|ENEWSLETTER • FEB. 19, 2014|
Activist Profile: John Jungenberg
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I was raised vegetarian and my family always had animals around our house, so needless to say, animals were a big part of my life from early on. My sister Jamie went vegan after watching a video of male chicks being ground up alive at hatcheries. I wanted to go vegan, but I thought it would be nearly impossible for me, because I am gluten free as well. Feeling the inconsistency of my values and not acting on them, I was one of the “defensive non-vegans.” I jokingly mocked my sister for being vegan to make myself feel better about my actions. Jamie was never rude back to me, but instead was encouraging. Four years ago (January 6, 2010) I decided I was done feeling guilty about what I ate, so I went vegan. I was surprised how simple it is to be vegan and gluten free!
The reason I mentioned that I had been defensive and rude about veganism is to remind any activist reading this that it is essential to always remain calm and polite to people hostile to veganism. Jamie could have been rude back; if she had been, I likely wouldn’t be vegan, let alone an activist. Sometimes the most defensive people are the closest to changing!
From Vegan Outreach’s Blog
Have We Accomplished Together?
Product of the Week
John: “Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo!! I love that stuff a lot!”
day at Oakton Community College! My mom had a great conversation
with one womyn who said after the conversation that she was
going to start eating more veg foods! She got
a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. I met a guy who said that the
leaflet depressed him, so I gave him a Guide
and encouraged him to
eat fewer animal products. Highlight of
the day was meeting one student who is giving
a presentation to his class tomorrow about animal agriculture.
We gave him some extra Compassionate
Choices and Guides to
give out after his presentation. He
was very appreciative!
day of outreach at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. We may have affected more
students than the day before at UNAM, if that
is even possible.
Met Daniela [below, right], a vegan student who wanted to get involved in activism; she spoke to me in near-perfect English. We got her email and she also spoke with Israel at length. She was so happily surprised that there were people on campus speaking up for animals. It was great to meet her and we are now FB friends. At the end of the day another student spoke with Israel, saying he wanted to get involved in activism with AnimaNaturalis.
Second day at BUAP was awesome! Constant readers – there were always 3 to 5 people reading at the gate where we were standing. Israel had a long conversation with Jaime who wanted to go veg. We met another woman shortly thereafter who had a lot of questions. Alan met a professor who wanted a speaker on veganism for her class; Israel will likely return to talk to her class in the future. She also took booklets. Another professor came back and also asked for booklets for her students. Then three separate women came back for more booklets to show others. A shopkeeper came over and asked for copies, too.
Had convos with security guards at both gates
and both read the booklet cover-to-cover. One surprised me
by how knowledgeable he was of these issues.
I mentioned how animals are completely innocent;
and the dog/cow analogy, how we view them differently.
He agreed it was wrong not to value the life of
both equally. My favorite interaction was meeting
Rosa [above, left], who wants to go vegetarian and had many
questions and took booklets to show others.
She made my day.
a vegan at CUNY Baruch who was very
happy to see me there. A security
guard came back reading the Compassionate
Choices and gave me a thumbs up.
Another guy who initially refused, on walking past
again, said that he saw the cute pig and had to take one.
was great to have Sherrie’s help at
Foothill College. One Guide went to a student who received a booklet
last year, and has been trying to cut back on meat
consumption. Another went to a student who gave up
meat last week, and another went to a student who
has vegan friends who are making him think!
day of tearin’ up Virginia – reached 700 students
at the University of Mary Washington. One student
said, “I already got one. I’m going to order
a Guide.” I quickly stopped him and asked him
if he was already vegetarian, and he replied, “No,
but after reading this I just might be.” Motivation!
day at two Rutgers campuses! Reached over 500
students in one booming class change!
Sarah [right] told me she’s
been contemplating a move to vegetarianism. It was
great timing that I reached her, and I made sure to
give her a Guide. I was super encouraging and
advised her to start phasing meat out of her
diet in a way that would be sustainable. I’m
confident that when I return to Rutgers next
year I’ll be chatting with Sarah the vegetarian
of 6 months!
and I reached 1,000 students just during the
9:15 am class change, so we knew it was going
to be a record day at Clemson University!
Had a great conversation with a former veg student
who was looking to get back into veg eating; I have
a feeling he’ll be a vegetarian again before
you know it. Also had a good conversation with a student
who is part of the Agricultural Mechanization and
Business program and had several heartfelt, genuine
questions for me. He thanked me for taking the time
to talk with him and answering him honestly, as he
is trying to figure out how he feels about
various ag industries.
over 1,100 students at Grand Valley
State between 8:30 and 4:30. Heard
from a number of vegetarians and vegans.
and I reached over 900 students at the University
of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the past two days,
and met a number of vegetarians and vegans.
We saw an older man intensely reading; he was
shaking his head in disgust. Made a remark
to us saying, “They can’t do that! That’s
illegal!” And we assured him it should be
illegal, but it’s 100% legal. Others told us
they couldn’t believe what they read. Martin
gave my mom a hug, saying how much he appreciated
seeing us spreading compassion.
Good day! New leafleters Rosa Moreno, Christa Zaros, Deb Hollm [above], and Steve Spagnola [below, right] joined me [Jennifer Greene, below] and Lisa at SUNY Stony Brook. Everyone loved their leafleting experience, and all are looking forward to doing it again.
Before we parted, I shared
with everyone another reason why
I’m such a fan of leafleting: it
has been helpful to me in my personal
life. How so? In the past, I used to spend way
more time and emotional energy fretting that
my family members still haven’t joined me in
going vegan; now, leafleting provides a
productive outlet for my energy and
passion. I take heart, especially
during trying times like the holidays,
knowing that even if my relatives
don’t seem reachable right now, I
can reach hundreds of other potential
vegans when I leaflet.
near-zero temps, a lot of young people were
very receptive to the Compassionate Choices at Duluth’s Christmas parade!
Even a police officer asked for one, and then studied
it with interest. One young girl was very interested in learning more about
Vegan Outreach and showed an interest in volunteering
to leaflet in the future.
interest at Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican Campus.
Best interactions from the day came from the groups
of HS students I met for the first time on this campus.
Their enthusiasm got a couple groups of older
students more curious than they otherwise
might have been. One former
vegetarian said the booklet was
the sign she needed to go back to eating
veg, and from the reactions of her friends
who were listening to us talk, I’m sure they
will be giving farm animals more consideration
University of Chicago is a tough school,
but I met some interested students and watched
others reading. Many veggies here, including
one who told me our booklet caused him to
go vegan. And when he passed the booklet
on to a friend, she went vegetarian!
day at Utah State! One student told me he is now veg because of getting
a VO booklet previously. Another one said he and his
girlfriend made significant changes to their diet
after they had been handed one!