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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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