Activist Profile: John Sakars
July 20, 2011
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am from Niagara Falls, Ontario. I have lived in Niagara Falls all my life.
What are your favorite things to do outside of leafleting?
I enjoy being creative. I am a visual artist and performance artist. My biggest passion right now is making videos about animal rights and veganism.
Who has been / is a major influence in your life and why?
The worldwide vegan community is a major influence in my life. My fellow vegans teach me and inspire me to be the best activist I can be.
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I have been a vegan for 13 years. I didn’t do much activism for the first several years, other than talk to friends and family members about veganism. I started participating in demonstrations about 7 years ago.
What made you decide to start leafleting? / Why do you leaflet?
After many years of making visual art the main focus of my life, I decided I needed to do something more meaningful. I thought I’d get more heavily involved in animal rights activism. I stumbled upon the Vegan Outreach website and ordered some booklets. I leaflet because it’s a very effective form of activism – I watch people reading the booklets.
What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?
My most positive leafleting experience was when I went on a road trip with Vic Sjodin and Brian Wink this past winter. I learned a lot from those guys about how to project confidence and be personable.
What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?
I would say that leafleting can be a fantastic growth experience. You will find that it’s actually quite easy to get over your approach anxiety. Once you hand out your first couple of booklets, you will see that people are generally very friendly and happy to receive the information. I’ve even had people hug me and want their pictures taken with me. My confidence has improved dramatically since I began leafleting. I think of myself as being a “vegan superhero.” Also, you shouldn’t think that you are trying to “push your views on people,” as my carnist family members say. All you are doing is offering information. In the end, people make their own decisions about what to eat. By handing someone a booklet, you are helping to educate that person about the cruelty of factory farming, so that that person can then make more informed choices about what to eat. People have a right to know about the lives of the billions of animals getting hurt and killed for food.
I love the Vegan Outreach family. I am grateful for the leafleters promoting veganism, and I am grateful for the donors funding this outreach. Vegan Outreach gives me and the other leafleters a chance to do something extraordinary with our lives. When we hand out booklets, we get to save lives! I’m sure many of us will never forget the person who first taught us about veganism. Well, when you hand out Vegan Outreach leaflets, you get to be that person. You get to be the person who teaches someone how to make compassionate choices. You get to be the person who teaches someone that animals are friends, not food.
I’m grateful to everyone involved with Vegan Outreach, for helping to liberate animals.