|ENEWSLETTER • JAN. 22, 2014|
Alex on Animal Advocacy for All
Part of a post to a Bay Area discussion group.
I have been vegan for almost 20 years. I can’t wait to try the new vegan option at Chipotle!
We need to realize that Chipotle does not, actually, need us. Billion dollar companies don’t need a few hundred thousand vegans who may eat their new dish once a year. And we may think we’re strong in number here in the Bay Area, but when you travel all over the country, like Vegan Outreach leafleters do, you are reminded that we live in a tiny little bubble of delicious veganism.
But try going to Iowa and passing out 5,000 veg leaflets in the freezing cold. Interested students may still not even know what vegan is. If they ask you for local vegan options, what are you going to say? Hand them a list of the 20 great vegan restaurants in downtown Iowa City? No, you’re going to tell them about Chipotle.
One of the most powerful things we can do for animals is to happily join non-vegans in a familiar (to them) non-vegan restaurant. (I highly recommend reading these four short paragraphs.) When we order the vegan option with a big smile, without any fuss or complaints, we’re acting as advocates for animals.
I find it doubtful that a pig crammed in a tiny crate – or hanging in a slaughterhouse – would want us to complain to Chipotle that their new vegan dish wasn’t pure enough. I think she would want us to support the new dish and get all of our meat-eating friends to try it. If mainstream America starts eating that dish, millions of pigs could be spared a life of intense suffering.
—Alex Bury | Full article.
From Vegan Outreach’s Blog
DVD of the Week
For a limited time, you can get 50% off Speciesism: The Movie by using the coupon code veganoutreach at checkout. Scientific American’s Michael Shermer calls it “brilliant and compelling…the best of the animal rights documentaries.”
Yvonne was great at East Los Angeles College! She put on an absolute show, like watching a human Tetris game unfold, spinning and bouncing to get everybody as they came from several directions over a wide area. It was really more akin to dancing than anything else. I love everyone who leaflets and volunteers and is part of VO, but Yvonne is my number 1.
Saw so many reading the booklet, it was just exhilarating. Met Freddy [above, right], who now wants to go veg. Also met Melissa [above, left], an honors student, who wants to go veg and had numerous questions. After getting a booklet from Yvonne, I overheard a student say, “I got one of these last year and was vegan for 8 months.” I encouraged her to get back on the wagon and gave some culinary pointers. Another woman was just beginning to transition to a veg diet and was stoked to get a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Epic day at Mesa College! Berenice [Weber, below] and Krystin [Elize, above] are new leafleters but pumped to leaflet more. Saw many reading as they walked. Jonathan [below, right] though stopped and came back and said he wants to go veg after reading the booklet. He got a Guide, and I wished him well.
Also met a farmer
who started in on gestation crates. I
finished his sentence for him: all the
piglets will be killed if we don’t confine
the pigs. That let him in that this was not my first time. Then
asked him that if the practice was not cruel,
why are countries and states banning the practice?
And the public supporting these bans? And
a few other choice questions. Silence. We
then had a bro down about his military service,
and left fair friends and hopefully he had some
food for thought, and saw that not all animal
people are fundamentalists.
Monday’s highlight was
overhearing one vegan student use the booklet
as a conversation starter with a friend,
talking about a restaurant that serves a
variety of vegan meats.
Amazing day of outreach at Western Washington
University today – I reached over 1,800 students!
I heard from several vegetarians and vegans.
I ran into Lauren [right], who is vegan and wants to get active. I gave her the
A Meaningful Life booklet
and my email address. I also exchanged
emails with two other people who want to
get active; one who was doing a project
on animal activism and another woman who
writes children’s books about having compassion
Sarah, Jen, and I quickly reached 370 people
at Barktober Fest. Very high acceptance rate, positive energy, and quite
a few younger people.
Phil and I reached over 2,100 students at
Eastern Michigan University – students were very
receptive! One student said, “This is
why I’m vegetarian!” Another told us
how awesome it was that we were out there;
another said it’s terrible what we’re doing
Record day at Tulane
– reached over 1,000 students. Had a very constructive conversation
with a pregnant woman who had previously
been vegetarian. Met an awesome vegan professor
who teaches philosophy and political
theory regarding food systems. He is also
the faculty advisor for the veggie group
on campus and he is happy to see a greater
number of vegans and vegetarians at Tulane.
I reached 1,100 students at SUNY Oswego. I spoke with a professor there at the library, who told me that he’s appalled by factory farms and has significantly reduced his meat consumption. He’d grown up on a farm, and can’t stand to see the conditions animals endure on today’s giant factory farms. Met veg and vegan students who thanked me for my work, even had requests for an extra leaflet for friends and roommates!
At the University
of Rochester, I spoke to two different professors. The first initially
didn’t take a booklet, but I saw her a little
bit later and she’d changed her mind. She asked
me if it was “propaganda.” I explained
to her that the booklet simply presented information
about conditions on factory farms, and all
the information presented therein was firmly
rooted in fact, and the photos were all
real photos from farms in the U.S. The other
professor was really cool. She was incredibly enthused – talking to her was
definitely my day-maker. She was happy
to have the booklet as a reference, she said
it was good timing that she saw me because
she wanted to talk to her family about their
meat consumption with Thanksgiving coming up soon.
In just 3 hours
we were able to beat the record for Muhlenberg College! A ton of folks said that
they loved animals – I love when folks say that!
Then we headed over to Moravian College, and we beat
that record too! The students here were so receptive,
I didn’t get a single decline. I was smiling
so much because I was just so happy!
A costumed Mercy For
Animals team took to
Columbia College for our Halloween leafleting
event. The students greeted us enthusiastically, many
exclaiming their support when learning of our
message. Spoke with a young student who had
expressed an interest in going veg after his
athlete brother went vegan a year prior and
had his performance greatly benefit as a result.
He left with the knowledge and determination
to make the transition. The Disco King
and the Caped Crusader [Mikael Nielsen and Brian Pietrzycki, above] were interviewed
by Carlie, a vegan student at Columbia who
is doing a project – we were delighted to
help her out.
Excited to be back leafleting. The kids
at the Paramore concert who took the booklets hung on to them;
we saw almost no waste. Heard from over a dozen
people already veg, which was encouraging.
A very worthwhile event.
At Campbell University, one student thanked me
for leafleting. She had stopped being vegetarian
due to iron deficiency and was told by her
doctor to eat meat to get enough iron. I explained
that studies show that iron deficiency is no
more likely for vegetarians and vegans than
for meat eaters. I gave her a Guide and
told her about consuming vitamin C with iron-rich
foods to maximize absorption. She wanted to
try going vegetarian again. A staff member
said that she has worked at a hog farm and
chicken farm owned by Tyson, and that the horrible
pictures in the booklet were accurate.
Long, beautiful, and
effective day at the University of Virginia.
Rebecca joined me around 12:45, and I am so glad she
came! She is so charming, hilarious – and
most of all passionate. Students seemed to