Vegan Outreach Booklets Save Animals—Your Donation Will Put Booklets into More People’s Hands
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Vegan Outreach: Working to End Cruelty to Animals
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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is 86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916

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Selected 2009 Feedback

Sign up for VO’s enewsletter to receive weekly feedback from our members!

 

Here is my end-of-year donation. I really appreciate what you guys do: your reasonable, straightforward, non-fanatical approach. I agree it’s the best way to engage open minds. Thanks for being out there. Thanks for making a difference. There is no worthier cause, nor one dearer to my heart.
—MB, 12/18/09

We are pleased to be part of such a great organization. Year after year, it’s been one of our great joys to know we help you do so much for the animals. Looking forward to more years!
M&C, 12/13/09

Super day leafleting with Brandon (Becker) at NC A&T. One woman said, “This booklet will probably cause me to make changes in what I eat.” A few minutes later, she said, “There is nobody raising awareness about these issues on our campus. Thank you for coming here to pass out this information.” Then two people walked past me talking about vegetarianism. They had booklets they had received from Brandon. Immediately behind this couple were two more also talking about vegetarianism. The young woman said hi to me and then we began a conversation that lasted several minutes. After I gave them both a Guide, the woman said she would look over the information and would make some changes. The young man that was with her said that he thought he would do the same.
Loren Hart, 12/4/09

 

It’s great to know that I can support Vegan Outreach – and in turn increase the number of people who hear our message – by making a financial contribution. Leafleting requires not only the energy to physically hand out booklets, but also needs financial backing. I’m glad I can participate!
—AL, 12/10/09

It is my birthday next week, and I can think of no better present than giving to Vegan Outreach!
—RC, 12/16/09

I never realized the cruelty that farm animals endure – I am so glad that your organization is being the voice for these creatures. I took a pamphlet from a lady at Riverside Community college, and she really opened my eyes. I am now eating vegan. You guys are doing something good in this world. Thanks!
—EL, 12/16/09

A great day at Central Piedmont Community College. One person said she got a booklet last year and went vegan. Her daughter read the booklet as well and doesn’t eat meat anymore.
—Rob Gilbride, 12/2/09

 

This donation is to acknowledge the person who passed out leaflets on the Temple University campus in the summer of 2008. I was inspired to start eating vegan then, a choice I feel good about every day.
—GS, 12/16/09

Here is my donation to the matching. It really is basic: The more people who receive a booklet, the more lives are saved.
—MS, 12/18/09

Thank you for handing me this booklet – it has opened my eyes. As I was reading it, I decided that I want to become a vegan. I see that there is a wide variety of vegan foods that I did not know about. Keep doing what you are doing and opening the eyes of people about what is happening to these animals.
—HS, 12/15/09

Gary Loewenthal
Gary Loewenthal takes the animals’ plight to students at the University of DC.

Lots of good interactions today at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. After having read the booklet, one guy commented, “There’s some disturbing (stuff) in there.” One girl stopped to tell me that the booklet had inspired her to go back to being vegan. One girl said, “Oh yay, you guys are here again!” She said she hardly ate any meat, but was worried about protein. I gave her some advice and a Guide for nutrition info. She left saying, “Keep showing people what’s going on.”
     I had a longer conversation with a guy who works two days a week at a nearby slaughterhouse doing computer automation. He said some people who worked there were (messed) up, particularly the “knocker” and the “sticker.”
—Fred Tyler, 11/18/09

Positive responses at Lehman College, including, “Wow, this is really important. It’s so messed up because the animals can’t speak up for themselves.”
—Eileen Botti, 11/22/09

The Revolve Tour (a Christian event aimed at teenage girls) was, once again, awesome to leaflet. I targeted the young people I came across, but one of the women I accidentally leafleted came over to me a few minutes later (with her daughter) and said, “This is evil, evil, evil!!” I was worried she was mad at me for distributing veg info, but she actually wanted to know where to shop. The booklet, she said, made her realize why she shouldn’t be eating meat. We talked for a little while and I gave her a Guide and a local veg dining guide.
      Earlier, my sister-in-law told me that she watched a woman on the light rail talk about vegetarianism with two girls. The woman asked them, “Do you want to know why I’m vegetarian?” then pulled out a Compassionate Choices booklet! The woman explained to the girls that animals are sweet and they aren’t treated well. My sister-in-law watched them look through the booklet together.
—Jessica Dadds, 11/14/09

SJDC student
Engrossed at San Joaquin Delta College.

At Cal Poly Pomona, one girl said we should just try to change the laws. “But think about how many more vegetarians there are today than just 10 years ago,” I told her. I think we are still a civilization in its infancy and the dark ages are only now starting to come to an end. Equal access to things like education and health care are only barely becoming realities, for women, for minorities, and for the poor. And we still send great armies to kill “enemies” in faraway places, and they us. And as far as our treatment of animals is concerned, the word horrific does it no justice. But, in time, we will overcome.
—Stewart Solomon, 11/25/09

In addition to leafleting the Thanksgiving Day parade with Casey (Constable), I leafleted at the annual Thanksgiving Feast downtown, where I overheard a girl telling her friends that she got a Why Vegan? at this same event last year, and that it caused her to go vegetarian.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 11/28/09

Rebekah (Sinclair) and I heard some good comments at CSU Northridge, including one fellow who said, “I know this is going to make me think twice about eating turkey this week.” Because I was off to the side, I could hear people’s comments after they received leaflets from Rebekah. I heard one student ask her friend why she was a vegetarian and I was reminded that leaflets can get conversations started among people, extending their impact and providing a stage for veg-friendlies to talk to their friends about their own transformation and journey.
—Brianne Donaldson, 11/24/09

Spoke to a student who read the Compassionate Choices booklet during lunch and said she ordered the Guide and will be going vegan. Another person also said he is going vegan. He couldn’t believe how horrific they treat the pigs here in NC.
—Rob Gilbride, 11/30/09

I confess I was nervous today because Wichita State is smack in the middle of several small farming towns. I feared James (Brennaman) and I would have poor reception. In reality it was the opposite. I’ve never had such good response! I talked to a group of students who were preparing a presentation on oppression for a sociology class. They took a stack of pamphlets because they were including animal cruelty. Then towards the end of our day, a couple of students filmed us. They did a short interview with James about what we were doing for their campus news station.
—Eva Helsel, 12/1/09

Lana Fuerst
While tabling at a “Green Day” event at the local mall, Lana Fuerst reaches out to another shopper.

Five productive class changes at De Anza College. Some good quotes:
      To friend: “Dude, this was the pamphlet that guy got in trouble for reading in class!”
      “I totally didn’t eat turkey this Thanksgiving, this is just too sad.”
      “I was looking for you! I really wanted one of these.”
Chatted for a few minutes with a guy when I asked him what he thought of the pamphlet. He said he really didn’t know much about what was going on and it really opened his eyes. I told him the same thing happened to me nearly three years ago and I’ve been veg ever since. He was really excited to get a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 12/1/09

I had been woefully inadequate as an advocate for the last few years because I feel so much grief for the animals. Six months ago I decided to work through my feelings. I typed a list of some of your quotes from your articles, and reading it is how I start each day. You not only save animals, you save advocates too. Thanking you feels inadequate. You are doing the best thing possible for animals. Your weekly newsletter inspires me. Thanks for all you do.
—BK, 12/7/09

Even after doing this work for years, I’m still continually overwhelmed (in a good way) by the great sense of urgency and elation that comes from doing this, even if it’s for three hours at a low-populated school on a Friday afternoon. It only takes one interaction to create the next Joe Espinosa or Brian Grupe. Each day and each leaflet counts! What an awesome opportunity we all have to push the ball forward for such an important cause.
—Jon Camp, 11/20/09

 

I don’t have much, but I would like to contribute what I can. If this prints pamphlets that inspire just one person to go veg, it’s all worth it!
—NL, 12/3/09

Today, I received your booklet in Seattle and decided on the spot to be vegan. Thank you.
—KF, 12/3/09

I just started handing out booklets here in Wasilla, AK, and already one person told me, “I had no idea. I really need to change.”
—TW, 12/10/09

 

Barb Bond
Barb Bond takes agribusiness’ hidden reality to another student at the University of DC.

Thank you for all you do. I would not be vegan if not for your outreach materials. Please accept this donation so you may continue your outreach.
—AD, 11/28/09

I appreciate and admire the work you all do. I credit a leaflet received at Temple University a year ago to my decision to go vegan. The leaflet was striking and informative, and led to a decision I feel good about every day. Your work really makes a difference, and now I want to be a part of it by giving to your matching campaign.
—GS, 11/29/09

The University of DC campus area is notoriously swarmed by canvassers, but your representative simply asked, “Can I hand you some information about animal rights?” I really appreciate this level of honesty and straightforwardness. This approach represents a level of respect for the intelligence and maturity of the audience seldom in evidence from canvassers; your representative acknowledged my ability to see for myself the importance of your organization’s mission by evaluating the materials in my own time without the need to be pressured for support.
—NC, 12/6/09

Raphaella Banholzer
Another UC Santa Barbara student learns the truth from Raphaella Banholzer.

I had a 90% take rate at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. One student stopped to help me leaflet for a while, which was very exciting! I heard one student, after taking an extra leaflet, remark to his friend, “I’m never eating chicken again!”
—Eileen Botti, 11/19/09

Good reception at private Shaw University, with very positive interactions. One student organizer approached and said he was interested in learning more about the topic, so we are arranging a screening/discussion, complete with VO lit!
—Rob Gilbride, 11/16/09

Tremendous response at South Mountain Community College. Almost everyone accepted a brochure, and a few people came back to get one. Three people mentioned recently having done a paper in English class about factory farming, and another two mentioned they were about to. Just as I was giving a Guide to a woman who came back to get one, another fellow came back to get a brochure. Turned out he was a philosophy professor on his way to class and was covering vegetarianism today. He asked if I could speak; I ended up staying for the entire class, and most left with an Even If You Like Meat and Guide. Vegans can be rest assured that no one came up with a good rational reason not to be vegan. :-) The professor asked if I could speak in the future.
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/16/09

Brian Grupe

The first leaflet I offered at Long Beach City College was to a young African American who said she didn’t eat meat. She gladly accepted a Guide. A gentleman approached me to tell me (quite profusely) how much he admired me for using my time to spread this message. All the vegans I met gladly accepted a Guide and A Meaningful Life.
—Brian Grupe (at right, discussing details with a student at San Joaquin Delta College), 11/18/09

I met a lot more vegetarians today at the University of Nebraska – Omaha than in the past: 15 vegetarians and one vegan! I could tell I was causing some discussion on campus because people knew what it was before they got to me. One woman walked by, patted me on the shoulder, and said, “I’m right there with you!” One girl said, “I really wanted Buffalo Wild Wings. Then, after I saw that, I didn’t want Buffalo Wild Wings anymore.”
—Fred Tyler, 11/17/09

Lots of students at Oakton College wanted to learn more about a vegan diet. The five of us (Mikael, Anna, Beata, Bill and I) all received a lot of thank yous for being there. I was also pleasantly surprised by three separate encounters with older adults. Two of them, males in their 50s, wanted to know more. Each talked with me for a few minutes and said they’d try to incorporate more veg meals into their diets. Another was an older woman who had received a booklet before and wanted more to give to her friends.
—Chris Capozziello, 11/16/09

Matt Ball
Matt Ball answers questions from a student at the University of Arizona.

Joe, Darina, and I handed booklets to hundreds of people at the JS Foer Eating Animals talk. The 385-seat theater was full and there were many people who watched the presentation from an overflow room on a video monitor. Great to know there is so much interest in this topic! There were lots of young people in attendance, including many who told us they are veg.
—Leslie Patterson, 11/18/09

Largely friendly, polite and receptive students at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, where I had 49 bike and three skateboard passes. I heard from about 20 vegetarians, most of whom were thrilled to receive a Guide. I was invited to a big vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner held this evening by a newly formed, registered, vegetarian student group, so I helped them cook for a couple hours after I finished leafleting, provided them with some additional literature, gave my contact info to the leader, and ate.
—Rick Hershey, 11/20/09

 

Last spring I was handed a Vegan Outreach pamphlet at West Virginia University. I have now been vegetarian for seven months. I wanted to let you know that your pamphlets really make a difference.
—AP, 11/25/09

I have friends who are vegan, and they told me to look more into it. I found your site, fell in love with it and am seriously considering becoming vegan. I had no idea about all the suffering and I would like to do my part to help reduce it.
—AC, 11/15/09

Lana Fuerst

Lana Fuerst (at right), Fran, and I leafleted Miami Dade College (Wolfson Campus) where Al Gore was speaking. Then we went over to the International Book Fair to leaflet. One man who was with his family said that he had seen some shocking footage recently and was very interested. They asked for some extra leaflets to share with additional friends and family. Many at the Al Gore event agreed that he really needed to shift the focus onto animal agriculture. One lady said that she had been vegetarian before and that the leaflet was giving her motivation to do it again.
—Linda Bower, 11/14/09

Eventful day at the University of California, Merced, and Merced College. A number of people told me they had been moved to change from getting a booklet previously. A student approached me because an ag professor had requested 30 leaflets for his class. I accompanied the student back and gave an impromptu speech about our work. It turned into a discussion about factory farms. The professor remained very neutral, he would raise some points and then I would raise some points and a few students would ask questions or insert comments. Both the professor and I really seemed to agree on the point that consumers really don’t know where their food is coming from. I got a few laughs from the students and they didn’t seem bored or overly annoyed of my presence. Even got a round of applause.
—Brian Grupe, 11/9/09

Loren Hart
Loren Hart changes lives at Duke University.

Today at CUNY York College, many people sincerely thanked us for handing out leaflets. Furthermore, many recognized it from previous semesters – e.g., “You gave me this last year and it made me change, so thanks!” Others said they were trying to go vegetarian.
—Eileen Botti, 11/10/09

A good amount of interest at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. One woman took a leaflet and said, “This might make me be vegetarian.” One woman said, “No thanks. I’ve seen it. And I rarely eat meat now.” One guy told me, “I read it and I had the cheese pizza instead of the chicken basket.” He was happy to get a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 11/9/09

Reached 550 students at Truman College and DePaul University today. One student said, “I got one of those a month ago and it has changed everything for me.” He got lots of encouragement and more information. Later, a student who had taken a booklet earlier stopped to thank me for the pamphlet and let me know he is going vegan.
—Leslie Patterson, 11/14/09

At Middle Tennessee State University, Phil Letten and I were joined by members of Raiders Against Animal Cruelty, and we reached nearly 3,000 students. We saw hundreds reading their booklets, and met lots of vegetarians and others expressing interest. Four pledged to go veg to me; one girl texted her friend to say she was now going veg after getting pamphlet. Two students asked for booklets to go along with speeches they are giving; I also helped a freshman prepare a talk on going veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/12/09

Blythe Lopez
Blythe Lopez takes the animals’ plight to the streets of Chicago.

I gave a presentation at an Arizona State University-sponsored women’s conference and was well-received. I distributed booklets and talked about the environmental benefits of eating local, organic, and vegan, as well as why I went vegan which stemmed from my concern for reducing animal suffering, wanting to widen my circle of compassion to include animals, etc. Two people have told me via email that they’ve reduced their animal consumption since my presentation, and I’ve shared recipes and vegan products with another person who attended the talk. My PowerPoint’s also been made available to attendees and they’ve invited me back to talk next year.
—Dawn, 10/21/09

A great day of outreach at West Virginia University, where I had numerous conversations. One young woman came up to say that she’s been a vegetarian since receiving a booklet on campus last year. One young man said, “No thanks,” and I politely replied, “Thanks,” something I try to give to everyone, essentially thanking one for their time. The guy came back to state emphatically how refreshing this approach was, how it was not what he was used to from anyone doing any form of outreach. The only way we, animal advocates, are going to get the general public to enter the extended discussion about this issue is by being the type of individuals with whom they’d feel comfortable entering a discussion.
—Jon Camp, 11/9/09

 

Positively Veg*n
The Positively Veg*n meetup group ready to go at Broward College.

Your Guide, along with Why Vegan?, helped push my girlfriend and me to go vegan! We’ve been vegan for a month now and feel great. On top of this, we’ve become really inspired to assist in the animal protection movement. We have been leafleting the Phoenix area with Jeff Boghosian (such an awesome guy), and I just began reading The Animal Activist’s Handbook. The book seems awesome so far and is totally inspiring.
—JO, 11/17/09

Lots of students excited to get our info at Macalester College. One guy had just tried to go vegetarian a few weeks ago, but had a hard time living with roommates who ate meat. I gave him a few suggestions and a Guide, and he sounded ready to try again. One woman came back after reading the booklet to tell me she appreciated that it didn’t take an all-or-nothing stance. She thought she would try to cut out some meat from her diet and was intrigued when I suggested she start with chickens.
     At Century College, one guy said, “I read that pamphlet. It’s very powerful. It’s very sad. It makes me want to change something I’m doing.” One woman said she went on a field trip to an egg-laying farm and it was just like the pictures. She couldn’t believe how horrible it was for those birds to spend their whole lives crowded in such tiny cages.
—Fred Tyler, 11/4/09

Today is my six-year veganiversary, so I celebrated by leafleting with Jo DeGeorge. A number of good encounters, including one woman who scowled at Jo. Jo called after her, “Did you have any questions? I’d be happy to talk.” The woman came back and explained that she works with pets all day and can’t handle to see animal cruelty, and admitted she should read about this and took a leaflet! I stopped to chat with one of the Greenpeace canvassers and inquired about his veg status, to which he guiltily admitted he was not, and agreed to read an Even If You Like Meat and the Guide.
—Eileen Botti, 11/6/09

St. Charles CC student
A student at St. Charles Community College looks up from a booklet.

I was really happy how tabling went at Notre Dame de Namur University – great acceptance rate and very friendly students. Had a number of great conversations, including one with a hunter who was impressed with how reasonable I was in my approach to helping animals. The president of the Go Green club congratulated me for spreading the good word. A vegetarian gal told me (and her friend), “Yay, I’m not alone!” A teacher on campus uses our materials in some of her classes and a student remarked that he went veg after taking her class and getting an Even If You Like Meat and the Guide last semester. I stopped by to see the professor and we exchanged contact info and I replenished her stock of lit.
—Brian Grupe, 11/4/09

The crowd was receptive at Metropolitan State College in Denver, where I broke my old record with 1,059 booklets handed to students. I met one vegan who was itching to get active, so I told her about VO. Another, whom I had never met before, rushed up and said, “Oh, my vegan friend!” and gave me a big hug.
—Barbara Bear, 11/11/09

Once again, we were greeted with a very positive reception at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. My favorite reaction was after I handed a Compassionate Choices booklet to a young woman who was walking with a friend on either side of her. A few steps after receiving the booklet, and within earshot of many people, I heard her enthusiastically tell her friends, “I LOVE IT SOOO MUCH THAT THEY ARE OUT HERE DOING THIS!!!”
—Loren Hart, with Brandon Becker, 11/5/09

Got up early and did the 7:40am class change at Bluegrass Community College, then booked it to the University of Louisville. Very good outreach; conversed with one lady for a long time and she said she would go veg. Another came up and said getting a leaflet last year made her go veg.
—Vic Sjodin, with Phil Letten, 11/11/09

Rob Gilbride
Rob Gilbride gives the truth to another student at Duke University.

A dark and dreary evening at Portland State, but I had some good interactions. People thanked me for being there, and a group of three guys each asked for a brochure. They then agreed with one another that “This is messed up!” and “It’s really sad.”
—Jessica Dadds, 11/11/09

Many conversations at California University of PA. I explained to an older man that I didn’t think a merciful God would give animals a complex nervous system and brain if their intended function was to spend their lives in conditions that would lead to chronic suffering. One woman told me she had worked to get horse slaughter banned and that the booklet led her to the realization that the raising and killing of other animals was just as bad. Others mentioned wanting to go veg; I gave them each a Guide. It was a very solid six hours of outreach and there was definitely a great deal of interest at this school.
—Jon Camp, 11/10/09

 

Brian Grupe

Sacramento City College gets better with each visit – students seem more interested in the material; animal rights is a relevant issue in their moral sphere. I had lots of conversations, including two different folks who have actively worked to replace a good portion of the meat they usually consume with faux meat products. I also met a very athletic African-American man who, indicating the booklet, told me, “That’s why I stopped eating meat.”
—Brian Grupe (at right), 10/26/09

Genny, Pam, and I heard many “Already vegetarian!” or “Already vegan!” responses at Loyola University. One woman came back up to me and asked for booklets to give to her friends. Another woman who was already vegetarian praised our work and told us to keep up the good fight.
—Alexis Scherba, 10/20/09

A number of people at the University of Iowa were excited to get leaflets, with many turning around and coming back for one after they realized what it was. One guy in communications was really impressed with the Even If You Like Meat. He said it was the first non-offensive piece of literature he had seen: “Whoever dreamed up that booklet did a great job!”
—Fred Tyler, 10/28/09

Sophie Feng
Sophie Feng uses her evening to let the people of Chicago know what modern agribusiness hides.

Last night I went to dinner with my VO shirt on. The waiter said he is vegan and I asked him what made him go vegan. He said he read something in a magazine. When I asked him what magazine, he went and retrieved a Compassionate Choices booklet!
—Jodi Chemes, 11/4/09

I had several great conversations while at Oakton Community College with Chris and Bill, including one guy who really seemed to want to give this a try and eat less meat. He said he had been discouraged with attempts in the past, but I suggested he go veg on Mondays and Wednesdays each week and then build from there. He really liked that suggestion. I also ran into a group of students who were looking for a project to do for class and, after seeing the Compassionate Choices booklet, they asked me a bunch of questions in order to try and do their project on a factory farm related topic.
—Mikael Nielsen, 10/29/09

I was at Lane Tech College Prep High School by 7am, where I was able to hand out 350 booklets in an hour. A lot of students were really receptive. A great way to start the day before going to work!
—Darina Smith, 11/5/09

Brandon Becker
Brandon Becker takes the animals’ case to students at UNC Chapel Hill.

Met many vegetarians and vegans at the University of Pittsburgh. One highlight was a transfer student who said she went veg after getting a pamphlet from me last year at UPitt Johnstown. Also ran into a guy I met in Michigan a few weeks ago who is now veg, which is great because he seemed hesitant about the topic.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/2/09

Lynn and I stood at a new place at the University of Colorado, Boulder, reaching a new crowd. The Compassionate Choices were unfamiliar to many, so we definitely opened some eyes today. One guy stopped by later to give it back, saying he’d read it and was ready to change his ways.
—Barbara Bear, 11/5/09

One student at the University of Maryland said she went vegan after receiving a booklet at a concert. Another student said she went vegetarian for six months after getting a booklet. I also handed a booklet to a student who then came back to me later and said he read the entire thing during his English class: “It made a lot of sense.”
—Aaron Ross, 11/4/09

J. Brennaman
At the University of Kansas, J. Brennaman expands the tent of compassion

So many good conversations and comments at San Diego City College. A professor invited me to come speak to his class on the connection between politics, ethics, and compassionate eating.
—Brianne Donaldson, 11/5/09

Wonderful reception at George Mason University. I had a very productive conversation with a young man who had a failed experiment with vegetarianism in the past. After talking with him about foods that are filling, high in protein, etc., he told me that I didn’t look like the stereotypical vegan. Since we’re often pigeonholed and summarily dismissed as a result of fitting stereotypes, I find it useful to do things that break such stereotypes. For me, it includes simple stuff like dressing in a mainstream fashion, lifting weights, thanking military folks for their service, smiling, being calm and polite to all (including those who don’t live up to this particular standard themselves), etc. We want a big tent movement and it’s our job to bring as many into this tent as possible.
—Jon Camp, 11/3/09

 

Micah Widegren
Micah Widegren helps a student at American River College.

I was stunned to read your booklet! It is hard to believe – those poor animals! Thank you for making such information known. When I visit Delaware, there are so many chicken “farms” that really smell. Can you send me as many booklets as you can, so I’ll be able to spread the word?
—AC, 11/4/09

Our experience at Duke was notable because of the great many professionals who accepted a booklet, including administrators, professors from the divinity school and other departments, and doctors and nurses from the university hospital. Rob also had the awesome experience of giving a Compassionate Choices booklet to a female student who returned an hour later, saying that she had read the booklet during lunch and was going vegetarian. “It is so terrible what they do to animals. I’m going vegetarian.” So there it is, one more example of the hugely positive impact that Vegan Outreach is having across the nation and throughout the world!
—Loren Hart and Rob Gilbride, 11/9/09

At Marist College, I heard students later in the day commenting to their friends: “OMG I read that in class, it’s terrible”; “Oh I got that last time you were here.” An environmental professor took a leaflet and mentioned that he talks about factory farming to all of his classes and shows them pictures, so he was glad to see me distributing leaflets. Quite a few students mentioned being vegetarian in the past and wanting to try it again, many had questions about being vegan. It was a very positive trip!
—Eileen Botti, 10/27/09

I finally had the chance to leaflet with Rick Hershey at Northwestern. The highlight for me was when two young men came up to ask a bunch of questions. Eventually, a third man, intrigued, joined in. They were truly hearing me out, accepting my good points, and I think that at least one of them was having a bunch of “aha” moments. I ended with my typical bit about how for me it ultimately comes to the fact that when we eat meat we might get, say, this much pleasure (as I spread my thumb and forefinger about an inch apart) and we inflict, say, this much suffering (as I spread my hands about a yard apart). It’s very simple and it seems to resonate with others.
—Jon Camp, 10/22/09

Sara Boka
Sara Boka reveals reality to another student at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Great day at Pasadena City College. Students at this school are so inquisitive, always want to ask sincere questions. Two told me they were working on starting a student group, several asked about what they could do to stop this treatment of animals. One said, “Ah yes, one more reason to really stop eating meat for good.” Another student stopped to get another flyer since his classmate took his.
—Brianne Donaldson, 10/19/09

Students at Anoka Ramsey Community College were excited to get the leaflets saying, “Absolutely!” “Thanks for being here!” “Fabulous!” “It’s so exciting that you’re here!” At Dakota County Technical College, one woman told me, “I got one of those last year. Now I don’t eat meat.”
—Fred Tyler, 10/22/09

Met a couple of vegans / vegetarians / supporters within the first 20 minutes at Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV). Jesse Melgar was able to help out for a while. He started off a little hesitant but was rockin’ and rollin’ within minutes, and told me he was surprised at how receptive students were. It seemed like he had a lot of friends on campus and they all accepted leaflets when they ran into him.
     At the University of Nevada, Reno, I met a bunch of vegetarians and vegans and a few people who had failed at veg but seemed interested in trying it again. I ran into a gal a few hours after I had given her a leaflet and she told me she was completely disgusted and didn’t want to eat meat again. We chatted for a minute and I helped to lift her spirits and she gladly accepted a Guide. A gal who does anti-genocide work wanted to know what motivated me. We chatted and she admitted there was no reason why she couldn’t make compassionate choices in her diet while continuing to work on her human rights campaigns.
—Brian Grupe, 10/23/09

Cabrillo College students
Students at Cabrillo College study booklets handed to them by Brian Grupe.

Today we had a great team at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. We got out 400 booklets in a lunchtime, an amazing success considering a lot of students aren’t in school at the moment. Driving home, a woman noticed my “Boycott Cruelty – Go Vegan” bumper sticker. She rolled down her window and asked if I had materials. We both pulled over to a parking spot, and I gave her Why Vegan? booklets for herself and her friends.
—Roy Taylor, Australia, 10/23/09

I switched my day off and took a vacation day in order to cover schools in northwest Ohio. At the University of Toledo, a young man said he had tried to go veg before but felt like he was not getting enough protein. I gave him a Guide and he thanked me enthusiastically saying, “I have been thinking I needed something like this!” Also overheard some girls saying the booklet made them cry. At Bowling Green, a young man came up and said he does not eat animals but what is wrong with dairy? I filled him in and he gladly took a Guide. Later on he came back to thank me again for the booklet, said he was moved by it, that it is very well written and researched, and he wants to get involved with activism. Gave him A Meaningful Life and encouragement.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/27/09

Av Papo
Av Papo helps another University of Miami student put compassion into action.

At the University of Illinois, Urbana, I encountered 1,200 students ready to learn more of the truth about what today’s farmed animals go through. This school is a testimony to the power of persistence. I have worked this school each semester since the beginning (2003) and have seen reception and genuine interest in the animals’ plight increase each year; antagonism towards me and scoffing at the issue decrease each year. Being present consistently and repeatedly, and giving the students room and time to warm up, that they might take a look at the issue when they are ready, seems prudent.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/22/09

“Letter to a Young Matt” in your newsletter was great. It reminds me of how influenced I was by (the original version of this essay) back in the mid-90s. I hope it gets wide distribution.
—Paul Shapiro, 11/15/09

 

It was great leafleting after a campus talk, “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dog, or a Chicken: Why You Shouldn’t Eat Meat.” The highlight of my night was looking over to see a guy reading a Compassionate Choices with his jaw fully dropped open and his eyes bugging out in shock. Really, his expression resembled something you would see on Looney Tunes when a cartoon character is surprised. I’m so grateful to Vegan Outreach and to the people who took the photos for making this information available to the public. We really are opening eyes – and hearts!
—Barbara Bear, 10/20/09

Joe Espinosa

At the University of Wisconsin, Madison today, Joe Espinosa (right) and I were joined by Melissa Tedrowe, who, after getting a VO booklet 2.5 years ago, went vegan and has been active for the animals ever since. Highlights included two separate individuals who stopped and read their respective booklets, totally engrossed in them, oblivious to the cold drizzle. One young woman stopped by to say that she received a booklet a year ago and has been vegetarian since. Less than an hour later, a man, who had the appearance of a dean, stopped by to tell me the exact same thing.
—Jon Camp, 10/20/09

Lots of interactions at Medgar Evers College, including one student who proudly held up a bagel instead of the burger he had been planning on eating. Two female students stopped to talk – one had tried veganism previously, and the other had tried vegetarianism. They were very sympathetic and said they would give it another try – one of them even said, “I can’t believe we ran into you! I think you must have been sent from God or something to get me to go veg again!”
—Eileen Botti, 10/20/09

Elaine Vigneault
Elaine Vigneault provides a smiling vegan example – and compelling information – in the Vegas wind.

At the University of Wisconsin, Superior, an administrator walked by and asked for a leaflet. I thought she was going to tell me I wasn’t allowed to leaflet. It turns out she has tried to go vegan a few times and was glad to get a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 10/16/09

Excellent day at North Carolina State. One student told us the booklet he received last time caused him to go vegetarian and, just a month ago, he decided to be vegan. Brandon gave him a Guide to help him stay healthy and happy. He thanked us for leafleting and sincerely appreciated the effort. Another vegetarian student wanted to go vegan but needed recipes, so he gratefully received a Guide. One of the best parts of the experience was walking around campus and witnessing several groups of people looking at the booklets they had just received and talking about the issues. This was a powerful reminder of how our efforts with Vegan Outreach are leading directly to people becoming knowledgeable about the realities of animal farming and of plant-based diets. And we are succeeding in helping people to have informed conversations with others about these issues!
—Brandon Becker and Loren Hart, 10/19/09

Dan Miller
Dan Miller at San Francisco State.

Seamless day at Stony Brook for us (Martin Benevides, Drew Winter, Jennifer Greene) – many interactions, great outreach, several people stopped dead in their tracks to read a pamphlet, many walked and read. One student said he went veg after previously getting a leaflet, and was considering veganism. The highlight was when a professor invited us to talk to her class.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/22/09

Many years ago, both Matt (Ball) and Jack (Norris) emphasized to me how important it is for Vegan Outreach to stay focused on the bottom line, and know what to do, as well as what not to do. I have shared that wisdom with a lot of people and I follow it myself – it has served me well. Thank you for that, and for all that you do for the animals!
—Barbara McDonald, 11/8/09

 

Sarah Brammer Shlay
Sarah Brammer Shlay and Sen Holiday (below) take part in CAA’s Outreach for Animals Week at the University of Minnesota.
Sen Holiday

Today was a very successful day of outreach at CUNY LaGuardia Community College, where Jeff LaPadula and I reached over 1,900 new people. We both had great conversations with interested students. Two guys asked Jeff about going veg and had questions about protein, nutrition, etc. A mother stopped to talk to him, and was almost crying, she was so upset about the booklet. She wanted to go vegan, so Jeff gave her some advice and information.
      One student wanted to know about my personal experience in making the transition to a vegan diet – she was anxious about the possibility of failing to be completely vegan if she tried. I reminded her that sometimes it is easier to do gradually and not to give up – better to cut out big things like meat first, rather than be completely overwhelmed about checking the ingredients in a box of cereal. Another student asked how to get involved, and said, “Thank you for this, I read the whole thing and am seriously considering changing my diet now.” Another woman said she was thinking of going veggie.
—Eileen Botti, 10/13/09

During my eight weeks on the road, I heard, over and over, individuals mentioning how eye-opening the booklet is, how they were discussing the booklet in class, how it really made them think. And of course, it was great connecting with others, seeing more and more new people leafleting, etc. We are indeed pushing the ball forward and reaching those who need to be reached! I’m incredibly grateful to all of you who make this happen.
—Jon Camp, 10/16/09

Everyone was really receptive and the take rate was better than expected at the University of Central Missouri. I had a wonderful conversation with a member of the grounds staff who’d been watching me leaflet while he was mowing nearby. He came at me with a bit of an attitude, demanding to know “What about human rights?” I explained to him that by supporting animal rights we are not sacrificing human rights. I also came across five vegetarians. One who thanked me for being there and shouted, “She rocks!” loud enough for everyone around to hear. It made me smile.
—Eva Helsel, 10/5/09

Roger Clarke
Roger Clarke provides the animals a voice at the University of British Columbia.

It was nice to be back at LSU. I ran into a very enthusiastic vegan right away who I heard telling her friends to “go get one of those.” I heard from a student who told me she went vegetarian after receiving an Even If You Like Meat booklet one and a half years ago; she got a Guide. One guy said he was vegetarian previously and was thinking about going back. He also got a Guide.
—Twila Hoyle, 10/13/09

Today at Suffolk Community College, Farmingdale University, and St. Joseph’s University, Drew Winter, Jennifer Greene, and I reached over 1,500 students. Drew veg-anized a whole posse at Suffolk CC – four at once. After one girl said, “I’m never eating meet again,” he engaged the whole group in dialogue, and the others seemed deeply affected by the booklets and his interaction.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/19/09

It went really well at Thompson Rivers University, where two students came back to talk about Vegan Outreach, get booklets for friends, etc. Another woman ran back to me and gave me a high five. She was excited and said she was totally supportive of what I was doing there.
—Kelly Bergen, 10/15/09

Bonnie Goodman

Before the vegan Spay-ghetti fundraiser here in Montana, I got many warnings and complaints about how I would offend people and ruin both the spay-neuter clinic AND the fundraiser. In reality, we raised more money than we have since 2005, everyone LOVED the food, and there was ZERO negativity! One of the rancher ladies called the clinic coordinator and told her that the Compassionate Choices leaflet she picked up at lunch changed her life. The clinic coordinator asked if I would mind doing all the food from now on – she thinks it would be great if we continue to share vegan food and information! This is the same lady who was so upset by my “offensive vegan propaganda,” and said I would start “fistfights in the streets” if I didn’t serve meat.
—Bonnie Goodman (at right, leafleting MSU), 10/19/09

It was a chilly night with a little bit of rain, but leafleting at Loyola’s Lake Shore campus went pretty well! Got a lot of, “Already veg!” Positive feedback included a man who said he loved vegetarian food, but wasn’t a vegetarian. He then took a booklet and told me there should be more of us out on the street doing this good work. It was a nice to hear the support!
—Alexis Scherba, 10/14/09

Mizzou
A Mizzou student studies a booklet while Rachel Stevick waits for the next opportunity.

Good interactions at RMIT University, Melbourne (Australia). I had one person take one and say he had been trying to go vegan over the past few months; I hope today’s leaflet gave him the prompt to make that final effort. Two other people came and took five leaflets each for their friends. One girl came over and was very interested. I saw her cross necklace and asked if she was Christian, saying yes, I told her about the Christian Vegetarian Association.
—Roy Taylor, 10/9/09

It was the first really cold day this fall at Minnesota State Mankato, but the acceptance rate was higher than normal. One guy said he was interested in human cruelty. I replied that it’s all related, why not think about both. He said that animal cruelty wasn’t something that enraged him. Upon further discussion, he conceded that I didn’t look enraged, and he would consider this issue. I watched one woman looking at the Even If You Like Meat a ways down the sidewalk, and I heard her say, “Oooh, I’m going to be a vegetarian now.”
     At the University of Minnesota Duluth, one guy was very hesitant to take a flyer, saying, “I don’t know, this stuff makes me so sad.” He came by later in the day and took a Guide, saying he would try to be vegetarian. One former vegetarian, who stopped because he didn’t feel well, said he would try it again. I gave him a Guide to help make sure he was eating right.
—Fred Tyler, 10/15/09

 

Joe Espinosa

Joe (Espinosa) and I took three vacation days to leaflet Ohio State, the University of Illinois in Urbana, and Purdue. While on the road, we saw a trailer full of baby pigs, a devastating reminder of why we leaflet.
     At Purdue’s general store in the student center (right), we were impressed to find a soymilk dispenser for the cereal and coffee, as well as boxes of soy and other nondairy milks, and a variety of vegan snacks and cookies. This is in the middle of Indiana! We also witnessed a number of students stopping dead in their tracks to read the booklets, and heard from several who were concerned about the information they were receiving and wanting to know what they can do about it.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/8/09

Over the three days at Austin City Limits music festival, lots of people told me they had received one the previous day, and that it made them cry. One person told me she is definitely going to be a vegetarian now. I overheard another person telling her friends that she got this pamphlet when she was little, and that it is the reason she doesn’t eat meat anymore.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 10/5/09

Rachael Stevick
Rachael Stevick explains the animals’ plight at the University of Missouri.

At Suffolk County Community College, Luna (Foxx), Jennifer (Greene) and I heard many positive responses. A security guard stopped to talk to me and Luna for a bit, very supportive and interested, and told us to keep up the good work. Another student simply stopped, asked us a few questions, and then she said, “Okay, I’m going to try it!” (going vegan) – right on the spot!
—Eileen Botti, 10/9/09

At the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, I talked to a former hog farmer who got out of the business awhile ago because he didn’t like the way the industry was going. He said the cruelty and confinement just weren’t right. He said free range and organic weren’t any better. The animals were still packed in sheds full of manure and dust. While leafing through the flier he said he could see how being vegan was probably the best option for the animals and the planet too.
—Fred Tyler, 10/7/09

Phil Letten and I had an awesome day at Wayne State, Oakland University, and Oakland Community College – so many interactions. For example, one student at Wayne said he got a leaflet last year, and after reading it, the treatment of animals haunted him until he eventually went veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/5/09

Robert Lucius

Students seemed very receptive at Rhode Island College. I had a good conversation with a student who’s interested in starting an animal advocacy group on campus. One woman asked for a booklet and was still intently reading it about 15 minutes later. I also heard someone say to her friend, “Let me see that!!!”
—JR, 10/6/09

Great day at Monterey Peninsula College and CSU Monterey Bay. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lucius (right), Dean of Students at the Defense Language Institute and my gracious host, was able to join me today in his Vegan Outreach leafleting debut. Bob has been a Marine for over 20 years, so was easily able to approach young male students who potentially may have a bit of a “macho complex” and show them that real men are kind to animals.
—Brian Grupe, 10/12/09

 

Leeanne Kavanagh and Jon Camp
Leeanne Kavanagh and Jon Camp cover traffic at the University of British Columbia.

Great reception at City University of New York, CUNY Technical College, and Barnard College today. Feedback included: “I’m gonna go vegetarian when I turn 21.” “Thanks for that, I read it and it almost made me cry” (from big, tough-looking guy). “I was just thinking of going vegetarian!” “Thanks, and keep up the good work!” I also ran into someone with whom I had a conversation before. She was happy to see I was still doing this work. She also said she did some research since last speaking to me and was surprised to learn that birds are the most abused animals.
—Eileen Botti & Katie Pryor, 9/24/09

The first person I offered a leaflet to yesterday was a professor at Berkeley City College (CA) who said she still had last semester’s Even If You Like Meat in her office, and that they had discussed it extensively in her sociology class. She took another and thanked me for being out there.
     Today at Foothill College, a man came up to me while I was leafleting and let me know that after getting a leaflet a few semesters ago, he and his wife have reduced their meat consumption to almost zero. He told me to keep spreading the word because it does change people.
—Brian Grupe, 9/28/09

Many different reactions and good conversations at Loyola University (IL). One man had been handed a leaflet last week and was so moved by it he had not eaten any meat since!
—Alexis Scherba, with Sam C. and Sam K., 9/30/09

At Phoenix College (AZ), I talked to one young man who was very interested in going vegan. I gave a nice positive explanation of how he could “veganize” virtually anything. Another student I talked with was a football player and had once tried vegetarianism for a month, but I suspect he wasn’t eating enough calories because he said he felt weak. I gave him a Guide, talked up some great veggie foods high in protein, and mentioned several vegan athletes. A short but very productive day!
—Jeff Boghosian, with Veronica Soto, 9/29/09

Johanna Andris
Johanna Andris provides actionable information to another Cal Poly student.

I was recently handed a pamphlet and immediately wanted to restart my eating lifestyle.
—IS, 10/4/09

We met a lot of vegetarians and vegans at Grand Valley State (MI) today. We also had a lot of people come back throughout the day and say they liked what we were doing. One guy said he’s cutting down on eating chicken. Several people expressed an interest in going veg – the entire day was really rewarding.
—Phil Letten & Vic Sjodin, 10/1/09

Lots of new curious people at Northwest Vista College (TX), another never-before-leafleted school. As leafleting went on, I asked for feedback from people who told me they had gotten one earlier; a number replied it was sad and they want to go veg.
—Casey Constable, 10/1/09

 

Yvonne LeGrice
Yvonne LeGrice shatters illusions at Lewis & Clark College.

My daughters came across your literature at People’s Market in Ocean Beach, CA. The booklets have had a huge impact on us. Realizing how the animals suffer and what it is we are really consuming has changed us in so many ways. My daughters, now ages 13 and 14, have also shared your literature with their friends at school.
—MC, 10/6/09

A woman at work took a Why Vegan? from the stack I keep at my desk and has decided to go vegetarian! I followed up and gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. So that was pretty awesome. And our vegan wedding went great! We got a lot of positive feedback on the food, and a Why Vegan? convinced my mom to go vegetarian.
—RLF, 10/9/09

This booklet opened my eyes to the cruelty of factory farming and ultimately let to my adoption of a vegan diet, and now I want to spread the word to more uninformed meat eaters! Thank you and keep up the good work!
—BR, 10/11/09

Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts
Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts promotes veg eating at the University of Washington.

At North Hennepin Community College, one woman took a flier and said, “Even If You Like Meat…Oh no! I’m not going to like meat after this.” One vegetarian woman was so excited she jumped up and down and squealed, “Oh I love you!” She happily took a Guide. A guy came back later, shook my hand and said, “I read that book. It’s terrible. Thank you for giving me this.” As a group of three walked by, only one person wanted the flier, but when I saw them ten minutes later, they were having a discussion about whether or not you could kill animals without being cruel to them. We have to remember that many of the people who take a flier show it to their friends.
—Fred Tyler, 9/24/09

Here is a donation to help you keep up the good work! Your philosophy has helped enormously in sustaining me as a happy veg and activist.
—AC, 10/1/09

Thanks to everyone at Vegan Outreach for encouraging others to pass out these very important booklets that show the truth about the horror inside these factory farms. After reading Matt Ball’s book, some new people are passing out booklets at colleges here in Phoenix. Please accept my small monthly recurring donation to help with the printing of these booklets.
—NS, 10/12/09

Phil Letten

At Scottsdale Community College, Alicia (Shover) and I were shocked at how many vegetarians we met. My favorite response was a worried “Why did I agree to take this?” Also, one gentleman was very supportive and agreed Food, Inc. didn’t go far enough. Another cowboy-looking gentleman in his 50’s turned out to be a (former) cowboy! He stopped drinking milk a long time ago, and doesn’t even eat meat at home. He talked about how the actual practice of farming does things you’d never see in the cowboy mythology version. He was sad about how the calves are taken away in dairies.
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/28/09

At Michigan State University, one girl told me she had been wanting to go veg and was happy to get the pamphlet and Guide. Another said she had gotten a pamphlet when a freshmen and then again as a sophomore; she made the decision to go veg the third time she got the pamphlet and has been veg ever since. Met around 40 vegetarians and vegans, which was also very encouraging at this large ag school.
—Vic Sjodin, with Phil Letten (at right), 9/28/09

 

Camilla Kendall
Camilla Kendall takes the animals’ case to students at UC Davis.

A few years ago when I was still eating meat I got one of your booklets, and I could not stop looking at it. The pictures alone were moving, and it had so many facts and horror stories from factory farms and slaughterhouses that every former justification I had given myself for eating meat became meaningless! I showed it to all of my friends and my parents and brother; even though many of them just found it disturbing, it really made a couple of them think about their food. Now I’m interested in passing out your booklets at school.
—BR, 9/30/09

UC Davis proved, once again, it pays to leaflet the first day of classes, as Camilla, Linda, and I distributed over 2,100 booklets. Met a ton of vegetarians and vegans. Had quite a few discussions with curious students; I definitely think that some of the interactions will result in some students trying veg.
—Brian Grupe, 9/24/09

Some great comments at CUNY Hunter today, including, “I wanted to let you know that this pamphlet is the reason I went vegetarian.” “Thanks for this – I used to be vegetarian, and now I am going back. I’m so glad I took this leaflet from you – the second I saw it I realized I need to go back!”
—Eileen Botti, 9/17/09

Great day at Cerritos College, including at least a half dozen leaflets to skateboarders. I overheard one student say to another, “You see – that is why I don’t eat meat.”
—Brianne Donaldson, 9/22/09

John Bowers

To commemorate the United Nations International Day of Peace, the Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association held a “Peace Begins on Your Plate” leafleting session. Two male students approached, one calling out, “I love meat way too much to take what you’re handing out, so don’t even try.” I turned and pointing to the top line of the booklet – “In that case, this booklet is perfect for you: Even If You Like Meat.” He accepted a booklet and a few steps later said to his buddy, “He got me there.”
—John Bowers (at right; photo by Yuri Cabrera), 9/21/09

I was surprised by the number of interested people I met at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. One woman turned down my offer for a booklet and then came back seconds later saying, “I will take one. Those chickens look depressed.” Another woman was smiling and shaking her head no as she turned down the leaflet. When she fully saw Even If You Like Meat’s cover, a look of horror passed over her face. She then took the leaflet and walked slowly down the path, immersed in the truth. Yet another woman took a flier and said, “Thanks. This will make me think twice about eating meat.” One guy was happy to get the booklet. He said he wasn’t vegan or vegetarian, but knew he would eventually end up that way. I gave him a Guide to help him along that path.
—Fred Tyler, 9/17/09

At Washington University, two different students told me they had changed after getting a booklet from me in the past – both took Guides.
—Rick Hershey, 9/23/09

Tawnya Roeder
Tawnya Roeder reaches students at Whitworth University in Washington, another never-before-leafleted school.

At Central Washington University, a student insisted that “aggressively pushing shock-value imagery in the faces of others” was counterproductive. I told her that I viewed my work as simply asking people to consider the suffering of animals, and doing so in a humble, polite manner with a smile on my face. In other words, I was passing information into their hands, not shoving anything in their faces. I discussed VO’s tactics further, gave her an AML, etc. I also mentioned that if she were to look at social wrongs that we’ve rejected throughout history, they have been coupled with sober, honest information detailing these wrongs. The Vietnam War’s unprecedented opposition was coupled with media airing the grisly realities of the war and that for future wars, such coverage wouldn’t exist. It’s not always pleasant showing such imagery, but that’s not the fault of those who are working to eradicate the suffering of others. From starting off confrontational, she ended up amicably asking for my contact info so that we could further discuss this through email.
—Jon Camp, 9/24/09

From a new Vegan Meetup profile, c/o Eugene Khutoryansky:
I have been a huge animal lover my entire life, but sadly was not aware of the sadistic treatment of commercially raised animals. A pamphlet was handed to me recently, and now I want to make a difference.

 

Tracy Martin
Tracy Martin (above) and Elizabeth Gulick (below) let students at Spokane Falls Community College know what modern agribusiness hides from them.

I would just like to thank you guys. I go to school at Anne Arundel Community College. One day I picked up one of your brochures and was horrified by the treatment of the animals. I have not eaten meat since. You guys are awesome.
—MB, 9/25/09

A few weeks ago at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a guy told me he had gone vegan from getting a booklet. Today, his girlfriend told me she is now a vegan, too, and wants to become an activist.
—Barbara Bear, 9/11/09

The students at the University of Wisconsin, Stout seemed more receptive, and there was more interest in Guides. Some people responded with “Yes, of course!” or “This is exactly what I need!”
—Fred Tyler, 9/11/09

At CUNY Staten Island, several students who had already received a leaflet urged their friends to take one as they passed by. Katie (Pryor) overheard a number of positive comments, including: Guy to girl: “You should read that! It was very interesting.” Another guy to friends: “If you read that, you will never want to eat chicken again!”
—Eileen Botti, 9/15/09

Elizabeth Gulick

Taylor (R), Edward (S), and I had great responses from students again at Fullerton College (CA)! One guy said his sister has been a vegetarian for a year because of the pamphlet! One girl looked through the brochure and forced her friend to look at the pictures, who was trying to run away. Taylor met a couple students who were interested in leafleting, and her sister saw several students reading the pamphlet in class.
—Kristine K, 9/17/09

At the University of Utah, there was a man who got a booklet last year and was moved by it; as a result, he had cut back on his meat consumption. He spoke with Darina and me at length – he’s looking to take his next step re: his diet and activism, so I will be in touch with him. At Salt Lake City Community College, a young woman mentioned that she cried after reading the booklet. She is now the proud recipient of a Guide.
—Jon Camp, 9/14/09

Boyd Weidman
Boyd Weidman leaflets FIU.

Another awesome day of outreach at Kent State! Saw SO many people sitting outside between classes intently reading the literature. Love seeing that. Take rate was somewhere around 90% or higher.
—Jen Kaden, 9/16/09

It was a great day at George Washington University and the University of Maryland, College Park. A number of people thanked me for having Guides. One student said she went vegan last year because she received an Even If You Like Meat. She didn’t know how to stay healthy only eating chips and french fries, but after reading the Guide, her diet became a lot healthier.
—Rob Gilbride, 9/16/09

 

Jera Petersen
Jera Petersen changes – and saves – lives at Washington State University; below, a student at Southeast Missouri State studies a booklet handed to her by Rick Hershey.

Thank whoever did the pamphleting for Vegan Outreach down here (at Washington State University). I was really pleased to see my students reading the pamphlets carefully.
—LS, Pullman, WA, 9/19/09

The Chicago Hopefest was fun and very effective. The crowd was made up of Hispanics and African Americans, a lot of high schoolers and people under 30. Everybody wanted the booklets, and what was amazing, once people flipped through them, many came after me, and asked for more for their other family members.
—Darina Smith, 9/8/09

I am very happy I ran across your website. I just would like to say thank you for promoting veganism in a way that does not point fingers and advocate any type of negativity. I read your essay regarding anger and humor, and it really inspired me to stay strong, stop brooding, and achieve my goals in animal rights and veganism. My empathy and compassion will change others’ minds if I stay focused, thoughtful, and humble.
—BL, 9/15/09

I recently got your booklet at my college and have become vegetarian immediately after reading it. I was so impacted by Even If You Like Meat that I would like to help distribute copies to as many people as possible.
—VC, 9/20/09

Back at high school hangout Sugar Land Town Square, one girl told me she has now been a vegetarian for one week since getting Why Vegan? from me last Saturday. Another girl told me that her mom has now been a vegan for four years after having received Why Vegan? And again, lots of kids told me that they will now definitely try to become vegetarians.
     Incidentally, the girl who has now been vegetarian for one week initially told me last Saturday that she loves meat way too much to ever give it up, and she didn’t want to take any pamphlet from me on the grounds that even the Compassionate Choices pamphlet was too graphic for her to look at. However, she came back to me a few hours later, saying that she had changed her mind, and really does think she needs to stop eating animals. So, she took a Why Vegan? and a Guide. Tonight, we saw the results.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 9/4/09

It was a fun time at CUNY Queens College. I had this conversation with a student who was with his group of friends:
     Me: Info to help animals?
Him: But I eat meat.
     That’s why you should read this.
I like meat, and don’t want to have to see that.
     I used to eat meat too, but this is a really serious issue and I think you should take a look at it.
I saw one in English class already.
     Have a nice day (as he was running away with his friends).
Within a minute, the entire group returned to me and every last one of them requested a booklet! “Ok we’ll read these.”
—Eileen Botti, 9/10/09

Student reading booklet

At Southeast Missouri State, I heard from about 12 vegetarians and seven other students who were trying to reduce their meat consumption; I gave them all a Guide. Many of those seven had received an Even If from me in the past. One vegetarian RA asked for ten for her dorm.
—Rick Hershey, 9/10/09

Lots of good interactions today at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. One guy came back after reading the Even If to say, “I’m a big meat eater, but this is horrible. They shouldn’t be treating animals this way.” He thought meat from “happy farms” would be better, but acknowledged that those animals would ultimately reach the same fate. He left talking about changing his diet.
—Fred Tyler, 9/11/09

A few years ago, a guy yelled at me at the University of Colorado, Boulder, saying Vegan Outreach was sending the wrong message asking people to consider veganism. By the end of the year, he approached me and apologized for his behavior. Since then, he always gives me a thumbs up or thanks as he passes by. While leafleting there today, he came back once again to say how much he’s changed his diet. It’s funny that this man who had the harshest words for me initially has done such an about-face.
—Barbara Bear, 9/4/09

 

Katie Pryor
A student studies a booklet at the Borough of Manhattan Community College while Katie Pryor looks for the next to be enlightened; below, Mikael Nielsen takes the animals' case to the people of Chicago.

The quietness of the Loyola campus was interrupted temporarily by a very enthusiastic student who wanted to go vegan. I handed him a leaflet in passing and then I heard “HELL YEA!” and other exclamations of joy. He came back and told me he loved me, and asked for some more booklets to give to friends.
—Twila Hoyle, 9/1/09

Amy Johnson and I leafleted at the University of Newcastle (Australia) today. It went very well; one guy even came back and asked for two more for his friends. The three of them sat and looked at the leaflets carefully. Some people were visibly shocked after opening the leaflets and seeing the images of animal cruelty.
—Kathleen Chapman, 9/2/09

Heard from 10 vegetarians and four vegans at Ball State. One of the vegetarians let me know that he dropped meat after getting a booklet from me last year, explaining that seeing the way chickens are treated was simply too brutal for him to support.
—Joe Espinosa, 9/2/09

We distributed 1,600 booklets in only two hours at Kent State! One student even stopped and helped us leaflet between his classes! Lots of positive feedback and one student commented, “Yes! I need this, I've been wanting to go vegetarian for so long.”
—Jen Kaden, with Cheryle Nocera, Carolyn Yane, 9/2/09

The best part of the day at Rowan University was a conversation with a group of African American students. One of them, who had a dog, asked why should we care about pigs. I talked about how dogs and pigs are the same, but our moral schizophrenia to separate the two in our minds. I compared it to blacks and whites during slavery era. Both human, right? But how we relate to them is different. They all agreed and I could see they were moved.
—Victor Sjodin, 9/1/09

My coworkers informed me that the Sugar Land Town Square is a favorite teenage hangout on Friday and Saturday nights, so I leafleted there last Saturday. One person told me that they are now a vegetarian because of the Why Vegan, and several other people told me that they now plan to go vegetarian.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 9/3/09

Great leafleting at the College of William and Mary, as well as James Madison University. At the latter, I had a conversation with a student who asked for more Even If You Like Meat booklets because he said it changed his life and he wants to help out.
—Rob Gilbride, 9/4/09

At the University of Northern Colorado, I saw numerous individuals reading the booklet; others thanked me or mentioned how eye-opening it was.
—Jon Camp, 9/1/09

Mikael Nielsen

Very friendly and receptive students at the University of Maine, Augusta. I got responses such as “Definitely, thank you,” “Absolutely,” “Good information to know,” “Yes, I DO want one of those,” etc. The acceptance rate was awesome. One student said, “Heck yeah. Factory farming is terrible. My friends are tired of hearing me talk about it, but now I'll refer them to your website.” She waved the pamphlet in the air and looked very happy to have it.
     One student said she recently read an article in Time Magazine about factory farming. She mentioned that people should switch to meat from “sustainable” farming. I pointed out that over a million animals get slaughtered per hour in the U.S., and if everyone switched to “humane” meat, then those farmers would have to adopt factory farming methods to keep up with demand. I added that the best solution would be less demand for animal products. She said, “Good point. I'll keep that in mind.”
—Lana Smithson, 9/4/09

 

Emily and Jimmy Alexander
Jimmy Alexander informs another Warped Tour patron in Portland, OR, while Emily Alexander waits for the next opportunity; below, other Portlanders learn the truth of modern agribusiness.

Today, this guy outside the Galleria Mall in Houston (Eugene Khutoryansky) handed me the booklet that has changed my life forever! Thank you.
—GK, 9/5/09

Leafleting a concert, I overheard one person telling her friends: “This is the pamphlet that made me go vegetarian.”
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 8/29/09

At the University of Colorado, Boulder, three people told us they had gone veg after receiving VO literature in the past. One guy had gotten a brochure five years ago and has been veg ever since. He told me, “Your strategy is really working.” One of the others said she has been veg since getting VO literature over a year ago and is now transitioning to veganism.
—Barbara Bear, 8/28/09

While leafleting Duke University, a guy said, “I love to eat animals.” I asked, “Factory farmed animals?” He stopped in his tracks, turned casually to me and said, “Well, I think what they do to animals is horrible.” He spoke for about a minute more and concluded by saying, “So, yeah, factory farming’s not cool.” He took a booklet, thanked me for the conversation, and offered his hand for a shake. As he started walking again, he told me with sincerity to “keep up the good fight.”
—Loren Hart, 8/26/09

Women read Warped Tour Why Vegan?s

Good morning of outreach at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. A young guy came back by to ask me more questions about the literature. He said he wasn’t aware of what goes on at factory farms. He said it had definitely given him something to think about.
—Eva Helsel, 8/31/09

A good day of outreach at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Some said that they had received a booklet last semester and I followed up with, “What did you think of it?”; many responded that they were cutting back their meat intake. One student refused a booklet saying that he is a hunter; I replied that this is about factory farming, the other end of the spectrum; he then took the booklet. I also heard from one student who said she became vegetarian after receiving a VO booklet two years ago.
—Rick Hershey, 8/27/09

At the University of Illinois, Urbana, I heard from 18 vegetarians and five vegans. One of the vegetarians let me know that she had become vegetarian as a result of getting a booklet from me last semester.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/28/09

Another concertgoer reads booklet

Great outreach at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, with over 1,000 booklets handed out. There were many good questions, and lots of individuals reading the booklets.
     At Colorado State, one young woman told me she cried after reading the booklet. She has been involved in puppy mill activism and came to the conclusion that the treatment of farmed animals was just as bad; she is now interested in farmed animal advocacy and took my contact info. Another young woman told me she went vegetarian two weeks ago after watching Food, Inc. We had a very productive conversation. One nice thing about our leafleting is that many such individuals simply need to know there are others out there who feel strongly about this issue and have done well on a vegan diet.
     Continued thanks and congratulations to everyone who gets out to do this work. We do make ourselves vulnerable to rejection and apathy and sometimes antagonism. But the alternative – hardening ourselves from worrying about the suffering of others or scaring ourselves from dealing with the general public – is not really living; it’s a perpetual state of hiding. We put ourselves on the line and the world is much better because of this!
—Jon Camp, 8/31/09

 

Darina Smith
Darina Smith takes the truth to rockers at Warped Tour, Milwaukee.

I received one of the brochures handed out after Food, Inc. in Ottawa, ON. I am now vegan after much soul-reaching and facing the facts about treatment of animals. Thank you for handing me that brochure. I feel better now as a vegan, both physically and mentally.
—AM, 8/26/09

At Purdue today, a student who had passed me earlier in the day came back to let me know that she is a vegetarian and that 5 people that she knows became vegetarian as a result of getting a booklet from me in the past.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/26/09

I took a vacation day to celebrate the start of fall semester and headed over to Northern Illinois University. The students were very receptive, probably due to Joe’s consistent leafleting presence on their campus over the years. In fact I did hear some discussion of “Where’s the guy?” and some girls doing tribute imitations of Joe’s call to “Help stop violence.” I also heard from many vegans and vegetarians.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/25/09

As I was handing out booklets at a dock, I watched a teenage girl climb into her boat with a group of friends while all her attention was on reading her leaflet. She was reading it as the boat took off.
—Lana Smithson, 8/24/09

Jennifer Greene and Carl Santoro
Jennifer Greene and Carl Santoro are joined by two new friends at a concert on Long Island.

At the San Diego and Los Angeles Warped Tour stops, Stewart Solomon, Rebekah Sinclair, Dan Holbert, Norma, and I were surprised at the receptivity of the crowd and saw lots of people reading the booklets. Heard from many vegetarians, many who had received lit on campuses or at concerts, many who just responded positively to the offer “Info to help animals.” One fella said, “I got one like this last summer…it changed my life.”
—Brianne Donaldson, 8/24/09

It was a good first day at the University of Colorado, with many positive interactions. I met a number of vegans and vegetarians. Some of them want to get active with the CU student AR group and possibly leafleting too – yea! My favorite interaction was with a young woman who said getting a Compassionate Choices last year is what made her go vegetarian; she was very happy to get the Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 8/25/09

Mizzou student
A University of Missouri student studies a booklet handed to her by Rick Hershey.

Rob Gilbride, Jen Baldwin, and I had good experiences leafleting NC State (North Carolina’s largest school of agriculture), including high acceptance rates. I don’t know whether or not all the ag students saw Food, Inc. over the summer and are now starting to understand just how terrible industrial animal agriculture is. But for some reason, many of them seemed to be more relaxed around us than in previous semesters.
—Loren Hart, 8/25/09

Students were quite friendly, receptive, and polite at the University of Central Missouri. I talked to one interested student after she read the Even If You Like Meat, and asked if she might be interested in shifting toward a plant-based diet. She said yes and also said that she might leaflet with me in the future.
—Rick Hershey, 8/25/09

At City College of San Francisco, I met a number of vegetarians and vegans, including Estafani Enciso-Marquez, who went vegan after receiving a VO brochure at City College a year ago! She leafleted with me before heading to class and did great.
—Brian Grupe, 8/26/09

 

Petra Halasova
Petra Halasova enlightens another young person in Chicago.

We leafleted Melbourne University as part of prospective student day, and reached 800 19 year olds. Mario Sos had this exchange:
     Dude: “No thanks, I love my meat.”
     Mario: “Then you’ll like this, there’s plenty of pictures of meat in it.”
     Dude: (laughs) “Good one.” (takes a booklet)
—Roy E. Taylor in Australia, 8/18/09

It has been a great week leafleting with Theo Summer. Students at Fresno City College were AMAZINGLY receptive. Dozens were reading them while they walked, or they sat down to read. Edison High School was also full of receptive and friendly kids. Even though it’s 103 degrees in Fresno, it feels great to be received well.
     Earlier, at Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College, people at both schools remembered getting leaflets previously, and one young woman exclaimed to her friend, “See! This is why I don’t eat meat!”
—Brian Grupe, 8/20/09

Joe Espinosa

The Ottawa Animal Defense League handed out Vegan Outreach brochures outside screenings of the movie Food, Inc. this past weekend. Over three days and about 40 minutes total, we handed out over 600 brochures. It was a very successful event and we hope many minds were changed as a result.
—Jason Halvorson, 8/20/09

Had good interactions while leafleting in Chicago today, including a man who said he and his wife had gone veg about a month ago after reading the Why Veg? booklet.
—Matt McEwen, 8/18/09

Lynn Halpern, Lisa Shapiro, and I handed out over 900 booklets at the Freshman Welcome, so we reached about 1/5 of the incoming class at Colorado University, Boulder. A lot of people sat around reading them – always nice to see. One young guy came back and recommended that we hand the literature out near the brat stand, and said reading the Compassionate Choices was making him not want to eat his brat. I told him about vegetarian brats and showed him the Tofurky brand in the back of the booklet.
—Barbara Bear, 8/23/09

Tom Schlieske

Posted to the Adopt a College email group:
Sean Hollick, Joe Espinosa, Tom Schlieske (right), and I handed out 3,000 copies of Even If You Like Meat, 25 Guides, and 2 A Meaningful Life booklets at Illinois State. It was a long day, waking up at 4:00 am and returning home around 9:30 pm, but that is par for the course when dealing with the incredibly dedicated Mr. Espinosa (above).
     Cheers to the new semester! I’m thrilled to take part in this meaningful, effective work with all of you, arguably the best crew of grassroots activists alive! And once again, thanks so much to the donors on this list, who are going to make another hugely successful semester of this absolutely vital outreach possible.
—Jon Camp, 8/18/09

 

Leslie Patterson

Thanks for writing your book with Bruce. I really enjoyed it and only wish I could have read it years ago. Thanks also for the booklets. An enthusiastic college student told us she went vegan after reading one, and that she shared it with 30 friends.
—Karen Marcus, 8/12/09

Lots of teens and twenty-somethings out on Michigan Avenue in Chicago last night. Joe, Mikael, and I were joined by Claire, an activist from the UK who found us online so she could do some vegan outreach while on her trip across the US. A highlight of the night: a man stopped to tell me he has not eaten meat since receiving a Compassionate Choices a month ago. He said, “I am now a vegetarian. I just can’t eat meat anymore after reading about how chickens are treated.” He took more information. Another highlight was a group of five teenage boys who have recently gone vegetarian and had some questions about going vegan.
—Leslie Patterson (right), 8/12/09

From a new Adopt a College leafleter:
I am a 19-year-old vegan who would like to get more involved in Vegan Outreach. I became vegan after picking up a Vegan Outreach booklet about two years ago.
—LN, 7/29/09

At the farmers’ market, I had a really great conversation with a guy about how we are treating animals and the immense suffering it causes, the fallout on so many fronts of this totally unsustainable way of living. We also talked about our kids (he has a boy, I have a little girl) and agreed that we should leave a much better planet for them. When he first walked up I actually had him pegged as a guy that wouldn’t even bother taking a leaflet, but ended up being the best encounter of the day.
—Mikael Nielsen, 8/16/09

Lana Smithson
Lana Smithson tables at the fifth annual vegetarian food festival in Portland, Maine.

We had a great night leafleting, showing Meet Your Meat on our computer, and sampling out Tofurky Italian sausages with sautéed peppers and onions along with vegan hot dogs mixed with baked beans (paid for by VegFund, which will also pay for Vegan Outreach literature to accompany vegan food giveaways). One guy actually knelt down in front of the computer screen so he could hear the MYM video better. When a friend passed by, he called him over to see the footage and said, “If you ever eat real hot dogs again, I’ll kill you.” Not exactly a compassionate comment, but I’m glad he took the video to heart.
—Barbara Bear, 8/6/09

This is not a book that proselytizes radical activism. It is, rather, a supportive and comforting book for all of us who love animals and want to help them. Includes chapters on The Joy of a Meaningful Life, Choosing Meaningful Action, Effective Advocacy for Animals, and is chock-full of information on animal issues without being the least bit preachy – it is inspirational and practical. I love this book and added it to recommendations on my own site, and have bought it as gifts. Bravo to the authors.
—Teresa Wagner, posted here

 

Kyle, Twila, Derwin, and Lucius
Kyle Tveten, Twila Hoyle, Derwin Wilright Jr., and Lucius Wesson reach out to thousands of teens at the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

Leafleting Food, Inc. in Des Moines, IA, I met three vegetarians, one mother of a vegan, and someone who may leaflet with me in the future. People were very receptive, as they were depressed after the movie. The manager let me sit in the lobby all day and evening and leaflet people as they came out. They had vegan granola bars for sale at the snack bar, and there is a vegan on staff.
—Trish Sutton, 7/26/09

Super reception rate at Food, Inc. in Tampa. People waited to get a booklet!
—Nikki Benoit, 7/28/09

I recently read The Animal Activist’s Handbook and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think your book does a great job in addressing a lot of pressing concerns for AR activists and effective ways in which to pursue those goals.
—JA, 8/5/09

Rainbow Gathering
One of the happy Guide recipients encountered by Rick Hershey at the Rainbow Gathering in Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico.

At Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, I had almost 100% of people I approached take a leaflet. I also had a security guard approach me and take a leaflet. He talked to me about trying to cut back on meat, and I gave him a Guide to help him make cruelty-free choices. He wished me luck with my leafleting before he left. A second guard approached me a minute after the first one left and took an Even If You Like Meat.
—Kelly Bergen, 7/28/09

Handed out 428 booklets at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – not bad for a second summer leafleting. Within the first 20 minutes of starting, I heard from a woman who let me know that getting a booklet from me last semester is what moved her to become vegan. Heard from 3 other vegans and 10 vegetarians as well.
—Joe Espinosa, 7/31/09

Brian, Jack, and Stewart
Brian Grupe, Jack Norris, and Stewart Solomon at the AR2009 conference in Los Angeles.

No Doubt was an excellent concert to leaflet, lots of young and/or thoughtful people. We reached 6,825 people in four nights and almost no one tossed them to the ground. In fact I remember one young lady last night who took a leaflet from me, pointed straight to the ground in front of my feet, and told her two friends, “Right here, in this very spot. This is where I went vegetarian.” You know it happens all the time, and once in a while, we’re in earshot to hear it. And so, we are now closer to the moon than we were just a few days ago.
—Stewart Solomon, 8/5/09

No Doubt was a great show to leaflet. I watched one young woman take a leaflet from Rebekah Sinclair and head toward the trash can. Just as she was about to drop it in she stopped, flipped it from one side to the other, paused over it for a second, and said to her friend, “Let’s read this one.” Perfect.
—Brianne Donaldson, 8/1/09

Nick, Vic, and Linda
Adopt a College leafleters Nick Cooney, Vic Sjodin, and Linda Bower meet up in Florida.

Lots of good interactions today at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. A number of people approached me for a brochure (I love when that happens). I especially enjoyed meeting two young girls who are interested in going veg/vegan. Thankfully, in both cases they had supportive parents. Two adorable little boys asked for a brochure, but I told them they needed an adult’s permission. They scrambled all over looking for their guardian so they could have one. The guardian had already gotten a brochure, but they were insistent that they needed one of their own. Another enthusiastic interaction was with a woman who walked away with the Compassionate Choices, then came back later to thank me for being out there, said she had no idea this happened to animals, and she was proud of me for leafleting. I thanked her and gave her a Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 8/2/09

 

High fives to whoever was handing out VO pamphlets at Comic-Con this weekend. I saw Paul Levitz, president of DC Comics, reading one!
—TH, 7/29/09

Melissa and Bonnie

Melisa and I (right) handed Compassionate Choices to every single person who was leaving the movie theatre after seeing Food, Inc. yesterday in Helena, Montana. We also gave them to the folks selling the tickets and popcorn! I would say, “Would you like more information on this topic?” Everybody was really nice, and nobody said, “No thanks!” Everybody took them! Thanks again for introducing me to Melisa! We are so happy to know each other.
—Bonnie Goodman, 7/27/09

At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a woman let me know that her daughter had become vegan due to getting our booklet, and another student let me know that the booklet had moved her to become vegetarian. A university staffer let me know that she buys all local and organic animal products. I pointed out that there is no nice way to cut animals’ heads off. She acknowledged this.
—Joe Espinosa, 7/22/09

Eric Purdy
Above, Eric Purdy exposes factory farming to another University of Chicago student; below, Tom Schlieske takes the animals’ plight to DePaul University.

While leafleting an outdoor concert, some people said they just saw Food, Inc. at the movie theater around the corner. It was funny because at first they were obviously going to say no to a leaflet (shaking head and putting up a hand) until they saw what it was, and then they were thankful.
—Lana Smithson, 7/24/09

Leafleting the Lutheran Youth Convention, we came across about 40 vegetarians, whose comments made our day. “I appreciate you guys being out here!” “Keep it up!” “You’re doing great work!” and countless other remarks were warmly offered from compassionate individuals whose faces brightened after seeing others in the movement. Some might say 40 is nothing. A few years ago we would have met zero. Let’s see what we get next year.
—Derwin Wilright, Jr., 7/25/09

Tom Schlieske

A fairly receptive crowd at the farmers’ market. My favorite interaction was with an elderly woman who at first was going to give the brochure back to me, but then decided to keep it to show to her granddaughter, who is almost 4 years old. She said her granddaughter has been talking about going veg and recently stated that she really likes bacon, but she likes pigs more.
—Barbara Bear, 7/25/09

Thanks for VeganOutreach.org – it’s a great repository of knowledge and has been very useful. Do keep up the good work, I’m sure it’s helping vegans and everyone else.
—Meredith in Helsinki, 7/28/09

 

At Northwestern, one man stopped and told me we should worry about human suffering first. I said we can prevent terrible suffering simply by choosing vegan foods. After talking a bit, he said it seemed like the right thing to do and that he would give it a try. Another student held up his hands as he was walking by and said, “You already won me over!”
—Leslie Patterson, 7/17/09

Drew, Jeff, and Vijay
Pre-race Pastafarians Drew, Jeff, and Vijay.

I was handed one of your brochures today. I’ve been vegetarian in the past, but stopped because it was too difficult. Thank you for the graphic reminder that each decision I make in the supermarket is an important one. I think this kind of literature, showing people what they’re eating, is the way to go, especially when so many people are beginning to take note of the food industry’s horrendous practices as they are coming into more light in the media. Keep fighting for a safer world please.
—EL, 7/21/09

Leafleting Food, Inc. again, a high school age guy said, “I LOVE meat.” When I asked, “But do you like to make animals suffer?” his girlfriend replied, “We don’t kill them.” She and I talked about supply and demand, that animals wouldn’t be killed if no one paid the butchers to do it, etc. She wondered how in the world one could be vegan and, “Don’t you miss cheeseburgers?” I told her I still eat cheeseburgers, tacos, pizza, etc., just the cruelty-free versions. She said her mom buys her Boca burgers and she likes those. She ended up taking a Compassionate Choices and Guide. Leafleting on the Pearl Street Mall later, a young woman came up to us and said she’d gotten literature at the theater last week, and it caused her and her boyfriend to go vegan.
—Barbara Bear, 7/10/09

I turned vegan from reading your pamphlet. It took me a year to make the transition because my family was against it, but I made changes gradually until I made it permanent. I lost 80 pounds. I have not gotten sick since starting my diet, not even a cold.
—MM, 7/22/09

Vijay and Jagu with Sprocket
Prom King and Queen Vijay and Jagu, with Sprocket.

Dan Miller and I found a very receptive crowd at the Concord (CA) farmers’ market. Several school field trips were visiting the market, and one teacher told all his students to make sure they each took the educational information from me. He thanked me for being there.
—Jen Kaden, 7/15/09

My sisters Lubica and Petra are visiting me [from Slovakia] for the summer. Right after their arrival, I put them to work tabling the Michigan Peace Fest. The best part was that we were able to speak to the crowd from the stage a few times throughout the Fest. The speeches always drew new people to our table, and we had very positive reactions overall.
—Darina Smith, 7/15/09

At the Ani DiFranco concert, I gave a woman a Compassionate Choices, and she showed it to her husband. He looked at the cover image and said, “It’s a chick!” in dismissive way. A little while later, the couple walked past me and the man pointed to the open booklet in his other hand. He said, “This is very compelling.”
—Julie Rothman, 7/12/09

It was tough leafleting at the Slightly Stoopid/Snoop Dog Concert, until I started holding the Even If You Like Meat booklets at eye level. This worked. They only took it if they wanted it or were otherwise interested in it and wanted to keep it and read it. You can’t help but get it, even if you like meat. I took great satisfaction in watching their silly smiles turn into serious sad frowns, and seeing their blank faces turn into forced nervous smiles and teary eyes.
—Stewart Solomon, 7/12/09

Jack Norris
Runnin’ Jack Flash.

At Oakton College, one student came back to happily tell me he doesn’t eat meat anymore, only chicken. I told him chickens actually suffer the worst and in greatest number. I opened one of the leaflets to show him the pictures and give him a bit more info. He was surprised to hear that. I asked him to consider at least cutting back on his consumption of chicken, and he said he’d give it a try.
—Chris Capozziello, 7/15/09

I am so impressed with A Meaningful Life. I’ve written a lot of brochures and pamphlets in my time (I’ve been doing full-time activist work for 25 years), and I’ve got to tell you, yours wins out over all others for clarity, brevity, inspiration, and friendliness. Congrats on that masterpiece.
—BD, 7/22/09

I’m looking forward to reading your book. I am really moved by your writing. It’s very inclusive and nonjudgmental. You’re building bridges instead of barriers. I believe that alone will make a huge impact on how vegans are seen and the impact on animals.
—LR, 7/23/09

 

Lana Smithson
Lana Smithson paints an ethical picture at the art festival in Belfast, Maine.

About two years ago, your booklets started me down the path to reexamining my food choices. Now I am a vegetarian – thank you! Please know that your booklets DO WORK!
—PC, 7/15/09

I found your site when looking for information so that I can feed a super militant vegan friend of mine. Your approach to veganism in your FAQ is the first time that I have seen it presented in such a way as to not be absurd or demeaning to those who, for whatever reason, cannot axe every little thing out of their lives. Your comments about eggs and why they are an issue was the first time I have ever heard an argument that was sane, let alone reasonable. While I may never be able to be a 100% vegan, you have at least opened my mind to the possibility.
—BE, 7/15/09

I was moved to make a donation after reading some of the essays on your website – particularly “Welfare and Liberation” and “A New World, Piece by Piece.”  I seem to find myself bombarded by the most discouraging and sometimes vitriolic viewpoints these days about animal rights and veganism. Your essays were a much needed reminder that there are still sane people in the animal rights movement who are doing good work.
—VM, 7/13/09

I’ve been active for about seven or eight years, and I have to say that Matt & Bruce’s book has really given me a much-needed boost and a renewed focus. Thank you all so much for being such a well-grounded source of support and inspiration.
—Linda Bower, 7/15/09

While leafleting at the Boulder Farmers’ Market, a woman told me that she buys grass-fed, free-range meat, eggs, etc. We talked about free range being a myth and I told her what happens to male chicks in the egg industry as an example. Her mouth dropped open and she said, “Maybe I do need one of those (Compassionate Choices).” We looked at the picture of the male chicks in a dumpster and talked a bit more. She was sincere in her concern, so I gave her a Guide too.
—Barbara Bear, 7/1/09

Sophia Erlsten
Sophia Seeramlal Erlsten promotes independence for the animals on July 4th in Florida.

At the University of Toronto today, one woman said, “Oooh, you’re going to make me into a vegetarian!”
—Alex Greenwood, 7/9/09

At the Warped Tour, Dallas, Casey Constable and I ran into a lot of vegetarians and vegans at our exits, but I also ran into a lot of people who said that they had tried to go vegan or vegetarian, but had to quit because of health problems. So, Guides were a very hot commodity at my exit.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 7/7/09

I was invited to three BBQs on the 4th of July. I brought some Even If You Like Meat booklets to spread the word, and vegan food for people to try. I had some in-depth discussions with people regarding Food, Inc., vegan athletes, the environmental implications, animal suffering, etc. The leaflets were a wonderful tool for allowing such dialogue to occur on such a heavy meat-eating day.
—HZ, 7/8/09

 

Darina Smith
Above, Darina Smith takes the animals’ plight to new people at Columbia College; below, Sean Hollick reaches summer students at Notre Dame.

Just wanted to say thanks for the “How Vegan?” article. It’s what I’ve always thought on my own and have always had a tough time expressing. It’s so important that we bring everyone to doing more for the animals in whatever capacity they can instead of making it appear impossible and them being apathetic and turned off to a conscientious lifestyle.
—LH, 7/8/09

Thank you for educating me about veganism. I received a booklet at the Warped tour, and I ended up reading the entire thing. Of course, everyone has an idea of what animal cruelty is, but actually reading the facts proves that living a vegan lifestyle would definitely help the fight. I have a chronic stomach disease, and it’s hard enough to create a diet for myself to stay healthy, but after learning more about becoming vegan, I plan on pursuing the lifestyle.
—AB, 7/7/09

Thank you for your outreach program. I had been wanting to become a vegetarian for several years. Your pamphlet, which I picked up at Union Square, NYC, made it clear to me that NOW is the time. It’s been two weeks now and I’m not going back!
—TC, 7/7/09

Sean Hollick

Leafleting the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder, CO, a number of people approached me after reading my VO shirt. I noticed that people with their hands apparently full are still often willing to take a leaflet. For instance, today a guy giving a kid a piggyback ride with his arms wrapped around the kid’s legs still managed to grab a leaflet. Shortly thereafter, he set the kid down and started to page through the Compassionate Choices.
—Barbara Bear, 6/28/09

There were lots of kids and teenagers at Houston’s 4th of July fireworks. One boy told me that he now doesn’t want to eat meat anymore. His parents requested three Guides.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 7/4/09

Lots of young people at the Phoenix Art Walk, and lots of vegetarians and vegans. We met one vegetarian who said she’d donate to VO! This week there was also a huge advertisement for vegan doughnuts at a coffee shop, and a hotdog vendor had veggie dogs. This area is looking promising!
—Jeff Boghosian, 7/6/09

 

Darina Smith

I’m ordering booklets after reading your amazing Handbook. This book has completely changed my life. I can't wait to hand them out.
—CP, 7/6/09

Both days at Evanston Custer Fair were very busy, with a ton of kids in their teens and twenties. Virtually no one seemed to have seen these brochures before. It was very gratifying to watch so many of these kids read the booklets right on the spot. I had about 20 people say they were veg*ns, others were just starting out, hungry for information. Jon Camp’s charisma (and also his VO T-shirt) prompted two Texan students to approach him and ask about getting involved.
—Darina Smith (right), 6/24/09

Leafleting at the University of Illinois, Chicago, one young woman told her friend, "You have to take one of those! It’s what turned me into a vegetarian!" I asked her when that was and she responded, "Two years ago," which means she got it from Joe Espinosa (who reached over 30,000 students this past semester).
—Jon Camp, 6/17/09

Jessica Dadds
Jessica Dadds (above) and Yvonne LeGrice (below) leaflet the Portland Pride Parade.

At Purdue University, I leafleted a lot of high school kids there for a Future Farmers of America convention. I pointed out the citations from animal agriculture journals and textbooks so they would know the quotations are from professors of animal agriculture, acknowledging the industry’s standard treatment of animals. I myself have a history of spending time working on my uncle’s dairy farm as a child, and I entered the University of Illinois in 1989 in the College of Agriculture, so I do suspect that like me, some of these young people who have been lied to and taught to lie to hide the ugly truth of animal agriculture can get progressively more honest with themselves. My task was to help move that process along for all that I encountered.
—Joe Espinosa, 6/16/09

At Truman College, one woman told me she has been cutting back on meat for health reasons and mostly eats fish and chicken. I told her about how chickens are treated and she was horrified. We talked about the Golden Rule and the prevalence of violence in society and she seemed to make the connection with how animals are treated. She said she is going to give up chicken and work on going vegetarian.
—Leslie Patterson, 6/12/09

It was an awesome day of leafleting at this huge kickoff to the summer festival season in Cleveland. Three new leafleters joined me this time. They were a little nervous starting out but then were surprised at how easy it was and said they’d for sure be leafleting again! We encountered LOTS of vegetarians and quite a few vegans too. Really positive response at this event.
—Jen Kaden, 6/13/09

Yvonne LeGrice

I went to my alma mater, UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and gave out 206 booklets in a heartbeat. Reception was very close to perfect. Met a handful of enthusiastic vegetarians, and a student gave me her information so she can join me at leafleting next time I come. My mom, who works at UNAM, tagged along and asked the students to spread the word after reading the booklet. Most of them said they would. I went back later and handed out hundreds more.
     While there, I had lunch with a dear high school friend I hadn’t seen for several years. During our friendly chat he asked why I went vegan. We talked a while about the injustices that animals go through and the advantages of a vegan diet. He walked me to my car so I could give him a booklet. Yesterday I received an email from him that said: "I want to let you know that I was very persuaded by our conversation and the vegan booklet. I’m heading that way.”
—Italia Millan, 6/20/09

 

Darina Smith

Another great team event with some of the finest activists we are lucky to have in Chicago. We gave out more than 500 booklets in about an hour.
     To me, there is so much more to leafleting than mechanical passing out of pamphlets. Each one of us is no less than a spokesperson, a face and a voice of the movement, an individual who changes people’s hearts. What can be more exciting?
—Darina Smith (at right, being the animals’ spokesperson at the University of Buffalo), 6/8/09

Thank you so much for writing Handbook! How I wish there was a book like this around years ago. It would have saved me from making many of the mistakes you discuss in the book. There is such a need for this book. I can’t say enough about how helpful the book is.
—NS, 6/21/09

Saturday night, I had an opportunity to go to do some vegan outreach at South Beach with my 11-year-old daughter and my vegan friend and her 10-year-old vegan daughter. When I first got there, I had a major anxiety attack, thinking, "I can’t do this, I can’t do this." Once someone actually accepted a pamphlet, that feeling went away. I remember thinking what an awe-inspiring experience it was, just being there. It was truly overwhelming.
     My daughter at first didn’t even want to go and fought me over it. But I told her it would be an unforgettable experience, not to be missed. Well, it turns out not only was it unforgettable but it was also life-changing: about halfway through, she decided, right then and there, to go vegan! Thanks for everything!
—Ivy Bagnall, 6/24/09

I’m almost finished with Handbook. I have not been a strong activist. Your book is inspiring me to take that next step. I’m getting active in my local animal rights group and I plan to get involved in leafleting. Thanks for writing the book; I expect it will lead to many more vegetarians/ vegans through people like me!
—JW, 6/18/09

Piedmont High School is in the richest part of Oakland and the kids at this small high school are picked up by a long line of Mercedes, BMWs and Priuses. With high schools (and colleges) like this, I prepare myself for a barrage of snobbery and attitude, but these kids were friendly, polite and receptive. I had a decent acceptance rate, good access to students, and positive conversations. No leaflets on the ground and many students were thrilled at the idea of helping animals and preventing cruelty.
—Brian Grupe, 6/8/09

Our first vegan bake sale was a great success – we raised hundreds of dollars for Vegan Outreach, handed out hundreds of VO booklets, answered a ton of questions, and gave people that were trying to become vegan lots of encouragement! I wish you could have heard some of the great conversations. Met a lot of new people, and collected about 15 names and email addresses of people who wanted to do leafleting and tabling. The ripple effect from this bake sale, just in this area, will be amazing. I think people were very comfortable talking to us and asking questions – it was a very nonthreatening environment. What can I say about Vegan Outreach? You are all the best!! Thanks again for all you do. We need more people like you!
—Becky Koechell, 6/27/09

Tonight in Chicago, lots of people gave us the thumbs-up and said they were already veg. One girl stopped to show me her necklace which said "vegan" and I gave her a hearty "Right on!" I also had one lady get a Why Vegan?, which I noticed she was reading a little ways away. She came back and asked for 6–7 more, to give to friends and coworkers. She told me she was not yet vegetarian, but that I had just helped her take a huge step in that direction.
—Mikael Nielsen, 6/9/09

Texas beachgoers
Texas beachgoers show off their new booklets, c/o Casey Constable.

“Letter to a Young Matt” is an incredible speech – very inspiring!
—Jean Bettanny, 6/23/09

Of all the email newsletters I receive re: animals, yours is the best. You provide the most relevant and interesting issues. I open most of your links in tabs, and read them one by one, bookmark them and then send out tweets.
—SC, 6/27/09

 

Riley Law
Riley Law (above) and Blythe Lopez (below) make sure the people of Chicago know the truth about modern agribusiness.

Your article about what you would say to your younger self made a huge impact on me, and in doing so has no doubt helped animals. I am 34 and sadly, realized that I was more like the 21-year-old you than I am like the 41-year-old you. Thank you for helping me see the error of my activist ways, and for helping me realize the role that ego has to date played in my angry, obsessive activism. I am a better activist for having read your article, which I have forwarded on to my vegan and nonvegan friends.
—NK, 6/18/09

Just finished The Animal Activist’s Handbook. Thank you so much for that – I needed the inspiration! I am rejuvenated and more ready than ever to fight for compassion!
—MS, 6/15/09

At the First Friday event in St. Petersburg, FL, two individuals expressed interest in leafleting with me in the future. And after attempting to give one man a leaflet, he told me he already received one and that it had great info. He proceeded to tell me that he was planning to eat differently for dinner that night as a result of reading the pamphlet!
—Jodi Chemes, 6/8/09

At the Phoenix Art Walk, Jeff [Boghosian] and I both commented on the extremely large number of folks who took the time to read the literature. Jeff’s high point was a family who stopped to talk with him because the daughter is trying to transition from vegetarianism to veganism and the rest of the family is nearly vegetarian. My most enthusiastic recipient of the night was a woman who was thrilled to receive literature because she’s vegetarian – I gave her a GCFE. Great use of time!
—Dawn, 6/6/09

Thank you so much for all your good work, your earnestness and down-to-earth philosophy. My daughter and I both went vegan a few years ago – our switch stemmed from brochures received on a college campus, so we know firsthand that Vegan Outreach works. I’ve leafleted with Brian Grupe in Sacramento and hope to continue.
—Laura Stuebe, 6/18/09

Blythe Lopez

I wanted to send a quick thank you for such an amazing and informational site. I decided to switch to vegan a few weeks ago. I was turned off for many years to the idea of becoming vegan, due to most people and websites being so hard core I felt I could never live up to their standards. I am very impressed with how you show that doing what you can is more important than being pure. I know that even taking a prescription medicine containing gelatin would make most feel not vegan, but it doesn’t bother me because I know I still don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs. Your site reassured me of that.
—JE, 6/14/09

Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave. seems to be a pretty good cross section of the general population, and the take rate is up 50% from last year. There are far more people interested in the info, sitting and reading it, walking and reading it, saying things like, “I'm vegetarian!,” “I’m already vegan!,” “I’ve seen this stuff before,” “I saw this on YouTube,” “This is very interesting” (with a solemn, pensive expression), “You have to look at this” (to a friend). I’d say that if the U.S. population is an onion, we’ve peeled back one more layer.
—Stewart Solomon, 6/21/09

I recently was handed a brochure on Hollywood Blvd. Thank you very much to the person who gave it to me. I have been vegetarian for 8 years and switched to vegan three weeks ago and have been desperate for info since becoming vegan.
—JS, Los Angeles, 6/2/09

 

Leslie Patterson
Leslie Patterson (above) and Joe Espinosa (below) promote compassion on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

I have been a vegan for a year and a half. I contribute to Vegan Outreach and leaflet when I can. I do a lot of e-leafleting which has been very successful. VeganHealth.org is just great. It is needed as much as undercover whistle-blowers in factory farms. Anyone interested in transitioning their diet gets sent to your page first. Thank you so much for your work and your continued research.
—JT, 6/13/09

East LA College was a really great school, just like last time – receptive and interested students. I’m still looking for a quick response to “Are there gross pictures inside?” I did come up with a satisfactory reply to “Will it depress me?” to which I said, “It might empower you.”
—Brianne Donaldson, 5/15/09

University of Delaware folks weren’t the easiest crowd, but I helped offset this by speaking significantly louder than normal, greeting students with a big smile, and leaning towards them. One young woman let me know that she received a booklet on campus about a year ago and has been vegetarian since. At DePaul today, a young woman let me know that she has been veg for the last four months since receiving a VO booklet from a different leafleter at the very spot I was standing.
—Jon Camp, 5/20/09

At the Boulder Creek Festival, a high school–aged girl saw the Compassionate Choices and said, “Oh, but I like meat” (in a sincere, not snide, way). I told her I had a pamphlet written specifically for her and gave her the Even If You Like Meat. Her friend took a CC. By the end of our conversation, the EIYLM girl said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have been on the fence, but could I have one of those guides (Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating) too?” (I’d given one to her friend.) It was great to see her attitude change after chatting briefly.
—Barbara Bear, 5/27/09

Joe Espinosa

At the University of Illinois, I heard from a student within the first ten minutes who stated that getting the booklet in the past had moved her to become vegan. I offered her the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and she explained she had gotten it before and found that the material within it really helped her know what to eat with dropping meat, dairy, and eggs, and the article on nutrition eased her mind about making the move to nonviolent eating.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/27/09

In two cases today [at the Galleria Mall in Houston], I overheard a person telling their friends that the Why Vegan? pamphlet is what made them go vegetarian. A third person told me that she had gotten the Why Vegan? pamphlet earlier in the day, and that she is a vegetarian now.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 5/30/09

 

Written to Eileen Botti:

While leafleting at a concert tonight, I met a young woman who goes to Bridgewater State College. She excitedly told me that she already got an Even If You Like Meat at school and that she doesn’t eat meat anymore. Good work!
-JB, 5/30/09Joe

Written by an Australian leafleter to an interested activist:

I believe very much that Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College is the most effective form of animal rights activity in terms of numbers of animals saved and in terms of creating lasting changes to society. Leafleting has taken off at Melbourne University, and is done on a weekly basis by the Cage-Free Campus Society. So friends and I have moved on to Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. This is the most effective animal rights advocacy that can be done, and I am happy to work with you. (I must have given out many 1000s of leaflets by now, but I’m no Joe Espinosa!)
-Roy E. Taylor, 5/31/09

On Tuesday, I left Steger at 2am and was in action at Ohio State by 9:20am Ohio time. I heard from 14 vegetarians and three vegans. There was good reception the next day at Ohio University, where I heard from 13 vegetarians and two vegans. Finally, I spent my last vacation day until next semester at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where I heard from 16 vegetarians and five vegans. For these three days, I reached just under 3,000 students with the information they need to reduce animal suffering.
-Joe Espinosa (above), 5/8/09

At Dartmouth, a student on a bike took an Even If You Like Meat, pulled over, and proceeded to read it for the next five minutes. It was good to see so many students consider the plight of these animals.
-Eleni Vlachos, 5/14/09

Within the first five minutes at Contra Costa College, a security guard asked, “Is that about animal cruelty?” I replied that yes it was and asked if he would like one. He said he still had his from my last visit a few months ago. I then met a woman whose husband is a butcher and two daughters are vegetarians. We had a chuckle at how things work out in life. She came back later in the day to tell me how affected she was by the leaflet and we talked about animals and our culture’s relationship with them. Another woman from the culinary department took a few extra leaflets for her colleagues as well as a Guide for herself. She thanked me for distributing this information to others.
-Brian Grupe, 5/14/09

 
  Jenny Lawson promotes vegetarianism to another DePaul University student.

Your argument on getting through to meat eaters finally got through to me! I have always focused more on not offending people than on stopping animals from suffering. But you’re right [to focus on the animals]. It makes sense because everyone I know who is vegan or even vegetarian, including myself, did so because they saw something that shocked them about the way animals were treated. All the other reasoning came later. When I first went vegetarian, health was the excuse I gave my mom to reassure her it wasn’t a terrible idea. But when it all comes down to it, unless you’re a total critically thinking health nut or environmentalist (and, really, who is these days?), the only compelling reason to go vegan is the immense suffering involved in not doing so. I never would have figured this out without someone spelling it out for me like you did. I just wanted to say thank you because, obviously, I need to dedicate my life to this. Someone’s gotta step up to the plate.
-AR, 5/28/09

Since Cal Poly Pomona has been so heavily leafleted in past semesters, I decided to give out Compassionate Choices today—something they haven’t seen before. It went very well, meeting lots of veggies and interested people as always. When someone took it and said, “Save the chickens!” I looked at the birds on the front cover and thought about Prop 2 here in California and how chickens actually matter now. A few years back, I remember protesting a KFC and so many people thought we were nuts, standing up for chickens of all things, barely a step up from the cockroach in their minds. Now chickens matter.
-Stewart Solomon, 5/13/09

 

   
  Eileen Botti encourages students at SUNY Stony Brook to take a stand for the animals.

CUNY John Jay was amazing -- Sean Diener and I handed out over 1,200 booklets in just a few hours. A few of the highlights:
     "I just wanted you to know that that pamphlet made me go vegetarian last time you were here."
     "Girl, you're gonna make me wanna go vegetarian with this!"
     (One student to her friend) "Oh yeah I got that -- I think I'm going vegetarian!"
     Yesterday at CUNY Queens College, I met one vegetarian who took a Guide and a few extra leaflets for her neighbors. I also met other students who were genuinely interested in going vegan and also took Guides. One of those students said, "I saw some of this info online and tried some vegan food, but after you handed me this and I read it in class, I am so much more motivated again. I like that you don't make it an all-or-nothing approach." We talked about soy cheese and good vegan food -- I'm pretty confident that she's going to give veganism a shot!
-Eileen Botti, 5/6/09

Last night, one person at the vegan meetup told me she has a friend who she has been trying to get to go vegetarian for many years. However, despite all her efforts, and all the information she has presented, she had absolutely no influence on her friend. But her friend recently ran into me while I was leafleting, and I gave her a VO booklet. As a result, her friend has now made the decision to go vegetarian.
     Another person at meetup told me that the reason she changed from being a meat eater to being a vegan is because of the VO booklet. She had already seen the videos, but she didn't make the switch until she saw the booklet, which made her go from meat eater to vegan overnight. She has now been vegan for two years.
-Eugene Khutoryansky, 5/10/09

Leafleting the Portland Saturday Market was a great experience. I can't even remember how many times I heard, "Awww" and "Ewww." Girls were huddled around reading the booklets together. Highlights:
     One girl declined a Compassionate Choices and then turned to her friend and said, "I got one of those at school. It was really sad."
     Another girl took a booklet and said, "This is why I'm vegetarian! This stuff is real!" She was excited to receive a Compassionate Choices and a Guide. I watched her walk across the road, holding up the booklets with pride.
     After taking a booklet, one woman tried giving it to the guy she was with. He wouldn't take it, so she decided to open it. She stopped walking and just stood there looking down at the booklet in disbelief. "This is horrible," she said to her friends.
-Jessica Dadds, 5/13/09

I recently took an adult education class at a neighborhood high school and was given the opportunity to talk about factory farming. Everyone seemed horrified. So, the next week, I brought my Vegan Outreach materials and distributed brochures to everyone. Some people asked me for multiple copies to share with friends and family members, as well as coworkers. I explained how each one of them can help animals simply by making a change in what they eat. After I distributed the brochures, I noticed everyone taking some time to read them. A few people asked me where to shop in the neighborhood so that they could explore non-animal diets. The brochures generated a lot of discussion and thought, and questions about how to avoid contributing to animal suffering.
-EK, 5/7/09

   
  A Dowling College student is shocked by the truth revealed to him by Jennifer Greene.

Fantastic day of outreach at Diablo Valley College. During the second class change I met Niccola, a new vegetarian who asked me what he could do to help. He had some time and was able to leaflet on the spot. Super outgoing guy and did a great job. He ran into his friend Jim from the Army and convinced Jim to help out also. Both radiated confidence and genuine friendliness.
     I met two different guys who once again reminded me how important this work is. The first guy I met only a few minutes into leafleting. He said he had gotten a leaflet before and hadn’t eaten meat for a while. He had fallen off the wagon and was glad to receive another leaflet and Guide. He told me that “this just runs so deep” and can’t be ignored, despite how difficult it may be to change. I told him that’s what compelled me to be out leafleting; he gave me a hearty handshake and was on his way.
     The second gentleman I encountered later in the day. He explained that he knew what was happening to farmed animals was horrible, but that he was so used to eating meat. I told him that we live in a culture of eating meat and that we each have to find our path in how we choose to respond to the dilemma of culture vs. cruelty. I told him my own personal story and he seemed really moved. I also told him that if he could go veg for three months, he could do it for life. He took a Guide and also gave me a hearty handshake.
-Brian Grupe, 5/13/09

 

   
  Jen George exposes factory farms to another student at the University of Massachusets, Amherst.

I received a VO pamphlet at a Morrissey concert and it struck a chord in me. I have been meat-free for over a month now and am surprised at how easy it has been. Thank you for your logical way of expressing yourselves. It's far too easy to write off the activists as fringe groups when they are yelling and screaming. I would never have accepted that pamphlet from an angry person. The non-threatening and non-judgmental way it was presented enabled me to read it. I really appreciate your organization.
-DM, 5/15/09

I have been very impressed for a long time with what Vegan Outreach accomplishes and was moved to make a donation after reading the wonderful Animal Activist's Handbook. I live in an area that is not vegan-friendly, and thinking about what you do inspires me and gives me hope.
-CB, 5/16/09

I have finished the book and I have posted my 5-star review on Amazon.com tonight. It is an absolutely fabulous book — exactly the kind of book I've been looking for since I became vegan. I literally keep it in my purse and am committing several passages to memory.
-BS, 5/17/09

Vic Sjodin (at right) and I handed out 2,062 booklets at CUNY Laguardia — not bad for a semi-rainy Friday! Super friendly people today with a lot of positive feedback from people who were truly affected by receiving this literature. At least four people came back to ask for extra leaflets for their friends. One student told Vic she was going vegetarian, another told us she wants to get involved and leaflet with us, and an extremely kind janitor did not mind picking up discarded leaflets and even asked for a few extras for people he knows. He was not veg but was so upset by the fact that pigs cannot turn around, and kept cheering us on all day, which was so great.
-Eileen Botti, 5/1/09

I got a lot of cheers while running the Cincinnati Marathon because of my Vegan Outreach shirt. I even had a runner catch up to me to say he has been vegetarian for 13 years, and that he raised his son as a vegetarian. He said it was nice to see my shirt and thought it was an awesome idea to wear one at races. I love it because it's simple and creates awareness — people also see that we are active, healthy, and social. I always give people thumbs up, thank them for being out there, and smile as much as I can. Definitely not a substitute for leafleting, but a great way to do something that I love and share the message about something that I am passionate about.
-Dan Kuzma, 5/3/09

At Dakota County Technical College, one woman said "Don't start me on that. I grew up on a farm, but I worked on one of those nasty a-- places. I know." I also talked to an older gentleman who took a group of boy scouts to a turkey farm. He said he had to leave within half an hour because it made him sick they way they treated the animals. He said, "They acted like they weren't even living beings."
-Fred Tyler, 5/4/09

Tabling at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was very successful. I feel empowered and excited to do more. Thanks for your great work and materials — I went vegan two years ago after I picked up some VO leaflets in Cafe Evolution in Florence, MA.
-Hannah Smeltz, 5/5/09

   
  SUNY Stony Brook students get a message of compassion from Heather Kramer.

At the University of Maryland, College Park, Rob Gilbride had a great interaction with a student who has been veg for 5 months after receiving an Even If You Like Meat brochure. The student said he could not set aside his moral beliefs anymore so he went vegetarian. I had the following interaction:
     Student: I'll never be a vegan and I love chicken. But I don't support cruelty, so you can keep the brochure.
     Me: Do you pay other people to create the cruel conditions shown here?
     Student: I can't give up chicken and be vegan though.
     Me: It isn't about labels. Can you start by eating less chicken? They are some of the most abused animals on the planet. This Guide can help you.
-Eleni Vlachos, 5/5/09

Within the first five minutes at San Jose State, I met a young lady who told me she went veg from receiving a VO leaflet previously. She said she had no idea how anyone could NOT go veg once the information is in front of you. Later, one person angrily threw a booklet down, but before I had the chance to say anything, the guy behind the jerk picked up the thrown leaflet and began reading it as he continued on to class.
-Brian Grupe, 5/5/09

 

 

 
  A student at SUNY Buffalo studies Even If You Like Meat.

Lots of vegetarians and interested folks at the College of St. Scholastica. One woman came back and said, “I just read this whole thing. It’s really amazing. I didn’t know anything about this." She asked for the Guide mentioned in Even If You Like Meat. She also took 10 more Even Ifs to pass out to her friends.
-Fred Tyler, 5/2/09

I became a vegetarian and eventually a vegan because of being handed one of your booklets while in college. It changed my life!
-BS, 5/10/09

Today, Brandon [Becker] and I handed out 2,716 Vegan Outreach booklets at UNC-Chapel Hill. I picked a place in the center of the lower quad where two footpaths intersect. Since the weather was so nice, a couple hundred students were sitting and lying all around the quad. I noticed that some of the groups of students were looking at booklets together and discussing the information. This was very rewarding to witness. I leafleted one professor during his lunch break. After reading the booklet, he came back and told me how glad he was that I had given this to him, because he had been wanting to go vegetarian for 25 years. He said that his son is vegetarian, that he had already stopped eating certain animal products, and that he thought that receiving this booklet might just help him finally stop eating meat altogether. We celebrated for a moment, and then I gave him a Guide.
-Loren Hart, 4/27/09

"Anger, Humor, and Advocacy" was very meaningful to me. Particularly this passage: "One suggestion is to always remember your ultimate goal. In my case, it is the alleviation of suffering. If I allow myself to be miserable because of the cruelty in the world, I am adding to the suffering in the world. More importantly, I am saying that unless utopia is instantaneously established, it is not possible to be happy. Thus, my goal is fundamentally unachievable." When I read your simple words, I could see how I was allowing myself to be miserable because of the cruelty in this world. The suffering of animals is an indescribable horror to me. So thank you for giving me an alternative way to look at—and ultimately change—my own reactions toward suffering and misery.
-CT, 5/10/09

I had about six very good conversations with interesting people while leafleting Michigan Ave. Several people told me they had been thinking about going veg, and getting a booklet was a "sign" (as one woman described it).
-Darina Smith [right], 5/4/09

I read Handbook in one sitting—devoured it—and have imbibed and osmosed its principles of meaningful living. I’ve read it three times since, and it now lives on my bedside table. Last weekend, I gave one of your Why Vegan? booklets to the teenage daughter of a friend of mine. I used the same line that my then 20-year-old and brand newly vegan daughter used on me nearly 7 years ago when she handed me the booklet: "I’m only giving this book to people I love. Will you read it?" The girl text messaged me one hour later (I had already left) and announced that she was now vegetarian.
-PB, Melbourne, Australia, 5/8/09

Jennifer [Greene], Heather [Kramer], Peter [Bass], and I handed out 2,918 Vegan Outreach booklets at SUNY Stony Brook. There were too many awesome moments to list—here are two: The president of the faculty senate walked up to me after getting a leaflet, saying, "I am sick to my stomach, I can’t even eat now"; I gave him a Guide. He returned later with the B12 question and to talk a little more about factory farming. Later, a student almost threw out a leaflet, but I convinced him to keep it and read it. He returned later and we talked for quite a while about how to go vegan, and why free range is a myth, etc. He was shocked to hear that the males in the egg industry get discarded, and left, saying, "I don’t think I even want to eat meat anymore!"
-Eileen Botti, 4/27/09

Acceptance was very high at Montgomery College. Two separate African American guys let me know that they were veg; one of them yelled out, "vegan!" with his fist in the air while another opened up his jacket to reveal that he was wearing an "I’m Not a Nugget" shirt.
-Jon Camp [right], 5/1/09

Great day at Evergreen Valley College. One guy was really thankful for the information, since he had a presentation on animal abuse he was preparing to give tomorrow. I hooked him up with some other pamphlets. One young lady asked as she approached, “Are those vegan pamphlets?” She and her friend told me they had received said pamphlet before and “were trying really hard.” I gave them Guides, for which they were very grateful. Also heard lots of aahs, oohs, and, “Oh, interesting.” I definitely saw quite a few people take one after noticing the pictures of the pigs on the front and once again heard more swine flu comments.
-Brian Grupe, 5/4/09

 

 
  Vinia Vongchareun promotes informed, compassionate choices to another Syracuse University student; below, an SU student studies the truth.

A member of my vegetarian meetup group is a high school teacher who offered me the opportunity to give a presentation. It was a great day of outreach! She and her husband got a VO booklet in 2001 and went vegan.
-Nikki Benoit, 4/22/09

Surprisingly consistent reception at Victor Valley College. Twice I got to practice a line from the new Animal Activist’s Handbook when I told two students that they could reduce much of their support of factory farms by not eating fish or chickens. “Do you think you could eat fewer chickens?” I asked. “Yes,” they both answered. One fellow declined the leaflet saying, “I don’t want to hurt the environment,” to which I told him it was “printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink and there are few things that can help the environment more than changing your diet.” (My tongue worked as fast as my brain!) “Oh? Thanks, I’ll check it out,” he replied, taking the leaflet.
     Sunday, we had a great tabling event at Cal State Fullerton’s Social Justice Summit; there was even a full vegan lunch provided for everyone. Stewart [Solomon] spoke on “Animal Cruelty in the Farming Industry” and his session was full. I tabled and had lots of interest, questions, people taking literature, sign-ups for the e-newsletter and positive responses about Stewart’s presentation. One woman said, “I think Stewart just convinced my husband to stop eating meat.” He and I also had the chance to set people free from the myth of vegan “purity” by telling them they don’t have to police every ingredient in labels.
-Brianne Donaldson, 4/22/09

I took time out from running Youngstown State’s Earth Day event to leaflet two class changes. Tonite, we are having a vegan dinner at one of the dining hall’s restaurants, and over 200 people have reserved.
-Dan Kuzma, 4/22/09

Emily Looby and I leafleted a Hispanic church two weeks ago. As a result of that, we received a call from Estella, a Spanish-speaking woman who told us that this changed her life and she wanted to help bring this info into the Hispanic community.
-Darina Smith, 4/22/09

Highlight of thay at Hofstra University goes to the two men working on the lawns -- one of them mentioned that he was a vegetarian and his wife was a VO member. The other said, "Sorry, I eat [animals].” A few minutes later, I heard the second man shouting to the vegetarian man (over the roar of the lawn mowers), “I really don’t like how they treat those animals! Look at this—it’s terrible!” The conversation went on for quite some time.
-Eileen Botti, 4/22/09

At the library festival, a woman (around 50 years old) doubled back to tell me she’d gotten one of the booklets from us before and it had caused her to go vegetarian. Right after that, a college-age girl took a leaflet then remarked to her friend, “I can’t believe it! I have one of these on my refrigerator.”
-Nick Cooney, 4/21/09

 
 

With Russell Maddock in the background, Lisa Forzley promotes a meaningful ethic at the Rochester, MI Earth Day Expo.

I heard from over 20 vegetarians at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee last week. One student, after accepting a booklet, said to her friend, “This is the booklet that made Lisa become vegetarian.”
     At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I thought and hoped that we would get a few hundred out, and might even reach 1000, but never thought we would hit 1800! Much better reception at this school to the idea of being decent towards animals than 5 years ago, and very much better than 10 years ago.
-Joe Espinosa, 4/22/09

At SUNY Fredonia, one guy initially declined a booklet, saying, “Don’t worry, I don’t torture animals.” I said that while this is undoubtedly the case, we often pay others to do this for us and we should know what we are paying others to do. He took a booklet.
-Jon Camp, 4/24/09

 

 
  Amber Coon gets more information into the hands of a Syracuse University student.

Last week an acquaintance of mine, surprised to find out I was leafleting, told me that she received a leaflet somewhere when she was 12 years old (she’s in her mid-20s now) and hasn’t eaten meat since. “It was all because of that,” she told me. “They really work.”
-Brianne Donaldson, 4/15/09

The students at Fayetteville State were very kind to me. I had some really good conversations and even gave a student A Meaningful Life. One student said, “I got one of these last year and I haven’t eaten meat since.” At UNC Chapel Hill, one student received an Even If You Like Meat last year and stopped eating meat, but then started eating it again. After today he is going back on the veg diet!
-Rob Gilbride, 4/15/09

At Ball State, Joe [Espinosa] was told by a student that he is considered an icon on campus, since they see him out there every semester. He was asked to be interviewed for a campus magazine. We gave 100 Even If You Like Meat booklets and five Guides to a vegetarian professor for a class on ethics, and 50 EIYLMs to a student for tabling.
-Leslie Patterson, 4/18/09

What a success at SUNY Stony Brook’s Earthstock! A lot of people were interested and came by to ask questions and pick up more literature. Many people were shocked at the way animals are treated, and a few people left saying they were definitely going to try going veg. I told them to give it a good three weeks, gave them a Guide and showed them the recipes, and they seemed excited. Most people were very receptive and eager to learn more—I had such a great time!
-Heather Kramer (at right, before the event started), 4/17/09

At the University of Nebraska, one guy said, “I grew up on my grandfather’s farm. I saw all of the nasty things the other farmers do. Keep up the good work!” One guy came by and said, "You’re stirring up stuff. People are talking. They ARE talking." At Crighton U (Omaha), I met eight vegetarians. One guy I had given a flier to passed by again and said, “I read it during my break, and I just want to say, Yay for more people like you!” He gave me a big hug.
-Fred Tyler, 4/15/09

At Southeast Missouri State University, I met several students who said that they’re trying to cut back the meat in their diet after receiving a booklet previously, and one who told me that she is now vegetarian since receiving a booklet from me last semester.
-Rick Hershey, 4/16/09

 
 

Loren Hart promotes compassion at Western Carolina University.

At American River College, I had an awesome conversation with an African-American student. He asked about lots of the specific pictures and even compared factory farming to slavery. I told him a lot of people have been offended by that comparison and he responded to that saying, “Man, we all suffer, we’re all the same.” I gave him a Guide and was really touched with how affected he was by the material.
-Brian Grupe, 4/14/09

At Cape Cod Community College, a ton of people asked for Guides. I approached a group, and they were all very interested and asked me several nutrition questions and “what do you eat” questions. One vegetarian student said, “It’s so good to see that there’s someone on the island doing this—keep up the good work!”
-Eileen Botti, 4/14/09

At Arizona State (Tempe), one student said she went vegetarian five years ago after getting the pamphlet. A few other students surprised me by coming back for a brochure after initially refusing.
-Jeff Boghosian, 4/15/09

Good interactions at Widener University. A student in the army, who eats mostly vegetarian, liked the VO booklets as a good approach to educating others. Someone else came back later in the day to get more booklets from me to share with friends.
-Nick Cooney, 4/16/09

 

 
 

Eva Helsel reaches another University of Missouri student with the good news of vegetarianism; below, U MO students eagerly learn what modern agribusiness doesn’t want them to know.

It’s Conference on World Affairs week at Colorado University, with lots of positive comments from high school students. One yelled out, “I could never go vegetarian!” I said I used to think that too, but now I’ve been veg for 19 years, vegan for 17 of them; it’s easier than you think, and even if you don’t go completely vegan, every time you eat veg you’re sparing animals from suffering. I mentioned he could start dabbling in it and try new veggie products to which he replied, “I like tofu hot dogs!” His whole attitude changed and he seemed to embrace the idea. A bunch of his friends listened in, so that was a bonus.
-Barbara Bear, 4/9/09

45 perfect skateboard handoffs at UC Santa Barbara—a new record! Two girls walking, one takes the leaflet and the other says to her, “I got that last year and seriously, haven’t eaten meat since.” Another girl said, “That’s what made me go vegetarian.” A male student came up to me and said, “I just want to tell you that what you’re doing totally works. I got that exact leaflet last year and it made me vegetarian. Good work!” I gave him a Guide.
-Stewart Solomon, 4/9/09

Many strong reactions at Savannah State, a predominantly African-American school, including a student who was pointing at the Even If You Like Meat and shouting to her friends, “This is how we were, 200 years ago! I’m serious! This ain’t right.”
-Eleni Vlachos and Rob Gilbride, 4/9/09

Leafleting was very positive at Mesa Community College. Two big guys took booklets and exclaimed, “We should all be vegetarian”—they read it as they walked across the mall. Dawn talked to one girl who was interested in going vegetarian but didn’t know how to do it—she had tried it before but quit. I also leafleted three woman who were excited because they said they were just talking about vegetarianism.
-Jeff Boghosian, 4/6/09

I had many positive conversations at the College of the Desert, including the dean who went by and declined, then returned saying, “I said ‘no’ too quickly. I will take a look.” Also, a young woman told me that she and her two small children are vegan, and that her kids go to the campus daycare. During the week they bring their own lunches, but on Fridays, to include all the students together, the daycare provides a vegan lunch for all the students. It strikes me how much of an impact children can have—if toddlers can catalyze a change in daycare…heck, we all can be encouraged.
-Brianne Donaldson, 4/2/09

At the University of Minnesota, a woman excitedly came up to me and said, “I totally don’t eat meat now. A kid in my class gave me one of those a few weeks ago.” She was happy to get a Guide, and I saw her go back to her group of friends and show them all the Even If You Like Meat and the Guide.
-Fred Tyler, 4/6/09

While I was leafleting Portland State, a guy with Peta2 was getting students to sign an anti-dissection petition. He told me later that different people had shown him the VO booklet they received, saying things like, “Did you read this? It’s horrible.” He said that the booklet was working.
-Jessica Dadds, 3/30/09

This evening at George Mason University, one man told me that he had received a booklet on campus two months ago and has been vegetarian ever since. He said that he previously had no clue how farmed animals were treated and that he came to the conclusion that it was wrong to inflict such suffering on another creature just because we can. He spoke in a direct, articulate, heartfelt manner, emphasizing the power of what we’re doing. It was very, very touching.
-Jon Camp, 4/8/09

Today at the Galleria Mall, two people told me that they are now a vegetarian because of the booklet, and a third person told me that they will now try to become a vegetarian.
-Eugene Khutoryansky, 4/11/09

Many students at Indiana University at Bloomington told us that the booklet was sad, and we had lots of good conversations. I overheard a student telling his friends that getting this booklet is what made his girlfriend stop eating meat.
-Joe Espinosa and Leslie Patterson, 4/9/09

At Collin County Community College, a number of people seemed genuinely interested, and most thanked me. One girl passed me by again and told me she thought the brochure was so sad and it really affected her. She asked, “But how can you not eat meat?” I replied, “After learning about this, it’s easy,” and she nodded. I offered her a Guide, which she happily accepted.
-Leah Wagner (leafleting here at the University of Kansas), 4/13/09

 

   
Loren Hart lets another UNC Charlotte student know the truth about factory farms.

At Eastern Illinois University, a student who was talking to her sister on the phone handed me the phone, as her sister wanted to let me know that my phrase "Help stop violence" really haunted her and made her realize that meat = violence.
-Joe Espinosa, 3/27/09

A great day of reception and feedback at Cal State, Northridge, including two students, one of whom took a leaflet early on; her friend did not. A few hours later they came back asking for a second leaflet and information on transitioning toward being animal-free. One said, "We read this through. We've decided we want to help each other go vegan together."
-Brianne Donaldson, 4/1/09

Heard lots of positive comments at the University of Connecticut, despite the cold. Many students were talking to each other saying things like, "Oh, I can't look at that—but you should read it," or, "Oh yeah, I got that before—you should totally read it—it's crazy."
-Eileen Botti, 4/1/09

I really had a wonderful time at the University of Missouri, Kansas City! Most of the students began flipping through the pages as they walked away. It was encouraging to see the instant impact. I chatted with a fellow who used to be vegetarian until he had a family. I asked him what made him decide to go veg in the first place. He said the usual health-related answer. I encouraged him to revisit that lifestyle and use it as a way to teach his family about the joys of compassionate living. It seemed to get his wheels turning a bit. One woman asked me for extra copies for her sister who was doing a presentation on animal rights in her public speaking class.
-Eva Helsel, 4/1/09

At Southeast Missouri State, one student said she had gotten a booklet from me last semester and made a lot of changes in her diet because of the booklet. A student approached me to say that he read the booklet that morning. He said, "This is messed up! What can I do?" "What you can do is change your diet," I replied, and handed him a Guide, saying, "This will help you do it. You vote with your dollar. If people stop supporting the meat industry, they will stop producing meat."
-Rick Hershey, 4/1/09

 
 

Michele Castillo promotes vegetarianism to UNC Wilmington students.

Many positive comments at Arizona State, West campus, including one woman who previously shared [Even If You Like Meat] with her family and said her daughters, especially her seven year old, refuses to eat chicken and fish. Another man quietly read the brochure nearby, and later approached me saying it was a really good brochure. Another student said she recently just went vegetarian. Many students had not yet seen the brochure and came over to take one. Almost all of them seemed genuinely interested.
-Jeff Boghosian, 4/2/09

At the National College Recruitment Fair, one person mentioned that the Why Vegan pamphlet is the reason she is a vegetarian. Another person mentioned that she got the pamphlet earlier in the day, and that I had convinced her.
-Eugene Khutoryansky, 4/5/09

 

 
Rachel Boonin (above) and Scout Kilbourne (below) reach UNC Wilmington skateboarders.

Great day yesterday at Pasadena City College. Lots of high school students visiting; as always, they were clambering for leaflets. Met many veg*ns, including one fellow who just went veg. As he told me he was on his way to the library to find a book on nutrition, I handed him a Guide, which he was extremely glad to receive -- all the info he wanted! A high school teacher said she had given up eating the meat from cows and pigs and was now ready to cut out chickens as well. I gave her a Guide. I heard two separate people say to their friends, "This is why I don't eat meat."
     Today at Cerritos College was also great, leafleting with Michelle Myra. Students were receptive, and some asked when we'd be coming back. A professor asked how he could order leaflets for his classroom, and a student walked by saying, "I read it. I'm going vegetarian."
-Brianne Donaldson, 3/24/09

Leafleting today at Northern Illinois U was most rewarding -- I had some very encouraging discussions. I spent most of my time at a busy street corner on campus, and had six or seven different cars actually roll down their window and ask for a pamphlet! A kind woman who teaches agricultural law talked to me for several minutes about how people just don't know what really goes on in modern animal agriculture. She took a pamphlet and said she was going to show it to her class; I said, "Here, take 10!"
-Jon Brockman, 3/30/09

I had a near 100% acceptance rate all day at Fairfield University, with lots of good feedback, questions, and people asking for more information. At one point, I overheard a student talking loudly about how much she enjoyed eating chickens at Wendy's. I ignored her, as more students that I had not yet leafleted were coming my way. Each one of them took leaflets. Lesson is -- always better to set an example of staying polite so that new people may consider the message, rather than disregard your message because you're busy arguing with someone else.
-Eileen Botti, 3/24/09

Right away at St. Petersburg College, I met a young lady within a pod of friends. After receiving a Compassionate Choices, she exclaimed, "That's it! I'm done -- I'm going vegan right here and right now. I can't do this anymore. I can't live this lie. I love animals, I'm done." Later, her friend said to me with a smile, "She'll probably have me switched in no time."
-Nikki Benoit, 3/24/09

 
 

Jessica Almy (above) and Will Fisher (below) make sure the students at NYU know the reality behind their food choices.

Congratulations on the 10 millionth booklet!! What an achievement. Think of all those animals spared all that misery. I help distribute the Australian version of Why Vegan, and we have started going to university campuses here in Melbourne. Keep up the great work. I hope that eventually we can reach the same goal here in Australia.
-Liz Dealey, 4/1/09

At Tails-A-Wagging Doggie Day Care, I always had animal-related info for our clients, but only recently did I realize I should spread my knowledge of animal cruelty in food choices. Having your brochures here for all my clients is an easy way to let them know we are vegan, and it opens the discussion about cruelty to animals in food production.
-Angi, 4/3/09

Really solid day at Chico State. I had two incredibly productive discussions with two meat eaters. They both left with Guides, telling me earnestly that they would read them carefully. I met Mcrae Molatore towards the end of the day and she ended up leafleting with me for almost an hour. She ran into one of her professors who told her he admired her for handing out information for something she believed in so strongly.
-Brian Grupe, 3/23/09

The first faculty member I offered a booklet to at Indiana U at South Bend let me know that she was the advisor to the newly formed vegetarian student group. Twenty minutes later, a student came by and let me know that it was getting an Even If You Like Meat booklet from me in the past that had moved him to become vegetarian. I was filmed in action and interviewed by a student from a nearby Michigan school for her class project. Heard from seven vegetarians and two vegans.
-Joe Espinosa, 3/25/09

No negativity at all at Lamar U in Beaumont, TX. As usual, I overheard or was told by some students that they would be going veg. I am sure more were influenced, as many were reading over the booklets.
-Casey Constable, 3/23/09

At the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, the second person I offered a booklet to said, "I don't eat meat because of that." She was glad to get a Guide. A man walked away with a leaflet then stopped when he realized what it was and came back to say, "Sir, i want to thank you for what you are doing. I recently saw a video on the internet of what they do to pigs. It is horrible."
-Fred Tyler, 3/25/09

At Mutt March, a man told me he had installed phone lines at a poultry farm and he saw the birds. He described the conditions as horrible and said the birds looked sick. He added that no animal should be treated that way.
     At Eckerd College, a woman looked at the pamphlet and informed me that she had previously worked on a pig farm in Minnesota. She pointed to one of the photos and exclaimed, "That's how it was!" She proceeded to tell me about all the horrible things she saw. She described the awful gestation crates and the way pigs went crazy in them. Sick pigs were left to die with no care. She tried to help one but was warned by a co-worker that she could get fired for wasting time. She said the pigs were very smart.
     When they were being loaded onto trucks to go to slaughter, electric prods were used, and sadistic workers "always looked forward to using the prods." She even said new workers were deliberately shown cruelty just to see how they would react (if they could last on the job without getting upset). She described a particularly disturbing event; I'll spare you the details.
-Lana Smithson, 3/27/09

 

 
 

Above, Lauren Utter opens minds at Marist College; below, Christopher Murphy provides the animals a voice in Winter Park, FL.

We had wonderful days at McNeese State, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and U LA, Baton Rouge. We were adamantly thanked by one man for getting the word out. One woman asked what I was handing out, and took an Even If You Like Meat. She returned about an hour later and said, “I just wanted to thank you for handing these out. I was a vegetarian but stopped a few years ago. Now that I've seen this I'm going back.” I thanked her and she got a Guide. The exact same thing happened to Rob! Later in the day, we heard from a student, “After I received that brochure [Even If] this afternoon, I went home to my grandma's, where she gave me baked beans with ham to eat. I told her I couldn't eat it, I wasn't hungry. My grandma was worried that veganism was some sort of cult, but learning about this is enlightening.”
-Eleni Vlachos, 3/20/09

I spoke with a ton of students at Southeast Louisiana U in Hammond. One student said, "I was wondering when you all were coming back! I have been telling people about factory farms and no one believed me -- I lost the brochure. I'm so happy you are here."
-Rob Gilbride, 3/20/09

We have been leafleting and tabling throughout Ag Week here at NC State. There was so much feedback on Day 4, including a big picture of us on the front page of the campus paper. The Technician also created an online slideshow presentation called "Ag Week Vegans." Moments after celebrating these occurrences, an aspiring vegetarian approached us to ask for literature to help her with her upcoming speech to her public speaking class. She said that as a result of our advocacy this week, she decided to deliver a speech promoting vegetarianism. We spoke at length and then I gave her enough literature for everyone in her class. As she is telling us all of this, another young woman comes to our table, with an ear-to-ear smile, and tells us that she hasn't been eating meat as a result of our advocacy and that she, too, was preparing a speech on vegetarianism for her public speaking class.
-Loren Hart, 3/20/09

It's been a great week for new people getting involved! At CUNY -- NYC Technical College, a student stopped by to help out. Another student walked around leafleting outside of the school. At St. John's University, quite a few students stopped to ask questions; one wants to start up a student group! Finally, at Queens College, I had a number of great interactions, including a student who had just watched the HBO documentary "Death on a Factory Farm" last night and said she was just thinking about all of this! She was brainstorming about doing a presentation on factory farming for her sorority. She also stated that her sorority has been looking for a way to get involved with helping animals aside from the local shelter, and they wanted to find an organization that would benefit from them doing a fundraiser! I told her about how easy leafleting is, and that it would be a great activity for her group to get involved in. She took leaflets and she is going to try to arrange for me to speak to the sorority when I return to campus in May!
-Eileen Botti, 3/20/09

Thank you for helping people to understand what these animals are going through! I have been eating "health food" for years now, and recently gave up red meat (for my health). But when I happened to pick up one of your pamphlets in a health food store, it changed my whole outlook on the importance of making the right choices. I am now officially done with meat. I just cried when I read your pamphlet! I guess we try not to think about the origins of our meat, but when you really see it -- it makes such a difference. I'm ordering booklets because I work on a college campus, and want to help make a difference where I can. Everyone should at least be educated about this so that they can make informed choices!
-JR, 3/25/09

Today the Penn State Agriculture and Animal Science students were passing out free beef jerky and cheese sticks in protest of Meatout. A group of us from the Penn State Vegetarian club spent a few hours passing out pamphlets. It went very well. When some kids were offered the beef jerky, they were disgusted and reacted with "How do you expect me to eat this after I received this pamphlet?!"
-Steve Maggio, 3/18/09

The "Join a Student Club" fair was in full swing at Mt. San Antonio College, and I had a great take rate. One student said to her friend, "This is why I don't eat meat." Another student who had just gone vegetarian got a Guide to help increase her recipe collection. Another told me he got a leaflet at a concert but wanted to refresh his memory and pass one on. A mother with 4 children under 10 went by. One of the kids wanted a leaflet so I offered a Compassionate Choices, telling the mother that there were some difficult images inside. "It's okay," she said, "They need to know what is really happening. Thank you." A professor asked if I'd return to make an argument in his argumentation class. A group from "Meals for Mankind" and the campus Green Party are trying to get a veg group started and I gave them some info.
-Brianne Donaldson, 3/19/09

At Northern Illinois U, a student took a leaflet from me then came back a few minutes later to tell me that she has been cutting meat out of her diet and that this was the push she needed to go vegetarian. I told her that was fantastic and gave her a Guide. Another student told me that he has switched to soy milk because of the booklet.
-Leslie Patterson, 3/20/09

UCLA was pretty darn good, even though it was winter quarter finals. For the past few years this school has been the most hostile place to leaflet in southern California, but not any longer. I am now finding it as friendly as anywhere -- perhaps we hit a tipping point.
-Stewart Solomon, 3/20/09

 

 
 

Above, Scout Kilbourne works for the animals at Cape Fear Community College; below, Edric Figueroa promotes vegetarianism at Kennesaw State U; bottom, a student learns the truth at the University of Central Florida.

As soon as I handed a booklet to a guy at Northeastern University, he literally stopped in his tracks and said, "I can't believe animals are treated this way." That reinforced the importance of doing vegan outreach, and made me happy to know that another person is now aware of the truth and hopefully won't turn their back on it.
-Corey, 3/19/09

Some cool chaps were handing out booklets on campus today, and I'm reading them right now while I should be studying for a quiz. I'm going to start leafleting for you guys now -- your stuff is so positive and gung-ho, not filled with weirdness and doublethink.
-FD, 3/17/09

Written to Joe Espinosa:
You changed my life! You gave me a Vegan Outreach pamphlet (Even If You Like Meat) four years ago at Northern Illinois University, and I've never looked back. Now I leaflet and advocate as much as I can. Thanks so much.
-JB, 3/10/09

We are working on a project to provide our Buddhist centers with the best information available on vegetarianism. Your advocacy literature is very helpful and inspiring, and also exceptionally well written. We feel very strongly that Vegan Outreach exemplifies an ideal approach in acting on and promoting principles of honesty, credibility, clear-thinking, and compassionate ethical concern informed by many years of experience.
-CI & SH, 3/15/09

Students were friendly at Texas Southern today. One student said, "I can't stand the way people treat animals. That stuff makes me mad and that's why I won't eat them." She was happy to receive a Guide.
-Rob Gilbride, 3/13/09

After leafleting at North Carolina State, Michelle Risley commented, "Leafleting is so easy! And fun! Why didn't I start doing this sooner?!"
-Loren Hart, 3/14/09

The vegan librarian [Hingham HS, in Hingham, MA] and I keep a brochure holder stocked with Compassionate Choices in the library. I've been told many kids have looked at / taken the brochures and discussed them! We are making progress!
-Evan Martinez, 3/15/09

Two pieces of feedback from the last two days: "I am a vegetarian now because of your pamphlet, sir." "One of the members of our volleyball team has now been vegetarian for a year because of the pamphlet she received at last year's game."
-Eugene Khutoryansky, 3/15/09

While leafleting at St. Mary's College
[Moraga, CA] today, I found out the cafeteria manager wants me to give him vegan cookbook recommendations since he plans on turning the smaller vegetarian section into a larger vegan section. Woohoo!
-Brian Grupe, 3/16/09

Mark leafleted with me today at Middle Tennessee State U. He worked at a Tyson production plant this summer for 8 dollars an hour eviscerating contaminated parts, infections and other nastiness from birds so they could go back on the line during 10 hour shifts. That got him cured of chicken. He was very gung-ho and friendly. One student came over to let me know she went almost vegan after getting a pamphlet last semester; and two people I met last semester, one went veg, and Charley, who also leafleted today, went vegan on New Year's!
-Vic Sjodin, 3/16/09

 

The students were incredibly receptive at the University of North Texas today. Two ROTC uniformed men took a look through the Even If You Like Meat, and, to my surprise, one sadly said, “I hate to see this." He was very disturbed about how farm animals are treated and asked for more information, so I gave him a Guide. He said, “But what’s this on the front?!” pointing to the veggie burger. I told him what it was and said how easy it was, nowadays, to find alternatives. He asked for an Even If and Guide for his friend, too. They walked away reading the brochures. In another misguided “leaflet profiling” incident, I assumed this tough-looking man would say “I like meat!” when offered an Even If, but instead said, “Thanks! I just went vegetarian a few months ago.” One student walking by said to her friend, “That’s why I am vegan,” pointing to the brochure her friend received. Rob [Gilbride] and I both met students interested in leafleting, one vegan, and one vegetarian who told me, “People need to know about this.”
-Eleni Vlachos, 3/2/09

I received your pamphlet about the treatment that pigs, chickens, and cows get right before they're killed and boiled for us. It got me really upset, and now that I see how those poor animals are treated, I do not want to eat meat again. I am a college student and want to help you to stop this cruelty.
-RY, 3/12/09

 
 

Above, 10-year-old Devin and mother Linda Bresser let more Kennesaw State students know the compelling case for vegetarianism; below, Timmy Pakron spreads compassion at the College of Charleston.

It was right around freezing most of the day at Augsburg College, with a misty fog hiding the sun. One student said, "I grew up on a farm like that, so I know how bad it is. I'm glad you're out here. People need to know where their food comes from."
-Fred Tyler, 3/9/09

The highlight of leafleting today was meeting Linsey, who became vegan (from being a meat eater who only ate two vegetables, according to her mom) after reading an Even If You Like Meat she found at Whole Foods. She is now going to college for animal law, and is going to help us with future outreach!
-Twila Hoyle, 3/12/09

Jessica [Dadds], Yvonne [LeGrice], Nettie [Schwager], and I played hooky today to leaflet Oregon State. Outside the library, a young man told me that he remembered receiving a leaflet while standing in the exact same spot 12 months ago. He said he became a vegetarian shortly afterward, and he is now working toward becoming vegan.
-Emily Pepe, 3/4/09

Leslie [Patterson] and I handed out over 1,000 booklets today at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and heard from dozens of vegetarians/vegans. One student told her, “You won me over with that booklet last time. I have been clean for six months.”
-Joe Espinosa, 3/7/09

Had some awesome responses at Iona College, including a student I met who wants to start an AR group on campus. A student receiving a booklet said, “Damn straight! I’m on board with your cause -- I’m totally against any cruelty to animals.” One girl asked, “Hey are you a vegan? Because I think I’m headed that way too!” (She got a Guide.) A security guard approached me: “Excuse me, miss? Can I get a few of those? I want to give them to the lady who runs the animal group at the high school.”
-Eileen Botti, 3/5/09

It was slow at West Virginia State University -- only 121 booklets -- but the person who made my day was a student who said she was going veg after reading the booklet in class. We talked for about 10 minutes.
-Vic Sjodin, 3/6/09

I used Compassionate Choices for four humane education presentations at a Philadelphia high school. The students were really, really moved by the booklets and many said they wanted to go vegetarian. It was very positive.
-Nick Cooney, 3/4/09

Great acceptance rate today at Reedley College. Met even more folks who were excited and surprised to see me. They said things like, "Wow, it's so weird that you're here, I was just thinking about this / talking about this with a friend / writing about this in a report," etc.
-Brian Grupe, 3/11/09

Alabama State is an historically black school; the receptivity was pretty great. One guy who plays on the school football team told me he has been thinking a lot about this issue. He had a number of questions about which plant-based foods were good for building and maintaining muscle mass. His friend came up about an hour later with similar questions, saying he heard about me through his friend. I got both of their email addresses and will contact them with more information.
-Jon Camp, 3/10/09

 

Nikki Benoit [right] and I handed out 3,620 booklets at the University of Central Florida today. One young woman told Nikki that she is now vegetarian as a result of being handed a booklet last year -- I've heard that a lot while leafleting so far on this tour. Lots and lots of people mentioned being vegan or vegetarian. It was pretty crazy. Earlier, at Georgia Southern University, one woman said she read the first page and cried. I gave her a Guide and thanked her for her concern for animals. Other individuals mentioned being moved by the booklet.
-Jon Camp [below], 3/2/09

At Washington University in St. Louis, one student let me know that she became vegetarian as a result of receiving a booklet from me previously. Later, another student shared with me the same information about himself. One student first said no, and then did a double take, asking me what it was. I said it is about factory farming, animal cruelty. He said “Perfect!” and took a booklet.
-Richard Hershey, 2/25/09

I got done with classes for the day [at Michigan State] and as I was walking back to my apartment I saw Joe Espinosa leafleting and joined him for a bit. Before I left, two girls walked by me that had received a leaflet from Joe. One of the girls said, “Ohhhh animal torture,” in a joking way. Then she flipped the leaflet open more and yelled, “Oh my god!” As they walked away, both girls continued reading the leaflet together and talking about it.
-Phil Letten, 3/4/09

Lots of positive remarks at West Valley College, and two longer, very productive, conversations. Also met a young lady who went veg three years ago from receiving an Even If. Yesterday, at De Anza College, Michelle [Grichuhin], Jessica [Wu], and I met lots of interested folks and had some productive discussions.
-Brian Grupe, 3/5/09

At Langara College [in Vancouver, BC], one man came back to say, "This is very effective, I hope you do this at all the schools."
-Joanne Chang, 2/25/09

 

 
 

Above, Scout Kilbourne reaches out to another student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington; below, Leslie Patterson takes the vegetarian message to more Chicagoans; bottom, a student contemplates a booklet at East Carolina University.

Many students had gotten literature last fall at Santa Barbara City College; interactions today were overwhelmingly positive, including one student who stopped near me after receiving the leaflet to say, "I got one of these last year, and I went vegetarian right after. Thank you." Another fellow gently grabbed my hand with both of his as he took a leaflet and said, "Thank you so much for doing this. I love animals too." And yet another gave me a tip on where to stand so I didn't get kicked off early, saying, "This is important and I want you to be able to stay as long as you can."
-Brianne Donaldson, 2/23/09

Rutgers today was a ton of fun -- three first-time AAC leafleters joined me. We had a really high take rate on campus. Lots of students said, "I love animals!" in response to my "Info to help animals?" line. Best comment of the day:
Student: "Oh I got one of these last year -- I went vegetarian because of it!"
Me: "Awesome, here take one of these too!" (gave a Guide)
Her friend: "Oh can I have one too? I should go veg too!"
-Eileen Botti, 2/24/09

Great conversations at Broward College [in Ft. Lauderdale] today. The best was a student who said she got one from me years ago and that it made her go vegetarian! Another student took information for both him and his mom. A professor of religion took one and then came back and asked if we can do a presentation in his honors classes.
-Linda Bower, 2/24/09

We saw (and smelled) many "farms" along the way to West Texas A&M. Nevertheless, we had a surprisingly friendly reception at this school, a high take-rate, as well as some interesting discussions. Rob [Gilbride] heard one student exclaiming, "Holy crap, they cut their beaks off? This is crazy." Another student said he ate fish and chicken every day, but, after reporting he read the Even If You Like Meat, expressed, "There has to be another way. I'm going to research it." One student passed by on the way out of the cafeteria and said, "That brochure is stupid." I asked her, nicely, what about it was stupid. "The pictures. That's not how we raise them." I asked, "Aren't pigs contained in gestation crates, hens in battery cages?" She agreed, just saying she didn't raise them that way. I told her that these pictures represent how the majority of animals raised for food are treated. She admitted that this should not be the case.
-Eleni Vlachos, 2/23/09

At Indiana University, I had a touching interaction with a student who took the booklet and then stated that he had grown up on a farm. I let him know that as a child I used to spend time each summer on my uncle's 60 cow dairy farm in Wisconsin, and that the farming that we did was quite different than what most farmed animals face today. He stated that he would read the booklet, and seemed to connect with the idea that we can evaluate our past behavior, although it can be uncomfortable to do.
-Joe Espinosa, 2/25/09

At Texas Southmost College, there were a number of students who were very interested. While some were reading them over nearby, a couple of friends said they are going to go veg together now. Others wanted to start a group, so I gave them contact info and talked about how effective AAC is.
-Casey Constable, 2/25/09

 

 
 

Loren Hart leaflets one of the 2,700+ East Carolina University students he and Jon Camp reached on Feb. 19.

It was a fun day at the University of Texas, El Paso with Greg (President of El Paso Veg Society). We handed the leaflets out in front of the Student Center. Close to 100% of students who passed us took the leaflets. A faculty member returned a few minutes later asking for more booklets, stating that her students were discussing the Even If You Like Meat booklets they received and wanted to write papers on why people shouldn't eat animals.
-Rob Gilbride, 2/16/09

The pictures in your booklet made my stomach turn. I never knew anything about these matters before. After trying out an almost all-vegan lifestyle, I have more energy. My husband will never change, but I've been using vegan ground beef and chicken substitutes without him even noticing!
-ST, 2/16/09

I was so glad to be able to leaflet Miami Dade College today -- really good conversations. One vegan math professor wants to share info and leaflets in her class. Another gentleman was a meat eater but stayed talking for a while and said that he really wanted to change his diet because all the information made so much sense.
-Linda Bower, 2/23/09

We have already handed out 22,000 copies of Miksi kasvissyöjäksi [Finnish Why Vegan]. We are now preparing the third printing!
-Timo Kiviniemi, 2/23/09

The Barkus Parade (part of Carnival here in New Orleans) was doggie paradise -- the perfect day for Angus to wear the backpack with Why Vegans and Compassionate Choices. We distributed several boxes worth, and met many vegans, vegetarians, and other receptive people!
-Twila Hoyle [right], 2/16/09

The Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville was super valuable. Four people said they would try vegetarianism and one guy said he'd try veganism. Tons of people were asking questions and everyone was talking about animal rights.
-Aaron Ross, 2/17/09

 

 
 

Alex Arbogast gives another Virginia Commonwealth student insight into the hidden horrors of modern agribusiness.

A good day at Cal State, Fullerton. Right away a student came up to me and said, "You gave me one of those before and I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated it. I never knew what happened behind closed doors. Some people might not like it that you give them this information, but I am glad that I know now." I was moved. On my way back to my car, I passed a large group of high school students. I stopped and asked if anyone would like information to help animals. It was like a mob scene. They all wanted a leaflet. As I walked to other small groups, several more came up to ask for a flyer, to bring their friends over, to say they were vegetarian. Amazing.
-Brianne Donaldson, 2/10/09

Had some good conversations at North Park University, including one with an older student who asked if I was against animal use in general or just the poor treatment. I told him that since we can be healthy without animal products, we should let them live their lives freely as we live ours. He agreed and we talked for a bit longer. One girl ran up to me and said, "Actually, I DO want this!!!" before I had even offered her a leaflet, then scampered off to rejoin her friends.
-Pam Blair, 2/10/09

San Joaquin Delta College has been leafleted a lot, so people know who we are. One woman told me, "Oh! I received that pamphlet here before and it made me a vegetarian!" I also met a young woman I had spoken with two semesters ago who had been trying to reduce consumption since then. We talked for a good while about all sorts of animal issues -- I could tell that she really wanted to continue changing in a positive way. This is why it is important for us to keep hitting the same schools, even if we leaflet the same people -- the fifth leaflet could be someone’s tipping point. An activist friend of mine recently told me how she knew someone at her school that would tease all the time and say how good meat was. Eventually this guy became veg and completely changed his mind about the issues.
-Brian Grupe, 2/12/09

I have special thanks for the sweet college girl who was standing in the rainy cold weather, passing out fliers with a sweet smile. Thanks for changing the world one step at a time.
-SZ, 2/10/09

Leafleting at the University of Illinois, Chicago subway stop was fairly easy. The most interesting moment was when two cops approached me. I followed my instinct, and I simply offered them brochures with a big smile just like to everyone else. They retreated a couple steps away, and one of the cops read the brochure cover to cover before they left.
-Darina Smith, 2/11/09

At William and Mary, a young woman pointed to the booklet and told her friend, "That's what got me to go vegetarian." A young man read the cover of Even If You Like Meat, and said, "That's a great idea. I've been thinking of doing this." I gave him a Guide.
-Jon Camp, 2/14/09

A great day in the sun at Arizona State. People were once again happy to see the VO t-shirt. Many people saw the shirt and came up to me asking for the leaflets. I met a lot of veg people today and handed them Guides.
-Rob Gilbride, 2/12/09

Many of the people at the Revolve Tour had already gotten pamphlets at last year's Revolve Tour. A number of them said that they are now vegetarian, so this year, they got Guides.
-Eugene Khutoryansky, 2/14/09

Today at Mercer Community College, one guy came back and told me he was now going to go veg, and asked for ten more pamphlets to bring to work. At Rutgers, Livingston, many of those getting a leaflet where waiting for the buses and read them while waiting and then on the bus. One girl said she had been trying to go veg and the pamphlet will help her make the evolution. At Rutgers, Douglass, a student told us, "Everybody is talking about this!"
-Vic Sjodin, 2/13/09

 

 
 

Lindsay Parme leaflets in the snow at Howard University; below, Aashish Bhimani lets another George Mason student know the realities of her food choices.

[I got your booklet] at Alameda College. It said you can help even if you just reduce the amount of meat you eat. That was empowering -- being asked to take it one step at a time. After seeing the brochure, I resolved at once to reduce consumption of all meat, including chicken, and I think I am not far from giving it up. Thank you for your wise outreach to folks like me.
-CS, 2/7/09

I had a great day at Alameda College. I find that small school leafleting is often more fun and rewarding than leafleting hordes of students at huge state schools. And it's quite effective too -- more students know each other at small schools, which means word travels fast. A student today told me that the brochures had been the talk of her English class, and I had only been on campus for one class change at that point! I met a lot of interested folk, including two on their way to becoming veg. Also met a woman who had gotten an Even If You Like Meat last semester and has been actively reducing her consumption. I think she said "Thank you" to me at least 15 times.
-Brian Grupe, 2/3/09

Students were very receptive at CSU Dominguez Hills. One student stopped to tell me that her Critical Thinking professor (who had just received an Even If You Like Meat) used the leaflet in class that very morning, asking who ate meat, suggesting that the leaflet was making an argument to be grappled with. Another student said, "I'm so glad you are here. I tell people about this all the time because they just don't know. I'll keep a couple in my bag to hand out." One older fella said, "Thank you for doing this work. It's really important."
-Brianne Donaldson, 2/5/09

Leafleting at Eric Hamber High School [Vancouver, BC], one student grabbed a pamphlet and, realizing what it was, started to wave the pamphlet at her friends and, speaking in Mandarin, said, "This is why I'm a vegetarian!" Another girl came up to show me all the vegetarian buttons on her backpack and stood by me for a few minutes urging her schoolmates, "Take one, take one!"
-Joanne Chang, 2/4/09

I had some incredible conversations at Florida International University today. The first one was a girl who stopped to chat. She called a friend on her cell phone and said "I think I'm going to be vegetarian. This lady just handed me a leaflet and we've been talking about so many things. I really want to do this." Another guy stopped and said that he had been having conversations with a vegan friend lately. He left and came back again. He said, "Thank you so much for being here. I am a biology major -- we never see any of this information, and I would have never known." I had a very similar conversation with a third guy.
-Linda Bower, 2/1/09

Thank you for the Starter Guide, which I have found to be very useful as I adjust to my new cruelty-free lifestyle. I have been exploring vegetarianism for over a year now since my sixteen- year-old son came home and announced he was becoming one. I panicked at first, but he has really taught me a lot. My son was so passionate about it that he convinced his aunt who took it all the way to becoming vegan. I am proud of him for making the decision to become vegetarian, and, as of the beginning of this year, I even gave up milk and eggs. I feel better inside and out.
-KI, 2/6/09

Dylan Ravenfox and I were able to cover both exits from Kappa High School for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The students were very progressive and interested; dozens of them were reading the pamphlets and discussing it with friends. One girl asked for extra leaflets to show her friends. Also met 12 veg/vegans.
-Vic Sjodin, 2/6/09

A beautiful day at Portland State. A man walked over to me a few minutes after receiving an Even If and said, "Thank you. I was on my way to McDonald's and the booklet reminded me [of how awful animals are treated]. I am going to eat somewhere else now. Thank you again." I also watched a guy walk by completely engrossed in a pamphlet he had received from Colin [Donoghue] 2 blocks away. He couldn't take his eyes off of it.
-Jessica Dadds, 2/6/09

At the Borough of Manhattan Community College, a lot of students came back for leaflets once they realized what they were. One person walking a dog walked by and said "good for you!" He later returned and asked for a few copies to put at the counter of the doggy day care where he works. Another person remembered me from Hunter College two days ago and stopped to chat. A few students recognized me from past semesters, and one student had gone vegetarian since we last spoke.
-Eileen Botti, 2/5/09

Thanks for sending me the link to A Meaningful Life. This is an incredible piece and so well written. The quote at the end is so compelling.
-LF, 1/27/09

Your organization is deeply inspiring. You're doing a great thing by giving good information, staying true to the principles that matter and focusing effort where it counts. I plan on ordering more materials to stock displays.
-DL, 2/5/09

 

 
 

Inga Ambrosia waits for the next student at FIU Biscayne Bay; below, Matt Ball makes sure University of Arizona students learn the power of compassionate choices.

Good leafleting at MiraCosta and Palomar Colleges. One student said, "I got a booklet 2 years ago and I no longer eat meat." One student said, "I read that and it's very compelling." To my standby offer "Information to help animals?" I got several "Absolutely!" or "Heck yeah!" or "Right on!" It seemed everywhere I looked someone was reading a leaflet.
-Brianne Donaldson, 1/28/09

Thanks for coming to DePaul this month and handing out your pamphlets. It was what finally helped me make the decision to go vegetarian, and I am also making an effort to cut back on dairy products. It's been over two weeks and I have no desire to go back. Many of the things in your pamphlet I have never heard before -- I have shared them with my friends. Thanks for getting that information out there.
-BA, 1/28/09

So many great responses at John Jay! Heard several students telling their friends, "You gotta read that!" / "Take one -- its really sad." One student said she was thinking of going vegan and was very thankful to receive a Guide. A professor stopped to get a few extras, saying that he stopped eating meat because of receiving an Even If You Like Meat booklet last semester.
     At CUNY Baruch, one man stopped and had many questions, saying that he thinks all of this horrible treatment to animals needs to change, but that it’s a lot to ask people to give things up (meat, dairy, etc). I emphasized that it's not so much about giving something up -- we are asking people to switch to eating something else, and that by eating mock meats and soy cheeses, especially while transitioning, you really won't feel like you're missing anything, if that's the main concern. He liked this response, said he never thought of it that way, and was thinking of going veg.
-Eileen Botti, 1/30/09

I was driving by a community center when I saw a group of teenagers just hanging out. I pulled into the parking lot, walked up to them, and started handing them pamphlets. Before I even finished, one girl said, "Oh I want one, I want one." A guy said, "So you want us to go vegetarian...," and before I could reply another girl said to him, "At least you could cut down on your meat consumption."
-Lana Smithson, 1/29/09

This morning I went down to the bus station at University of British Columbia and handed out 250 pamphlets in about 1 hour and 10 minutes. A bus driver asked me for a bunch to leave on his bus. One student said he was vegan and asked for pamphlets to give to his friends. Another student said, "Thank you for being here."
-Joanne Chang, 1/29/09

At Bakersfield College, one student said "I read your flier and it's gross. I'm going to stop eating animals." I then gave her a Guide. A few students said they are going to reduce the number of animals they eat, and I also gave them Guides. I even met a student who is vegan and was thrilled to see information being handed out on campus. I leafleted a health instructor, who said "Perfect, just the information I wanted to share with my students." Eleni [Vlachos] had a long conversation with a non-veg student I had leafleted, who then said to his friend, "I learned more in the last few minutes than I have in all of my classes!"
-Rockin' Rob Gilbride, 1/29/09

It was a good day of outreach at Truman College, DePaul University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago today, despite the weather -- many students were reached and productive conversations were had. One woman said "This is so right!" when she saw the booklet and heard my request to "Help stop violence." Another woman stopped to tell me she read the booklet and it was disgusting what is happening to animals. She said, "'I really did not know this was going on."
-Leslie Patterson, 1/30/09

Great leafleting at Encinal High School today. Students sat around me and read the leaflets. One sat totally engrossed and read it cover to cover.
-Brian Grupe, 1/30/09

Lynn [Halpern] and I had a number of good conversations and comments at the University of Colorado today, including, "What are you going to do with all that good karma?" Toward the end, a student came up and asked how she can get more involved. She had been veg in the past, but "did it wrong" and got sick. After receiving a VO brochure recently, she decided to go back to being veg and sticking to it.
-Barbara Bear, 1/28/09

 


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