Activist Profile: Nick Lesiecki
August 11, 2010
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’ve lived all over the place, including stints on a boat in the Caribbean, but I currently live in Seattle, WA.
What are your favorite things to do outside of leafleting?
I like hiking, especially in remote areas. I used to do improv comedy, but haven’t done that in a while.
Who has been / is a major influence in your life and why?
Matt Ball has been a major influence on my activism. Essays like A Meaningful Life have helped me focus on results rather than my emotions.
On a more personal level, I would say Douglas Adams has been enormously influential. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy contains so much unexpected wisdom amidst the humor and mayhem.
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I went vegan seven years ago because Anna was going vegan and I wanted to support her. Then once I learned about the horrors of factory farming for myself, the cause became mine as much as hers.
What made you decide to start leafleting?
Anna took me out with her one day to hand out leaflets at San Jose State. We handed out 700 leaflets in a few hours, and I thought to myself, “Hey, this isn’t hard!” I reviewed Vegan Outreach’s estimates about the conversion rate per booklet, and I realized that leafleting has the most bang for the buck of any volunteer activity – I can literally save thousands of animals in a few hours. That’s what keeps me motivated – knowing there’s a direct and immediate impact.
What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?
I leaflet a lot of festivals and community events, so they’re all pretty positive. I’m usually out enjoying the fresh air, a festive atmosphere, and crowds who’re in a good mood. But I always feel the most positive when I tally up my numbers on the ride home.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
The first leaflet is the hardest to hand out. Once you get over that hump, the rest is easy. Set a modest goal for yourself at first (“I’ll hand out 50 leaflets today”), and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results. If you’ve been involved in any other area of animal rights (for example, manning an information booth), leafleting will seem more daunting at first – but the rewards of feeling like you’ve accomplished something make it well worthwhile.