She then gave me one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever received, saying, “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS!” Another woman screamed out, “God bless you!” a few minutes after this. Eventful 2 hours!
—Brian Grupe, 10/19/12

Yuri, Nick, Jennifer, Boyd and I had a great day at Florida International University, with good interactions. For example, a janitor at the school said that he had seen stuff on TV which led him to Google factory farming. He was appalled and disgusted but was still struggling with the diet. I gave him a Guide.
—Linda Bower, 10/22/12

Linda sends along the pics below of Boyd Weidman and Jennifer Mennuti handing out Compassionate Choices at FIU.
Boyd Weidman at FIU Jennifer Mennuti at FIU
Student at VIU  
 

 

Sigrid, Sheila, and I had a huge day of outreach at Vancouver Island University. Memorable quotes:
     “I respect what you’re doing.”
     “It’s a good read, but I’ll give this back to you.” (Hands back Even If You Like Meat; I hand him Guide.) “Okay, this is worth taking. Looks like it might be helpful!”
     “Really good information!” (I hand him Guide.)
     “I’m glad you guys are here.”
     “Oh, awesome!”
     “This is gruesome s**t. My girlfriend and I are trying to get off the meat kick.”
     Hand guy Even If; he walks up two flights of stairs, shouts down at me: “Good job, man!”
     “I hate when people say all farmers are like this.” Me: “We’re definitely not out to demonize farmers. While most aren’t factory farmers, the reality is that 98–99% of animals raised for meat are raised on factory farms. So unless you’ve actually followed the animal’s life that you’re eating, you’re almost certainly eating from a factory farm.” Her: “Good response – right on.” (I later found out she was a vegan chef and was just playing devil’s advocate.)
—John Oberg, 10/22/12

Above is one of the students reached by Sigrid Bjarnason, John Oberg, and Sheila Haniszewska (below) at VIU.
Sigrid Bjarnason, John Oberg, and Sheila Haniszewska at VIU

 

Huge new record at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. There were lots of smiling, booklet-taking kids, and I reached over 1,000 students. One guy came back several times to ask questions; e.g., about plants feeling pain. I told him that there was a difference between responding to stimuli and the experience of what we consider suffering, and that without a central nervous system, a brain, there would be no suffering, that any reputable biologist would say the same thing. And if we were really honest with ourselves, we’d accept that there’s a big difference between mowing the lawn and, say, slitting a dog’s throat. He left saying that not only would he relay his good experience with a vegan to others in the future, but he would also go vegan for the next week. I thanked him, shook his hand, and Guided him.
     Massive day at Stephen F. Austin State University – reached over 1,500 students. One administrator or professor told me that a number of the people on campus earned their livelihood by raising animals, and they found what I was doing to be offensive. I told him that the nice thing about the First Amendment is that it allows me the right to say things he and others might find offensive. I also said that what is done to farmed animals offends me, and that was why I was doing the outreach.
     That said, the hurt feelings of ag students and professors are real, they matter, and shouldn’t be scoffed at. If we were them, with the same experiences, upbringing, etc., we’d feel exactly as they do. But the alternative is to just accept the status quo, and that’s not good, and would lead to a suffering that is orders of magnitude greater. So it’s a matter of accepting some tension in the here and now for a greater good in the future. It’s like what MLK said about a negative peace being “the absence of tension” and a positive peace being “the presence of justice.” We obviously want the latter. So we’ll have to upset some people in the meantime, but it’s important that we do this with empathy, fairness, and a lack of self-righteousness.
—Jon Camp, 10/18/12

 

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 fully tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865

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