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Back in the late 90s,
I was looking to become more involved in animal
advocacy and to contribute to the cause in some
way. I connected with a local animal rights
group, but I was not impressed with the level
of critical thinking involved. I was starting
to feel like the only vegan with a brain!
Around this time, I discovered Vegan Outreach on the internet, and what I read there just resonated with me like nothing else. Finally, I had found an animal rights group that was intelligent, didn’t seem loony at all, and they were actually doing something meaningful. That was truly a defining moment for me.
I support Vegan Outreach because I agree completely with the mission and the philosophy behind it. The world needs more reasonable, articulate, scientifically minded animal advocates like you.
Big day at McMaster University
in Hamilton, Ontario! John Sakars, Alex Greenwood, and I were able
to reach a total of 3,251 students! I met a
good number of vegan and vegetarian students,
and also spoke with non-veg students like Devin,
who told me he was opposed to factory farming
and thinks animals deserve better. John and
Alex also had positive interactions with students!
I’m so happy that we were able to reach such
a large number of students today – that’s good
news for animals!
John, Alex, and I had a BIG day at York! We even had help from first-time leafleter and York student Layla Leto – she did a great job! We reached 3,870 students and had some great conversations! Through our leafleting we were able to put some veg students in touch with the campus group! I spoke with students like Kris, who was interested in eating more vegetarian meals but was in the dark about veg dining; I was sure to give her a Guide! I also gave a Guide to Mark, who wants to go veg!
—Chris Guinn, 10/9/13
|Chris Guinn, John Sakars, and Alex Greenwood also reached 1,100+ students at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. Alex snapped Chris in action (above), and Chris took pics of some of the students reading Even If You Like Meat (below).|
a little nervous going to Vancouver
Island University, but it was a very good day!
Met lots of people who said they were veg or
thanked me for caring. One lovely young woman
talked to me for a while, left, then came back
and stayed with me – she talked to people while
I gave out booklets.
—Sigrid Bjarnason, 10/2/13
Dietrich [above] and I set a record at
Coppin State today – the animals are lucky
to have him on their side. We had great and
effective conversations! Brittany [right] is committed
to starting to change her diet to help animals;
she was happy to get a Guide. Three
different students were interested in me coming
to speak to their group or class.
—Kassy Ortega, 10/4/13
Clark Atlanta University, I had a ton
of great conversations and received positive
comments – too many to report! Even had a woman
in her car yell to me from across the street
that she would pull around because she was interested
in getting a booklet.
Highlight of the day was a conversation with a vegetarian and her friend. The vegetarian asked me how to best transition to veganism; her friend seemed interested in making changes as well. Also talked to a student about the overall lack of veg options (I have actually had several of these conversations recently). He and several others promised to check out the nearby Soul Vegetarian.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/4/13
1,400 students at St. Cloud State.
Talked with several people interested in vegan
food and nutrition, and gave them Guides.
A professor was having a class outside, and
they were discussing eating lower on the food
chain. He is mostly veg himself, and he waved
me over to tell the class what I was handing
out, why, and what organization I was with.
For my first impromptu presentation, I think
it went very well!
Despite rain and strong winds, the students at South Dakota State were very friendly. Really great outreach at an ag school!
At the University of South Dakota, the day started out great and ended great! Take rate and friendliness was at an all-time high! Halfway through the day I met Avid [left], who stopped to ask what he can do to help! We talked about how cutting back on meat consumption reduces animal suffering and he said, “I can do that!”
—Rachel Shippee, 10/7/13
Tiff, Tina, Heather, and I reached
1,265 students at Northwestern University. Other
students were handing out veg booklets as well,
and we heard from tons of vegan and vegetarian
students and staff!
—Leslie Patterson, 10/9/13
round at the University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign – reached 800 students and
handed out eight Guides to various
vegetarians and vegans. One of the vegetarians
let me know that getting the booklet in the
past is what moved him to drop meat.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/8/13
|Above: Erin Gaines reaches a UT Austin student, while two others are engrossed in booklets from Jon Camp.|
Awesome day at the University of Texas – Lauren Walker, Erin Gaines [above], Ethan Dussault, Christie Norris, and I reached 5,000 students. This was a new Texas record – the first time any school here hit the 5k mark!
Above and below are a few of the students Lauren Walker saw engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Texas State.
But the next day,
Lauren and I also reached 5,000 students at
Texas State! We distributed dozens of Guides as well, chatting with a lot of people who were
interested in and inspired by this work.
We extended our current record-breaking streak to three days today at South Texas College, by the Mexican border. We had more individuals asking us questions here than at any other school thus far on the tour – and we’ve had a lot of us questions asked at the other schools!
Two separate individuals mentioned now being veg or nearly veg today as a result of Food, Inc. It’s interesting how Food, Inc. isn’t explicitly about going veg, but I often hear of individuals who have gone veg as a result of it – something to keep in mind before bashing other campaigns that don’t go as far with a vegan message as we might prefer.
We heard comments today such as, “I really like what you’re doing here,” “I never thought about this till today,” “This is really sad,” “What can I do?” It was really moving to come across so many genuinely concerned and curious people.
Chandra told us that she still wears old leather sandals, and she thought we might have criticized her for that. I told her that we endorsed being practical and non-purist, and criticizing a vegetarian taking steps to do good for animals is the last thing we would do. She really liked that approach, and she gave me her contact info as she’s now interested in getting involved. I’ll also send her some VO essays about our pragmatic approach.
—Jon Camp, 10/9/13
nearly 700 students at College
of the Redwoods and had great conversations.
Ran into a student who recognized me from Palomar
last semester, at the opposite end of the state.
And Bryan is now leaning toward going vegan
and is going to look through our website.
Another great day on the road! Reached over 1,100 students at Humboldt State! I heard from more vegans and vegetarians than I could count, and I was happy to have Sarah’s help! Now she’s interested in leafleting on her own!
Great conversations at Southern Oregon University. For example, one student who doesn’t like animal cruelty and was excited to hear about all of the vegan meats in stores. I talked up Daiya cheese to quite a few lacto-ovo vegetarians. One member of the football team had lots of questions, too!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/10/13
OMG what an awesome and super long day! Thank you Barbara Bear for joining! Met Heather [Pierce, above] at a film screening last week and recruited her out, too. Together, we reached 768 students at Santa Barbara City College, and then 2,001 students at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB’s freshman cafeteria is all vegetarian Mondays, so perfect timing). Many one-on-one conversations for all of us, and watched so many people reading intently – snapped a few quick pics, including a couple reading intently with another dude reading in the background [below]. Spoke to one of those readers, Marla [right], who was very interested in these issues; she got a Guide and said she wants to go veg. Met Annika [top of page], who read a booklet and wants to go vegan. Also met Marco [top of page], who wants to go veg and is interested in volunteering. Perfect demographic for outreach. Long day with profound impact.
Awesome day at
Fullerton College! Saw numerous people reading the booklets [one at right]. Met Annie [below, left], who is now interested
in going vegan. Spoke with a Paleo dude who
was interested in these issues – the appeal
to reduce suffering seemed to make inroads.
Met another dude who told me he was going to
Highlight was meeting Monica and Elyse [below, right]; we spoke for a few minutes when I approached them sitting with a friend and had a laugh together, then spoke about animal suffering. About two hours later ran into them and they happily and earnestly told me they were going to go vegan for a month together and take it from there. I gave them much encouragement and Guides.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/10/13
pretty straightforward why I
support Vegan Outreach. It’s a
no-BS organization that is out to prevent suffering.
They don’t do it to satisfy their egos. They
don’t do it for grand, unattainable goals. They
do it for results. That’s what I care about.
love you guys, and so admire what
you’re doing. You chose to focus on farm animals
above all else because their suffering amounts
to the greatest single tragedy in the history
of the planet, far exceeding any suffering that
has ever, or hopefully will ever, occur.
Also, I feel strongly that the animal rights movement needs a better understanding and appreciation of human psychology. I really appreciate that in addition to your outreach, you focus on activist behaviors that are most effective. It is hard not to get emotional when we care so deeply, and the level of suffering is so unimaginable, but we need to learn to compartmentalize and share our emotions with each other, then put on our optimistic, forward-looking face for the masses.
University of New Brunswick is
the first school in NB ever leafleted by AAC!
Every student I offered a booklet took one,
and many were genuinely interested. Mom [Karen Oberg, above] and
I also had a great time at Dalhousie University
in Nova Scotia – hasn’t been leafleted in a
decade. Again, great response! Third booklet
went to a vegan, and we met other veg folks!
—John Oberg (below, leafleting Dalhousie U), 9/27/13
and tabling at UNLV for World
Day for Farmed Animals. Had a number of great
conversations with people who were pescatarian,
part-time vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan.
They were all glad to see a veg presence on
campus and wanted more. Everyone was positive
– every single person.
—Elaine Vigneault, 10/2/13
Above is one of the students Jon Camp saw engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat at San Antonio College, and below is one of the students Lauren Walker spotted studying the booklet at UTSA.
had a half day in El Paso, so
I went to El Paso Community College and Lauren
hit UTEP. It was her first solo outing, and
she destroyed it, reaching 1,000 students in
a short time! At EPCC, Cynthia said that animal
cruelty broke her heart, and she would sincerely
consider the information. Her genuine concern
was touching, and it reminded me that if you
just get out there and reach out to people,
many will listen.
At San Antonio College, we broke the record, reception was great, and we saw several people reading [one at left] and talking about the booklet.
Solid leafleting at the University of Texas, San Antonio, especially for a Friday – we reached 2,600 students! Many productive conversations, including discussions of small farms, transitioning to vegan, etc. For example: Marissa read the booklet and was very moved. She ended up looking up VO’s site on her phone, and went back to ask Lauren a bunch of questions about what to eat.
—Jon Camp, 10/4/13
I had two great days at Chemeketa
Community College and Portland Community College!
Becky joined us at the latter, did great, and
wants to leaflet again! Very interesting conversations.
One woman asked what the booklets were for.
I said they’re about compassion for animals.
She replied that Americans care about animals
too much. An hour later she came back over and
apologized to me for what she had said.
A man said that he’s kept trying to go vegan on and off, and asked how vegans can build muscle. I suggested reading Robert Cheeke’s vegan bodybuilding website and VeganHealth.org. He said he’s tried to convince others to move toward vegan, but hasn’t gotten them to listen. I gave him an A Meaningful Life. Becky met another guy interested in vegan bodybuilding!
One man was skeptical of our work. He said, “You’re going to have to convince an awful lot of people.” I said, “Convincing even one person will save hundreds of animals and make a difference.”
—Cobie deLespinasse, 10/3/13
students an Even If You Like
Meat booklet at Western Michigan U. Heard
from lots of vegetarians, vegans, and interested
people who got a Guide. One of the
vegans let me know that getting a booklet from
us is what moved her to make the change.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/3/13
and What We Eat class and I had
a great day yesterday on the campus of Georgia College handing out VO booklets. Went
very quickly, and we ran out!
—Mark Causey, 10/2/13
the animal advocacy group at the
University of Vermont, and yesterday was her first
time leafleting. She did a wonderful job and
helped smash the record – we reached 1,650
students! Alyssa, also in the campus group,
stopped to help as well. I met another Alyssa
here who wants to get active for animals. I’m
putting her in touch with Ani. A young man held
up a booklet and said, “I’m going to get
a veggie wrap for lunch because of this.”
A man took a booklet and said, “I’m an
animal science professor here and want to see
what you’re handing to our students.” Just
before he got his booklet, he heard another
faculty member thank me for doing this important
outreach! I also had a productive conversation
with someone who “only eats chicken”
about how bad things are for birds in agriculture.
Good leafleting at Middlebury College and Castleton State today. I heard from two young women who used to be vegetarian. The first said she had been anemic. I gave her a Guide and suggested she check out Jack’s online information. She thanked me. I also gave the second former vegetarian a Guide and encouragement. She seemed interested in trying again.
—Lana Smithson (above with Ani Quigley at UVM), 10/3/13
great day in Reno! Truckee Meadows
Community College was buzzing. I got two high fives,
both right after hunters walked past! Rushed
down the hill to the University of Nevada, Reno.
Quite a few students already had booklets from
yesterday, but I still reached 250/hour. These
students are hungry for this info!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/2/13
joined me and we reached 1,380
students at the University of North Dakota.
Luckily the rain wasn’t too hard and students
gave us props for being so dedicated. Kathleen
stopped to help at North Dakota State, and we
reached over 900 students there. Students were
really nice and the take rate was great. Had
good conversations, even with farmers – all
very positive. One of the farmers told me that
I answered everything very well; hopefully I planted a seed!
—Rachel Shippee, 10/3/13
Helen, and I reached over 2,400
students at the University of Cincinnati. Helen
had the best conversation of the day with a
couple of young men who got a booklet earlier
in the day and now want to go vegan.
—Kevin O’Connor, 10/2/13
Had many productive interactions at
UC Irvine. Melissa [MacDonald, above, right] and I reached 2,350 students and saw many reading. Also met Caitlin [right],
who is now interested in going vegan!
—Vic Sjodin, 10/3/13
record at Rowan-Cabarrus Community
College, North, and great interactions. Also
met a teacher who was glad to see me. I put
her in touch with The Humane League’s Andrea
Gunn, who will give a presentation in her class.
At both Allen University and Benedict College, I ran into students who wanted to go veg. Other students are going to ask for more veg options at the cafeteria.
Great reception and interest at prestigious Emory University; we’ll be sure to hit it again this semester. Was wonderful to leaflet with Mukang at Georgia State, where we handed a booklet to over 1,500 students in two class changes. Very good conversations, too; we’ll be back here as well!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/3/13
day at SUNY Buffalo – reached
1,400 students with a VO booklet! One of them
was Marissa [above, left], who told me that she’d previously
had a brief stint as a vegetarian. She told
me that she wanted to try again because she
was very much opposed to the cruelty of factory
farming. We spoke about making the transition
sustainably, and I gave her a Guide.
I’m confident the next time we’re here, she’ll
be going strong! Also great to meet Leena [above, center], a
VO donor – she was excited to see me leafleting.
Reached 825 students at Buffalo State, and met several cool vegetarians like Laura [above, right], who went vegetarian only a few months ago after being inspired by her longtime vegetarian partner! So cool!
My first day of outreach in Canada was great! John and I reached 2,000 students at Brock University. Good conversations, met lots of vegetarians, and many thanked us for being there!
—Chris Guinn 10/4/13
– another record! Jessica joined
me at her old stomping grounds, and we reached
over 800 students at Shepherd University. Just a few of the highlights:
Jessica spoke to a student who is now going to give being a vegetarian another shot, thanks to her new Guide! One woman analyzed the cover for a moment and then looked me dead in the eye: “I received one of these once, and I love chicken – but the photos of these chickens here makes me sick to my stomach.” She has been eating less chicken because of the previous booklet – yay! I gave her a Guide and showed her all the great chicken alternatives available. She wasn’t aware there were even chicken alternatives and is now going to give them a try. Jessica also offered a booklet to another woman who said she received one before: “It really got me thinking.” Jessica gave her a Guide and they had a great conversation!
Finally, I met Austin [right], a proud West Virginian who grew up hunting. He opened the booklet and agreed that factory farming was causing a lifetime of unnecessary suffering. He even referred to it as “slavery.” By the end of our conversation he agreed to buy less from factory farms. He came back to me later and said, “I took your advice. Instead of going to the diner for lunch, I went to the vegetarian joint and had a portobello mushroom burger.”
—Kassy Ortega, 10/3/13
support Vegan Outreach for
1. I share Vegan Outreach’s goal to put an end to animal exploitation, veganism being the most effective and efficient way to reach that end.
2. I like its methods (i.e., providing reliable information in attractive booklet form to promote the cause).
3. I appreciate its “demographic” – focusing mainly on college-age students.
4. I respect its competent staff for their ethics and for the quality of the work they’re doing for the animals.
5. I have seen the results – and that is the proof of the pudding!
thought I might have brought too
many booklets, but I ended up handing out every
single one long before I had planned to finish!
I plan to go to the University of Minnesota
Duluth next week. After that, I will be ordering
more! There are three other colleges nearby
and a high school I would like to leaflet. Thank
you so much for providing me with these booklets
and for all the information you have on your
website to help make this easier for me as a
new activist. I am really excited to be part
of a larger cause to help fight for the billions
of animals out there still suffering right now
who need our voices! Leafleting is nowhere near
as hard as I thought it would be at first, even
though I am a very shy introvert. It is the
least I can do!
—Elaine Wiggins, 10/1/13
|Lindsay Rubin and Riley reach UC Davis students with Compassionate Choices.|
and I met many vegetarians at
UC Davis today. Then I took a deposit to the
bank (thank you to the donors who made this
possible) and, as is almost always the case,
when the teller saw I’m with Vegan Outreach,
she started talking to me about it. So I Guided her!
—Jack Norris, 10/2/13
Yale, Wendy and I reached 669 students. Met
many vegetarians and vegans! At Gateway Community
College, Mike said he will start cutting back
on his consumption of animal products after
getting a VO booklet and our discussion. Janet
told me she does not eat any beef, pork, lobster,
so we discussed the suffering of chickens; she
was surprised and disgusted, and said she would
have to start cutting out eating them, too.
I thanked her for her compassion.
Evangelita made my whole day wonderful! She works at the hospital next door, and came to talk with me after reading Compassionate Choices. She has really been wanting to go vegan, and has been thinking a lot lately about food, the animals, and the poor health conditions she sees, even in young people. I gave her a Guide, Jack Norris’s website, and my business card. She hugged me and thanked me for being there today!
—Karen James, 9/26/13
a record 900 students at SUNY
Plattsburgh – take rate was very good!
Met Madeline [right], who went vegetarian as a result
of getting a VO booklet here two years ago.
I received two high fives today; one from a
young woman who’s been veg since 10th grade.
After the high five, she said (almost sang),
“We…don’t need…to eat animallllls!”
—Lana Smithson, 9/30/13
spent the morning leafleting at
San Jose State for World Day for Farmed Animals
– I reached over 600 students! The highlight
of my day was when a woman came up to me and
said I had given her a leaflet last year, and
after reading it she decided to become vegetarian.
A couple of months ago she went vegan. She said
she wishes she would have learned the truth
years ago, and that she loves being vegan.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 10/2/13
|Nicholas Tomas provides a voice for the animals at Cal Poly Pomona.|
and I had great interactions at
Cal Poly! Ran into Orlando [right] showing his friend
pictures in the booklet as they walked and explaining
the horrors. Orlando wants to go vegan; we spoke
and he got a Guide. Met Courtney and
her friend Mey-Sung [below, right]. Courtney had walked by
and originally not taken a booklet, then heard
it was about animals and grabbed one. Later
I ran into her standing in the shade showing
it to her friend – it turns out she had
been considering going veg. I explained a few
things and gave her encouragement – and
her friend was now interested as well. Then
met Hugo [below, left], who had seen a video on the internet.
He was disturbed by how animals are treated
in society and interested in eating more veg
meals. We had a good convo and he left with
a Guide and encouragement. Then had
a conversation with Melinda [below, left], also now interested
in going veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/1/13
was so great that Team Jungenberg
drove up to leaflet with me at the University
of Wisconsin Eau Claire! We reached 2,647 students,
and had great conversations. Mary, in particular,
met students going vegan after talking with
her. I ran into a girl who took a booklet and
now wants to transition to veg. We talked and
I gave her a Guide!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/27/13
morning of outreach at the College
of Lake County today! The students were very
receptive! We met two people who had received
booklets earlier and thought that it was sad
– they both wanted to go veg! I gave them Guides.
I also met a professor who had been vegetarian
for 40 years. She got a Guide as well.
Right as we were about to leave, there was a
fire drill so hundreds of students
were coming out of the building and we couldn’t
hand the booklets out fast enough! Great way
to spend World Day for Farmed Animals!
—John and Mary Jungenberg, 10/2/13
CUNY Hunter College, I was joined
by another new leafleter! Nathan really enjoyed
leafleting. We reached 800 students. I gave
a Guide to one aspiring vegetarian.
Gave another Guide to a student who
was at first very disbelieving of how people
could be vegan. He asked many many questions,
and left with the decision to start eating more
Interesting day at LaGuardia Community College. I met some high school students who wanted to know how they could hand out leaflets as a service project. A vegetarian stopped to say I was doing a very good job. Gave Guides to an interested guy who really loves animals and to a newish vegetarian who was extremely happy to see what I was passing out, and got a menu from a vegetarian whose friend just opened up a fast-food vegan restaurant in Harlem. I also met a student who took a bunch of leaflets for his classmates because his environmental ethics class is currently talking about factory farming.
—Lisa Drapkin, 10/1/13
rate was somewhere in the 99% range
at Miami Dade College’s Homestead campus, without
a single throw down. Many students stopped to
talk; the questions included “humane” labeled
meat, dietary preferences of blood types, protein,
and Arian Foster. Two students ending up interested
in volunteering (both got Guides
and promised to visit the AAC site). At different
times, students approached me skeptically, asking
if the point was they had to go 100% vegan;
all were surprised and showed renewed curiosity
when I suggested that just beginning by eliminating
poultry was an entirely respectable place to
start. All left vowing to read the leaflets
and give it a try. Met a vegan faculty member
very happy to see me there. On her way back
later, she stopped again saying how great she
thought VO was.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/2/13
schools and 900 students in Erie, including Mercyhurst U, a never-before-leafleted
school! At Penn State Erie, I met Bri [below, center], who was happy to see me passing
out leaflets because she had just gone vegetarian.
I was sure to give her a Guide and
thanked her for her compassionate new choice.
Great day at SUNY Fredonia! Curry [below, left] told me that she was vegetarian and interested in veganism and activism; gave her a copy of A Meaningful Life. I also met Harry [below, right], another veg student here who was also curious about veganism and getting involved as an advocate for animals. It’s always a pleasure talking to veg students but it’s SUPER AWESOME hearing from students looking to get engaged in activism!
—Chris Guinn, 10/1/13
Amanda, Sara Beth, James, and I had a
great day of outreach at NC PrideFest in Durham!
Met the executive director of nutrition at Durham
Public Schools, who wants to implement Meatless
Monday in the school system (yay!), and a chef
who wanted a recipe for vegan sausage (provided)
because so many students are veg (double yay!).
Also gathered pages of email pledges from people
wanting to try meat-free one day a week to start.
—Eleni Vlachos, 9/28/13
|Below are two of Eleni’s photos from NC PrideFest – the man went vegan two years ago and lost 150 lbs! More pics here.|
the steady drizzle at Bethune-Cookman
University, I beat the record by quite a lot,
and reached over 25% of the student population.
Great interactions, including folks who committed
to give vegetarianism a try again after struggling
with it previously. Others promised to reduce
their animal product consumption. Highlight
of the day was a student pledging to go vegan!
Since even heavier rain was forecast, I also hit the University of North Florida for a few hours. Lots of positive feedback, and gave a bunch of Guides to students and staff / faculty who had already gotten a Compassionate Choices and wanted more info.
Although it rained the entire time and I looked ridiculous totally drenched, I still had a high take rate at Armstrong Atlantic State University. A number of students who were thrilled to get a booklet, and some pledged to reduce their consumption. Then I set a new record at Savannah State. Highlights included different conversations with lapsed vegetarians who wanted to go vegetarian again, or students who wanted to go veg*n but were having trouble. We talked about starting again by going veg*n a few days a week and building up to more days as well as asking for more veg options in the dining halls (the ones they have are tasty) and setting a goal to be totally vegetarian or vegan when they are no longer on a meal plan. They all loved this idea.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 9/25/13
and I reached nearly 1,900 students
at Arizona State – a great day for a Friday.
One guy came up to me and said, “This is
crazy.” He was amazed that we do this to
animals. I gave him a Guide. Met other
people interested in getting involved, too.
A dude said, “I have chickens in my backyard. I like them.” I said, “That’s good.” He said, “And they’re tasty.” I smiled and said, “Meat is tasty. I’m not saying it’s not.” And that led into a decent chat about how there are other good tastes that come through vegan foods, that animal suffering mattered, etc. I’m glad that I just responded to his comments in a fact-based manner, as opposed to getting offended and moralizing everything.
We reached 1,800 students at New Mexico State. Good interactions, and watched many reading the booklet [one at right]. Samantha, a mom who, along with her husband and two children, recently watched some documentaries on veganism, has been transitioning more and more towards a wholly vegan diet, with her 11-year-old son leading the way. She was really interested in what I ate, nutritional concerns I might have, etc. We had a fruitful discussion and she got a Guide. Damon, a guy who teaches rhetoric, really liked the opening pages of Compassionate Choices – he raved about how good they look. I also chatted with Laura. She went veg four months ago, had tried vegan, but it didn’t work for her. We talked about ways to transition towards this and harm reduction in the meantime – that, say, reducing egg consumption would do more good than reducing her consumption of cookies with a trace amount of animal products in them.
—Jon Camp, 10/1/13
is the only organization I
support. Why? VO aims to stop
the most animal suffering. VO gets me
the most bang for my buck. VO concentrates
on the young, who still can be persuaded to
change. VO does not push political or ideological
views. [VO’s writings are]
sincere, smart, dedicated, focused, persuasive
gratitude to Yvonne for joining
me at Rio Hondo College! Watched loads
of students reading their booklets cover to cover.
One student said, “This is a sign!”
Dave and Mario [right] said, “Wow, this is crazy,”
as they had just seen Earthlings in class!
They got Guides
At UC Riverside, I met Julianna [below, center], who went vegan after getting VO’s booklet last semester. Also met Anya [below, left], who quit eating chicken and almost all other meat since getting VO’s booklet last semester!
Back with Yvonne again at Cal State Los Angeles – beautiful to watch as we reached 3,150 students! Met Gabby and Jennifer [right], nutrition and nursing majors. They had an hour-long discussion about health and factory farming and veg eating after getting booklets earlier. The three of us had a solid convo, and both were interested in going veg. Later met Angelica and Katy [right]; Angelica want to go vegan and is interested in volunteering with VO in the future. Her friend asked for a Guide also, and is interested in veg substitutes for meat. Then met Mariana [below, right], who read a booklet in class and wants to go vegetarian; she got a Guide and encouragement. Lastly, met an animal lover, Maria, who already volunteers for animals and is very interested in vegan eating; her friend requested a Guide as well.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/30/13
Ratcliffe, Philip Woods, Lyric
Antio, Cathy Anderson, and I reached over 4,100
students at Central Piedmont Community College
and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Awesome feedback, too. For example, two girls
read the booklet and yelled, “IS THIS REALLY
HOW THEY TREAT THE CHICKENS? I LOVE CHICKENS!”
and swore they’d stop eating chicken forever.
Another student passed me and said, “I
got one of those this morning and read it. I’m
—Andrea Gunn, 9/26/13
At Texas Tech, Lauren and I extended our record-breaking streak to 12 schools in a row, reaching over 2,200 students. One guy said he was in the meat industry, so I told him we promoted more vegetarian eating as a way to reduce the suffering that animals endure on farms. I said that we didn’t think farmers were intentionally cruel to animals, but the practices inflicted on animals for the sake of efficiency did cause suffering to animals. He mulled things over, then left.
Thanks so much
to Tamara for organizing the troops at the University
of New Mexico – we reached a total of 3,000
students! A young woman told Lauren that she
received a booklet last year on campus and has
been veg since. Also met someone who wanted
to donate, and another who wanted to get involved
Cheyenne [Huaracca, above] leafleted for the first time with me and Lauren at Northern Arizona University, and did a great job! NAU students are great – I heard many, many “I love animals!” One jockish looking dude went by on crutches, then said, “Wait: Did you say animals?” hobbled back, and got a booklet. One guy said, “I read that. It’s very informative.” Once again, Lauren heard from a young woman [right] who got a booklet a year ago (from John, Matt, or Anne) and stopped eating animals as a result.
—Jon Camp, 9/26/13
Today at McGill University, Lara [Mackenzie, below]
joined me. She had never leafleted before but did an awesome
job, reaching 600 students! And I just learned
that she had been in the latest Miss Universe
Canada pageant. In her pageant bio, she talks
about advocating for animals and encouraging
a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle! Yay, Lara! Even
though leafleting is always a bit tough at McGill
because of a low take rate, it does seem to
be getting better – people stopped to ask questions.
—Lana Smithson, 9/27/13
many students reading booklets
at Barry University. Met four vegetarians, plus
two high-fiving vegans, all so enthusiastic
when seeing me. Discussions going on around
me were promising, too: many telling their friends
how horrible factory farming treatment was.
Twice I heard students commit themselves to
going vegetarian. Very happy I made the extra
effort to make it out today!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 9/30/13
Tina, Nancy, Lynn, Sidney, and
I quickly reached 300 University of Colorado
students during our lunch hour. All of us are
women in our 40s and 50s and and it was the
first time leafleting for Tina and Nancy. Everyone
said they want to do it again!
—Lisa Shapiro, 9/24/13
Such a great day at California University of Pennsylvania – set a new one-person record! Early in the day I met Nick [above, left], who had reservations about going veg because of health concerns. So I reassured him that eating veg can be super healthy and gave him a Guide – he was very receptive and enthused. After he walked away, he jogged back over to me to grab an Even If You Like Meat for his roommate. I also met Melissa [above, center], who now wants to go vegan; I told her I was confident she’d make an awesome vegan! Kristen [above, right] is also looking to go vegan now – she recognized our work from the Vans Warped Tour. She thought it was awesome that VO does so much outreach. I made sure she left our conversation feeling confident about making the change!
Cassandra [below, center] said she was interested in vegetarianism so I gave her a Guide and told her to check it out after class. Savannah [below, left] told me she wants to start eating less meat, so I gave her a Guide; she was excited to learn about some veg alternatives! Shannon and Idéa [right] were already vegan, but Idéa’s friend was interested in vegetarian eating so I gave her a Guide! Lastly I spoke with Tyler [below, right], who told me that since receiving a booklet from Jon Camp last semester, he has drastically reduced his meat consumption! Tyler said that he was concerned about getting enough protein through his college meal plan, so I assured him that this was totally doable and gave him a Guide.
at Slippery Rock U, especially for a Friday!
I reached 1,100 students. I met three different
students – Liz [top of page], Taylor, and Robin [below] – who were
each appalled by what they saw in our Even
If You Like Meat booklet, and expressed
an interest in going vegetarian. They each
got a Guide, and I took time to speak
with each of them about how to get into veg
eating in a way that’s healthy and would stick.
They were enthused!
—Chris Guinn (below, with Taylor and Robin at SRU), 9/27/13
rate at the Bite of Las Vegas food and music festival tonite –
reached 1,000 people in just 90 minutes. Many
people said, “Awwww” or “Cute!”
after receiving Compassionate Choices and
looking at the cover. I got a couple woo-hoos
and yeahs from people who said they’re
vegan or they love Vegan Outreach. One woman
came back to me and said she received a booklet
3 years ago and went vegetarian as a result.
She’s still vegetarian and just wanted me to
know that what I was doing was working. As usual,
a great leafleting experience.
—Elaine Vigneault, 9/28/13
made her leafleting debut yesterday
at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.
She watched for about five minutes, and went
to a different spot and handed out all of her
booklets in about 40 minutes. She was surprised
so many students thanked her and really seemed
interested, some stopping to talk. She went
off to class very excited! Wyley made his debut
in the afternoon. I leafleted Wyley a year ago,
and introduced him and a bunch of students to
each other – they are now very active in the
UConn Veg Huskies. Wyley laughed at how I was
buzzing and spinning, running backwards for
the skateboard and bicycle pass offs, and having
fun. He said, “You’ve heard of the angry
vegan? Well, you let people know that you are
fun, believe in what you are doing, and are
full of energy!” Had 15 bicycle, skateboard,
and motor scooter pass offs, and many excellent
conversations! And 12 more students gave me their
names for the Veg Huskies!
Ashley remembered when I leafleted her last year – she went vegan! Michael stopped by to say that he also received a booklet from me last year, cut back and is now working to go entirely veg. He got a Guide and also joined the Veg Huskies! All together, met about 20 vegetarians and 12 vegans! Change is happening folks!
Today at UConn, West Hartford, one student said, “I got one yesterday at Storrs.” I asked if it made a difference. She said, “Definitely, I am now going vegetarian!” More students want to form a group on this campus, so I collected emails. One of them, Jaida, came out of the school after reading the CC, and said, “What can I do? This is so disturbing. I didn’t know it was like this.” I thanked her for her compassion. She said she had no idea that there was so much cruelty involved in producing animal products, and that there was a lot to learn. I gave her a Guide. She said she really wants to do more, and will start with changing her diet, and wants to leaflet with me next semester! Proof we change lives!
—Karen James, 9/25/13
I am a recurring donor
because I realize that the greatest amount of
suffering in the world is the suffering of the
animals who are destined to be slaughtered for
food, whose lives are accorded no value except
as they can be used for human ends and purposes.
That is huge and just so wrong. I want to help
and am grateful for the opportunity to support
your efforts. I feel I am a small part of the
change I would like to see in the world.
and I had an action-packed day
at Oklahoma State. We extended our record-breaking
streak to 10 days, rocking out the biggest
day of leafleting in Oklahoma history. Good
conversations, too. For example, Jessy [left] received
a VO booklet from us last school year and has
been veg since! Lauren met a young woman interested
in going veg and eventually vegan. Lauren helped
push her further along that path. There were
two separate incidents where I offered a Guide
to a student and another one overheard this and basically said, “I’m also veg
and would like a Guide too!”
—Jon Camp (above, leafleting OSU), 9/20/13
Kimberly, and I shattered the record at
Bowie State! Timmi jumped for joy when I gave
her a booklet: “I’m going vegetarian soon!”
There was a stray kitten on campus with an eye
infection (kitten now being cared for). Leslie
overheard some students talking about the kitten.
One of them said, “[The VO leafleters]
made us realize that it’s okay to care [about
animals].” Cool stuff.
Today at Hagerstown Community College, LaTraya came to chat after getting a booklet. She told me that she can’t stand the way animals are treated and asked how she can help. We ended up having a great conversation about the similarities between different prejudices towards humans and the prejudice towards animals. Now she wants to go veg! She even requested extra booklets for her friends and is going to show her mom!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/26/13
students at De Anza College were
friendly and the take rate was high – I handed
out all my booklets in a few hours. Gave Guides
to interested people, and one to a new
vegan for her brother. I also met a woman who
thanked me for being there and asked for information
about volunteering with VO.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 9/24/13
got the record at the College
of Marin. Had very useful conversations. E.g.,
a student who said she was vegan for two weeks,
then she gave up. Another student had been vegan
for two years before giving up. The Guides
will help them!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/23/13
day at Oxnard College and Channel
Islands High. A number of students said, “Awesome”
or “Cool” or “I love animals.”
A physiology professor told me he uses his lecture
on digestion to segue into the film Earthlings
and his students are required to watch it. Wow.
I noticed a sign for Vegetarian Awareness
Day at Oxnard College with vegan food!
A student got a Compassionate Choices
and later flagged me down to say, “Now
I don’t want to eat chicken anymore.” She
was happy to get a Guide. A guy said
the booklet made him want to go vegan; he also
got a Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 9/26/13
At Carnegie Mellon University, Carmen [above, right] was in awe of our lit. She
asked me if the images were real. When I told
her yes, she asked if this was happening here
(i.e., in the United States), again I told her yes.
She was shocked that this cruelty was happening
every day in her own backyard (so to speak).
I could tell she was moved at learning this
all, she clearly knew nothing of factory farming
before seeing our leaflet. We spoke for several
minutes about the cruel practices used on factory
farms. I gave her a Guide because she
wanted to know about what to eat. I also spoke
with Patrick [right], a student who took a leaflet on
his way to class, and stopped to chat with me
on his way back after class. He was interested
in vegan bodybuilding after seeing vegan bodybuilder
extraordinaire Robert Cheeke in the booklet.
He said that he understands that the cruelty
is wrong, but he’s big into his health and fitness
so he wanted to learn more about veg sources
of protein and such. He told me that he lifts
weights, to which I replied that I do as well.
We spoke about where vegan athletes get their
protein, and I directed him to VeganBodybuilding.com,
which has a ton of information for vegans who
At the University of Pittsburgh, I was able to get out 1,450 leaflets! My day started on a good note when a professor gave me a literal pat on the back when she saw what I was passing out. From there I met several vegan students who were also pleased to see VO on campus. Dutch [right], who recognized the band Xibalba’s name on my beanie, approached me to chitchat about hardcore. After talking for a minute, I said, “You’ve gotta check out this information I’m passing out,” and to my surprise, he told me he was already vegan – very cool! He was pumped I was leafleting his school. I also met vegans Chelsea, Kinley, and Jackie [below].
—Chris Guinn, 9/23/13
took vacation time to join me
at Oakton Community College. We heard from students
who wanted to know what they can do to help
the animals. Some said the booklet was sad,
and one told me it made her go vegan for six
months last time she received it, though she
had gone back to eating meat sometimes. Another
told me it made him change what he got for lunch.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/25/13
Karen James sends this pic of a student reading Compassionate Choices at Worcester State.
a new record at Worcester State
and met many vegetarians and vegans. Eight students
shared their emails to start a group. I had
many, many other amazing conversations. One
professor stopped by to ask questions, also
told me who could be faculty advisor for a campus
group. A food service worker came by and took
both a Compassionate Choices and a
Very windy and cold at the University of Hartford, but a very satisfying day. Dani joined me for the first time, and did great! We reached over 1,100 students. Met 20+ vegetarians and vegans; and 17 students gave their emails for a campus group. Many good conversations and a lot of people stopped by to ask questions. For example, a guy stopped to ask about bodybuilding; I referred him to VeganBodybuilding.com.
—Karen James, 9/23/13
Georgia State, Matt met a student
who insisted that he needed to eat meat because
of the taste and protein. Matt told him the
animals are hung upside down and their throats are
slit – the only way to stop this horrific slaughter
is by eliminating meat – with each meal he
has the power to save a life. He agreed and
said, “Never thought of it like that! Please
give me a booklet and I will read it tonight.”
A girl told me that she has been thinking about
going veg. She asked me if it is hard. I said
I love being vegan!! It is very easy. I took
down her info and told her I will help her in
any way I can.
—Mukang Pederson, 9/18/13
Jamie Jungenberg, John Jungenberg, Rachel Shippee, and Mary Jungenberg provide a voice for the animals at UW Stout.
the bad weather, CAA and I reached
nearly 3,000 students at the University of Minnesota.
I met a woman who loved the booklet and wanted
more to hand out at the clinic there. Met Tony,
who had been veg for 6 months and gave up. After
I gave him a Guide and we chatted for
a bit, he helped me leaflet. He really enjoyed
Mike joined me at the University of St. Thomas, where we reached nearly 1,200 students! They were paving the street in front of me and I actually had a worker jump off a moving steamroller to get a leaflet! Then at Bethel University, every single person accepted a booklet!
Today, Team Jungenberg [right] joined me, and we dominated the University of Wisconsin, Stout. John ran into a woman who received a booklet a few years ago and in return has reduced her meat consumption; he gave her a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/26/13
students at Appalachian State were
all SUPER friendly and receptive. I met 10 vegetarians
and 6 vegans, 2 of whom changed their diet from
receiving a VO booklet last year! Three people
said no to a booklet at first, but then came
back and asked for one later. Two students who
read the booklet that day told me they were
very affected by it and intended to change their
—Andrea Gunn, 9/25/13
At Cal State San Bernardino, I met Cheyenne [top of page], who now wants to go veg. She joined me to leaflet, too! Many other great interactions! Had a long conversation with Lisa [above, left], who now wants to move to vegan! Another student told me getting a VO booklet in the past is why she went veg. Another woman [above, right] came back and told me she was really considering these issues, and asked for more booklets to show friends. I saw many reading cover to cover. One student said, “Finally I get handed something I really care about!” Heard others say, “This is terrible,” and discuss it with friends. Snapped a pic of a fraternity brother showing Compassionate Choices to a friend [right] – then gave him a Guide and had a brief convo. Met Erica [above, center], who loves animals and is now open to adding more veg meals. Also met a professor who told me how horrible animal experiments on campus are. I agreed and then pointed out that 98 or 99 percent of animals who suffer similar horror are the ones raised for food. She told me how much she loved animals, followed by, “I should probably go vegetarian.” Bingo! Great day!
Melissa [MacDonald, right] joined
me at Orange Coast College and Golden West College,
where we had numerous conversations and watched
a bunch of students reading their booklets. First
we met Marlene [above, right], a psychology student and professed
animal lover who is now interested in eating
fewer animal products. Then Laura and Jenny [above, left]:
Jenny had gotten a VO booklet in the past and
had started to eat less meat. We had a beautiful conversation,
and Laura also asked for a Guide. Heather [below, right]
had received a booklet last year and ate vegan
for four months, then started to eat some eggs
and fish. After our talk and getting a Guide,
she is committed to not harming animals. Melissa
had a productive 20-minute convo with an inquisitive
professor who had many questions. Then I met
a near-vegetarian who was thrilled to get a
Guide; I think she’ll go fully vegan.
Talked with Matt [below, left], an environmental sciences
major. He was so open to the beautiful world
of compassionate living and eating, he really
made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/24/13
support Vegan Outreach because I want to help
create a truly different world.
I’m aware of factory-farm horrors and the plethora of other ways people cause harm to our precious animals. It keeps me awake at night, and steals my attention during my commute to and from work – I think to myself that there is cruelty, mistreatment, and various forms of abuse occurring somewhere at this very moment, and it leaves me feeling helpless and terribly saddened. By donating to your wonderful outreach program, a small portion of the indirect pain that I experience subsides. Furthermore, reading the newsletter and seeing the results of the work fuels a personal fire for me to help in a more significant way. What you do helps me believe in my dreams for a new, kinder, loving world.
just read your brochure Compassionate Choices,
and I’m so happy I did. I’m vegetarian now and
I know I’m never going back, because of this
such a small school, I met a bunch of vegetarians
and vegans at the University of DC! It was fabulous
– and great interactions! I handed John [above] a booklet,
and he stopped and said: “Oh, thanks!
This is actually one of the reasons why I’m
vegetarian now.” He had received a booklet
last year and dropped animal flesh. He is now
working towards ditching dairy. VICTORY! Arniella [right]
said I couldn’t have come at a better
time in her life – she’s now planning on going
vegan! Also gave Guides to current vegetarians and people interested.
Met a number of vegetarians and vegans at American U, and many positive and grateful students eager for booklets. I watched students stop in their tracks and open the booklets – right in the middle of pedestrian traffic! Powerful.
—Kassy Ortega, 9/19/13
Lauren and I extended our record-breaking streak to seven at Austin Peay State – Megan [Holland, below] joined us, and together we reached 1,350 students. Had good conversations, including Consuela, who is now inspired to try more vegan eating. My day ended on a nice note with a Facebook message from a Penn State student who came to one of my talks there in the spring, liked my approach of taking it at your own pace, and now eats meat only every few weeks. We never know when we’re going to have an influence on others; we just have to continue reaching out to people where they are, and doing it repeatedly.
We rolled into
rural Kentucky and extended our streak to eight
consecutive days at Murray State, reaching over
1,550 students. Highlight was two happy, singing
young women. When they saw what I was giving
out, and said, “We’re vegetarians!”
I told them that I appreciated their enthusiasm
and gave them both Guides – they were
—Jon Camp, 9/18/13
and I had an epic day at Anoka-Ramsey Community
College. Despite the rain, we met with very
receptive students and vegetarians (who got Guides). At Hamline University, I met
Leera, who wants to leaflet. One girl yelled
back to me, “Thanks for doing this!”
One of my favorite responses was, “I don’t eat meat, I eat MorningStar!” Talked to a really
nice guy who used to be veg and is disgusted
by the cruelties; he got a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/18/13
Great interactions at Clarion University. Jeremy [above, left] and Alexis were both very supportive of our message and told me they’re considering eating veg after reading our booklet, so I was sure to get them each a Guide. I encountered a failed vegetarian who said that going veg made her gain weight. I gave her a Guide and told her it was “healthy veg eating 101.” I said, “Promise me you’ll read it!” as she ran to class. Kate [above, center] approached me from across the street to inquire about our lit; I also gave her a Guide. Rachel [above, right] is interested in volunteering; I gave her my email, so hopefully we’ll have another young activist on our side! Very rewarding day.
Today was an awesome
day of outreach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
– I reached 1,750 students and staff, and had
great conversations! JD [above, left] was psyched to see me
on campus. Another student [above, center] approached and asked
me to explain what our lit was all about. We
had a really nice conversation about how cruel
animal agriculture is and how easy it is to
make compassionate choices. He was very perceptive
and happy to take a Guide. Another
student [above, right] recognized my T-shirt and we talked
hip-hop for a minute. I told him he should delve
deeper into Dead Prez’s catalogue to learn why
Stic chooses to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.
It was a cool connection to make! I even had
an IUP professor stop to chat with me; he was
also pleased that I was presenting students
with this information. He was a pescatarian,
so I spoke briefly with him about the cruelty
of farmed fish and told him about other non-animal
sources of protein. He was happy to take a Guide!
All in all a very good day of outreach, really
feeling that positive energy!
—Chris Guinn, 9/19/13
Ethan Dussault snapped this UTA student engrossed in reading Compassionate Choices.
1,200 students at the University of New Hampshire. A biochemistry professor doubled back to chat
after getting a booklet. At the end of the day,
I offered CVA
booklets to some religious people on campus.
Two accepted, but another was very belligerent.
A student who saw how the guy treated me said,
“I’ll take one of your booklets.”
—Lana Smithson, 9/18/13
of the day at Miami Dade’s Wolfson campus
were groups of culinary school students, with
nearly all 30 taking a leaflet. One came back
to talk and asked for more info.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 9/17/13
day at Sonoma State! Lisa joined me, and we handed
a booklet to nearly 2,000 individuals – almost
a quarter of the entire student body! So busy
I didn’t have time for conversations, but great
—Steve Erlsten, 9/19/13
MFA was excited to be able to leaflet the students
at Roosevelt HS, getting them talking about
the message in Compassionate Choices.
We reached a huge number in just a short time
– an amazing day of outreach!
Today, we reached 1,800 students at Roosevelt U, despite the rain. One woman said she was on the verge of completely adopting a plant-based diet, so I gave her a Guide. She said this will definitely help her on her journey and thanked us for being out in the rain! Another man stopped to talk because his daughter in high school recently became a vegan. He wanted more information on why one would adopt such a diet. After I explained to him the suffering these animals go through, and that we have plant-based options for all of our favorite foods now, he understood more. Hopefully his daughter and our conversation inspired him to make more compassionate decisions in his own life as well! So happy about the positive interactions today!
—Becki Markle, 9/19/13
Holyoke Community College, five students gave
me their email info to form a group and/or
help leaflet. Jose got a Guide and
is going to try going vegan. Alex accepted a
booklet and asked other people near me to take
them, too. After class, he came back to say
that he is now nearly vegan. At Westfield State,
Maurice [below, left] asked me to do an interview with
the campus radio station, and Matt asked me
to come speak with his spirituality group!
Jennifer [Greene, above], Ann,
Jana, AnneMarie, Lauren, and I reached nearly
2,500 students at Nassau Community College.
It was a sweltering day, and I nearly passed
out in the heat! Glad I didn’t, because it was
so productive. I met so many wonderful vegans
and vegetarians, and so did the others! Mary
read the booklet and came back to discuss how
to help. She’s going to start by going veg;
got a Guide. A student said she received
a booklet from me last semester and went vegetarian.
Many students came over to ask for a leaflet
when they saw us handing them out. One unhappy-looking
dude rushed past and called back over his shoulder,
“I work on a farm, and you guys are ruining
it for me.” Nick said he wanted to eat
more meat-free meals. Jennifer pointed out the
meal ideas on page 12 of Compassionate Choices,
and gave him a Guide. Another student
said he’d been vegan for six months and would
like to get back to that. He got Guided,
Emily [top of page] received
a VO booklet last year, and is almost vegetarian
as a result. Her 10-year-old sister read it and went vegetarian immediately! They
are now working on their mom, dad, and 7-year-old
brother! I like that chain reaction!
At the very end, one of Jennifer’s last leaflets went to Agada, who gave her a hug and said she’d been thinking she ought to go vegan. She was so excited and grateful to have met Jenn, it was the perfect way to finish the day. Or so she thought… because as Jennifer was going to her car, a student spotted her Kare-n-Wear vegan shirt and said loudly, “I’m vegan, too!” Jenn almost thought he was just clowning around to make his friends laugh, but no, he wasn’t kidding – he stopped to talk and was thrilled to give his email address to be in touch.
—Karen James (right), 9/16/13
MFA team had another awesome day
of outreach at the University of Illinois, Chicago,
handing 1,400 Compassionate Choices to
a diverse range of college students. What’s
so fantastic about leafleting to students is
how receptive and open-minded they are. Not
only are they more likely to accept pro-veg
lit, but they graciously accept with smiles
on their faces. Most were excited to be receiving
something that would help them on their journeys
to becoming more educated, conscientious consumers.
We also had the pleasure of running into a multitude
of vegetarians and vegans who said they would
share their Compassionate Choices booklet
with their non-veg friends. John from FARM also
joined team MFA today to help educate students
on the ills of factory farming. Without MFA’s
compassionate volunteers, we wouldn’t
have had such a successful and positive day
—Becki Markle, 9/13/13
was a really strong day of outreach
at Lock Haven University! Set a new record and
got to chat with some really cool students!
Cyrus [above] was a friendly vegetarian, happy I was
on tour hitting so many schools! Heather [right] said
she went vegetarian in February, so I asked
her if she’d ever considered a vegan lifestyle.
It was a very positive interaction and I’m confident
that the next time we hit Lock Haven she’ll
be doing well as a vegan! Gave Guides to two young women [below, left] horrified by the images in
the Even If You Like Meat booklet.
At first, they told me that despite considering
going vegetarian in the past, they thought the
dietary change wouldn’t make any change in terms
of the animals involved. I explained that as
consumer demand drops, more and more animals
will be spared lives of cruelty, to which they
responded that they hadn’t really considered
that. From there, they asked other questions;
I ended by suggesting they try to eat veg a
few days each week to get started – they seemed
enthusiastic! Also met two vegetarian students
[below, right] outside the dining hall who were happy to see
me on campus leafleting. A very positive day
—Chris Guinn, 9/17/13
of thank yous and positive comments
at Hudson Valley Community College. One student
in particular had trouble expressing himself
because of a language barrier, but he seemed
awed and really grateful that someone would
be passing out lit promoting compassion. He
finally blurted out, “I’m vegan!” and before walking on, “It is good you are
doing this.” The look in his eyes will
stay with me for a long time.
—Laura Hart, 9/17/13
day at Farmingdale State College! So
many great interactions! Joey walked by, held
up his booklet and said that his girlfriend
got a VO booklet from me last year, and she
is now vegan! And he almost is!
Shannon came back after reading the Compassionate Choices and wanted to know what she could do. We talked for a while, and she said she was going to start by cutting her consumption of animal products in half.
Philip said the booklet was full of good information, and he is going to do Meatless Mondays.
John came back and said sadly he couldn’t read the booklet anymore. I gave him a Guide and asked, “Perhaps you can help end some of this suffering?” He replied, “I will cut down. I want to end suffering.”
Another student said she had been vegetarian since this summer’s Warped Tour. I gave her a Guide, and now she’s going to try vegan!
I leafleted Jessica [Abbate, right] earlier in the day. She later came back to help leaflet, and returned later with Melisa [far right], who also wants to leaflet!
—Karen James, 9/12/13
a while since I got out from behind
the computer and onto the street, so it felt
great to join Team MFA at DePaul University.
It was also Jessie’s first time leafleting.
Thanks to some training from Becki and lots
of online reading, she did great and got more
and more comfortable as the event went on. By
the end she was “pumped for next time.”
Big thanks to Stephanie and Alan, too!
—Mikael Nielsen, 9/18/13
Above (clockwise from top left) are Kim Moffatt, Jessica Silva, Sarah De Munck, and Kassy Ortega with the Jim Henson statue at UMD.
Friday the 13th was an extra special
day for Kim and Jessica. Why? It was their very
first time leafleting! Jessica was inspired
by Vic at AR2013 to give it a shot. She was
hesitant at first and watched Sarah and me. Then
Jessica and Kim took that first step forward
and asked, “Help animals?” The four
of us [left] reached more than 3,000 students at the University
of Maryland, College Park!
Heard from many vegetarians and vegans on this campus. Kim could only join us for an hour, but she plans on leafleting at Bowie with me on Friday! Jessica also plans on leafleting again. She told me that it’s really exhilarating, and she feels like she is really making a difference for animals.
And I forgot to say that at Towson University, Leslie met a student who has been vegan ever since Leslie handed her a booklet last February!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/13/13
a retired cop, joined me at Villanova
University, and he was so amazing! So happy
we were there – reached 1,000 students! At
Bryn Mawr, a great take-rate! About
98% of people accepted a booklet and seemed
genuinely interested! Met a ton of vegetarians,
and I grabbed all of their email addresses and
emailed them about our work. One of them now
is applying for an internship with The Humane
League! So excited!
—Rachel Atcheson, 9/18/13
the melting heat, Yvonne [LeGrice, in background at right] and I
reached over 2,150 students at Pasadena City
College. Met Ackles [above left], who now wants to go veg.
Also had a good conversation with Chris [above, center], who
is very interested in eating veg. Another Guide
went to Beth [above, right], who is also very interested in
Today at Chaffey College, I spoke for a solid hour with a class full of interested students – very happy to see these kids light up. Several made it clear they were interested in veg eating. Another said that he had made fun of his sister for going vegan and thought it was weird but now feels dumb for mocking her, and was very kind.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/18/13
Jenny, and Laila joined me for
a quick leafleting at the University of Toronto.
Heard from a student who started off declaring
how much he liked meat and would hunt if possible,
but ended up saying he is already eating several
vegan meals a week and would probably go vegan
—Alex Greenwood, 9/16/13
Pretty great day at Marquette University. Heard from a few vegetarians and vegans, and a few people stopped to see what organization I was with. Thankfully, Rachel [Golusinski, above] was able to join me for a few class changes, and we reached more than 1,700 students – a new one-day record!
Today was a very positive and inspiring day at Winona State! I talked with a student who had just given a presentation on animal cruelty and was disgusted by factory farms. Met a man who thought the booklet was fantastic and that my being there was a great thing. A couple other people stopped to talk about the booklet and the organization. Finally, a young guy came over to shake my hand and tell me how amazing I was and that he admired my passion!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/16/13
1,450 students at Contra Costa
College, and had great conversations. One that
started with “Will this make our bacon
better?” turned into a very productive
conversation about how it couldn’t ever be humane
to kill a healthy animal! Definitely got those
mental gears turning. Talked with another student
who is now phasing out meat.
Great conversations at Las Positas College. Chris [right, with Rebecca] had been thinking differently about animals since the death of a dog in the family. Then Nikko [below, right] stood nearby and read the entire booklet. He was immediately ready to make a change, so I gave him a Guide!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/17/13
Biggest day in Tennessee VO leafleting history – Lauren [Walker, below] and I reached 3,400 students at Middle Tennessee State. During a conversation with a young woman who said she didn’t think she could give up meat, Lauren covered how it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
I had interactions that started off negative and turned out positive.
One guy said that he didn’t want my “propaganda.” I told him we’re just detailing common agricultural practices. We want to be honest with people; we want them to see what animals really endure. He then asked for a booklet, sat down, read it for about ten minutes. When he left, I thanked him for reading it and told him to have a good day.
Another dude said we’ve been eating meat for centuries and we’re not going to change that. I told him there is a certain percentage of individuals willing to consider this message, and that VO’s outreach is having an impact on them. We accept that there are individuals out there that we’re unable to change at this point. He ended by saying that eventually, with resource depletion and such, more and more people will be moving towards vegan eating.
Lastly, a young woman walked by and said, “I’m an ag student, and I don’t agree with what you’re promoting.” I told her it’s understandable that an ag student wouldn’t agree with all the goals of a vegan advocate, but to have a nice day. She walked back a few minutes later to apologize for being rude. We had a really productive conversation for about five minutes, and it ended with us shaking hands, her wishing me luck with my work, and me telling her to have a good day.
I’ve been guilty many times of responding to rudeness with sarcasm. It’s often tough not to. But I continue to see that it doesn’t pay off. Our first interactions matter, and they can lead to a bridge forever burned or the very modest beginnings of a long and fruitful discussion. Each person is a potential ally, even though that might not be apparent during our first interaction with them. The goal is to act in a manner that would make a second interaction possible.
—Jon Camp, 9/16/13 Full post here.
The students at American River College were hungry for this information! I talked to more vegetarians and vegans than I could count, and lots of Guides went to people who have been trying to go vegan. One Guide went to a culinary student who talked about the rise of demand for vegan foods, and how she wants to be prepared to accommodate customers!
Today was another
fantastic day at Sacramento City College! The
most memorable interaction was brief but powerful.
On her way past, a student said she read the
booklet in class and started crying. She didn’t
stop to talk, but as she went past, she said,
“Thank you…and not thank you, because
now I can’t eat meat anymore.” It stuck
with me because she was so genuine and her raw
emotion came through so clearly. In three seconds
she communicated volumes to me. It was one of
the many small victories that make all of this
hard work worthwhile!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/12/13
Pretty good day –
reached 660 students at Shippensburg University,
and 140 at Dickinson College. Met James who wanted to have someone give a presentation
– I got his email and gave him some videos
to show. Also met Rebecca [right], who told me that she had been eating a semi-veg flexitarian diet; we conversed a bit about transitioning to veg eating and I told her about some easy meals I make and was sure to get her a Guide too! She was compassionate and understood the cruelty of animal agriculture, I just had to reassure her that eating veg is easy!
—Chris Guinn, 9/12/13
The wondrous Chelsea and
I continued our leafleting fun with a short
day at Oakland University. Was crazy busy and
the take rate was so good we could have reached
twice as many people had we brought more booklets!
One guy named Duncan said, “I’m vegetarian,
please tell me what more I can do to spread
—John Oberg, 9/5/13
Shaunagh, Elizabeth, Kristin, Rachael, and I had a record day at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology! We all noted many more vegans and veggies out and about and stopping to tell us about it. Annie wanted to hear more about what we were doing and get involved. My favorite moment was right at the end when someone said, “I want one of those vegan books.” Another said, “Me too,” and a third stuck out her arm. It was like a feeding frenzy and I didn’t know which way was up!
“One guy said he had already read the booklet
and was trying to cut down his meat intake.
I encouraged him, saying that every little bit
helps. Another young man wondered if it would
be possible to still be healthy and get all
his dietary requirements on a vegan diet. I
explained that yes, the Australian dietary guidelines
have recently changed, saying that a vegan diet
is perfectly healthy, and encouraged him to
Google them for more info. Another guy looked
pretty sceptical as he took a booklet. He said
he’d met some arrogant vegans, and asked if
it is appropriate for someone in a third-world
country to be told to go vegan. I said I wasn’t
leafleting in a third-world country, that I
was completely aware of how privileged I am
to be educated and to be able to afford meat
alternatives at the supermarket. I said that
for me, not being part of contributing to factory
farming is a really good place to start, when
often it’s hard to know how to make a difference
in the world. He thanked me and shook my hand.”
From Kristin: “8 people said they were already vegan. An older man read the book then came back to me to have a chat about it. He was a meat eater completely open to learning more. We also discussed the disconnect between the food we buy and where it comes from. He told me bacon doesn’t taste like it used to. I suggested that may be because he doesn’t want to be eating it anymore!”
—Chelsea Collins, 9/12/13
Lane Tech High School was
my first time leafleting to high school students
– the take rate was great! It was very exciting
knowing that these malleable minds are so eager
to accept new information and have the potential
to be future change agents. Sydney, Alan, and
I had a very rewarding day of outreach.
—Becki Markle, 9/5/13
It was great to have
Sam and April of the Louisville Vegetarian Club
join us at the University of Louisville [above] – they
helped Lauren and me reach 2,355 students,
continuing our string of records. Had good conversations
with people upset about what they learned from
the booklet, with questions about nutrition
and fitness, and interest in what VO does. A good day!
After two class changes at Belmont University, Lauren and I extended our record streak to five schools at Vanderbilt, where we were joined by two members of the local group. Met a number of interested students. Also had a productive discussion with a woman who was curious about people who have chickens kept in good conditions and eat their eggs. She also inquired about honey, noting that more honeybees are used in food pollination than for honey. I told her that I didn’t spend any of my advocacy time stressing over the gray issues, focusing on the black and white – the obvious forms of suffering. She said that this approach was different than her form of advocacy years ago, where there was more of a focus on making everything black and white. She said that her breed of advocacy had died out, saying, “Perhaps you’ve learned from us.”
—Jon Camp (above, right, at Vanderbilt U with VIVA member Tricia Lebkuecher), 9/13/13
Boom, baby! Kate,
Sarah [below], Leslie, and I reached over 3,100 students
at Towson University! Shakira [right] was very interested
in the booklet and sharing everything she learns
with her friends on social media. Also, an on-campus
vegan bake sale!
—Kassy Ortega (above, at Towson U) 9/12/13
For day 5 of my Ohio vacation,
we headed down to Cleveland State
to vegucate the students there. Had a record
day thanks to the super leafleting powers of
Frances! Vacation total = 5 schools, 28 hours,
7,290 people reached!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/13/13
The rain didn’t seem to slow me
down at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute. Higher take rate and more smiles
than last time I was here. During a slow spell
a student was envying my umbrella, so I walked
him to the end of the path he was on and we
chatted about his semester – didn’t plug the
animals, but I countered the angry vegan stereotype,
and he has a booklet to read.
—Laura Hart, 9/12/13
Good interactions at
CUNY Baruch. I met a high school student who
was vegetarian and really excited to hear about
VO. Same goes for a student in the environmental
club who is looking to do a program pertaining
to vegetarianism. I met someone whose 14-year-old
daughter has been vegan for three years and
he said she would be thrilled to see the booklet.
I also saw a student who I used to work with
at my previous job – I had given him a leaflet
about a year ago and he told me he still has
it and since then has cut back on meat!
—Lisa Drapkin, 9/12/13
|Below: Sarah De Munck provides Compassionate Choices at Towson University.|
Reached almost 1,500 students
at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. One Guide
went to a girl who used to be vegetarian
and is looking to get back into it – hopefully
she now has the encouragement to do so. Also
gave a Guide to a girl who said the
booklet was very sad and we talked about what
she can do to reduce the suffering of animals.
Watched one student who, after taking a booklet,
walked ten feet, stopped and stood reading it, front to back [right].
—Rachel Shippee, 9/11/13
At the University of Toronto, I
heard from someone who had been on and off vegetarian,
and it was getting a VO booklet last year that
got her back on track. She also took a Guide
—Alex Greenwood, 9/11/13
day for the animals at Bakersfield
College today! Lots of interactions; e.g., met
Frances [above, center], a really kind student who wants to go
veg, we had a productive convo. Also met Pablo [above, right],
who had seen video online from social media
and had some questions. We had a very productive
talk and he is now interested in vegan eating.
Met Matt [above, left], and we had a long and comprehensive
discussion on animal suffering in factory farms.
He seemed deeply interested in eating vegan
and was very affable. I saw many reading booklets
as they walked. For example: early on, I saw
two students reading and walking, finally they
stopped and had a discussion of these issues [right].
They were very sincere, saying what is done
to animals is awful.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/11/13
Above is one of the WSU students reached by Chelsea Collins (below) and John Oberg.
was so stoked to be joined at
Wayne State by Australia’s #1 leafleter, Chelsea
Collins! Her enthusiasm for this work is undeniable,
and we set the all-time one-day record for any school in the state of Michigan – 3,740 students were
handed an Even If You Like Meat booklet,
and 37 wanted Guides. The leafleting was great
– super high take-rate and really positive
reception from the students. We each heard things
like “this is so sad” and “I
love what you guys are doing, this is so cool.”
Of course with most of this work we never get to hear about the results, but I do have this epic story to conclude with: My friend Stephanie Bay (a vegan I met at VegFest who helped leaflet the Warped date with us) texted me a day after we leafleted and let me know that one of her sorority sisters messaged her asking for advice about becoming vegan. She told her that she was inspired to try to go veg because somebody handed her a VO booklet on WSU’s campus! That “somebody” would be one of us – this work really does pay off!
—John Oberg, 9/4/13
At Montgomery College, Helena found a booklet in the cafeteria and set off to find who was passing them out. Well, she found me! She was so happy that the school was being leafleted and wants to volunteer the next time I’m around. A really nice couple stopped and asked about our organization after they received booklets at the previous class change. They thanked VO for being there today and said it was a great cause! Vegans in the making right there.
Kassy sends this pic from Montgomery College: “Shocked to learn the horrors of factory farming! The student on the far right is already veg.”
At George Washington
University, Bo stopped to tell me that he was
happy to get a booklet. He was vegetarian for
a while until he read The Vegetarian Myth
by Lierre Keith. I asked him what about the
book changed his mind on being vegetarian. He
brought up the purity argument: that no matter
how many animals we do not eat, human existence
will never be able to never hurt animals in
some way. In short, I explained to him the idea
that being vegetarian or vegan is not about
being pure or perfect, but about doing the best
we can to hurt as few animals as we can. He
seemed to click with the idea of non-purism.
(It’s effective and brings about positive change?
Go figure!) He promised to read the booklet
again, and was happy to get a Guide!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/9/13
a month ago, a student that I tutored was leaving to go home to Korea. Her
last week in the US, we went to Portland and
ate at Native Foods – her first meal in a vegan
restaurant. She also got a vegan tour of Whole
Foods. When she asked me if vegans eat honey,
I explained the goal of reducing suffering rather
than trying to achieve purity and how it applies
to different situations, honey, restaurant meals,
etc. She said, “I’m really happy to hear
that because I was thinking that it’s too hard
to be vegan.”
—Nettie Schwager, 9/9/13
and I set a new record at Eastern
Kentucky U – 2,200 students reached, and good
conversations. For example, Andrew, an earnest
and sweet dude who goes to EKU, let me know
that he was straight-edge and has a lot of respect
for vegans. We talked about how even cutting
back on animal products was a huge step forward.
Long hot day at the University of Kentucky, where Lauren and I set an all-time record for the state, reaching 3,600 students! My favorite interaction was with Brock [right]. He let me know that receiving a VO booklet on campus two years led to him going vegetarian. And then a year ago, on his one-year anniversary of going veg, he went vegan, which he’s been for a year now.
—Jon Camp (below, leafleting UK), 9/10/13
nearly 2,000 students at Cal State
Fullerton. A student [below, center] came back after class and
now wants to go veg; got a Guide and
some encouragement. Later met Amber [below, right], who wants to eat far less meat; also asked
for a booklet and Guide to give to
her bestie. Lastly, met Anita [below, left], who had been veg
for two weeks a few years ago; after getting
a booklet today, she was amped to give it another try. We spoke at length, and she took an extra booklet and Guide for her friend. Also had a convo with a very receptive amateur bodybuilder about vegan
—Vic Sjodin, 9/9/13
CW Post, one student came back
after reading the booklet to tell me that she
agrees with the information a lot, and that
she is cutting back a lot on eating meat. Rechelle [below, left]
got a booklet from me last year, and went pescetarian,
and then vegan two months ago! Then met Lauren
and Ketan who started a campus group, and now
want to go vegan! They all received a Guide.
Six people gave me their emails, will introduce
them and past emails to Lauren and Ketan. Of
the 6, 4 said they want to leaflet!
Great discussions at Hofstra U! I met Nipun [below, right], who started at Brandeis and got their cafeterias to go cage free! Met Ana who had been vegan, got a kidney stone, which her doctor said was from tofu, and she went back to eating meat. She really wants to go back to vegan, especially after reading the Compassionate Choices. Gave her Jack’s website and a Guide, and we talked a bit. She is going to try again. Siobhan was vegan, stopped, and is now motivated to being vegan again, too! Louis and I discussed cutting back more on meat, milk, and egg consumption; gave him a Guide. Finally, met Kelsy who said, “You gave me one of these at Norwalk Community College, and I went vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 9/10/13
day of my Ohio vacation started
out cold and rainy. I was thrilled to meet up
with Jen and Stefanie to destroy Bowling Green
State. Jen [Black, below] runs an animal advocacy group in
Toledo and was able to come for most of the
day. Stefanie is the president of the campus
group and was able to join us for a couple hours
in between her classes. Students were super-receptive!
A number asked about getting involved and I
referred them to Stefanie. Students even came
up to Jen to ask for leaflets! Talked to a few
students who were working on going veg, and
a couple who had tried but felt they needed
meat, so gave them harm-reduction ideas. A professor
was interested in using our lit for an ethics
Second day of vacation was a dizzying 96 degrees at Kent State. Great questions, comments, and conversations. For example, one student told me that as a result of receiving a booklet, he and his whole family had gone vegan!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/10/13
day at CUNY Brooklyn! I had a
veg mom who wanted booklets to give to her daughter
and her friends. I met a vegan from Florida
who said she knew no one else here that was
vegan and was really interested in getting involved
to volunteer and to meet others! The best was
when a girl took one, rolled it up, and hit
her friend on the head with it while saying,
“Yea! I’m vegetarian!”
—Lisa Drapkin, 9/10/13
day at Sacramento State, where
I reached over 2,400 students. Great conversations,
too. Jennifer is interested in getting involved
for the animals. Another student is currently
vegetarian and wants to go vegan, but her parents
are deeply concerned. The Guide to Cruelty-Free
Eating I gave her should help her go vegan
while addressing her parents’ worries.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/6/13
Vegas Veg crew [Gina, Elaine Vigneault, and Niala Wesley, right] very quickly reached
1,000 students at the College of Southern Nevada.
One guy was worried about building muscle on
a plant diet but after hearing that there are
vegan bodybuilders he gladly took a Guide
to learn more about veg nutrition. A woman
said she was proud of us and we were doing good
work. A man came back and asked, “So chicken
is out but why is turkey ok?” and so I
explained that he was pointing to TOFUrky not
turkey. He said, “Oh, I guess I should read
—Elaine Vigneault, 9/9/13
been recovering from a bad sprain, so
I was very happy to be able to get out there
to leaflet again. By the way, when the sprain
happened and the pain was intense, all I could
think about was the pain endured by farmed animals
and how they don’t get any help or comfort.
My thoughts went to how they get the opposite;
they get whipped, prodded, kicked, dragged,
and then they lose their lives. Along with the
physical pain, they are frightened and bewildered.
I can’t even imagine what they endure. They
are individuals, and the pain felt by each and
every one of them matters – so we leaflet and
speak up for them. Thank you, all!
When offering the VO booklets at Southern Maine Community College, I heard comments such as, “I’m with you on this one,” “Cool,” “Sweet,” and “Thanks for doing this.” One young man said he plans to write a paper about the information. A young woman thought I was there because of a current animal cruelty news story, where two local female teenagers briefly microwaved a kitten (the kitten survived). Of course there is public outrage but, as we know, most of the people expressing outrage are happily eating cooked animals without giving them any thought. I was glad to have the opportunity to discuss compassion for all animals.
—Lana Smithson, 9/9/13
Animal Activist’s Handbook]
gave me hope and strength. I was very depressed,
did not think I am made for this world, could
not get along with my meat-eating coworkers…
Thank you and thank you! I share your recommendations
with all of my activist friends.
amazing day with Yvonne – set
a new record at College of the Canyons, reaching
1,600 students. One woman stopped dead in her
tracks on a busy narrow walkway and read the booklet
cover-to-cover, not moving for 15 minutes, transfixed.
We gave her a Guide. Amy [right] got a booklet and now wants innocent animals
to stop being hurt. Met a vegan who wants to
leaflet in the future. Others related they read the
entire booklet and were moved by it [including the student at left, who will now eat less meat].
Scorcher – thermometer said 102. Set a one-person record at Citrus College, reaching over 1,600 students before hustling over to Pomona College. Ran into Ellen [below], one of the top leafleters in AAC’s first year. Met a frosh student who went veg on his own at three – wow, precocious – once he realized his food had been a living animal, he stopped eating meat. I gave him a Guide and we had a nice talk.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/3/13
|Below are Citrus College stuents reading Even If You Like Meat, and Vic Sjodin with Ellen Green at Pomona College.|
At Catholic U, I talked with a man who is in the beginning stages of making the connection between animals and his “guilt” about eating them. He appreciated getting a Compassionate Choices and a Guide. I also met a 40-year-old whose husband just went veg a couple months ago after being hired to shoot photography for a campaign against a factory farm. They are now raising their children mostly veg (one of them who she claims was veg coming right out of the womb!). After answering her questions on protein and iron, I gave her a Guide.
Quotes of the
“I’m vegan! I love you and this is great!” – student on the way to class
“I want one. Oh man, I love helping animals!!!” – 12-year-old
And the winner for best quote of the day goes to: “Thanks, but you already gave me one – and I think it’s working, too.”
Reached over 1,400 students at Georgetown University. Katie [left] ran back to me excitedly after receiving a booklet, asking how she could get involved. She is now transitioning to vegan, and was happy to get a Guide and my information. Another student, Annie, stopped to chat after a class change. She asked me: “Why vegan?” And I gave her the details. She happily received a Guide! I met a VO volunteer, Marie, who is staff at Georgetown. She was so grateful that so many students were receiving booklets today!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/5/13
day at West Virginia U. Lauren [Walker, right]
and I started leafleting at 8 and reached more
than 4,000 students by the time we left campus
at 4. Met many, many vegetarians and vegans –
distributed more than 20 Guides. For example,
I had two young women in a row, totally unaffiliated
with each other, tell me no thanks to a booklet
because they’re vegan (they both got Guided).
Lauren had the best conversations of the day:
A young woman told her that she read the booklet earlier and cried. She had companion animals, loved them, and never really made the connection that the animals raised for her meat suffered like they do.
Later, a young woman told Lauren that she was previously vegan, but had slipped a bit lately. After reading VO’s booklet today, she recommitted to being vegan.
Lauren and I crushed Marshall University, setting a huge new record by reaching 2,400 students. My two favorite interactions:
Joshua initially told me he was interested in going veg. I talked with him for a while, telling him to take a pace that he’s comfortable with, to not stress out over minuscule ingredients, etc. He seemed much more resolved to go vegan after our conversation.
A young woman told me she was now interested in going vegan, so I gave her the same advice I gave Joshua. A definite step forward.
—Jon Camp (below, leafleting Marshall U), 9/5/13
me at Allan Hancock College, and
we quickly reached 500 students. Many expressed
that they like animals and were happy to get
a leaflet. We also watched students reading
them. Favorite quote of the day: “This
is a powerful booklet!” And when I stopped
for a moment to acknowledge her, she said, “Keep
handing them out!”
—Johanna Andris, 9/4/13
A UNLV student is engrossed in Compassionate Choices.
County Community College, met
a number of vegetarians and vegans. Also met
Nicki, who took booklets to give to friends.
At Dowling College, a guy looked at the Even If You Like Meat booklet and said: “Oh
no, I am not going to eat dinner tonight!”
Me: “Just keep animals off of your plate.”
Guy: “OK, I can do that!”
Another student got a booklet earlier, and as she passed me a second time, she said, “I am now going vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 9/4/13
to have the Jungenbergs drive
up to join me at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison. Met vegetarians and vegans, and John
heard from someone who went veg from getting
a leaflet in the past!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/4/13
and Debbie joined me at Moraine
Valley Community College. So many students said
they are interested in changing what they eat
and trying a vegetarian diet. Lots of students
wanted to know what they can eat if not animals.
Tina, Debbie and I offered lots of suggestions
and encouragement. I was impressed with the
ability of the students to stop in the middle
of their day, encounter a difficult issue, and
react to it with positivity and thoughtfulness.
There is hope in the universe!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/4/13
though it was nearly 100 degrees
when we started, and a Friday, Anne [Green, above, right], I, and
Vegas Veg – specifically, Elaine [Vigneault, above, left] and Angelica
– reached 900 students at UNLV. I was two for
two with skateboards, and Anne had a bike handoff.
Later that evening, Elaine and crew reached
1,500 people at Las Vegas’ Pride Parade &
—Matt Ball (below, leafleting UNLV with Angelica Derossi), 9/6/13
weather was hot, but Team MFA
was hotter, passing out 1,500 Compassionate
Choices at Harold Washington Library. High-fiving
vegans and vegetarians (one of 40 years!) and
encouraging Meatless Monday, we had an awesome
day of outreach as the community expressed interest
and enthusiasm in moving towards a more plant-based
—Heather Darley, 8/27/13
was another phenomenal day! Jack
joined me for the first three class changes
at Cosumnes River College, and we set another
school record, reaching over 2,100 friendly
students. I talked to one vegan who thought
government action was our only hope, but I brought
him around to the idea of dollar democracy and
multiplying our personal impact by influencing
others…by leafleting, naturally. Late in the
day I had a lengthy conversation with a student
from Russia whose grandparents have a small
farm. She is comfortable having animals killed
for food, but wants them treated better. Traffic
was slow, so I talked to her for a while about
the quotation from J.S. Foer’s Eating Animals
from a factory farm operator: “You hear
about free-range eggs and grass-fed cattle,
and all of that’s good. I think it’s a good
direction. But it ain’t gonna feed the world.
Never. You simply can’t feed billions of people
free-range eggs. And when you hear people talking
about small farming as a model, I call that
the Marie Antoinette syndrome: if they can’t
afford bread, let them eat cake.”
—Steve Erlsten (above, leafleting CRC), 9/5/13
received your Even If You Like Meat…You Can Help End This Cruelty
booklet (actually my daughter was given this
book while on a college campus). I think so
many people get discouraged because they have
a hard time sticking with a vegan lifestyle,
so I thought this book was very relevant because
even if someone still eats some meat at least
they could cut back, and then maybe eventually
they would make the switch to a vegan lifestyle.
and I set a huge new record at
USC – Yvonne apparently means “born to
leaflet” in Greek and I believe it – such
a great leafleter and person, a real joy to
work with for the animals! We reached 3,300
students in blazing heat – watched people read
as they walked, others read the entire booklet
sitting on benches. Talked with some of them,
and others thanked us for being there. Highlight
was Gabby [above, with Yvonne LeGrice], who now wants to go vegan.
Set a solo record at Cal State Long Beach – reached over 3,200 students. Had a convo with a woman who had been vegan for five months, but felt sick and regressed. She read the booklet and after we talked, she wants to slowly go vegan again – got a Guide. Talked with another man had various questions – I believe he will go vegan now.
—Vic Sjodin, 8/27/13
Steve Erlsten spotted this woman studying Compassionate Choices at Los Medanos College.
conversations at Northern Virginia
Community College. For example, I talked to
an older guy whose daughter attends UVA. His
daughter watched Food, Inc. and was
aware that there was a problem with modern animal
agriculture, but didn’t know the specifics.
He said the VO booklet was a tough read, but
agreed that it’s an issue everyone should know
about. He now wants to reduce his meat consumption
and try some meatless meals. If his daughter
didn’t get a booklet from me or Jon, he will
pass it along to her!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/29/13
Valley College has some new vegans today!
Brittany and I reached nearly 2,400 students.
Quite a few said they are working on going vegan,
and two students are interested in leafleting!
Great interactions at Modesto Junior College – reached over 1,600 students. I ran into more vegetarians and vegans than I expected for a small farming town in the middle of farming country. One Guide went to a student who was amazed that I’m actually vegan. She and two friends stared at me in literal disbelief. I might as well have been a unicorn.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/3/13
many good comments at CUNY Borough
of Manhattan Community College today!
“I’m vegan! Good job!”
“I’m vegetarian! I need this for my friend!”
“Sure! I want one!”
A few people who were on the opposite side from where I was leafleting came over to take booklets. Gave Guides to new vegetarians / vegans and people interested in more information.
—Lisa Drapkin (below at Bronx Community College, photo courtesy of Lindsay Margeton), 9/3/13
to Madison Area Technical College early was
key – I reached my first 1,000
students in less than 2 hours. Reached a total
of 1,677 during the day. Great take rate, students
were very friendly, and met a number of vegans.
One Guide went to a man who is in the
process of cutting back on his meat consumption.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/3/13
Judith, Beverly, and I reached 2,211 students
at Stony Brook University. Great encounters
– so many vegetarians and vegans and people
who now want to go vegan! Met a student who
said he has been vegetarian since he received
a booklet from me last semester! Talked with
Valentine about nutrition concerns. We met 11
people who want to join the newly formed SBU
Reached over 1,100 students at Suffolk County Community College. Good comments and conversations. For example, Montis liked my shirt, but said he couldn’t go vegan. I said it was not a matter of taste, but a matter of compassion, and asked him to read about the animals, and to cut back his meat consumption. He agreed that he would do both!
—Karen James, 9/3/13
|Below are a few of the young people happy to receive booklets from Karen James at a festival in Woodbury, CT.|
winter wind at Royal Melbourne
Institute of Technology – so strong, it was
hard to hold the booklets out to people! But
we – Shaunagh [O’Neill, right], Liz [Dealey, below, left], Karina, Souraya [Rainbowbrite, below, right], John, and
I – made quick work of all our booklets. Met
five vegans, which lifted our spirits! Word
is really getting out about our outreach –
more and more people are contacting me.
—Chelsea Collins, 8/20/13
the enthusiasm at Virginia Commonwealth
University – these students wanted the goods! In large
groups, they were slowing down with their hands
out – I couldn’t keep up with such quick demand!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/23/13
Jennifer Greene snapped these pics at SUNY College at Old Westbury last semester: above, a student is engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat; below, Karen James reaches another student with Compassionate Choices.
friend Reem handed out 86 booklets
at Northern Virginia Community College like
a champ. She was a little scared about rejection
but built up her courage and did it! Kassy had
leafleted the school on Monday, and when Reem
leafleted it today, numerous students remembered
getting a booklet yesterday from Kassy; and one
told her that he saw the pictures yesterday
and is planning on completely stopping eating
meat! Go, Reem and Kassy!!!
—John Oberg, 8/27/13
were flying out of my hands like
hotcakes at SUNY Old Westbury! Met three vegans
and four vegetarians. Five students gave their
emails for a campus group. Good discussions
– one with a student who had been vegetarian
for a few months, but returned to eating animals.
She was concerned about health issues. Gave
her a Guide as well as Jack’s site.
She was very grateful, and said she was going
to try again! A student told me he read the
whole booklet. When I asked what he thought,
he said it was well written, informative, and
not too graphic – a great booklet to get the
—Karen James, 8/26/13
for 9.5 hours on the second day
of classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Heard from three vegans and 10 vegetarians.
Inspiring to revisit the exact spot in the union
where I met Matt Ball 20 years ago.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/27/13
MFA handed out 1,500 Compassionate Choices
at Millennium Station. Stephanie talked with
a man who was on his way to Popeye’s,
but after reading the leaflet, turned around
and decided a plant-based dinner would be a
better idea! There were lots of people to talk
to, and we received interest from some vegetarians
looking to go vegan! A fantastic day of outreach.
—Heather D, 8/26/13
and I reached 2,100 students at
Santa Rosa Junior College. I had more excited
responses than I could count, and quite a few
“I’m mostly vegan” responses. I talked
to two students who were interested in helping,
one who volunteered before she started the nursing
program, and one who has been emailing the PDF
of the booklet around!
—Steve Erlsten, 8/26/13
Vic Sjodin spreads compassion at Irvine Valley College.
was pleasantly surprised by the
receptive students at Ventura College. Take
rate varied between 90 to 100 percent. Many thanked me
for being there, said they support what I’m
doing, and/or said they love animals. Met one
long-time vegetarian and one woman who’s been
vegan just a month or so. They both got Guides.
—Barbara Bear, 8/27/13
had a number of good conversations
at Willamette University. For example, when
I offered a man an Even If You Like Meat, he said,
“I’m against that, but I don’t see anything
that I can do about it right now.” I held
up a Guide and said, “Would you
like this? It has recipes and a good article
about nutrition.” He said yes he would.
More constructive interactions at Linfield College;
e.g., I offered a booklet to a woman, and she
seemed very sad when she saw it. She mumbled
something – I think something about how much
she loves pigs. I asked if she’d like a Guide,
and she brightened. She said, oh yes, she would
like the Guide because she used to
—Cobie deLespinasse, 8/27/13
Many wonderful interactions and a new record at Irvine Valley College. The highlight might have been a group of women [top of page] who came back together after getting booklets earlier. I gave a very brief highlight of the benefits of a vegan diet and they said they were interested in changing – they all got Guides. Met Mariel [below, right], who also wants to go veg! Met Doreen [Marciano, below, left] and invited her to help on the spot – she did! Saw others engrossed in reading – gave them Guides and encouragement. And had numerous other positive interactions.
At Moorpark College, Vic snapped a group of supportive students reading Even If You Like Meat together (above), and a student (below, left) who stopped in his tracks and read the booklet cover-to-cover.
Another new record and uplifting interactions at Moorpark College. Many folks vocalized their support for our efforts: “Thanks for being out there,” “I support what you are doing,” etc. Others told me they read and were affected by the booklet. Best highlights: Pedro [top of page] is now committed to going full-on veg. Melissa also wants to go veg; got a Guide. Andrea [below, right] is thinking of drastically reducing her meat consumption. Another woman [below, center] who was veg-friendly wants to go full vegan and help leaflet next semester! Had many other talks and interactions, and overheard others talking with friends about these issues.
Awesome, epic, splendiferous day at Cerritos College! Reached 2,500 students – a new one-person record – and received awesome feedback. Four separate people came back later saying they wanted to go veg [two at left], another [Jamal, bottom right] said he wanted to eat far less meat. Met a woman, Anna [bottom, center], who has been vegan for five years since reading a VO booklet her friend had gotten at a concert. Saw many sitting and reading [left], walking and reading, just epic. Met Magali [Cota, bottom, left], an aspiring vegan who helped me leaflet most of a class change. Mucha gracia, Magali! Lots of Latino Americans here, 50 percent maybe, so got to practicar mi Español. Extremely tiring and rewarding last three days, so happy to be back at it and getting all the great feedback on the ground. Thank you to all of you who make it possible.
—Vic Sjodin, 8/21/13
nice start to my 21st semester
of leafleting for Vegan Outreach – I reached
nearly 1,500 students with VO’s booklets at
Illinois State. Heard from two vegans, 17 vegetarians
and one student who let me know that getting
the booklet from me last year moved him to drop
meat. I gave him a Guide and thanked him for sparing animals.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/20/13
was a cold and windy day at Royal
Melbourne Institute of Technology, but we were
overwhelmed with the response. People were really
receptive and the take rate was quite high.
Some people went out of their way to come and
take a booklet, and others stopped for a chat.
Kristin, Liz, Rachael, John [Sakars, right], Eliza, and I handed
out all our booklets in 42 minutes. At the cafe
we found a long line and a few people were reading
their booklet, and many many more reading them
at the tables.
—Chelsea Collins (below, reaching a student at RMIT), 8/9/13
off this fall with Virginia State.
These open-minded students weren’t even a little
hesitant to grab a booklet that was offered
to them as “info to help animals.”
Had two conversations with a vegetarian [Karla, right], and
then with a pre-vegan who wants to go meatless
every day for lunch. Baby steps, folks! Had
a long, wonderful conversation with a biology
student who was told every veg-myth I’ve ever
heard. She was so wide-eyed when hearing the
truth, nodded in agreement (many “that’s
true”s and “never thought of it that way”s),
and was excited to get her Guide after
asking how she can get started in reducing her
meat consumption. AND…I broke my first record
today – the new all-time high at VSU is 1,334!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/22/13
Cold wind at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market earlier this month, but a receptive crowd. I targeted the booklets to young adults, but quite often they ended up in the hands of kids. I watched a boy and girl [below] read the booklet cover-to-cover. The girl sat on a curb and read it for the longest time, and when her mom told her it was time to move on, she kept right on reading as she walked.
At the Pismo Beach Car
Show, I saw many people reading the booklet
and sharing the info with others. A few people
asked what the literature was about. My standard
reply today was, “It’s about how animals
suffer to become food and what we can do about
it.” Everyone still took a copy!
A guy came back with the booklet in hand to tell me he had worked in a slaughterhouse and how it caused him to swear off animals’ flesh for a while, though he currently eats some birds. He said he’d like to be vegan if he could figure out good sources of protein, so, of course, he got Guided.
Barbara also sends this pic of two young men reading our booklets at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market.
back at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market today.
Three young men walked up, and while two of them
joked about liking bacon, the third stopped
and asked what the booklet was about. I told
him the brochure was specifically about how
animals suffer to become food. He paged through
it, then said, “I appreciate you,”
and shook my hand sincerely before we parted
ways. Another guy came over purposefully to
see what I was handing out. As I answered his
questions, he paged deeper into the booklet
and kept shaking his head saying, “This
is just wrong.” We shook hands and he left
with a Guide in hand. The way his opinion changed
during the course of the conversation, I think
he’s going to be cutting back on his animal
Finally, Gavin said he’d been all sorts of things – macrobiotic, raw, vegan, then slipped back to “the dark side.” I said it was never too late to come back to the light. :) He spoke of having “vices” that he is haunted by – eating sugar, etc. I said as long as my vices don’t hurt anyone else, then I’m O.K. with them. He thought it was important to free oneself from suffering first before trying to free others from it. I said “compassion” means “to suffer with,” and that if I didn’t feel the animals’ suffering, I probably wouldn’t be out there leafleting. He took that to heart.
—Barbara Bear, 6/26/13
great day leafleting at University
Center. MFA volunteers Brian, Jen, Alan, Heather,
Stephanie, Glenn, and I reached 1,600 people.
Multiple people asked me about what was in the
leaflet and wanted to know where they could
get more information. Not only did it seem like
people were receptive to learning about the
suffering of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses,
there were tons of pro-veg people on the street
thanking us for the amazing outreach. It really
seems like, slowly but surely, change is happening.
—Becki Markle, 8/8/13
convos at Miami Dade College –
probably met a good half-dozen happy vegetarians.
Several others stopped, saying they’d been wanting
to try going veg but were asking for pointers on how to get started. The several who felt especially
challenged in the past were really receptive
to trying the incremental approach. Felt good
seeing people feeling recharged and ready to
give vegetarianism another go.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 7/15/13
and I had good interactions at
Gen Con. For example, Wendy spoke with one man
who said he really liked bacon but after hearing
how pigs are treated he said he would try some
of the vegan alternatives she suggested. One
girl in a pig costume [right] saw the booklet and said
she loved pigs, and thought it was
awful that they suffer such cruelty and abuse.
—Tonja Robertson, 8/16/13
the Finrymple bunch (Sky, Elsa,
Bodhi, Alek, Sen, Anna [Dalrymple, below, left], Fin, and mom Alissa)
headed over to the University of Oklahoma Freshman
Orientation Fair. After spreading out, we shared
400 booklets in no time!
—Alissa Finley (below, right, leafleting OU with Fin), 8/18/13
reached 200 people at the Foggy
Bottom Metro station. When we were about to
hand out our last one, a woman said, “I
read this last year and stopped eating meat.
And since I cook, my husband doesn’t eat meat
at home anymore.” I said, “The cook
has the power!”
—Gary Lowenthal, 8/20/13
Barbara sends these pics from the Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival: above, Brooke Andris reaches another festivalgoer; below, two boys share a Compassionate Choices as their dad looks on, and two young women are engrossed in their booklets.
first day on tour was great –
I reached over 2,150 students at Iowa State!
I met two vegans who were looking to start clubs
on campus; I took their info. I heard from other
vegetarians who thanked me for being there.
Overall students were receptive. A man stopped
by to tell me that his daughter was vegan and
most of the swimmers she coaches have gone vegan;
we talked about nutrition and I gave him a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 8/26/13
Johanna, Peggy, and I had two amazing
days at the huge Strawberry Festival. So many
people stopped to thank us for our work, told
us we were doing important work, and one vegan
even gave me a big hug while saying, “Yea,
us!” A young guy stopped to help, too.
A number of people who at first refused the
booklet, then, realizing it was about animals,
took it after all. Met some folks who were earnestly
trying to go from veg to vegan, so they got
Guides and vegan buttons for inspiration.
One teenager accepted a Compassionate Choices, then handed it back saying, “Oh, no thanks, I…” then hesitated. I asked, “Were you going to say ‘I like meat’?” He said yes. We had a nice, short conversation during which I told him I used to feel the same way until I found out what happens to the animals. He took the brochure back from me saying, “OK, I promise you I will read this.” I said that’s all I ask and thanked him.
—Barbara Bear, 5/26/13
high school leafleting during
the final week. At Lincoln Park High School,
I handed out every booklet I had. One boy exclaimed
he was already vegan, and gladly accepted the
Guide. The take rate at George Westinghouse
College Prep was high, and hopefully some seeds
were planted. A number of students said, “Yes
please, I love / want to help animals.”
—Darina Bockman, 6/4/13
and I planned our day off to meet
up at Northwestern. Maxine stopped by to help,
too. We reached 900 students, and it was a lively
day! A big high school group was visiting campus
and almost every single student wanted a leaflet.
Georgia and Jovan joined me at Taft High School, where a nice teacher directed us to where we could reach more students. And great reception from these students, including some who were already veg! I saw many students reading the leaflets as they waited for school to start.
—Leslie Patterson, 6/4/13
the University of Chicago, a student
asked why animal suffering was my focus. I explained
that birds, mammals, and bony fish all have the
ability to feel pain. I explained that the number
of animals made to suffer, the intensity of
their suffering, and the whimsical reason that
they are made to suffer, as well as each of
us having direct control over that suffering
and death, is what drew me into this work on
my days off from being a social worker.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/14/13
leafleting today, one girl said
after reading about what happens to pigs in
Compassionate Choices, she would no
longer eat pigs. Later, while waiting for her
friends to get to Chick-fil-A for lunch, one
young woman asked me for a booklet. She later
told me that she didn’t know about the things
that went on in factory farms prior to that.
She also said she was going to think about her
eating choices and she was “sure as hell
not gonna eat here today with my friends.”
—Becki Markle, 6/20/13
fit in about two hours at Georgia
State. High take rate and positive responses.
I even had a campus policeman come hang out
next to me for a while; we talked about how
animals suffer on factory farms, he agreed it
was horrible and took a booklet. One woman
took one and then came back by an hour later
with a burrito; she pointed to it and said, “I
got tofu!” Another guy took a booklet,
then immediately turned around and asked for
another for his stepdad – he said they have
both been talking about making these changes.
Lastly, I met one vegan woman, and one guy said
he was already vegetarian and was going to give
his booklet to a friend.
An amazing day at two schools in LA! I met Juan [left] at Los Angeles Mission College; he doesn’t eat pork, because of the way the pigs are treated. We discussed battery cages, fish farming, and a vegan diet! He was once vegetarian for two years, and he knows if he puts his mind to it, he can go vegan. He is excited about reading the Guide and getting started!
At Pierce College, I met an aspiring vegan activist! Nina [Edwards, above] has been vegetarian for two years, and she wants to go vegan and get involved. I got her started leafleting. She is a natural, and she handed out 300 leaflets in less than two hours! She will be putting her new Guide and her copy of A Meaningful Life to good use!
Another great day at El Camino College! I heard comments ranging from “THIS is what I wanted to show my mom” to “I read that. That’s why I quit eating meat” to “I JUST did a debate about that.” I’ve heard from quite a few people this semester who have written about or debated the ethics of animal abuse.
Eduardo [left] took a booklet and mentioned that some of his friends in the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty are vegan. He has been thinking about it more lately and appreciated his Guide. Late in the morning the Young Americans for Liberty set a table up near me. I sparked some conversation, so I got to hear the vegan members telling the other YAL members about the incredible food at Veggie Grill and Native Foods. It was another great reminder that animal abuse knows no political limits, so everyone can participate in this revolution!
Great take rate and productive conversations at Citrus College. I spoke with aspiring vegans, including one woman who founded an animal rights club in high school, but had since lapsed! She got a copy of A Meaningful Life, as did a student who struck up a conversation about the nature of suffering, why it matters, and the evolutionary origins of empathy. It was a fun day!
Phenomenal day at Cal Poly Pomona! Agnes [left] took a leaflet on her way to class. A couple hours later she stopped back by to tell me the abuse is depressing. I reminded her that we have the power to change what’s happening, and we discussed vegan meats and other options. She took a Guide and was excited to try some new vegan dishes! I also met Nicole, who wants to get a vegan / AR club started. At the very end of the day I met aspiring vegan Natasha, who is excited to start an internship with Ellen DeGeneres in the fall! She’s excited to tell everyone there about Vegan Outreach – for the animals and for brownie points!
Handed out all my booklets pretty quickly at LA’s Pride Parade. Some good feedback, including one man who said he received one of our booklets at San Francisco Pride last year and it changed his life! The highlight was hearing one woman loudly tell her friend, “THIS is what made me stop eating meat!”
—Steve Erlsten, 6/9/13
[during the record day] at Cal State Northridge.
Met Natalie [below, right] who went vegan after getting a booklet
at the Ventura Warped Tour. Luis [below, left] read the booklet
today and wants to go veg now. Their recreation
department administrator and I had a good walking
conversation; he said, “This is interesting,
thank you. I will read it.” Had a bro down
with many dudes, but one in particular seemed
moved. At the end, I told him, “You seem
awesome, I’m sure you will respond to a good
and timely message.” Two separate women
said they wanted to go veg, but didn’t want
their pics taken. Spoke to Christy
from the campus group last night and she came to say hello
before class. I invited her to leaflet and she did
for about 15 min before class; her group will
likely help in the future. Others said they
read the whole thing. Three asked for a second
booklet to show someone else. Another student
said she has been wanting to go veg and got
and some encouragement. Had many other interactions.
Several thanked me for being out there and a
kind woman could see I was beat and brought
me a water and Gatorade right at the end. What
a fun day!!!
—Vic Sjodin, 8/28/13
On the 50th
anniversary of MLK’s I Have a Dream speech,
Vic broke the one-leafleter record,
and Jon and I broke the record for the most
students reached at the University of Virginia.
After taking a booklet, one student asked me
what was the solution to the problem of animal
suffering. I told him that our mission is to
reduce suffering by encouraging others to eat
less meat, stop buying factory-farmed meats,
embrace a vegetarian diet. After a short conversation,
he told me he was going to try to eat less meat
and stop purchasing from factory farms! He was
happy for his Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Another student was excited to get a booklet
to learn more about the issue since her sister
is vegan. She was very thankful for a Guide!
She plans on eating fewer animal products
and eventually transitioning to be vegetarian!
—Kassy Ortega (below, at UVA), 8/28/13
Tremendously high reception rate at the University of Georgia: I reached over 1,200 students, with many good, productive conversations! I encountered 15–20 vegetarians and vegans. Every time I do this leafleting, it seems there are more vegetarians, and that students are becoming more receptive, more aware, and more responsive to this message.
Wendy Moore captured Eric making a skateboard handoff above, and reaching another UGA student below.
One woman told
me she was recently driving behind a truck transporting
chickens to one of the local slaughterhouses.
She saw one of the chickens fall off the truck
and hit the road…she went to try to save
the bird, but she was already dead. Since then,
she has not eaten chicken again, and she is
buying vegan “chicken” nuggets for
her children. She eagerly took a Guide.
A man approached and said, “Is that the vegan stuff?” At first glance, he looked exactly like most of the animal ag students on campus, even down to the camouflage ball cap. We talked for several minutes, and he totally demolished my initial impression. Rather than being confrontational as I expected, he told me he recently went vegetarian for a few months, but found himself going back to eating bacon sometimes. But he really wants to try it again…even though his uncle is a cattle rancher and it means going against his family. We talked a lot about the benefits of cutting back on meat consumption, local veg-friendly restaurants, and other stuff. I found it a very surprising and positive encounter demonstrating that we are making inroads even in unexpected places!
—Eric Griffith, 8/28/13
sweltering but amazing day of
outreach at the University of Northern Iowa,
where I reached 1,160 students! The take rate
was amazing and everyone was extremely nice!
Gave a Guide to a girl who wanted to
know how to add more iron to her diet, so she
could now stay healthy and veg!
—Rachel Shippee, 8/30/13
Lindsay Margeton snapped this pic of Lisa speaking with an interested student at Bronx Community College.
students and good conversations at
Adelphi University and Iona College, including
a number interested in forming / joining a student
group. Highlight was Elana, who received a booklet
from me last semester, and did a report about
factory farming. She also cut back eating animals
and animal products almost entirely!
—Karen James, 8/28/13
and I had a great first leafleting day of
the semester at Bronx Community College! Met
three vegetarians and two vegans. Everyone seemed
very curious when they realized what we were
handing out, and we saw many reading them while
waiting for the bus. A lot of people were
excited to take copies for their friends as
—Lisa Drapkin, 8/29/13
good days at Edinboro University
– going to different spots, I reached nearly
1,000 students. Lots of good conversations.
I met a number of vegetarians and thanked them
for their compassion; also gave them Guides. One student came back to talk and expressed
his interest in helping. I invited him to join
me at the next class change and he did!
—Justin Berkheimer, 8/29/13
and I met super-receptive students at
Wilbur Wright City College, and Jovan was able
to join us too – reached nearly 1,500 students!
Heard from many veggies, including a couple
interested in going vegan and happy to
receive Guides. We also heard from some students
who want to get involved with activism.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/28/13
the University of California Berkeley,
Kitty and I reached 1,700 students. I ran into
at least 20 vegans, including a few who want to
get involved; I gave one a copy of A
Meaningful Life. Interesting conversations,
including a long one with Mike. One of the Guides went to a man who has been vegan for long periods,
but keeps falling off the wagon. He was excited
to look through the Guide to find some new vegan
meats to try.
—Steve Erlsten, 8/30/13
Fun day of leafleting with my mom
[Karen, below] at Macomb Community College. We recently got
some pretty bad news about her health, but her
immense positivity has her turning sadness around
and into motivation to get out there and do
something to reduce others’ suffering. She’s
currently wheelchair-bound, but that didn’t
stop her from smiling ear-to-ear and offering
a booklet to every student that walked by.
She more than doubled her previous one-day record.
We heard lots of supportive words and had many
wonderful, productive conversations with interested
individuals – which brought an even bigger
smile to my ma’s face. It was a VO booklet that
turned my mom veg, so she knows firsthand the
power of this work. She inspires me every day
and I feel I’m the luckiest son in the world.
—John Oberg, 5/8/13
At the University of Toledo, Vic Sjodin heard from numerous people who got a VO booklet in the past; this student said, “Keep up the good work, it works!”
Great to be joined by Laura at
Dartmouth today. She said the veg options there
are improving; the booklet acceptance rate is
definitely improving! When I first started coming
here in 2010, it was one of the toughest schools,
but now there seems to be more interest in the
information. Today was a great day and we set
a new record here! One young man shook my hand
and said, “I appreciate your efforts. Keep
up the good work.” Another young man thanked
me for the leaflet and as he walked away he
cheerfully said, “And happy Meatless Monday!”
—Lana Smithson, 5/13/13
It was an awesome day of outreach
today with Joe at Joliet Junior
College! The students were accepting booklets
at a rate of 80% which was really incredible!
Many students were already vegetarian, and many
expressed interest in exploring a veg diet /
limiting their meat intake to help save animals!
A few let me know that they had successfully
transitioned into veganism. One girl, who recently
became vegan told me how wonderful she felt
since changing her diet. Others, including a
couple of faculty members, mentioned how saddened
they were to see how animals are treated, and
agreed that this was unacceptable. A number
of students requested extra booklets to take
with them to distribute to others! I spent some
time talking with students who told me they
had tried a vegan diet but were unsuccessful.
Besides offering the Guide, I encouraged them
to transition at their own pace if that works
for them…perhaps eliminating one type of
meat at a time or having meat-free days of the
week. They were very appreciative of the advice
and sincere about their desire to help animals.
—Tina Czerwinski, 5/7/13
Jovan and I quickly reached 580
students at Curie Metro High School
on Chicago’s South Side. I was a bit worried
that the line of parents in cars would object,
but a father actually rolled down his window
to ask for one.
—Leslie Patterson, 5/8/13
|Leslie sends this pic of the Milwaukee Warped Tour crew (from left): Georgia Argiris, Stephanie Frankle, Becki Markle, Leslie Patterson, Jamie Jungenberg, Stephanie Lipari, Rachel Shippee, John Jungenberg, and Mary Jungenberg.|
In my short time after work
at Harold Washington College, I heard from 2
vegans and 10 vegetarians, and most importantly
a good number of students who were curious about
the way modern farming treats animals. The opportunity
before us is golden.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/8/13
John and I had a wonderful time
leafleting at Triton College –
the take rate was amazing. I gave a Guide
to a student who used to be veg and had reservations;
we talked and he left saying he has friends
he wants to share the booklets with.
—Rachel Shippee, 5/8/13
Great day with Nicolas
in San Diego! We reached over 2,000 students
at California State University San Marcos and
Palomar College. Talked with several vegans
who want to get involved – I’ll follow up.
—Steve Erlsten, 5/7/13
At Oberlin College, Vic Sjodin overheard Laura talking with a friend about wanting to go veg after getting booklets; of course, they both got Guides!
In a short time at
Central Oregon Community College, I handed out
30 Guides to interested students. Many
students said how glad they were that I had
given them the Even If You Like Meat,
and some students sounded very sad when they
saw the Even If. Good conversations,
including one with a student who said that he
gets most of his meat from a particular ranch
which he named. I asked if he had visited the
ranch, and he said he had. I said, “I’m
really glad to hear that, because some of the
animal products that carry labels like free-range, if you visited the place they come from,
you wouldn’t like what you saw.” After
that, he seemed receptive to the message, asking
—Cobie deLespinasse, 5/13/13
Good interactions at Oregon State
today – a number of students
stopped to talk about how disgusted they were
by how animals are treated. Leafleting’s great,
given how easy it is: just bring the booklets
– no complicated setup or equipment necessary.
A large number of people can be reached
in a short amount of time.
—Nettie Schwager, 5/20/13
Today at Irvine Valley College
was a little difficult for me
at first. Luckily an enthusiastic vegan came
along just in time and we had a great conversation
that lifted me up. Also had a nice discussion
with a student named Max. I saw him sitting
down completely engrossed in the booklet for
around 15 minutes. He approached me to tell
me how messed up he thinks it is; he received
—Shura Hammond, 5/15/13
Jamie Platt (above, discussing Compassionate Choices with a student), Boris Yakubchik (below), and Jon Camp handed out 1,050 booklets at the Rutgers College Avenue Campus!
day at Bloomsburg University with
Cathy! I talked with Ayisha, a student who said
the booklet pushed her over the edge, and she
is very serious about significantly changing
her diet. Cathy spoke with a guy who used to
work on a duck farm. He agreed that today’s
farm animals are treated horribly. Cathy also
spoke with a defensive farmer, who said that
she treats two of the cows on her farm as pets.
The farmer and Cathy agreed that today’s chickens
lead really bad lives.
Lots of friendly students at the University of Scranton. A really sweet professor told me that he has been cutting back on his meat consumption. I gave him a Guide, and we had a nice talk. As he left, he said, “You’re doing the right thing. My heart is with you.”
Two minor bits of antagonism. For any given leafleting outing, a certain percentage of students are not going to be receptive. But all surveys on individual attitudes and dietary choices indicate this percentage will get a little smaller each year, as society is slowly getting more receptive to this issue. We’re gaining ground, the naysayers ranks continue to decline, and we don’t do any good stressing over these folks in the meantime. Also, even the naysayers change their minds from time to time. So by being polite to these folks, we at least leave the possibility open for them to think favorably of animal advocates, perhaps leading to an eventual change. And of course, the naysayers are the minority. Most people are quite nice.
—Jon Camp, 5/9/13
Above are concertgoers at the Warped Tour stop in Detroit, photographed by Chelsea Button, shown below at the Minneapolis stop.
year’s Warped was amazing. We
were received so well, kids were really nice,
and it bolstered our sense that the number one
way to change the hearts and minds of society
in regards to how we treat animals is to do
outreach to youth. Amazing to watch so many
people so engrossed in reading the booklet,
to overhear so many conversations about veganism.
This work is definitely a conversation starter;
it gets people who otherwise wouldn’t be discussing
this issue, discussing this issue. The hundreds
of starter pack requests that have come in over
the last two months are testament to the fact
that leafleting youth gets the goods.
Too many stories to relate from my time on the tour. Having Oli Sykes on the custom booklet’s cover has been huge. So many kids say, “It’s Oli Sykes!” or “Really? Oli Sykes is a vegetarian?” Brian from the band Rosedale – who play each day on the tour – became friends with Ben and helped leaflet as well; Brian now plans to go fully vegan! At the Minneapolis stop, a member from the band Silverstein walked up to Chelsea [right] to say that his band should have been featured in the booklet, since they’re veg. That was nice to hear – bands who care about this issue and who want to be in the booklet!
In addition to the dozens and dozens of volunteers who took time out of your busy schedules to join us in your city or to travel along for several dates, this year’s Warped Tour wouldn’t have been the smashing success it was without Anne Green, John Oberg, Ali Pester, Nathan Shin, and Ben Sylvester.
But none of this work would be possible without you donors on this list who work hard at your jobs and donate to ensure that today’s youth are reached with a message of kindness towards animals. We gave our absolute all this summer to guarantee that your generosity did as much good as possible. Once again, our most profuse thanks for making this happen.
—Jon Camp, 8/5/13
|Above are Phil Letten, Ali Pester, John Oberg, and Rob Stephens at the Detroit Warped Tour stop; and Tommasina Dandelion, Ben Sylvester, Ted, Kimito Sakata, Hulya Johnson, and Zubair Hussaini at the Denver stop.|
It was so good to be back
on the pavement at the Detroit Warped stop.
My buddy Rob (who isn’t even veg) and I showed
up at 4:00, joined shortly by the Button. Within
minutes we were joined by the all-star crew
of the Pest, the Beast, the Shinbone, and the
Camp. Philboy and Matt showed up a little bit
after and we spread out. Stephanie [Bay, right], who I met
at Michigan VegFest when I was tabling, joined
later and the awesome Beau of FARM helped us
out at the end. We offered a booklet to nearly
everyone, and 7,900 accepted.
—John Oberg, 7/19/13
When the Warped Tour volunteers
left my house, they couldn’t fit all their leaflets
in their car. So Angelica, Lizbeth, and I leafleted
Vegas’ First Friday event. We met lots of interested
people, including teens who said, “Oh, I
got this at Warped Tour. Can I have one for
—Elaine Vigneault, 7/6/13
|Elaine sends this photo from the Las Vegas Warped Tour stop: Jinal Shah, Tommasina Dandelion, Roy Rendahl, Ben Sylvester, Tina Radatz, Elaine Vigneault, Annoula Wylderich, and Emily-Angelica Derossi.|
Above: Elaine spotted this woman carefully reading her Warped Tour booklet while waiting outside the Vegas venue. Below: Sandi Swiss snapped John Jungenberg providing a voice for the animals at the Chicago Comic Con.
Pulled in so many different directions
at the Ventura stop of the Warped
Tour. One enthusiastic first-time attendee now
wants to get involved in leafleting! We were
nearly trampled while leafleting the exiting
mob, and I had to leaflet with a box between
my legs to keep stocked with lit., but it was
totally worth it to reach so many young minds!
Thanks Ethan, Victoria, and Ben for a memorable
night – and for your amazing work on the tour!
—Barbara Bear, 6/23/13
Solid night on Fountain Square
during the Friday concert event.
Most people were very receptive to the literature.
I encouraged the vegetarians I met to take a
leaflet and give to a friend. The highlight
was a young woman, who got a booklet earlier
in the evening, telling me the information was
very enlightening and that it “had a great
impact” on her. She thanked me for being
out there and asked for a few extra leaflets
to take with her.
—Rich Sheer, 6/14/13
The crowd was incredibly receptive
at the Artscape festival. Sarah,
Kate, and I had great conversations. For instance,
a teenager, who said he went vegan recently,
was excited to get a booklet; we had a good
conversation about vegan health and weight-training.
Tons of people were excited to get a booklet!
—Aaron Ross, 7/22/13
My second year leafleting
the Bud Billiken Parade, the largest African
American parade in the country; I was thrilled
to team up with Jovan to hit it. Very high reception
among the friendly and curious crowd. Lots of
people stopped with questions about the leaflet,
the treatment of farmed animals, and veg eating.
Good outreach and a fun event to cover.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/10/13
good reception at the Grayslake Summer Days
festival! Many people were asking questions
and wanted to help stop animal cruelty. One
person said that she was going to look into
having her company donate to VO!
—John Jungenberg, 8/16/13
Nathan Shin offers Compassionate Choices at NYC Pride.
the Long Island Pride Parade, I
combined my dance moves with the opener, “Info
to help animals, widen your circle of compassion.”
Outstanding reception rate!
—Jennifer Greene, 6/8/13
Alan, Haz, Chad, Stephanie, and I went
downtown and handed out 886 Compassionate
Choices around the Art Institute of Chicago
area. Numerous people stopped to thank the team
for getting out and educating people about the
ills of factory farming. Among those people,
many were either vegetarian or vegan. We had
bikers, runners, and even those on Segways take
a booklet. A woman who was standing in line
to get into the Art Institute of Chicago told
me to turn around because a cab driver wanted
to read one.
Jeremy Minnerick snapped this pic of Vic Sjodin at the Dallas Warped Tour, where activists reached 10,000 people!
Today was Mark’s first day leafleting
and he seriously rocked it, along with Ethan.
Together, we reached 1,300 mostly 12-to-16-year-old young women at the One Direction concert
with the case for compassion. Many were in long
lines waiting to get in the venue, and the booklets
started countless conversations. Epic outreach
and a special day for many concert attendees
who now are new vegans. Met several parents
and concertgoers who were already vegan, and
gave them Guides.
—Vic Sjodin, 7/22/13
Reached 300 people at
the Beach to Beacon race. I was
wearing my Team Vegan shirt and was happy to
have a presence, speaking for the animals. One
man said, “Team Vegan…tell me more.”
We had a nice chat.
—Lana Smithson, 8/3/13
and I reached 1,670 Zips at the
University of Akron. The third booklet went
to Melissa [right], who is now leaning toward going
fully vegan; she took a Guide
for herself and a Compassionate Choices
and Guide for her boss, who is considering
going veg. Saw many reading in sunshine, snapped one pic [below, right].
Also met Sophia who would like to leaflet with
VO in the future.
Today at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Kenyon College was our 117th and last day together on our spring tour. Together, we’ve reached more than 100,000 students with VO booklets; add in all the volunteers who joined us and we reached many more!
Since I started leafleting in 2008, never before have I had so many positive interactions on campuses. The world is changing and it is because of all of Vegan Outreach’s donors and leafleters!!
—Vic Sjodin, 5/2/13
the Cinco de Mayo parade was great
– I was able to use Christian Vegetarian Association
booklets, ¿Por qué vegetariano?,
and Compassionate Choices. There were
so many people it was easy to target the younger
people. I got a lot of “I want to help
animals” or “I need to go vegetarian”
comments, and even a few “My friend just
learned about this, and went like seriously
—Darina Bockman, 5/5/13
At Keene State, one
young woman said she had been vegetarian for
six months and then “failed.” I gave
her encouragement and reassurance that there
is no such thing as being perfect. She said
that made her feel better and would try again.
Another young woman said she’s mostly vegetarian
and the info would be helpful.
—Lana Smithson, 5/1/13
|Vic sends these pics from Kenyon College: Rachel Shockey and James, who read Compassionate Choices and got a Guide.|
Rita and I had good interactions
at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. Two people asked
for recipes, so we gave them Guides.
Another person asked how can people themselves
actually make a difference in such a huge problem
– our answer was supply and demand. He really
thought it made a lot of sense.
—Lisa Drapkin, 5/6/13
Above: John Oberg snapped these students engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Macomb Community College. Below: Jon Camp sends this pic of Justin Berkheimer leafleting Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
I met Danny at Macomb Community
College. He had previously tried
to be vegan. I gave him a Guide, and
he said, “This is exactly what I need!”
At Schoolcraft College, I met Jeremiah, a new vegan who is loving it. Another student said, “Helllll yeah” when I said, “Help stop animal cruelty.” Another student told me the booklet made him now want to become a vegetarian. Another said, “Thank you so much for doing this. I try to tell people all the time about what’s going on.” He took a Guide and shook my hand.
Interaction of the day was with two hunter- / country-looking dudes. One had Uncle Kracker playing from his cell phone. I asked if they got a booklet yet. One did and one didn’t. I gave the one who didn’t a booklet and said, “It’s pretty messed up how they’re treating animals.” The Uncle Kracker-playing guy, who had gotten one earlier, said, “Yeah, I read through it. It even had me crying a bit.” Then the other asked if I had seen Food, Inc. I told him yeah – it was the PG-version of what’s really going on. He was shocked and sincerely wished me luck, while Uncle Kracker excitedly accepted a Guide.
—John Oberg, 5/1/13
While Gina and I were leafleting
today, a security guard approached
to say he had recently gone vegetarian! So he
got a Guide and a “Congrats! That’s
fantastic!” from me.
—Elaine Vigneault, 5/6/13
At Harrisburg Area Community College,
I had a nice chat with Terry,
a culinary student, who had seen Food, Inc.
and The Meatrix. He said that he ate
grass-fed beef. I said that while that was a
step forward, since he was a culinary student,
he might like to try some good veggie recipes.
He took a Guide.
—Jon Camp, 5/6/13
Jessica and I had 90%
acceptance rate and good interactions at Gannon
University. One vegetarian was very happy to
receive a Guide. Jessica had a person
return and ask her questions about the animals
portrayed in Even If You Like Meat;
she also took a Guide.
—Justin Berkheimer, 5/6/13
We had a great day at
Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon
University. Lots of people asked us questions / picked our brains about eating veg. Cobie
watched one woman intensely reading a booklet [far left],
so offered her a Guide. The woman repeatedly
said how awful factory farms are, in a voice
loud enough that Nettie [left] could hear her about
30 feet away. The woman said she would read
—Cobie deLespinasse & Nettie Schwager, 5/6/13
day at Grossmont College and Cuyamaca
College, with interesting conversations. For
example, I was patient with a devout Christian
who was very talkative. In the end, I was glad
I let her talk, because (with a bit of guidance)
she told me the animal abuse has to stop, and
the only way to stop it is to stop buying animal
—Steve Erlsten, 5/1/13
While leafleting the Warped Tour stop outside Buffalo, Aaron Ross snapped this pic of Steven, who’s been veg since getting a VO booklet at last year’s show!
was @ Warped yesterday in Hartford
and my friends and I were approached by someone
handing out your booklets. I talked with her
for a while and was horrified when I looked
through the booklets. I decided to go full vegetarian
and mostly vegan (I’ll ease my way into veganism).
Pretty good take-rate at Michigan State – about 70% and I encountered little resistance, even from ag students! One athletic guy described a video about a Tyson farm. I then informed him that nearly all animals raised for meat and dairy go through the same things, so it’s not just Tyson. He was happy to get a Guide and wished me luck. Christine [below] came back and said, “Thank you for giving me this! I’ve read half of it on my walk. It is really good. I had no idea it was like this. I think you’ve got me convinced.” I informed her that as bad as it is, there’s something she can do about it and gave her a Guide.
and good convos at two Oakland Community
In the hour and a half that Catalina and I were at Royal
Oak, we met so many veg*ns and people who were
very moved. One woman said that when her then 4-year-old
daughter realized chicken nuggets came
from actual chicken, she stopped eating meat.
Now she’s 13 and still keeping it up! It was
very useful to have a Guide on hand
for the mom.
great to have Melissa join me
at the University of Maine, Orono; great feedback
and thanks for our work – even high fives! One
student said he remembered getting a booklet
last semester and as he took one today he said,
“Thanks for the reminder of why I should
eat less meat.” Even had a constructive
conversation with a woman from a ranching family
– we found common ground and she expressed
appreciation for our efforts to reduce suffering.
was really good at the Miami Dade College InterAmerican Campus. Friendly interactions
and met four vegans – a nice surprise, the
first time I’d ever come across any here. Best
interaction of the day was talking to two young
ladies with an infant who were super happy to
receive booklets. One of them took our meeting
as a sign and agreed to go veg right on the
spot! Both got Guides and left on such
a positive note with thumbs up in the air that
two groups of students coming from both directions
all lined up to make sure they’d get booklets
too. Toward the end, a psych professor invited
me to do a talk in her class, the second invitation
I’ve received here.
Above is Christine at Michigan State, and below is a student reading Even If You Like Meat at OCC Royal Oak.
Great at Cal State San Marcos!
It was really nice to come across
so many interested people who were so eager
to learn about how they can help.
—Shura Hammond, 5/1/13
Heard from three vegans and
15 vegetarians at Joliet Junior College, and
talked harm reduction (avoiding bird, fish and
egg consumption) with three students who cared
about animal suffering but were not ready to
go all the way vegetarian. Also talked with
a few ag students about my history moving from
animal agriculture child and animal ag student
to animal protectionist. Apparently that conversation
went well enough that the student spoke with
his instructor who brought the whole class of
24 ag students to talk with me about what we
are doing to animals in modern animal agriculture.
It takes more than 24 ag students and a professor
to intimidate me, and that discussion went equally
—Joe Espinosa, 5/1/13
At Youngstown State, Mara
and Amber [below, left] thanked us for leafleting and said
they were very touched by the booklets. They
are going to cut down meat consumption drastically
and try to go veg; both got a Guide. Rachel
met a student who used to be veg and is now
thinking of going back; he got a Guide and encouragement. We also met a vegan student [right] who had two roommates thinking about going vegan, so he came back to get booklets for them.
Poignant to be working to end violence at Kent State, where Rachel and I met many veg folk. Met Steven [below, right], who supported us and is going to eat less meat. Two women went to give back the booklets, and this led to a 15-min conversation that was eye-opening and informative and kind; both left with Guides and a new perspective on things.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/30/13
After receiving a Guide from Lisa Drapkin at Stony Brook University’s Earthstock festival, Ted plans to have many more meat-free meals!
At St. John’s University, I
met Sonjay, whose 12-year-old daughter wants
to be vegetarian – she was happy to get a Guide. Met a vegan student who was in the middle of
explaining something about veganism to his friend
when I gave his friend a booklet. Another vegetarian
student asked how I got involved in doing this,
and I told her all about VO and gave her my
—Lisa Drapkin, 5/1/13
Great day and great conversations
at San Diego City College and
Southwestern College. I talked with a Muslim
student about halal practices and the cruelty
inherent in killing animals, and I talked to
a couple of vegans who might check out the AAC
program. One woman talked about how her daughter
is vegan and inspiring her to eat more meat-free
meals. Another student was looking for a way
to atone for his history of shoplifting. I could
almost see him calculating how many lives he
could save by going vegan, and how many petty
thefts could be erased from his karmic record.
It was a bit strange, but I was happy with how
the conversation went. He went from “I
don’t really give a [expletive] about animals”
to “I guess they’re kinda my brothers
too” in about two minutes. Whatever works!
—Steve Erlsten, 4/30/13
Liz, Joe, and I got sunburned at
the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Jovan
was already sunburned! But a small price to
pay for such a great day. Everyone heard from
a ton of vegans and vegetarians, and we were
very happy with reaching over 1,700 students!
—Mikael Nielsen, 4/30/13
|Mikael sends these pics of Sydney Ward (left) and Kayla Hutchings (right) reaching students at Columbia College Chicago.|
Lots of good vibes
on this cold, windy day – Jennifer and I set
a new record at Nassau Community College, reaching
over 1,900 students. We met many vegetarians,
and 5–6 vegans! Had 18 students give their emails
to get a club on campus, and had great conversations / feedback. E.g., “This is just what I
needed – I was thinking of going vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 4/23/13
It snowed at Saginaw Valley State…Snow! April 24! Still, great conversations. One guy said what we do to animals is appalling, another asked what he could do to make a difference. A student told me how she was really happy to get the Even If You Like Meat because she had been vegetarian for a while, but recently started eating meat. I mentioned to her that I have many friends, myself included, who went veg in the past, “failed,” and came back to it with much success. She was very happy to get a Guide!
Henry Ford Community
College is the best! Very receptive student
body – super interested, and saw tons of people
reading the lit. Lots of folks asking questions
and engaging with us. Karley [Bodis, below, left], Rachael [Murray, below, right], and I
reached more than 2,200 students and had a damn
good time doing it. Had too many discussions
to go through them all, but a few stand out:
Adam [left] stopped and told me, “This is some serious stuff. It really makes me think differently.” He really enjoyed the part where we compare cats and dogs to farm animals and seemed very convinced that he should probably stop eating animals.
A student told me that she just stopped eating meat. She said with real conviction, “I just can’t do it. I own a dog! How can I do that if I love my dog?!”
Finally, Rachael and I had a good convo with Susan [above], who I could tell was holding back tears. She said repeatedly, “I’m just so shocked,” and really seemed touched by the pigs. “If I had known about how they were treating animals, I would never have been eating meat.”
—John Oberg, 4/25/13
Nice conversations today while
leafleting Ryerson University with John Sakars.
One was with a young man who has been vegan
for a month [Tian, right]. I asked him what had prompted the
change and he said getting a Compassionate
Choices previously. He is interested in
learning how to eat better so was pleased to
get a Guide. I also met a woman who
is leaning towards vegetarian and now seems
interested in doing more.
—Alex Greenwood, 4/26/13
At Oregon State, I
had a long and very good conversation with a
young woman who had tried going vegetarian but gave up. She got a Guide,
and we talked about ways to stay healthy and
make being veg easier. She now wants to try
again, and her goal this time is to go vegan.
—Nettie Schwager, 4/26/13
Rachel and I had an epic day at
Cleveland State. Saw many, many reading cover-to-cover and met lots of folks with questions.
We met Sara [below, center], who now wants to go vegan. We met
Karima [below, left], who wants to go veg. Talked with Sarah [Hernan, below, right],
who I invited to leaflet. She helped out after
class until we ran out of booklets. She loved
leafleting, especially after getting the Nietzsche
breakdown – a person who has a why can bear
any how – and wants to leaflet in the future.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/25/13
Quick trip to IUPUI, where
I had a conversation with a lady who has been
veg for 25 years, who was really concerned with
her 4-year-old son’s diet. I gave her a Guide
and told her about all of VO’s
nutrition information, so she’ll find ways
to have her son follow a healthy diet.
—Tonja Robertson, 4/25/13
Highlight of the day at
the University of California, Santa Barbara was
meeting Andrew, who joined me to leaflet. He’s
a natural and is going to check out Adopt a
The highlight of tabling at Pomona College was meeting Diana [left], who has been vegetarian ever since getting a VO booklet previously. We had a nice chat, and I gave her a Guide.
—Steve Erlsten, 4/25/13
Kimberly, Matt, and I had a great
time tabling for Earth Day at
Pioneer Valley High. A few favorite interactions:
After chatting with a student about the animal ag industry, she said, “I don’t think I can eat my lunch now.” She left with literature and a new attitude about what / who is on her plate.
Another student hid behind her friend as he asked us questions. At one point she started walking away saying, “I shouldn’t be at this table” because she was carrying a basket of chickens’ flesh and tater tots. I told her she’s exactly the type of person we like to come to our table, we all used to eat animals too. Then I pointed out that tater tots are vegan. She smiled and seemed surprised about that.
A former vegan said she felt so alone in her veganism, but she now wants to go back to being vegan. She and her friend [right] were so elated to see our booth at their school. Both took vegan pins and put them on their backpacks immediately. They said they want to do outreach for animals too, so I told them a bit about leafleting and gave them each an AML.
While I was leafleting at Allan Hancock College, one student stopped in his tracks when he saw the Compassionate Choices and said, “Oh, this one…we analyzed this booklet in English class.”
—Barbara Bear, 4/22/13
busy day. At Central Piedmont
Community College, gave a Guide to
a former vegan who was very happy to get the
information. Then, leafleting with Philip, we
had great conversations, including one with
a woman who said the booklets will help her
go vegan. Additional discussions with folks
who wanted to reduce their meat consumption.
Also met several vegetarians who were thrilled
that I was leafleting.
At Clemson today, students were more receptive than during previous visits; I reached over 1,200 students. Highlight was meeting a woman who had been contemplating going vegan, and the booklets solidified her decision.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/25/13
|FAST activists Mary Jungenberg, Jamie Jungenberg, John Jungenberg, Rachel Shippee, and Kevin Cooney.|
was FAST’s first advocacy bike trip. We
traveled to Madison and Milwaukee via bike and
sometimes truck (due to high winds and harsh
Day 1 was very successful at UW Madison, reaching over 2,000 students. We heard from a student who had gone veg from a VO booklet she received on campus about a month ago! After UW Madison, we split up and leafleted two local high schools. It was amazing; everyone was eager to get a leaflet and was sincerely interested in the content. Kevin heard from a student who had recently gone vegan and asked for a few more to give to her friends, to help them go veg!
Day 4 started out at UW Milwaukee, and ended with two local high schools. UW Milwaukee was great. John had an amazing interaction with a student that started off negatively; then after 15 minutes of talking with him, he said that he would try Meat Free Monday! Jamie had a woman tell her that she had decided to become vegetarian on the spot, as a result of our having given her a Compassionate Choices!
—Rachel Shippee, 4/19/13
Concertgoers read our booklet at the Seattle Warped Tour stop.
received your booklet at the Warped
Tour in Baltimore. It has changed my life for
the better – I am now vegan forever!
take rate at the Pitbull / Ke$ha
concert; lots of people were genuinely interested
in VO’s booklet. A worthwhile event that reached
a lot of underexposed suburban kids.
—Darina Bockman, 6/9/13
begins! Victoria, Ben, Jeremy,
Sacha, and I put in long hours, handing booklets
to 6,150 young people at the Warped Tour’s opening
day. The Seattle crowd was pretty excited to see Oli
Sykes on the cover of VO’s Warped Tour booklet.
Kassy, Jonathan, Beau, Radish, and Michelle joined the five of us for the first date of the Pomona stop. Of the 9,000 people who attended today, we reached 8,000. So awesome!
—Ethan Dussault (below, leafleting the Pomona stop), 6/20/13
Big crowd at Hip-Hop night – very receptive. One man told me he read the booklet last time and it made him not want to eat meat. One young woman came up to me a while after I handed her a booklet and said that reading it made her want to cry.
Tina Radatz (above), Felicia Pellegalle, and Emily-Angelica Derossi (below) leaflet the Warped Tour stop in Las Vegas.
at Bunbury Music Festival! Lots of young people,
very receptive. I ran out of booklets before
the concert was over.
—Jane Smiley, 7/13/13
Sandi, Alex, and I heard from
many vegetarians and vegans while leafleting
the FUN concert. One guy came back and told
me he received a VO booklet five years ago and
he has been veg ever since!!
—Rachel Shippee, 7/10/13
the Warped Tour leafleters left
my house, Angelica, Lizbeth, and I decided to
leaflet the First Friday crowd. Met a number
of very interested people, and met teens who
said, “Oh, I got this at Warped Tour. Can
I have one for my friend?”
—Elaine Vigneault, 7/5/13
Long Island University, Post,
two separate students came back to tell me my
timing was perfect, because they were each writing
a paper about eating meat. They each got a Guide.
Also had an extended conversation with a group
of five students; at the end, four of them wanted
—Karen James, 4/22/13
and I met many vegetarians and
vegans at the University of Toronto, where we
each handed a booklet to 500 students, and gave
out 10 Guides. One student wants to
leaflet in the future.
—John Sakars, 4/22/13
Earth Day leafleting at Bergen
Community College – one girl said she would
go vegetarian and another guy promised to try
it for a week.
—Constance Li, 4/22/13
their last day of classes at James Madison University, 2,500
students were handed a VO booklet about factory
farm cruelty. The
response was amazing – many constructive conversations
about factory farms and quashing of myths associated
with vegetarian and vegan health. Many students
told us that they wanted to go vegetarian, and
a couple students [including Erica, right] said they went vegetarian
immediately after reading the booklet. It was
an inspirational way to end the semester!
—Aaron Ross and Kate St. John, 4/23/13
and I were joined by Jenell, David,
and Anonymous at Georgia State, where we reached
nearly 3,000 students, and handed out nearly
100 Guides! Solid conversations, too.
No doubt many of these students will be making
Rob cranked out serious numbers in a short time at North Carolina State and was told, “Best booklet I got this semester.” I talked to a woman who now wants to go vegan.
My mom joined me to
table at Wake Forest’s Earth Day, next to the
ARAMARK table, where they were promoting vegetarian
and vegan dining options. We talked with vegetarians,
vegans, and those wanting to go down that road,
as well as many who vowed to slash their animal
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/22/13
take rate – about 70% – at the
University of Michigan. Was awesome to leaflet
with Kate [Brindle, below]; we had our leafleting strategy down
cold. Afterward, went to Jazzy Veggie, an all-vegan
restaurant near campus, and the server told
me, “It’s been a good day!” Hope our
work played a role in that.
Kate and I were back there today – over the two days, we handed a booklet to more than 4,700 students. One student said, “I got one of these yesterday and I’m just so happy you’re out here. It’s something that people really need to see.” She was definitely stoked on getting a Guide!
Another student told me he got one yesterday, read through it and found it very informative; was happy to get a Guide. Met Ernest [right] – an awesome older man who said he read through the booklet and was in shock. “I’m definitely going to eat less meat. I can’t believe the way we treat chickens just in the name of profit!” He was definitely enlightened on this day.
Kate met a vegan duo who were really excited to get Guides, and a professor told her she’s really happy we were out there. A student handing out free condoms told me Even If You Like Meat made her want to become vegan! Met a vegan named Spizzy who said he’s been vegan since June because of the cruelty in factory farming. He said it’s more difficult when he goes back home. He shook my hand when we parted. I think it was a really good thing that he saw us out there speaking up for the animals.
—John Oberg, 4/23/13
leafleted in front of the VO table at
Montgomery College’s Earth Day. It was crazy
how many individuals mentioned being veg or
vegan, and how they ran the gamut in terms of
appearance, ethnic background, age. We’re becoming
more diverse and mainstream, and we’re gaining
—Jon Camp, 4/23/13
and I had great interactions at
Bowling Green State. Amerea [left] wants to go vegan,
and her friend’s sister also wants to give it
a go. Amerea then asked for booklets to distribute,
and she will leaflet in the future! We met Laura [below, right]
– she was vegan for a bit but for whatever
reason went back to eating meat. She said after
reading VO’s booklet, there is no way she will
eat meat again. Rachel met Staci [below, left], who wants
to go vegan and educate her family, too. We
also met numerous veg folk, and others who want
to leaflet next time someone comes to campus.
What a change on campus we’ve helped to create since I was here in ’08, when people didn’t know what “vegan” meant and were far less receptive to the message.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/23/13
Amazing day at Wright State! Rachel and I were joined by Elizabeth [Freeman, below, center], who went vegan after getting a booklet after a concert in Cincinnati a few years back and has been a powerhouse for animals ever since. Good feedback all day; e.g., one student [Greg, below, right] who told us he read the entire booklet; he thought it was well written, and the theme of Even If You Like Meat You Can Help End This Cruelty appealed to him, since he said he would never even entertain going vegetarian or vegan. But after reading the booklet, he agrees the treatment of animals is wrong and thinks it is reasonable to eat less meat. Also met Cordell [right], who wants to help animals and eat less meat; and had a long conversation with Charles [below, left], who promised to read both Even If and the Guide.
Special day at Columbus State Community College. Four separate people came back to us after classes to say they wanted to go vegetarian or vegan! Met Mrs. Meier [right], a math professor who got a VO booklet at a restaurant and cut back. After reading a booklet today, she said, “No more.” Got a Guide, and we had a lengthy, informative, and fun talk. We also ran into Jamie [below, left], who is an animal lover and did not like their abuse, but has been learning about the environmental implications of factory farming and wants to go vegan; we encouraged her, hammered home the myriad benefits, and she gladly took a Guide. Then we met Jasmine [below, center] – she was horrified at what she had been supporting, and is not eating meat again! We talked for a while, and she got a Guide. Next up, met Savannah [below, right], who had been floating the idea around of going veg earlier this week and BOOM got a booklet and a Guide – it was meant to be! Marilyn [right] came by; she wants to go veg with her mother and took two Guides. Two other students came back to ask for another booklet for someone else. Also met an increasing number of veg and vegan folk – great to see.
So much colder and
blustery today at Ohio State, but really fantastic!
Met Alex [right], who went vegan after getting an Even
If from Joe last year. One of the last leaflets
we had went to David [below, right], who comes from a very conservative
area and family. He had received and read an Even
If previously, and though he didn’t think
he could go veg, he said he realized “I could
make a difference by just decreasing my meat consumption.”
After getting the booklet again today, he realized
there was no longer any reason to eat and hurt
animals. He is going vegan! Further, both he and
his girlfriend are interested in leafleting in
—Vic Sjodin, 4/19/13
Fabulous day at Santa Fe College!
A lot of people were thrilled
to get a Guide. Talked to a former
vegetarian who is now going to give it another
try. At least seven or eight other folks expressed
an interest in changing their diet.
Stellar day at the University of North Georgia Gainesville – loads of interest and great conversations. For example: a deep-sea fishing enthusiast agreed to decrease his meat consumption (including fish and chicken). Another student stopped to tell me that his girlfriend was vegetarian; by the end of our conversation, he said he would reduce his animal product consumption. A manager at the coffee shop on campus was thrilled to find out that I was vegan, since she’s working towards going vegan. Was invited to speak at a Student Affairs-hosted event in the fall.
Scout rocked it today at Clark Atlanta University; Nigel joined me both there and at Morehouse. Lots of productive conversations! One woman thanked Scout profusely, telling her the booklet has changed her life. Nigel was impressed with how eagerly people took the Even Ifs. Too many conversations to recount, including a number who said how eye-opening the booklet was.
At Johnson C. Smith University, I talked to the head football coach, who was so thankful for the booklet, as he wants to reduce his meat consumption. Also talked with several administrators and a football player – Jordan Mosely – who will be in the NFL draft. The latter said that while he needs to keep his weight up, he knows that eating cheeseburgers isn’t the way to do it. He said that the Guide will help him make some better food choices. Also talked to a professor who was impressed with my understanding of nutrition and what I should be taking in terms of supplements, which I attributed to VO’s resident registered dietitian.
Constance Li gives free hugs and Compassionate Choices at the 43rd Annual Boston Pride Parade.
More good conversations
at Winston-Salem State. Eight or nine conversations
that will result in dietary changes; Guided
many others because of the interest. A student
in her 40s came back to tell me how happy she
was that I was doing this and that she and her
family have been talking about going vegan for
some time. They have been reducing their animal
product consumption and had just said the day
before that a sign from God would seal the deal.
She said that I was the sign and she and her
family would now be going vegan.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/18/13
At Monroe Community College, Constance
went table to table in the food court, and a
lot of those people said that they would eat
less meat. One girl was in the middle of eating
chicken when she learned about how chickens
are treated on factory farms. She hadn’t even
wiped the BBQ sauce off her lips before she
said that she would cut down on chicken. After
a short conversation, another guy pinky promised
that he would eat less meat. Two separate people
reached in the hallways said that they had been
seriously considering vegetarianism, and receiving
the leaflet was exactly what they needed to
finally go through with it.
—Nathan Shin, 4/15/13
Jon Camp snapped this Rutgers student engrossed in Compassionate Choices.
Many great conversations at
San Diego State, and quite a few people came
back to talk and ask more questions after reading
the booklet. Talked with a guy who used to be
vegan, went over some of the various excuses
he’s come up with, and gave him a Guide.
He ended up saying, “No more excuses.”
More than a few people said things like, “Wow,
you have just opened my eyes!” One guy
came back later saying, “I had NO clue
that this kind of stuff went on, this is unbelievable.”
—Shura Hammond, 4/17/13
Four inches of snow on
the car this morning, and blowing snow throughout
the day, but very receptive students at Idaho
State! The next day, had great conversations
at Boise State – lots of opposition to factory
farming, interest in vegan options, etc. Nia
is a longtime vegan who was excited to connect
with other vegans. Kelly is excited to volunteer
in the future!
Despite more cold, windy weather, solid take rate at the University of Utah. The food trucks there have plenty of great vegan options, and an earthquake drill provided a massive rush of students! One student walked past a second time proudly showing me his falafel sandwich, inspired by the booklet I had just handed him!
—Steve Erlsten, 4/17/13
Great day at SUNY Purchase!
Shanti joined me – she came to see Jon Camp’s
presentation a few years back and has been active
ever since. We met many vegetarians, vegans,
and people interested in forming a group. One
guy said he had seen the Compassionate Choices
already, and said it was very well done,
very informative, and the pictures are heartbreaking.
I gave him a Guide, since the CC
had motivated him to cut back his animal
consumption. He will start by outright eliminating
one product at a time.
—Karen James, 4/18/13
Alex Greenwood sends this pic of Aaron Ross and Ben Sylvester at the Toronto Warped Tour, where activists reached 6,800 people!
Ken and I handed out all our booklets
in only two class changes at Miami Dade College’s
North campus. Lots of students thanked us for
the information, and we each had many conversations
with students about lessening their animal consumption
as a great way to begin making a difference.
Students I talked to were immediately more open
and receptive when I suggested this as a good
way for them to start. Great to see so many
people receiving the leaflets with such openness
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 4/15/13
At Goucher College, a
woman came up to tell me that she could go
vegan, but she really loves pizza, especially
the real cheese. I told her that she could make
a “pizza exception” and eat vegan
the rest of the time. She said, “I like
that idea!” I leafleted a group of high
school students. One of them asked me, “Are
you vegan?” I told her I was. She said,
“Me, too!” She got a Guide.
Julie [left], a student there, asked, “Are you
with Vegan Outreach?” I said that I was.
Julie then let me know she got a VO booklet
a year ago from Aaron Ross and Kate St. John,
and she’s been a vegetarian since.
—Jon Camp, 4/22/13
I am really glad
I went out today despite the iffy weather. Jessica
joined me at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and was a joy to leaflet with – together, we reached 1,400 students!
The students were super receptive at the Community College of Baltimore County – I had several great discussions, and a number of students said they would try a vegetarian
diet. One student said he was just talking about
going vegan and was excited about the good timing
of getting a booklet. A student athlete said
to me, “You have a lot of mass for a vegetarian,”
which made for a perfect opportunity to talk
about vegan health and tell him all about the
vegan UFC fighters like Aaron Simpson, football
players like Arian Foster, boxers like Timothy
Bradley (the undefeated welterweight boxing
champion of the world), and other star veg athletes
– this really peaked his interest. His comment
and the conversation was a good reminder that
it’s helpful to look healthy while doing outreach.
—Aaron Ross, 4/19/13
reception at the University of
Detroit! A 98% take rate, and good feedback – e.g., “Awww,
this makes me cry” and “I actually just
gave up meat! I’m anti anti anti [meat]!”
Another told me he loves what I’m doing.
At the University of Michigan, Dearborn, the first 40 students in a row took a booklet. One dude sang the title aloud as he walked away. A professor took 50 Even If You Like Meats and 5 Guides to give to her students. Two people were antagonistic, but one came up to me later, apologized, and took 10 booklets to distribute to his classmates! One woman I had Guided earlier told me she loved what was in the Guide – she had no idea there were so many substitutes out there. Nebil [right] came back to me, held up the booklet and said, “Some of the stuff in here is crazy, man. I had no idea.” He shook my hand three times before we parted ways. Had a nice conversation with Mohammed. He was stoked to get a Guide and we laughed about having the two most common names in the world. Another student told me he was vegetarian and that he loved what I was doing.
|A few of the 2,500+ students who received a booklet from John at UM Dearborn (left) and Oakland U (center and right).|
One of the 2,150+ students reached by Eric, Stephanie, and John at Wayne State.
students at Oakland University! Lavar told me
he’s been thinking about going vegan but he
doesn’t know how to fit it into his schedule.
I broke it down for him, gave him a Guide,
and we parted on great terms. Had a great convo
with two women; one of them ended with, “Wow,
that’s a really valid point. Maybe I’ll change
my ways.” Met another woman that just went
veg three days ago; and another who, because
I handed her a booklet today, is convinced to
go veg now because she’s disgusted by the way
these animals are being treated. Heard numerous
words of support like “I’m happy to see
someone doing this.”
Wayne State – now one of my favorite schools to leaflet! Students are very receptive here, interested in discussing the issue, and super veg-conscious. Eric [Ford, below, left] joined me in the morning – he was great! Stephanie [Lipari, below, right] is a friend of mine from high school who has been following my work via Facebook. She got inspired, went veg, and joined me this afternoon! Had so many amazing conversations; it was absolutely nuts. At one point I had a string of six people – four accepted, the fifth declined, and then the last said, “Man, why wouldn’t everyone take one?!” (in response to “Help animals?”) An hour later, he saw me and said (referring to what he read in the booklet), “Man, that is craaaaazy!”
—John Oberg, 4/18/13
Despite the fact we got poured on, it was great to have Jessica and Eleanor with me at Las Positas College. Many students were super interested. The second person I offered one to informed me they were vegan – “Awesome! That’s my favorite answer!”
Big thanks to Jess for powering through the Academy of Art University and UC Hastings with me! These schools can be tough to leaflet, but we did see a lot of people reading their booklets while waiting for the bus. And I snapped a great pic [left] of a construction worker engrossed in the material – and eating veggies and hummus!
Chilly but good day at Contra Costa College – Dalila and I reached just about everyone on campus, and got great questions and feedback. For example: One guy said he was just talking about this minutes ago in his sociology class. He and his friend both got booklets and started intensely discussing the materials on the way to the parking lot.
What a day! Diane [Gandee Sorbi, below, left] was with me at both Mission College and San Jose State. Manisha, Melissa, Judy, Donna [DeLurgio, below, behind Diane], Lu, and Mike joined us at SJSU. Together, we reached 2,998 students – just great responses! For example, one guy [below, right] told us he had been veg for a year after getting a VO booklet on campus – and he was feeling great!
A great day at
the University of San Francisco with Clifton [Stone, right].
Good reception, and met lots of vegetarians
Hadn’t been to Berkeley City College for a while; a great experience again, as I always seem to have at this school! Fascinating discussions. One of the highlights was meeting an enthusiastic new vegetarian eager for more information. Got some great pics, too [below].
Another great day with Kitty at Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College! I ran into a student I’ve seen every semester for the last two years; she said talking with us has been really helpful, and every time she gets a booklet, it keeps her on track.
Diane and I had all sorts of interesting encounters today at Skyline College! For example, three women were interested in learning more after getting a booklet. Two of them are considering going veg, and the other has been trying to stop eating meat, but her mother is afraid she’ll get sick from protein deficiency. Diane explained there are plenty of excellent sources of protein that don’t include animal products. They all happily accepted a Guide. Another student wanted to get involved with VO. Finally, a guy approached Diane with booklet in hand, looking upset. He asked if the things he’d just read were true. She assured him they were. He said it was disgusting the way animals are treated and was shocked it was legal. He said he planned to change his diet because, “I don’t want animals treated like this just so I can eat scrambled eggs or a cheeseburger.”
|Below: Students are engrossed in Compassionate Choices at UC Hastings (left) and Berkeley City College (center and right).|
Vic Sjodin reports the highlight of leafleting the University of Kentucky on 4/10/13 was meeting Maria (above), a student who went veg as a result of receiving a booklet last year!
Leafleting gets better and better
at the Homestead Campus of Miami Dade
College; I met more vegetarians / vegans than
ever before. One called back: “I’m vegan!
It’s so awesome you’re out here doing this!”
Not only was this really encouraging, but also
got the crowd much more interested. Watched
dozens of students intensely studying their
booklet, and overheard others discussing the
booklet. One student told me how she’d been
unaware of the cruelty involved in our farming
practices, and said she wouldn’t be looking
at her food choices the same again. Just a few
of the great things that happened on this day of awesome
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 4/8/13
At Western New England University,
Joseph stopped and asked me if
I was trying to make everyone a vegetarian.
I said I would love that, then explained what
we do at VO: that we are trying to reduce suffering
as much as possible, and it is something that
EVERYONE can do! He said he would read the booklet
and reduce his consumption of animals.
Lauren, a student I met last semester, joined me today, and we reached over 1,100 students at Southern Connecticut State. MaryEllen read the booklet, and said she wanted to stop eating animal products altogether. The most difficult for her would be chicken; I advised that she try Boca chik’n burgers and try the Gardein BBQ “wings.” I also told her about Beyond Meat. Then, Robert said he was now going vegan after reading the booklet!
—Karen James, 4/16/13
Terrible weather at Syracuse University, but a good spot made the day successful. I got a group of nearly 100 high school kids to take the booklets; they were all excited to read it – heard from 2 girls who really want to go vegan and said the booklets helped.
Hail, snow, and
rain at SUNY Oswego, but Constance and I reached
2,500 students. Met so many people
already veg that we collected their information
to put them in touch with each other. One girl
came back after class to leaflet and took a
couple dozen to her next class.
—Nathan Shin, 4/11/13
At CUNY City Tech, one
lady said she got one last time and it made
her not want to eat meat. Another girl was interested
in how the food pics in the back went along
with the animal pictures in the front. I explained
the connection, and went on to tell her that
it’s best to try many different foods and find
the ones we like the best because there are
so many options available.
At CUNY Staten Island, met several people now interested in going vegan. A girl asked what she could do, and Gail [Mayer, far left] and I explained that everyone could help by even making just gradual changes in their diet.
—Lisa Drapkin, 4/16/13
Great conversations at
Miami University, where Rachel and I reached
1,600 students, despite the rain. Also heard
a number of students discussing the booklet.
Brianne was enthusiastic and got a Guide.
Karin wants to volunteer with VO in the future!
Rochelle said she doesn’t see how she could
eat meat again after reading the booklet, and asked
about what to eat, etc. As she was encouraging her boyfriend to eat less meat, I took a quick pic of them with their Guides [right].
New record at the University of Dayton, where we reached 1,450 students. Emily now wants to leaflet; Brigitte [below, center] now wants to go veg and was thankful for the Guide. Long conversation with Sammy [below, right], who ended up with a Guide. Great day.
Rachel and I reached over 1,600 students at Sinclair Community College, with fantastic interactions. Also watched many students engrossed in their booklets. Met Tyson [below, left], who had questions and wants to stop supporting the cruelty on factory farms; he got a Guide. We also met an ethics professor who took 20 to give to her students. An older student said she supported us and wanted to go veg; also took a Guide.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/16/13
The highlight at
Castleton State was when a young man said he
and a friend had been looking through the booklet
and were disturbed especially by the photo of
the piglets. He went on to ask me some thoughtful
questions, and we had a good discussion. He
said he really liked VO’s approach, and the
information will definitely have an impact.
—Lana Smithson, 4/15/13
Tina Czerwinski (above) and Leslie Patterson also reached 650 students at South Suburban College on 4/24/13.
Great to have my mom’s help at
Utah Valley University and Weber State. Brittany
joined us at UVU, and we reached 2,400 people – a new record for the school! The students were among
the most receptive I’ve ever encountered, and one
professor wants someone to speak to his classes
next semester. Watched lots of students reading
their booklets – especially at Weber, where we reached
another 1,400 students.
—Steve Erlsten, 4/12/13
Tina and I had great conversations
at Moraine Valley Community College. We heard
from a couple different students who had tried
but failed to be vegan, so Tina gave them some
good tips and Guides. One student
said our visit last semester led her to go veg.
Another woman told us receiving the booklet
caused her to change what she got for lunch.
One student asked for a few leaflets to pass
on. Other students stopped with questions, to
express support, or to ask how they can help
—Leslie Patterson, 4/17/13
Gave a booklet to the school president
at Niagara College. Reached nearly 600 people, including an interested security
guard; and answered many,
many questions from interested students.
—John Sakars (left, at York University), 4/17/13
Marley joined me at
Central Piedmont Community College, where we
met Jessica who wants to get involved. We talked
for quite a while, and she said she had goosebumps
up her arms just talking about what we are doing
here! Marcele, a security guard, was excited
about us being there. She recently rescued a
turkey that fell off of a slaughter truck, and
showed us pictures. She asked for more booklets
and I gave her a Guide. She said she
wanted to cut meat out of her diet, and she
hoped we would come back!
—Curt Albright, 4/17/13
John and I reached
over 3,000 students at Brock University, and
had great conversations! Spoke with Sierra,
who told me this was some heavy reading. I mentioned
that as bad as it is, it is fortunate there’s
something we can each do about it; this cheered
her. She thanked me for doing this and left with a Guide in her hand. Also
had an excellent conversation with Beata, who
told me that she never wants to eat eggs again.
As she walked away she turned back and said,
“Thanks for turning me off eggs!”
Win for the chickens! Later, one student said,
“You already gave me one and you convinced
me!” Made sure to Guide her!
I reached over 2,100 students at McMaster University, and had good interactions. For example: a semi truck drove by and a guy rolled down the window and requested a booklet. When I told him it was to help animals, he said, “I love animals!” I handed two friends each a copy of Even If You Like Meat…You Can Help End This Cruelty, and as they walked away one pointed at the title and said, “This is sooo true!” Later I spoke with Sharon [right], who told me she’s definitely going to eat less meat after getting a booklet earlier in the day! She hadn’t eaten meat all day as a result of reading about how farm animals are treated!
Poured at the University of Western Ontario, but good conversations. Handed Moe a booklet; he read it for a bit, then walked back to me and asked more about it. Turns out he tried going vegan once before but couldn’t keep up. Because he got this booklet, he now actually promised to give it another shot! Ran into Steve, an awesome vegan dude who told me about the recent outpouring of interest in animal activism in London. He told me that two years ago there was nothing going on and now there are 4 groups with 300+ people! Assan told me he really liked the “meat reduction” approach and was appreciative of the Guide I handed him. Best story of the day goes to Vidhant [right], whose sister received a booklet two years ago in Ottawa. He ended up reading it and went vegetarian as a result and has been for two years! Go, Vidhant!
At St. Clair College, I saw tons of people reading the booklet [one at right] – got a real sense of interest from the student body. Had a real good convo with Jonathon, who said he read through the booklet and it’s really shocking stuff. He even asked for some more copies to give to his friends. His grandmother owns an egg farm with over 22,000 birds, and he said he knows it’s wrong. I actually recited the story from Joe Espinosa’s post about seeing the turkeys on their way to slaughter in the cold, and it really touched a nerve with both of us.
—John Oberg, 4/11/13
Ali, and I set an all-time Canadian record
at York University – handed an Even If
You Like Meat booklet to 4,602 students,
and also gave out more than five dozen Guides!
Ali took the bus for five hours and skipped
two days of classes. We met numerous students
that want to get involved, tons of vegheads,
and tons of people impacted by the lit. Great
feedback! One student told John that he got
a booklet a couple years ago, and now he and
his friend only eat meat on the weekends. Another
student said, “Keep up the great work!
I just want you to know that it’s so great you’re
out here.” Finally, I had a wonderful conversation with Shannon [left], who is vegetarian, working on vegan, and now wants to get involved more and leaflet! I gave her a Guide and an AML, and will be putting her in touch with others from the school.
Alex, Ali, John, and I [below] set a new record at the University of Toronto, reaching 2,812 students with Even If You Like Meat and Compassionate Choices, and handing out dozens of Guides. One student was familiar with Vegan Outreach and congratulated me on us hitting 20 million booklets handed out! Another student said, “Oh, you’re vegan? I’m vegan! This makes me really happy.” Yet another said, “Oh, Vegan Outreach? You guys are awesome.” I gave her a Guide; she held it up, smiled, and said, “I NEED THIS!”
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 4/5/13
Had a very positive experience today at Carleton University with Allison and Katie [below], volunteers who hadn’t leafleted before, as well as my great friends Marc and Len, who are always around to help out the student group. One student interviewed me for her journalism class, where she wants to write a feature about vegetarianism and what we were leafleting about and why. She is transitioning to vegetarian and wants to expose her professor and class to veganism. Very cool! Great day also for meeting new students who might want to get involved next semester!
Allison Wallis (above) and Katie Hartai (left) provide a voice for the animals at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON.
—Team Vegan member Ali Pester, 3/25/13
reception from friendly students
at Indian River State College. Talked to some
interested in going veg. One student had been
raised vegetarian, but had quit. Now, though,
he is going to start reducing meat consumption
ASAP and go from there.
Fabulous day of outreach at Broward College – lots of conversations with people pledging to go vegetarian. Talked to a woman who read the booklet during class and said she was thinking of going vegetarian for other reasons but felt that doing it for the animals was a much better reason. Met lots of vegetarians and vegans. It was one of my favorite days of leafleting this semester and a one-person record for this school – as well as the most Guides I have handed out at one school – 142!
at Miami Dade College’s West campus, especially from
faculty and staff. Highlights of the day were
watching a number of students read the booklets,
talking with two police officers who were especially
touched by the Even Ifs, and chatting
with a construction worker who stopped to tell
me that the images really upset him, and he
was really taken aback by the obvious sadness
in the eyes of the animals in the booklet. Also,
the Guides were incredibly popular!
Wow, the students at Edison State College’s Charlotte campus were super nice and very interested in the booklets. There will be some major dietary changes at this campus by many who got the Compassionate Choices. Had a couple of longer conversations; one was with a very nice security guard and another was with a student who asked me some good questions as well as some odd ones. But I realized it was more of a test; he ended up being very nice and said that I did a good job answering his questions. He said that he will definitely start cutting down on meat consumption.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/4/13
the University of Arizona, I gave
my last Compassionate Choices to a
pair of guys, who then came back to me. They
thought the booklet was cool, and the second
guy wanted one. I said all I had left were Guides,
with nutrition and recipes; they thought that
was great and would share both booklets.
Hiking yesterday, I was wearing my VO shirt, and an older couple stopped to say their 13-year-old granddaughter had gone vegan; they wanted a shirt for her, were excited to learn about VO, etc. Great stuff.
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/28/13
great to finally feel the sun’s warmth at
SUNY Nassau, and great to be joined by Elana [Pessin, right],
Melissa, and Jennifer! We were able to reach
1,500 students. Jennifer met a professor who
said, “I eat meat. I can’t help it. But
I think you’re right, and I feel guilty now.
Guilty!” To which she replied, encouragingly:
“Don’t feel guilty, feel motivated!”
He seemed to like that. Another professor expressed
support for our efforts and said he knows it’s
probably what he should do (i.e., stop eating
animals). I Guided him. A student said
she’s nearly vegan, she was happy to accept
a Guide. This is how we change the
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 4/8/13
hurt the traffic but might have
improved the take rate at Western Illinois University.
Heard from half a dozen vegetarians, which was
nice at this ag school!
—Team Bockman, 4/10/13
day at the University of Louisville!
Rachel had a 15-minute talk with Geno [above, center] – he
was shocked by many things, and is on his way!
Also met Rachel M [above, right], who was welled up with emotion
after reading the booklet; she got a Guide, and wants to go veg and leaflet! Spoke with
Matt for a half hour, even into his class time.
We discussed animal suffering on factory farms,
vegan nutrition, protein, and other things.
He came around more and more and was very disturbed
by animal cruelty; I think we got another one.
Then a fantastic day at Morehead State University, Transylvania University, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Great conversations. One student [right] had been vegetarian but went back to eating meat two years ago. She says she is now back on board – after getting the booklet, she can never eat meat again. Yay! Another student [Bernadette, above, left] who was veg, wants to go vegan and asked for lit to show her friends. Score!
After, while getting an oil change, had an amazing conversation with the four working there – blew my socks off. They all got Guides and were still discussing it as we left.
More great conversations at Eastern Kentucky
University, where Rachel and I reached a record 1,700 students. Had a really nice interaction with Murtaja [above, right], who now wants to eat less meat. One woman [a librarian, above, left] came back to say she had been on her
way to Chick-fil-A when she got the booklet.
She started reading it, and decided to go veg.
Also met Brian [above, center], who stopped eating animals after
getting a VO booklet in the past. As usual, saw several students reading booklets cover-to-cover [two at right]; a highlight was seeing one student reading in a hammock between class changes [below].
Note: Rachel went to EKU for two years; she heard a persuasive speech on going vegetarian, but dismissed it at that time: “I will never go veg.” So that is inspiring: everyone can come around once they make the connection. Some even take months to volunteer and educate others!
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 4/9/13
and I met enthusiastic students
at Lane Community College, and had good interactions.
For example: one guy initially refused a booklet
but assured me that he is in agreement and thinks
factory farms are bad. However, when I asked
him what he eats, his actions were not in sync with his beliefs. I told him that when we purchase
something we are voting with our dollars for
what we like and don’t like. He said that I
was right and took a booklet.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/9/13
|First-time leafleter Janet Glover (above) and Lana Smithson reached 1,200 people at Montreal’s McGill University on 4/9/13, including the student shown below, engrossed in Compassionate Choices.|
conversation at SUNY Plattsburgh
with a young man who wants to transition toward
more vegetarian meals. Another student said
she just wrote an article for the school paper
about animal cruelty and was happy to get a
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/10/13
driving was worth it for the amazing
students at Colorado Mesa University! I heard
one student tell another, “That’s the best
booklet I’ve ever gotten!” As she walked
past, I asked if she had gotten it before. She
explained that she was vegan for years, but had fallen off the vegan train a couple years
ago. Getting a booklet last year made her think;
this year I gave her a Guide, and she
is ready to come back to a compassionate diet!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 4/9/13
was on campus today, and our group
was doing a large Meatout food sampling – Tofurky,
Gardein, So Delicious, a yummy vegan “mock
chik’n salad” from the deli of our local
Earth Fare grocery, and other items. Many hundreds
of students stopped at our tables and sampled
cruelty-free foods and took literature. I decided
to leaflet as well [right], and reached several hundred
—Team Vegan member Eric Griffith, 4/12/13
take rate at Quinsigamond Community
College! Zion remembered me from last semester,
so he stopped to leaflet. Jenny also remembered
me, and took booklets to put on display in the
student center where she works. One student
came back after reading the Compassionate
Choices and wanted more for his friends,
some of whom are vegan. I briefed him about
VO and how we are here to help reduce suffering.
He said he would start by cutting his meat eating
in half, as he felt that this was doable!
Sheryl joined me today at Holyoke Community College, where we had good interactions. For example: Matt, who said he loves meat and also hunts, stopped to talk. After a discussion, he said he would do Meatless Mondays, and got a Guide. Another two guys stopped, saying that they love meat. After we talked, one said he would cut back. Same thing happened at Westfield State, three different times!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 4/10/13
While leafleting Indiana University Bloomington, Team Vegan member Tonja Robertson snapped this pic of Hayley Plageman with a student who is working toward vegan!
recently saw 42, the
film about Jackie Robinson. During Jackie’s
first games, he was taunted by racists in the
stands over and over again. He and the team
executives understood that if he were to continue
to play, he would have to bite his tongue each
and every day. And so he did, as ignorant people
spewed irrational and venomous nonsense. Jackie
didn’t respond, and he eventually won the war;
he had a career leading to an induction in the
Hall of Fame, and MLB became an integrated
While we never have to endure anything like Jackie did, we have a similar choice every time we get out to do this work – we can get upset over any tiny jab that individuals throw at us, or we can channel any frustration effectively so that it leads to a better world. Any individual who actively challenges the status quo is going to get resistance. And it’s the effective advocates who see beyond the immediate battles and who focus on winning the war.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/15/13
I handed out my 900,000th booklet
for VO today. Thank you so much to everyone
on this list who donates to ensure that activists
have all these booklets to hand out! This work
gives me a great amount of joy and meaning.
So you’re not just helping animals, you’re giving
me the opportunity to do work that I find rewarding.
And I never take this for granted.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/26/13
Good conversations at the University
of Maine, Farmington. An older
woman gave thumbs up and said, “I approve
of what you’re doing. Thank you for doing it!”
Another woman said she grew up on a farm and
she lamented, “Looking back, it wasn’t
a very nice place.”
Productive day at the University of New Hampshire. A professor said, “Good timing; I was just talking about these issues with my students.” I had a meat-reduction conversation with someone who said he could never go vegetarian. He probably thought I would criticize him but he was very happy with our conversation. He shook my hand and seemed willing to reduce meat consumption. Very positive.
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/5/13
Middle Tennessee State was great outreach for me and Rachel, here in increasingly veg-friendly Murfreesboro. Many great interactions, including three students [below] who said they now want to go vegan! We met one student [above, right] who told us he went veg after getting a VO booklet last semester; after talking longer, he revealed in the past he used to taunt his veg friends, “For every animal you save, I will eat two.” Now he is veg from a VO booklet! We met another student [right] who was disturbed by the info in the booklet; and after a long talk said she was going to start cutting it out and eating meatless meals. I really feel our conversation helped and augmented the booklet.
We had an outstanding day at East Tennessee State with Frannie [Miller, below, right]! Many great reactions; e.g., “Thank you SO much for handing these out.” Met Yesenia [below, left], who told us she now wanted to go vegan; got a Guide. Another student came back to say he would eat less meat; others asked for extra booklets to give to friends and family. After heavy leafleting the last few years, we are helping make this area far more vegan friendly.
I’d say this was one of the best days of the
semester; then again, when you are saving animals
and awakening people to compassionate living,
every day is the best day!
David [Shaffer, right] joined Rachel and me at the University of Tennessee – we reached over 2,400 students, including Sara [below], who now wants to go vegan! Incredible how much more receptive students are to the plight of the animals than in ’08 and ’09. Many students thanked us for being out there. It is evident we are making a huge difference.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 4/3/13
Another productive day at Oregon
State. Just a few negative comments;
when one person refused a booklet saying she
likes steak, the person she was walking with
yelled back to me that she is eating less meat
due to receiving a booklet.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/1/13
So much interest that
the night just flew by at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market!
A woman told Jeanie that getting a Compassionate
Choices at the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market
caused her to go vegan. There were a couple
instances of guys saying they wouldn’t get enough
protein if they were vegan – I showed them
the photo of Robert Cheeke in Compassionate
Choices. A group of students got booklets and
posed with the cow [below]. I have a feeling there will
be some new vegetarians out of that group!
—Team Vegan member Barbara Bear, 3/28/13
The first guy I met at
Norwalk Community College was a new vegetarian.
He took booklets and said, “I am going
to share this great information with my family
and friends! This cruelty needs to stop!”
Another guy said, “I’m all for this! My
aunt introduced me to vegan eating, and being
nice to animals. Keep up the good work!”
Met Mario, who received a Vegan Outreach booklet
13 years ago and went vegan! His girlfriend
is vegan too.
At Housatonic Community College, a student said, “I help animals: I don’t eat them anymore since I got one of these booklets from you last year!” An older woman came back and said, “I read the booklet. What is happening is a shame. I am so glad you are standing up for the animals. I WILL cut back on animal products!” Score! An older man walked by, stopped, looked at the booklet, said his daughter is vegan, and that his wife is a teacher who may be interested in this info and a talk for her class. He took my card.
John Oberg reached more than 1,200 students at Ferris State on 3/26/13. The first booklet went to Kyra (above), who said, “Awww, this is so sad. God didn’t make animals to be tortured like this.”
Reached over 1,000
students at Dutchess Community College, where
after getting a booklet, one woman said she
will now cut back consuming animal products
to twice a week. A security guard said, “Keep
going, and good luck doing the good work!”
Eleven students wanted to start a group and eight
of them were interested in leafleting!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 4/1/13
Driving to Purdue,
I passed a number of chicken and pig sheds,
as well as Fair Oaks Farms, a dairy and now
pig operation that makes it a point to paint
a pretty picture of animal agriculture. I was
also thinking that this is the day after the
45th anniversary of the killing of Dr. King
and our work for justice does not require us
to withstand fire hoses, police attacks, firebombings
and lynchings. Reflecting on our great position
in time and space to effect change made me serious
about the work.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 4/5/13
Great day at the
University of Northern Colorado! Reached 1,175
students, and gave a talk. Knowing it is a slaughterhouse
town, I expected the worst, but wonderful reception!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 4/1/13
Shocked by the reception rate
at the University of Arizona Book Fair. People
would stop and come back when they heard what
I was offering. Even more shocking was the percentage
of people who were already vegetarian / vegan.
I could have easily handed out dozens more Guides.
Loads and loads and loads of people – including
those you absolutely wouldn’t expect – said
they were veg, thanked me for being out there
with *great* appreciation, etc. No long interactions,
but some nice short ones. (E.g., one guy with
a St. Louis Cardinals hat and shirt took a booklet,
and I said, “Tony La Russa is a vegetarian.”
He stopped and said, “Really?” with
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/10/13
Linda Bower reached 200 beachgoers in Miami on 3/29/13 and reports getting “lots of support and gratitude for the booklets.”
I was blown away by the response
I received at St. Petersburg College!
Even some of the more conservative-looking folks
responded with sincere interest and talked to
me despite record low temps for this time of
year, as well as fierce wind. Several folks
came back to get more booklets. And an ethics
professor wants me to come back to campus.
Lots of people at the University of South Florida were very grateful for the literature. A long, thoughtful conversation with a pre-med student who will undoubtedly be making some changes. He appreciated that I did not make outlandish health claims about veganism and was very happy to hear about Jack’s approach (honest and based on peer-reviewed studies) to vegan nutrition. While we were talking, a woman approached us to thank me for leafleting.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/27/13
Cornerstone University was sweet. I walked onto campus and noticed a faraway door open up with a huge flow of students exiting. Knocked out a ton of booklets and heard awesome stuff. E.g., met Jessie and Hailey that said how sad it was. I Guided Jessie, then Hailey wanted one. Jessie told Hailey, “We should get on that vegetarian kick!”
Take-rate was 97% at Aquinas College. I had a great conversation
with a student who had been vegetarian for 6.5
years, so I encouraged her to try it again;
she seemed genuinely interested. I think just
asking someone to do it is a powerful thing.
Also met a vegan that was happy to see me out
there and said she’d never met another vegan
before; I put her in contact with some locals.
Was great to have Suzanne [Smalligan, above] with me at Grand Valley State. So much amazing feedback. For example, Antaeus [left] came up to Suzanne and said, “This is soooo interesting. It makes me not want to eat meat anymore. Thank you for being out here.” A set of eyes opened up to the plight of farm animals because of our presence! Awesome.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/29/13
and I had a great day at John Jay!
One girl took a bunch for her classmates. Another
girl said she was glad to have found
a booklet! Also met two veg people who thought
it was awesome to see us out there and were
happy to hear about VO!
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 4/4/13
Above, a student is engrossed in one of the 3,200+ booklets handed out by John Oberg and Chelsea Button (below) at Grand Valley State!
On the way home after
handing a booklet to over 1,100 students at
Michigan State, I drove behind a truck crammed
with turkeys on their way to slaughter. They
were packed as 4 birds per wire cage (looked
to be 24" x 24" x 24" cages) with
no protection from the weather and wind. They
were absolutely motionless due to the pain of
their overgrown bodies and damage done in the
handling, and no doubt fear of the experience
While I have seen some pretty brutal stuff during my years in animal protection, this made me cry. Let’s work.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/26/13
I woke up to Joe’s message about
the truck of turkeys on their way to slaughter.
It made me sick to my stomach and shot adrenaline
to my arms. Later in the day, I decided to re-read
it. Teary-eyed and all, I got a booklet into
the hands of every possible student I could.
Based on the feedback from compassionate students throughout the day, I couldn’t have been happier that I did. Thank you to Joe for putting this work in perspective and reminding us all why we’re out there every day doing this necessary work. And thank you to the ones financially supporting this work; it’s for these turkeys that we can’t thank you enough.
That day at Grand Valley State, with Chelsea [right], was one of my greatest this semester. The students were absolutely friendly, interested, and engaged. I literally met dozens of vegetarians / vegans and dozens of people who verbally stated how sad this is. One student pointed to the booklet and said to her friend, “Ahhhh!!!! This is why I’m vegetarian!!!” I gave her a Guide. Other students told me they had received a booklet previously and were really excited about it. Each got a Guide. I asked one student what he thought of the booklet and he said it made him not want to eat meat. One dude, as he walked down the steps towards me, reached out his arm to grab a booklet, jokingly saying “another victim.” I smiled, tapped my fingers on the cover of the Even If and said, “These guys are the victims.” He replied in a more serious tone, “Yes, they are.”
At Western Michigan
University, I had help from my host Deanna [McDonald, above, right] and her friend Kate [Cowdery, above, left] – they were great! One student pointed to her friend’s booklet
and said, “That’s why I’m going vegetarian!”
I flagged her down and gave her a Guide,
which she joyfully accepted. Productive conversations
with Kristen [left], Dana, and Janet [below, left], all of whom I
expect will be changing, and maybe getting involved!
A lot of other great feedback; e.g., another
student explained that he really liked that
we were there, that it’s so true how the only
way things will really change is when consumers
demand them to change.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/28/13
Good reception at Christopher Newport
University. One young woman got
a booklet, read it while standing up for a few
minutes, sat down and read it for a few more
minutes, then ran into her friends and told
them that they should take a booklet. The highlight
of the day was a guy who rode by on his skateboard
with his belly on the board. As he approached,
I got down on the ground, and did the handoff
while laying there. He and his friends enjoyed
it, as did I.
One young woman said, “You’re still here. That’s diligence.” I get the feeling that many students respect someone who is willing to get out and stand up for a cause for many hours. One benefit of person-to-person outreach in an increasingly digital world is that we put a positive, friendly face to this work, and we send a message that this cause is so important that people are willing to get out in the cold for it.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/22/13
At Southern Maine Community College, a young man initially refused a booklet, saying things like, “We’ve been eating meat since the dawn of time!” When he walked by again, he stopped and heard me out, and ended up taking a booklet. Later, I met a young woman who got a booklet last year; she said she and her boyfriend are eating a lot more vegetarian meals now.
A young man said
he had worked at an egg farm. He said the conditions
were horrible, and described small cages, sick
birds with hardly any feathers, etc. He said
part of his job was to go around and remove
dead / dying birds from cages. While looking at
the battery cage photos in the booklet, he said
that conditions are sometimes even worse than
what the photos show.
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 3/26/13
and I hit four schools in the snow today.
Interesting interactions; e.g., after reading
the booklet, one student, whose brother is vegetarian,
said it finally makes sense; took a Guide
for himself and another to show his brother.
Great to run into Sunni [Mullenix, right] at Austin Peay State and have her help out. Interested students and productive conversations, including a professor. Met a student who had gone veg for a few months in the past and was no longer veg – gave her a Guide and encouragement that she could still eat less meat, not just go completely the other way; she agreed.
Up early for a three-school day filled with many conversations. At Tennessee State, we met Christine [right], who was super stoked to get a Guide and thanked us for being out there. Vanderbilt was great; we met and then Guided and encouraged Jasmine [below, right], who now wants to go vegan. Had a long convo with a student who at first was adamant humans were carnivores. I quickly steered the conversation from biological characteristics to the ability to reduce suffering, and the awful treatment of animals on factory farms. This hit home and he warmed up; he left saying he would consider eating less meat.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/27/13
a presentation on factory farming
at Illinois State – it went really well, and
I gave out Compassionate Choices and
Guides at the end. Stuck around after
to leaflet, and I’m sure the message stuck with some of them!
—Team Vegan member Jon Bockman, 3/21/13
leafleter Rita joined me at Monroe
College. Students were very friendly; e.g.,
talked with one very curious guy who was happy
to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/28/13
school for me and Stacey – Albertus
Magnus College. Mike had a lot of questions
about eating inexpensively, vitamins, health,
protein, etc. Gave him a Guide. Met
Robert, who came back and said he likes pigs
feet, pork chops, etc. I said I understand,
but it is not about taste, it is about compassion
and reducing suffering. I asked if he could
cut back on consuming animal products, to help.
We talked for about 10 minutes and he took a
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/22/13
initially slow at Montana State, but then the
fire marshal started testing the fire alarms!
It was like a dream come true, with each building
emptying out one at a time! After we followed
the marshal around to all of the academic buildings,
it was pretty well saturated. The most memorable
conversation was with a professor who is vegan
two days a week; hopefully our quick conversation
will encourage him along!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/27/13
Loyola, enough interested young faces and people
reading the booklet to give hope. Also, I leafleted
a security guard who said she is vegetarian
and was excited to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/27/13
Good day at Valdosta State – reached over 1,000 students, and gave out dozens of Guides. Students thanked me for being out there and/or commented on how moving the booklets were. Spoke with a professor who, after our conversation, totally agreed with me that at least reducing animal product consumption was definitely the way to go, instead of eating “humane” products.
After leafleting Nicholls State in Thibodaux, LA, Vic Sjodin reports the highlight was meeting chemistry major Zemone (above), who now wants to go veg!
Despite the rain-shortened
day, I had a ton of great conversations at the
College of Central Florida – was actually shocked
by the near-universal interest in the booklets!
Three people told me they now wanted to go vegetarian,
and one said he would work on going vegan. The
latter’s girlfriend had gone vegan to
lose weight, but when that did not happen she
went back to eating meat. However, he is trying
to go vegan for the animals as he sees it as
unnecessary to eat animal products – noting
that it’s cruel when alternatives exist.
The University of New Orleans was a fabulous experience and now one of my all-time favorite schools. Met lots of vegan and vegetarians, and will probably be giving a talk to the newly forming animal group in the fall as we exchanged contact info. Lots of conversations with folks wanting to make significant changes.
New records at Loyola University and Xavier University, with good conversations. Two students said that they pretty much eat vegan during the Lenten season and wanted to know what foods are out there to make their diets more varied. Another student declared he was now a vegetarian after reading the Even If You Like Meat, as he can’t ethically justify eating meat anymore. Definitely worth it!
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/18/13
John reports: “Marcela is a vegetarian for the animals and very excited to get in contact with other veggies at UTEP so she can become more active.”
A record day at Elon University;
good reception for a Friday. Highlight
was when a woman came back to me and said that
she read the booklet I had given her earlier
and is now a vegetarian.
Love Salem College, a private women’s school. And the best thing of all is that administrators want me to distribute booklets, since more and more of their students are going vegetarian / vegan. In fact, this has the largest percentage of veg*ns that I have encountered outside of New College.
Philip, Loren, and I set a new record at Winthrop University. We all had great conversations. Met people wanting to get involved and connect with the new Charlotte group; watched many others reading their booklet. For example, Loren reports a student liking that the booklet doesn’t take an all-or-nothing position. Connor, who was vegan for a year before “giving in” to his girlfriend’s meaty diet, was excited to take an Even If You Like Meat and a Guide for her to consider.
Curt joined Loren, Philip, and me at Central Piedmont Community College, where we shattered my old record, reaching over 2,300 students! Loren reports a vegan student who asked for extra booklets to distribute; a student who had been persuaded by her mother not to become vegetarian earlier in her life, and now wanted to make the change. Hiren, a student who was so impressed with the booklet that he visited the website and then made a point of returning to chat. A student passed by after having read the Even If earlier in the day, saying with a smile, “There’s good information in there.” As we finished leafleting for the day, I was on a natural high, knowing that our efforts are making a real difference in addressing animal oppression, climate change, and other life-and-death issues. Thanks to all who make this outreach possible.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/5/13
A great day at Marshall University!
Good conversations, including with Emily [right], who
has been veg since getting a booklet from me
during my stop at Marshall in the fall. Oh yeah!
At York College, I had a productive conversation with Jimmy, a student who (correctly) didn’t envision the world going vegan overnight, but heard me out on the importance of piecemeal change. And it was nice to talk with April, who attended a talk I gave at York last semester and left as a vegan. In three of my last four days of outreach, I’ve had someone come up to say they’re now veg or vegan as a result of our past outreach on their campus. Woohoo!
I was floored by how many people at Montgomery College mentioned being vegan, veg, consumers of vegetarian meats and tofu, etc. A number of the people expressed genuine enthusiasm for going veg as a result of our conversation. Amazing.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/12/13
afternoon at Oregon State. Highlight
of the day was talking to a guy who went vegetarian
as a result of a VO booklet he got two years
ago. Had a great conversation with him and he
got a Guide. When I was back, I met one young
woman who was really excited when she saw what
I was giving out. She will end up being a voice
for the animals.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 3/15/13
the University of Southern Maine,
an older man told me he used to have a small
farm but factory farmers put him out of business.
A woman said the booklet will be helpful for
a project she’s doing in an environmental class.
She said, “It’s very important to get this
information out to the community.” A student
thanked me for being there and said, “This
is very important to me.” Another student
said, “This will be perfect to show to
my family.” A vegetarian woman said she
had been thinking lately about starting to eat
meat again, but getting the booklet was a good
reminder of why she should stay veg! Whooo!
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 3/13/13
After receiving a booklet from Vic at UL Lafayette, this student wants to go vegan!
snow at Western Michigan University,
but one of the highest reception rates! Heard
from 4 vegans and 11 vegetarians and one gentle
giant of a student who stated that he felt very
strongly about animals and wanted to stop eating
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/12/13
of people at the San Luis Obispo
farmers’ market – got out a ton of booklets.
And great conversations; e.g., a sweet teenager
who went veg in 5th grade and really wants to
go vegan now – she took a “vegan”
button and we loaded her up with info. Also
a boy of about six and his mom; he didn’t want
to eat animals anymore – they got the info
—Team Vegan member Barbara Bear, 3/14/13
the University of Arizona, the
first five people turned me down, but then it
picked up. Highest percentage of “already
have that” or “already veg” I’ve
ever encountered. Right when I had to leave,
a huge group of maybe 50 middle school kids
were coming right toward me. I let the front
group (with the adults) go past, and then started
offering booklets. You would have thought I
was Santa offering Xboxes! Seriously – they
all flocked to me as though I was the Pied Piper!
It was unreal.
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/8/13
CUNY Staten Island, met students
who said they were thinking about this already
and were happy to get a booklet. Also met a
teacher who was a longtime vegetarian happy
to see this work being done.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/11/13
Despite the rain, good conversations at Seattle Central Community College. For example, talked to a woman who wanted to go vegan; gave her a Guide.
at Everett Community College. Talked to two
people who have been working on going vegan; one wants to get involved
because she loves the work we are doing!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/14/13
and I had a hard time keeping
our fingers functioning at Truman College, with
three-degree windchill. One woman stopped and
said she cares about animals and only buys chickens
from Perdue because they treat them well according
to the commercials. I filled her in on what
Perdue actually does and how chickens suffer
due to their genetics, and she said she is going
to try giving up chicken. She was excited to
receive the Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/20/13
day at the University of Louisiana,
Lafayette, with excellent feedback. Met a student
who has been veg after getting a VO booklet
last year and is still excited. Spoke to Justin [above, right]
for a long time, who concluded he cannot support
the abuse of animals in factory farms, so wants
to go veg and also discuss issues with wife.
Rachel spoke to a cowboy who loved to eat meat
but didn’t want to support factory farm conditions
and said he was considering the issues.
Rachel and I also set a record at Louisiana Tech. Watched many reading their booklet. Highlight was meeting Jolie [right], who wants to go vegan and leaflet in the future!
Big impact today! At Grambling State, spoke to Jalen who is now interested in eating veg: “It is all kinds of cruel how they are treated.” Had a long talk with Jasmine; then spoke to Krystal [right], who now wants to go vegan. Best part of the day was meeting Jairon [below, right], who stopped in his tracks to read the booklet. He was very thankful for the booklet and the info, and we had a moving discussion; he concluded by saying he never wants to eat meat again!
Outstanding day at Murray State – great conversations. Met Garret, a vegan who wants to leaflet in the future. And one of the highlights of the tour was meeting Jeremy [Cleaver, below, left], a brave vegan freshman. I gave him a Guide and invited him to leaflet with us at any point the rest of the day. We talked for a few minutes and I wished him well. In 15 minutes, he came back to leaflet. He is so supportive of our cause, so kind and intelligent and brave. He was very happy to do activism and will leaflet with VO in future. I fail to describe how inspiring he is and what a friend he is to animals! So thank you, Jeremy!
Frigid and murky at Indiana State, but fantastic outreach – Rachel and I reached over 1,200 students. Two vegetarians were stoked to see us on campus. A student came back after reading the entire booklet in class. He said he was an animal lover and that he would eat less meat.
Astronomical outreach at the University of Memphis, where we were joined by a volunteer and reached over 2,000 students, topping the previous record by more than 300. One student [below, right] said she had gotten an Even If previously and drastically reduced her meat consumption; asked for a Compassionate Choices for a friend. A sociology professor took booklets for her students. One student said she was going to do a report on factory farming after reading the booklet, another had a similar story – she was going to use it for a presentation. Another student took two Guides, for herself and her mom. A vegan student thanked us emphatically for being out there; I explained how handing out 60–100 leaflets will double the amount of animals his personal veganism saves, so he joined us. Rebecca [below, center] wants to go veg, and said the Guide was “exactly what I need!” Then her friend came up to me and asked me if he, too, could get a Guide.
Solid day and massive impact at Ole Miss, where we beat the previous best mark at this school by 620 booklets. Great interactions: e.g., a professor grabbed 15 to give to her class; another student asked for 25 to show friends and family; and Taylor, who has leafleted before, came to say hello and took 100 for her on-campus activist group to distribute. Another student had many questions; we had a 10-minute talk that centered around animal cruelty. Met another woman who wants to go vegan; gave her a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/21/13
interactions at Central Connecticut State.
For example, a student stopped and thumbed through
the booklet, and he said slowly, “Oh…I just had a steak.” I said that he could
read the booklet, it might change his mind about
animals used for food and perhaps he could reduce
suffering by reducing his consumption of animals.
He said, “I can do that!”
At SUNY Westchester Community College, I met a guy who initially had a negative view of animal rights groups, but after talking to me, he calmed down, shook my hand, and said that he was glad that I was out here speaking out for what I believe in. Seven students want to help leaflet. One student raised her fist in the air and yelled out, “I don’t eat meat! I don’t eat meat!”
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/13/13
great leafleting Milwaukee Area
Technical College with new leafleter Cheryl [Abbate, right].
Despite heavy snow, take rate was really high.
Rachel joined us for a bit, too! Cheryl was
told by someone that they’re really thankful
we were out there, that he’s been thinking about
going vegetarian; so she Guided him.
Another guy said, “It’s pretty interesting
stuff. I never thought about it like that, it’s
like you get a meal and it’s just sitting there
and you don’t really think twice about it. Thanks,
brother.” I offered a booklet to Santana [above]
and she said, “Oh! I got one of those,
it’s so scary!” We then talked for a minute
and I gave her a Guide. As we parted
she yelled out, “This makes me want to
be a vegetarian!” Also met Phil who said,
“I’m never going to eat meat again!”
Unny [Nambudiripad, right] organized an amazing day at the University of Minnesota. Mike, Sen, Fred, Jeff, Dustin, Jacque, Jennifer, Kealy, Markus, Unny, and I reached over 5,000 students! Much support for us being out there in this weather, lots of people moved by the literature, and we met tons of vegetarians and vegans.
Out the door at 4:50 am this morning to get to the University of Minnesota, Duluth, but man, was it worth every minute! From 7:45 to 8:00 I was able to hand out 360 booklets. That’s a booklet every 2.5 seconds for 15 minutes straight – it was nuts. I met a bunch of vegetarians / vegans, and ran into Taylor, who wants to get involved. Met Ian, who was the “knocker” at a slaughterhouse straight out of high school – he’s been vegetarian ever since! He shook my hand and thanked me for doing this good work.
Snowing at the University
of Wisconsin, Stout, and it was the last day
before spring break. But nearly a 100% take
rate, and Fred, Sen, and I had occasional snowball
fights. We met a ton of vegetarians!
Despite the continuing snowstorm, amazing feedback at Michigan Tech. Brendon told me he read through it and agreed that animal cruelty is bad but that he just loves meat too much. I told him how nearly every vegetarian I know was in the same boat but we’ve all made it and actually love all the vegetarian meats on the market. Looking at them in the Guide, he said, “Great! I’ll check some of these out!” Also met Armando, a gangster-ish lookin’ dude that took a look at the cover and sincerely said, “Oh yeah man, I like this.” I gave him a Guide and he said how they treat animals is terrible. I told him it is terrible but luckily there’s something he can do about it. We parted ways and he said, “Thanks for being out here, raising awareness!”
—Team Vegan member John Oberg (shown with Fred Tyler, far left, at UW Stout), 3/19/13
Above: Amber Smith reaches another student at Marquette University. Below: UWM students read an Even If You Like Meat together.
Click on any Team Vegan member to donate and have your dollars doubled!
a slow start, I set a personal
best at UNC Chapel Hill, reaching over 2,300
students. I happened to overhear one student
say they are going veg as a result of the booklet.
The highlight was a conversation with a student
about free-range, etc.; after she said she was
going full vegan.
This leafleting outing was done in memory of my beloved kitty, Toonces, who recently passed away at 21 years old. She was such a fixture in our lives and will be missed terribly.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/28/13
Quinnipiac University, the head
of security took an Even If You Like Meat;
and another security guard said that he agreed
with what I was doing. His ex-wife is vegetarian,
and he knew a bit about the horrendous conditions
on factory farms, and he is against them. I
asked him if he would like a Guide
with health info, and he took it. He said he
would try to cut back even more on his consumption
of animal products.
At Yale, I handed a booklet to a doctor of internal medicine who read it and came back to talk. “What can I do?” he asked. We discussed the cruelty of animal agriculture, and discussed reducing consumption of animals. He was very happy to accept a Guide when I told him that it had a lot of health info in it. He said it was good, and he was going to research / learn more, and start toward becoming vegetarian!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/6/13
lots of great feedback at the University
of Wisconsin, Whitewater – both on the idea
of helping animals and general support for the
work that VO does; e.g., “Thank YOU for
helping animals!” “Keep up the great
work!” One student was very moved when
she got a booklet a few semesters ago; I made
sure to whip out a Guide for her. At
the end of the day, a student walked out of
the University Center holding a booklet and
as he passed me he said, “I’m reading it!
It’s really sad stuff.” I handed him a
Guide and told him, “It is, but
luckily there’s something you can do about it.”
Beautiful day at Marquette with Amber [Smith, above], who met Joe Espinosa and then got involved. Really receptive students and good interactions. Two students even brought me a coffee with soymilk, with “Thanks for all your hard work!” written on the side of the cup.
Amber was back again today at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, along with her mom! We reached nearly 2,500 students, and had many meaningful interactions. For example, a biology professor told me he had a slightly heated discussion with a student in his class who had received a booklet and dismissed it based on religious grounds. He expressed his displeasure at her dismissal of the issue based on ancient principles out of touch with the world we live in today. Hopefully he’ll bring up these points in coming days with students of his that may have received a booklet today.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/4/13
Team Vegan’s Lisa Drapkin hands out Even If You Like Meat at Lehman College.
a good day at Kean University
– good thing I was inside because the weather
outside was absolutely awful. I had three people
tell me they were very interested in going veg
and all took Guides; we had good conversations
about finding new foods you like and making
it easier that way. One guy gave me a not-so-nice
remark passing by. I replied in a friendly manner,
and he stopped by again on his way back past,
and we had a short conversation; he left saying
he respects what I’m doing. Also, one girl came
back after reading the leaflet to thank me and
tell me how informative it was.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/6/13
and drizzle, but solid leafleting
– reached over 2,000 students. I did not have
a single negative comment. At West Virginia
University! And I was really enjoying the leafleting,
and I think it showed, and people were smiling
back at me, and saying nice things. While a
number of people mentioned being veg or vegan,
one vegan in particular stood out. She came
up and said in such a sweet and sincere manner
that she was really happy to see me out there.
“It actually made my day,” she said.
Awww. I then met Jill [below], who got a booklet from
us when John Oberg, Joe Gonzales, and I were
on campus a year ago. She’s been veg since.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/6/13
Team Vegan member Steve,
Cobie, and I reached over 1,600
students at Portland State. Of the three food
carts there, two were totally vegan. They also
have lots of vegan food on campus.
Three memorable conversations. One with a woman who buys “humane” animal products; we discussed marketing and also about making choices which cause the least suffering (avoiding bird flesh and eggs). The second was with someone who took a booklet and then came back to thank me and tell me how meaningful this was to her. She is vegetarian but her husband isn’t and she was happy to have the Compassionate Choices and Guide to show him. The third was with someone who got a booklet 2 years ago and started off telling me how the pictures in the booklet affected her kids. She just wanted to chat with someone who understands.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 3/4/13
to Harold Washington College after
work. I was also curious to see if the slightly
warmer temperature and lack of falling snow
increased reception…it did. Heard from four
vegetarians and two vegans, and talked harm
reduction (avoiding consumption of birds and
fishes) with two people.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/6/13
Jacinto College was awesome. Very
receptive students. Saw many reading and discussing
booklets. We met a student that wants to go
vegan after getting a booklet. Also met a vegan
who was happy we were on campus. Overheard one
girl say “I want to go veg” to her
Some encouraging feedback from our host Professor Ramiri in Corpus Christi, after I wrote to thank him for housing us, he wrote back:
“I’ll have you know that one of my professor friends in political science walked into her class this morning to find several of her students with your pamphlets in hand. They ended up changing the day’s lesson plans and talking about animal rights and activism. So, yeah, I’d say you not only awakened hearts and minds – but also changed the teaching plans for today in some classes.”
This happens often – I’ve heard of classes discussing the booklets in the past.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/6/13
Click on any Team Vegan member to donate and have your dollars doubled!
a talk at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison last night, and despite the heavy snow,
Josh [Kissel], Marina [Drake], and Josh [Turner, below] joined Ben [Collins, far right] and me [right]
today. At the talk, I covered the leafleting
survey, showing that our work really is making
a difference. The study convinced Josh T to
not only give leafleting a try, but he forced
himself to reach more students! He was overjoyed
that in about 45 minutes he was able to do as
much good as he will the rest of his life by
just being veg, which is something I really
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/27/13
a number of interested students at
the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. The
highlight was meeting a student who had recently
been in a chicken farm (as factory farms are
prevalent in this area) with a friend of his
and was appalled by what he saw. He asked for
tips on vegan cooking.
Loren and I had fantastic experiences at both North Carolina A&T and UNC Greensboro. Thoughtful questions, people interested in making the transition, etc. Enthusiastic responses, such as, “Ohh! I dig this! Thanks so much!” “Can I have another? My friend will love this.” Two students were very excited to get information from Vegan Outreach because they are doing a class project on the impacts of our food system. We’re thankful for how many people we were able to reach on this day – we sense a clear shift in how students are thinking about vegetarianism, food politics, and animals.
Thanks to everyone who makes this life-changing outreach possible.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/25/13
|Loren Hart snapped these pics at the start of the semester, when he, first-time leafleter Jill and her 8-month-old son Peregrin (left), and Team Triangle’s Rob Gilbride (right) handed out 1,458 Compassionate Choices at UNC Chapel Hill!|
interactions at CUNY John Jay.
One student came back to say they got a falafel
sandwich. Useful conversation with a woman about
all the veg food available; she wants to work
in that direction. Another guy said, “Awesome!”
One guy said his teacher talks about this stuff,
so he’s going to give him a VO booklet. An ethics
teacher also took one and said that he’s going
to contact me about ideas for making this into
a class discussion. A woman took a few and said
“I’m gonna tell my doctor about this –
he asks me why I don’t eat chicken and other
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/4/13
students at both Lone Star College
campuses sat and read the booklets. Rachel and I met Andrena [above, right],
who is now committed to eating far less meat
and happily got a Guide. Also met a vegan who was into getting a Guide:
“This is great, my mom always asks me how
I get my protein.” Two separate students
walked over to us to get what others were reading.
Another said she had been thinking about going
veg; got a booklet, Guide, and encouragement.
A professor said she has been meaning to eat
healthier; I said, “Well maybe this is
a sign? Why not eat healthy and cruelty-free
from now on!”
Windiest day of leafleting I’ve ever experienced at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi. Deanna [top of page] was stoked to see us on campus and pledged to go vegan. After getting a booklet, Sy [above, center] wants to go vegan and get active! Less windy at Del Mar College, with lots of students stopping to read the booklet [left and below]. Met Melissa [above, left], who got a salad after getting the booklet and said she is inspired to go veg! Amanda wants to go vegan and was stoked to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/4/13
rate was 90% at the University of Connecticut’s
West Hartford campus. Met half a dozen vegetarians / vegans in my short time here; some of them wanted
to start a group on campus. A student took a
booklet and said she was sorry that I was standing
in the rain. I said, “It’s OK, I love what
I do.” She turned around and gave me thumbs
up! Ten minutes later, it stopped raining! YAY!
Amy and I had great interactions at the University of Connecticut’s main campus. For example, a student said the Compassionate Choices would motivate her to go back to being a vegetarian! She and her friend gave me their emails to join the Veg Huskies on campus! The friend said, “I applaud you, standing out here in the freezing wind!” A guy stopped to ask if I was trying to turn everyone vegetarian. I replied that this would be ideal. However, I truly believe that most people are compassionate and do not agree with the horrendous conditions and practices forced upon animals. He agreed. I said my goal is to reduce suffering by asking people to at least cut back on buying and consuming animals. He said it was a good goal, and that he would do his part!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/4/13
Team Vegan’s Ali Pester and THL members reached 1,000+ Harvard students on 2/21/13!
in three class changes at the
University of Portland, where I met a future
volunteer. At the main cafeteria, I got a great
vegan ham wrap with a homemade vegan ranch dressing, and as I sat there
I heard one campus tour guide bragging to her
group about the great vegan options at the school!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/1/13
and I had to be out the door by
3:30 am to get to Madison Area Tech, where we
reached 900 receptive students. Long conversation
with a woman struggling with her food choices;
she was happy to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/4/13
many volunteers today! Diane,
Jessica, Judy, Mike, and Vicente! Met tons of
interested students and vegetarians / vegans at
both West Valley College and Foothill College!
Very worthwhile outreach.
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/12/13
day of outreach with Dave at George
Mason – we reached over 2,100 students. Had
a heart-to-heart with Jake. He said that while
he eats meat now, he thought it was crazy how
the pleasure we get from eating meat is so disproportionately
small compared to the suffering a farm animal
endures. He was glad that I was out in the middle
of the walkway [below], ensuring that everyone who walks
by is offered this information. He was Guided.
Met Maris, who is now looking to start an animal rights group on campus, and is planning to get more vegan options on campus. She was radiating lots of enthusiasm, as she had found a kindred spirit. We’ve already exchanged emails about her getting involved. RJ, an environmental sciences professor, asked about speaking to his class. I said that I would love to, stressed that we have a non-hostile approach and encourage dialogue. That was music to his ears.
A communications professor told Dave that she was really impressed with our Even If You Like Meat booklet; she asked for other booklets and our website url to show her class.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/28/13
Click on any Team Vegan member to donate!
like to leaflet Western Oregon University.
Standout conversations! One was with a young
woman who is trying to go vegan. She was into
it, enthusiastic, and really wanted information.
Also talked with a guy who eats meat but is
interested in and concerned with how the animals
are treated. It was a good conversation aimed
at getting him to take the first step.
Cobie met a man who told her that his friend had worked on a construction project in a slaughterhouse. The day after the construction project started, his friend went vegetarian: “He didn’t like to talk about it a lot. He said that they were brutal to the animals. He said that there was blood dripping from the ceiling.”
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 2/18/13
I’d be disappointed with reaching
only ~800 students at the College of Charleston,
but this college has been leafleted hard every
semester. Amazing stuff is happening here –
I noticed a big difference in the number of
vegans and vegetarians since I leafleted here
five years ago. In fact, the people who told
me they were vegan outnumbered those who reported
being vegetarian. Too many good comments to
count. Heard from a student who was thrilled
they are opening up an all-vegetarian cafeteria
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/12/13
Northwestern for my day off, and
Mark Turner [above] met me there. So much snow that
my mascara ran as it melted – I looked like
Alice Cooper! We heard from TONS of vegetarians
and vegans. One student told me she had received
the booklet in the past and had gone vegetarian
as a result!
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/27/13
at the University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign – my feet were the only thing
dry by the end of the day. Did hear from three
vegans and six vegetarians!
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 2/27/13
take rate at CUNY Medgar Evers.
Met four vegetarians, including one who took
booklets to distribute to classmates not yet
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/26/13
Three-school day for Rachel and me – Houston Community College, Rice University, and Texas Southern University. Met one student [far right] who had gone vegan from getting a VO booklet in the past; now, her friend [right] wants to reduce his meat consumption. Had a long, productive conversation with a history professor who at first said he didn’t care about animals. By the end, he agreed to read through the booklet. Another woman thanked us for the information, said she now wanted to quit eating meat.
of outreach at the University of Houston, where
Rachel and I reached nearly 4,000 students!
Great conversations. Spoke to two fraternity
members who were disturbed by the treatment
of animals; [Patrick, left, center] is going veg today, the other
[far left] will reduce consumption and wants to learn more
about veg eating. Also met John, a bio student
who want to go veg now. Rachel met a girl who
now wants to go vegan; she got a Guide.
Another student asked for a stack to show friends
and family. Also, a poli-sci student [below] read the booklet
and now wants to go veg. Met many veg folk,
which is encouraging. As usual, the booklets
were a conversation starter for many folks walking
by. Saw a multitude of others reading. I get
excited thinking about all the students we reached
and the lives we saved today.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin (above with UH students), 2/27/13
first student at the University of Connecticut
said he got a booklet from me the day before at Eastern
Connecticut State! Delaney, Amy, and I reached
over 1,700 other students. An interesting and
productive conversation with a woman who had
gone vegan in the past but got sick. She said
she really liked talking with me because I was
very approachable and nonjudgemental. Another
student told me he received a booklet from me
last semester and went vegan!
Rained all day at Three Rivers Community College. Talked with Kevin, who said he and his girlfriend were just transitioning to being vegan! One professor read the booklet, came back out of his office, and spoke for about 15 minutes. He said he wanted to experiment with vegan eating with his family for a month. He was very in tune with learning about ending animal suffering.
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/27/13
a few vegetarians at Southern
Oregon University. One student is interested
in getting involved; got an AML.
University of Oregon was great, despite the
rain! Yet another vegan wants to get involved,
also got an AML.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/28/13
Chabot College, Jessica met a
lot of vegetarians. She also leafleted a young
woman who said she wanted to go veg – perfect
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/11/13
record day at the University of Iowa
with my wonder of a volunteer, Patti. A long,
fun day chasing [Team Vegan members] Darina
and Jon’s record at this very receptive
school. We each met tons of vegetarians, vegans,
and I even met a dude named Carl who wants to
get involved. Another student informed Patti
that she didn’t need a booklet because slaughterhouses
prompted her to go vegetarian two days ago!
I handed a booklet to one guy, Malcolm, who
walked a few yards then came back my way and
said, “Man, I don’t need this because I’m
vegan.” Turns out he’s been vegan for a
month because of the cruelty done to animals!
It’s definitely encouraging for new veg people
to see us out there, promoting a message that
they’ve just recently begun to embrace themselves.
I leafleted one guy who walked up to a friend and they began talking. I could tell both were definitely opposed to cruelty, so I chimed in and Guided them each. “Wow, before you gave me that, I had no clue it was so bad for the chickens; I only thought it was bad for the pigs and cows.” Victory!
—Team Vegan member John Oberg (leafleting UI below), 2/25/13
Salisbury University, a young
woman came up and gave me a big hug for being
there. And at the University of Maryland Eastern
Shore, a young woman told me I had pretty eyes.
I like this job!
Dave and I saturated Anne Arundel Community College, with good conversations. One athlete was concerned about protein; I Guided him, and told him he could read more in detail about protein at VeganHealth.org. I told him that I liked Jack’s approach to nutrition because he just looks at what the science says about a vegan diet, and responds in an impartial manner, even telling vegans findings that aren’t always flattering to veganism. By doing this, you know that the good things he reports are really good. This seemed to be exactly what this guy wanted / needed to hear – that there’s a credible source out there.
This whole issue of trust reminded me of an interaction I had last week. I did an online Q&A, and a fellow vegan criticized me for admitting that before being a healthy vegan, I was a healthy meat eater. I guess I was supposed to say that I was in the hospital, on my last breath, and then I found veganism, and I’ll now live to be 150 years old (minimum). But I think that when we just speak honestly, more people will hear us out. We’ve got a compelling enough case that we don’t need to exaggerate the truth. We’re trying to have a long and extended dialogue with society, and the thoughtful individuals we’re trying to convince aren’t dupes. When we concede to one point, the other will often concede to another point, and will then give us more attention.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/27/13
Click on any Team Vegan member to donate!
at 3:30 am to get down to Indiana
University, Bloomington, where it was 6 degrees
with subzero windchill. On my way there I saw
transport trucks driving predawn, can’t imagine
how much the poor pigs were suffering.
Tonja [Robertson, left] made her leafleting debut and did an awesome job. She plans to do more leafleting at Indiana schools! My dear friend Laura also drove over from Cincinnati to join us for the last hour and rocked it; together, we reached nearly 900 students. One of the Guides went to a vegan girl to share with her sorority house.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/20/13
was so bad at the University of
Northern Iowa that classes before 10 were cancelled.
That didn’t stop Patti [Rogers-Engelby, right] and me, though – and
good thing! Such amazing reception – one of
my top five universities in the country. One
professor said he has his students read the VO
booklet in class. He loves how open the message
is, how it isn’t, “Hey, you’re a bad guy
for eating meat.” Loads of other great
interactions, including one guy who said his
sister has been veg ever since getting a VO
Despite the pushback from the ag community, I had a great time at Iowa State. Many productive and satisfying conversations, even with ag students, whom I treated with friendliness and seeking common ground. For example, with one group, I pointed out we’re not there to demonize farmers; we understand that there are reasons these practices are done, but at the cost of efficiency comes a lot of cruelty. Their wall of hostility quickly turned into genuine curiosity about my opinions versus a complete dismissal of whatever I thought.
Ran into Alex,
who got a VO booklet last year and hasn’t eaten
chicken since. Met Sam who has been vegan for
two years and has never met another vegan before!
Kelly [left] said she’s now going vegetarian because
the booklet reminded her about how they treat
the animals. She asked, “What can I do?
Is it really as simple as cutting out meat?”
She told me that she tried and failed before,
so I Guided her. Right at that moment, Emilie
walked up and said, “Hey, my friend said
you were over here! I’ve been vegan for a while
and I’m happy you’re out here!” I told
Emilie about Kelly wanting to go veg, and Emilie
sold the ease of being veg better than I ever
could’ve. I’ll be putting all three of these
lovely people in touch with each other – which
is crucial in this aggiest of ag schools in
the middle of Iowa!
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/22/13
interactions at CUNY Hostos Community
College and CUNY Baruch. Met one student [right] who
has been veg since getting our booklet in high
school! One person mentioned the horse meat
scandal; I said it was no different than cow
meat. He took a booklet and agreed we should
all be vegetarian. One woman stopped to talk,
mentioning her fur coat. I commented that even
though I wouldn’t buy a fur coat, I focus my
advocacy on food animals because ~99% of animals
suffering are killed for food. So, instead of
me criticizing her coat and her possibly being
turned off, she left with a really good impression
and knowledge to spread to others.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/25/13
day with Joan at Wesley College
and Delaware State. Marissa was the highlight
– she was thrilled we were there, said this
was a passion of hers and she wanted to give
me a big hug. It’s always heartening to come
across those so enthused about helping animals.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/25/13
Students showed so much interest at Stephen F. Austin State. Rachel, Ethan, and I had so many great interactions, and received / overheard so much positive feedback (such as “I think we should go vegetarian”). I love how many conversations are started by the VO booklets!
We met Chase [above, right], who went vegan after getting a booklet at the Dallas Warped Tour! Third Dallas WT veggie we’ve met in two days!!! Also ran into Dylan [above, left] – we spoke last year and now he’s mostly veg. Olivia [above, center] came back to say she was horrified at the treatment of farm animals and now wants to go veg and talk to her fiancé to try to get him on board. Gotta love the ripple effects of outreach! Ethan gave a booklet
to a student who said, “Animals taste delicious.”
He came back after class, apologized, said he
could see we’re “fueled by goodness,”
and that he disapproved of factory farm conditions.
Ethan spoke with him for a long time. Lastly we met Kat [Garcia, left], who was stoked to see us; she encouraged her friend to go veg, took extras to show other friends, and briefly leafleted with us. This school was definitely veganized!
Heavy rain at the University of Texas at Tyler, but still worthwhile outreach. One student came back wanting to change her diet; she got a Guide. I had a long, involved conversation with a Navy veteran [left] who read the Guide cover-to-cover after we spoke.
Compassion rang out today at El Centro College, and loads of support. Ethan met Joanna [below, left], who went veg after getting a VO booklet in the past! Rachel and I met Tina [below, right], who said she thought factory farming was just awful, “My heart can’t take it.” And pledged to go full vegan! At Whole Foods, one of the cashiers at a side cafe saw my shirt and started asking questions. Gave her a Compassionate Choices and a Guide; I believe she will go veg as well. Many thanks to Ari for providing us with housing and solidarity.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/25/13
every student at Middlesex Community
College took a booklet – and I got good feedback,
including people who want to form a group on
campus. One student looked at the booklet, said
he had just written a paper about factory farming
and wished he had this booklet then! A professor
said he was going to use the booklet in his
Productive conversations at Eastern Connecticut State. One guy asked, “Can I still eat meat?” I said that it was up to him, but it would be nice if he learned the truth. He said he would read the booklet! Another came back and said he received a booklet earlier from me, thought it was very good information, and said he was cutting back on animal products as of right now!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/25/13
Valley College was Judy’s second
outing, and she’s really psyched on leafleting!
Once again, Diane met a student who went vegetarian
the day she got a booklet from us last semester
and vegan a month later and is slowly convincing
her best friend to be vegan too. Woo!!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/5/13
of interested students at Florida
State College, including one who exclaimed,
“Oh, my god” when he saw what I was
handing out. He even ran back to get extra booklets.
At College of Coastal Georgia, my most productive
conversation was with a legally blind student.
He was excited to hear about vegan chicken and
other products since he likes the taste of meat
but also loves animals.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/20/13
Brittany, and I had great conversations
with the students at Butte College. One student
has been vegan since getting a VO booklet last
year! Another student surprised Brittany with
his enthusiasm. Charlotte had handed him a booklet,
and he was muttering profanities as he approached
Brittany. She was expecting some of those profanities
to be directed her way, but she found out that
his ire was all directed toward the animal abusers!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/21/13
Vic sends along these pics from UTA: above are two of the students who were moved to change their diets after receiving a VO booklet; and below, Rachel Shockey and Ethan Dussault provide more students with Compassionate Choices.
Click on any Team Vegan member to donate!
Ethan, Rachel, and I came across many friendly students at the University of Texas at Arlington. Met several students who had changed their diet after getting a VO booklet previously – after our discussions and a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, they’re each committed to going even further. Lots of other great conversations; e.g., one student had seen others reading and came up to us asking what people were reading in class; we had a conversation and he got a Compassionate Choices and a Guide. Also met numerous vegetarians / vegans.
We reached another 3,650 students at Texas A&M despite heavy downpours after 10 am. Saw a multitude of people reading as they walked down from where Ethan was handing them out; was able to leave my spot, run over and snag a pic [right]. We encountered no antagonism at this ag school. Several mentioned that they love animals when they got a leaflet. One was a huge football player who came back for a booklet after initially not wanting one, saying, “I’ve always loved animals.” Great friendly students here and encouraging to see so many reading the booklets.
At Sam Houston
State, the three of us beat the previous record
by more than 500, reaching over 2,200 students!
Watched many reading the booklet. One came back
and got a Guide after reading the Compassionate
Choices in class. Met enthusiastic
Kelsey [left], who went vegan after getting a booklet
from us last year. Also met a vegetarian couple [below, left]
who had been handed booklets at Warped Tour
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/19/13
700 students at CUNY LaGuardia.
One guy walking back held up his booklet and
said, “Thank you – I really like this.”
The owner of the halal food cart was at first
annoyed with me, but then softened and gave
me a free falafel!
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/19/13
felt the 10 degrees and whipping wind
at Creighton – had to go in to warm up during
lulls. Despite the cold, it was a good time.
A duo of students enthusiastically exclaimed,
“We’re vegetarian!!!” Another student
came back to say how heartbreaking the booklet
At Metropolitan Community College, one student yelled out, “I like this! Thanks a lot!” on her way down the hallway. Saw a handful of other students reading through the booklet [below, right] in my short time there.
Despite the 5°
temperature this morning, today at the University
of Nebraska, Omaha was my favorite day of outreach
in the heartland of America this year! I encountered
nearly no cynicism and heard tons and tons of
good feedback. I really couldn’t believe how
many students willingly took their bare hands
out of their pockets to take a booklet upon
hearing “Help animals?” One supportive
and friendly woman had a giant blanket over
herself and her backpack. I made a joke saying,
“I wish I had a blanket!” to which
she then literally offered the blanket off her
back! I declined of course but how nice of her!
Right off the bat, at 7:50 am, Jessica came up to me and said, “I just want you to know I’ve been vegan for two years and want to thank you for doing this!” She got a Guide and now wants to get involved! One student exclaimed, “Ohhh, I’m all about this!” Another student took a booklet, and by her facial expressions and wide-open eyes I could tell she was genuinely interested. I asked if she’d like a Guide as well and she grabbed it out of my hands and said, “Yes! I’ve been thinking lately about doing this!” Sometimes as VO leafleters we’re the seed planters, but sometimes we’re the plant growers.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/20/13
Kenny Torrella snapped this student reading an Even If You Like Meat while waiting for the train at DePaul.
great conversations at Naugatuck
Valley Community College today! Met five vegetarians
and three vegans, and got ten names and emails
of students interested in starting a campus
club. A student remembered me from last semester,
and said after I gave him the VO booklet, he
cut his consumption of animal products almost
entirely! Another student remembered me from
Southern Connecticut State a year ago. I asked
him if it changed anything in his eating, and
he said, “I don’t eat meat anymore!”
He thought the treatment of the animals was
disgusting. A girl asked if I was just at the
Ivy League Vegan Conference at Yale. I said
I was. She asked me if there was someplace she
could sign up for a club. Indeed!
One of the last students I spoke with came up to me and said, “Oh. You are the one handing out this information. This is a good thing you are doing. I want to sign up.” Got his email!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/19/13
Chicago – Liz, Kenny, and I –
descended on DePaul today. DePaul can be tough,
but there are always new people to reach. We
met a new vegan interested in getting involved
for the animals. Another student came back and
wants to go vegan; she was happy to get a Guide!
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/18/13
Mississippi State! Despite the
rain and cold temps, students happily accepted
literature even if they were drenched or fiddling
with their umbrellas. Amazingly receptive and
friendly feedback. One student told me her experience
with Future Farmers of America was what made
her become a vegetarian. She couldn’t
deal with raising animals that would eventually
be killed. Super day and I have no doubt that
many will be making some changes and joining
the increasing number of recent veg folks already
on this campus!
Met lots of vegetarians and even more vegans at Florida State. Highlight of the day was a guy who said that he read the Compassionate Choices during the class change and it really impacted him. His friend then spoke up to ask for both the CC and Guide, as he could stand a good cry, especially since it was Valentine’s Day.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/14/13
|Jessica Carroll, Diane Gandee Sorbi, Brian Grupe, and Kitty Jones (above) reached 2,900+ students with Even If You Like Meat at the City College of San Francisco; and Loren Hart snapped Team Triangle’s Rob Gilbride (below) leafleting Duke University, where they reached 1,000 students, staff, and faculty this semester!|
great to have Darren and Todd
with me at Solano CC and Napa Valley College. Students
were receptive, and we met a number of vegetarians.
Both of these schools have come a long way over
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/4/13
leafleting at East Carolina University! As
always, I met vegans who had received a
booklet in the past and decided to change their
diet. Nothing beats the power of a VO booklet.
—One axis of Team Triangle, 2/18/13
Jon sends along these pics of Tatiana Mendez (above) leafleting Gaithersburg HS on 2/14/13, and Dave Doctor (below) leafleting the U of Mary Washington on 2/15/13.
and I had great responses at Yuba
College, despite the rain! A professor invited
me to speak at his 4 pm class. I went through the presentation
somewhat quickly, leaving plenty of time for
Q&A. It was a phenomenal 90-minute discussion / presentation
with great questions and discussion from the
students. At the end, the professor invited
me to stay for his 6 pm class, and we did it
all over again. He is eager to have me back
Today, I made another great connection! Cal State Chico’s sustainability coordinator wants us to give a presentation later this year. Brittany, Charlotte, and I also reached 1,550 students.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/20/13
stop at Oregon State – good acceptance
rate and conversations! Also met a student who
did a report on factory farms last semester
– nice to see it on people’s radar.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 2/14/13
and I had a great productive day
at the University of Maryland. Despite the bitter
cold, we reached over 2,400 students! One guy
said he read my Reddit
Q&A, and he’s working on reducing
his meat consumption. Booya! Another guy told
Dave that this issue is more important than
what most others spend their time promoting.
He also said that he’s working on cutting back
his meat consumption.
Amy told me she was considering going veg, and that her boyfriend (who lives with her) insists on eating meat. I gave her a lot of information about veg eating, and told her, for her boyfriend, where she would be more likely to find meat that was associated with better animal welfare standards. I always let these individuals know that I see “humane meat” as less cruel, but not cruelty-free, and go into detail why I would say that. I think that answering every question with “Go vegan!” might make us feel good, but it can be a disservice to animals if the end result will be a diet of factory farmed meat.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/21/13
great, four-school day, with two
records! Some of the students at the State College
of Florida were really excited to get a booklet.
Ringling College of Art and Design and University
of South Florida Sarasota were quick but good
uses of my time. New College was the highlight
– more veg folks per population than any
other college I’ve ever leafleted. It
even has a vegetarian café run by students.
Most students were thrilled to get a booklet
– next time I’m using Why Vegans,
because it’s a better fit for this crowd.
Lots of students thanked me for being there,
and I met so many veg folks I ran out of Guides.
The highlight at the University of South Florida, Tampa was a group of visiting high school students – they huddled together in two groups reading the booklets. One of the chaperones sat down and read the Compassionate Choices from cover to cover – she was visibly moved.
The best conversation at Alabama State was with four guys, three of whom are athletes. They were totally into the info and all got Guides and we had a conversation about some of the things they can eat. One even said that he had the veggie burger in the cafeteria and liked it, and all expressed a real interest in making changes.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/7/13
Rachel and I had a great day
at Richmond College. One veg student was exhilarated
we were on campus: “These are my people!”
he exclaimed to his friends. Saw many engrossed
in the booklet and others discussing. Others
had questions, and a student told Rachel she
wanted to go veg! Feel great about these kids,
I’m sure many went veg.
While setting a new record at Texas Woman’s University, Rachel and I had one of the best days of outreach ever! Some of the booklets went to people before they got in line for the elevators; we saw loads of people engrossed in the booklets while waiting [below, left]. A history professor took booklets for her class. Also met a student who used to be veg; she said she would redouble her efforts to go full vegan.
We also set a record at Mountain View College. Saw LOTS reading [below, center & right], and Rachel spoke with a student [above] who used to be veg friendly and now wants to go fully veg.
downpours, Ethan, Rachel and I headed over to
Richland College, where we met Holly [Huertas, right]. She helped
us leaflet even though she’s not veg yet; she
said that she was going to go veg several days
a week and work to being vegan. Over at the
University of Dallas, a student spoke to Rachel
and was so thankful we were on campus; she took
an Even If and a Guide to
show her roommate. I overheard one student make
a disparaging remark, to which the other student
replied, “No. Being cruel to animals is
Mieke, Ethan, and I had amazing interactions at the University of North Texas, where we reached over 3,500 students. Many thanked us for the info. Met someone who had gone vegan after getting a booklet before, but had lapsed. After speaking and giving her a Guide, she pledged to change her diet again. Another good conversation was with Miguel, a new vegan with lots of questions.
Texas Christian is a smallish school, but Rachel and I reached nearly 1,400 students. One of the highlights was meeting Desiree [Ortiz, right], an affable soldier who strongly supports the fight against animal cruelty.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/14/13
Jennifer and I had an amazing day
at Stony Brook University; Max and Ted joined us, too!
Jennifer had 3 skateboard pass offs, and I had
5! Good conversations as well; e.g., one student
said she’d gone vegetarian from reading a Compassionate
Choices her friend had given her last month.
We got the names & emails of 20 people who
want the campus food service to offer more meat-free
options, and who might help get the student
org off the ground.
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/7/13
Another great day with Jonathan
at Hoover High School and Cal
State Fresno! We reached more than 1,800 students
today, and told interested people about activism
At Cosumnes River College, my last booklet went to Mark [left] – he got a Guide and is now Sacramento’s newest vegan! Speaking with him was a great reminder that it sometimes takes a second or third exposure for a concept to really click in someone’s mind.
Great conversations at Cal State Sacramento, including a woman who is now going to stop eating animals. There was a huge and very receptive group of Air Force ROTC students.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/15/13
Despite windchills in the low
20s, Dave [Doctor, below, left] and I had a great time
at the Forward on Climate rally, and Pulin [Modi, below, right] joined
us, too! I heard lots of “I’m
already vegan” comments; I counted four
in less than one 30-second interval. And many
individuals thanked us for being there, told
us they agreed with the cause, etc. But it wasn’t
just speaking to the choir; I could tell that
this was new material to a good many of the
individuals we reached.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/18/13
As this was Valentine’s Day,
I asked the students at Indiana University at
Bloomington, “Have a heart for animals?”
Reached over 1,350 students – and two vegetarians
came back to get Guides right before
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 2/14/13
engaging students at Oklahoma
City University! With a huge smile and ultra
appreciation, Stacy [left] said, “Ohhhh, this
is PERFECT!” I overheard
one student say to his friend, as they opened
their booklets, “Well, I like meat, so let’s
take a look!”
At never-been-leafleted Rose State, I gave out 13 Guides to people very interested or already veg, and two AMLs to people very interested in getting active (e.g., “I want to get involved with animal rights!”).
Great take rate at the University of Oklahoma. Three different guys came back to me to say they had read the entire booklet, and were happy to get a Guide. Logan, Aaron, and Mark joined me at different points during the day.
Oklahoma State in the snow was not quite as
pleasant as a normal day of outreach, but still
good outreach! Ran into Hayley, a student that
had a “vegan means I’m trying to suck less”
bag. She came back to talk and joined me for
a class change. Another student said she had
gotten a booklet before and altered her diet.
Reached over 700 students at rural Fort Hays State in western Kansas. Some enthusiastic support, including: “Help animals? Yeah!” “Thank you for doing this. It really means a lot to me.” “My wife’s vegan.”
Today’s highlight at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln was when Dillon [right], who had been leafleted earlier in the day, was riding my way on his bike and got off to ask some questions. After a good conversation, he concluded, “Well, I’m gonna have to say [no] Qdoba today!” I then told him he could still eat Qdoba, just choose the vegetarian burrito instead. We shook hands and he rode off.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/18/13
The students at Miami Dade College
were eager to get booklets. Time
and again, students kept coming back to grab
one after passing by; many smiles and thank
yous, and a number of times students also thanking
me for doing what we do. Several great conversations
ensued – including two extended conversations
en español. The highlight for me was
a student who came back to me exclaiming, “This
changed my life!” while proudly holding
up her booklet. There we have it: proof positive
that the work we’re doing is making a difference.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/29/13
I love Palm Beach Atlantic University!
Too many conversations and great
comments to list! Several professors and administrators
took literature and two stopped to say that
they would be talking about these issues to
their students. One skateboarder scooted back
to take a booklet. He said he totally agreed,
and ended our conversation saying, “God
bless you for doing this.”
Was great to have Bea with me at Polk State’s campuses; one student even stopped to join us! Talked to an ethics professor who incorporates animal rights into his courses and heard from other staff and faculty members who were happy to see us out there. So many people interested in making changes to their diet – it’s pretty mind-boggling!
Jon and I crushed the record at Florida Gulf Coast University. Highlight of the day was meeting Christina [right], who had gotten a leaflet from Jeff last semester; it made her cry and she has been a vegetarian ever since.
—Dawn Ratcliffe (above, at FGCU), 1/30/13
Lots of good conversations with students at Bakersfield College, including Cynthia [above, center], who recently wrote a report about the food system and is ready to make a change! Claudia [above, left], whose aunt had recently undergone open-heart surgery, said her mother’s been urging her to get healthy. She wanted to change her diet, but just didn’t know how! Now she’s ready to cut back on meat drastically – maybe even go
vegan – because “the way they treat the animals is terrible.” And a man in a cowboy
hat scoffed at the booklet in the morning,
yet came back in the afternoon to tell me about
a restaurant downtown where “you would
think you were eating meat, but it was all soy!”
A stellar day with Jonathan at Fresno High School (where the take-rate was ~99%!) and Fresno City College. Great conversations, and loads of moved people!
—Steve Erlsten, 2/7/13
|At Fresno City College, Jonathan Hussain snapped Steve in action (above, right), as well as some of the many people moved by our booklets: Lizeth (above, left) now wants to go veg again; (below, from left) Ruth is a vegetarian now interested in going vegan; Alexa is eating less meat and convinced her mom to go veg after getting a booklet on 10/16/12; Jesus was stoked to get Compassionate Choices booklets to share; and Kayla is vegan and a member of Central Valley Animal Liberation.|
Cobie set a new personal record,
and we reached over 1,500 students
at the University of Oregon! Productive conversations,
too. One guy [right] who had accepted a booklet came
by later and asked me why I do this. We had a good conversation
and he agreed that the animals are treated horribly
and that it is an important issue and said he
would eat less meat. Cobie met someone whose
friend tried going vegan but only lasted a week.
Cobie gave him a Guide
for her and pointed out it is good to cut back
on animal foods.
At the mostly vegan place in the student union, we talked with one of the servers [below, right] who read a VO booklet in 2006 when she was 12. She and a friend have been veg ever since, and now she wants to leaflet.
—Nettie Schwager, 2/4/13
Purdue, an ag science instructor was
dismayed that his effort to dismiss me for having
never been on a farm was disrupted, because
I had been taught dairy farming as a child.
One need not be a dairy child to know about
modern farming, as most knowledge today comes
to us not from direct experience – which often
compromises our ability to be honest about the
action in question anyway – but from third
party and ideally credible sources.
—Joe Espinosa, 2/7/13
Bunches of vegetarians and
good conversations at CUNY Brooklyn, including
one person who said he’d definitely be able
to cut down on his meat consumption, a lot who
said “it’s so sad,” and when I was
leaving the last person I gave a leaflet to
said, “You know, I’m truly with you on
this – it’s so sad the way they treat the animals.”
—Lisa Drapkin, 2/8/13
Great day with Dave [Doctor, right] at the University of Virginia. We reached over 2,400 students and had lots of positive conversations. For
example, a woman came back to us and said she
is now considering going vegan.
—Jon Camp, 2/7/13
Despite the wind and cold, awesome interactions at Texas State! Rachel and I met Carrie [below, left], who came up to tell us that handing out booklets really does affect people; she went veg since getting a booklet at a science convention in Houston in 2006. Long conversation while I leafleted with a seminary student interested in going veg after getting a booklet. Talked with two friends [below, center] who were seriously discussing going veg. One student [below, right] wants to try going vegan after reading a booklet. Many mentioned getting a leaflet in a previous semester – the word is out. Another student wanted to be a humane officer; I told her how I used to rescue dogs in Philly but someone pointed out 99% of abused animals are farmed animals, etc. She left saying she would eat less meat, and happily took a Guide. Score! Also met an animal ethics professor who already had VO lit, and the president of a progressive student group who thanked us for being out there and took a handful to show others.
After a great day
at Baylor, Rachel and I had an amazing time
at McLennan Community College, with a number
of in-depth conversations. During one of them,
a student said, “I will always eat meat.”
Ten minutes later, he pulled friends over, saying,
“You got to listen to this guy!” While
talking to these six students, a cop asked me
to leave, and they asked the cop to leave! “We
got your back,” they told me. It really
made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 2/4/13
Barbara also leafleted the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market on 1/19/13: “[Above is] a guy who was so engrossed in his leaflet he didn’t even look up as he followed at his girlfriend’s heels from booth to booth – I thought he was going to bump into her. And a vendor was so deeply engrossed in reading a CC he failed to notice people passing by his booth.”
Matt, Jill, and I had a fun time
at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! Lots of interested people.
A vegan couple visiting from Portland thanked
us for spreading the message. They got buttons
and an AML,
so hopefully they’ll be doing vegan outreach
in Portland. Matt had a good discussion with
three college students who wanted literature
because their English professor is having them
discuss the ethics of eating animals.
—Barbara Bear, 1/31/13
Killer day at New Mexico State! Met a ton of new / recent vegans and vegetarians, and had other great interactions:
Spoke with Jose, a student that just moved to the US and was familiar with WSPA. I spit out the 99% fact, which really got his attention, and he promised to read through the booklet.
Ran into Jasmine [below], who told me that because of receiving a booklet last year, she’s really cut down on the meat she eats. As we departed, she told me, “Good job on your movement!”
Spoke with Chris, an awesome dude with a vegan tattoo on the back of his calf. He went vegan a year ago after driving through Oklahoma and coming across a slaughterhouse and then just driving into it. He was chased out, but said he did a ton of research when he got back home; he and his wife then went vegan and now they want to get involved.
Met a dude named Guatham, who mentioned that the cruelty we inflict on animals is wretched. He is a former vegetarian but said he’s now thinking of going back, and said, “Sweet!” numerous times after I gave him a Guide.
Met a wildlife conservation and ag major who said he sees this s*** all the time and was really happy to see us out there.
Interaction of the day: Earlier I leafleted a professor with a bow tie on and complimented him on it. A couple class changes later, he walked by and mentioned that he had gotten a booklet earlier and said he didn’t eat chicken for lunch because of it. So I Guided him and he then said, “I’m gonna cut that [chicken] crap out!”
—John Oberg, 1/30/13
Kate St. John (above) and Jaime Hecht (below) hand out Compassionate Choices at the Presidential Inauguration.
the Inauguration, Jaime, Kate
[right] and Aaron, our friends from FARM, and I reached
2,750 people with a VO booklet. Various reactions,
but a solid use of time; there were definitely
a number of individuals who were enthused about
receiving a booklet, especially younger individuals.
—Jon Camp, 1/21/13
a new record at Florida Atlantic
University – one of the best leafleting experiences
I’ve had! I literally ran out of Guides
– I could have exceeded 50. Tons of conversations
and friendly students. Talked to several new
vegans who were thankful for the conversation / advice. One guy said he didn’t think he
could be vegan, because he had heard you
have to be 80% raw. I quickly squished that
rumor and we had a nice conversation. Later,
I was approached by a woman who wanted a Guide,
and several others groups of students (and staff)
who wanted more info. Fabulous day and extremely
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 1/23/13
MLK parade drew a great crowd, with
many genuinely interested in learning more about
factory farming. Bianca, a first-time leafleter,
commented later how surprisingly effective she
felt our few hours of outreach had been. Especially
surprising to her was how interested
the younger members of the crowd were in getting
the info, many who kept catching up to us to
get a leaflet after seeing others with them
from locations we’d already passed.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/21/13
and I had a productive day at
Canada College and the College of San Mateo.
First-time leafleter Judy joined us at CSM,
and did a great job. The highlight of the day
was a woman who came up to me about an hour
after I gave her a leaflet to tell me she’d
looked through it and decided she doesn’t want
to eat meat anymore. She said she knows being
vegan would be even better for the animals,
but she isn’t ready for that step yet. I congratulated
her and told her most people go vegan in stages.
She said she hoped to become vegan someday.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 1/24/13
|Vic Sjodin and Rachel Shockey offer Compassionate Choices at the University of Texas at Brownsville.|
Rachel and I had a solid day at the University of Texas, Brownsville, and South Texas College. Highlights of the day include Sonya [right], now going veg. Also spoke with a student who wanted to go vegan, and had two professors come back for booklets. One student exclaimed, “Aww, what a cute piggy!” and we heard him discuss issues as he walked away. Another student has been veg for six years and was very inspiring; she educated her friends and they too went veg. She had many questions and was worried about becoming pregnant while veg, so we had a long talk, and she said she was excited to read a Guide. Another veg student took a Guide to show her mom, who thought eating veg was unhealthy.
Back at STC the next day, met
two more students now planning to go veg after
getting a booklet; Rachel had a very nice conversation
with one of them [Paige, left].
—Vic Sjodin, 1/23/13
the College of Lake County, we
had one person who read the leaflet and said
that he decided to go vegetarian on the spot.
We ran into Jamie’s former swim coach and he
took about 25 to distribute at the hospital
where he works.
—The Jungenberg Clan, 2/5/13
While leafleting York College on 1/30/13, Lisa snapped this pic of Dwight, a new vegetarian and aspiring vegan!
CUNY Brooklyn, a guy asked why
it would matter if just one person stopped eating
meat. I explained that as more and more people
stop eating meat, fewer and fewer animals will
suffer. He really started to get it, and did
actually say he’s going to cut back on eating
meat and research more information.
Despite the freezing wind, new record with Paula at CUNY Queensborough! A highlight was when a teacher passed by with his class, saw what we were giving out, and told all his students that they needed to take one so they could discuss it in class.
—Lisa Drapkin, 2/4/13
Ted, and I had a solid day in
the snow at Suffolk County Community College.
Good conversations, including with a student
who said he went vegan for a week, but could
not stay with it. Told him about new products,
and gave him a Guide. He said he was going to
try again. Also got the names and emails of
five people interested in learning more about
going vegan and getting active.
—Karen James, 2/5/13
to work with Angela and Eva at
Harold Washington College, even with the temperature
in the low 20s. Many students expressed interest
in vegetarianism or concern for the animals.
One student told me he is trying to go vegan
and was happy to receive a Guide.
—Leslie Patterson, 2/4/13
Above: After Santa Ana College, Steve leafleted Santiago Canyon College, where he spotted this student engrossed in his copy of Compassionate Choices. Below: Rachel reaches another student at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, HI.
Santa Ana College, I had two separate
amazing conversations with soon-to-be vegans
who both want to volunteer with us! I gave them
each an AML.
I also talked to a former military man who doesn’t
buy into veganism because of vegan stereotypes.
I used the “if you wouldn’t do this to
an animal, why would you pay someone else to
do it?” angle. In the end, he said he would
try some of the vegan meats!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/31/13
friend and I had good outreach throughout
Hawaii this last week – we reached 1,500 students.
At Kapiolani Community College, had a great
conversation with a woman trying to reduce her
meat consumption; we discussed meat alternatives
and she left happy and motivated. Another student
said she’ll never eat meat again.
—Rachel Shippee (left), 1/29/13
Jill, Kimberly, and I had a great time at
the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! Some fav
A couple who’ve been vegan just 4 days and were excited to get more info.
A couple who came to the table with their 2-year-old daughter who refuses to eat animals. They seemed relieved to see healthy vegans and get some info on what to feed their little girl. We clapped for her and praised her for her choice.
A philosophy student who has been thinking a lot about his food choices and said he would “sleep better at night” if he could stop eating animals. His main sticking point is that he’s an athlete, so he thought that would make it hard to go w/o animal protein. I showed him the pic of Robert Cheeke in the booklet (he said, “Whoa!”) and told him about VeganBodybuilding.com, good sources of vegan protein, etc. He left with a new can-do attitude.
A 20ish girl said she tried being veg for a year, but became anemic. Gave her a Guide and chatted for a bit about giving it another try. She was very excited about the possibility of being able to go veg again.
Later, Jill was at a local vegan restaurant and the owner told her a college student had come in and told him our table at the farmers’ market is what influenced him to go vegan.
—Barbara Bear, 1/17/13
At GateWay Community College, I
heard, “You’re doing a good thing, keep
it up!” and “I’m already on board.”
Handed Natalie [above, right] a booklet and she entered the
building. An hour later she emerged: “That
little booklet you gave me made me so sad. I
want to go vegetarian now.” She wants to
start getting involved in animal issues and
cut meat out of her diet. Awoooooooo!
Brinley [Suppes, above, left] joined me at Arizona State. I leafleted her last semester; she went vegan, got a friend to go vegan, and wanted to get involved. Turns out she’s since turned her dog vegetarian and another friend vegetarian. How awesome!
Was great to be joined by Molly [right] and Meggie at Phoenix College and by Zubair at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. I met Emit [right], who got a booklet last semester and said he’d definitely be transitioning towards vegan. Another student mentioned this stuff is “really messed up.” Another said the stories in the booklet are intense. Max told me that he really likes the “reduce approach” because in the past he’s gotten info like this and felt like they were asking too much.
Reached more than 2,500 students at the University of Arizona; some favorite feedback:
“This is what I believe in!”
“If I look at that I’ll cry for hours.”
“Oh my god! I’m never eating meat again!”
“Awwwww it made me really sad.”
“This made me go vegetarian for six months!” (Now only a part-time veggie so I gave her a Guide and some encouragement.)
“That’s really good information you’re handing out.”
“I’m going to start following some of those guidelines in there”
“Awww this is too sad.” (Handed her a Guide; then her friend asked for one, too. Her friend said, “Yeah, I used to be a vegetarian. Maybe I should be vegetarian again.” I told her how easy it is in 2013, and we parted on a very good note. Glad to have provided some encouragement!
|Below: Three of the 1,980 Phoenix College students reached by Meggie Townsend, Molly Lansdowne, and John Oberg.|
Above: A Mesa CC student studies an EIYLM from John and Meggie (below).
And a solid day
at Mesa Community College with Meggie!
Heard tons of great feedback like, “This
is gruesome stuff,” “Oh, I’m already
vegan!” and “Yeah, I love animals.”
Had a good convo with Mike who asked when I
was first exposed to this issue. I told him
about four years ago and then asked if it was
his first exposure to it. “Yes, this is
pretty crazy, man.” I handed him a Guide
and my card; he was keenly interested in moving
away from this kind of cruelty! Also had a good
convo with a student named Paulina who wanted
to cut back on meat. Unfortunately she was just thinking
about cutting back on beef, so I informed her
about the numbers of chickens raised and slaughtered
Best part of the day, and actually of the week, was when I reached out to hand Cortni [below, right] an Even If You Like Meat and she told me, “Oh, you guys already got me! I’m vegan now.” When I inquired, she told me that on 9/21/11 (she remembered the exact date!) she was handed a booklet by a leafleter (Dawn Ratcliffe!) and instantly went vegan from her then-current meat-eating state! She seemed super excited by us being out there on her campus again. Epic!
—John Oberg, 1/22/13
and I had a great start to the tour:
despite the unusual cold, we reached over 4,200
students at the University of Texas–Pan American. So many
highlights, including a student who had decreased
his consumption of animals when he got a booklet
in the past, and is now committed to going all
the way. We also met Andrea [right], who was stoked to get a Guide and pledged to go veg from now on! Many came back to get booklets for
friends, family, coworkers, and students, including
two philosophy professors. Rachel was asked
to be interviewed for the college radio station.
We met so many interested students – a huge
change from when I was first here in 2008!
Who but Vegan Outreach would be speaking out for the animals in Edinburg, Texas of all places? I love the work we do!
—Vic Sjodin, 1/17/13
Was great to leaflet
with Michelle at UCLA – we reached over 1,600
students. One guy said the last time he came
across a Compassionate Choices, he and his wife
almost went vegan. Hopefully this day’s booklet,
conversation, and Guide will be the
last push they need!
Set a new record at Moorpark College – reached over 1,700 students. One of the Guides went to a 76-year-old civil engineer! After a long conversation, he’s going to talk to his wife about trying some vegan recipes!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/15/13
a total of 1,541 students at two
Portland Community College campuses and Clackamas
Community College, including giving out nearly
At both branches of PCC, vegans told me about non-vegan friends who gave them a hard time about being vegan, and they wanted to read A Meaningful Life and The Animal Activist’s Handbook. Other good encounters, including:
A man [right] had cut back on meat since reading a previous booklet, and he wants to go vegetarian in the future.
A man took a booklet and said, “(expletive) those factory farms!” so I gave him a Guide.
A man whose wife is vegetarian said he feels unhealthy when he doesn’t eat meat himself, and he was happy to get a Guide.
I also met a woman who had done a report on this topic, a woman who had done a Girl Scout project on this topic, and a man whose high school culinary teacher had encouraged the class not to cook factory farmed animals.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 1/9/13
highlight at Miami-Dade College,
Medical Campus came right at the end, when the
security officer who passed me several times
even returned asking why he hadn’t been offered
one! Turns out he’d already been considering
vegetarianism since his sister and an aunt had
been eating mostly veg. A nice end to this great
day of outreach!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/15/13
off the semester big by breaking
the record at CSU East Bay – Eleanor, Kitty,
Rob, and I reached over 2,100 students. Supportive
feedback and friendly students!
Another record at De Anza College – Eleanor, Kitty, Rob, and I reached 3,570 students! I met a young lady [left] who went veg after getting a brochure from Mike last semester. Eleanor met a woman who went vegan over a year ago from a booklet.
And yet another record at Santa Rosa Junior College – Kitty, Tim, and I reached 1,900 students. Students were friendly and receptive, despite temperatures in the 30s!
And yes, another record, this time at Diablo Valley College, with Jeni, Kitty, and Jessica. Despite the freezing temperatures, we reached nearly 4,000 for the day (including Los Medanos College). Best for me was a young lady who came right back and said, “Thank you so much for this, I just made the decision to go vegan last week and this is really inspiring to see!”
—Brian Grupe, 1/15/13
record at Northern Virginia Community
College, Alexandria. Ruth, a vegan of 30
years, stopped by to say that she really appreciated
what I was doing and that she followed VO. She
stopped by later with her 18-year-old daughter
who has been vegan her whole life – great representatives
of a vegan diet. I also came across a number
of new vegans and those interested in eating
more vegan fare. After getting the Even
If You Like Meat, one guy said, “But
I do like meat.” I told him that we’re
simply asking people to cut back on it. He said,
“That’s reasonable. I’ll give it a try.”
A great day!
—Jon Camp, 1/14/13
John Oberg and Meggie Townsend leaflet Arizona State.
Meggie and I were joined by Molly, and we reached over 3,100 students at Arizona State. Early in the morning I handed a booklet to a student who replied with “I’m vegan! F*** yeah!” Clearly she was happy we were there. Also met a supportive 12-year vegan. In fact, I met 8 vegans by 10:30 am! Must be a personal record. Ran into a dude named Xavier who had gone veg before but got sick; he told me he’s now trying to get back into it and the Guide will be super helpful. Had a good conversation with a student who had gone veg but became anemic. Of course I handed her a Guide and pointed out the health tips! Highlight was meeting JJ [below, right], a student who received a booklet from us on December 3rd of last year. He exclaimed, “I haven’t eaten meat since you guys gave me this last month!” He made it clear we made an impact on him. Great stuff!!!
College is a hotbed of interested students – new
vegetarians, people wanting to go vegetarian,
people wanting to go back to being veg, etc. Had a great conversation with Bailey and Elisia [above, left]. Elisia is a vegetarian who is trying to keep on it and Bailey is her former-vegetarian friend that wants to get back on it. Both were inspired by the booklet; Elisia to continue and Bailey to give it a second shot! They were both totally stoked to get a Guide.
Four different students – Netty, Kirsten [below], David, and Nick – stopped to help me leaflet during the day. Once we had saturated the campus, I returned to Arizona State for a bit. One of the first students I spoke with, Matt [left], said the booklet turned him vegetarian when we handed him one last semester! He was even interested in volunteering. Whoop whoop!
—John Oberg, 1/15/13
Netty Kinnz (above) and Kirsten Schulte (below) leaflet GCC.
Morrissey show in Bethesda was
fantastic! He performed “Meat Is Murder” and projected
Meet Your Meat on a huge screen as the last
song of a set. Kimberly and I grabbed booklets
and handed them all out in a short period of
time. People were very receptive, so if there
is a Morrissey show in your town, it’s definitely
worth leafleting – the people will be primed
by the show!
—Vlad Konstantinov, 1/16/13
leafleting at Clara Barton High
School puts me over 500,000 reached, lifetime.
Lots of work over the years but it’s very worthwhile.
I’ve discovered that most students don’t share
feedback unless we inquire. But I know from
experience it works – when slow, I ask those
who got the booklet before what they thought,
and most state it’s bad / sad, and many go on
to say they have made changes. Leafleting can
educate / influence an entire school with very
little time, effort, and resources.
interested students at Eastern
Illinois University, despite the cold rain.
Heard from a dozen vegetarians / vegans – one
of whom said it was receiving a booklet in the
past that had prompted the change.
Double-digit number of vegetarians and vegans at Illinois State; more importantly, many students with seemingly genuine curiosity about what modern farming does to animals. A good example: one of the first students I offered the booklet to initially declined, but upon seeing it was about animals, doubled back to get it, then walked a few steps, paused and turned around to thank me for the booklet.
—Joe Espinosa, 1/15/13
leafleting with Mark at the University
of Illinois, Chicago. We were able to answer many
questions from interested students, and met
a number of vegans and vegetarians.
—Leslie Patterson, 1/16/13
great start to the semester at
the University of North Florida – we reached
over 1,400 students! Met students who had just
started to change their diets; and several students
commented how many vegans there are on campus
now compared to years prior.
—Jeff Boghosian, 1/8/13
conversations at Armstrong Atlantic State University, where I met several vegetarians
and a couple of aspiring vegetarians and two
folks who were going from veg to vegan. One
woman I had spoken with before said she was
still making steady progress toward being veg.
Even more great conversations at Savannah State, including various people who had been influenced by booklets in the past. Loads of other great feedback. I love this school!
Solid day at Georgia Tech, including a conversation with a faculty member who was going to read the booklet in her office. Lots of vegetarians, vegans, and people transitioning. Some students even came around after passing me several times before.
Well worth it today at Rollins College, with lots of positive reactions. Veganism is really well known at this school; e.g., a recent newsletter profiled a student who went vegan after taking a class on food issues at Rollins.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 1/17/13
At Cal State Long Beach, I reached 900 people in my first hour, on my
way to reaching 2,000. Amazeballs crazeballs
Monday. Down to my last stack, I began packing
up to leaflet on my way back to my car. Awl’a
sudden a young lady comes up behind me asking,
“Can I have one of those?” Yes…the
booklets often leaflet themselves.
Reached 1,832 at Long Beach City College with two on-the-spot helpers. Natasha was the 15th person to get a booklet. She asked for extras to help hand out; I also gave her my contact info so she can join the fun going forward. The 100th booklet went to Britain who also came running back to help out.
Tons of receptive peeps at Fullerton College [one at right]. Coby [Pellatiro, below, left] and Maritza [Galvan, below, right] helped for an hour, and we reached over 1,400 students. At one point, a pod of eager veggies formed at my crosswalk, all excited to meet other like-hearteds at their school. They were blocking foot traffic and surely getting people’s attention talking excitedly about veg eating, all the great foods and restaurants out there, and the pack of lies most people are fed. Good things coming soon with these animal lovers!
Santa Monica College
takes the record for highest number of turn-backs
ever (when people turn around after denying
a booklet, saying, “Wait…what’s that for?”
then they hear it’s about animals and take
one). Bumped into Yacob [left], a young man who got
a booklet last semester and stopped to chat
about it. He’s been veg ever since! Two months
going strong! Then met Joyce [Wong, right], a longtime humanitarian.
Wanting to up her animal game, she was stoked
to play hookie from work and help out for an
hour (shhhh don’t tell anyone). After she finished
leafleting, she took more to hand out on her
Trying to leaflet the Forward on Climate rally was frustrating at first. Then I glanced over at a row of adults sitting along the wall, looking at me curiously. I handed them all booklets, which they EAGERLY ACCEPTED THANK YOU. They dove right in, reading their hearts out [below]. After that, my mood improved dramatically. Had some good conversations with some conscious folks by the end of the rally. Always. Worth. It. Bam.
I scored an awesome
sauce prof connection at Saddleback College
last semester, and the presentation with his
class went over really well so he had me back
again. I showed Farm to Fridge and
left more time for Q&A. The students were
very grateful. All but six students wanted a startup Guide
Having Kim [Dreher, left] and her amazing energy at Glendale Community College definitely helped. Lotsa readers and lots of new vegans! Make sure to keep wondering what you’ll do when there are no fires to put out. Cuz humanity’s headed that way!
Seamless day at Riverside City College. Lost count of how many people stopped to discuss beginning-veg steps; they were all Guided until I ran out! Then, early on at Moreno Valley College, met Brenda [below, left], who – thanks to compassionate arsenal – is gently pushed into the awesomeness that is veg living.
Was great to have
Todd [Lee, right] with me for my last, record day – three
colleges and a high school! Todd’s first full
day leafleting with me and we went crazeballs
in the Inland Empire! Folks in these parts are
always receptive, love animals, and MANY are
It’s been an AMAZING adventure leafleting full-time through southern California (almost THREE YEARS!) – there are no words for how absolutely perfect it’s been. I’m sure I’ll be leafleting as a volunteer here and there until all the cages are empty, so it’s not “goodbye,” more like, “I’ll see ya later!”
HUGE thanks to all of you who have made this type of outreach possible. Knowing you’re all out there, bringing smiles, compassion, and information to the masses has inspired me beyond my wildest hopes.
With deep gratitude to my Vegan Outreach family, and all you amazing supporters,
Mary, Jamie, Kevin, John, and I
dressed up as elves to leaflet
Christkindlmarket, and had good interactions.
Mary had a wonderful conversation:
A mother came back to me and said her daughter had a question for me. I knelt down on the pavement because she was so small. The little girl asked me if my booklet had foods in it that didn’t hurt animals. I said yes and that there were lots and lots of foods that are made that don’t hurt animals. She then asked me what I ate. I told her that I ate sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti, breakfast scrambles, desserts…but that I made them in a way that didn’t hurt any animals. She looked incredibly relieved and happy. Her mom told me that her daughter (she’s 6) was very upset about “chickens getting hurt.” I told her that she had an amazing daughter.
—Rachel Shippee, with Mary Jungenberg et al, 12/22/12
At the San Luis Obispo farmers’
market, we met a few former vegetarians
who accepted a Guide
to get back on the path. Once again, there were
many who commented on wanting to be vegan and
getting closer to being vegan, so Erika, Jill, Randall, Eron, and I were happy
to help them in that effort. With the visit from St. Nick [above] and two new activists, it was a great night all in all!
—Barbara Bear, 12/13/12
Casey snapped this pic while leafleting the Lycée Français de New York on 12/13/12: “A young woman passed by and said, ‘This is why I went vegetarian 3 years ago; just so you know it works – keep it up.’”
Many students at Lane Tech College
Prep were interested in learning
about what happens to farmed animals. Terry,
Nicole, Mikael, Kenny, Jovan, and I reached
nearly 700 of them before work.
—Leslie Patterson, 12/12/12
Six-hour round trip to Broward
College was worth it, as I had
some of the best interactions I’ve had this
whole semester. For example, through the course
of our conversation, one student became convinced
of the benefits that would come if more people
stopped contributing to the inherent violence
of animal agribusiness. It was great to hear
the thoughfulness these students put into their
questions and comments. It was really obvious
these kids already had been giving the issues
some deeper thinking, and I have a strong feeling
the booklets being giving out here today will
only cause more to do the same.
While leafleting Miami-Dade College, Medical Campus, many stopped just a few steps past me to read their booklet; others thanked me after accepting one and seeing how it was they could help animals by lessening their consumption. It’s the coolest thing ever, seeing the magical way these booklets help people make this connection!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 12/17/12
what WHAT a day of outreach at
Arizona State, my old stomping grounds! Together,
Meggie, Joseph, Zubair, Chris, Dillon, Amber,
and I reached 4,435 individuals – the most
at any school in the state of Arizona! I met
5 people that want to get involved and probably
30 vegetarians/vegans. Had a great conversation
with a student who had an issue with one part.
I gave him credit and pointed out how the other
99.9% of the booklet is still information that
he probably agreed with; he seemed really content
and actually interested in the idea of vegetarianism.
Thank you, Mr.
Carnegie. Another great interaction was
with Amy [right], a former vegetarian. Apparently she
was anemic, so I gave her a Guide and
pointed out the “Staying Healthy on Plant-Based
Diets” section; she was ridiculously excited
Take-rate was super high at Mesa Community College, as was interest in the subject. This was excellent outreach, as evidenced by several standout interactions: Spoke with Kathleen [right], a woman that told me how she loves animals so much and is always signing petitions for the Humane Society, but she loved meat. We had a great 10-minute conversation about the mistreatment of farmed animals. She actually almost started crying when we were talking and guess what: “I’m going vegetarian right now!” Had a great conversation with Anthony and Torin [right], who were disturbed by our food system. I gave them both Guides, and they seemed keen on the idea of moving towards a veg diet, especially Torin who seemed to just need this reminder and a few answers to simple questions! Also ran into one person who walked out of the Student Union with a salad and pretzel bites in her hands. When I offered her a booklet, she said, “Oh, I already got one. I was planning on getting chicken nuggets but after reading it, I got this instead.” Score!
More great conversations at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Alanna [below] started crying while we were talking. She said she’s been “wanting to get into this” for a while and this was the perfect catalyst.
reception at Phoenix College, a community college
comprised almost entirely of minorities. Heard
tons of awesome things like, “This is why
I’m vegetarian!” “This is really sad,”
“It’s pretty crazy stuff,” and “Lots
of people in class are talking about this.”
Had absolutely amazing conversations, including
instant vegetarians. On a side note, the last
three days I’ve met like 6 people who’ve said
they’ve written research papers on the subject
of farm animal mistreatment. The word is spreading!!!
Reception was also super high at Glendale Community College. One student said, “Awww, they’re so mean!” (referring to those that abuse animals). Another said, “Are those bags?!?!” (referring to the trash bags male chicks are often thrown into). Another guy said, “I am so voting for this!” Others expressed their sadness and one student even brought me a water for my time out there.
Above and below: GCC students are engrossed in Compassionate Choices.
Headed to GCC for the second day in a row and it was excellent! These kids are super receptive. Met Cynthia, a video production major who thought the booklet was very well-designed and loved how it includes heartwarming pictures of animals at the end. She said she’s been thinking about this for a while and now thinks she’s going to do it. At first she told me she was going to start by cutting out beef, so I quickly guided her in the opposite direction, stressing the emphasis on chickens. She said their household eats a lot of bacon, so I gave her the idea of eliminating or cutting back on meat except for bacon and then, with time, incorporating Fakin’ Bacon (not Smart Bacon, which tastes nothing like bacon IMO) so she and her family could go at a sustainable pace. It’s amazing how simply handing her a booklet triggered her to finally commit to a meat-free life after considering it for some amount of time.
Had a great conversation with a dude who stopped in his tracks and was like “Yeahhhh, I hate animal cruelty. I feel very strongly about this.” He ate meat, so I verbally expressed the pie chart of animals that die yearly in the US. He was flipping through the booklet and muttered “son of a b**ch” to himself a few times (just to give you an idea of how upset this made him). He was under the impression that this was only going on outside of the United States, but when I corrected him and then told him how our purchasing power controls whether or not this goes on, he seemed pretty pumped up and happy to receive a Guide. Spoke with Freddy, who came up to me and asked what I was handing out – when I explained it to him, he told me he was actually pretty interested and that his stepmom was a new vegetarian, so I Guided him! Then I talked to Brandon – it was slow and he asked me to tell him more. He was pretty shocked. I gave him a Guide and pointed out some things he could buy next time he was at the grocery store, and he said he would. Another excellent conversation with Ken. He said, “but I love pork and chicken” after I mentioned “Help animals.” I gave him a 20-second spiel about still being able to get those same kinds of tastes, textures, and aromas from plant-based meat alternatives without supporting this kind of cruelty. He seemed to have never heard of meat substitutes before and when I mentioned he can get a lot of these where he currently shops, his eyebrows lifted up high and he excitedly said, “I’ll have to check it out, thanks man!”
|Above are a few of the people at the Phoenix First Friday Art Walk who let John know our booklets made an impact on them. Dave Hernandez, below, went veg after getting a booklet at a First Friday in 2010, then helped leaflet more of these events!|
My first First Friday leafleting in exactly a year – I forgot how awesome the outreach is! Meggie, Clarrissa, Joe, Jacqueline, Joseph, June, Zubair, Erik, Rachel, Kimberly, and I reached over 3,300 people. As soon as I put my boxes down, a guy named Joaquin [above, center] walked up to me and asked, “Do you have any recipes? A whole year and still going strong!” He went vegetarian from getting leafleted by us at First Friday exactly a year ago! Later, I met a person [above, left] that received a booklet from Meggie at Mesa Community College on Tuesday. She recited some of the booklet word-for-word, and mentioned, “Yeah, if I cut my meat intake in half, I’ll still save a lot of animals!” She told me that after she read through the booklet, though, she doesn’t wanna ever eat meat again! Also spoke with Ali [above, right], whom I had leafleted at Mesa CC, and she told me the Even If You Like Meat had her crying. I handed her a Guide and she said, “Awesome!”
Great day back at Arizona State with Meggie. Ran into Brinley [Suppes, left], a student I leafleted here a week ago. Last week, when I said, “Help animals?” she said, “Yeah, definitely.” I mentioned how farm animals comprise 99% of animals killed in the US. I gave her my card and within the hour she had shot me an email and said how shocked she was about the statistic and that she is immediately going to make a change and encourage others to do the same. Turns out that change was her going VEGAN!!! She’s been vegan for a week (straight from eating meat), has gotten one friend of hers to go vegan, and is encouraging her family to look at their food choices. She even helped me leaflet for about 20 minutes before her next class and wants to start volunteering. Amazing!
Had a student
tell me, “You already made me cry once”
when I offered her a booklet. She was happy
to get a Guide, for sure! Also ran
into Althea [below], with whom I had a quick conversation
last week here. She told me she’s been eating
less meat since we talked and that the other
day, she was going to have chicken but decided
not to because that’s the worst choice in terms
of animal suffering!
My last college leafleting of the year was Grand Canyon University. Handed a booklet to two ladies and as they walked away, I witnessed one hold it up to her friend and say, “This is messed up. It’s why I’m vegetarian!” Another student came up to me and thanked me for handing it to her – she informed me that she’s been vegetarian for four years and seeing this reinforced it. Similar interaction with Colt, who went vegan overnight two months ago, and was having a bit of a hard time of it. Useful conversation.
Finally, a quick stop at Tempe High School. Made sure to get the booklets into the hands of a few uber-progressive looking kids. I wish someone had handed me one in high school – I think there’s a good chance it would’ve worked. Being unique comes from how we impact the world, not how we dress or how long our mohawks are.
—John Oberg, December 2012
set two new records because I
had my secret weapon with me today: Gwen [right], one
of the cutest vegan 6-year-olds ever! At Housatonic
Community College, we met a bunch of vegetarians.
Two students exchanged emails to start a group
on campus next semester. Two different students
came back to ask for more booklets to give to
friends and colleagues.
At Norwalk Community College, we exchanged emails with five students who wanted to start a group. A girl came up to me after reading the booklet and asked me where this is happening. I let her know that this happens in almost all states. Miguel [below] stopped to talk about these horrid conditions. He could not believe it, and agreed that this needed to end. He already stopped eating beef, and said that because of the booklet and our discussion, he was going to stop eating chicken and pork. Gave him a Guide.
—Karen James, 12/4/12
great day at Montgomery College.
A number of vegetarians, and I got the contact
info for two interested in joining me for outreach
in the DC region. The highlight of the day was
meeting Maggie, who let me know that getting
a VO booklet in Boston in 2007 gave her the
push needed to go vegan.
—Jon Camp, 12/3/12
day at Cal State, San Marcos!
All day when I offered a booklet, I heard “OOOooh!”
“AAAaaah!” and “I love animals!”
I met a number of happy vegans and vegetarians
who gave props to outreach.
—Kassy Ortega, 12/6/12
Phenomenal day at Art Institute
of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, and Duquesne
University! At AIP, folks queue for 5 to 10 minutes
during class changes waiting for elevators.
Thus most got booklets and then had to stand
and wait. I was pumped to see so many engrossed
in reading [above] and discussing with friends. One
woman [above, far right] said she didn’t think she could ever eat
meat again; she got a Guide. Another
woman [right] wants to go vegan and help leaflet in the future.
Giannina [Gonzalez, below, right] was so bright and positive and we had a pretty good take rate at Carnegie Mellon. One student [below] told us he got a veggie burger for lunch because of the booklet. Several expressed support for our cause and thanked us for leafleting. Heard others discuss with friends. One student said he was very disturbed by the treatment of animals and wanted to help; he got a Guide.
Icy rain in the morning for the last day of the tour, but still reached well over 700 students at Wilkes University and Luzerne County Community College. Saw lots of students reading cover-to-cover, and got good feedback. Met a former vegetarian who, after reading the booklets, said she’s going back to being veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 12/7/12
– an 82-year-old vegan who looks much younger [below] – continues to inspire me with
her energy and activism for animals. At the
farmers’ market, we met many more vegans than
normal, and had good, productive conversations.
One guy refused the booklet at first, saying,
“I don’t have any pets.” I told him
it was about the animals people eat and then
he readily accepted it. Another guy handed the
leaflet back saying, “I’m a meat-cutter.”
I said he could still look over the material.
He smiled genuinely and kept it after all, telling
me that a coworker is vegan.
—Barbara Bear, 12/8/12
Above is Lois Barber at the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market; below are Emily Burton and Alijah O’rourke-Marquez at MHS.
and Mikael joined me at The Story
Tour Concert, where we reached over 700 Christians
with Would Jesus Eat Meat Today? We met nine
vegetarians, and gave a Guide to eight
– the ninth already had one!
—Jon Bockman, 12/4/12
and I reached 450 students at
UNLV and met a number of vegetarians. Had a
good “meat reduction” conversation
with one woman. Met one professor who said he
incorporates animal issues into his English
course. He said he even shows Earthlings
to his students! Wow, things have changed!
—Elaine Vigneault, 12/10/12
The students at Cal State, Monterey Bay were really great yesterday! I met a faculty member who came and found me and told me how thrilled she was that I was spreading this message around campus. My pal Alijah made her college-leafleting debut between classes; then she and her roommate drove to Monterey High School later to help [right]. Both plan on doing some more leafleting before the year is up – yay!
Overheard quite a bit of discussion about the booklets at Hartnell College today, and reception was around 98%. I gave a Guide to a veg student and, after my brief explanation, her friend said, “Oh my god, I need that really bad!” One woman told me she read it in class and wants to give up meat now. Gave her a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 12/4/12
48 at Scarborough High School.
One student said his job is selling meat. I
said this pamphlet is important information
about the industry. He kept it. A student who
said he hunts also kept a pamphlet.
—Lana Smithson, 12/11/12
|Matt sends these pics of John Oberg and a few of the thousands of UA students they reached with Even If You Like Meat.|
great to hit the University of Arizona with
John [above]! We reached over 3,400 Wildcats; and Haybe,
whom John had met at Arizona State before, also
stopped to help. John met one woman who had
gotten a booklet from me earlier in the semester
and is now going vegan!
—Matt Ball, 11/30/12
At Utah State University, on-the-spot leafleter Maria Goller (above, left) hands out Even If You Like Meat, a couple of students share a Why Vegan? booklet (above, right), and Luribel Gonzalez (below) starts her “path toward a veggie life” after reading a Compassionate Choices from John.
day at Utah State – another 2,300+
students reached. Had several high points during
the day. For example: leafleted Maria [above], Guided
her, then she came back a few minutes later
and offered to help. She was awesome.
At the University of Denver, a professor took a booklet and said, “I love this! Thank you for giving me this!” About 15 minutes later, she came strolling back my way and I handed her a Guide. We got to talking and she thanked me several times for being out there and told me I was “magical.” She was really touched by our work and even said she’d like to donate to VO. Had a great conversation with a student who had been vegetarian. Fortunately, the booklet and our conversation led to her really considering giving it another shot.
Despite being right by the biggest slaughterhouse in the Western Hemisphere, the University of Northern Colorado was good leafleting! One dude said, “Hey man, that’s pretty interesting stuff.” A student told me, “I’m vegan and glad to see somebody’s out here doing this.” Another said, “You’re doing good work, man.” One more told me, “it’s pretty gruesome stuff.” They all got Guided. I also had a nice conversation with Gina; by the end, she seemed committed to start eating differently!
Despite it being
a slow Friday right before break, had good interactions
at CU Boulder. Two students wanted to get involved.
Had a great ongoing conversation throughout
the day with a guy named Bill [right]. After I had handed
him a booklet early in the day, he told me he
thought it was great and was considering going
75–80% vegetarian. So I handed him a Guide.
An hour or two later he came back over and told
me, “Wow, I read that and I’m now convinced
to go 100%!” Tony read through the booklet
and seemed impacted, but didn’t see how “a
few students in Boulder” could make a difference.
As we talked, he seemed to become more convinced
and was really impressed with the amount of
vegan food there is on the market. Good times!
Central New Mexico Community College was a blast! One woman came back and asked me, “Is this really happening? How can I help?” Then, at the University of New Mexico, amazing interactions! I gave one student a Guide, saying, “It has good veggie recipes,” and another student piped up, “Good veggie recipes?!” as if she had just heard I had been handing out free $20 bills.
The outreach at New Mexico State was some of the best of the semester. Nearly every student accepted a booklet (I’d say a 95% take-rate, the highest of any public school I’ve ever been to) and the reception was top-notch. One dude told me, “That changed what I ate for lunch today.” A student told me that she was vegetarian before but got sick; now wants to go back. I gave her a Guide, pointed out the health tips in it, and wrote down the link to VeganHealth.org. One student told me he read it and that it made him sad and feeling guilty while another football player-looking guy gave me a sincere “thank you for that flier” after he had read it. Perhaps the highlight: Two students walked up to me and the guy said, “Know that what you’re doing is making an impact.” He then shook my hand. I asked if he was veg and he replied, “No, but soon I will be. Thank you!”
At the University
of Texas at El Paso, the first 52 students in
a row accepted a booklet. I heard lots of oohs
and awwws from many an enthusiastic
bunch. So many people told me how sad it was.
A big dude that probably played on the football
team told me it made him cry. Met an exchange
student from Africa who said, “This is
very important!” after I handed him a booklet.
We talked for a few minutes; he said “pain
is real.” One student, Melanie, came up
to me and said, “It got me.” She explained
how she read it in class and it made her decide
to be vegetarian now. Snapped a pic [above] after giving
her a Guide!
What a day at El Paso Community College! The first 120 students in a row accepted a booklet, and I was fortunate to have the super-cool Tom Linney [right] join me for a couple hours! I overheard students saying, “Aww, this is so sad” to each other and saw many, many students reading the booklet cover-to-cover. One student said, “I’m vegetarian and I’m so happy that you’re out here!” I had a good conversation with Cesar, who wanted to cut his meat intake in half. He said he’s excited to read the Guide. Another guy brought up concerns about dolphins being harmed in the catching of tuna. I related this back to farmed animal suffering and he really seemed empowered by the idea of saving many chickens per year and then convincing others to do the same! The highlight of the day was a conversation with Alex [right], who loves animals but eats meat. She was interested in the idea of eating vegetarian but had no clue what to eat so I ran over a few things with her and gave her a Guide. By the end of the conversation, she said, “I’m going to go vegetarian.”
—John Oberg, 11/29/12
Caroline Sanchez (above) and Tyler Lang (below) hand out Compassionate Choices at CSULB.
Caroline & Tyler [right] –
recent rejuvenate-ees from the Animal Lib Forum
2 weeks ago – joined Kassy and me at CSU Long
Beach, and we set a huge record: 3,500 students
reached! We heard from tons of veggies / vegans, and saw loads of folks reading the
lit. We were both thanked numerous times –
—Nikki Benoit, 11/27/12
Was great to hit San Joaquin Delta
College and the University of
the Pacific with Eleanor [Thomas, below], my gracious host.
Seeing as how the 5th person I met had been
vegan for 25 years, I figured today was going
to go pretty well. And it surely did! We both
had interesting conversations, and watched lots
of students read the booklet all the way through.
Two students came back to Eleanor separately
and asked, “Is this really real? Is it
really this bad?”
What a great crew at Foothill College and San Jose State – Diane, Ekaterina, Kitty, and I reached over 2,400 students! Great conversations, too; e.g., I chatted with a guy who was at that moment listening to a podcast about people’s disconnect with their food. When I gave him a Guide, he said, “This is EXACTLY what I need!” I also met a 3-year-old who wanted to trade me some sticks for a leaflet. We are pretty much best friends now.
—Brian Grupe, 11/26/12
Amazingly receptive students at
Rock Valley College. Kevin and I reached nearly
600 very quickly; 49 students accepted a booklet
before I got my first rejection.
—Rachel Shippee, 11/28/12
At U of Miss, a student
told me how his friend that owns a chicken farm
got drunk one night and told them all about
it. He said they throw chickens against the
wall and also “play ball” with them by having
a person throw the chickens and another person
hit with a piece of wood. Very disturbing.
I reached 825 people today at Florida Gulf Coast University. One student said the booklet almost made her cry; another said it broke his heart. I gave them Guides and encouragement. Another student stopped to say that the brochure affected her and she promised to reduce her meat consumption. A couple of different vegetarians and vegans were excited to see me leafleting and thanked me for being out there. Two other students expressed interest in volunteering with us. A grad student has been trying to work with dining services, so we chatted and I offered her some tips. Several other students mentioned how they hate animal cruelty or that they love animals. All in all it was a really solid day of outreach!
Good day of outreach
at receptive Edison State – I reached virtually
everyone on campus. Great conversations, too
– I was able to convince two students to try
veg eating; four other students said they would
reduce meat consumption.
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/20/12
Set a new record at Palomar College the day before Thanksgiving! [Allix Velázquez and John Kedroff, right] and I banged out booklets so quickly that by 2:00, we reached our goal of 1,000! Students were very receptive here: about 80% of them took a booklet, and by the end of the day, almost everyone said they’d already received one! Some of the day’s best memories: high fives from 2 vegetarians; a hug from a vegan; and “There is some sh** in here – spread the word!”
—Kassy Ortega, 11/28/12
A student reads Compassionate Choices at UPitt.
Reached 1,000 students at
the University of New Hampshire. I heard from a
student who said getting a booklet in the past
helped her go vegetarian. An older Buddhist
man was happy to see this outreach and asked
for an extra booklet to give to a friend.
—Lana Smithson, 12/3/12
In the snow at the
University of Pittsburgh, Giannina was the heroine
of the day. We met an English professor [below, left] who
is a VO donor and super stoked to see us on
campus. Also met a student who now wants to
get involved [below, right].
Really solid day of outreach today at the Community College of Allegheny County. One woman wanted to go veg with her family; we talked for a while, then I took her pic [below, center]. Had about a dozen other quick convos, including one with a professor who had students do a report on factory farming.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/28/12
Great day at the University of Utah. Met a bunch of veggies. One woman told me that she really appreciates our work, and she’ll be telling her husband to eat less meat. She’s been substituting more vegan food into her diet but the Even If You Like Meat really made her think of substituting a lot more; plus the Guide has a lot of helpful stuff in there, so she was excited to get it.
Two of the 1,925 Utah students John reached with Even If You Like Meat.
Great time at
Utah Valley University. I met Chris Foster,
the founder of Mormons For Animals, and one
of the coolest guys around. Then, after I leafleted
Sara, she came back to help me leaflet! I also
spoke with a woman [Veronica, below] who said the booklet made
her want to be a vegetarian!
Reached a quick 820 at Salt Lake Community College, and met two students stoked I was there. Personal highlight of the day (and likely of the month) was meeting one of my favorite rappers – Foeknawledge – a vegan straight-edge rapper who was one of the inspirations for me to go vegan and get into activism.
The University of Wyoming had the highest cowboy-to-non-cowboy ratio of any school I’ve been to. One student thanked me for handing her the booklet and said it was really interesting and was glad to have been distracted from her homework. Offered a booklet to one guy, and he bowed to me, hands together, and said, “Thank you, I’m vegan.” Spoke with him later and he expressed his gratitude and was so glad to see me out there.
—John Oberg, 11/9/12
UT Knoxville leafleting was awesome;
Kathy, Kevin, John, Peggy and
I reached over 1,800 students. The highlight
was a young woman who came up to say the booklet
really impacted her. She had to stop herself
from crying when talking about it, and was considering
going vegan as a result. I gave her suggestions
for moving towards a vegan diet, Guided
her, and thanked her for caring so much about
the animals’ plight. Kathy also chatted with
two women who were doing Christian
outreach on campus. Both are vegan!
So cold and snowy at York College, I had to keep going inside to warm up. I was able to give a talk, too, which was well received. I mentioned that most of us lead pretty comfortable, relatively pain-free lives, but the overwhelming majority of conscious beings on earth aren’t so lucky. So it’s important for us doing well for ourselves to look out and help those not so lucky. I also stressed that the suffering that exists gives us a tremendous opportunity to do good. I stressed the importance of philanthropy, and how taking a mainstream job and giving back to good groups goes so far.
—Jon Camp, 11/27/12
Above: Matt Ball makes a successful skateboard handoff at the University of New Mexico.
Reached 2,000 students
at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. The highlight
of the day was when a young woman came up to
say that she does outreach for gay rights issues,
that it can sometimes be discouraging, and asked
if I ever felt the same way. I told her I don’t
get discouraged, because I see this as a numbers
game; part of the scenario is that we’re going
to have to deal with some antagonism to reach
those willing to hear us out. But there are
always those willing to hear us out, and reaching
those people is an exciting thing. And for any
movement that seeks change, there will always
be resistance, but it’s a lot more rewarding
to be a part of this change, to know we’re playing
our role in something great, than to give up.
I stressed the work she was doing was important,
and she said the same to me. The conversation
seemed to leave both of us happy and inspired.
—Jon Camp, 11/8/12
Four more students
at the University of Connecticut wanted to join
Veg Huskies, and three want to leaflet! Angie
even took booklets to get started, and Amy stopped
by to help. A young woman came over and proudly
stated, “I turned vegan because of you!” She remembered me from Eastern Connecticut
State last semester, and said that the Even
If You Like Meat I gave her made her change.
Today at UConn’s West Hartford campus, I handed a Compassionate Choices to a young woman. She stopped, looked at me, and asked, “Weren’t you just at Manchester Community College?” When I replied, “Yes,” she said she got a booklet from me Monday and committed to going vegetarian! YAY!
—Karen James, 11/14/12
Five skateboard and one bike handoff
at the University of New Mexico, and big numbers
quickly. Heard a number of students look at
the Compassionate Choices and say,
“Awww!” or “That chick (piggy)
is soooo cute!” One guy, looking down at
his booklet, said out loud, “Even If You
Like Meat? Well, I DO like meat!” Just
for you, dude!
—Anne Green & Matt Ball, 11/9/12
Awesome day at Florida
International University. The vegetarians and
vegans I met were very happy to see me handing
out info. Their excitement kept me positive
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/13/12
|Above: Yuri Mitzkewich snapped this pic of Rachel Shippee handing out Even If You Like Meat booklets at Broward College; and Linda Bower sends this pic of Yuri leafleting Florida International University.|
Good conversations at
Triton College. One student wanted more booklets
to hand out during a presentation. I also ran
into a professor who is vegan. She was very
glad to see me and thanked me for being out
there. She also wanted a few leaflets for her
students. Also heard from a proud vegetarian
who agreed with what I was doing. It was a great
—Rachel Shippee, 11/14/12
After receiving a booklet from Kassy Ortega at College of the Desert, Francisco (above) came back and said, “I’m going to stop eating meat now!”
Great day of outreach!
Kitty joined me at Merritt and Chabot College.
Leslie then joined me in leafleting the Pachamama
Alliance event – big thanks to Ari Nessel for
the recommendation! The crowd was hugely on
board with the message!
—Brian Grupe, 11/15/12
Students at College of the
Desert were fabulous! I saw a
number of students reading the booklets, heard
alot of “OMG!”s and “THIS IS
HORRIBLE!”s. Others stopped to ask questions
about moving in the direction of eating more
—Kassy Ortega, 11/13/12
Outreach was bananas at
Rowan University, where Tara, Ayeisha, and I
reached 1,800 students. In addition, one student
asked for 200 to distribute to the students
in her dorm; later, someone came up to say they
had gotten one from her already. Other good
conversations, including another student who
wants to leaflet.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/12/12
At San Diego Mesa College,
I heard from a security guard, “The only
meat I eat these days is broccoli.” Me
too me too! Also heard from numerous veggies
and vegans. One kat stated he got a booklet
from me last year and has significantly altered
his life and eating choices. Me too me too!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/15/12
Thankful Eric made the long drive
to leaflet Kennesaw State – we
reached almost 1,500 students, despite the wind
and cold. One student said that she was just
thinking about being vegetarian so it was perfect
timing. Another student exclaimed, “I love animals!”
several times amongst a large group of people – so awesome!
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/13/12
|Above: Josh Padilla, Tamara Hubbard, Kate Skwire, John Oberg, Devon Bobb, and Judy Chavez at UNM.|
Tamara organized an
amazing crew for the University
of New Mexico. We all had great encounters!
Early in the morning I met a former 4-year vegan
that said he used to be a militant vegan, but
now sees a lot of problems with that mentality.
I spoke a bit harshly of the militant approach,
which I think pleasantly surprised him; then
talked to him about how that approach is becoming
a relic of the past, and gave him a Guide. I
also gave him a copy of AML
to show the direction the movement is heading,
compared to his days of speaking down to all
who haven’t yet been enlightened with the knowledge
of farmed animal suffering.
I take comfort knowing that we’re out there every day giving the animals a voice. We’re showing people that animals are more than commodities – they’re living beings and sometimes even our friends. On this day I had a team of leafleters I couldn’t have been happier with – a team willing to spend hours in the cold to show students that animals deserve better. I feel so fortunate I’m a part of it.
—John Oberg, 1/29/13
At Oxnard College, one booklet recipient loves
piggies so much she kissed the booklet. Yes,
it’s true – why would I make that up?? Her
friend used the opportunity to tell her how
ignorant it is that we’re so powerful and then
we use our power to abuse animals (which is
why he went veg a long time ago). Her dinner will
look different from now on.
Was so great to leaflet with Barbara [Bear, right] and Johanna [Andris, below] at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We met TONS of students wanting to get involved, including a fine young chap “Danny,” who actually cried a bit when he saw the pictures. A “big meat eater,” he eagerly took a Guide. Great to know so many hearts with feet are walkin’ around out there! :-)
—Nikki Benoit, 11/8/12
Johanna, Peggy, Lois, and I leafleted and tabled
today at the Save Our Seas Music Festival. We
thought we’d share our own version of saving,
to help bridge the gap for those who are still
eating animals. It was such a great crowd to
hit! I’m sure we opened many hearts to the animals’
plight – new people are definitely on their
—Barbara Bear, 11/11/12
Over two dozen Aggies took a booklet at New
Mexico State before the first rejection. At
one point, a tour of high school students came
by – they actually stopped to wait for booklets,
and squealed with delight at the pictures of
the chick and the pigs. Can really see what a
difference our efforts have made – the student
union had a vending machine with only vegan
—Matt Ball & Anne Green (below), 11/7/12
Jovan and I noticed the progress at Marquette
University, in the numbers of vegetarians and
vegans we met, and that the cafeteria was featuring
“plant based” eating. Also discovered
they now have a student group for the animals!
—Leslie Patterson, 11/7/12
Great conversations with interested people
at Manchester Community College. Kim [Barber, right] asked about
how she could go back to being vegan. After
a discussion and giving her a Guide,
she joined me to leaflet! We got eight names
of people who want to start a student group.
Later, a teacher asked for booklets for her
—Karen James, 11/12/12
Above are two of the students Vic saw studying their Compassionate Choices after the fire alarm rang at Bergen Community College. And below are Daniela Artiga at Passaic County Community College (left) and Quindaya Williams at Ramapo College.
Monday, I met Daniela while leafleting William
Paterson University with Matthew Glover. Today,
we had the best Friday of the semester, at Passaic County Community College, Bergen Community College,
and Ramapo College. She also brought her friend
Quindaya along. Both were filled with enthusiasm
and were natural leafleters!
At PCCC, had a great conversation with a professor, who requested booklets for her class. Many other good, quick conversations there, too.
At Bergen CC, the fire alarm rang. OMG. Hundreds streamed out; Daniela and I quickly took position at one of the main exits and got hundreds out. Many read as they waited outside with nothing to do. Had some conversations, and then was able to walk among crowd and distribute more.
Today was Daniela’s first full day eating vegan, and she is committed to helping animals! She’s a big score for the animals – as is Quindaya. I love the ripple effects of leafleting. Really rejuvenated by this great day and by their buoyant spirits, and also by the selflessness of Matthew Glover. It’s been a great week.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/9/12
Brian with Kitty Jones (left) and Ekaterina Moysov at UC Davis.
Great team at UC Davis: Jack joined me and Kitty, as well as
Ekaterina, whom I met while leafleting her school
(Skyline College) a month ago. Esther also helped
leaflet, having read the booklet during her
first class. Although not vegetarian, she wants
people to know about the issues and she plans
on cutting back a lot.
—Brian Grupe, 11/6/12
High reception rate and a number of vegetarians / vegans at the University of Toledo, where
I reached over 1,000 students. One of the vegetarians
let me know that it was getting a booklet from
me in the past that moved her to become vegetarian.
She lamented that she was not yet vegan; she
got a Guide, and we had a constructive
—Joe Espinosa, 11/13/12
Above and below, students are engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Weber State University.
Diane and I reached 300 students at Woodside
High School between 3:10 and 3:35. Some of the
students came back to talk to us, and we heard
many, many conversations starting as kids walked
away after receiving the booklets. I saw one
young man reading his leaflet on the bus, and
a young woman reading it carefully while sitting
on the curb waiting to be picked up.
—Jessica Hope, 11/6/12
Yesterday at the University of Mississippi, I had one of my best days of conversations ever,
including a number of students who were interested
in returning to veg eating. One student hadn’t
eaten meat in two months since doing a report
on the subject. Another student was just starting
to eat veg, along with four friends. Other students
were interested enough to start reducing meat,
via Meatless Mondays or reducing 50%.
Today at Alabama A&M, a bus full of people pulled over where I was (not a bus stop) because the driver wanted a booklet!
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/9/12
Today Miguel and I voted 1,685 times – to
get these kids to stop eating so many animals!
Huge number of good interactions at Weber State. Met Genie, a woman that repeatedly told me that the booklet was “really good stuff” and that she would love to incorporate this information into future presentations. One older student read through a couple pages of the booklet, came up to me and said, “I’m with you in spirit…but I’m old. How do I do it?” Whipped out a Guide and landed it in his hands. Another student told me, “No, thanks. I read Animal Liberation and it made me want to slit my wrists.” So I gave her a Guide and told her if she wanted to make a difference for animals, this was a good starting point; she very happily accepted it. Had a great conversation with a group of three students who had been discussing the booklet. I gave two of them Guides, and one student said, “I think I’m going to do it.”
—John Oberg, 11/6/12
the first dozen booklets I handed out at Lamar
University, I heard from a vegan and a vegetarian.
In Beaumont, TX! And like I’ve continued to
experience, even in TX, I heard from way more
people who said this was sad or that they were
veg than from those who questioned why I was
—Jon Camp, 10/30/12
had a better day with Matthew [Glover, right] at William Paterson
University, where we reached over 1,000 students!
Great conversations, and a number of students
interested in going veg / getting active with
Vegan Outreach. One of them – Daniela – came
back to help leaflet, and later sent this message
“I wanted to say thanks for caring about animals as much as I do. I was very excited to have met an animal rights activist in person. I am filled with excitement and can’t wait to begin helping animals in need. I would also luv to help volunteer for Vegan Outreach.”
—Vic Sjodin, 11/5/12
Thanks to a Cuesta College student
who had an epiphany after being
leafleted at the SLO farmers’ market a couple
of weeks ago, we were invited to have a table
at Cuesta’s Fall Fest event. Very receptive
students, and the organizer of the event thanked
us profusely for coming, said she would keep
us in the loop about all future events they
have on campus, and said she could give us an
“in” for our own events on campus
anytime we’d like. How cool is that?! When I
went out to another area of campus to leaflet,
a teacher who couldn’t make it to the event
said she’d share the Compassionate Choices
with her class.
—Barbara Bear, 10/31/12
Above are Kim Christian, Rachel Atcheson, Sarah Hudson, and Kim Carland at Salem State University.
Nettie and I reached over 1,000
students at the University of
Oregon. Many good conversations, including one with a man
who replied to my offer of a booklet by saying, “Oh, I buy
I answered: “If you want to go the route of eating animals who are treated more humanely, it’s best to actually visit a farm. Because sometimes when it has a label like ‘organic,’ if you actually visited the farm you wouldn’t like what you saw. Thank you for considering the animals’ well-being when you eat. And another thing you can do that’s really good is to eat vegetarian some of the time.”
I used to respond to “humane” meat people by immediately telling them why they were wrong. I do think they’re wrong, but am trying to be more encouraging – it’s a fine line to try to walk.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 11/5/12
Probably the friendliest crowd
I’ve met was at tonight’s Propagandhi
concert. I caught the last few seconds of a
conversation among three young women that ended
with the phrase, “OK, Let’s go veg.”
One of the girls came over to me as the other
two were walking in and said she wanted to shake
my hand and thanked me for being there. Definitely
one of the top moments of my activist career
—Kevin O’Connor, 11/5/12
At the University of Houston, a student is engrossed in Compassionate Choices (above), while Marc Camp fields questions from other interested individuals (below).
at Idaho State, including Audrey, who, after
getting a booklet earlier in the day, told me
it was “so cool” that I am vegan.
She’d thought about being vegan, but had been
convinced it would be too hard. I simplified
it for her, emphasized the number of athletic
friends I have, as well as the plethora of vegan
professional athletes, and mentioned the section
about staying healthy on plant-based diets
in the Guide. She seemed stoked! Also met Courtney,
who told me the booklet is a push for her to
move toward compassion. Guided her and left
her with some words of encouragement.
—John Oberg, 11/1/12
It’s part of Texas A&M culture to address others with “Howdy!” Because of this, my opening line would often be, “Howdy. Info to help animals?” It went over well. I was so surprised by how little antagonism there was this time at TAMU. Even many of those who were obviously involved in animal agriculture took a booklet and thanked me. And besides the lack of antagonism, I was heartened by the number of students who told me how sad the booklet was or that they’re vegetarian or vegan. One young woman let me know that she took an animal science class a little while ago, and that it really bothered her, and left her with a sick feeling about what we do to farmed animals.
Today was an amazing
day at the University of Houston. Renuka, my
brother Marc [left], and I reached more than 3,600
students. Not only was the leafleting prolific,
but so were the conversations. For example,
a talk with Zubair was one of the most engaging
and productive conversations I’ve had throughout
my history of outreach. We discussed many things,
including religion. After explaining that I’m
just one person and that there is great diversity
on this throughout the animal advocacy community,
my belief is this is the only life I’ll live
– I didn’t think those who lead lives of abject
misery now will be somehow rewarded in an afterlife.
This was one of the reasons why I took suffering
so seriously, and why I felt an urgency to do
something about it – because this existence
of suffering was all they had. But then when
it got to the fact that he was a Muslim, I pointed
out that our fellow leafleter Renuka was as
well, and I explained how I thought a life of mercy
and considerateness and really walking the walk
was a better advertisement for any religious
conviction than a life of following the status
quo. I also explained that I often feel more
connection to those of faith than the faithless
because they really believe in something greater
than themselves. Everything I said clicked with
—Jon Camp, 11/5/12
This was our second year leafleting the MLK
parade, and it was fantastic once again! We
reached nearly 1,600 people. There were quite
a few good questions and conversations, but
the highlight was when Brittany met Lisa and
Sam [right], who have just gone vegetarian – they couldn’t
support the system of animal abuse any longer!
They helped leaflet, and Robb is going to follow
up with them about getting some vegetarian events
going in their neighborhood!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/19/13
Great outreach at the San Luis Obispo farmers’
market. It’s great to see vegans, vegan wannabes
and veg-curious folks coming out of the woodwork.
Seems like it’s more common every time we’re
out there. Hooray for that!
—Barbara Bear, 10/25/12
Record-breaking day of outreach at the University of Nevada, Reno, thanks to all the great volunteers who came to help out! Anita coordinated the day’s leafleting, and my awesome host Susan made her leafleting debut. Together with Lari and Aquila, we reached more than 2,200 students! Plenty of great interactions, and we totally saturated the campus!
Today at the College of San Mateo, Diane, Jessica, Kitty, and I reached a ton of students during the first class change. They stayed (and ended up setting a record), while I headed over to Notre Dame de Namur University, where I reached 250 of the 700 undergrads there (also a record). I had a great view into the cafeteria at NDNU and watched a round table of 8 students pass around 3 leaflets, read them, point, and obviously discuss. So heartening for me to see things like this.
—Brian Grupe, 11/1/12
|Below are Brian Grupe, Susan Pitts, and Aquila Nelson at the University of Nevada in Reno.|
After my presentation at Santa Monica College, I was hugged, hand-shaked, thanked, high-fived,
and informed by at least 3 people that they were inspired
to change. Was stopped later on campus by 2
young women who are so grateful and inspired
cuz of the talk – they’re taking the veg plunge!
With each presentation these days, more and more students raise their hands when I ask if they’ve heard how bad animals are treated on factory farms. And upon completing the info session, before Q&A, almost the entire group will ask for booklets!
—Nikki Benoit, 10/30/12
Good day at Louisiana State. One woman came
back to say she’d probably go veg. I met other
vegetarians and many others against factory
farming. It’s great to see the excitement when
a fellow vegetarian sees us doing outreach on
Small school but good outreach at Delgado Community College. Met several vegetarians and many people against factory farming. In fact, a couple of people took booklets and started discussing it amongst themselves, even though they were strangers.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/23/12
Able to quickly reach 200 students at Oakland
Community College. The crowd was very receptive,
and Don and I had conversations with students who were
vegan, in the process of becoming vegetarian,
or very excited about learning the issues and
helping the animals.
—Italia Milan, 10/30/12
Despite the rain, Troy, Gena, Pauline, Livia, Carolyn, and I
had a good night. One woman stopped to tell me that her son had gotten
a booklet a little while ago and now they were
both on their way to going veg. Another woman
got a booklet from Pauline and ended up blogging
about it later in the evening.
More good outreach at University Center. Nick, Troy, Pauline, Livia, and I spread out to reach as many people as possible. Pauline and I even handed a leaflet to Gumby [right], who was outraged at the way farmed animals are treated.
—Mikael Nielsen, 10/26/12
An amazing day at Harper College – Autumn, Belinda, Chris, Janna, Mark, Mikael,
Nico, Troy, and I handed out 1,188 Compassionate Choices
as well as 223 Guides! One young man sat down
on a bench across from us with his head in his
hands for a while. Many students said they planned
to change their diets and wanted more information
on how to do so. Several students also expressed
an interest in volunteering.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/31/12
Great interactions at Richard Stockton College. For example, had a long conversation with a
philosophy major who used to be veg but now
was not. We quickly found some common ground
and he came around. One professor showed me
the booklet while walking past again, and said
she was going to talk to her class about this.
Met numerous vegans, including a professor,
and told them about VO.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/1/12
Had a great day with Tommasina [Miller, above] at Lewis & Clark College, the University of Portland, and Portland Community College. PCC was the end of the day on a Friday, but in the 73 booklets we handed out, we met more than 10 vegans!
and I reached 2,600 students at Oregon State
– and Nettie set a personal record! Good conversations,
including one student telling Cobie that after
looking over the booklet, he wanted to give
being veg a try.
Leafleted Central Oregon Community College with the VegNet Bend crew: Judy, my wonderful host, joined me for a while, as well as Barb and Kale. Reception was great. One woman told me, “It kinda pulls at the heartstrings looking at these pictures,” while another said, “Yeahhhh, I love animals! I don’t eat them.” Also met Tori [right], who wants to go veg after reading through the booklet. After leafleting, I did a little interview with Judy and Barb, who host the radio show All Things Vegan.
Boise State was one of the most receptive, interested, and polite crowds I’ve experienced. Right as I got there, between 7:40 am and 8:00 am, I had 3 different people say encouraging things like, “It’s great that you’re doing this,” “Thanks for handing those out. That’s really cool,” and “Glad you’re doing this – awesome!” Throughout the day I heard this more, including “Keep fighting the good fight” and “Keep doing what you’re doing, man!” Met a large handful of vegans and even more vegetarians.
Had other great interactions,
including a guy who walked by and told me, “Yeah,
I got one. I’m probably gonna stop eating meat
now.” A woman told me, “Yeahhh, you
gave me one earlier. It made me so sad. It might’ve
worked.” I also handed her a Guide,
and her friend walking beside her seemed very
intrigued. Another student said that she previously
liked to call herself an “accidental vegetarian”
but after reading the booklet I had handed her,
she might have to start calling herself a “purposeful”
one. Also, Guided a group of 4 students,
and one (who’d been leafleted earlier) pointed
to the booklet in his friend’s hands and said,
“Check out those chickens, man! That’s
Also had a great convo with a professor who happily took a Guide, and met a student who wants to get involved. The standout interaction was when Kristen [left], who had gotten a booklet earlier in the day, came up to me and said, “I think I’m going to become a vegetarian now. I feel so bad for the pig [on the front cover of Even If You Like Meat].” I gave her a Guide and words of encouragement!
—John Oberg, 10/31/12
got to the University of Texas–Pan American just
as the sun was coming up, and I left as it was
starting to come down. Lizeth, who I met here
last year, joined me for a class change. With
her 50, we reached a total of 3,200 students.
One guy told me he remembered talking with me
last year. He said that our talk from last year
and getting the booklet again has led him
to the realization that he really should do
something about this. I told him that it’s important
that we challenge ourselves, and that we make
efforts to really walk the walk with our beliefs.
That seemed to impact him a good deal. There were other good interactions during the day, especially
when I presented for Professor Faver’s class.
A question of which presidential candidate was
better for animals gave me an opportunity to
segue into a bit about how there were both prominent
conservatives and liberals who were vegan and/or
took animal issues seriously.
Awesome day at the University of Texas, Brownsville – reached 1,000 students. I saw lots of people reading the booklet, and heard many mention how sad it was. Had two important and productive conversations with former vegetarians.
—Jon Camp, 10/30/12
I leafleted a woman today at Mt. San Antonio
College [Mary, left] who had wanted to go vegetarian for
years! She didn’t have any good resources, and
her husband repeated the usual misconceptions
about the standard American diet. I talked to
her for a while, showed her part of the Guide, and she stood nearby reading for a few minutes.
I left her alone as I leafleted other students,
but she came back to me with more questions.
She is giving a vegan diet a shot, and she even
joined me in leafleting for almost two hours!
She’s a natural leafleter, too!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/10/13
This was my most productive semester of leafleting
yet! Not just in terms of total people reached,
but in how many people were interested in moving
towards vegetarian and vegan diets! Students
are becoming more familiar with vegetarian and
vegan eating through popular culture, documentaries,
and their college courses. Many people are open
to it, we just have to reach them and give them
that final push. As one student told me at Miami Dade
College, it’s just not fair what we do to animals.
Thank you to all of the donors who make this national campaign possible. You are truly the engine that drives this social change, and it’s because of your membership and support that together we are able to reach youth across the entire country and beyond! Thank you!
—Jeff Boghosian, excerpted from his semester report
At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, I met 7
vegetarians and 3 vegans. A bunch of folks
were super supportive and thanked me for what
I was doing, and quite a few people passed me
saying, “No” or “No, I don’t
want to look at that,” but then came back
after a few steps and requested one, saying
genuinely that they’d read it over. One person
hailed me down when I was walking through the
union and said, “I wanted to thank you
for giving me that booklet. I read it all. I
was hiding in the corner of the union, bawling
– that stuff is horrifying. I was just on the
phone with my friend from South Dakota – we’re
going to eat less meat.”
—Sen Holiday, 10/17/12
Huge day at North Centers Community College
and Fresno State – Jonathan and I reached more than
1,600 students. Highlight of the day at Fresno
State for me was chatting it up with a small
group of sorority women [right] who were doing a breast
cancer awareness display. I bought some raffle
tickets and noticed they had VO booklets, so
we chatted. At least 2 of them were already
seriously considering changing their diet, so
I’m glad I stopped by. I gave them all
At Folsom Lake College, a woman took a booklet, stopped, and choked up. She then gave me one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever received, saying, “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS!” Another woman screamed out, “God bless you!” a few minutes after this. Eventful 2 hours!
—Brian Grupe, 10/19/12
Yuri, Nick, Jennifer, Boyd and I had a great day
at Florida International University, with good
interactions. For example, a janitor at the
school said that he had seen stuff on TV which
led him to Google factory farming. He was appalled
and disgusted but was still struggling with
the diet. I gave him a Guide.
—Linda Bower, 10/22/12
|Linda sends along the pics below of Boyd Weidman and Jennifer Mennuti handing out Compassionate Choices at FIU.|
Sigrid, Sheila, and I had a huge day of outreach at Vancouver Island University. Memorable quotes:
“I respect what you’re doing.”
“It’s a good read, but I’ll give this back to you.” (Hands back Even If You Like Meat; I hand him Guide.) “Okay, this is worth taking. Looks like it might be helpful!”
“Really good information!” (I hand him Guide.)
“I’m glad you guys are here.”
“This is gruesome s**t. My girlfriend and I are trying to get off the meat kick.”
Hand guy Even If; he walks up two flights of stairs, shouts down at me: “Good job, man!”
“I hate when people say all farmers are like this.” Me: “We’re definitely not out to demonize farmers. While most aren’t factory farmers, the reality is that 98–99% of animals raised for meat are raised on factory farms. So unless you’ve actually followed the animal’s life that you’re eating, you’re almost certainly eating from a factory farm.” Her: “Good response – right on.” (I later found out she was a vegan chef and was just playing devil’s advocate.)
—John Oberg, 10/22/12
|Above is one of the students reached by Sigrid Bjarnason, John Oberg, and Sheila Haniszewska (below) at VIU.|
Huge new record
at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. There were
lots of smiling, booklet-taking kids, and I
reached over 1,000 students. One guy came back
several times to ask questions; e.g., about plants
feeling pain. I told him that there was a difference
between responding to stimuli and the experience
of what we consider suffering, and that without
a central nervous system, a brain, there would
be no suffering, that any reputable biologist
would say the same thing. And if we were really
honest with ourselves, we’d accept that there’s
a big difference between mowing the lawn and,
say, slitting a dog’s throat. He left saying
that not only would he relay his good experience
with a vegan to others in the future, but he
would also go vegan for the next week. I thanked
him, shook his hand, and Guided him.
Massive day at Stephen F. Austin State University – reached over 1,500 students. One administrator or professor told me that a number of the people on campus earned their livelihood by raising animals, and they found what I was doing to be offensive. I told him that the nice thing about the First Amendment is that it allows me the right to say things he and others might find offensive. I also said that what is done to farmed animals offends me, and that was why I was doing the outreach.
That said, the hurt feelings of ag students and professors are real, they matter, and shouldn’t be scoffed at. If we were them, with the same experiences, upbringing, etc., we’d feel exactly as they do. But the alternative is to just accept the status quo, and that’s not good, and would lead to a suffering that is orders of magnitude greater. So it’s a matter of accepting some tension in the here and now for a greater good in the future. It’s like what MLK said about a negative peace being “the absence of tension” and a positive peace being “the presence of justice.” We obviously want the latter. So we’ll have to upset some people in the meantime, but it’s important that we do this with empathy, fairness, and a lack of self-righteousness.
—Jon Camp, 10/18/12
|John Oberg snapped these students reading Even If You Like Meat at Langara College in Vancouver (above) and Simon Fraser U in Burnaby, BC (below).|
1,034 students at Riverside City College’s winter
intersession. Heard from vegetarians and vegans,
including one student who went veg on the spot!
He got a Guide,
along with a few others who are already veg
or likely to go veg.
—Steve Erlsten, 1/3/13
and I reached 1,550 students at the University
of Iowa, and met a number of vegans, vegetarians,
and interested, very enthusiastic students!
One person said, “Gimme one. Now give me
another one,” then handed it to the other
person and walked away saying, “Here, you
have to read this.”
Even better at Iowa State – tons of support and enthusiasm! A bunch of students stopped to thank Jordan and me for our work. Another person said, “I heard recently about all this. The tight spaces that the animals have, it’s not enough. I’m with you, thank you for doing this.” Someone else said, “I read this. I am going to be vegetarian.”
—Sen Holiday, 10/11/12
great day of outreach. At Oklahoma City Community
College, I had a young woman say that she got
a VO booklet at Oklahoma U awhile ago. It made
her sad, and she just did a report on the issue
for a class she is taking. I also had a young
woman come up to tell me that she was aware
of this issue, was appalled by the treatment
of animals, and was very happy to find a like-minded
soul at her school. We had a good heart-to-heart.
At Oklahoma State, Oklahoma City, I met Craig, a conservative Christian who is perhaps the most enthusiastic individual I had met on the tour thus far, reminding me how nice it is to work on a cause that can be adopted by those from all sides of the political spectrum.
An even 2,000 reached at the University of Oklahoma for Logan, Natasha, and me. Sample feedback: “This is awesome! Thank you so much for being here!” While leafleting, I chatted for well over an hour with a very interested student – very productive conversation!
—Jon Camp, 10/11/12
day at Southern Connecticut State – reached
450 students in the first 20 minutes! Then,
Susan, Stacy, and Wendy joined me, and we blew
past the record for this school – reaching
a total of 1,993 students. My ace-in-the-hole
vegan assistant dean came by for a hug! Met
dozens of vegetarians and vegans; one of whom
told me he had changed after getting a booklet
from me. Ten students exchanged emails to get
a club on campus, and some want to leaflet.
—Karen James, 10/11/12
day at Hillsborough Community College. Met a
number of vegetarians and vegans, had good conversations.
A not-fully vegetarian Mormon student stopped
to help leaflet; another student wants to get
Reached 1,040 at Southeastern Louisiana University. Good conversations with a vegan and vegetarians, and also meat reducers, local-meat supporters, and former vegetarians. A group of four students were among the former vegetarians, and they seemed still interested in the issues so I gave them all Guides.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/18/12
|Jane Schneider and John Oberg at Simon Fraser U.|
and I reached 2,030 students at Simon Fraser
University, Burnaby. One woman returned, raving
about how excellent our meat-reduction approach
is; she got Guided!
Reached 1,777 yesterday at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the University of British Columbia. At the latter, Rebecca [Smith, above] came back to help leaflet – she reached 481 students, and is going to help later in the week as well!
Today, Roger [Clarke, below] and I reached 1,539 at Langara College – heard plenty of awws and oooohs. Also, was told, “I’m vegan and so glad you’re handing these out!” as well as, “Got one, loved it, thank you!” Not only had many students gotten a Compassionate Choices or Even If You Like Meat before, but three had a Guide with them!
—John Oberg, 10/17/12
and I left work early to head over to DePaul,
where we met a number of interested people.
One young man who said he does not think he
could go all the way veg, has reduced his meat
consumption; he was happy to get a Guide.
One woman asked for another booklet and a Guide,
because she’s trying to convert her nieces.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/23/12
and I had a phenomenal day at SUNY Oneonta,
SUNY Cobleskill, and Hartwick College – over
2,100 students total. In general, we were met
with great enthusiasm, and had many positive
interactions – even with some ag students.
Laura, Alan, and I had a great day at SUNY Albany – over 2,200 students reached. First we met a vegan professor who is a donor to VO and was stoked to see us on campus; others enthusiastically thanked us for being on campus. Met a student interested in helping leaflet in the future. Met a student who went mostly veg from getting a booklet in the past and was stoked to get a Guide and become more veg. Also met a woman who was mostly veg who now wanted to go vegan after reading the booklet.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/18/12
both Reedley and College of the Sequoias – such receptive students. At Reedley College, a woman
[left] converted to veg on the spot – said she had
to do it. Another two individuals came up to
me separately and told me they had been thinking
about going vegan. They were both really excited
to get Guides. Jackiie, head of the student
group at CoS, and I had great conversations
—Brian Grupe, 10/17/12
over 1,200 students at Indiana University, Bloomington.
One student came up to apologize for his “disrespectful
comment last time you were here about loving
to eat chickens.” I let him know that my
feelings were not center stage, so he need not
worry about offending me. Rather, these animals
were the ones with much on the line, so taking
a serious and honest look at what chickens go
through before they end up in the bucket would
be the best use of his remorse. He took a booklet
and stated that he would do just that.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/17/12
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