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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

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

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916

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Selected 2010 Feedback

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CSUF student
Students at Cal State Fullerton (above) and Cal State San Bernadino (below) have their eyes opened by Nikki.
CSUSB student
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.
Veg as a result of a VO booklet!

We are 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.
—SP, 12/28/10

We had 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 such.
     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

For 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 each school:
     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

Profuse 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

 

Reagan Kimball
At the University of Maryland, Reagan Kimball proves the mythical car handoff actually does exist!

A little 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

Ashley 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

Very 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

At Hunter 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

2010 Veggie Award
Many thanks to everyone who made Vegan Outreach VegNews’ Favorite Vegetarian Organization!

Soon 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

Low 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

Chilly 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

Darina Smith
A University of Alabama student is enlightened by Darina Smith! Below, another UA student studies the reality previously hidden by agribusiness.

It was 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

Snow 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

Great 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, etc.
—Barbara Bear, 12/14/10

UA student

While 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

At St. 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 there.
     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

 

Nikki Benoit and Fullerton students

Yvonne 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

Congratulations to Nikki, Adopt a College’s top fall leafleter. She personally handed booklets directly to 74,190 students at 94 different schools!

Kate St. John
Kate St. John of the Animal Awareness Project helps another James Madison University student take action for the animals.

Despite 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 them!
     This was a telling exchange:
     Random dude: “My dad is a butcher, hah.”
     Me: “OK…so?”
     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

Cold 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

SRJC student
After meeting Brian Grupe, a new vegetarian at Santa Rosa Junior College studies her Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.

Great 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.” Indeed!
—Barbara Bear, 10/22/10

We had 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

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

Aaron Ross
Above, Aaron Ross enlightens another student at Virginia Tech; below, our fourth president lends a hand at James Madison U!
Statue

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 run.
      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” animals!
     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
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

UMD student

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 professor.
     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
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

 

Reagan Kimball
Above, Reagan Kimball leaflets in University of Maryland’s flurries; below, two Terrapins keep warm with Compassionate Choices.
UMD students

To leaflet 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

I was 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

Today 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

Incredibly 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

CSULB student
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

Callie, 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

Awesome 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

Some 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
Jessie Brockway spreads veggie warmth at Florida Atlantic University.

At the 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

Great 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

Over 3,200 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

Amanda 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

Great 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

Brian Winkelman

Brian (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

At Cal 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

 

SMC student

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

Aaron Ross

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

Leslie Patterson

On our 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 receptive!
—Joe Espinosa, 10/11/10

Aleta 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
Diana Scott takes the animals’ case to Columbia College students.

I just read your 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.
—RH, 12/1/10

At Clark 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
Megan Brunning provides a sunny example of compassionate living at the University of Georgia.

We reached 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

At the 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

Jon Camp

Festive 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 friends.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/13/10

At Northern 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

 

WCSU students
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 thrilled.
—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.
—SA, 11/25/10

World Veg Fest

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

At the 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 Adopt a College.
—Lana Smithson, 9/30/10

At the 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

UTEP students
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.
UNM students

Leafleting 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

Teamed 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

It was 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

At Sam 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

When 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. Thanks!
—CJ, 11/3/10

Great 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

Ventura students
Person to person to person; a student at Ventura Community College shares new insights about making Compassionate Choices.

Right 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

Front 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 since.”
—Jeni Haines, 9/27/10

 

Darina Smith
Darina Smith builds a better world at Virginia Commonwealth University.

I had 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.
—CL, 11/19/10

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.
—CC, 11/4/10

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.
—LW, 11/4/10

Dawn
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

Aleta 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 being there.
—Karen James, 9/29/10

At the 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

UA student

Lynn 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

Acceptance 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

Grace 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

Fresno State students
Students at Fresno State are engrossed in learning the truth.

Lots 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

Today 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

 

Matthew
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.”

At Kenyon 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

A couple 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 know.
—AD, 11/3/10

Karen James
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.
—RP, 10/26/10

Laura, 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
Alexis Scherba reaches out to a student at Loyola University; below, a Loyola student is engrossed.

Today 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

From the latest batch of online requests for the Guide:

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

Loyola student

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.
—RM, 10/31/10

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
Analeese Doehrty puts compassion on the curriculum at UC Irvine.

A great 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 animals.
—John Sakars, 9/23/10

We reached 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

I had 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 the Guide 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

Taylor Cook
Ten-hut! Taylor Cook makes ethical eating the order of the day at the University of Mississippi.

At SUNY 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 seemed grateful.
—Lana Smithson, 9/22/10

Tons 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

It was 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
Duke and the rest of the Vegas Veg crew make sure UNLV students hear the animals’ message.

We reached 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

I handed 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

Ann, 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

Joe Espinosa
Spreading compassion is a numbers game, with Joe Espinosa reaching out to more students at Illinois State.

Good 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

At Naugatuck 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

Twelve 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 a Guide 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

Marsha Hargreaves
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 as well!
—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

SBCC student
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

Taylor R
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

 

UNC student
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.

I got 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!
—PV, 10/18/10

Thank 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!
—MB, 10/18/10

Best 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

I had 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 ever before!
—Roger Clarke, 9/8/10

At the 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 take one.”
Lana Smithson, 9/9/10

Allie Cornell
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

UC Berkeley student
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

Great 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
Naimah Abdullah helps expose modern agribusiness at Clemson.

Today 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!
—DB, 10/11/10

Bismarck 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

Darina 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

While 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 try this!”
—Leslie Patterson, 9/3/10

Guide reader
Pull up a chair! A student at California’s Canada College is Guided by a booklet received from Brian Grupe.

A long 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

Lots 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

Great 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

Chris Murphy
More Floridians learn the truth from Christopher Murphy.

What 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
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!
—MS, 10/5/10

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
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

Cal State student
After receiving a booklet from Nikki Benoit, a student at California State, Los Angeles studies the formerly hidden truth.

A slow 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

At the 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

Stewart Solomon
Little did this CSU Northridge student know, Stewart Solomon was about to change his life!

At Northeastern 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
Rachel Shippee helps another student at the College of Lake County learn the truth that would otherwise remain hidden.

A great 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.
—JB, 9/23/10

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

I am 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.
—MR, 9/17/10

Erin Marcus
Erin Marcus reaches out on behalf of the animals at the Virgin Mobile Fest.

One person 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

Cassandra 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

Lunchtime 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

At Roosevelt 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 the leaflets.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/1/10

Darina Smith
More compassion in action in Indianapolis, thanks to Darina Smith!

Brian 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

The acceptance 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

 

Charlotte

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.
—OL, 9/24/10

Kathleen

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 had one.
—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
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 on track.
—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
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

At Fullerton 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
Estafani Enciso-Marquez reaches yet another student at City College of San Francisco.

My first 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

Jon 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

Toronto reader
Compassion for Animals opens another set of eyes in Toronto.

Leafleting 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

I reached 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

Bill 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
Chris Capozziello provides the animals a voice at Oakton Community College.

Great 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 since!
—Leah Wagner, 8/25/10

I took 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 agreed!
—John Oberg, 8/19/10

Lana Smithson
Attendees at the Taste of Brunswick get a taste of reality from Lana Smithson.

John 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 to VO!
—Jeff Boghosian, 8/26/10

Eitan, 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 booklet.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/25/10

 

Courtney Donnerberg and Tawd Bell
Courtney Donnerberg and Tawd Bell provide the animals a voice at the Cincinnati Warped Tour.

We had 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

Leafleting the 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

I had 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

At the 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
Mark Szumowski exposes modern agribusiness at Chicago’s Harold Washington College.

Today 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

One 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
Jackie Leeson helps create a more informed, compassionate world at SUNY Binghamton.

Nick, 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

Before 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
Dan Kuzma changes lives at the Cleveland Warped Tour.

Three from the most recent batch of Guide requests:

My daughter attended the Warped Tour and brought a Choose Compassion pamphlet home. We became vegetarian and I am looking into vegan options.
—DL, 8/9/10

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 this lifestyle.
—OA, 8/12/10

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!
—KH, 8/18/10

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

Mohamed Abdiweli
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

The 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 stops!
—Nick Cooney, 7/30/10

Darina Smith

I got 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

Reached 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
Kenny Torrella provides the animals a voice at Middle Tennessee State University.

At the 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 booklet.
     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

Tae and Jeff

Very, very receptive and interested crowd at the Justin Bieber concert, and many people thanked us (Shani Campbell & Jeni Haines).
—Brian Grupe, 7/17/10

The 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 Guides) 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

Mark, 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

Judy

This 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

Anthony Sorge

 

My husband 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
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 last semester.
     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

Stony Brook mascot
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

Such 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
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

Rebecca Solomon

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

Nick Cooney

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 with VO!
—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

 

Kasey Ball
Another ISU student learns the truth from Kasey Ball.

What 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 were yesterday!
The Animal Awareness Project, 6/20/10

After reading your booklet, I want to become completely vegan.
—AG, 6/25/10

I received 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!
—JM, 7/6/10

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.
—SB, 6/29/10

Jamie Rivet
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!
—SQ, 8/6/10

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

Joe Espinosa

In my 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

A sparse 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

Great 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
Jenell Holden makes sure the students at Harold Washington College have a chance to make informed decisions.

Good 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

It was 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 eat meat.”
—Todd Lent, 6/19/10

 

Laura Hart
Laura Hart (above) and Todd Lent (below) take the animals’ case to the students at SUNY Albany.

During 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 Guide 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

Exhausting 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 leaflets.
—Brian Grupe, 6/1/10

Todd Lent

Plenty 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

I only 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 the brochure!
—Jeff Boghosian, 6/5/10

The 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

Jenn Adams
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students have their lives changed by Jenn Adams.

Heard 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
Paula von der Lancken creates more change at Hudson Valley Community College.

Tabling 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

Erin (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
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?
—WG, 7/17/10

While strolling in Chicago, I accepted a booklet from one of your volunteers. Now I’m determined to go vegan!
—PP, 7/5/10

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

Veggie Pride Parade

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
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 best
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 community yet.
—Jeff Boghosian, 5/29/10

 

Warped Tour
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.

Leafleting 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?”
     Me: “Yes.”
     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

Estafani 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, too!
—Brian Grupe, 5/19/10

Team 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

MSU student
A Montana State student studies the case for compassion after getting a booklet from Bonnie Goodman.

I left 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 / vegetarians.
—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

At the Taylor Swift concert, I met one person who told me that the Why Vegan? pamphlet is what caused them to go vegetarian two years ago.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 5/27/10

Anna Hasenmueller
Anna Hasenmueller takes the animals’ message to the students of Middle Tennessee State.

Colin, 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 into.
—Yvonne LeGrice, 5/27/10

Jane 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 the booklet.
—Jon Camp, 5/28/10

 

Cassandra Callaghan
Cassandra Callaghan works for the animals at Fordham University.

Reached 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

Solano 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

Good 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

Twila Hoyle

I wasn’t 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

Around 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, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and fellow VO leafleter John Sakars (who took the picture of us, below).
—Twila Hoyle, 5/16/10

Twila, Jane, and Jack

Mostly 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

Well 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
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 and A Meaningful Life. Met a young man that went veg last year after receiving a VO brochure (yay Brianne!). 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 package.
—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 his diet.
     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

De Anza student
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

Met a 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 radio program.
     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
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 meat.
—CB, 6/17/10

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
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 next semester.
     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.
—AM, 6/16/10

 

ELAC students
Four out of five East Los Angeles College students prefer Compassionate Choices!

Reached 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

1,150 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 et al.
Jamie Rivet and some of the Vegan Outreach gang in Toronto!

The students 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. Scholastica 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

Great 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

 

LACC student
After 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 manner.
—Brian Grupe, 5/3/10

A really 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 this stuff.”
—Jo Tyler, 4/30/10

A short 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
Bryan Wilson provides enlightenment at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

Better 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
Chuente Castañeda exposes the animals’ plight to another University of Southern California student.

Cassandra (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

At the 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
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.

Really 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

Many 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

ARC student

Leafleting 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

I was 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 her one.
     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
Kara Kehoe gives the truth to another student at Cal State, Sacramento.

At the 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

Casey Constable
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

At the 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

At the 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

 

Sam Vendettuol
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.

Tuesday, 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

At Iowa 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

Will Schweitzer

It was 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

At Sacramento 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

Christine 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

It’s 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!      Montgomery College 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 2010.
—Aaron Ross, 4/22/10

Johanna Andris
Johanna Andris helps another Cal Poly student apply ethics to farmed animals.

Last 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
Peggy Koteen lets another Cal Poly student learn about how he can make a real difference.

Aleta, 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

Awesome day at Louisiana Tech. Highlight: two women who had lots of questions. When I saw them again later, they said they were going veg!
—Vic Sjodin, 4/15/10

Receptive 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

Friendly / 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

Whittier students
Four Whittier College students (beauty school dropouts?) intently study the booklets they received from Nikki Benoit.

I love you guys! I feel so good helping animals, and have helped some of my friends go vegan. Thanks for inspiring me!
—FR, 4/29/10

Reached 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

At Castleton 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

Hartford student
After receiving a booklet from Karen James, a student at the University of Hartford studies the truth about modern agribusiness.

I met 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

My mother-in-law 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

Sara 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
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

Reached 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 VO.
—Kate and Aaron, Team Vegan members: The Animal Awareness Project, 4/5/10

UMD student
Compelling! Students at the University of Maryland (above) and Southern Connecticut State University (below) learn of the animals’ plight.

Reached 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

Very 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

I was 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 first seeds.
—Darina Smith, 4/8/10

SCSU student

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

At De 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

Four hundred 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

Julia Caruk
A University of Connecticut student has his questions answered by Julia Caruk.

Tessa, 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

Thanks 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
Allie Holaday helps another University of Connecticut student make informed choices.

At Minnesota 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

Great 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

Yale student
Students at Yale (above) and University of Maryland (below) engrossed in the case for compassion.

Brutal 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

A Duke 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

Reached 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 choices.
—Leslie Patterson, 4/2/10

Heard 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.
—RH, 3/31/10

UMD student

Chelsey, 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

Jodie 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

At SUNY 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
Aaron Ross provides the animals a voice at Towson University.

Jenna, 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

Another 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
Reagan Kimball lets a student at Bowie State know what modern agribusiness hides.

Students at my school in Baltimore (UMBC) were handing out free booklets. These shocking images and stories have really affected me!
—KH, 3/26/10

The pamphlet about animal cruelty that someone was handing out on campus strongly impacted my life. Thank you so much.
—SB, 4/2/10

I just 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.
—BH, 4/17/10

Alene 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

KU student
Studying the truth at the University of Kansas after receiving a booklet from Eva Helsel.

I felt 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

Very 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

We reached 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
Karen James provides the animals a voice at Western Connecticut State.

Tuesday 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 Studies.
     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

Some 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

Kasey and Kassidy Ball

Leslie (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
Lesley Parker-Rollins promotes the animals’ message at Towson University; below, a University of Maryland student studies the truth.

My husband, 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 extremely effective.
—VN, 4/10/10

While 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

At Polk 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 hug.
     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

UMD student

Here’s my donation. I received my tax refund today and thought you guys deserved a piece of the (vegan) pie!
—CS, 4/7/10

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

High 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 the “Help Stop Violence” guy, which apparently is me.
—Joe Espinosa, 3/23/10

At West 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 ago!
—Karen James, 3/23/10

Roy Taylor
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

Becky, 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 State Northridge.
Stewart Solomon, 3/18/10

 

Kristen Cook
Kristen Cook creates change at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

I love the Animal Activist’s Handbook. 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.
—HS, 3/31/10

Highlight 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 as well.
     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

UF student
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.

Your 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.
—PB, 4/3/10

Reached 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

The highlight 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

UF student

Good 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

At Pace 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

Aaron Ross
At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Aaron Ross helps another student learn the truth so assiduously hidden by modern agribusiness.

I met 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 LOVE IT.
Vic Sjodin, 3/16/10

I love the Animal 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.
—HP, 3/29/10

Daniel Earle
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 Benoit:
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.
—AT, 3/23/10

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.
—BR, 3/10/10

EMU student

I know 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.
BR, 3/26/10

At Polk 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 class.
     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
Darina Smith reaches the incoming students at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago.

Many 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

Leafleting 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
Kate St. John makes the animals’ case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Reached 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

I had 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
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

MSU student

Students were very receptive at Morgan State Wednesday. One student came back and said, “I couldn’t eat my damn sandwich ’cause of you!”
     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

Two 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

Good 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
Vic Sjodin connects with a student at Florida International University.

Jovan, 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

I’ve 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 works!
—Jon Camp, 3/8/10

 

UNF student
A University of North Florida student studies the truth she received from Rob Gilbride.

I received 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.
—LM, 3/6/10

Lots 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

I passed 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

Brian Grupe

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 so often.
     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 cafeteria!
—Eva Helsel, 3/1/10

Ashley (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 something tonight.
—Kenny Torrella, 2/24/10

Kathryn Farnsworth

Leafleting 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, “Isn’t it expensive to be vegan?” as well as the recipe section. He happily accepted it.
—Barbara Bear, 3/2/10

Kathryn 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 stuff works!
—Jon Camp, 3/2/10

 

Kushi

Kushi 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 week.
—Drew Wilson, 2/19/10

Written to Eleni Vlachos:
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!
—LS, 3/7/10

WPI students

I really 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

I was 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 vegan outreach!
—Faith Jackson, 2/23/10

Jon (Camp) 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
Brianne Donaldson reaches another Chapman University student with the animals’ message.

I think 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

Good 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

It was 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

 

Moviegoers read VO booklets
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.

Thank 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!
—CH, 2/17/10

I am 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

Bonnie Goodman

Highlight 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

Great 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

Michele 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 and Phil Letten
Vic Sjodin exchanges information with a Florida International University student while Phil Letten waits for the next student.

I’ve 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!
—MR, 2/25/10

Great 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

There 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

 

Adrie Voors
Adrie Voors lets another James Madison University student know the hidden
fate of “food animals.”

I handed 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

Conversation of the day at Montgomery College – Takoma Park:
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

At Stetson 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

Met some 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
University of Missouri students are engrossed in VO booklets.

While 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

Yve Solbrekken, 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 well also.
—Rick Hershey, 2/4/10

Thank you for the dose of rationality!
—RH, 2/17/10, via Facebook

 

Very 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

USC student
A University of South Carolina student is engrossed in learning the hidden truth of modern agribusiness, while Rob awaits more students in the background.

Thanks 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.
—BD, 2/9/10

Students 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

Fun 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

Very 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

Eva Helsel

So nice 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

While 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
Chris Murguia reaches out for the animals at James Madison University.

I talked 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

Even 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

Wayne State student
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

I just 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!
—RK, 2/6/10

An outstanding 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

Leah Wagner

I just 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

Phil 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
Leah Wagner (above) and Joe Espinosa (below) braved the cold to take the animals’ message to University of Michigan students.

Many 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!)

Here 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.
—M&CO, 1/3/10

Joe Espinosa

We’re 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 hope!
—AH, 1/24/10

Reached 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

Handed 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

Drea Alexander
Neither Chicago snow nor the dead of night keeps Drea Alexander from reaching out to spread compassion.

At Santa 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

At the 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

I had 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
Rico McCoy lets another Southwestern Illinois College student know the hidden truth of factory farms.

A great 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 info.
—Aaron Ross, 1/13/10

At De 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
Andrea Cimino takes the animals’ message to the students at the University of Mary Washington.

I have 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 Letten:
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.
—JT, 1/20/10

 

Aaron Ross

Leafleting 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

It was 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

Good 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 it.
—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

I saw 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 leaflets.
—Barbara Bear, 1/12/10

Theo Summer

Awesome 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
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 face.
—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 wanted Primal 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
Arnold D. Gardiner provides evening commuters with Compassionate Choices at Chicago’s Fullerton Red Line Station.

Montgomery College, 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 friends.
—Leslie Patterson, 12/9/09

Heard 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

 

SJDC students
Students at San Joaquin Delta College study booklets received from Brian Grupe.

Your 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.
—ET, 12/16/09

The highlight 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

Good 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

At the 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

At Lincoln 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

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Best in America Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating. Prevent Suffering!
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