Selected 2010 Feedback
Sign up for VO’s enewsletter to receive weekly feedback from our members!
|Students at Cal State Fullerton (above) and Cal State San Bernadino (below) have their eyes opened by Nikki.|
|Below: One of the many people whose life was changed after receiving a VO booklet. You can see a slideshow of some others on our front page.|
very happy to support Vegan Outreach.
We will not forget that your pamphlet brought
us to a vegan lifestyle more than twelve years
ago. Thanks for all you do.
a very receptive crowd at Chapman
University today! Met two vegans in the first
ten minutes, numerous vegans and veggies thereafter. Yvonne heard there’s
a vegan table in the cafeteria, equipped with literature and
Laura joined me at Santa Monica College, having gotten involved because of my last visit. She’s already started a student group!
Reached nearly 2,000 incredibly receptive students at Cal State San Marcos, and Palomar College – I was churning out new vegetarians by the second! For example: “I just read that leaflet cover to cover… I can’t believe this… it’s horrible. I’m not eating any of them anymore. I’m a mom, and the picture of the piglets… ugh… it killed me, I cried.”
More amazing connections at Riverside City College – great appreciation of our efforts. Will it ever get old to watch faces change while reading their booklets? No!
—Nikki Benoit, 12/9/10
the last two days, Kate and I
leafleted in subfreezing temperatures in the
snowy mountains of Southwest Virginia and we
managed to reach over 5,000 students. The response
from students was incredible. One example from
A student at James Madison University ran up to me after receiving a booklet and said, “I have to tell you something, I went vegetarian from reading one of these last year, and it is the best thing that ever happened to me.” One student at Virginia Tech called the leaflet “eye-opening.” Finally, a student at Radford University was extremely excited to see us leafleting and wanted to learn how she could help.
Not the funnest leafleting, but it was awesome to reach so many students out in the mountains!
—Aaron Ross, 12/7/10
thanks and much love to all of
you who have taken part in this work this semester!
I’ve been involved in this since the start of
Adopt a College in ’03 and I’ve been utterly
overjoyed to see this effective program grow
and grow and grow. Vegan Outreach is the sum
of many parts, the parts being the activists
and donors who involve themselves in this work.
The bottom line is that we’ve got some pretty awesome parts. Again, thank you so much to all of you who continue to put yourselves on the line with your leafleting in all weather extremes and your noble giving of funds towards this work. We should continue to be so immensely proud of the work that we do on behalf of animals.
—Jon Camp, 12/17/10
|At the University of Maryland, Reagan Kimball proves the mythical car handoff actually does exist!|
last minute holiday outreach today;
results were sparse but I was pleased. Those
people may have otherwise not been exposed to
this message in their lifetimes.
—Josh James, 12/24/10
and I had a great day of outreach at
Arizona State, Polytechnic campus. One student
who grew up on a farm was thankful that we were
out there. Another student came back and asked
us to re-leaflet his booklet in hopes that it
might also be effective on someone else. One
student was writing a paper and thankful to
have the extra info; another asked for extras
to pass out during his presentation. One woman,
maybe an admin or professor, said she had reduced
meat consumption as a result of receiving the
brochure in the past.
—Jeff Boghosian, 12/2/10
good outreach at Yakima Valley
Community College. All the kids were very interested
in what I was handing out. Saw a girl stop dead
in her tracks and read the leaflet; she did
not stop reading until a friend approached her
to talk. Talked to a vegetarian about the dairy
industry, battery cages, veal, etc. She wanted
to go vegan after that. Veganism is becoming
more and more mainstream every day!
—Phil Letten, 10/26/10
College, a student asked me, “Can
I have one of those pamphlets? My friend who
is a vegan is always arguing with me about this,
so I’m going to read it so we can finally talk
about it.” Others mentioned getting leaflets
previously and are now thinking of going veg.
One student asked several questions about going
vegetarian and said he would give it a try as
soon as finals are over.
—Eileen Botti, 12/1/10
|Many thanks to everyone who made Vegan Outreach VegNews’ Favorite Vegetarian Organization!|
after arriving at Ventura College,
I met Courtney, who joined me to leaflet and
is going to take over further outreach there!
We had a number of very thoughtful conversations
with her fellow students. When one said, “They’re
gonna die anyway, so what does it matter?”
I was stoked to hear two of his friends
pounce on him with, “Well, you’re gonna
die one day, you wanna be abused?”
—Nikki Benoit, 10/27/10
20s and very windy at the
University of Maryland, but still good leafleting!
I heard from numerous vegetarians and vegans.
—Jon Camp, 12/14/10
at the University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, but good conversations. One girl
asked, “Why do you even hand those out?
I can’t bear to look at them, they are so sad.”
I explained that this issue is not going away
unless we confront it. She agreed, took a Guide,
and said, “Thank you. Your cause is great.”
One woman said asking people to reduce their
meat consumption was something they could handle.
She really appreciated our approach. Someone
biked by and yelled, “Yay vegan!”
—Fred Tyler, 11/5/10
|A University of Alabama student is enlightened by Darina Smith! Below, another UA student studies the reality previously hidden by agribusiness.|
a very cold day so I bundled up
in many layers and snow pants to hit Purdue University,
Calumet. I heard from quite a few students who
had been thinking about going veg and were thankful
for getting the information. One woman told
me receiving a booklet on campus last year caused
her to go vegetarian!
—Leslie Patterson, 12/1/10
at Anne’s old stomping grounds, Carnegie
Mellon, and we occasionally had to go inside
to thaw. Despite this, Brian, Phil, and I reached
1,813 students – a new record there!
—Vic Sjodin, 12/3/10
day at the University of Colorado,
Boulder. Matt, Rae, Adena, and I had loads of
great conversations with people who were “on
the fence,” knew others who were vegan
and were considering the vegan path themselves,
—Barbara Bear, 12/14/10
leafleting a concert today, a
number of folks told Nick and me they had previously
received a booklet at Warped Tour. When it got
quiet at the end, we talked with two of these
people (separately) and guess what? Both went
veg after getting the booklet! We’d randomly
selected these people; I can’t begin to
fathom how many kids have changed this year
from our Warped Tour outreach.
—Brian Grupe, 10/27/10
Petersburg College, one student
came back after reading the booklet to tell
me, “This information will definitely have
an impact on my life.” She was almost in
tears. Another student who got a booklet last
semester also said it “made an impact”
on his life. They both thanked me for being
One girl said to her friend, “Don’t look at that leaflet; it’s awful.” The friend replied, “I want to look at it because I want to stop eating meat.”
When I’m carrying those heavy boxes of booklets, I think of it as carrying an animal to safety. I know we’re changing things!
—Lana Smithson, 12/2/10
and I reached 250 students at
El Rancho High School today, despite the rain.
It was great!
At Fullerton College, I met two people (above) who went vegetarian because of our booklets, one of whom refused to have a picture taken unless I was in it!
—Nikki Benoit (above left), 12/18/10
|Kate St. John of the Animal Awareness Project helps another James Madison University student take action for the animals.|
the rain, Cassandra and I reached
1,010 students at Rutgers University. Met nine
vegans and countless vegetarians, and heard
students tell each other to read it, that they
read it earlier in a class, etc. The most common
comment of the day was, “Aww this is going
to make me so sad.” I saw several students
pick up discarded booklets and start reading
This was a telling exchange:
Random dude: “My dad is a butcher, hah.”
Him: “Oh, I thought you would hate me for that.”
Me: “Nope, but you should read this.”
Him: “OK. I definitely don’t plan on following his line of work. It’s gross anyway.”
—Eileen Botti, 10/27/10
and rainy at the University of
Iowa. Several students thanked me for leafleting.
One guy stopped to say, “I got one of your
leaflets two years ago, and I am now almost
entirely vegetarian. Your work makes a difference.
Thank you for being here.”
—Fred Tyler, 10/26/10
|After meeting Brian Grupe, a new vegetarian at Santa Rosa Junior College studies her Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.|
outreach at Sonoma State. A professor
asked me to come and speak with her class. I
showed Meet Your Meat and the class
was floored. I asked for a show of hands if the majority of the information
on the video was new to them, and ALL OF THEM
raised their hands. Every student.
Our discussion went really well – all
but two students wanted a Guide
at the end of the period.
—Brian Grupe, 10/26/10
After giving a talk and
handing out booklets at the University of Colorado,
Boulder, a number of students said they wanted
to leaflet with me. Another student said her
family back home would freak out if she went
vegan when she was there, but college “seems
like the time and the place to go vegan.”
—Barbara Bear, 10/22/10
great interactions at Eastern
Michigan University. One student came back and
spoke to Brian for 15 minutes – likely
going veg. Another student stopped 20 feet
after getting a leaflet and read it for a long
time, right in the middle of class change. One
girl said the leaflet made her sad and Brian
said, “That’s good, it means you have a heart.”
Another student told me eating meat is a personal choice. He slowly came around to see that while something like what shirt you wear is a personal choice, cutting off the beaks of birds is not a personal choice, because it involves another.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/26/10
Jovan Jimenez (right)
and I met tons of nice families, groups, and couples at
Water Tower Place on this super cold day. Hundreds
accepted booklets despite the subfreezing temperatures.
Good conversations and really positive remarks
– the holiday spirit prevailed!
—Mikael Nielsen, Mercy For Animals, 12/19/10
The Humane League of Philadelphia
and the Animal Awareness Project joined
forces for an incredible day of outreach at
Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. From
9am to 4pm, we continually leafleted until we had
no more booklets to hand out, and reached nearly
11,000 people! The people who took a leaflet
seemed to genuinely want one. We definitely
made an impact and hopefully restored the sanity
of people’s eating habits!
—Aaron Ross, 10/30/10
|Above, Aaron Ross enlightens another student at Virginia Tech; below, our fourth president lends a hand at James Madison U!|
Good leafleting today at
Boca Ciega HS. I recently mentioned
something about wishing I could physically rescue
animals from slaughterhouses. But I know rescues
would never stop the endless flow of animals,
and working at the root of the problem – the
consumer demand for animal products – is the
best way to help the most animals in the long
As Matt recently said, “This work is both a tribute to the forgotten and the best way to create the compassionate world we all desire.” The “unnamed, unseen, and uncomforted” animals are in my mind when I take this information to people, and I’m grateful to Vegan Outreach for working so hard to be practical and efficient at bringing the unseen into the hearts and minds of people. Thank you everyone for all you do.
Happy holidays and happy, compassionate new year.
—Lana Smithson, 12/17/10
Fantastic reception and conversations
at Cal State Fullerton. The token
male of a well-dressed pod of leaflet-deniers
felt the need to say, “I eat meat.” To which I said, “That’s
OK sweetie, that’s why I’m here.” Later, two of them returned
– the sassy male included – to retrieve their
booklets, apologizing for not doing it earlier.
In fact, they’re in student government and would
like me to speak on campus. Also had a groundbreaking convo with a hunter
who is seemingly on the cusp of giving up eating all “farmed”
Also a receptive crowd at the Obama rally at USC; some very interested people. I wore my Vegan Outreach shirt which garnered many smiles, thumbs-ups and shout-outs. Can’t ever get tired of hearin’ “Yay Vegan Outreach!”
—Nikki Benoit, 10/14/10
I am finding it easier and easier
to hand brochures to people in public places.
For example, at a supermarket last week, I gave
an Even If You Like Meat to both the
checker and the bagger. I went to my car and
realized I forgot stamps. When I returned, I
overheard the distressed bagger showing the
opened brochure to the lady at the courtesy
desk, pointing to a page while exclaiming, “Look
at the blood!” Here is a young girl who
bags countless packages of fresh meat each day
(obviously seeing some blood in them), but never
made the connection to the slaughtered animal.
—Barb K, 10/20/10
Long day at Grand Valley State,
with many highlights. Had a fantastic number of
one-on-one interactions and overheard a number
of students discussing the issue. One woman
came back and said, “I’m done! I cried
and I am never eating meat again.” Our
host Lena said her class of 30 people spent
the class talking about factory farming. Really
great to get some real-life evidence of the
buzz effect leafleting creates on campuses.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/19/10
|Jon Camp spreads warmth and compassion at the University of Maryland; below, a UMD student studies the truth.|
At the University of Hartford,
I was joined by Teresa, who went vegan
after previous discussions with Aleta and me.
Very receptive crowd. Got names and emails of
five students who want to leaflet and want to
get veg options in the cafeteria.
—Karen James, 10/20/10
At the University of Nebraska,
Kearney, one guy came back and said, “It
was a real eye-opener. I had no idea any of
this was going on. It’s sad, real sad. It is
all about the mighty dollar.” He said he
had grown up on a farm, but it was nothing like
it is now. Just as I was about to leave, a girl
told me, “I just wanted to let you know
I read the booklet, and now I’ve decided to
go vegetarian.” I congratulated her and
gave her a Guide
to help her make the change.
At the University of Nebraska, Omaha, one guy said that receiving an Even If previously had led him to be mostly vegetarian; he got a Guide. One girl said she was going vegan for one week. She said she was scared, but thought the Guide would help. Another girl said, “Oh, I just looked through the booklet. I used to be vegetarian and now I want to start again.” I suggested the assistance of a Guide. Later, I overheard a group of girls talking near me. Two of them were telling their vegetarian friend that they were going to try being vegan for two weeks. Their friend expressed concern about not being able to eat out anywhere. I gave them a card for VegGuide.org to find good restaurants. I also talked a bit about focusing on reducing suffering as opposed to failing at purity. A Guide was also in order. When they left, I heard them say,“"What a perfect place to have that conversation.”
—Fred Tyler, 10/22/10
At Queens College,
the students were very receptive, and I was
lucky to have Marissa join me. One student was
so moved that he helped us out for an hour and
a half. Other good conversations, too. One elderly
couple stopped by and asked questions; it turns
out they were auditing a class about farming
and took some extra leaflets to share with the
Also had an awesome day at CUNY Medgar Evers College – a number of conversations with students who wanted to go vegetarian. Every time she passed by, a certain girl said to her friends, “That pamphlet’s gonna make you be a vegan.” Another woman said, “Oh, my son is a vegan! He’s only nine years old, but when I told him I wanted to cook fish for him, he told me, ‘Mommy, fish are for the sea.’”
—Eileen Botti, 10/25/10
Had good luck today at
Howard Community College – positive feedback
from people who had gotten the booklet in the
past. For example: one guy told me he was “devastated,”
and had passed his copy on to his parents to
look at as well.
—Jay Kristensen, 10/25/10
Tabling at tiny Notre
Dame de Namur University, loads of students
remembered me from previous semesters (one student
told me that since meeting me, he’s gone vegetarian
and is working on vegan). I talked to quite
a few almost-vegetarians, vegetarians, and vegans.
One gal said she had read the brochure and was
really considering going veg; she got a Guide.
Many took info to show to friends/family.
—Brian Grupe, 10/20/10
In the past, the
Boulder High School crowd was not very receptive,
but today the students were interested in taking
literature. A number of “already veg,”
and one student said his whole family is veg.
—Barbara Bear, 10/21/10
|Cookie, Vic Sjodin, and Phil Letten take the animals’ message to the University of Pittsburgh.|
The students were extremely receptive
at both Shoreline Community College
and Edmonds Community College. At Edmonds CC
I met a 64-year-old guy who had been vegan for
the last 40 years. Met another guy who had been
vegan for the last 20 years. Quite a few other
vegans and vegetarians. A few people expressed
interest in going veg. I am so happy to be part
of this and be leafleting every day.
Very glad that Vegan Outreach exists. I would really fear for farm animals and would not be nearly as optimistic about the future if this work was not being done. Keep up the great work everyone – leafleters and donors!
—Phil Letten, 10/21/10
|Above, Reagan Kimball leaflets in University of Maryland’s flurries; below, two Terrapins keep warm with Compassionate Choices.|
SUNY Albany, I took a tip from
Leslie and dressed to the hilt for the 12 freezy
degreezies. I had overboots on to shield my
feet from the pavement, ski pants, two scarves,
two sweaters, my winter coat, and one mitten.
I felt exuberant about getting a chance to leaflet,
so I was super upbeat, and people were grinning
at me and very polite! One person praised me
for braving the cold, and many looked impressed.
I was SO glad to have a chance to get one more
leafleting outing in before finals week because
I know these booklets pack a punch.
—Laura Hart, 12/10/10
able to leaflet while down in
Florida for a week. A receptive crowd and some
good conversations at the University of Miami,
where the VO member with the vegan food booth
put out some more booklets, in addition to the
1,535 I distributed. Next, I reached 1,600 at
the University of Central Florida. Finally,
at Broward College, several people asked why
I was leafleting on “the coldest day of
the year” (55 degrees), which was funny.
—Nick Cooney, The Humane League of Philadelphia, 12/9/10
was both my first time leafleting
a college, and the first time Tennessee Tech
had been leafleted. Over half the students took
a booklet with a smile; many thanked me. I had
dozens of positive interactions! The highlight
of the morning was when one young lady saw the
cover and commented, “I like animals, but
I eat chickens.” I asked her if she didn’t
think all animals suffered the same. She didn’t
seem sure, so she asked me if I ate chickens.
I told her I did not. She asked if I wanted
her to stop eating chickens. I told her that
she would be doing a wonderful thing if she
even read the information within and decided
to cut back. She seemed to agree with that,
and it spurred her two friends to take booklets,
too. I chose to stay on focus and promote harm
reduction rather than purity, and it won people
over! This outreach does work! I will be leafleting
again for sure.
—Josh James, 10/20/10
receptive crowds at Harper Payton
High School and Lakeview High School – nearly
every student took a booklet. Lots of students
reading the booklets and discussing them. Some
students said, “Thanks for doing this.”
One even asked if she could volunteer.
—Jessica and Dylan, Mercy For Animals, 12/10/10
|Nikki also reports: “After thoroughly reading the Compassionate Choices, this Cal State Long Beach student came back to me to say he’s now a vegetarian.”|
Check out these stories from Cal State San Bernadino and San Bernadino Valley College:
- A young lady came back to get another leaflet for her friend and is NOW VEGETARIAN. Right now!
- See the above statement for details because this happened TWICE!
- I heard “Of course I’ll help animals” upwards of a thousand-million times.
- A student took the LONG WAY to the library so I didn’t have to run to hand him his booklet.
- A staffer with a load of papers walked up and asked, “Can I have two more for my coworkers?”
- Met a young lady wanting to start a student group but needed a third student…oh I got her a third – it’s on!
—Nikki Benoit, 10/14/10
Barb, and I had a very good day
of outreach at Central Oregon Community College
– very high take rate and good conversations.
As people walked by me to go back to their cars,
lots of them commented about how gross the leaflet
was and said they read it during their class.
At Cornish College, one kid pointed at the Even If You Like Meat booklet and said, “That is what made me go vegan!” He got one a few years ago, went vegetarian, and just went vegan last February. I gave him a Guide.
Nearly 100% acceptance at Seattle Central Community College! I saw tons of kids reading the booklets. Walked by groups of kids discussing it. Had a conversation with two girls. One of the girls said, “I’m not eating for the rest of the day because of this!” I talked to her about meatless options, said taking it slow is better for some people – cut out meat one day a week, a few meals a week, etc. They were both very interested. I really felt the outreach here went a long way!
—Phil Letten, 10/14/10
day of leafleting at Auraria with
Barbara (Bear)! We lit up the campus, reaching
over 1,750 students! Really great conversations,
and Barbara made the best banana bread in the
history of the universe!
—Jeni Haines, 10/13/10
good conversations with ag students
at South Dakota State University, with all of
them leaving on good terms. One guy even said,
“You’ve given me a lot to think about.
I appreciate you taking the time to talk.”
At the University of South Dakota, though, a
beef spokesperson refused to read the booklet,
and kept trying to find fault with me, personally,
because she couldn’t find fault with my reasoning.
Great take rate at Concordia College, and it was great to have Elizabeth, Kathleen, and Seth with me at Minnesota State, Moorehead. One guy was happy to get a Guide after he told me, “I got one of those earlier. It made me so sad. I’m not eating meat all day.” A girl came back and said, “It’s so sad. So, so sad. Especially this part about the chickens.” She said after reading the Even If, she didn’t think she’d be able to go into the cafeteria and eat the chicken. She liked that our approach wasn’t all or nothing and was glad to get a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 10/15/10
|Jessie Brockway spreads veggie warmth at Florida Atlantic University.|
University of Tampa, I heard from
a bunch of vegetarians and vegans. One student
came back to say, “I’ve been thinking for
a long time about going vegetarian. Getting
this pamphlet today must be some kind of sign
to take that step!” He happily accepted
a Guide and thanked me for being there.
Another student said he is currently writing
a paper about industrialized farming, and he
seemed glad to get this information.
Leafleting the pet walk, I met a woman who went veg the day she got a booklet four years ago at the University of South Florida. Her husband then also went veg. I guess they both just needed a little info to get them on the path!
—Lana Smithson, 10/19/10
leafleting at the Chicago House
of Blues. One woman said she’s going vegan,
and another said it was getting a booklet in
the past that led her to go vegetarian. Loads
of people wanted more information.
—Peter, Mickey, and Kenny, 10/17/10
Huskies received a booklet from
Aleta, Stephanie, Anouk, Julia, or me these
past two days at the University of Connecticut.
A whole slew of people wanted to get involved
with the campus group and/or Vegan Outreach!
Aleta and I were interviewed by three different
students, and a bunch told us the booklet had
changed or was going to change their diet.
—Karen James, 10/14/10
and I reached over 2,600 students
at the University of South Carolina today –
an incredibly productive day of outreach! Two
young women let us know that they planned on
going veg as a result of reading the Even
If today, and another woman told us she
planned on going vegan because of the booklet.
—Jon Camp, 10/18/10
leafleting at Harold Washington
College. Heard from tons of vegans
and vegetarians and other young people who said
that they “don’t eat animals.” Some
students stopped with questions about the leaflets.
One young man told me that he received the leaflet
before and “it messed up my day.”
I told him that I appreciated his honesty and
that it affected him so much.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/19/10
(right) and I had a good day at
Washtenaw Community College, Concordia University,
and the University of Michigan, Dearborn. One
girl stopped dead in her tracks and read the
leaflet cover to cover! She got a Guide, of
course. Others expressed interest and a few
came back for more booklets.
At Kalamazoo College (never before leafleted), Brian and I hit 40% of the population. When I went looking for the bathroom, I saw one guy reading the Even If aloud to an entire room of students. On the next floor, the teacher was discussing factory farming, likely due to us leafleting.
I’ve also received some electronic feedback lately from students who had gone veg after meeting me at their school, some of whom are now activists. For example: “(After meeting you and Phil) I knew what I had to do. Since then I’ve gotten the chance to share what I know now with people who can finally see vegetarianism in a new light.”
—Vic Sjodin, 10/14/10
State Sacramento, a rancher who
had taken a booklet found us later and said
the information was not only completely accurate,
but, in some cases, the treatment of animals
on factory farms was worse than described in
the booklet. We talked for about 15 minutes,
and I could really see his wheels turning. He
told me about particular animals he raised for
slaughter that he has fond memories of; he even
called them by names. He agreed that all animals
have unique personalities and an interest in
their own lives. He also agreed that there is
no true difference between a cow and a dog except
that we eat one and not the other. He described
times he witnessed slaughter when the animals
were still clearly alive, and he acknowledged
it was cruel. He wasn’t apologetic, but still
very open to what I had to say. He said he only
does it for the profit, and after a moment of
silence, said, “I guess that’s not the
best justification.” Wow!
—Linda and Serena, 10/11/10
Amazing day at Santa Monica College
– reached over 700 students
in 75 minutes and had simply amazing conversations!
First was a young bodybuilder (right) who was
troubled with the inhumane treatment of animals
and the toxins/ fear you consume as a result.
We chatted, I gave him a Guide
to Cruelty-Free Eating and info on the Robert Cheeke, Brendan
Brazier, and Jack Norris RD blogs. HE’S VEGAN
AS OF THIS SECOND, YES HE IS!
Moments later, a couple of girls winced at the leaflets and agreed to do anything to help so long as they didn’t have to look at the pictures. They each got a Guide and an AML.
Turned another corner offering leaflets to passersby who said, “YES, I LOVE ANIMALS!”
Then chatted with vegans who are still going strong from booklets/ conversations last semester. Smiles and winks.
Then, a security guard asked for his own booklet!
Fun-filled hour and fifteen minutes worth of conversations with: vegans on strategy; vegetarians on vegan-conversions; meat eaters and baby steps. This was probably the most power-packed, compassion-spewing window within my leafleting career.
—Nikki Benoit, 10/13/10
Today, we reached 1,625 students
at George Washington University
and Howard University! At GWU, we handed a booklet
to a student carrying her lunch. She opened
it as she walk away, paused down the street,
then came back to me to say that she could not
eat her chicken nuggets after reading the pamphlet
– she felt terrible and had no idea animals
were treated this way. At Howard, had a long
conversation with an inquiring student about
how easy it is to be healthy on a vegan diet
and relieved his concerns about adequate plant-sourced
protein intake. Another student said he went
vegan from receiving an Even If You Like
Meat from Kate last semester!
—Aaron (right) and Kate, The Animal Awareness Project, 10/13/10
At Appalachian State, 960
students were happy to learn the truth today. One said, “I’m doing a
report on that!” Another said, when she saw the Even
If cover, “Oh, good! What incredible
timing! I’ve been thinking of going vegetarian!”
She also got a Guide. Also met a student
interested in leafleting.
I knew VO brochures were powerful, but apparently moreso than I suspected; one student shivered and confided: “I read that last year and passed out!”
—Eleni Vlachos, 10/14/10
Ohio leafleting vacation, Leslie
(right) and I reached over 4,100 students at
Ohio State, Youngstown State, and the University
of Akron (MFA Ohio joined us at OSU, and reached
an additional 800 students). Handed out dozens
of Guides, too. Students were amazingly
—Joe Espinosa, 10/11/10
and I had a good day at Norwalk
Community College and Housatonic Community College.
Met a slew of vegetarians at Norwalk, and gathered
names and emails of four students who want to
either leaflet or get veg options in the cafeteria.
One student took ten Compassionate Choices
to hand out to her friends to help them understand
why she is vegetarian! Talked about animal issues
with the head of the Student World Assembly,
who wants us to come with literature when they
show movies and have events.
—Karen James, 10/7/10
|Diana Scott takes the animals’ case to Columbia College students.|
summary of Switch and
was again impressed by Vegan Outreach’s process.
I’ve been a longtime donor, but you’ve inspired
me to increase my monthly donation. Thank you
for being an effective tool for change! I’m
proud to support your work.
College, a guy stopped dead in
his tracks for about five minutes to read the
Even If You Like Meat. He then said,
“I have been thinking about going vegan.
Now I know I am.” I gave him a Guide.
Met girl at Mt. Hood Community College who went veg for three months after getting a booklet previously. Said she ate bacon one time and then went back to meat. I told her reducing suffering isn’t an all-or-nothing commitment – just because you eat bacon one time does not mean you need to just say, “Oh well. I guess I’ll start eating meat at every meal now.” She seemed inspired about that approach and took a Guide.
Talked to a lot of vegetarians at Reed College – could have handed out a lot more Guides if I hadn’t run out. At one point, I overheard a group of about 20 kids talking about the booklet, factory farming and vegetarianism. It was awesome!
—Phil Letten, 10/11/10
|Megan Brunning provides a sunny example of compassionate living at the University of Georgia.|
over 1,700 students at Oakton
Community College. Most students took a booklet.
I think there were only a couple of people who
made comments such as, “Oh, I can’t look
at that stuff,” to which I normally replied,
“That’s the reality for these animals.”
One girl took the booklet after I said that
and looked through it. She told me that she
tried being vegetarian but had meat cravings.
Her friend said that she can’t give up chicken.
We talked and I gave them some helpful suggestions.
They then sat down on a bench and were looking
through the booklet and discussing it further.
I saw lots of other students reading the booklet, and overheard another student saying that her teacher was talking about the booklet in class and that they were planning on talking more about it the next day.
—Anna, with Leslie, Andrea, Beata, Chris, and Mickey, 10/14/10
University of Colorado, Boulder,
one student told me he had gotten a booklet
a few years ago as a freshman and it had a huge
impact on him. He said he eats very little animal
flesh now. I gave him a Guide and menus
from a couple of restaurants with a lot of vegan
options. He really enjoyed chatting about his
awakening and I wouldn’t be surprised if he
goes vegan eventually.
Later, a young woman rushed back to tell me that she became a vegetarian a month ago, but her friends all still eat animals. I congratulated her on her decision and told her she could show the Compassionate Choices to her friends. I gave her a Guide as well as the aforementioned menus. She was grateful for the information and seemed relieved to meet another person who “gets it.”
—Barbara Bear, 10/4/10
mood at Broward College, where
Linda and I reached 750+ students. Lots of vegetarians,
plus many interested kids wanting to know about
what more they could do to help! One conversation
was really great – an interested student
with many questions. She
left with a Guide and booklets for
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/13/10
Virginia Community College, a
woman confronted me with various accusations
and questions, including that we should focus
on human suffering first. I told her that suffering
is suffering, and we’re kind and competent enough
individuals to tackle both – working on
one does not preclude us from working on the
other. By refusing to apologize for working
on behalf of animals and by focusing the attention
on the preventable suffering of animals, the
woman ended up being unable to brush off the
fact that we can play a role in reducing animal
suffering. She stated that I raised some good
points and we parted on good terms.
—Jon Camp (right), 9/27/10
|Students at Western Connecticut State are engrossed in learning the truth.|
I leafleted near Brock University’s
bus stop area and saw many students reading
the leaflets as they waited. A few students
told me how much they love steak, but once they
opened a leaflet, they had many questions for
me and seemed genuinely concerned about the
animals. One young lady read the whole leaflet
then said to me, “That’s it, I'm not eating
meat again.” It was a great day!
—John Sakars, 10/1/10
At Denver’s Auraria Campus, I
had numerous conversations with people who were
interested in going veg, and met a lot of “already
veg” people too. A young girl working for
Children International took a pamphlet and said,
“Oh, I want to be a vegetarian!” with
longing in her voice. I gave her a Guide;
she gave me a big hug. An older gentleman took
a Compassionate Choices, paged through
it, and then said, “Oh, Boca burgers, those
are so good!” and went on to say that we
should leave God’s creatures alone. He thanked
me for leafleting and gave me a hug and a kiss
on the cheek before he walked away. A woman
who took a leaflet came back moments later to
thank me for doing outreach and to tell me she
and her husband went vegan a couple of months
ago. I gave her a Guide – she was
—Barbara Bear, 9/30/10
After reading your booklet, I was moved to tears and, subsequently,
vomited for several minutes. I will do everything
in my power to share the truth about agribusiness
with my friends, colleagues and loved ones.
It was great to
table at World Veg Fest. At least ten college students
from different schools said they had received
our literature in the past. Got emails of over
a dozen people looking to help out. Also met
a woman (right) who went vegan in 1996 after
receiving a booklet from Jack Norris at the University
of Wisconsin, Madison.
—Brian Grupe, 10/3/10
University of Maine, a student
said he read the entire pamphlet and has decided
that he really wants to try to go vegetarian.
He was happy to receive a Guide. Another
said, “I HATE factory farming,” and
motioned like he was going to barf. Yet another
student said he would share the information
in the pamphlet with others. I told him about
—Lana Smithson, 9/30/10
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh,
one girl said, “I already have one. I read
it, and I like it. Thank you.” I met an
ethics professor who was interested in using
the Even If You Like Meat booklet as
part of an assignment for her students. I met
a guy who had first seen VO stuff down in Texas,
then at a school in Milwaukee. He said he wanted
to get involved and gave me his contact info.
—Fred Tyler, 10/1/10
|Pretty sneaky, sis; Nikki Benoit uses her camera’s phone to catch students intently studying VO’s booklets at the University of Texas, El Paso (above) and the University of New Mexico.|
at my school (Muskegon Community
College) was a great success! I had a lot of
students thank me for handing out the pamphlets
and tell me that they have always been interested
in becoming vegetarian.
—Deanna McDonald, 10/5/10
up with a local group to leaflet
the Race for the Cure. We reached 2,800 folks,
including many high school students. More than
80% were open to looking at the info. A positive
and fun event to do, lots of good energy from
receptive and open-minded people.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/10/10
great at Moorpark College and
Cal Lutheran University! It charges the soul
to hear people respond to my “Info to
help animals?” with “YES!” “Of
course!” “Always!” “I love
animals!” The next best part is watching
stunned faces walk aimlessly while reading their
newfound Earth-shattering leaflet.
—Nikki Benoit, 10/7/10
Houston State, lots of students
mentioned getting a booklet in the past. One
student – Michael – took a booklet, read it,
then came back to help me leaflet – we reached
over 1,250 students!
—Casey Constable, 10/7/10
I gave my persuasive speech in
my oral communications class at Daytona State,
I was able to hand out a lot of Vegan Outreach
booklets – some classmates asked for more.
day! Yvonne and I hit Portland
Community College, Portland State, Clackamas
Community College, and Jefferson High School.
I’ve never given out so many Guides
at a school as I did in our time at Portland
State – I could have given out many more, but
I ran out!
—Phil Letten, 10/6/10
|Person to person to person; a student at Ventura Community College shares new insights about making Compassionate Choices.|
before I left Gainesville State College,
a professor asked if I would come speak to his
ecology class. I gave a five-minute spiel and
then we did 20 minutes of Q&A. It was hugely
productive. The professor told me in front of
the class that he loved my manner of discussion
and that everything I said was 100% factually
accurate. He invited me to come back when I’m next in town.
—Jon Camp, 10/11/10
Range Community College had a
super-receptive crowd! A lot of people were
really excited to get a booklet. At the University
of Northern Colorado, one guy mentioned to me,
“Yeah, I got one of these about a year
ago at a concert, and I’ve been vegetarian ever
—Jeni Haines, 9/27/10
|Darina Smith builds a better world at Virginia Commonwealth University.|
to go through your site quickly
because the pictures were enough to make me
cry. Why is it even legal for animals to be
treated this way? I’ve decided to become a vegan.
I have a lot of respect for the people like you getting the word out about the terrible way our animals are being treated. I want to let you know people are listening, so keep up the work that you do in trying to STOP this disgusting treatment of animals.
Thank you so much for
offering a booklet like Even If You Like
Meat that lets people know it doesn’t have
to be all or nothing. So many people I know
are much more open to hearing about the suffering
that goes on in factory farms if I suggest to
them that they don’t have to go vegan to make
a difference. Hopefully, some people will eventually
make the choice to boycott this horrible industry
entirely, but it will do a world of good if
many will just reduce their consumption.
I was handed an Even
If You Like Meat booklet at my school today,
and I immediately checked into the website!
I had been a vegetarian before, but began to
eat meat again while studying abroad in Germany
for a year. However, after receiving the booklet
today, I realized that I felt that being vegetarian
was something I needed to do.
I know that I am just one person and cannot make as large a change just by boycotting farms and slaughterhouses alone, so I would be very interested in receiving pamphlets and handing them out to increase other people’s awareness of the animal cruelty going on right under our very noses.
|The Dawn of a new day at the University of Arizona; below, a UA student studies the Even If You Like Meat booklet.|
At Western Kentucky University,
most students were interested in my message
to help stop violence. A student came up to
let me know that, after getting the booklet, she
had viewed the video
footage of poultry slaughter on the Vegan
Outreach website and actually threw up.
One animal agriculture student let me know that we are destroying agriculture. Good to know.
—Joe Espinosa, 9/28/10
and I met quite a few vegetarians
at Southern Connecticut State. Lots of good
talks with students. One vegan professor took
my information and thanked us profusely for
—Karen James, 9/29/10
University of Wisconsin, Superior,
a girl came back and said, “My roommate
would like one of your fliers. We’ve decided
to be vegetarian. After I saw the picture of
the chicks getting their beaks cut off, I said,
‘I’m not going to eat meat anymore.’” She
was very excited to get a Guide.
At the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, my host told me one of her classmates got a flier last year and it really changed her. I also met a girl who was interested in moving towards veganism, but wasn’t sure if she could afford it. We talked about ways to save money on food and the fact that she could have an effect by making some changes even if she couldn’t afford to make as many as she would like. She said, “It’s really good that you are out here.”
—Fred Tyler, 9/28/10
and I were well received at Auraria,
where we reached 1,000 students. I was especially
glad to give a Compassionate Choices to
a woman who had stopped being vegan after she
met her husband. Getting the booklet had her
questioning why she had “lost her resolve.”
She happily took a Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 9/22/10
at Arizona State (West) was very
high today. Kirby ran into a classmate who is
moving towards veg. Some comments:
“I just want to thank you for being out here. I’m vegan and I think it’s so important that people learn about this.”
“I just went vegetarian yesterday.”
“This is so sad.”
“This is going to make me cry.”
“I’m actually already veg, you can give this to someone else.”
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/28/10
and I reached 600 students at
Indiana-Purdue University. One guy told me I
had “sold” him on veganism. It was
a great day!
—Heather Leughmyer, 9/30/10
|Students at Fresno State are engrossed in learning the truth.|
of readers and quick discussions
at New Jersey Institute of Technology. One guy
read Even If You Like Meat cover to cover,
and then got a Guide. One student told
her friends, “I am officially vegetarian
from right now.”
—Vic Sjodin, 9/29/10
was a great start to my three-week tour! Students were
extremely receptive at Truckee Meadows Community College –
I would estimate about a 95% (or better) acceptance
rate! One man who accepted a leaflet was especially
inquisitive. We conversed for a short while
before he revealed himself to be a philosophy
professor at the school. After exchanging viewpoints
(it was a great conversation) he walked off,
only to return shortly to ask for fifteen leaflets
for his ethics class so that they could discuss
it further in class!
—Jeni Haines, 9/27/10
|Long-lasting results! Jon met Matthew at the recent Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival: “He’s been vegan since receiving a Vegan Outreach booklet at Carnegie Mellon University back in 1994, very shortly after VO was founded.”|
College, Brian and I saw lots
of students reading and had several profound
talks. Also overheard that an English class
discussed the booklets. Best part of day for
me was when three students and a professor were
grilling me about sustainable meat, etc. I conceded
it was better than factory farming but held
firm against killing when not necessary. Compassion
is putting yourself in the place of the victim
and I’m sure pigs, chickens, deer, lobsters
don’t want to be killed. It’s as simple as grabbing
from one shelf and not the other.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/3/10
of people were handing out your
leaflets at my school, Kenyon College, today.
Although I have been a vegetarian for over seven
years, your booklets really helped renew my
dedication to the cause. I REALLY appreciated
that they weren’t polarizing like other organizations.
Your leafleters approached the vegan/ vegetarian
issue in a very reasonable way. PLEASE keep
up the good work – the world needs to
|Karen James changes another life at Central Connecticut State.|
I’m a military spouse
living on an Army base in Germany.
My husband, son and I were walking through Prague’s
Old Town where I was handed your booklet. I read
it, and it haunted me. It took two months, but it
percolated in the back of my mind until I became
a vegan three days ago. I just decided that I
didn’t want to pay people to do that to animals.
I am finally at peace with my diet.
You mention on your web site that everyone likes to be successful. Well, I’m officially one of your statistics. And as the parent and the shopper for this home, I have the ability to influence at least two other individuals’ choices.
Joe, and I leafleted the local
no-kill shelter’s “Run for Their Lives,”
as we did two years ago. Many people said they
had received the booklet before, and we heard
from many more vegans and vegetarians this time.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/26/10
|Alexis Scherba reaches out to a student at Loyola University; below, a Loyola student is engrossed.|
was so good! I reached more than
800 students at Everett Community College and
440+ at Skagit Valley College. Good conversations,
too. For example, I bro’ed down with two African
American students. They were very interested.
One woman took a booklet, stopped, quickly flipped
through and looked at the pictures. She asked,
“Is this real?” and said she loved
animals but really, really, really loved meat.
I responded that I also loved meat and that
taste was not the reason I gave meat up. She
then told me she wanted to go veg, and I gave
her a Guide.
—Phil Letten, 9/27/10
I was recently handed a
Compassionate Choices at college and
want to learn more about taking another step
toward compassionate treatment of sentient beings.
—MS, 11/7/10, Chicago, IL
A friend of mine had
a booklet containing photographs of animals
in slaughterhouses, and I realized I am supporting
a cruel industry by eating meat or products
derived from animals. It quickly opened my eyes
to reality. While there are many health benefits
that come with being vegan, my number one reason
for going vegan is to help end animal cruelty.
—SS, 11/5/10, Newark, NJ
I received a booklet at
Colbert/Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or
Fear. Thank you for this great information.
It needs to get out there to more people. People
need to realize where their food comes from
and the price we’re paying environmentally and
that the animals are paying personally/ physically.
We value profit over life – it’s sad.
I appreciate your efforts.
I received a booklet at
the Holly Springs, NC community festival. I
knew bad stuff goes on but I never allowed myself
to really think about it. This booklet changed
everything and I can no longer support these
torture chambers. Thank you for making me aware.
I’m really going to try the vegan thing and
hopefully make a difference.
—MC, 11/6/10, Apex, NC
|Analeese Doehrty puts compassion on the curriculum at UC Irvine.|
day at Niagara College, Welland!
I saw many students reading the leaflets as
they waited for their buses. One young lady
read the whole leaflet and then said, “That’s
it, I’m not eating meat again.” A few students
told me how much they love steak, but once they
opened a leaflet they had many questions for
me and seemed genuinely concerned about the
—John Sakars, 9/23/10
2,105 students at LaGuardia Community
College! Cassandra was on fire! Great conversations
with groups of students, heard from some saying
they were going back to being veg again, met
a professor who wants us to come present at
his class sometime.
—Eileen Botti, 9/22/10
a great take rate at Wake Technical
Community College. One student who got a booklet
earlier told me after passing by again, “It
made me sad.” She was happy to receive
to help her change her diet in response. Another
student said he used to be vegetarian when he
was younger (for health reasons) and was interested
in going back because he agreed that since we
have the choice not to eat animals, we ought
not to eat animals to spare them suffering and
death. He got a Guide.
One student who passed by again after taking a booklet earlier told me: “You must have got everyone here! Everyone in my last class was looking through them.”
—Brandon Becker, 9/13/10
|Ten-hut! Taylor Cook makes ethical eating the order of the day at the University of Mississippi.|
Plattsburgh, one student said
he did a project on CAFOs in a class, so he
was excited to get a leaflet. A faculty member
said he just finished reading the book Eating
Animals. He said several of his colleagues
are reading it, and they’re all making changes
to their diets. He held up the leaflet and said,
“This is very important information.”
A student said she’s a former vegetarian because
she didn’t feel well after a while being veg.
Of course she got a Guide, and she
—Lana Smithson, 9/22/10
of positive feedback and conversations
at the University of Montana both yesterday
and today. Came across many vegans and vegetarians.
Met a few who had been veg in the past but wanted
to try it again. They got Guides. Met
a few who were almost veg and wanted to go all
the way. Had many conversations about how chickens
have it the worst. So many stories for this
school I can’t fit them all!
—Phil Letten, 9/14/10
great leafleting with Diana and
Mark at Columbia College. A girl sitting nearby
told me many of the students had received the
booklet previously, and that many of them were
already vegetarian or vegan. She then told me
she had the booklet on her fridge for a year
and had given up eating cows and pigs and thought
she would become vegetarian eventually. I encouraged
her and offered her a Guide, which
she seemed happy to receive.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/22/10
|Duke and the rest of the Vegas Veg crew make sure UNLV students hear the animals’ message.|
300 students in just 40 minutes
at Cosumnes River College. I met four vegetarians
and one gal who had gone vegan after getting
a booklet last year but had fallen off the wagon.
I congratulated all of them and they all seemed
excited to receive Guides. My stepdad met two vegetarians and
one person interested in what to eat; all took Guides.
—Brian Grupe, 9/26/10
out some of your booklets at a
green business expo. I was not sure how people
would react, but everyone I gave one to seemed
receptive – even the ones standing in line
to buy meat for lunch. I think that your literature
is received well by all types of people.
Your booklets are informative and logical, and do not get recipients in a defensive mode; thus they are willing to give the information a chance.
—LB, on Facebook
Julie, Laura, Ellen, Georg, Marie,
and I reached 2,200 students during day two
at the University of Texas, Arlington – we
ran out of booklets! What a great week it has
been on my mini-tour – many, many schools and
many thousands of new students reached!
—Casey Constable, 9/23/10
|Spreading compassion is a numbers game, with Joe Espinosa reaching out to more students at Illinois State.|
reception at Ball State. Right
away, a student came up to tell me that getting
a booklet from me last semester had moved her
to become vegetarian. She had not gotten a Guide,
so I supplied her with one. Heard from five
other vegetarians and two vegans.
—Joe Espinosa, 9/24/10
Valley Community College, Aleta
and I heard two students say, “Oh my God,
this is just like the puppy mills!” I met
a guy who said he loves animals, and we had
a real good talk about the treatment of animals
in factory farms. He read the booklet and said
he would cut back. I also met a girl who is
interested in getting veg options into
the cafeteria. We will assist her.
—Karen James, 9/22/10
hours of sweet outreach today.
Brian, Dana, and I reached 2,250 students at
Ocean Community College, Stockton College, Monmouth
College, and Middlesex Community College. Saw
tons of students reading the lit. Not bad for
a rainy day!
—Vic Sjodin, 9/27/10
Loads of students at
Rio Hondo College thanked me for the booklet.
Thanks to the Compassionate Choices,
a married mother of two is now veg; she took
and will be converting her family posthaste.
Next I met a vegan who’s doing a report on this
and took 33 booklets for the class.
The spot I had to stand at was in the sniffing stream of a BBQ sales crew. A young man passed by me and said, “You convinced me to order the veggie burger instead.” BAM! I stopped by the BBQ crew to ask how many veggie burgers they’d sold, to which the lady greeted me with, “You’re scaring away all of my customers!”
—Nikki Benoit, 9/21/10
|At at Georgia Southern University, Marsha Hargreaves helps another student live true to their values.|
Reached 2,300 students
at North Carolina State University today. One
told me: “I read the pamphlet you gave
me earlier and now I’m going vegetarian.”
I thanked her for making this change and she
gladly took a Guide. Another student
told me she regularly eats vegan food prepared
from a vegan cookbook shared among her roommates;
she happily took a Guide. Yet another
student told me she cried in her chemistry class
looking at the booklet; she took a Guide
—Brandon Becker, 9/8/10
Very positive day at
the College of Staten Island; Cassandra and
I kept hearing from people who had received
a booklet in previous years. Overheard many
other people say things like, “Awww, that’s
so sad” while reading their booklet. We
also saw conversations along the lines of a
tough guy starting with, “Whatever, they’re
just animals,” and ending with, “Well,
yeah, that is really cruel.”
—Eileen Botti, 9/20/10
Jennifer, Michele, and I
had pretty high acceptance at Montana State.
I told the many cowboys there they look tough,
yet compassionate. Michele talked to a person
who, having received a booklet in the past,
cut almost all meat out of her diet since and
is now almost vegetarian. She got a Guide.
—Phil Letten, 9/9/10
Kate and I met many
more vegetarians and vegans at DePaul University
than last time. I also met a guy collecting
signatures for a gay rights issue who commended
our work. He said he knew many people who became
veg because of receiving a booklet.
—Anderson Santos, 9/16/10
|Thanks to Nikki Benoit, eyes are opened at Santa Barbara City College by a copy of Compassionate Choices.|
A great day of outreach
at Inver Hills Community College. After reading
the booklet, a woman came back and said, “I
want to thank you for doing this. Who are we
to slaughter them? They have a life of their
own. We don’t want to be killed like that, so
why should we do that to them?”
—Fred Tyler, 9/13/10
Many students at
the University of Illinois at Chicago reported
having one already from past outings. Several
students, both male and female, commented that
the booklet was sad/ made them cry. I let them
know they have the power to spare animals
from such horrible lives and deaths.
—Joe Espinosa, 9/17/10
I handed out all 100 booklets
in just 45 minutes at St. Petersburg Community
College! Thank you so much for your help. I
can’t tell you how good it felt today watching
about 90% of people reading the booklet as they
walked away, and about 15% actually sitting
down to read it. This has increased my motivation
– I am really excited to continue!
—Derek Phillips, 9/21/10
Today, Jeni and Micah
reported good leafleting at Sacramento City
College, where they reached 700 students. They
heard from a number of vegetarian/ vegans; two
individuals reported having changed their diet
as a result of receiving booklets in the past.
—Brian Grupe, 9/14/10
|The animals are heard by another Los Angeles Community College student, thanks to Taylor R.|
Mostly amiable responses at
the University of Oklahoma, where I gave out
all my booklets, including quite a few Guides
to people interested in going vegan. One guy
told me it was a Vegan Outreach booklet in his
first year at OU that convinced him to go veg.
—Christopher Grundy, 9/17/10
Lots of interest at
Baylor University. A number of people mentioned
going veg from getting a booklet in the past.
This is something I hear regularly but fail
to report since I hear it so much – I
know most change without saying so.
—Casey Constable, 9/18/10
Darina and I had
a long but awesome day of leafleting at Virginia
Commonwealth University and the University of
Virginia, where we reached a combined 2,252
students. One young woman let us know that it
was receiving the Even If You Like Meat booklet four years ago
that convinced her to become a vegetarian. Then, a young man let me
know that he had just celebrated his two-year
anniversary of going veg; again, it was an Even
If You Like Meat booklet handed to him
on campus that got him on board.
—Jon Camp, 9/18/10
|Eleni Vlachos met this student while leafleting at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She told Eleni that receiving a copy of Even If You Like Meat two years ago led her to go veg immediately.|
your booklet and have stopped
consuming chicken, pork, and beef. I am trying
to stay away from fish, too! I just can’t eat
meat – I can’t look at it the same way
as before! THANKS!
you so much for coming to the
University of Georgia! Two people in my choir
told me they had read the leaflet and were probably
going to cut back on meat. One of them said
she cried, so they are clearly thinking about
the issue now!
day ever at Rowan University,
where George, Depak, Wink, and I reached over
1,600 students! Lots of laughs and conversations
from 7am ’til 11pm – could write a book,
but the bottom line is there are many new vegans
in Glassboro tonight!
—Vic Sjodin, 9/8/10
planned to leaflet the University
of British Columbia, Vancouver until 11, but
ran out of booklets before 10. Way, way more
people told me they were already vegan than
—Roger Clarke, 9/8/10
University of Maine, Orono, a
nice young man stopped to thank me for being
there. He said, “Some people might be apprehensive
or even antagonistic about the information,
but I REALLY appreciate what you’re doing.”
Two people who initially refused a leaflet came
back and said, “I changed my mind; I’ll
—Lana Smithson, 9/9/10
|Not just colleges! Allie Cornell helps folks at the Virgin Mobile Fest realize the power they have to create a better world for all.|
Jennifer Gross and I reached
over 900 students at Montana State University,
Billings; I was then able to reach 130 at Rocky
Mountain College in just 40 minutes. At MSU,
one guy took a leaflet and came back again after
he read it. He said he was glad he had not eaten
breakfast yet, and that he wanted to go vegetarian.
I gave him a Guide
and he was very excited.
I also talked to a lady who read over the leaflet and could not believe it. She asked me about some of the veg mock meats and the other material in the back of the leaflet. I gave her a Guide and she was also very excited. She said her three-year-old granddaughter had stopped eating meat and that she also wanted to stop as well. I told her to encourage her granddaughter and also mentioned the VeganHealth.org page of vegan children. She was very grateful for the information and our conversation.
—Phil Letten, 9/8/10
|A student at Berkeley is engrossed in her copy of Even If You Like Meat.|
At Marist College,
Cassandra and I heard many reactions of “Oh,
this is so sad!” and “Aww,
this is going to make me not want to eat meat
anymore!” along with many reporting receiving leaflets
in previous semesters.
Yesterday at Borough of Manhattan Community College, I spoke with a number of students and heard many say, “This made me stop eating meat last year!” and “This pamphlet is the reason I went vegetarian!”
—Eileen Botti, 9/8/10
leafleting today at Montgomery
College, Takoma Park, as well as Montgomery
Blair High School! I chatted with several receptive
individuals, including a man who would like
to do an interview with me on his public access
TV show. And a group of sympathetic folks stopped
by and leafleted with me for about 10 minutes.
Conversation of the day:
Me: Hi! Have I given you this yet?
Woman: You’ve not only given it to me, you’ve converted me.
It turns out that she has been veg for a few years as a result of being leafleted at MC-TP.
—Jon Camp, 9/8/10
|Naimah Abdullah helps expose modern agribusiness at Clemson.|
I received your booklet at the
University of North Dakota. I have always been
a meat eater; however, after seeing and reading
the disturbing things in your pamphlet, I have
decided to consume far less meat, if any at
all. It is hard to believe that animals can
be treated as cruelly as this. It really sickens
me to see something of this nature. What are
we doing to God’s creatures? We are killing
them in such a manner for what? Food? It is
wrong! There is perfectly good food out there
that does not require this! So thank you for
your work! I am going to start my changes today!
State University, University of
Mary, and Dickinson State University were all
small but worthwhile. At BSU, I had only one
person reject me – everyone else took a leaflet.
I had one very excited vegetarian stop and talk
to me. From the way she was talking it seemed
as if I was the first veg person she had ever
met; I gave her a Guide.
—Phil Letten, 9/7/10
and I heard from dozens of vegetarians
at Indiana University at Bloomington –
good reception and very little antagonism. We
reached over 2,600 students. The very first
person I offered a booklet to was vegetarian,
and one of the last let me know that getting
the booklet last semester is what moved him
to become vegetarian.
—Joe Espinosa, 9/6/10
leafleting at Daley College and
the University of Illinois, Chicago, I heard
from a number of students planning to change
their diets. One woman told me, “That’s
the magazine that made my daughter go vegetarian!”
One young man took a booklet, then came back
a couple minutes later upset. He said, “This
is disgusting! I don’t think I can eat this
anymore. How do vegans get protein?” I
told him about some options and gave him a Guide.
He said, “Thanks, I think I’m going to
—Leslie Patterson, 9/3/10
|Pull up a chair! A student at California’s Canada College is Guided by a booklet received from Brian Grupe.|
but productive day of outreach
at East Carolina University, where I reached
over 2,500 students. Saturating the campus created
a buzz and increased interest as a number of
students and even some faculty members stopped
and asked for booklets while I was leafleting
others. Also had productive interactions. For
example, one guy who initially wasn’t interested
at all and proclaimed his love for “steak”
ended up leaving with a Guide after
I told him that cutting back makes a difference,
to think meal by meal, and encouraged him to
try Gardein and other great-tasting vegan versions
of foods he normally eats. As he was leaving,
he said, “You did good; you got something
going on up here now,” while pointing
to his brain.
—Brandon Becker, 10/14/10
of vegetarians at SUNY Purchase
– one of whom told Aleta he went vegan
as a result of receiving an Even If You
Like Meat booklet. They even have a veg cafeteria!
Aleta had students line up to get a booklet.
The second vegan student I met said she went
vegan at college, as she has no support at home.
Two students came up with questions, and after
a great conversation, one of them – Jessica
– stayed to leaflet!
—Karen James, 9/4/10
outreach at the First Friday artwalk,
where we showed video and leafleted the passersby.
We had excellent interactions with people and
heard many lines such as, “I didn’t think
that’s how the animals were raised” and
“This is changing my life.” People
were eager to get the Guide “how-tos.”
The take rate was about 90% for both people
watching the video as well as passersby.
—John Oberg, 9/3/10
|More Floridians learn the truth from Christopher Murphy.|
a morning at SUNY Albany! Twice
I was referred to as “You Guys”
(“Oh – it’s You Guys”).
One student said he tried being vegan for two weeks but it wasn’t for him. I said that every meal without animal products is a little victory, and that back when I was a runner I used to find that if I could just talk myself into getting into my running clothes and doing a block, I would find myself exceeding my initial goal by a few miles.
Another student commented that we shouldn’t be condemning people for eating meat when we use up all these resources to eat vegetables. I managed to get him to stop to talk about it by expressing an interest in his point of view. Then I explained that it takes more plants, not fewer, to feed an omnivore. It was wonderful to see his arguments fade into the air and his disdain turn to admiration as he discovered that Vegan Outreach is not about taking the moral high ground, but about the prevention of suffering.
—Laura Hart, 9/3/10
|Riley Law spreads sunshine and compassion throughout Chicago.|
Thanks for your outreach program
about lessening meat consumption.
My sister is vegetarian, but I’ve never had
the guts to take the plunge, especially while
in college, and pretty much just eat whatever
I can get.
I am appalled at the way animals are treated on modern farms, and really appreciate the attitude of your organization that simply lessening meat consumption still helps.
Other groups, with attitudes of all-or-nothing, hemp-wearing vegan or sadistic burger-eating monster, are polarizing and drive people away from a worthwhile cause. Thank you for offering reasonable goals!
Cassandra, Marguerite, and I reached
958 students at SUNY New Paltz today. As people
walked past me after receiving leaflets from
Cassandra or Marguerite, it was common for me
to hear them discussing the
leaflet. I overheard tons of conversations all
day, from “That’s going to make me vegetarian”
to “This is so sad – did you read
it?” It’s so great to get people talking
to each other about this!
—Eileen Botti, 9/2/10
|Jack Norris makes another connection for the animals!|
Great leafleting at City College
of San Francisco with Jack (right)
today! Quite a few “Good for you!”
and “Thanks for handing this out!”
type comments. One young lady said her sister
went veg after receiving an Even If You
Like Meat booklet. I saw one guy walking
and reading Even If three different
times. The third time I asked him what he thought
about the material and he said he was really
shocked. He said one of his teachers had been
urging the class to boycott fast food because
of how badly animals are treated but he didn’t
realize the problem was so big. He accepted
a Guide and told me he would definitely
be working towards a more veg diet.
—Brian Grupe, 9/1/10
I wasn’t really in
the mood for leafleting the University of Georgia
today, but talked myself into it. I’m sure glad
I did, as it turned out to be a great day! The
acceptance rate was around 90%. In addition
to leafleting, I had some good conversations,
met quite a few vegetarians, and also was able
to direct several interested students over to
our table to learn more.
—Eric Griffith, 9/1/10
|After receiving a booklet from Nikki Benoit, a student at California State, Los Angeles studies the formerly hidden truth.|
but very worthwhile day at Miami-Dade
College Homestead campus today. A lot of the
students I interacted with seemed really open
minded; I saw many students reading their booklet
intently! After a conversation, one couple
said they would consider going veg. Another
great moment came when a Latino couple I’d given
a booklet to earlier came back. Although they
didn’t speak a word of English, they had looked
through the booklet closely and were now curious
to know more about it. We had a great conversation
and I was impressed that, with all the benefits
of a vegan diet I’d discussed with them, they
totally stayed focused on the main point –
that going veg is the only way to do the best
thing for the animals themselves! Weird to me,
but I almost seemed to be more convincing about
the merits of being vegan in Spanish than I
normally am in my own language!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/6/10
University of New Hampshire, Durham,
one student who recently went veg after seeing
Food, Inc. was very grateful for a Guide to help with
her new way of eating. A young man was looking through a leaflet and
it prompted him to tell his friend about the Meatrix.
A student who said he couldn’t go vegan was
impressed with the idea of simply reducing animal-product consumption: “I
could do that.”
—Lana Smithson, 8/30/10
|Little did this CSU Northridge student know, Stewart Solomon was about to change his life!|
Illinois University, one young
woman asked if it was hard knowing that a lot
of people won’t change. I told her that a good
many people do, in fact, change, and that even
if not everyone comes around to our side, the
change we create is very real to those we impact.
Big change usually starts modestly and grows. Paraphrasing Howard Zinn, if we do get involved in activism, there is a decent chance we can help bring about needed change. If we don’t do this, there is no chance we will bring about such change. And when adding the fact that working for a cause greater than ourselves can bring about an exciting, life-affirming existence, there is only one feasible option for those looking to make an impact in the world – to get involved.
—Jon Camp, 9/1/10
|Rachel Shippee helps another student at the College of Lake County learn the truth that would otherwise remain hidden.|
day at Western Illinois University,
where I reached over 900 students. One young
woman let me know she was so inspired by the
booklet that she posted it to her Facebook page.
One guy was wearing a Carcass shirt. I mentioned
that members of Carcass were surprisingly pro-veg.
He said that he knew, and there were a few other
similar bands who were veg. He mentioned that
he was eating more veg meals these days and
happily accepted a Guide.
When out doing this work, we’ll occasionally get a snide comment or two. But such comments will most certainly be offset by those whose lives will be radically impacted by our willingness to be brave and speak up for the animals. It’s so vital that we get out to do this.
—Jon Camp, 8/27/10
I cried reading your booklet and
now feel the utmost need to be vegan.
Great day of final
summer outreach. It only took us 30 minutes
to pass out our remaining Warped Tour leaflets.
We had several young people run back asking
if they could have a leaflet. After I offered
one young man a booklet with “Oppose animal
cruelty?” he asked what it was about.
I asked him if he knew about factory farming
and he said he’d heard of it and that it’s
probably important for him to know more. He
and his girlfriend then happily accepted leaflets!
—Marguerite Campbell with Colette, 8/26/10
truly glad I got your booklet
on campus today. It is beyond disgusting. If
there is any way I can help, please let me know.
|Erin Marcus reaches out on behalf of the animals at the Virgin Mobile Fest.|
at the College of Marin told me
the Even If You Like Meat is what made
him go veg. Met one vegan and numerous other
vegetarians or people in the process of going
veg. One woman turned me down with “No,
I’m a carnivore” to which another student
sitting nearby and observing me said, “She’s
just ignorant.” Another woman said she
“loves her meat!” Unfortunately, she
was too far away for me to tell her that “her
meat” is someone else’s body.
—Jack Norris, 8/31/10
and I reached an even 2,000 students
at Stony Brook University, where we ran into
many vegetarians and vegans. We had many great
interactions; e.g., one student said to her
friend, pointing to the booklet, “I think
I’m going to try this.” Another called
back to me after receiving a leaflet, “I
support this cause!”
—Eileen Botti, 8/30/10
leafleting at Phoenix College
went great today. Michael did a great job talking
people into trying veg. One student said he’d
try veg for a week. Another student was partly
veg and she got a Guide. Another student
said his family used to be completely veg but
is eating some expensive meat now, so he got
a Guide also.
—Jeff Boghosian, 8/31/10
University today, Victoria and
I had conversations with students concerned
about animal cruelty. They wanted to know how
they could help. It amazes me when people who
aren’t veg ask that, but it just goes to show
this isn’t obvious to everyone. So of course
we explained how they can make a huge difference
just through their food choices. We also saw
many students standing around reading and discussing
—Leslie Patterson, 9/1/10
|More compassion in action in Indianapolis, thanks to Darina Smith!|
did a great job with one-on-one
talks at the College of New Jersey; two students
said they wanted to go veg, so they got Guides.
Saw many others reading the booklets.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/1/10
rate at Keene State was fabulous!
Two students said they got a leaflet last semester;
one said she has really reduced her meat consumption,
and the other is now veg because of it! There
were many other positive interactions today;
e.g., one student said he’s interested in getting
involved in outreach.
It was a really great day! This morning during my drive I was having some extra heavy thoughts about suffering animals, so I felt fortunate to be able to do something to help them.
—Lana Smithson, 8/30/10
At the DC VegFest,
I heard from five – yes, five! – individuals
who are now veg as a result of receiving a Vegan
Outreach booklet in the past. I got pictures
of two: Charlotte (right) and Kathleen (below),
who has now been vegan for 10 years.
It’s so easy to give in to the attitude that we can’t make a difference in this world. It’s an attractive assumption, as it frees us from any responsibility to work for change. But we can’t keep our eyes open for too long without running into individuals whose lives are profoundly different because of everyone doing this work. Let’s keep our heads high and continue to fight the good fight!
—Jon Camp, 9/24/10
I am feeling very blessed to
be getting into leafleting; I can see that it
is a very important way to spread the message.
Previously, I thought activism had to involve
running around and shouting in people’s faces
that they are evil for eating meat. But the
feedback I got was not very positive or productive
(duh), and left me at home crying about my inability
to help animals. With peaceful leafleting, I
feel I can reach so many more individuals and
have a much bigger impact, and so I am really
glad that I discovered Vegan Outreach.
Great times at Antelope
Valley College and College of the Canyons today, where I reached a total
of 1,579 individuals. Many students want to rise up and get involved!
While leaving Antelope Valley, an editor with the student paper asked
if she could do a piece on this issue, maybe even follow up with a
video screening / vegan feed in!
—Nikki Benoit, 8/26/10
The Warped Tour has
to be one of my favorite events of all year
– so much fun and very successful! We reached
4,100 people. I don’t think the eight of us
could have handed out any more; the last hour,
almost every single person said they already
—Dani Reese, 8/1/10
At Laney College,
a guy turned around to give me back the brochure,
saying he got one last semester and doesn’t
eat meat. I asked him if it was the brochure
that changed his mind and he said yes! He happily
accepted a Guide.
Later, at the College of Alameda, one young
lady told me she had received a brochure at
City College of SF last year (from me!) and
it convinced her to go vegan. She also happily
received a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 8/26/10
|Jamie Rivet (in red sweatshirt) answers questions in Toronto.|
The acceptance rate today
at Allan Hancock College was off the charts,
and not one booklet was on the ground. I witnessed
many people flipping through the pages, some
reading intently. One rather large, somewhat
intimidating fellow accepted a leaflet and then
said, “Aww, now you are going to make me
stop eating meat!” as he flipped through
the leaflet shaking his head in disgust. One
young man stopped to tell me that it was this
leaflet that turned him veg about eight months
ago! (Go Brian!) He was happy to take a Guide.
Another Guide went to a young lady
who had been veg for two years, but went back
to eating meat. We talked awhile; feelings
were definitely coming to the surface. She would
not take an Even If You Like Meat because
she couldn’t look at the pictures. I explained
that these images also keep me up at night,
and that is why I have to do something about
it. The interaction today may have put her back
—Johanna Andris, 8/26/10
Handed out 610 Why
Vegan?s and 102 Guides at the Janmastami
Festival, a large gathering of Indian Americans.
I also gave a bunch of booklets to the Society
of Peace for their table by the entrance. About
20 “I am vegan” responses, and lots
of vegetarian families got Guides.
—David Garvin, 8/28/10
|Joe Espinosa hands the truth to another student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.|
Handing out Even
If You Like Meat booklets outside the Ringling
Brothers’ Circus was a lot of fun. Circus-goers
kept on coming up to me really excited! A protester
said that a Vegan Outreach leaflet made her
decide to go veg!
—Roshanne Bakhtiary, 7/16/10
College, several students wanted
to get involved and signed up to leaflet or
join the animal rights club-in-the-making!
One student read through the leaflet and said
to her friend, “I’m going vegetarian.”
Another student read through the leaflet and
said, “This is so sad!” I saw him
read it over a couple of times and then share it
with his friend. One guy stopped to say he liked
meat too much. I said, “If you eat a little
less you can help reduce the suffering of animals.”
He said, “You’re right. God bless you for
what you’re doing.”
—Kris, with Taylor, 8/26/10
|Estafani Enciso-Marquez reaches yet another student at City College of San Francisco.|
days back on campuses (Solano
Community College, Diablo Valley College, Canada
College) have been great – lots more interest
and vegetarians than in the past! Many people
have mentioned getting a booklet previously,
and still having it!
I’ve also noticed that when I’ve given a leaflet to a group of guys, the one who takes it will sometimes read it out loud: “Even if you like meat,” and then casually say, “Well yeah, I do like meat.” But you know what happens next? They don’t throw the pamphlet away, they open it up and read it!
—Brian Grupe, 8/19/10
and I were joined by Monica, Kasey,
and Kassidy Ball, along with Doris Muller at
Illinois State University, Bloomington-Normal,
where we reached over 2,500 students with our
message of compassion. We heard from lots of
vegetarians and vegans; many told us they had
gotten a booklet in past semesters.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/24/10
|Compassion for Animals opens another set of eyes in Toronto.|
the convocation picnic at Winthrop
University went really well – we handed out
366 Compassionate Choices and 20 Guides.
We reached former vegetarians and plenty of
people who said, “I just really like meat.”
Even the latter were willing to take a book
once we explained that just cutting back is
enough to make a difference.
—Sarah Ruth, 8/23/10
over 2,000 students at Cerritos
College over the course of a most excellent
day. Met a number of vegetarians and a professor
who is going to bring me in to speak.
—Nikki Benoit, 8/24/10
Neill and I reached nearly 2,000 students
at the University of Nevada, Reno. It was like
opening day at the ballpark and we hit a grand
slam! Amazing how many students told me they
stopped eating meat from the leaflets we handed
out last winter during the windy blizzard!
Vegan Outreach changed my life. Reducing suffering is and must be our bottom line. I know thousands of animals will be spared from senseless suffering because of our efforts. It doesn’t get any better than that – what a high!
—Harry Pugsley, 8/23/10
|Chris Capozziello provides the animals a voice at Oakton Community College.|
response at the University of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where Loren, Rob,
Eleni and I reached over 2,100 new people. A
number of people thanked us for being there.
One girl said she received an Even If You
Like Meat booklet two years ago, went home
and cried that night, and has been vegan ever
—Leah Wagner, 8/25/10
a handful of (the now out-of-print)
Spanish Why Vegan?s and gave them to
my coworkers (all of whom speak Spanish as
their first language). I got great feedback
(although a bit limited with the language barrier)
and some opted not to eat meat on their breaks.
My supervisor was pretty touched, so I challenged
her to go vegetarian for 30 days – and she
—John Oberg, 8/19/10
|Attendees at the Taste of Brunswick get a taste of reality from Lana Smithson.|
and I reached 227 folks at South
Mountain Community College in just one class
change. A professor said they cover the
topic in class; after asking what groups were
best to donate to, she said she’d be sending
in a donation
—Jeff Boghosian, 8/26/10
Jill, Maxine, and Virginia joined
me for a fantastic night of outreach at Harold
Washington College. We heard from several students
who were interested, including one young man
who stopped to show me the vegetarian sandwich
he was having for dinner and tell me that he
is moving towards a veg diet. Lots of vegetarians
and people moving to a vegetarian diet. Saw
many people standing still, engrossed in their
—Leslie Patterson, 8/25/10
|Courtney Donnerberg and Tawd Bell provide the animals a voice at the Cincinnati Warped Tour.|
an incredible day of outreach at
Warped Tour in Salt Lake City! My mom and I
passed out 1,000 leaflets in the morning as
people were going into the show. We returned
to leaflet the exits with the awesome help of
four more volunteers (Amy, Stewart, Peter, and
Sierra). We met scores of vegans and vegetarians
who urged their friends to take leaflets, as
well as concertgoers who were ecstatic to see
their favorite bands on the covers. Warped Tour
was an absolute awesome, inspirational experience.
Thanks so much, Vegan Outreach!
—Marguerite Campbell, 8/7/10
Denver Warped stop, Kellie, Ann,
and I heard from more “already veg”
than last year, and were thanked by many for
being there. One guy even said, “I love
you for being out here doing this.”
A girl told Kellie she became a vegetarian when
she learned that one of the band members (whose
picture is on the Warped Tour booklet) is veg.
—Barbara Bear, 8/8/10
a great conversation with a girl
while leafleting Friday. The next day, she came
up to our booth and said that she read the booklet
with her roommate, and that they were both going
to go vegetarian!
—Jon Bockman, 9/12/10
University of Toronto, one guy
came back to talk after looking his leaflet
over and told me he liked the approach of the
leaflet, that it is not all or nothing. He thought
that might be a helpful approach to take with
family and friends who are not ready to hear
the vegetarian message.
—Alex Greenwood, 8/4/10
|Mark Szumowski exposes modern agribusiness at Chicago’s Harold Washington College.|
in Kate’s store, Zebop, three
girls came in while we were eating lunch. One
girl said, “Is that chicken soup? I smell
chicken.” We said no, we don’t eat chickens.
This sparked a conversation about eating animals,
and I gave a Compassionate Choices
to each girl. The youngest girl read through
it and said, “I am becoming vegetarian
right now because of this picture!” and
pointed to the picture of a rotting pig corpse
in the booklet. Another said she has been trying
to eat vegetarian for the last three weeks,
and said she would order a Guide
from Vegan Outreach. It is always helpful to
have VO’s lit around!
—Aaron Ross, The Animal Awareness Project, 8/4/10
high point at the Lollapalooza
concert was when a young lady looked at the Even
If You Like Meat leaflet and said, “That
is what made me go vegetarian!” Another
girl asked for a bunch of leaflets to hand out.
Other highlights included being hugged and told
that I was loved. There was also something exhilarating
about offering the animals’ message to so many
thousands of people.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/7/10
|Jackie Leeson helps create a more informed, compassionate world at SUNY Binghamton.|
Jennifer, Kris, Stewart, and I
reached 7,700 attendees at the Pomona Warped
stop. Heard from many vegans and got way
more high fives than anticipated. Many
many thank you’s from many!
—Nikki Benoit, 8/12/10
leafleting the Denver Art Walk,
I was sick to my stomach with worry about rejection
and snide comments. Well, I wasted energy on
all that – right away most people started taking
the Compassionate Choices. I got huge
smiles and appreciation. There were some snide
comments, but all the nice people balances them
out. The first woman who got a booklet read
it and then started to chime in with things
like, “Come on people, live compassionately!”
I was cracking up; I guess that disarmed people
because they all started taking booklets.
Getting over this hurdle I’ve had for so long was a great start to the month.
—Lisa Shapiro, 8/6/10
|Dan Kuzma changes lives at the Cleveland Warped Tour.|
Three from the most recent batch of Guide requests:
attended the Warped Tour and brought
a Choose Compassion pamphlet home.
We became vegetarian and I am looking into vegan
One of my favorite teachers is
a vegan, and when we had free time in class,
we could read Why Vegan? From the moment
she offered this booklet, I was attracted by
I got a Choose Compassion
pamphlet at Warped Tour and was mortified by
the horrible things they do to animals. It’s
like animal genocide!
It was the encouraging,
understanding voice I discovered on the Vegan
Outreach website which helped me when I first
transitioned to veganism six years ago. If it
weren’t for them, I’m not sure I would have
arrived at the place I am today. When I first
went vegan, I came across a few people online
who struck me as very angry and condescending.
I saw how they attacked other vegans for not
being vegan “enough” (as they defined
it) and was even afraid to self-identify as
a vegan for fear of being judged and attacked
by other vegans! VO reaches and encourages people
to take the first step on the path to veganism
and gives them the strength and confidence to
continue to learn and embrace more “advanced”
animal rights and liberation concepts as they
are ready. I am very grateful for their work.
—Jo Tyler, via Facebook
|At Canisius College, Mohamed Abdiweli shines a light on the hidden abuse of animals.|
Tons of teens and
college-aged people at the Border’s on Michigan
Ave – we ran out of booklets after just one
hour. Heard from quite a few veggies and supporters.
One girl who was headed into Border’s told me,
“I received one before – I am converting!”
She told me she was actually on her way in to
buy a vegetarian cookbook. Nice!
—Leslie Patterson, 7/28/10
The Lilith Fair was great! There
were many women of all ages who really seemed
interested in the material and showed it to
their friends. One lady came back and asked
for another copy for her daughter. I met so
many vegetarians I lost track! Surprisingly,
my favorite interaction was with a guy. He took
the pamphlet and said, “Thanks.” Then
he looked at the cover and said, “Actually,
thank you very much for this.”
—Julie Rothman, 7/30/10
Humane League handed out a
total of 120,720 Vegan Outreach booklets at
Warped Tour stops this summer. Praise to Phil
Letten for going around the entire summer, James
Brennaman for going to almost all Eastern stops,
Darius Fullmer for doing the last six WT dates,
Lydia Chaudhry for leafleting the four Philly-area
dates, and Aaron and Kate for seven different
—Nick Cooney, 7/30/10
some great feedback leafleting
(with Mikael and Riley). I offered leaflets
to a group of five women from out of town; one
of them was veg and the others were interested.
I gave them a restaurant guide and they were
all so appreciative and excited to have it,
and immediately started looking through it for
places to eat. Another couple, walking dogs,
came up and thanked me for getting the word
out. They said how wonderful it is to be doing
that and they firmly believe in our work.
—Blythe Lopez, 7/31/10
over 3,700 individuals at the
Cincinnati Warped Tour stop. Two separate individuals
mentioned being veg as a result of VO leafleting
at WT last year.
Over 3,400 at the Milwaukee stop. I noted that six of the seven leafleters here went veg as a result of college outreach – and the seventh, Darina (right), from seeing a pro-veg billboard on the subway. So none of us would likely have been involved in this if not for others using their time, money, and/or energy to spread the message. As the wise sage Jack Norris has said, “Veganism doesn’t spread itself.” It spreads because we make it happen.
—Jon Camp, 7/29/10
|Kenny Torrella provides the animals a voice at Middle Tennessee State University.|
parade of ships, I heard from
several vegetarians, and one person said, “Thanks
for doing this.” A flesh-atarian wanted
to debate everything. He’s the type who would
want to drag us to the deep end of the excuse
pool. But I wasn’t having it. I politely repeated
that the bottom line of concern is suffering
and, if he were suffering, he’d want someone
to help him. He finally went away reading a
A number of good conversations at the Portland (ME) Farmers’ Market. A man who used to work at a chicken farm confirmed, “It’s as horrible as your leaflet says it is…sometimes it’s even worse.”
—Lana Smithson, 7/21/10
At the Kings of Leon concert, Kristine
(Kil), Srikanth (Karighattam), Stewart (Solomon),
and I heard from many vegetarians and got plenty of thanks. One
girl heard me say, “Oppose animal cruelty?”
and immediately dropped all the other fliers
she was holding to take mine. One girl received
a leaflet from Srikanth, walked away, and then
ran back to him saying, “Yes, thank you
so much for this!” One person passed all
the many leafleters quickly (as if running
through flames); later, she picked up an Even
If You Like Meat off the floor, then ran
back and thanked Stewart.
—Nikki Benoit, 7/15/10
very receptive and interested crowd at
the Justin Bieber concert, and many
people thanked us (Shani Campbell & Jeni
—Brian Grupe, 7/17/10
Detroit Social Forum went really
well! A few friends and I ended up passing out
all the Compassionate Choices and Even
If You Like Meat booklets (along with some
in four days. Vegan Outreach changed my life many years ago; I can’t
imagine what I’d be like if I hadn’t read Why Vegan?
—Will Gibala, 6/26/10
Mikael, Blythe, and I reached
nearly 500 people with Christian Vegetarian
Association booklets at the Ignite Chicago 2010
Christian Rock tour. One woman said she had
been thinking about this issue, and another
woman was thrilled to see us with this message
– she and her daughter are trying to be
vegan. We’ll be back next year!
—Darina Smith, 7/25/10
weekend at TAFA, I decided that
I’ve been hearing from enough people who have
gone veg as a result of our work that I’m going
to start taking pics of them. Tae and Jeff (above)
went veg after Tae got an Even If You Like
Meat at Rutgers in ’06. Judy (right)
was leafleted by Kath Rogers over two years
back. Judy went veg, got active in outreach,
played a big role in getting the CA Democratic
Party to endorse Prop 2, and was a big signature
gatherer for that winning ballot initiative.
In short, we’re not only creating new vegetarians and vegans, but new activists as well. We should continue to be so proud of the results-heavy work we are doing on behalf of animals.
—Jon Camp, 7/27/10
and I leafleted the local Lilith
Fair stop. Here are a few of our favorite interactions:
“I already went vegetarian because of that,” pointing to leaflet.
“God bless you for doing this work.”
A girl took a leaflet from me and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll go over this with my friends.” Turns to friends, “C’mon you carnivores!”
At one point, a tiny girl pushed through the crowd yelling, “I want it! I want to help animals!” She grabbed a brochure from me, and then hit up Anthony (at right) for one, too.
One of the parking attendants took a long time reading the brochure. She was disturbed by what she saw, and talked with Anthony for a long time about how to make a change that her family wouldn’t oppose (full report here).
—Caitlin Sorge, 8/2/10
|Amber Coon undermines agribusiness’ attempt to hide the truth.|
It rained on and off
the entire time Casey and I were at the Dallas
Warped Tour stop, but we still reached nearly
3,000 people. We heard from people who had gotten
the booklets in the past, and they told us how
it changed them.
I met one girl who said that she still eats meat (chicken in particular), but told me not to worry – she is a member of (another animal group) because she is opposed to animal testing. She said that she thinks meat is OK because Jesus said that this is what animals were made for. I replied that I am unaware of Jesus ever saying that it is OK to torture animals. She said that she is not torturing animals. I replied that we are hiring other people to do it on our behalf. She then said that she can’t give meat up because it tastes too good. But after further conversation, she took a Guide and promised she would now try to go vegetarian.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 7/3/10
Very light foot traffic at
Chaffey College yesterday, but I met four vegans
in the first 20 minutes – two of whom are eager
to do something about this issue. Then a young
man came back asking where he could get the
Boca burgers pictured in the leaflet. Then a
security guard informed me that he’s cut back
on his consumption because of a leaflet from
Many hugs and high fives at Pasadena City College today, where I reached over 1,000 students! Reception rate was whoa! One girl was traumatized by the booklet and is now veg. Another opted to skip the leaflet – can’t handle the pictures – and went veg on the spot.
—Nikki Benoit, 7/7/10
|Some animals can stand up for themselves!|
It was a great honor to
leaflet with Joe
on his 39th birthday. We leafleted the summer
session at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
The reception rate is always quite low at UW,
but we’ve heard enough conversion stories from
there throughout the years to know that our
time leafleting UW is time well spent. A number
of people thanked us for being there, and we
handed out a lot of Guides. One young
man came up to say that Even If You Like
Meat was the most tasteful booklet on the
subject he had ever seen. He said that by asking
people to simply cut their meat consumption,
it makes them not feel on the defensive while
simultaneously compelling them to make changes
to help animals.
—Jon Camp, 6/29/10
great interactions at the farmers’
market today! One of the women who came up to
thank me said it was a VO pamphlet she’d gotten
years ago at a concert that made her go vegan.
Another person was very interested and wanted
a booklet to show his coworkers. A couple was
eager to get involved; I gave them an AML
and my email so we can leaflet together.
—Barbara Bear, 7/10/10
|Nikki Benoit (above) and six-year-old Rebecca Solomon (below) help the students of Cal State Northridge make informed choices.|
Lots of Future Farmers
of America at Purdue today. Five times I was given
the opportunity to speak with groups of the
FFA kids. The usual untruths were offered in
defense of animal agriculture. I spoke to each
issue in turn, but kept bringing it back to
the fact that producing and eating meat, milk
and eggs are not necessary and cause immense
animal suffering for our own pleasure. On the
flip side, heard from five vegetarians, one
an FFA student who quietly, away from her peers,
let me know she’s vegetarian.
—Joe Espinosa, 6/15/10
Very powerful conversations at
Cal State Los Angeles. Met three vegans in the first 20 minutes! One,
who’s organizing many outreach events to educate church communities,
invited me to speak for VO!
—Nikki Benoit (above), 7/1/10
John (Oberg) and
I met many veg-friendly folks leafleting at
the Phoenix Art Walk. We were joined by Emma,
who is newly vegan after being leafleted by
John last month!
—Jeff “Newlywed” Boghosian, 7/2/10
Good leafleting with
Rob (Gilbride) and Leah (Wagner). One man said to me, “Do you
think it is wrong to eat chickens?” I told him
they are the most abused animal on the planet,
and we discussed their lives and the high numbers
consumed. He said, “Someone told me that
if you watch Food, Inc. you won’t want
to eat chicken anymore.” I have heard a
lot of comments from folks going veg after watching
Food, Inc. despite the lack of a veg
message in the film. It’s encouraging to see
that many people do in fact connect the dots
without us explicitly saying to go veg. That’s
why brochures like Even If You Like Meat
and Compassionate Choices are
so valuable in my opinion.
—Eleni Vlachos, 7/3/10
While tabling at
the farmers’ market, one woman in her 70s took
materials to share with the “less enlightened.”
She told me she confronted one of the natural
chicken farmers at the market today, asking
him how old his chickens are when they’re slaughtered.
He told her 10 weeks, but that they have a great
quality of life for those weeks – to which
this sweet little old lady replied, “How
would you like it if you were allowed to live
a great life for ten years and then I chopped
off your head?”
—Todd Lent, 7/3/10
New vegan Angie (Hammond)
and I had great conversations at the farmers’ market. We met at least
15 vegans. One woman took information about getting active
—Barbara Bear, 7/3/10
At the Las Cruces
Warped stop, Phil (Letten) offered a booklet
to a couple who responded, “No thanks, we
already got one today, and I think we’ll probably
go vegetarian now.”
—Nick Cooney (at right, leafleting the NM Warped Tour concert), 6/30/10
Leafleting at Truman
College, one guy told me that it might be hypocritical
to tell others how to live if I wasn’t perfect.
I let him know that none of our booklets say,
“This is how you should live”; nor
do they state that we are perfect. Rather, they
simply let people know of a cause of suffering
in today’s world; the recipients of the booklet
can then do what they want with this information.
Not being perfect doesn’t bar us from trying
to do what good we can.
—Jon Camp, 6/28/10
|Another ISU student learns the truth from Kasey Ball.|
a great weekend of outreach! Last
night, we reached over a thousand people attending
a rock festival, and today we leafleted Baltimore
Pride Fest. The crowd was amazingly receptive
and we had many great conversations about animals
this weekend. A woman today said she has been
trying to shift towards a vegetarian diet, and
referring to a VO leaflet, said, “This
looks like it will help me a lot.” No doubt
there are more vegetarians today than there
—The Animal Awareness Project, 6/20/10
reading your booklet, I want to
become completely vegan.
a Compassionate Choices booklet
from a woman in Bryant Park, New York City.
After reading about the cruelty to animals in
the slaughterhouses, I now refuse to consume
any animals ever again. Thanks!
I was at the Warped Tour
and people were handing out booklets. I took
one and decided to take a look at it. After
reading it, I wanted to learn more – please
send me a Guide.
|Jamie Rivet and crew take the animals’ message to the streets of Toronto.|
I just wanted to express how
much I appreciate the Vegan Outreach site.… While I appreciate (another
group’s) goals, their all-or-nothing tone always left me feeling
guilty and discouraged. Vegan Outreach is the
first vegan advocacy and information site that
I’ve seen that makes me feel good about my recent
decision to drop meat and fowl and explore new
foods and cooking methods. Kudos for making
a convincing case for veganism without making
people feel selfish and evil if they don’t get
to 100% immediately!
A good use of time at
Northwestern University. One young woman came
up to tell me that the booklet was very enlightening
and that the not-all-or-nothing approach made
her realize that even if she didn’t go completely
veg, she should still make changes.
—Jon Camp, 6/21/10
short time at the University of
Illinois at Chicago, I heard from well over
20 vegetarians and four vegans, a sign that
we’re doing our job in Chicago.
—Joe Espinosa (at right), 6/10/10
summer crowd at Arizona State,
but some groups of high school students were
walking around. I overheard one group talking
– a girl was saying she was going to “cut out”
meat, while a guy responded that although he
wasn’t going vegetarian, he was going to cut
way back. Also spoke to a Muslim student who
seemed interested in the brochure and asked
for a couple of extra.
—Jeff Boghosian, 6/7/10
outreach, with lots of good feedback,
at Miami Dade College and Broward College. For
example, I met a man who said that his teenage
son and daughter had been asking to eat more
veg foods at home. He was happy to get a Compassionate
Choices and a Guide, and planned
to share it with his wife and recommend that
they eat veg meals “most of the time.”
—Linda Bower, 6/10/10
|Jenell Holden makes sure the students at Harold Washington College have a chance to make informed decisions.|
leafleting at Taste of Brunswick.
A teenager who took a leaflet came back later
to ask how he could get more information. I
directed him to the website, and he thanked
me for giving him the leaflet. An old man came
up to me to see what I was handing out. He opened
it and said, “Ya know, so many problems
happen in the world because not enough people
are paying attention. We all need to be more
aware of things like this.”
—Lana Smithson, 6/19/10
an exhausting day in the blazing
sun leafleting the Phish concert, but totally
worth it. Many commendations of our effort and
was told frequently that we’re doing great work.
Best comment of the day: A woman showed an Even
If You Like Meat to her 5-to-6-year-old son,
who pointed to a picture and asked, “What’s
that?” His mother replied, “That’s
a pig in there. That’s why mommy and daddy don’t
—Todd Lent, 6/19/10
|Laura Hart (above) and Todd Lent (below) take the animals’ case to the students at SUNY Albany.|
MFA’s leafleting this evening,
one guy came over to talk to me after reading
the Compassionate Choices. He said
he recently read JSF’s Eating Animals and
saw Food, Inc. and stopped eating meat.
Now he is interested in becoming vegan and was
happy to see us there because he had so many
questions about what to eat and how to be veg.
He told me, “The thing is, I’m just a regular
guy, but I don’t want animals to suffer.”
We talked for a couple minutes and he took a
and my card in case he has more questions. Talk
about being in the right place at the right
time! One of the great things about leafleting
is being there when someone is ready like that.
—Leslie Patterson, 6/9/10
but awesome day of outreach at
UC Davis, where Matt (Zavortink), Theo (Summer),
and I reached over 1,500 students. A woman told
us that nine years ago, her brother had brought
home a VO pamphlet he’d gotten at UC Davis,
and she’s been veg ever since. She told
us it was really nostalgic seeing one of our
—Brian Grupe, 6/1/10
of interest in vegan meal ideas
at Hollywood Beach today. When people ask me,
“So what do you eat?” I like to say,
“What do you eat?” and then
give them the vegan version of all their meals!
—Linda Bower, 5/30/10
had a few minutes, but Nick (Kuiper)
and I were able to hand out a quick 101 booklets
at the Art Walk. The most interesting interaction
was when I gave the brochure to two girls, one
of whom was non-veg and dropped the brochure.
The other girl, a vegetarian, picked it back
up and pleaded with her friend to read it, saying,
“This is why I’m vegetarian!” Then
I met someone who said they went veg after reading
—Jeff Boghosian, 6/5/10
students at Corvallis High School were
very receptive. One guy told me that they watched
Food, Inc. in his health class. Another
came over and asked for a few for friends. I
saw the students standing around reading the
booklets. Met four kids who were either vegetarian
or almost vegetarian.
—Nettie Schwager, 6/10/10
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students have their lives changed by Jenn Adams.|
from ten vegetarians and five
vegans at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Also heard from three people who stated that
getting the booklet in the past had moved them
to decrease their meat consumption. I seized
the opportunity to point out that dropping smaller
animals from their diets such as fishes and
chickens would spare more animals from suffering
and death compared to larger animals.
The school was prominently advertising the new vegan falafel burger available on a bun, in a pita, or in a lettuce wrap, as well as Amy’s dishes. The student group has done a good job here of getting good vegan foods made available and well announced to the students.
—Joe Espinosa, 6/8/10
|Paula von der Lancken creates more change at Hudson Valley Community College.|
at Sapperton Day was fabulous!
We handed out almost all of the Why Vegan?
and Even If You Like Meat booklets
you sent. We had great conversations with many,
many people about veganism and making compassionate
choices. There was a group of teenage girls
that I spoke to for some time. One of them was
vegetarian, and her friends suddenly seemed
to understand. One was almost in tears after
looking through the Why Vegan? booklet,
but in a good way, as if she was enlightened
and knew it was her calling to make a change
in her lifestyle.
The funniest was this older man who kept cracking all these meat jokes (not vegan friendly) to a staff person at the shop; after I approached him and said, “Hello!” he said, “You’re vegan? You look healthy!” as if to say all the vegans he has ever met before have been malnourished. He kept making fun of us being vegan, and so we went into details of factory farming, and in the end he ended up asking if he could read Why Vegan? It was a great day!
—Jennifer Jamal, Karmavore, 6/13/10
(Marion) rocked the Indianapolis
Pride Festival this weekend! It’s exciting to
see more and more outreach springing up and
taking hold in different metropolitan regions.
What kudzu is to the south, Vegan Outreach is
to North America – pervasive, quickly spreading,
and impossible to control. But unlike kudzu,
we are welcomed by residents with open arms,
and not sprayed at with herbicides. Vegan Outreach:
The invasive species you’ll learn to love.
—Jon Camp, 6/12/10
|Emma Chait enlightens another student at McGill University.|
Our event went really well! A
few friends and I ended up passing out the whole
lot of booklets in four days.
Vegan Outreach changed my life many years ago and I can’t imagine what I’d be like if I hadn’t received the Why Vegan?
While strolling in Chicago,
I accepted a booklet from one of your volunteers.
Now I’m determined to go vegan!
Good leafleting while
people waited for the Memorial Day Parade. When
the parade ended I gave a leaflet to Miss Maine
USA and to Miss Maine Teen USA.
—Lana Smithson, 5/31/10
Wednesday was a nice sunny day
at Cabrillo College. I was well
received and had pleasant conversations. A number
of people exclaimed that they would read the
brochure / check it out. One guy had a really
cool shirt, so I asked him about it. We chatted
for a second and he said he had gotten a leaflet
earlier and is vegan and has been for six years.
If I hadn’t said anything, I never would
have found this out. Makes you wonder how many
silent vegans / vegetarians are walking around
out there right now.
I thought of this today while Theo Summer and I were leafleting local high schools. During a slow period, I asked a young lady who I had seen reading the brochure what she thought about it. She informed me she’d been vegetarian since age six. Later, a young lady standing by idly asked Theo about our organization, then informed him she was a vegetarian trying to go vegan and that her two older sisters were vegan. Several students mentioned having seen Food, Inc. A whole slew of students sat around reading the leaflets.
—Brian Grupe, 5/28/10
A great showing for
the first ever Toronto Veggie Pride Parade today!
A number of us handed out VO booklets to the
many onlookers (example at right).
—Alex Greenwood, 6/5/10
Productive weekend leafleting the
young people in the French Quarter for the long
weekend. Got good feedback; e.g., one group
of four teenagers began looking at the Compassionate
Choices and discussing it right in front
of me, one of the girls saying, “See? That's
what they do to them!” Another girl from
the group told me that she had tried to be a
vegetarian once; we had a good conversation,
and she also got a Guide.
—Twila Hoyle, 5/29/10
Outreach for Animals Week was
a huge success, as we recruited five new leafleters
and reached seven new schools. All ten public
high schools in Portland have been leafleted
this year now, and we’re going to expand to
other school districts.
—Yvonne LeGrice, 6/1/10
|Leslie Patterson takes the animals’ case to Chicago’s Takin’ It to the Streets Urban International Festival.|
Great outreach at Ohio State,
where Joe (Espinosa) and I reached nearly 1,000 students.
Lots of ag students were very worked up, saying
we are destroying their business. We did our
to keep it on topic with how our choices can prevent suffering and not get too tied up with these students, since lots of other students there seemed open to rejecting animal abuse.
—Leslie Patterson (at right), 6/1/10
John Oberg and I had
great success leafleting the Phoenix Immigration
March. The acceptance rate was very high; many
people even came over to get one! I met many
vegetarians and vegans, especially many Hispanic
vegetarians, which I was very glad to see. One
woman stopped briefly to chat, and is really
ready to make a change. I also ran into a group
of Vegan Outreach supporters from a nearby town!
I was really happy with this event because it
was by far our best outreach to the Hispanic
—Jeff Boghosian, 5/29/10
|The Humane League and Animal Awareness Project hit the road to cover Warped Tour stops in AZ, CA, and NM! You can support their work here.|
at the beach was great today!
Four teenage girls eagerly received their booklets:
Girl #1: “Ugh, I can’t look at these pictures!”
Girl #2 (to me): “Are you vegetarian?”
Girl #4: “What do you eat?”
Me (while giving them Guides): “Everything other than our animal friends – easiest thing I’ve ever done!”
Girl #1: “That’s it! Let’s do it! I can’t look at these pictures…I need to go vegetarian. Seriously, let’s do it! Now! Done.”
Girls #2–4: “Okay; Okay; Done!”
—Nikki Benoit, 5/29/10
joined me at City College of San
Francisco today. It was a Vegan Outreach pamphlet
over two years ago that prompted her to go veg.
She’s a great leafleter and her acceptance
rate was awesome. Together, we reached 654 students
despite the wind and rain. Lots of great conversations,
—Brian Grupe, 5/19/10
Triangle and friends were
out leafleting the annual Animal Protection
Society walk. As walkers crossed the finish
line, we congratulated them with the hopefully
life-changing award of a Compassionate Choices.
Many people were happy we were making this connection.
—Eleni Vlachos, 5/22/10
|A Montana State student studies the case for compassion after getting a booklet from Bonnie Goodman.|
Steger under cover of darkness
so I could get to Wright State University by
7:30am. The sixth person I offered a booklet
to let me know that getting an Even If You
Like Meat in the past is what moved her
to become vegan. She had not gotten a Guide,
so I gave her one. Heard from many other vegans
—Joe Espinosa, 5/26/10
Good day of leafleting at
the University of Oregon. Some students accepted
booklets saying, “Yes, I love animals.”
After leafleting for a while, I saw that right
across the street was a booth that advertised
vegan food. He had sold out of vegan burgers,
saying that a lot of people had been buying
them. So I bought a pita with hummus.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 5/28/10
Taylor Swift concert, I met one
person who told me that the Why Vegan? pamphlet
is what caused them to go vegetarian two years
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 5/27/10
|Anna Hasenmueller takes the animals’ message to the students of Middle Tennessee State.|
Ron, and I had good acceptance
at Jefferson High School. A number of people
said they were upset by what they saw. One guy
said, “Yeah, but what can you do?” I told him and his friends they
could reduce their consumption of factory farmed animals;
they seemed willing to think about this. One
teacher took one and said that since we (the
leafleters) all looked so healthy, that maybe
there was something to this that he should look
—Yvonne LeGrice, 5/27/10
and I got good feedback at the
University of Cincinnati, with people stopping
to say they were moved by the booklet. One person
pointed out their vegan lunch, and another said
she would probably go veg as a result of getting
—Jon Camp, 5/28/10
|Cassandra Callaghan works for the animals at Fordham University.|
300 people at the Missouri City
4th of July fireworks. Right after I gave out
my very first Why Vegan? for the evening,
the person said that this pamphlet is the reason
she is now a vegetarian.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 7/4/10
Community College really blew
me away – so many positive interactions.
One example: I ran into a guy I had spoken with
on my last visit. Since then, he had really
changed his diet. It was a moment of true zen
for me to see such results and positive energy
right before me.
I also set a new record at Napa Valley College today.
Leafleting the 30 Seconds to Mars concert earlier, I met a woman who has been veg for two years since getting one of our booklets at a Nine Inch Nails concert; she was grateful for a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 5/18/10
reception at Governors State University.
One professor even asked me to give her 30 to
hand out to her ethics class!
—Jesse Trombley, 5/20/10
in a leafleting mood today, but
once I got to the farmers’ market and started
in, I had a great time. Met about 15 vegans
and a lot of vegetarians as well. A number of people
thanked me for being there. One woman asked
for an extra Compassionate Choices
for her sister, another asked for one to send
to a friend in Florida, and a man asked for
four extras for a teacher who had recently shown
her class Food, Inc.
—Barbara Bear, 5/22/10
700–800 people came to this year’s
New Orleans Veggie Fest, despite torrential
rain in the morning and flooding (above). People
took at least 1,000 VO booklets, and we sold
a number of Animal
Activist's Handbooks. It was really
great finally meeting Jack Norris, and leafleting
in the rain the day before the Fest with Jack,
Velez-Mitchell, and fellow VO leafleter
John Sakars (who took the picture of us, below).
—Twila Hoyle, 5/16/10
teenage girls at the concert today.
If one girl took a pamphlet, her friends suddenly
wanted copies, too. I heard many comments like
“Let me see that” and “Ohh, look
at the pig!” Favorite moment:
Me: “Info on helping animals?”
Mom takes booklet and immediately hands it to her teenage daughter.
Girl: Looks at the cover and exclaims, “I want to help animals!”
—Julie Rothman, 5/22/10
over 1,000 today at Ohio University,
where I heard from well over 20 vegetarians
and four vegans. One of the last booklets offered
was to a trio of students, one of whom remarked
to her friends that they should take the booklet
as it was what moved her to become vegetarian
last year. Her friends did take booklets.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/18/10
|Jo DeGeorge brightens the world at Fordham University.|
Today at the University of Minnesota
– Duluth was a great way to end
a month on the road. The first vegan I met was
so excited to get a Guide, she
later returned with another vegan friend who also wanted one.
One woman had just stopped eating meat a week
ago after watching The Cove. After
reading Even If You Like Meat, she
had a lot of questions about what it meant to
be vegan and how to do it. One of the building
maintenance guys came over to see what I was
handing out. When I told him it was a brochure
about factory farming he said, “Oh yeah,
that stuff is horrible.” He said he had
watched Food, Inc. and King Corn
recently. He said, “I’ll definitely
look through this and take it into consideration.”
I then spoke with a former vegetarian. She said after reading Even If, she thought she would have to get back on track and stop eating meat again. One guy said after watching Food, Inc., he couldn’t finish the bag of Tyson chicken wings in his freezer. I explained that Tyson was not alone in the way it raised chickens. He said he would look through the information.
Finally, a number of people referenced this story, which was above-the-fold front-page news: nearly 10% of the student population had already signed a petition for a more vegan-friendly cafeteria! Duluth!
—Fred Tyler, 5/6/10
Met a number of vegans and
vegetarians at San Diego City College. A new
veggie was super stoked for his Guide
Meaningful Life. Met a young man that
went veg last year after receiving a VO brochure
He so got a Guide/AML package,
and a Guide for his doe-eyed friend hanging
on every word. Met another young man who is
fired up to do whatever it takes to stop the
madness – he also got the same Guide/AML
—Nikki Benoit, 5/13/10
I had a great discussion with
a guy at St. Mary’s College who had recently
run into a friend who had turned veg. He got
a copy of all the booklets, and he told me that
meeting me and our discussion must be some kind
of sign; I’m sure he’ll be changing
Later, a guy with a messy, animal product laden sandwich took a leaflet and then proceeded to the nearest trash can, not to throw out the leaflet, but to throw out the remainder of his sandwich!
Then, a woman informed me I had stopped her from getting a turkey sandwich and she was grateful for the information. She happily accepted a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 5/10/10
|After getting a booklet from Erik Marcus, a De Anza College student is engrossed in learning the truth.|
A beautiful day leafleting
in the city with my fabulous daughter, Riley,
and the equally fabulous Blythe. A CTA worker
had come out and said that Riley was standing
a bit too close to the entrance, but because
she was so tiny that he said it would be OK.
He got a leaflet and came back later to say
that he had no idea that this is where most
meat comes from and that “this might just
turn me into a vegetarian.” Proud Poppa
doesn’t begin to describe how I felt!
—Mikael Nielsen, 5/15/10
large number of vegans and vegetarians,
with lots of good conversations at Monash University
(Australia). One guy threw everything at me
(leather, PETA, indigenous people, etc.). Giving
up on trying to find reasons to dislike me,
he said he’d take it, and read it. I managed
to break through the defenses! Next, I met a
woman who wants to interview me for an environmental
Also met a girl who had been vegan for just two weeks, and earlier in the day was feeling tempted to have mayonnaise on a Japanese pancake. I think the booklet strengthened her resolve. Rounded the day off with a chat about the cruelty of dairy farming, with a girl who was shocked by the cruelty when she had previously worked on a dairy farm.
—Roy Taylor, 5/10/10
|Aaron Ross of AAP reaches out to another Virginia Tech student.|
I got your booklet
and I will never eat meat, eggs, or dairy again!
I gave it to a friend, and she is giving up
Great day at Fresno State
lots of positive interactions. A young lady
walked by me with her friend reading an Even
If You Like Meat. I thanked her for taking
the time to read it and she said she hasn’t
been able to put it down and had been literally
sick to her stomach since opening it up. Got
a high five and a few thank you’s
and good for you’s today, which
is always nice.
A number of people here (and elsewhere recently) mentioned doing a report or presentation on the subject of farmed animal cruelty. My interactions with them have been great, and nearly all accepted Guides.
—Brian Grupe, 5/7/10
Freezing day, but students were
very receptive at the New York
City College of Technology. Many students doubled
back to get leaflets after seeing others take
them, and a bunch asked for extras to give to
friends. Some said they read it after getting
it from another student, and I heard many say
to their friends, “Take that, you have
to read it.” One student stopped to say,
“You gave me that last year and I stopped
eating meat for a month, but then I lost motivation.
Now I’m going to go vegetarian again.”
She was grateful to receive a Guide.
—Eileen Botti, 5/10/10
|Marguerite Campbell invites a Fordham University student to consider compassionate choices.|
I’ve never seen so many middle
school, high school, and college-age students
at the Art Walk before. It was Nicky’s first
time leafleting, and he did great, with lots
of long, productive conversations. We met a
few people interested in vegetarianism, a few
former vegetarians that seemed interested in
going back, and met two kids who went vegetarian
after recently receiving a booklet.
—Jeff Boghosian, 5/7/10
One girl at William Paterson today
said she had been wanting to go veg, so she
got a Guide. Another two girls who
are roommates said they would go veg for a week,
so they got a Guide and encouragement.
—Vic Sjodin, 5/7/10
I probably subscribe to
hundreds of newsletters from nonprofits (mostly
animal related), but I keep looking forward
to reading yours! I’ve already read many of
the articles you link to, but I love reading
your articles about why you do what you do and
your vision for the future. I look at the world
in a similarly calm, pragmatic way, and that
is why this is my favorite organization. I’ve
decided that I’m going to get over my meaningless
fear of leafleting and start doing it regularly
I also wanted to let you know that I use your principles (coming off as happy and kind, and not talking about purity) in my everyday life, and both of my parents have cut down significantly on their animal-product intake, and my younger sister is vegetarian and only drinks soymilk. My boyfriend hates factory farming and wants to go vegetarian eventually.
|Four out of five East Los Angeles College students prefer Compassionate Choices!|
nearly 1,000 students at Cal State San Bernadino and San
Bernadino Valley College today. People gleefully took a leaflet
– students and staff! Was thanked profusely
many times for being there. Talked to a girl
about starting a group at CSSB. One lady quit
eating chicken on the spot: “NO MORE!”
she exclaimed. She took a Guide
and an AML
for her daughter!
—Nikki Benoit, 5/4/10
Even If You Like Meats + 30 Guides
+ 4 AML + 2 CVA
+ 45 Primal Strips (and a partridge in a pear
tree) = awesome day at Fresno City College!
My brain is still mush from the seemingly millions
of interactions I had today. In short, I think
it’s safe to say that many people’s eating habits
will be changing!
—Brian Grupe, 5/4/10
At Auraria’s Denver campus,
I saw many, many people reading the brochures,
individually and in groups – that’s what
it’s all about. I had a lot of great conversations
with people who were open to our message and
I felt like I was able to help a few people
move towards a more compassionate diet. One
woman told me she had gotten a brochure in the
morning, but wasn’t fully convinced. Then she
added, “Those pictures are horrible. My
kids and I love animals; we’re really animal-lovers!”
and it was obvious the wheels of cognitive dissonance
were churning. She was excited to take a Guide
and thanked me wholeheartedly. A woman told
me she got a Compassionate Choices
from me last semester and the baby chick pictures
have been haunting her since then, but she is
afraid to give up meat because she might not
get enough protein. We had a nice long chat
during which I tried to quell her fears; she
seemed more resolved to go veg as she left.
I met a young guy who is trying to go veg, whose
girlfriend is trying to go vegan, and whose
grandma has been vegan for 50 years! When the
extended family gets together, his grandma insists
everyone eats vegan food.
—Barbara Bear, 5/4/10
|Jamie Rivet and some of the Vegan Outreach gang in Toronto!|
at Kankakee Community College really
read the booklets, and many showed surprise.
I had never personally met another vegetarian
in Illinois, but leafleting today, I got to
meet a vegetarian and two vegans. Really uplifting.
—Jesse Trombley, 5/4/10
A woman at the College of St.
told me she couldn’t look at the
pictures. I reminded her that problems generally
don’t go away because we don’t think about them.
She said she knew she should be vegetarian and
agreed to take a Guide.
Next, I spoke with a guy who was vegetarian and struggling with wanting to go vegan.
Later, the first woman came back up and said she read through the Guide. She said, “It was really good information. It gave me a lot to think about. I just wanted to let you know that your trip here wasn’t in vain.” Then the guy came back, and it turned out they were friends. They decided that they would try to be vegan for one week to see how it went! They thought with support from each other they could do it.
—Fred Tyler, 5/5/10
day leafleting at the University of Scranton
(PA). The students at this Jesuit
school were very, very friendly. One student
told me about a relatively new vegan eatery,
Eden, just a few blocks down from campus. I
went there, saw it clearly listed as a vegan
restaurant and got a good meal. Two racks of
literature were in the eatery – one for
Why Vegan, one for the Guide to
Cruelty-Free Eating. Also many stickers
on the wall, including a Vegan Outreach one.
It’s great to see more and more vegan eateries
opening across the US – a sign of the
times that we are helping to bring about.
—Jon Camp, 5/5/10
getting a booklet from Nikki Benoit, a student
at LA City College
studies the reality so assiduously hidden by modern agribusiness.
Reached 1,087 students at
three schools today. At Cypress College, I had
a couple very powerful connections. One girl
was still recovering from Food, Inc.;
I successfully pushed her over the edge. She
(with the help of her Guide)
will be grazing the vegetable isles from here
on out. You’re welcome, mystery girl! This is
also where I got my first unsolicited-stranger-thank
you-hug and “I LOVE YOU!”
—Nikki Benoit, 4/29/10
Reached over 900 students at
Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield.
I heard the word “vegetarian” a ton
of times today, mostly by eavesdropping on many
conversations that were sparked through leaflets.
It was almost always referenced in a serious/important
—Brian Grupe, 5/3/10
positive experience at Salem State!
I had several great conversations with students,
including one who seriously wanted to go veg,
one wanting to go vegan, another asking about
“free-range” and organic. Met two
vegans and a woman who said she has been trying
to start a student group for vegetarians and
was encouraged to see me there. A professor
stopped to thank me for “spreading this
important information.” Several students
commented, “Oh, we were just talking about
—Jo Tyler, 4/30/10
but productive lunchtime leafleting
at Arizona State University. One student said
she wanted to be vegetarian. Another student
stopped to chat for a few minutes. She used
to be veg in high school and was interested
in going back.
—Jeff Boghosian, 5/4/10
|Bryan Wilson provides enlightenment at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.|
than expected day at the University
of Chicago: lots of good questions and I heard
from a ton of vegetarians. Some of the kids
were rude or ignoring at first but I stayed
cheerful and after a few hours they seemed to
get more comfortable, and some took a booklet
on their third or fourth pass by. One senior
came back to tell me he was veg in high school
but did not stick with it and has been thinking
about this recently. He said getting the leaflet
made him realize he was out of excuses and it
was time. He was excited to receive a Guide,
and came back later to thank me for being there.
A staff member told me she sees the animals
in the labs when she is making her deliveries
and seemed to think the labs are pretty sinister.
I mentioned the difference we can make for animals
with our diet; she seemed to agree and accepted
a Guide. One professor yelled, “Oh
yes! I am totally into this!” as he took
a leaflet, prompting the students behind him
to take leaflets.
—Leslie Patterson, 4/30/10
|Chuente Castañeda exposes the animals’ plight to another University of Southern California student.|
(Callaghan) and I set yet another
new record, this time at St. John’s University,
even though it was so windy and cold we were
almost blown off the campus. We received a number
of positive responses, and saw many students
reading leaflets as they were walking around
campus. A professor who teaches a class on social
change asked for some extras to give to his
class today, and we heard a student say, “We
were just talking about this in my philosophy
class.” Another: “This
is so sad, I cried when I read it.”
—Eileen Botti, 4/28/10
University of Nebraska, one woman
said she got a flier two years ago and still
had it. She said: "It made a lasting impression.
To this day, my husband still won’t look
at it again."”
At North Dakota State, one woman said, “I can’t look at that, it will make me cry.” She was happy to get a Guide. I heard her tell her friend, “That is why I don’t eat pork.” I talked with one farmer from Wyoming. When, in answer to a question, I said there was no purity as far as being vegan went, he was visibly shocked. He said I was the first AR person he had heard admit that. We talked a bit about VO’s approach. We parted on friendly terms; I think he left with a new idea about what an AR activist could be.
—Fred Tyler, 4/26/10
|Robert Greene makes the animals’ case at Cosumnes River College. Below, a student at American River College gives Brian Grupe his opinion on the Even If You Like Meat message.|
great conversation at El Camino
College – I could see the light bulb go
on over the guys’ heads! A young lady
ran up saying, “Yes!
I’m going vegan!”
Met a couple other vegans, and they all got
hugs – and Guides.
At Antelope Valley College, students were very receptive – had swell conversations with them, and overheard more discussions. A few sounded interested in starting their own leafleting adventures. I also met one of the people Brianne changed in 2009. Re-converted a former veggie at Los Angeles Pierce College, and convinced at least one new person!
—Nikki Benoit, 4/27/10
students at Arizona State said
they had already received a booklet, which is
surprising, given how big the school is. I also
had a couple of other short conversations with
students that seemed genuinely interested. One
student said she had been recently thinking
about going back to eating meat, so she thanked
me for giving her a reminder.
—Jeff Boghosian, 4/27/10
Governor Crist’s local event,
I handed him a leaflet. He took it, looked at
the cover, then handed it to his aide. I introduced
myself to her and she said she would be sure
to give him the leaflet.
I gave more leaflets to official-looking people and media people. The acceptance rate was surprisingly good. There seemed to be an awareness and an interest when they saw the cover of Even If You Like Meat. A few mentioned seeing Food, Inc. A woman walking her dog said, “I just read Skinny Bitch and I’m all over this.”
—Lana Smithson, 4/29/10
on the road at 11pm Monday night
to make it to Western Kentucky University in
time for the first Tuesday class change. Despite
the rain, 1,112 students learned about how they
can help stop violence. Many students were very
interested in the issue; I heard from 15 vegetarians
and four vegans. One of the vegetarians let
me know that getting the booklet from us in
the past is what moved her to stop eating meat.
She had not gotten a Guide, so I gave
I used my last vacation day at the University of Kentucky, where I had my second-best school leafleting day ever – 1,560 students reached! I heard from 14 vegetarians and five vegans.
—Joe Espinosa, 4/28/10
|Kara Kehoe gives the truth to another student at Cal State, Sacramento.|
College of the Desert, a professor
invited me to address his 70+ student class.
I gave a quick introduction, and said, “Listen,
even if you just cut animals out of three dinners
per week, that would be a huge help for our
animal friends. If you read this, please pass
it on…the more people know, the quicker this
insanity ends.” I then asked who wanted
to read a booklet. Not hearing a peep in the
room, I stepped off the stage, looked up, and
half their arms were raised!
—Nikki Benoit, 4/19/10
Today was the most awesome day at
Hofstra University, where Cassandra and I set a new record – 1,800 students
and faculty reached! The responses were overwhelmingly
positive, with dozens and dozens of people who
were either vegetarian, vegan, or thinking of
going vegetarian or vegan; they all got Guides.
Even the teachers, administrators, security
guards, etc. were psyched about getting literature!
We overheard many conversations about veganism. Some parents on tours asked about vegan options on campus. Many had questions about nutritional info, many guys asked about how to get enough protein since they work out, etc. An athletic student asked a ton of questions about going vegan because he was doing a 30-day vegan challenge, and was very excited about getting nutritional info in the Guide. One student exclaimed to her friends, “If you saw how those animals were treated, you would throw up!”
—Eileen Botti, 4/21/10
|Austin’s SXSW crowd learns about helping animals from Casey Constable.|
At Saginaw Valley State University,
the most memorable interaction was with two
big guys. One was black, so I mentioned a few
prominent African Americans who are veg (Russell
Simmons, KRS, Mos Def) and also threw in some
athletes (Tony Gonzalez, Carl Lewis). They both
still seemed a little unwilling to never eat
meat again. I mentioned that even cutting down
on meat lessens a lot of suffering. One got
excited and said, “I can do that!”
They both walked away intently reading the leaflets.
—Phil Letten, 4/23/10
Emily, Jessica, Colin, Stephanie,
and I leafleted the Acquire the Fire Christian
Youth concert/rally with the new Would
Jesus Eat Meat Today? leaflet from the Christian
Vegetarian Association. Lots of middle school
and high school kids. Here’s a sample of the
comments we got: “I don't know, these days
he probably wouldn’t.” “No I don't
think Jesus would eat meat." "Maybe
we shouldn't eat meat anymore.”
A couple of girls who walked by said, "Hey, I’ll become a vegetarian, if you do.” “Yeah, let’s!” One girl ran to her group and shouted, “Guess what? I’m going to become a vegetarian!” Then there was a middle-aged woman who approached me and said, “Thank you for doing this!” And an adolescent boy who stopped in line and said, “Give me a high five!"
—Yvonne LeGrice, 4/24/10
University of Nebraska, Omaha,
two people told me they were vegan, six vegetarian.
After one girl took a flier, her friend said,
“Don’t read that. You’ll never, never eat
meat again. It’s the saddest thing.”
—Fred Tyler, 4/22/10
Durham Earth Day celebration,
we handed out vegan chicken-salad wraps with
the Compassionate Choices. To say they
were a hit with the very non-veg crowd (right)
is an understatement. We had people coming to
our booth after hearing how good they were:
“Now, WHAT are you serving here? If this
ain’t chicken, what is in my mouth?” and
“Where can I get these?” and “My
kid doesn’t like anything…and he loves these!”
and “This isn’t chicken?” When we
ran out of wraps, we gave Compassionate
Choices to passersby, though some were
sad the wraps they’d heard about were gone.
Thirty people signed up and will be getting
the recipe and Vegan Outreach links. Others
copied down our vegan food blog where I’ll be
posting the recipe. Most asked where to get
the patties (Whole Foods).
—Eleni & Rob, 4/24/10
I had many wonderful conversations
at Niagara College today. Several students asked
me about what I eat, and I told them that I
eat a wider variety of foods as a vegan than
I ever did as an omnivore. I hope my enthusiasm
was contagious. Here are some quotes:
“I used to work at a chicken processing plant,” a man said. He held up the leaflet and added, “Everything in here is completely true.”
“Thanks for giving me that leaflet,” a student said after we got off the bus back home. “I’m a vegetarian. It was very emotional for me to read that.” I asked her if she’d ever considered veganism, and she said she was thinking about it.
“Well, you did your job. I’m having a salad,” a lady said as she headed off to lunch.
—John Sakars, 4/23/10
|Real change, one person at a time: Sam Vendettuol (above) and Will Schweitzer (below) help Brown University students learn what they can do to help stop violence.|
Cassandra and I set a new record
at Brooklyn College – 1,520 students reached!
Countless people stopping to ask more about
it, and we heard many comments expressing concern
about the treatment of farmed animals. Three
vegans want to work on increasing vegan options
in the cafeteria. One person said, “This
makes Food, Inc. look like Cinderella.”
Another told me, “I get this every year,
but now I think I want to try going vegan.”
Peter joined us Wednesday at SUNY Stony Brook, and the three of us handed booklets to 2,090 people. More great feedback! One student, along with two of his group of friends, had recently pledged to go veg; they were all grateful for Guides. He said he went veg after reading our leaflet last year in the cafeteria; he had received it a few times previously but was finally convinced that day. Another friend was convinced to try vegetarianism after listening to the conversation (initially he rejected a leaflet twice).
Marguerite, Danielle, Cassandra and I set another record today at NYU. Again, we got very positive comments.
—Eileen Botti, 4/16/10
State University, one woman said,
“The chicken stuff is HORRIBLE!” As
she passed, another girl told me she didn’t
eat meat. She excitedly took a Guide
and said, “Actually, I read one of your
fliers, and that is why I went vegetarian.”
At the University of Nebraska, I met a guy who got an Even If You Like Meat from me 2.5 years ago. He said the information was very shocking to him and he immediately started making changes to his diet. He said he generally ate vegan, but would on rare occasions eat meat or other animal products from local farms. He said when he saw me out again, he wanted to thank me for helping to bring about such a positive change in his life. Another guy said, “That exact pamphlet was the impetus for me becoming a vegetarian.” He said he got it when I was here one year ago.
—Fred Tyler, 4/20/10
Spring Fling at Auraria today,
and I was able to leaflet in conjunction with
a vegan bake sale. The woman who organized the
bake sale told me she went vegan three years
ago after receiving a VO booklet on campus.
One student said, “I don’t need one, I’m
already veg…but give one to him” (pointing
to his friend). His friend took the Compassionate
Choices, and the “already veg”
guy happily accepted a Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 4/21/10
City College, I overheard one
friend to another friend after taking a booklet,
“That’s why I’m vegetarian!
You need to read that so you know where your
food is coming from.” One guy told me that
receiving a pamphlet in the past had really
opened his eyes. He mentioned trying to be a
good Christian and happily accepted a CVA
booklet and a Guide. A young couple
told me a pamphlet, coupled with seeing Food,
Inc., turned them veg. They also got a Guide.
I ran into a man I had talked with during my
last visit. He said he had greatly reduced his
consumption of meat since our initial meeting,
focusing primarily on cutting out chicken.
—Brian Grupe, 4/20/10
and I had so much fun at Penn
State, Middletown – lots of interesting conversations.
One vegan said she stopped eating meat after
getting a VO booklet three years ago in Virginia.
—Barb Keith, 4/23/10
been a great and very full day of
outreach. This morning I gave a presentation
on factory farms to the Institute of Notre Dame’s
high school assembly. The Dean allowed us to
give every single student in the school a Compassionate
Choices, plus the faculty. The school was
also offering a meat-free option at lunch and
52 students ordered a vegetarian lunch today!
of Rockville had its first annual Earth Day
festival, which went extremely well. I handed
out hundreds of VO and other leaflets, and 26
students pledged to try vegetarian for Veg Week
—Aaron Ross, 4/22/10
|Johanna Andris helps another Cal Poly student apply ethics to farmed animals.|
night, I was chatting with host
and longtime Vegan Outreach member Hoss Firooznia.
He was talking about how creating change isn’t
always as simple as giving people facts and
these individuals then deciding if the facts
alone warrant making changes. Rather, individuals
decide to make changes if they would accord
with their already-held beliefs. People have
a tough time admitting their previous way
of living was wrong. So it makes sense to give
them a way to change while still saving face.
That is what I have always liked about the Vegan Outreach approach – it allows people the opportunity to make changes while still being able to save face, not forcing them to answer the big, broad questions at the very beginning. And then the changes lead to more changes; soon the originally held positions have also changed. It’s actually quite subversive.
I saw the results of this approach today at Rochester Institute of Technology. One young woman came up to tell me that three years ago, she received an Even If You Like Meat on campus. She liked the idea of “you don’t have to be perfect” and immediately cut her meat consumption to basically nothing. She told me that since receiving the booklet, she has consumed meat three times – an average of once per year. The “not all or nothing” proposition sold her and continues to keep her on board.
Also, a faculty member told me a story about her coworker – she once got an Even If You Like Meat and tacked it to her bulletin board for whatever reason; she continued to look at it, to make changes, and is now vegetarian.
And Hoss was telling me about a colleague of his who had recently gone veg. He asked her what the original inspiration was; it was receiving a booklet on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – way to go, Joe!
—Jon Camp, 4/22/10
|Peggy Koteen lets another Cal Poly student learn about how he can make a real difference.|
Cassandra, and I reached 900 students
at SUNY Purchase – a new record. Great take
rate and overwhelmingly positive responses in
general! Some of the comments:
“Oh man, this is the packet that made me vegetarian!”
“Aw, this is the booklet that made me go vegetarian last year!”
“I went vegetarian from this!”
“I like meat but this is just so horrible!” (one student to her friend)
A group of students Cassandra encountered said that they read the leaflets and were going to go vegetarian. She asked, “Really?” and they responded affirmatively!
—Eileen Botti, 4/12/10
day at Louisiana Tech. Highlight:
two women who had lots of questions. When I
saw them again later, they said they were going
—Vic Sjodin, 4/15/10
group at Glen Dale Community College.
One lady expressed sincere appreciation and
is working towards going veg now. Another lady
went veg that moment! They both got Guides.
—Nikki Benoit, 4/8/10
/ supportive comments at Widener
University today. One woman came back to tell
me she used to be vegan but had fallen off the
wagon; after reading the pamphlet she was going
back to being vegan. Another guy came back to
tell me that the pamphlet was really effective,
and that he was definitely going to be making
changes to his diet.
—Nick Cooney, 4/14/10
|Four Whittier College students (beauty school dropouts?) intently study the booklets they received from Nikki Benoit.|
you guys! I feel so good helping
animals, and have helped some of my friends
go vegan. Thanks for inspiring me!
lots of people at Indiana-Purdue
University’s Earth Day. We had many good conversations
with people who are really interested in changing
their diet. Gretchen educated three kids about
how animals are treated and killed for food.
They were all ears as their mom also listened
without intervening at all. I met someone who
went vegan after reading the VO literature displayed
at Loving Cafe. I met another girl who cut chicken
out of her diet after receiving an Even
If You Like Meat from me in the past.
—Heather Leughmyer, 4/14/10
State College, I had individuals
coming up to ask me for a booklet. The woman
who housed me this weekend went vegan six years
ago after visiting Vegan Outreach’s website.
As a result, her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson
are also now vegan.
—Jon Camp, 4/12/10
|After receiving a booklet from Karen James, a student at the University of Hartford studies the truth about modern agribusiness.|
a ton of vegetarians / vegans at
Humboldt State, but also gave a lot of Guides
to non-veg folks interested in learning more
about how to change their diet. Many people
stopped to chat for a minute or two today which
always makes me happy because the discussions
are always so positive and productive.
Last Friday, I was joined by Rachel and Dan for a really awesome day of outreach at Seattle Pacific University. Turns out Dan went veg from a VO booklet in 2000, and now works for Sea Shepherd.
—Brian Grupe, 4/19/10
works for the Kansas City Royals baseball stadium
selling hot dogs and she told me today that they
now serve veggie dogs and veggie burgers! Cool!
—Leah Wagner, 4/19/10
and Sen joined me last week at
the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis. We
met a number of vegetarians / vegans. Both Sen
and I had people tell us getting an Even
If You Like Meat booklet in the past led
them to go vegetarian.
After she got a booklet from me in the morning, Allie came back and joined me in leafleting the University of Iowa today. Great feedback, including one woman who said she had gotten a flier in October when I was there and went vegetarian. Then about three months ago, she went vegan!
—Fred Tyler, 4/14/10
|Aleta Markham reveals the truth to another University of Hartford student.|
Such an amazing day
at SUNY Albany! Overall, the acceptance rate was
~80%, and I had tons of positive responses and
interactions. A sample:
After having received one, a girl came up to me and said these booklets “are really good,” and she’s giving up all meat.
One girl took one and told me she’d read it later because her roommate read one and it made her cry.
A guy came up to me after having read one and said that he sat and pondered it and decided that he’s giving up meat for good. He also took a few leaflets to hand out to his earth science class.
Someone else approached me a few minutes after having received the leaflet and said his sister is vegan and that he’s decided to make the switch. I gave him and other new veggies copies of the Guide to help them out.
I also had a handful of lengthy conversations that proved pretty beneficial. One ended with one guy saying, “I was going to get a chicken salad for lunch, but not now.”
—Team Vegan member Todd Lent, 4/7/10
2,000 students at Virginia Tech
today. One student said she went vegetarian
from getting an Even If You Like Meat
in the past and is now working on being vegan.
Another student wanted to know how she could
get active for animals, so I told her to contact
—Kate and Aaron, Team Vegan members: The Animal Awareness Project, 4/5/10
|Compelling! Students at the University of Maryland (above) and Southern Connecticut State University (below) learn of the animals’ plight.|
over 1,000 students at LA Valley
College and Burbank HS. Multiple amazing conversations
– many shocked faces walked back to me
asking what to do. Made headway with a Christian
regarding animals being here for us to “use.”
A girl stopped dead in her tracks reading her
Compassionate Choices – I handed
her a Guide. One couple received their
leaflets and the girl immediately slapped her
boyfriend, holding the Even If You Like
Meat in his face: “See why you need
to go vegetarian??”
—Nikki Benoit, 4/7/10
encouraging day at the University
of Southern Mississippi! One girl said she just
saw Earthlings; turns out a Spanish
professor had shown it at 8 AM class. I found
the teacher and she let me talk to the subsequent
two classes before the movie started and give
out booklets. Lots of people read the pamphlets
and had questions, and you could hear the sobbing
during the movie. Later, while leafleting again,
three girls said that the film and booklets
worked – they did not eat meat for lunch
and implied they would not again. I’m
sure many went veg today.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/5/10
happy to finally hit 2,600-student
Taft HS before flying out of O’Hare on a business
trip. Many groups had loud reactions after seeing
the content; I could detect shock and disgust.
However, I was glad to be there to plant the
—Darina Smith, 4/8/10
My friend Alison joined
me at the University of Wisconsin – Green
Bay; she was a natural! One woman said that
getting an Even If You Like Meat in the past
was what made her go vegetarian. She hadn’t
ordered a Guide, so she was excited
to get one. A friend of hers also wanted a Guide,
saying she had been vegetarian before and thought
she would go back to it. One woman said, “I
got one earlier. It was very interesting. I
want to change my eating habits.” Maybe
her new Guide will help.
—Fred Tyler, 4/1/10
Anza College, I handed one to
a guy who was standing alone. I noticed he spent
about fifteen minutes reading it, then was joined
by three friends. Of these three, a girl took
his copy and started reading it. Two minutes
later she turned to a page and then threw the
booklet on the ground in disgust, and then picked
it up and resumed reading. When she finished
she handed the booklet to another friend, who
in turn spent several minutes reading it.
—Erik Marcus, 4/5/10
more people learned the truth
today. Had one girl say, “I’m going vegetarian
right now.” That makes it all worth it!
—Camilla Kendall, 4/11/10
|A University of Connecticut student has his questions answered by Julia Caruk.|
Claudine, Amanda, Bernie, and
I reached over 1,300 students at the University
of Washington – Seattle. The biggest highlight
for me today was when a young lady turned around
after walking about 20 feet and told me that
she had been putting off looking into this issue
because she was afraid to change even though
she knew it was the right thing to do. We had
about a five minute discussion (mostly her asking
about how I changed my diet and issues surrounding
free-range animal products) and she eagerly
accepted a Guide and my contact info and walked
away saying, and I quote, “You’ve
just changed a life today.” Truly a moment
among moments for me.
—Brian Grupe, 4/9/10
for supplying us
with booklets for our Winter Tour – we
reached a lot of new people! After we got the
booklets, two other members of our band went
vegetarian and I am now vegan.
—Ean Smith, 4/28/10
|Allie Holaday helps another University of Connecticut student make informed choices.|
State University – Mankato,
a lot of people reported getting a booklet in
the past and still having it. One guy said after
getting an Even If You Like Meat last
time, he bought the book Eating Animals.
He was happy to get a Guide.
One woman said, “It was this kind of stuff
that made me go vegetarian when I was 17!”
The highlight of the day was when a man came
up and said, “I got one of those earlier.
I just wanted to thank you for handing them
out and to say I had a vegetarian lunch because
of it. It was very informative. I’ve been
thinking about vegetarianism lately and this
was the extra push I needed.” He was glad
to get a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 3/25/10
day at Long Beach College! Numerous
“thank yous.” An armored truck drove
to me, stopped, and the driver opened the tube-shaped
hole in the door asking for a leaflet!
Was interviewed (while still leafleting) by two different students for school projects – one on free speech and the other on factory farm abuse. Explaining what happens to our animal friends in FFs knocked this guy out of his loop! He hung on every word, saying he’d go watch the videos too. After our ten minute conversation, his last question was “So what would you tell people who want to start becoming vegan?” I explained that some go right away, or others ease in by first not buying animal products so they can build up a pantry, experimenting with what they like, and just work their way into it…and of course that it’s much easier than it seems once you start doing it.
—Nikki Benoit, 4/1/10
|Students at Yale (above) and University of Maryland (below) engrossed in the case for compassion.|
morning at Lane Community College.
Awful rain and cold, and by noon I was drenched
and freezing. I met a few vegetarians including
a guy who said, “Is that Vegan Outreach?”
He relayed that he had been vegan but that his
family had “intervened” and he wants
to get back on track again. He happily accepted
a Guide and AML. Students were incredibly receptive despite the
weather which kept me going.
—Brian Grupe, 3/30/10
student first declined a brochure,
but then returned to take one after seeing multiple
students reading it, saying, “OK, I will
take one!” Students recognized me from
prior leafleting and at least two students said
they are vegan because of the pamphlets they
received last year. Go, VO!
—Rob Gilbride, 4/1/10
over 400 very nice students at
Northeastern Illinois University. I saw students
reading the booklets and talking about them.
Some asked me for a booklet after seeing others
reading them. Other students came up with questions
about the treatment of farmed animals and food
—Leslie Patterson, 4/2/10
from many vegetarians at St. Louis
University today. One student told me that she
received one from me last semester and because
of it she and her roommate went vegetarian;
I said, “All right!” and gave her
a Guide. Another student said that
he received a booklet from me last semester
and it really changed his thinking. I asked
if it also changed his eating and he said yes.
He got a Guide, too.
Ryan, Lauren, and Joe joined me
today at the University of S. Alabama, and we
reached over 1,600 students. One professor said she
is going veg, a custodian said she was
going veg to lower her cholesterol and she felt
bad for chickens. One girl said, “This
is the saddest thing I’ve ever read”;
she got a Guide. Another girl said,
“I didn’t eat meat yesterday after
getting that pamphlet”; she got a Guide
today. I saw lots of students reading pamphlets as they
walked. One guy said the booklets are too graphic, but
talking with him, he changed his tune.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/2/10
and I hit Schoolcraft College
and Madonna University – a good day of
outreach, with a lot of people reading the booklets.
For example, at Madonna, a big group of girls
walked by and all got one. They kept walking
away very slowly as they all read and discussed
the leaflets. All of them were very grossed
out. I heard one girl say, “I’m
never eating meat again.”
—Phil Letten, 4/5/10
Plattsburgh, Darina noticed that
the cafeteria had a big sign indicating that
they offered a vegan selection, something I
am noticing at more and more schools.
—Jon Camp, 4/5/10
|Aaron Ross provides the animals a voice at Towson University.|
Shannon, Clarissa, Anna, Mark,
Ellen, and I (Raiders Against Animal Cruelty)
reached over 2,300 students at Middle Tennessee
State University. Ran out of Guides
in the first two hours – even after years
of regular activism here, we still meet new
vegetarians all the time! Young lady said she
went veg because of a booklet last semester,
and another young lady enthusiastically said
she’s going veg soon. Also met a guy who
wants to get involved.
—Kenny Torrella, 3/31/10
1,500 students at UC Santa Barbara.
One young man went past me pushing his bike
with one hand and drinking water from the other
hand. “I’d offer you a leaflet,”
I said, “but I don’t think you’ve
got a spare hand.” I definitely do have
a spare hand,” he said as he shifted his
glass of water to the hand pushing the bike
and took a leaflet, “because the last
time I got one of those, I went vegetarian.”
—Stewart Solomon, 4/5/10
|Reagan Kimball lets a student at Bowie State know what modern agribusiness hides.|
at my school in Baltimore (UMBC)
were handing out free booklets. These shocking
images and stories have really affected me!
pamphlet about animal cruelty
that someone was handing out on campus strongly
impacted my life. Thank you so much.
received your Guide
to Cruelty-Free Eating. It was an insightful
read. I have been struggling with how to communicate
to my friends and family in order to promote
veganism. I realize now I was not communicating
my message about veganism properly.
Anello and I reached over 1,800
students at the University of Massachusetts,
Boston today. There were lots of people reading,
asking questions, giving us support for this
work. Conversation of the day:
Man A: He loves his meat! <points at Man B>
Man B: And I ate a salad for lunch today after reading that booklet.
—Jon Camp, 3/23/10
|Studying the truth at the University of Kansas after receiving a booklet from Eva Helsel.|
so much more comfortable leafleting after
the first couple times. By the third time I
had lost the jitters. I just told myself that
this is one of the most effective ways to help
the animals, and I desperately want to help
them, so go for it! Knowing you guys figured
out what works gave me the drive.
The Animal Activist's Handbook was a godsend. It was exactly what Nettie was saying we needed so badly: concise advice on handling the tough questions and on how to cultivate a winning demeanor, plus how to keep from despairing over the animals you cannot help.
—Laura H, 4/15/10
fruitful day at Auburn University,
where I reached 1,950 students. Two students
told me their classes discussed being veg; also
heard groups walking by talking about issues,
saw lots reading pamphlets, met two former vegs
who said they would now go veg again. Feedback
of the day: “I already got one and let
me tell you, I read the whole booklet in class
and I am never eating meat EVER again.”
—Vic Sjodin, 3/30/10
over 2,000 students at George
Mason University today. Met many vegans and
vegetarians, and had great discussions with
students and faculty. One student who read through
an entire booklet said he was going to go vegan!
Another student read the Even If You Like
Meat and asked where she could find vegetarian
food in the area.
—Aaron and Kate of The Animal Awareness Project, 3/24/10
|Karen James provides the animals a voice at Western Connecticut State.|
at the University of Wisconsin,
La Crosse, a woman I had given a leaflet to
earlier in the day came back to say she was
interested in volunteering in the future. Another
student was very excited to get the leaflet.
He was doing a project about animal cruelty
and said the Even If was exactly what
he needed. A second guy said he was going to
take his Even If to his Environmental
Today at Gustavus Adolphus College, a student came to find me and said her teacher wanted me to come speak to their Philosophy of Environment class. Students seemed to like the idea that making changes to their diet didn’t require an all-or-nothing stance. Several people were interested in Guides. The professor had me stick around for the next class as well.
—Fred Tyler, 3/23/10
antagonism today at LA City College
and LA High School, but lots of enthusiasm,
too. My third leaflet catalyzed a conversation
with a young man who was swept away immediately
by Even If’s cover. Plans to request
a Guide, and took three leaflets to
hand out on the way to his car. Agrees this
is all insane.
—Nikki Benoit, 3/27/10
(Patterson) and I were joined
by Monica Ball and her kids, Kasey and Kassidy (right),
at Illinois State. We reached over 1,400 students.
Had some good conversations; e.g., a woman in
her late 40s stopped to say that she was impressed
with our polite efforts, rather than simply
expressing our outrage in a way that would make
people stop listening. She let me know that
she and her five children, all boys, have reduced
their consumption of meat due to her getting
the booklet from me in the past. I took the
opportunity to congratulate her and underline
the great suffering reduction that comes from
avoiding the flesh of birds and fishes, as being
smaller animals and also due to those who suffer
to death in production or as bycatch respectively,
more of them suffer and die to feed a meat eater
during the year compared to eating larger animals.
—Joe Espinosa, 3/27/10
|Lesley Parker-Rollins promotes the animals’ message at Towson University; below, a University of Maryland student studies the truth.|
a friend, and I went to dinner
last night. They wanted to dispute veganism.
For example they brought up how Jesus ate meat.
But I remembered your bottom line; my response
was, “I don’t want to fight. I don’t
know about God’s reason for allowing this;
the reason I am doing this is because I want
to reduce suffering.” That was the end
of the conversation. Your message/ focus is
leafleting at the Justin Bieber
concert, I overheard one girl telling her friends,
“This is the booklet that Scarlet and
I got before, and it is what caused both of
us to go vegetarian.” Later, I overheard
another girl also telling her friends that she
is a vegetarian because of this booklet.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 3/21/10
State, the highlight was when
a girl told me, “Oh I love you for handing
those out! I am SO glad you’re here! I
just had to find you to tell you that!”
She gave me a hug and lamented that some of
her friends and family are not at all supportive.
I gave her some encouragement and an AML. I also told her a little about AAC
and suggested she check out VO’s website.
She said she would and then she gave me another
At the University of South Florida, a pregnant student quickly looked over the leaflet then exclaimed, “This is why I’m vegan!” It warms my heart that her child will be born into a compassionate atmosphere.
—Lana Smithson, 3/23/10
I received my tax refund today and thought you
guys deserved a piece of the (vegan) pie!
SAR and I reached
nearly 1,500 students at Sacramento City College
today. Met quite a few vegans and chatted with
a number of people interested in going veg or
reducing their animal product consumption. Also
met two VO supporters who were excited to meet
someone leafleting. Talked with a woman who
had worked at a chicken factory in Arkansas.
She said it was really disturbing what she saw
and also very unfair to the immigrants who were
hired to work in the factory. She said she worked
in the “tub,” where they had to
mostly clean out maggots and dirt that had accumulated
during transport. She happily accepted a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 3/17/10
reception rate at Indiana University
at South Bend, where I handed out 666 Even
If You Like Meat booklets and seven Guides.
Had two harm reduction conversations with students,
highlighting the point that it takes about 190
chickens to make the same amount of edible flesh
as just one beef steer. Also was informed by
a student that there is a Facebook page for
Stop Violence” guy, which apparently
—Joe Espinosa, 3/23/10
Connecticut University, I spoke
with a woman who said that her husband turned
vegan as a result of the Even If You Like
Meat leaflet that we handed out three weeks
—Karen James, 3/23/10
|Roy Taylor spends his lunch hour helping animals at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.|
Reached over 400 people at
Northeastern, and 300+ at MIT. At NE, one guy
was new to vegetarianism and he was super-excited
about the Guide. Good discussions at
MIT, including a young man who came back with
a vegetarian burrito to let me know that getting
the booklet earlier in the day made him really
confront the suffering of farmed animals, hence
his vegetarian meal.
—Jon Camp, 3/17/10
our six-year-old, is on spring
break this week. Monday, she came to school
with me. One high schooler asked her if she
was vegetarian. Then another asked why. She
replied, “Because meat is made of animals.”
Simple enough. Today, I offered to take her
to a movie or do whatever she wanted. She wanted
to go leafleting. She was incredible, holding
a pack of 50 at once, running up to everyone
on the walk. She reached 600 students at Cal
—Stewart Solomon, 3/18/10
|Kristen Cook creates change at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.|
Because of your book, I am going to promote
“transition” foods, the “vegetarian
meats and cheeses.” Your book helped me
to remember that it wasn’t easy switching
from SAD to veg, and I used all sorts of mock
meats and cheeses and ice cream to transition
to a whole plant foods diet. I learned much
more than this from your book, especially the
part about how to have conversations about this
issue rather than always sharing what I know.
Oh my, your book really helps me to help animals.
of the day at Santa Barbara City
College was when a gal came up to me and told
me that after we had chatted, she had read the
brochure three times and was seriously considering
changing. I had already given her a Guide
and two of her friends wanted Guides
At West Valley College, I chatted for a while with a gal who had been veg but stopped for health reasons. She accepted a Guide and I encouraged her to check out Jonathan Safran Foer’s book (she mentioned hearing about it). Also met a vegan who said she got teased after making a pro-veg presentation in one of her classes. I commended her on sticking with veganism and she accepted both a Guide and AML.
—Brian Grupe, 3/15/10
|University of Florida students (above and below) study the case for compassion while enjoying So Delicious bars distributed by Zia Terhune, Eleni Vlachos, and Rob Gilbride.|
work is irreplaceable for someone
who wishes to live a meaningful life but also
wants to be healthy and be successful in getting
others to understand their own health and own
ability to affect the world. I have a little
extra money and, in the spirit of “every
little bit counts,” would like to donate
to further your work. I hope as time goes
on, I can donate more. Most importantly, I hope
as time goes on, we can reduce suffering further.
400 students at McMaster University
(Hamilton, ON) in only an hour. Reception was
great – I’d say around 4/5 students
took the literature. Reception is much better
than even a few years ago at this location.
People don’t seem to run when you say
“factory farming” or “vegetarian.”
Instead, they want to know.
—Andre Inglis, 3/12/10
of leafleting the Taylor Swift
concert was a young teenage girl who told us
she had gone vegetarian two days prior and she
wanted a booklet plus more for her friends.
Another woman lifted her pant leg up to reveal
a giant tattoo of the vegan sunflower symbol
and just smiled!
—Jennifer Mennuti, 3/7/10
interactions at Washington University.
One of them declined a booklet, saying that
he got one from me before and now he is on board;
he gladly accepted a Guide. Another
student had received a booklet from me in the
past and said she thought it is wrong to treat
animals this way. She said that she was now
buying much less meat; I gave her a Guide
to help her with a plant-based diet.
—Rick Hershey, 3/16/10
University, a professor asked
for some extra leaflets for his class, and students
stopped to talk with me and Cassandra (Callaghan).
One student from a small family farm in Michigan
said how much he and his family hate factory
farms, etc. So although he was not vegan, he
thanked me many times for spreading the word
about factory farms.
—Eileen Botti, 3/17/10
|At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Aaron Ross helps another student learn the truth so assiduously hidden by modern agribusiness.|
eight vegans and more vegetarians
today at Arkansas State; last time, I only met
one vegetarian. Two people said they went
veg from getting a leaflet last year! Had talks
with dozens of people, saw many reading and
walking with pamphlets open. So
happy there were some progressive elements on
campus today, since last time around Ark was
a black hole devoid of compassion and vegetarians.
We’re making progress one day, one leaflet,
one conversation, once convert at a time. I
—Vic Sjodin, 3/16/10
Activist’s Handbook –
can’t put it down. It goes where I go.
I think I found my Dharma. I guess when the
student is ready the teacher will appear. Not
sure what took so long.
|Daniel Earle helps an Eastern Michigan University student learn the truth; below, another EMU student studies a booklet received from Leah Wagner.|
Written to Nikki
Do you think I could join you the next time you leaflet in my area? I’ve never done it before, but truth be told, I became vegetarian five years ago because a girl in my class gave me a Why Vegan? when I asked her about her lifestyle. Now a vegan, I’m interested in activism.
Written to Jon Camp:
I just read your profile and wanted to let you know that I became vegan after you handed me a pamphlet while I was a student at the College of New Jersey in 2006. I have since graduated but I continue to be a vegan. You changed my life and I hope you continue to leaflet campuses around the country. Job well done.
working for a nonprofit can be
an unrewarding job, so I wanted to let you know
that your Guide
to Cruelty-Free Eating is really amazing.
It totally changed the way my wife and I look
at the world.
State College, an animal science
student sat at a bench and read the leaflet.
When she left she thanked me for the information.
I saw others reading it as well. A student said
receiving the leaflet was timely because animal
cruelty is the current subject in her ethics
I also heard the following comments today:
“Now I won’t be able to eat my lunch!”
“Oh Lord…” (then the student seemed speechless).
“This is so relevant!”
—Lana Smithson, 3/11/10
|Darina Smith reaches the incoming students at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago.|
students at the University of
Illinois, Chicago reported having gotten the
booklet in the past, and one came up to let
me know that getting the booklet from me two
years ago is what moved him to go vegetarian.
He had not gotten a Guide, so I gave
him one. I overheard another trio of students
talking after one took the booklet and stated
that this was the booklet that moved her other
friend to become vegetarian.
—Joe Espinosa, 3/11/10
the University of Colorado in
the evening, one woman refused a Compassionate
Choices, saying, “I like my greasy
chicken.” I told her she could eat less
meat and still help that way. I asked if she
had tried the veggie chickun at a local Chinese
restaurant, then showed her the website address
I had jotted on the back for vegan dining options
in Boulder and Denver. Suddenly she changed
her tune and said she had been trying to eat
less meat and was happy to get the Guide!
—Barbara Bear, 3/9/10
|Kate St. John makes the animals’ case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.|
over 1,000 people at UC Santa
Barbara. I met two people who are vegan for
Lent. One guy said it’s his second time
doing it, and after last time, he remained basically
vegetarian/ vegan for the rest of the year.
He was glad to get a Guide, and I encouraged
him to try and stay with it again after Lent.
—Brian Grupe, 3/8/10
mostly positive responses at Rowan
and more than a 90% take rate! A few students
who were interested in going veg took Guides,
and I had some positive experiences talking
to a few small groups of students who were standing
around and asking me about the booklets. One
vegetarian wanted to know if there was a group
on campus, so I explained to him about getting
involved with VO leafleting.
I was in town visiting my grandma, who took me out to dinner, asking, “So I hear this vegan thing is pretty popular now, huh?” Awesome!
—Eileen Botti, 3/10/10
|Michele McCowan helps a Montana State student see the light in Bozeman; below, another MSU student studies a booklet received from Bonnie Goodman.|
Thursday was Royal Melbourne Institute
of Technology’s induction day for new students
– all student clubs had information stalls
and there were bands playing. We distributed
550 Aussie Why Vegans. The following
day I returned to the university during my lunchtime
from work. While leafleting, I had three long
conversations with people who had received leaflets
the day before, and had questions about iron,
calcium, factory farming, dairy, etc. I also
met someone who wanted to start leafleting at
another university – so although relatively
few leaflets were given out, it was a good day.
The Melbourne University group did a stall on the same day, and someone reported they had received a Why Vegan the previous year, and they had since gone vegetarian.
—Roy Taylor, 2/26/10
Good audience at
the art gallery street fair in Kansas City.
My husband said he saw everybody looking at
their booklet right away! One of our last booklets
went to a woman who was very happy to get the
info: “Oh, thank you! I have been wanting
to learn about this!”
—Leah Wagner, 3/6/10
were very receptive at Morgan
State Wednesday. One student came back and said,
“I couldn’t eat my damn sandwich ’cause
Today was a brief but awesome day at Coppin State. At least 90% of students walking by took a leaflet. One student who read an Even If You Like Meat said he gave it to his teacher and the teacher discussed it with the whole class today!
—Aaron Ross, 3/5/10
good small schools today –
Cuesta College and Allan Hancock College. The
second person I leafleted at Cuesta was vegan
and eagerly took more info. A gal came back
asking for another pamphlet. I asked her if
she was interested in a guide or if she was
veg (trying to figure out why she wanted it).
She said she didn’t eat pork or beef but
had no idea chickens had it so bad and was ready
to go veg. She was excited to receive a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 3/9/10
day at Santa Ana College. One
girl said to me in the presence of her group
of friends, “Hey, you guys made me go vegetarian!”
All her friends took a leaflet. Another fella
who worked for the school paper said, “Animal
Liberation? Yes! I support this totally!”
—Brianne Donaldson, 3/8/10
|Vic Sjodin connects with a student at Florida International University.|
Eva, Mark, and I had a good night
by DePaul University. One woman stopped and
said she loved meat. I told her I did too, but
that when I examined my morals and values they
did not match up with my actions and therefore
I stopped. I also suggested that she give up
meat on Mon/Wed/Fri and see how that went. She
seemed like she would totally give it a try.
I had another person stop to tell me that eight
months ago it was one of our leaflets that helped
her go veg.
—Mikael Nielsen, 3/3/10
been corresponding these last
few days with a student from Quinnipiac U who
wrote to Vegan Outreach about getting active
for animals. I mentioned that I had recently
leafleted Quinnipiac and the student responded
by thanking me, as it was receiving a booklet
last week that made her decide to go vegetarian
and want to get active. In short, this stuff
—Jon Camp, 3/8/10
|A University of North Florida student studies the truth she received from Rob Gilbride.|
your Compassionate Choices
at Texas Tech. After reading it, I made the
decision to eat less meat and more vegan food.
I note in your booklet that the objective is “to reduce suffering, not to achieve personal purity or perfection.” Very good! May we all do our best towards that goal.
of interest, questions, and grossed-out
faces as my classmates read the VO booklets
after my presentation in Speech class. The teacher
said he was going to try to go vegetarian!
—Ellen Green, 3/9/10
a semi trailer full of pigs on
my way to leaflet at Purdue today. I promised
them I would brave the cold until I got every
leaflet out. It was nothing compared to how
cold they must have been riding down the highway
at 60+ mph. I reached 370 students, gave 30
booklets to an animal and ethics professor who
will be handing them out to her class, and 50
more were then dropped off at the local vegan
restaurant because they had run out. I got an
email address from one vegan who was interested
in doing more, and one guy told me he appreciated
what I was doing. Another lady said she was
starting to think a lot more about where her
food was coming from and was glad to get a leaflet.
One guy asked if I was against Michael Vick.
I told him that what Vick did was no worse than
what factory farmers and slaughterhouse workers
do to animals every single day.
—Heather Leughmyer, 2/24/10
There was rain, slush,
and snow at the University of Idaho. Even after
two pairs of socks, under armor, gloves, jackets,
sweaters, etc., I was still cold! Props to
my east coast homies who rock the crazy weather
I met one gal who proudly showed me her “VEGAN” sweatshirt she was wearing, and met another vegetarian of six years who thanked me for spreading the good word. Right before I left I had a really productive chat with an Ag Science student. I told him that I personally couldn’t kill an animal, so it didn’t matter how “humanely” it was raised, if I couldn’t kill it myself I wasn’t about to pay anybody else to do it. I also said that simply because we CAN do something doesn’t make it right. Interestingly enough, he had never thought of it this way. I was glad I was able to challenge his current moral outlook, and we left the conversation with a hearty handshake.
—Brian Grupe (right, in warmer days), 2/24/10
I broke my old leafleting record
today, as Leah (Wagner) and I
reached over 2,000 students at the University
of Kansas. We also encountered a lot of vegetarians,
and found well-labeled vegan options at the
—Eva Helsel, 3/1/10
(Delk) and I had great conversations
at Trevecca Nazarene University. Met a number
of vegetarians, including one who changed because
of a booklet. Met a young lady in an environmental
class and she said they’re talking about this
topic right now (just watched Food, Inc.).
She was excited to get a Guide and
we had a great conversation. Met some of her
classmates, all great convos as well. Also met
a fellow who was excited to get a booklet – he,
too, talked to me about Food, Inc.
Met another girl who wants to start working
to get more veg options at the dining hall – I
got her contact info and will be sending her
—Kenny Torrella, 2/24/10
the University of Colorado later
in the day allowed me to reach a new crowd,
including a number who were already veg. One
guy said he was a vegetarian for three years
at one point, but then he “got poor”
and is no longer veg. I offered him a Guide
and showed him the back page where it says,
it expensive to be vegan?” as well
as the recipe section. He happily accepted it.
—Barbara Bear, 3/2/10
Farnsworth (right), Karen James,
Aleta Markham, and I, along with the Yale College
Student Animal Welfare Alliance, reached 2,349
students at Southern Connecticut State University
and Yale today. And check this out: four separate
individuals mentioned being veg or vegan because
of receiving a VO booklet in the past. This
—Jon Camp, 3/2/10
from VegPolytech (right) and I
did a quick leafleting at Worcester Polytechnic
Institute. Even in that short hour, we had a
big impact. A number of WPI kids read through
the booklet right in front of us (below) and
asked good questions about factory farming and
vegetarianism. We heard from people who had
been impacted by the images in the booklet and
the info they read. One person said she would
try going veg for a month. Another student said
he would try being vegetarian for two days a
—Drew Wilson, 2/19/10
Written to Eleni
I am a student at Valdosta State and I went to your Seeing Through the Fence. You totally changed my life! While I was not one of the students asking questions at the end (probably because I was literally speechless after realizing what I’ve been putting into my body for my entire life), I took some of the Vegan Outreach brochures and started doing research. I really just want to thank you so much for inspiring me to make the best decision of my life. While I have already endured a good bit of criticism from my friends and some of my family, and it’s going to be tough as I’m a college student, I am still completely set on this goal. Thank you again!
didn’t want to leaflet today,
but if I had stayed home, a young man I spoke
with today might not have begun his journey
towards a more compassionate life. After looking
over the booklet, he told me, “Man, that
gave me some stuff to think about.” He
said he didn’t realize it was so bad.
He told me about his companion animals and how
much he cares for them, and we both agreed that
there is no reason this same care and genuine
respect for life should not be extended to farm
animals. Seriously, all sorts of gears and light
bulbs were going off in this dude’s head,
it was amazing. He happily accepted a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 2/18/10
so excited to receive my box of
pamphlets that I started this morning at the
University of Massachusetts – Amherst, even
though it was starting to snow. I handed out
fifty in no time flat. When I had only one left,
two girls were walking along together and I
handed it to one of them. As I headed toward
the library to do some homework, I looked back
and saw them fighting over it. It was so cute
and gave me a smile for the first day of my
—Faith Jackson, 2/23/10
and I rocked Northwestern University.
Two journalism students also stopped by to interview
and take pictures of us. I did not want to take
time away from leafleting so we scheduled the
interviews for another time. A high point: a
guy stopped and said, “You know, I got
this from you last time and I just want to thank
you for doing this.”
—Leslie Patterson, 2/19/10
|Brianne Donaldson reaches another Chapman University student with the animals’ message.|
about 25% of the 900 people I
reached at the University of South Florida were
high school students. One student came up to
me and said, “Can I have that chicken book?”
She came back to me 20 minutes later. I said,
“What do you think?” She said, “I’m
going to oppose this cruelty.” I then gave
her a Guide. I spoke to another student who
read the booklet in front of me. He really liked
the message of reducing animal products. He
is going to reduce his consumption to eating
meat one day a week.
—Rob Gilbride, 2/19/10
conversations while tabling at
Middle Tennessee State today. One guy told us
he doesn’t eat pork but couldn’t
believe other animals were allowed to be treated
this way, too. It definitely had an impact on
him and he walked away with literature he picked
up on his own. Also had an interaction with
a young lady who came back to the table and
asked us why
we don’t work to help humans first.
I talked about how human problems are very complex,
but reducing animal suffering is something we
can do every time we go out to eat or go to
the grocery store; it’s not complicated
and anyone can do it, three times a day.
—Kenny Torrella, 2/23/10
a very positive afternoon at Cal
State Fullerton. I haven’t been out there for
a while, but it feels like more and more students
understand there is cruelty in the meat
industry and that a vegetarian diet is a healthy,
solid alternative to an omnivorous diet.
—Stewart Solomon, 2/23/10
|After being leafleted by Michele McCowan and Bonnie Goodman (below), moviegoers in Bozeman, MT study VO booklets while waiting for a special screening of Food, Inc.|
you for sending me the two booklets.
I am now a vegan. I am lovin’ every bit of it.
My daughter is also considering being vegetarian.
I feel so much better and have actually lost
6 lbs. Thank you for my new way of life!
received better each time I leaflet
Solano Community College. I remember there was
some genuine hostility towards me the first
time I leafleted here, and now the students
really seem to be on board with the message / take
it seriously. Today was also a good demonstration
of how valuable outreach is at this school.
Four individuals (two people on their own and
one set of friends) came up to me throughout
the day to ask about factory farming, saying
they had NEVER seen images like this and had
no idea this was going on. I had to do some
damage control as one woman seemed really shaken.
I made book recommendations, gave out Guides,
and talked about food alternatives, trying to
make the conversations more positive since many
of the the people seemed upset. Fairfield is
only an hour away from San Francisco, one of
the most vegan-friendly and progressive cities
in the entire world and there are people nearby
who still don’t know what vegan or factory
farming is. This outreach is still incredibly
important and necessary everywhere.
—Brian Grupe, 2/8/10
of the day at Harvard: one woman declined a brochure, then
stopped, turned around and said, “I just want you
to know that you guys got me to go vegetarian
last year by giving me one of those.”
—Jo Tyler, 2/19/10
day at Cypress College. I saw
lots of students around campus reading the booklets.
One student said with quiet hopefulness, “Are
you vegan?” as though she’d never met another.
She came back and asked for a Guide
for her roommate, “I think she’s about
to need it,” she said to me. I realize
how encouraging and empowering it can be for
young vegans to cross the path with someone
who is also making countercultural eating decisions.
—Brianne Donaldson, 2/8/10
McCowan and I handed out 400 Compassionate
Choices at Montana State – Bozeman. Many people
had them already from the Food, Inc. movie
last month – we even had people thank us for
being there! 45 people were so interested, they
took a Guide.
—Bonnie Goodman (above), 2/10/10
|Vic Sjodin exchanges information with a Florida International University student while Phil Letten waits for the next student.|
been sticking to a 99% vegan diet
for the last five weeks, and I’ve lost 10 pounds.
Your weekly enewsletters
provide much needed support – thanks!
conversations at Fisk University,
with lots of students saying they got one last
semester from Vic and Phil. One even said she
has it hanging up in her room!
Our work is really catching on. One old roommate of mine is now going meatless one day a week with his current roommate. Another old roommate just sent me a message inquiring about vegetarianism. Last week, a member of a sorority where I had spoken emailed me telling me she’s now vegan and wants to help out.
—Kenny Torrella, 2/10/10
were a ton of vegetarians at the
University of Central Florida, some of whom
said their change was due to a leaflet they
received previously – go Vic & Phil! They
all got Guides.
—Rob Gilbride, 2/10/10
Voors lets another James Madison University
student know the hidden
fate of “food animals.”
out much more literature than
I expected to at Chapman University. Students
were very receptive – lots of declines
came back to accept literature later. Met several
former vegetarians who walked away with their
fists full of literature, inspired to give it
another go. Several students came by to say
they had read it, offering a comment of disbelief
or suggesting that they were going to seriously
consider it. A chef came by to say how opposed
he was to factory farming, and how much he enjoyed
creating culinary alternatives.
—Brianne Donaldson, 2/3/10
of the day at Montgomery College – Takoma
Me: Hello, info to help animals?
Young woman: Oh, I already got that and I’m now vegan.
Me: Awesome! What made you decide to do that?
Young woman: That booklet (points at Even If You Like Meat).
—Jon Camp, 2/4/10
University’s College of Law, a
male student initially refused a leaflet but
then took one and said he appreciated that our
approach is not “all or nothing.”
Later, a woman said her son has had a strong
aversion to eating meat even when he was a young
child. She said she would show him the leaflet.
—Lana Smithson, 2/3/10
vegans this time at Armstrong
Atlantic University, one of whom went vegan due to receiving
a leaflet in the past!
—Rob Gilbride, 2/4/10
|University of Missouri students are engrossed in VO booklets.|
leafleting at the University of
Wisconsin – Milwaukee, I saw various signs
of progress, including a flier at the student
union: “Where can I find vegetarian/vegan/organic
options on campus?” which lists food available
at the various restaurants in the union. Also
saw soy milk in small cartons and available
with the cream for the coffee.
—Leslie Patterson, 2/5/10
Leah Wagner, and I reached over 3,000 University
of Missouri students on this cold and snowy
day in Columbia. We enjoyed largely positive
and friendly reception from polite students.
I had several interactions with various ag and
animal science students. One respectful animal
science student was very receptive to considering
the cruelty side of the factory farming efficiency
equation and realizing that these aspects need
to be improved. One journalism student patiently
interviewed me between booklets and that went
—Rick Hershey, 2/4/10
productive day at Ohlone College.
One vegan remarked that she had found a discarded
leaflet on my last visit and really liked the
approach we took in encouraging veganism in
a way that isn’t “all or nothing.”
A woman told me she had gone veg as a result
of the pamphlets and our conversation last semester.
She told me she had started by cutting her meat
[consumption] in half, then three quarters,
and so on. She said she felt great both physically
and emotionally. So great to see this working
right before my eyes!
—Brian Grupe, 2/2/10
|A University of South Carolina student is engrossed in learning the hidden truth of modern agribusiness, while Rob awaits more students in the background.|
for sending me the booklets. This
will be my first time leafleting, and I was
kind of nervous. But after reading Matt’s Animal
Activist’s Handbook, I’m really excited!
It is such an inspiring book and it gave me
so much good advice.
at the College of Charleston were
once again crazy over Syba (our canine companion).
It was great because people would stop to pet
her and I would hand out the Compassionate
Choices. A student came up to me saying
that she had been vegan for two years. After
receiving a CC and a Guide,
she is now convinced and returning to veganism.
—Rob Gilbride (at right), 2/3/10
day at Bethume-Cook College
– an African American, never-before-leafleted
school. Phil and I met several vegetarians and
had a lot of talks and laughs. One very large
vegetarian took lit to share with his classmates.
—Vic Sjodin, 1/28/10
high acceptance rate at San Luis
Obispo High School. Right at the start, one
young woman said she recently became a vegetarian
after receiving a leaflet. I congratulated her
for making the change and gave her a Guide.
After leafleting, our outreach continued when
Roshanne (Bakhtiary) and I stopped for coffee.
After inquiring about vegan options, the barista
told us that he used to be a vegan. I asked
why he stopped and he could not give a reason.
I encouraged him to consider veganism again.
He acknowledged he had compassion for animals
and said he’d give it another try.
—Johanna Andris, 2/1/10
to leaflet the University of Central
Missouri with Leah Wagner. I had a faculty member
tell me he supported the cause and was glad
to see us there. A young student told me he
was doing a presentation on factory farming
so I gave him a few extras and directed him
to some good websites. It’s nice to hear
that college students are talking about this.
I attended this exact school a little over four
years ago, and I don’t recall anyone talking
about the nasty politics of food production.
—Eva Helsel (at right), 2/2/10
stopped at a light, a Gaithersburg
High School student jumped out of her truck,
ran over to get a booklet, and then ran back,
making it on time. Another yelled out the window,
“My boyfriend’s a vegan!”
I heard similar comments today at Montgomery
College – Germantown. This is catching
on, friends. We need to continue to just do
our best to represent the animals in a positive,
productive manner – as opposed to giving
in to impatience and frustration – as
change truly is in motion. Thanks to all of
you – leafleters and donors – who
are creating this change!
—Jon Camp, 2/2/10
|Chris Murguia reaches out for the animals at James Madison University.|
to two Youngstown State English
classes looking for topics for a paper. My talk
was not what they expected. Many said the
argument – reducing animal suffering –
had no holes or flaws in it, essentially leaving
them with no questions about why one should
not eat animals. I kept on track the whole time
using the “indisputable bottom line”
argument for changing their diet. Essentially,
my whole talk incorporated VO literature (Even
If You Like Meat), which was very well
received by the 50 students. When I polled them
before class, 2/3 said they had had a “bad
vegetarian experience” – i.e. conflict
with a difficult vegetarian. I feel safe to
say that the talks were good vegetarian experiences
for the students. Many of the students decided
to write about the issue and are rethinking
the way that they eat.
—Dan Kuzma, 2/7/10
though it was 9 degrees, I was
excited to be back in the field at the University
of Illinois – Chicago. Another person
leafleting told me he was vegetarian, so I gave
him a Guide. Another
told me she recently went veg. I asked if she wanted some recipes
and she said, “Yes, I am SO hungry!”
At one point I realized a young man was standing
waiting to talk to me. He said, “I think
it is really beautiful what you are doing, being
out here helping animals especially in this
cold.” It was sweet and he took a Guide.
—Leslie Patterson, 1/29/10
|A student at Wayne State learns the truth after receiving a booklet from Leah; below, she braves the elements to reach more Michigan students.|
It was 1 degree today
in Detroit, so I had to go into the library
periodically to thaw out. I gave a brochure
to a guy in there sitting next to me. He said
he used to be vegetarian for health reasons.
Then he opened the brochure and started saying,
“Wow…wow!” He then said he’s going
to try it again. I didn’t have any Guides
with me, but I told him how to get one.
—Leah Wagner (below), 1/29/10
received a brochure on my campus.
Thanks for the knowledge – you are changing
my thoughts about the animals which we eat.
Please send me recipes!
day at the University of Virginia.
One guy told me that my polite and non-pushy
approach was unusual and admirable, and this
led to a productive conversation. One young
woman mentioned that receiving the Even
If You Like Meat from me last year led
to her going vegan. I also came across a guy
I met the last time I was there who is still
veg as a result of an Even If, and
another young woman let me know that she is
going veg for the next month.
—Jon Camp, 1/28/10
want to say how happy and fortunate
I feel to have leafleted across Florida with
Vic Sjodin and Phil Letten. I had many great
encounters, including several students who came
up to me and said, “Is that the info about
animals – I would like one.” A woman
pointed to the words on the cover of the Even
If You Like Meat and said she could probably cut
her meat consumption in half but didn’t think
she could completely stop eating meat. I thanked
her for considering the positive step and gave
her encouragement and a Guide.
A student called the pamphlet “effective.”
—Lana Smithson, 1/27/10
and I had a very effective day
at Valencia College, Seminole College –
Oviedo, Seminole College – Sanford, and
the University of Central Florida. We met what
felt like a zillion vegetarians and had an extraordinary
amount of conversations as these schools are
conducive to that. One girl said she only ate
chicken, and Phil broke it down for her that
they are by far the most abused animal, etc.,
and she pledged never to eat chicken again.
Several thanked us for the info, others wanted more
for friends – I can’t remember all of
the other interesting interactions!
—Vic Sjodin, 1/27/10
|Leah Wagner (above) and Joe Espinosa (below) braved the cold to take the animals’ message to University of Michigan students.|
thanks to Lana Smithson and Nikki
Benoit for driving out to Orlando to join Phil
Letten and me at Central Florida University.
We had numerous great interactions, and watched
many people reading their booklet. Someone told
Lana the pamphlet made them cry, and later,
two guys prayed with her that her message would
be heard. My favorite was a girl who, after
speaking with me, threw her platter of bacon
and eggs in the trash. Very proud of our effort
today – it was very tiring, but everybody
just kept plugging away. There are many new
vegetarians in Orlando tonight.
—Vic Sjodin, 1/26/10 (Note: the 7,498 students they reached is a new one-day single-school record!)
in the very conservative farm
state of Kansas, we’re doing our best
to spread the word about factory farming and
animal suffering. We led a six-week series of
ethics classes at our church and did two classes
on factory farming, handing out Vegan Outreach
literature and referencing your website. (We
also leave your booklets on the pamphlet table
at church.) As a result, our church has decided
to always offer vegetarian fare as an alternative.
Our daughters also do outreach to their friends
at school, and some have gone vegetarian. Just
as we were ignorant in the past, we believe
most people really don’t know about modern
factory farming, and it is our job to get the
information to them.
starting to leaflet here in Kitchener-Waterloo;
here is my latest donation. I was an omnivore
for years – if I can be won over, there’s
1,075 students with Even If
You Like Meat booklets at Illinois State,
and also handed out 14 Guides.
One student let me know that getting a booklet
from us last semester had moved her to become
vegetarian. Also, I was approached by two separate
students who inquired about joining in the work.
I gave them each a copy of AML
and a brief explanation that leafleting on behalf
af farmed animals was statistically likely to
be the best thing we can do to reduce animal
suffering at this time.
—Joe Espinosa (at right), 1/12/10
booklets to 1,400 students during
a long day at Virginia Commonwealth University,
while receiving some kind words of support.
One young woman said receiving the Even
If last November prompted her to go veg.
—Jon Camp, 1/26/10
|Neither Chicago snow nor the dead of night keeps Drea Alexander from reaching out to spread compassion.|
Clara University, a student mentioned
that the booklets had been brought up in one
of his classes, and for the most part the students
agreed with what was said inside. He also asked
how I felt about the human suffering that was
caused by factory farming and said he felt the
booklets would have a larger impact upon the
students if the booklets had discussed that
issue more. I agreed that the impact from factory
farms on humans was certainly terrible and worth
ending as well, but I felt that one of the things
the booklets were intended to challenge was
the idea that non-human animals aren’t
worthy of having their interests considered
in and of themselves. He agreed with this.
—Theo Summer, 1/13/10
Houston Marathon, I met a nice
family that all went veg after I gave them a
booklet at the International Festival a few
years ago – the father opened the booklet
and they quit (eating meat) on the spot. They
even help Eugene Khutoryansky leaflet on occassion.
—Casey Constable, 1/17/10
a great conversation with a guy
who seemed really inspired to change his diet
after reading a booklet. This kind of interaction
always makes me realize how important it is
to be out there spreading the word. I’m
sure we all make a real difference for animals
each time we make the effort to leaflet.
—Yvonne LeGrice, 1/15/10
|Rico McCoy lets another Southwestern Illinois College student know the hidden truth of factory farms.|
day at George Washington U. These
booklets are becoming recognizable on campuses
everywhere. Several students today knew exactly
what it was before I handed it to them, and
so many said that it is what prompted them to
try vegetarian/vegan. Also, a student we met
while leafleting was excited to see people being
active on campus and was inspired to get active
herself. We gave her Vegan Outreach’s contact
—Aaron Ross, 1/13/10
Anza College last week, a gal
approached me to let me know she had been veg
for four months after receiving a leaflet from
me last quarter. She had recently stopped being
completely veg because she felt she didn’t
know how to do it properly. She almost jumped
for joy when I handed her a Guide!
Another gal approached Theo (Summer) and me
to thank us for leafleting. She said she was
veg a few years back but (like the other gal)
didn’t know what to eat to stay healthy.
She was also totally excited to get a Guide.
Today at Santa Rosa Junior College (main and Petaluma campuses), Theo remarked this might have been his best day of outreach as far as both exchanges and general leafleting. We met a number of vegetarians at SRJC and I also chatted with inquisitive individuals. At the Petaluma campus, Theo was jealous because I met five vegans (two in a row!) and more vegetarians. Too many conversations to detail, but ALL were good.
—Brian Grupe, 1/11/10
|Andrea Cimino takes the animals’ message to the students at the University of Mary Washington.|
been handing out your booklets and
just got a bunch of new vegans! I am especially
proud as I got a whole, wonderful family on
board, including their 13 year old, who was disgusted
when he saw it. These booklets WORK!
—Linda Middlesworth, 1/21/10
Written to Phil
I’m really happy you guys came to Georgia Southern because just today I was talking to someone as she started reading your booklet. This girl had NO idea this stuff went on and this was legal. I think most of the reason more people aren’t vegetarian or vegan is because they don’t know of the brutal and unfair treatment of helpless animals. Another girl told me she’s never really thought about where meat comes from! I was blown away. Thank you for making such an impact.
at the Galleria Mall, I just happened
to overhear one woman tell her friend that she
had gone vegetarian because of a booklet she
received from me. Later, after talking to a
guy for several minutes, his mother chimed
in that it was receiving a booklet from me that
had convinced him to go veg. So our conversion
rate is a lot higher than one would think just
by listening to direct feedback, or lack thereof.
Most people just don’t seem to feel compelled
to share the good news with us.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 12/21/09
freezing, but Wesley College was
great. One student said she had received a booklet
in the past and, after receiving it again today,
is considering going vegetarian. Having read
Even If You Like Meat, another student
came back and said he will try vegetarian.
—Aaron Ross (above, at George Washington U), 1/11/10
interactions at Linn-Benton Community
College. One woman said that after getting a
booklet last term, she and her fiancé have been
eating more meatless meals. Others commented
on how sad the pictures and info are. One person
was really shocked and asked in disbelief, “Is
this still going on?” Had a couple of
people ask for extras for friends, and saw other
students reading the booklets and talking about
—Nettie Schwager, 1/4/10
Met some vegetarians and
engaged others in dialogue at Mott Community College.
Some told me they wanted to try going vegetarian
or at least cut down on meat. At one point I
went inside a building to warm up and noticed
a bunch of people intently reading the leaflets
while sitting down in the lobby.
—Phil Letten, 1/12/10
a lot of kids engrossed in their
booklets today at Boulder High School, which
is always great to see. One young woman recognized
me from a few days ago while I was out dog-walking.
At that time she had said, “I like your
vegan pin.” I didn’t wear my pin while
leafleting today, but when she saw me on her
campus, she said, “Hey, I saw you the other
day. You’re a vegan – that’s the way to
be!” She and her friend happily accepted
—Barbara Bear, 1/12/10
day of leafleting at the University
of California, Davis. Theo Summer (right) and
I were in action for six solid hours, and we
were joined by Matt Zavortink making his leafleting
debut. Students seem to take this issue very
seriously. One student reported that they had
spent a portion of her comparative sociology
course discussing the booklet. A teacher said
to me, “Ah! I saw my students with these
in class today. You know I teach about this
in class.” I heard a number of people
remark to a friend/ group, “I can’t
look at those pictures!” or “Don’t
look at it or you won’t be able to eat
meat!” As much as people would like the
issue to remain “out of sight, out of
mind,” we leafleters will keep on truckin’
until justice is served up in the form of a
vegan meal on every plate!
—Brian Grupe, 1/5/10
|Raphaella Banholzer reaches another UC Santa Barbara student with the truth.|
This was a badly cold,
below-zero-windchill evening leafleting with
Mikael (Nielsen) by Columbia and DePaul. The reception
was good; a few unlikely targets asked for a
booklet, including a group of cops and a couple
of tough-looking guys who said they were veg.
One guy tried to poke fun at me saying, “You
could have picked a different day to do this,”
but after hearing, “Animals don’t
get a break from this. I can handle standing
here for an hour,” he nodded with a serious
—Darina Smith, 12/10/09
I met a woman who
had gotten a booklet from me last semester and
had drastically reduced her meat consumption.
She was very happy to receive a Guide
and thanked me profusely for providing her with
such valuable information. Six guys (all taller
than me, and I’m 6') were walking
together towards me and I offered them booklets.
We formed somewhat of a circle and I was able
to successfully “bro-down” with
them about animal cruelty and veganism. One
commented how he liked soy milk, and they all
Strips. They yelled out lots of thanks as
they walked off. Pretty amazing experience.
—Brian Grupe, 12/8/09
At the University of South Florida,
Tampa, a member of the school’s environmental
group said he would show the leaflet to others
in the group. A vegetarian student chatted awhile and pondered about how many people would
continue to eat meat if they had to kill the
animals themselves. We joked (and lamented)
that most self-proclaimed “carnivores”
are actually vultures, since they’re eating
animals who are already dead (carrion) –
killed by someone else. The carrion just happens
to come in nice, neat packages. I used to eat
from those packages without thinking about it.
Now I’m helping others think about how
gross and awful the meat industry really is.
—Lana Smithson, 12/10/09
|Arnold D. Gardiner provides evening commuters with Compassionate Choices at Chicago’s Fullerton Red Line Station.|
Takoma Park was solid for the first day of finals.
Within minutes, a young fellow let me know that
he got a booklet from us in January at Frostburg
State U, way on the other side of MD, and has
been veg since. He took a Guide. Additionally,
a young woman let me know that she got a booklet
from me last month and subsequently did a report
on the issue for a class of hers.
—Jon Camp, 12/14/09
Pretty good take rate at
Oakton Community College, despite the snow and
wind. One young man was especially happy to
see me because he wants to go vegetarian for
the animals. He had questions about nutrition
and how to handle the issue with his meat-eating
—Leslie Patterson, 12/9/09
from 11 vegetarians and three
vegans at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
One of the vegetarians let me know that it was
getting the booklet from me in the past that
moved him to become vegetarian. With our persistence,
the norm is changing.
I also had the opportunity to lock horns with a professor of animal agriculture. He said our booklet was inaccurate. I pointed out the citations from the USDA and animal agriculture journals and textbooks, and invited him to let Dr. Cheeke and Dr. Rollin know that he thought that their research and reporting was crappy. He accused me of having a singular focus that does not see the other side of it. I pointed out that I ate meat for 21 years and entered UIUC in 1989 in the College of Agriculture seeking a career in agriculture, but learning the truth about what happens to animals in modern farming had me leave that field. I explained that producing and consuming meat, milk and eggs causes unnecessary suffering, and that causing unnecessary suffering is wrong. He was frustrated and angered at my truthiness.
—Joe Espinosa, 12/15/09
|Students at San Joaquin Delta College study booklets received from Brian Grupe.|
efforts to bring compassion and
awareness to the horrible suffering animals
endure is commendable – and is definitely
bringing about change. I am pleased to enclose
a donation to continue this wonderful work.
of Riverside City College was
Nolan, who walked by and turned the leaflet
down. He went by a second time and to my, “Information
to help animals?” he replied with some
antagonism, “Help them into my belly?”
Then – who knows why – he came up
a third time and asked what I was handing
out, what organization I was from, and said he was
really opposed to violent treatment of animals
in factory farming. I admit I was a bit dubious
at first and a little tentative, but he persisted.
He finished with, “Well, I’m headed
to a philosophy class now. This will give me
a lot to think about.”
—Brianne Donaldson, 12/8/09
take rate today at the University
of Arizona. Best feedback was from a guy who took
an Even If You Like Meat and said,
“I’m on board with this.”
Then, pointing to the pictures, “This
is messed up.” Finally, turning to me
to shake my hand, “You’re doing a good
thing out here.”
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/24/09
University of Virginia, a young
woman told me she had just taken a test on industrial
agriculture in her Environmental Policy class.
And shortly before that, a guy let me know that
he received a booklet in February and, as a
result, decided to try eating 50% less meat,
as suggested in the booklet. That went well
and so he decided to give vegetarianism a try.
It likewise went well, and he hasn’t had any
meat in six months.
—Jon Camp, 12/7/09
Park High School, the kids seemed
to recognize the issue right away, versus taking
the booklet with the “Let me see what
this is about” look. It was snowing heavily
while I leafleted which wasn’t great.
Still, it was an awesome morning. Once again
I learned that as tempting as it is to get two
extra hours of sleep, it’s much more rewarding
to kick off the day with successful outreach.
—Darina Smith, 12/8/09
More selected feedback available here.
|Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.|
|All donations are fully tax-deductible.|
|POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916|