|ENEWSLETTER • FEB. 5, 2014|
Introducing Your Choice
Vegan Outreach has a new advocacy booklet available: Your Choice (PDF).
You will notice a number of differences between Your Choice and our other advocacy booklets – much less text and no footnotes, for example. YC is made specifically for leafleting at colleges, addressing the decisions students face.
Your Choice is also less focused on factory farms, which are now much more widely known than when Vegan Outreach developed our first booklets. Instead, YC uses the marketing idea of “social norms” to show students examples of peers who are opposing cruelty with their choices. In many parts of the country – especially on college campuses – people already question eating animals. Social science research has shown that it can be very helpful for people who are contemplating a new idea to see others like them who have already successfully adopted this interesting but previously unexplored idea.
Your Choice seeks to inspire these curious people to take the next step on the path of making better, compassionate choices for the animals.
As always, Vegan Outreach strives to make the most effective booklets possible. If you’d like to see how they’ve evolved through the decades, we have pictures of many of them in A History of Vegan Outreach.
You can order Your Choice and our other advocacy booklets via Vegan Outreach’s catalog.
Thank you to the many individuals and groups who contributed to this project.
From Vegan Outreach’s Blog
Product of the Week
Our friends at Pura Vida (“Pure Life”) sell beautiful, handmade bracelets from Costa Rica, as well as iPhone cases, beanies, and other products. They donate a percentage of proceeds to many causes, including Vegan Outreach!
¡Hola amigos! So stoked to be doing outreach again in Mexico and on a larger scale. Truly a dream come true.
Israel and I had a great day at UAM Xochimilco, after bus rides, some walking and subway, carrying 122 pounds of booklets. Right away, I met 4 people who told me they were vegetarian. One came back and asked for 5 more booklets to show friends. Two security guards read the booklet cover-to-cover, and the one on the busier side called me over. I thought I was in trouble but he unsmilingly told me this was important and a good service to be doing. He then semi-floored me by asking me to leave a stack of lit next to the sign-in board on his desk [below], so students can take one as they enter the school. Supernice of him, and I saw students take a booklet as they signed in. I refilled his table supply right before we called it a day.
In over 500 schools of leafleting and 6+ years, an unheard of amount of people came back to me to get a booklet after a friend had gotten one but I had missed them, or they came after someone else had been reading one. I would guesstimate around 20–25 students and 3 professors walked up to me to ask for a booklet. Got a pic [below] of a student engrossed reading cover-to-cover while Israel was leafleting. Saw many, many reading cover-to-cover or reading way later after getting one. Really makes you feel awesome to see so many readers.
The highlight of the day at Chapingo was watching as a student stopped in her tracks after getting a booklet in a small plaza in front of a beautiful mural as the light shone on her [below] – captures some of the ambience of Chapingo and her seeing the light of not harming animals. Como se dice…sweet!!
On a personal note, I
was very thankful I got to meet Drew and his partner
two weeks back in Marin, who make all this
outreach in Mexico possible. I can never thank
Drew and all of you who are part of VO enough.
Only thing I can do is give a full effort on
my side of things. To be aware of the horrors
animals go through, our human and first world
privileges and to be willing to sacrifice
to help others is truly a beautiful thing.
Glad to finally meet Drew and I hope our efforts
on this groundbreaking trip make Drew, the animals,
and Vegan Outreach proud.
The take rate at
Ventura High School was at least 90%,
and many of the students were very enthusiastic
about the Compassionate
Choices booklet, squealing
in delight when they saw the animals on the
cover, or saying, “Yes,
I love animals!” “I’m all about
this!” etc. I saw so many
students intently reading the CCs
by themselves and in groups. One
son and mom sat in their car and studied the
booklet together. The pro-animal enthusiasm
at this school made my day and gives me hope
for the future.
spoke with one student at SUNY Cortland
who told me that he’d been thinking about
going vegetarian a lot lately – good timing!
Central Maine Community College hasn’t been visited
since 2009, so I thought I’d stop by. A security
guard walked up to me and said, “Are
you the one with the vegetarian booklets?” I
said yes. He smiled and said, “Oh can
I have one? I try to be vegetarian and would
like more info.” Whooee! That’s not
the usual interaction with security guards.
He also got a Guide.
At UC Berkeley, I had two people
tell me that our booklets are what turned
them vegan! It was also great to be joined
by Seldy, who is a fantastic leafleter and
provided some much-needed friendliness.
Shanti joined me at
Mercy College, where we met 9 students who want a
club on campus. One student was interested
but concerned about B12. Gave him a Guide, and he
said that this “pushed
him over the edge” and he was going to get the
supplement and start his journey as a vegetarian now!
Short but great time
at Miami Dade College’s Medical Campus.
A younger Latino was in the middle of a group who
all took booklets – all except him. He told
me he didn’t need it, because he got one several weeks earlier and had been veg ever since! Pointing
to the Compassionate Choices in my hand,
he said that that had been enough for him to make
the decision. It was obvious to everyone around
him that this had been a
joyous decision for him. So great to see –
yet another example of what a small amount of time
committed to leafleting can accomplish!
Rainy day at my Alma Mater,
CUNY Queens College. I didn’t even think that leafleting today would work at all,
and Giannina [Gonzalez’s, right] positive
attitude proved me wrong. Great take rate
and genuinely interested people. One girl
said that she had thought about going vegetarian
for a long time because she felt horrible
about the way animals were treated. She
said she had no idea how, and so I gave
her a Guide and said the best way is to
just try new foods and you can gradually
replace animal products with the new ones.
She was happy to get this information.
Another woman said she read the booklet
and it will make her stop eating meat for a day,
but seeing others eat meat around her will
make her go back. I told her to try cutting
out meat one day of the week for now,
and she said, “OK, I will start today!”
reached 63 students in less than 10 minutes
at William Fremd High School, which was pretty
awesome. I offered a booklet to one student
and said, “Info
to help animals?” She took it, and another
student heard me and said, “I love animals!” and
took one as well. Other students put their
bus windows down to get booklets.
MFA planted 654 seeds of compassion today
at Amundsen High School. Take rate was great!
over 1,000 students at the University of Washington
and North Seattle Community College.
Met Eva, who is vegan and wanted to know about
VO and get involved! I will be putting her in
touch with other Seattle activists. Also ran into
someone now going vegan; she was thrilled to get a
a great mini-tour! Met Christina [right],
a student at NOVA Woodbridge. She now wants
to try vegan and help me leaflet the next
time I come to these stomping grounds.
reached 3,200 students at
George Mason. We met a student who went
vegetarian for a year, and vegan for four
months as a result of getting a leaflet
last semester; and he asked us about plant-based
nutrition. There were students all over
campus reading and discussing the booklets,
including inside the cafeteria. We also met a few
vegetarians and vegans on campus who want
to get involved in activism. What a great day!
Bucks County Community College went well
– met vegetarians and vegans,
and so many people came out and talked to me about
reading the booklet! Awesome day! One student came
back 45 minutes after getting one,
and said the booklet had changed his life,
that he could never eat meat again. WOW!
So amazing, we had such a great time!
Jovan and I are both working late shifts today so we
leafleted Northeastern Illinois University, despite the
rain and cold. Two security guards stopped and read the booklets
and had questions about veg eating.
One faculty person said we should be working for a
classless society. I said sure but in the meantime
we can prevent a lot of suffering just through our
gave a talk sponsored by the Penn State
Veg Club and the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic
Association. Reception was great, attention
was super-high, and Q&A was at least
as long as my actual talk. One guy said
he couldn’t accept that animals feel pain;
I asked if he would be OK if we took a
dog into the center of the room and applied
a hot branding iron to her. He came up
after the talk to say that I really made
him think. A Christian asked how he could
best reduce animal suffering through his
diet on a limited budget. Someone asked
if by bringing animals up, we brought humans
down. I mentioned that women getting the
right to vote didn’t bring men down, and
that showing that we’re a caring, empathetic
species elevates us. I saw a lot of heads
nod in agreement to these points. Another
person asked if farm animals have actually
thrived due to our use of them, since there
are so many of them. I told him that if
I woke up one day in a battery cage, I
wouldn’t proclaim “Victory!”
I would say that someone screwed me. The
crowd laughed. It was exhilarating so many
people were really hearing me out.