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

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

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916

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Selected 2011 Feedback

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New veg Connor
After receiving a Compassionate Choices at UCSB, Connor told Nikki: “This flier tipped the scales for me this morning. I’m going veg right now.”

My tour was amazing, from California to Louisiana! It was great to meet people who had gone veg after getting a booklet previously, and talk to so many interested people. Thank you all for your amazing support and encouraging words throughout the duration of the tour. There’s no way I could have done it without you.
—Jeni Haines, 12/15/11

Heidi and I reached nearly 2,000 students and had great conversations at San Diego Mesa College. One student took a stack of Compassionate Choices to give to her philosophy professor who was “just talking about this.” A student doing a presentation on factory farms (literally on his way to class to do it) asked for 30 to give his classmates. BAM!
—Nikki Benoit, 12/6/11

While waiting for the rush of students at South Portland High School, I had a nice conversation with two bus drivers. One of them started telling the other about the cramped, awful conditions for animals, and he specifically mentioned chickens. We talked about the abundance of other foods including veggie meats. He said, “With a lot of them, you can’t even tell the difference.” He gladly accepted a Guide, and the other driver asked for an extra Even If You Like Meat to give to a friend.
—Lana Smithson, 12/6/11

New vegan Laura
Laura is another new vegan at Citrus College –
thanks to you!

At Princeton, I ran into a student who commented that this is perfect timing. She was giving a presentation on these issues to her Practical Ethics class that very day. She actually said she was wishing she had some of these booklets for passing around! Well, she got some!
     At Haverford College, the front of the dining center is a great spot for student traffic. It occurred to me that this might disrupt a few lunches. Apparently it did, because security came. I told him I knew it is a private school, but many schools have their campuses open to free speech, allowing intelligent, meaningful dialogues to open up. He said this school is a business, and handing these out in front of the dining center was disrupting business. Success!
—B Wink, 12/6/11

The First Friday Art Walk was awesome – we reached over 3,600 people! We met many vegetarians and vegans and even ran into two girls who said they’ve mostly gone veg since getting the booklets before! Another girl said her sister went vegetarian after getting a booklet from us at a previous First Friday!
—Rachael Plotts, 12/2/11

 

Nikki Benoit
Nikki reports: “At the Grove in LA, this kat had a vegan burger at a BBQ joint for lunch cuz of his leaflet!”

Rainy Monday morning, but the leafleting was beautiful! The kids at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles were open and receptive, and I was able to reach over 350 of them with Compassionate Choices!
—Nikki Benoit, 12/12/11

Congratulations to Nikki, Adopt a College’s top fall leafleter. In just a few months, she personally handed booklets directly to 78,468 students at 77 different schools! Amazing!

Great leafleting at CUNY Medgar Evers! The take rate was over 75% and the students are pleasant and wonderful – I reached over 500! Many students said they were talking about factory farming in their classes.
—Katie Pryor, 12/13/11

Reached 136 students at Gaithersburg High School in only 30 minutes. Very high acceptance rate, crazy-low throwdown rate, and some kids told me they’re already veg. In short, yet another great experience leafleting.
—Jon Camp, 12/12/11

Brian Grupe
Brian Grupe makes the animals’ case at CCSF.

Please check out this great article about Jon.

Cold even through all my layers outside the Hyde Park Academy, but I was able to reach 278 students. A couple of the mothers dropping off kids had questions about veganism and were happy to receive Guides. Even the staff and security personnel were also curious!
—Leslie Patterson, 12/7/11

Long day at Florida State University, where we had many great interactions and reached 2,200 students! One dude came to Anthony and said he read the entire booklet and feels so guilty for all the meat he’s eaten in the last 18 years. He further stated that now, knowing what he knows from the booklet, there is no way he can eat meat again. Had other similar convos about going veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 12/6/11

 

CSU Stanislaus veggie
After getting a booklet from Brian, another Cal State, Stanislaus student is on the road to veg!

The highlight of SUNY Old Farmingdale was when a student said she went vegan after getting a booklet from me early in the semester! That is two new vegans for me this week.
—Katie Pryor, 12/15/11

Brooke, my 9-year-old, looked very festive in her Santa hat at San Luis Obispo HS. We had a fantastic take rate – only two rejections, total – reaching 128 students in a quick 20 minutes!
—Johanna Andris, 12/15/11

Leslie and I reached almost 200 students at Albany High in less than 30 minutes, including driving! A young guy accepted one, then handed it back saying he couldn’t look at it. I saw him a few minutes later reading his friend’s copy. He later said he had seen it before and it’s bad but that meat was “so good!” I busted out a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and told him he could try giving it up once a week to start. He said he could do twice a week! His buddies wanted Guides, too.
     I ran into a young lady who has gotten an Even If You Like Meat and Guide from me in the past. She said she had gone veg for a month but has since gone back to eating meat. I encouraged her to try it a few days a week. Her friend piped up and said she could definitely do that, and then young lady #1 said she would do it too.
—Brian Grupe, 12/13/11

Theo Summer
Theo Summer provides the animals a voice at UC Davis.

After 20 minutes at St. Francis High, I was approached by three long-faced young men, holding their booklets, sadly asking what they could do. I gave them Guides and pointers for chatting with their parents. If a student walked by and refused a booklet, the guy asking the questions yelled for them to take it. I detect beautiful things out of these guys in the near future.
—Nikki Benoit, 12/13/11

Great conversations at the University of Maryland, College Park. One girl said, “This is actually what made me go vegetarian!”
—Aaron Ross & Kate St. John, 10/24/11

Crazy-good acceptance rate at Miami-Dade’s West Campus. One student pledged to give veg another try, while another took leaflets for her friends and family. On the bus back, several passengers asked what I was reading, so I handed out more booklets and had a great conversation.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 12/14/11

Mikael Nielsen

It was cold leafleting for us, but as I told my daughter Riley, we could reduce the suffering of her animal friends. Liz handed a booklet to a lady who later came back and told us that she is a teacher. After reading the Compassionate Choices, she was horrified and said she is going to make some changes in her life for the better. Hopefully this will spill over into her classroom.
—Mikael Nielsen (right), 12/17/11

Great day at Princeton, where many said they were veg. One girl said this stuff always makes her sad. “Well that’s wonderful that you have a good heart, but it is not about making you sad, but about acting on what we know to improve the situation.” She is on board. Another girl said, “I’ve been thinking about going vegetarian.” She got my last Guide.
—Brian Wink, 12/12/11

95% take rate at Scottsdale Community College – we even leafleted the school president! Jeremy Bentham’s, “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” quote is actually etched into one of the walkways!
—John Oberg, 10/26/11

Students at Vanderbilt were happy to get a leaflet. A student said the booklet she received last year made her cry and go veg. She took another booklet to share with friends.
—Rob Gilbride, 10/13/11

Norma
One-month vegans Norma (above) and Estela (below)
spread holiday compassion in Santa Monica.
Estela

At Notre Dame, one student stopped to tell me he grew up on a farm in Iowa and the booklet was not true for most farms. I told him maybe so but most animal products do come from farms like these. He paused and then said, “You’re right.” Later he came back and apologized and shook my hand, saying that the booklet was accurate and he was sorry for confronting me earlier.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/26/11

An awesome day and new record at Stephen F. Austin University: 1,500 students! Best interaction:
     Woman A: She hates you (points to Woman B).
     Me: Why?
     Woman A: Because you just turned me into a vegetarian.
     I then went on to tell Woman B that Woman A would be okay, that I’ve been veg for 16 years and haven’t withered away, that my diet expanded as a result of going veg, etc.
—Jon Camp, 10/24/11

Amazing new record at Wayne State; Crystal, Mara, Phil, and I reached over 3,300 students. Many conversations, and watched loads reading their booklet. Overheard one guy pointing to the leaflet and saying to his companion, “That’s why I’m vegetarian.” Another told us she’s been veg since getting a booklet last year. One guy came back to Phil and told him he read the whole thing in class and can never eat meat again.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/25/11

 

ASU veggie
Two more new vegetarians at Arizona State, courtesy of Jeff Boghosian, John Oberg, and the rest of the Phoenix crew!
ASU veggie

It was freezing and raining all day at Virginia Tech, but that never stopped a Vegan Outreach leafleter before. We reached over 3,000 receptive students and had positive conversations. One professor said he received a booklet in the past and it was the nudge he needed to give up factory-farmed animal products.
     We also had a great experience at James Madison University, where we set a new record of 3,300 students reached. We met tons of vegetarians and vegans, which was super heartening. One girl told us she went vegetarian from reading a Compassionate Choices!
—Aaron and Kate, 12/9/11

Students at the prestigious Kenwood Academy were alert and curious, even at 7am! Some thanked me in different languages. One mom asked me for a leaflet, then was happy to take a Guide. Another mom took a leaflet and said, “Oh yes, we need to stop the killing.”
—Leslie Patterson, 12/12/11

Reached 860 more people at Lehigh University. Talked with a student who said he got a booklet last time, checked out the website, and he’s now a big supporter. Also talked with two professors who support the work; the poli-sci professor talked about getting involved!
—BW, 12/10/11

Catherine and Lizeth joined me at the University of Texas, Pan American, where I broke my personal college leafleting record – 2,800 Even Ifs and Compassionate Choices, and 40 Guides. Lots and lots and lots of people stopped to ask questions. Catherine is a professor at UTPA, and she had me give a PowerPoint presentation to her Human Behavior and the Social Environment class. I spoke about the work I do, tips for effective social change, the arc of the moral universe bending towards justice concept, and how far we’ve progressed in the last couple centuries.
—Jon Camp, 10/11/11

Saint Nikki

My cousins Tommy and 12-year-old Simone were totally fearless leafleters at the mall. Our buddy Steve joined us for a bit. We all met numerous people who were sympathetic to the cause, even heard back from a guy who chose a vegan burger at a BBQ joint because of the booklet he got on the way to lunch! He got three hugs and a Guide.
     Last week at Arcadia High, the first girl I leafleted said she had been thinking of going veg. I Guided her, and whammo: she exclaimed, “Yay! This is it!” Later a group of boys walked by, I leafleted them and one yells out, “You’re a beautiful person for doing this.” Everyone was receptive as all get out!
—Nikki Benoit (right), 12/11/11

What an amazing day at LaGuardia Community College! Chris and I teamed up to reach more than 1,800 students. We answered many questions and met many vegetarians and other interested parties. I even had a guy decide to eat a vegetarian breakfast when he went to a food cart to initially order meat! On top of all of that amazing stuff, a professor of Food Ethics had us speak to his class! We spoke as to why we are advocates and answered many questions; I passed out Guides. It was excellent!
—Katie Pryor, 10/11/11

Sophia Cresci
Another booklet, another life changed by Sophia Cresci at Santa Clara University.

At Daemen College, I had powerful in-depth conversations with two separate girls who wanted to go veg. Another girl came back to Matt with tears in her eyes, said she read the whole thing and wants to go vegan. Matt said she made his week.
     Matt also admitted he had been hesitant to leaflet, and a bit nervous getting out there, but he really enjoyed doing outreach. After seeing so many reading the lit and coming back to talk, he felt leafleting is very effective.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/13/11

Good feedback at Gateway Community College and Naugatuck Valley Community College. For example, one student read the booklet, then came back to say, “I can’t believe this. This is horrible.” He said he would eat less meat; he got a Guide. Another student read the booklet and came back to say, “I never knew this happened. I eat a lot of chicken, and I feel so bad. I am going to stop eating meat RIGHT NOW!” Gave him a Guide and a list of inexpensive, easy meal suggestions to get started!
     Also gave a booklet to a chef and told him he should read it. He did, and he came back to talk. He wants to put vegan and vegetarian items on his menu, permanently. He asked me to help him veganize some items, and wants me to come in to help him launch the menu, to table and to talk to students! That’s what I’m talking about!
—Karen James, 10/12/11

Honest Abe

At Bemidji State, a girl took a booklet and one of her friends said, “If you read that, you’ll never, ever eat meat again,” while the other nodded in agreement.
—Fred Tyler, 9/29/11

1,200 Compassionate Choices, 16 Guides, and 12 AMLs found new homes at Western Kentucky University. Met many vegetarians and vegans and a number who are now seriously interested in changing their eating habits. Even Honest Abe was enlightened!
—Joe Espinosa, 12/6/11

Students at Tunxis Community College were very eager for our information, so there was lots of good feeling. I met two students who wanted to go directly to vegan from meat eating.
—Aleta Markham, 10/11/11

New records at both Reedley College and College of the Sequoias. The number of students interested in this material at these schools is staggering. A whole mess of conversations and many wanting to try more veg food. Many actively came up to me for a booklet.
—Brian Grupe, 10/12/11

Reached over 2,000 students at the University of Tennessee. I had a lot of great feedback, including one student who said, “I was dying for a hot dog all day, but after reading your booklet, I bought the veggie burger.” Another student said she was a vegetarian and wanted to do more to help the animals, so I handed her an AML and Guide. I spoke to a student who worked in a hog factory. She said, “I only lasted a month there and I stopped eating meat for a while. All the pigs sounded like children crying and I couldn’t take it so I quit.” I guess the booklet reminded her how awful factory farming is, because she is going veg again!
—Rob Gilbride, 10/12/11

 

New vegetarian at ASU
Another new veg, thanks to the Phoenix crew!

I’m continually inspired by the advocacy highlighted here. Vegan Outreach is one area of hope in our country that I am so grateful to be a part of. It is not only the content, but also the tone and framing of the message that keeps me engaged and interested in the work being done. Congrats and thanks for all your work!
—Jim, 11/25/11

I leafleted all day at George Mason University until I could leaflet no more; reached 2,000 students. I met tons of veg’ns, had good conversations, and met three students who were stoked to meet another vegan and who now want to get active. Outreach is obviously good in itself, but I love that one of the side benefits of leafleting is reinforcing the beliefs of people who are already veg, as well as inspiring many to get active.
—Aaron Ross, 12/2/11

Getting the Vegan Outreach newsletter in the mail was encouraging, so Julia and I hit Quinsigamond Community College, distributing all 500 booklets we brought. We met a couple of girls who were so excited to meet us. They apparently were just talking about both being vegetarian. Another student said, “I’m going vegan” as he walked by. I called back that he should totally do it. He came back about 20 minutes later and said he was serious about wanting to go vegan. He asked my advice, so we talked for a few minutes. Another woman was interested in handing out booklets.
—Drew Wilson, 12/2/11

Brian, Shani, Dana, Kristie, and Michelle at Oakland holiday parade

At Oakland’s holiday parade, Dana, Kristie, Michelle, Brian, and I donned Santa hats. So many people happily took literature! When I said, “Info on how to help animals,” many said, “OHH I wanna help animals!” I would reply, “You can at every meal, so let’s start now!” Great day, many read the leaflet as they waited for the parade; even a child around 8 years old read it with his mom.
—Shani Campbell, 12/3/11

Christy Anderson
Christy Anderson takes the animals’ case to the students at Georgia Southern U.

Reception was great at Texas Southern University, a historically black school. I had a few individuals mention that they were going to take the next step with making their food choices more humane (e.g., cutting out chicken, moving closer to vegetarianism, etc.), had a group of guys stop to say that they were inspired by my efforts; a dude on a bike yelled out encouragement, etc.
     Great interactions at Sam Houston State, including with ag students (e.g., I mention that I would not want to be reincarnated as a farm animal; no ag dude ever says he would). A sweet woman was moved to push her diet to much more vegetarian-based as a result of the booklet; we talked for a good 10 minutes and she told me that it was a meaningful, awesome discussion. Had a very similar conversation today at Lamar University. At both schools, people commented on how it was a good cause.
—Jon Camp, 10/5/11

Mara, Matt, and I reached 2,500 students at the University of Buffalo! Watched dozens reading the booklet cover to cover. One came back and said the pamphlet was informative, well made, and she is now going veg!
—Vic Sjodin, 10/11/11

Great conversations at Norwalk Community College and Housatonic Community College, with students talking about changing their diets, including one pledge to go meat-free 3 days a week, and two who said they were going to cut their meat by at least 1/2. A number of people asked for more booklets to give to friends / family.
—Karen James, 10/6/11

John Oberg
John Oberg connects with a student at Arizona State.

Quick stop at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. One girl said, “Actually, I got one of those last year and decided to become a vegetarian. I’m transitioning to veganism.” She had not ordered a Guide, but excitedly took one.
     At Central Lakes College, one guy passing by after reading the booklet said, “I’m more compassionate than you might think. Though I’m glad you said reduce, cause I like pork.” Later he passed again and, without any prompting, said, “I’m a humanitarian. I can give up pork. I know I can.”
—Fred Tyler, 9/30/11

Students at Kent State were very receptive; I reached over 1,600, including a number of vegetarians and others who want to know what they can do to help. One woman was interested in going vegan; she got a Guide and encouragement. Quote of the day from a girl I leafleted: “I am vegan so I am all about this!”
—Leslie Patterson, 10/20/11

At the State College of Florida, a group of female students read the booklets and told me, “We’re going vegan.”
—Drew Hensley, 10/4/11

Great day at Appalachian State! Giving a booklet to Robert inspired him to jump in; he handed out 50 booklets and wants to do more. I also ran into a vegan named Jon (who has been vegan for a month now). I handed him a Guide and he wants to order leaflets to hand out on campus. He said a friend received a leaflet from me this morning and now she is going vegan!
—Rob Gilbride, 10/10/11

 

Nikki and Nani
John Oberg met Nikki & Nani at Gateway Community College; Nani exclaimed, “I’m never eating chicken again!” More from John’s day at GCC.

I have not stopped crying since I saw all those pics of people who have stopped eating meat because of you (left side here). To me personally, there is no higher calling than to help those who have no voice. I absolutely adore what you are doing and am so inspired by all you guys.
—CE, 10/15/11

Richelle, my host, joined me at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and we got loads of good feedback:
     One girl said she didn’t eat mammals and was thinking about making the switch. A Guide was just what she needed to help her on her way.
     An older guy said, “I know all about that. I left agriculture because of it.”
     As a girl walked away she said to her friends, “This is gonna make me vegetarian.”
     I talked with a guy who said, “You know what is wonderful? All I have to do is stop eating chicken to make the change.”
     A girl said, “I read that, and I’m never eating meat again!” She happily took a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 9/27/11

Red Rocks Community College was an extremely receptive campus! Some students told me how receiving a booklet previously had impacted them.
—Jeni Haines, 10/3/11

Shannon and Brittany

Shannon and Brittany (right) danced and held signs while I leafleted at San Marino High School. The yearbook committee came out equipped with cameras and voice recorders, interviewing and photographing the whole shebang. BOOM!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/22/11

A 15-minute bike ride followed by two bus trips, but outreach at Florida International University was sooo worth it. Great discussions with curious meat eaters. Favorite comment: “I changed my mind.” (Holding booklet to show me) “Got a salad for lunch today instead!”
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/14/11

Good day of outreach with John at Glendale Community College. I met a professor who is in charge of the school newspaper and he wants me to present to his class at the beginning of next semester to see if any of the students are interested in covering a story on factory farming! I also ran into a guy I leafleted last time at GCC and he told me that he has drastically reduced the amount of meat he consumes, and thinks about that leaflet often when he is making a choice of what to eat.
—Kirby Mauro, 11/22/11

Most people who said “I like meat” at Fayetteville State ended up taking a booklet after I showed them the pictures of delicious vegan food. One student told me the booklet convinced her to go vegetarian right after Thanksgiving. Her boyfriend was also interested in making the change after I showed him the vegan food pictures. Another student said she is going to go vegan as soon as she graduates from FSU. A faculty member who works for the student newspaper came back and let me know he read the booklet and it got him thinking about his diet. He gladly took a Guide and thanked me for leafleting. Heard many comments from those who told me how the factory farm and slaughterhouse photos affected them and I gave them Guides to help translate this sadness / outrage into action. Also had a few discussions about how to eat vegan on a budget, where to find vegan food, and how to stay healthy.
—Brandon Becker, 11/21/11

Georgia Tech student
More eyes opened at Georgia Tech, thanks to Eric Griffith.

My favorite chat at Bellevue College was with a young African-American woman. She had leafleted with her church group in Seattle and and was very relieved when we talked about starting with a day a week, or a meal a day. I gave her the CVA booklet, and she was extremely excited to learn that there are Christians who abstain from meat on religious and ethical grounds. I also spoke with an African-American guy who pulled me aside, and told me he’d seen our leaflets before and wanted to know where he could start to fight against the mistreatment we were exposing. I asked him if he ever ate veg or vegan meals, and he said he did from time to time and that he would do this more frequently.
—Caleb Wheeldon, 10/7/11

Amy, her 7-year-old son, Vincent, and I set a new record at Anne Arundel Community College. As soon as leafleting was done, Vincent told Amy, “When I grow up, I want to be a leafleter.” The leafleter is to today’s youth what the rock star was to generations past!
—Jon Camp, 9/27/11

Huge crew for First Friday, with six new leafleters! We reached 4,259 people; super high appreciation rate, with so many great conversations! One girl said, “Your pamphlets really work, I haven’t eaten meat since!” One woman said, “It is so cruel what they do to animals. I’m gonna go vegetarian!”
—John Oberg, 10/7/11

New leafleter Susan joined me at SUNY Purchase. Dozens of vegetarians and vegans on this small campus, which has a veg cafeteria! A lot of students told me they became vegetarian and one vegan since we leafleted here last semester. One student said he had been vegan, but found it to be too expensive; we discussed easy low-cost meals, and he said he would try again. Another student said he received the leaflet from me in the morning, and that he was going vegetarian right away, and would work toward going vegan! Another student said, “This is terrible” as he looked at the Even If You Like Meat. I said that I agreed, and that this was the reason I was here. He turned around and said, “God Bless.” A professor stopped after Susan handed her a leaflet, and said that she was just talking about this in her class this morning, and would use the photos from the booklet in her class. Many other students thanked us for being there. Got the emails of four students interested in starting a veg group on campus. I will introduce them to each other.
—Karen James, 10/4/11

Black Friday shoppers
Three new readers in Pasadena, with a fourth looking on, thanks to Nikki Benoit.

Reached 900 students in less than two hours at the complex for MLK High School. Great feedback and interest; even the fire department employees at the corner asked for a couple copies. A woman asked, “May I help you?” I replied, “Grab some booklets!” Turns out it was the principal.
—Casey Constable, 10/6/11

700 students at Ithaca College yesterday; 1,899 at Cornell today – a huge new record at this Ivy. Walking around, I saw a train of about 30 students, with around 25 of them reading the booklet they had gotten from Mara! Also talked extensively with our hosts, who have committed to going vegan for a year.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/5/11

Darina and I quickly reached over 250 students at Whitney Young High School. On my way to work afterward, a livestock trailer pulled up next to me at a stoplight. It stopped so that I came face to face with one of the steers. As I stared into his eye, I couldn’t answer his questioning gaze. At a loss, the words of Boxer from Orwell’s Animal Farm echoed in my head: “I will work harder.” And so I shall.
—Jon Bockman, 10/6/11

 

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

A guy was passing out your little magazines, and it brought me to tears! I need more information!
—MB

Tommy

I was given this booklet on campus, and am now attempting to be vegan.
—CS

While I was in Boston, people were handing out booklets. Becoming a vegan has crossed my mind more than a few times, so I decided I would go through with it!
—OD

Carol, Lauren, Paulette, and I reached 1,580 students at the College of Charleston. Tommy (right) got a booklet during our visit to the school last year and has been veg since. Also, a woman told Paulette that reading Even If You Like Meat today led her to decide to go vegan. Also, last night, a woman told me me that a few years back, talking with me and then hearing Rory Freedman’s talk got her to go from veg to vegan.
—Jon Camp, 11/18/11

Take rate was phenomenal at Miami-Dade College, despite the heavy rain. I probably could have gotten even more leaflets out, but I took time for several great conversations with some very interested students. For example, one religious student was seeing the links between his religion and treating animals compassionately. After talking and giving him several contacts for local veg groups, he left telling me how thankful he was we’d met. He even expressed interest in helping leaflet in the future too!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/18/11

ASU student
No brain freeze here! Another new vegetarian at Arizona State.

While leafleting Union Square, I handed one to a guy who came back about five minutes later. He told me that he really needed to let me know that his son is a vegetarian, and for the past few months his son has been trying to get him to not eat meat. Since then, every time he has eaten meat he doesn’t feel right about it, but it wasn’t enough to make him stop completely. He told me that getting the booklet and just looking through the images that today he is done for good. He said that today he was meant to walk by me, and he knows for sure that God connects us to the right people. He thanked me for being there and told me that he needs me to know it’s because of me this happened, and that he’ll remember the reason.
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/18/11

The vegan count at the University of Victoria was too high to keep track of. It is exciting to feel the increase in the proportion of students who have become veg. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to do this work and am so inspired by all of you!
—John Bowers, 11/18/11

Lisa Towell and Foothill student
Lisa Towell (left) and a student now inspired to try veg, at Foothill College; below, another inspired Foothill student.

A great day at South Mountain Community College that largely consists of Hispanic and African-American students. A record number of professors are showing Food, Inc. and other videos to their classes. Talked to four different professors who are having students write papers on factory farming, vegetarian / vegan eating. One English 101 professor is using animal rights as the theme for his courses this semester, and a nutrition professor incorporates info on vegetarianism into all of her classes. One staff member told me that she and her daughter and granddaughter are vegetarian and all are working on going vegan; she was thrilled to get a Guide. Another professor asked me to stay longer, since her class was going to the library and she wanted them to pass me so those who were interested could pick up booklets. One Hispanic student eagerly took literature and said the way we treat animals is so sad and that he and his sisters have been vegetarian since birth. Too many other positive experiences to relay!
—Anon, 11/16/11

Sen and I met 17 vegetarians / vegans at the University of Iowa, and reached over 1,600 students. A guy told Sen, “I just read through that. It was eye-opening.” Another guy told me, “I got that and read it. I’m a changed man.”
     At the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, one guy said, “I got one. That s___ is crazy!” Another guy said, in reference to factory farming, “I just need to grow some balls, take a stand, and say NO.” He shouted the “no.”
—Fred Tyler, 10/19/11

Foothill student

Combined, we reached over 1,000 students at Yale for World Farm Animals Day. I heard from many vegetarians, and about eight vegans. One guy thanked me, profusely, for opening his eyes. He pledged to go vegan 3–4 times a week as a start, and would continue reducing animal-product consumption. Many others thanked us for doing this work. Others signed up to join the student group.
     One student told us that he went to the facilities of the meat supplier for Yale, after he heard how well the animals were treated. He was upset by what he saw, and so were others in his group.
—Karen James, 10/3/11

I had some excellent conversations with students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; a student who went vegetarian just last week helped me leaflet for a little while! A student at Community College of Baltimore County said she got a leaflet in the past and seriously reduced her and her family’s meat consumption. She also said she is using the leaflet as a topic for her speech class and asked for a stack to pass out to her classmates. Also met a ton of veg students.
—Aaron Ross, 10/13/11

So many great conversations at Lane Community College! One student stopped to ask questions, took a Guide, and said he’s really thinking about going vegan. One woman said she really thinks veg eating is the direction her family is heading. A student who has been vegetarian for 4 or 5 months said the Guide will help because he’s not sure he’s getting good nutrition.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 9/27/11

CCSF student
The wheels are turning for this City College of San Francisco student after getting a booklet from Danielle.

Probably over two dozen conversations at Shasta College. For example, I had an incredibly productive conversation with three students, after which all three pledged to go veg at least twice a week with the intent of moving towards total vegdom! Many people told me they had read the booklet all the way through and found it very disturbing. Lots of people will be considering their dinner tonight.
     New record today at CSU East Bay – nearly 2,000 students. Katie, Leslie, and I were joined by Bronte, who has been veg since getting a booklet years ago!
     Another new record at De Anza College, where Jessica, Diane, Lori, and I reached over 2,600 students! Good acceptance rate and amazing conversations! I met a fellow who has been veg since getting our booklet in 2006… in Canada! I chatted with a pescatarian gal who read our booklet and decided she’s going to try vegan a few days a week. I overheard her and her friend talking about it for quite a long time after we departed, since they were sitting nearby; lots of gears turning in their heads. Chatted with two really open-minded young guys who are definitely moving towards vegan (one has already been experimenting with vegetarian). A number of people thanked us for our work, told us that they had read the booklet, had gotten one in the past, agreed with us, etc.
—Brian Grupe, 10/3/11

 

Wayne State veggie
At Wayne State, another booklet creates another new vegetarian.

Great day in Stockton, where I reached 1,300 students at San Joaquin Delta College, University of the Pacific, and Stagg High School.
     I must sound like a broken record but I’ll say it again: I can see measurable progress in the attitudes of the students and the number of vegetarians / vegans at the schools I’ve been coming to for nearly four years now.
—Brian Grupe, 11/7/11

The first thing I saw upon entering Arkansas was a chicken transport truck hauling thousands of birds to slaughter. While I have seen many transport trucks before, never had I seen one for birds. Bearing such witness was tragic and simultaneously motivating.
     University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is a “poultry science” school with a special division named for Tyson. Reception was high, but so was antagonism. This, friends, is the belly of the beast. Similar to some of my experiences at other ag schools, many ag students were frustrated by my presence there. But as I have found at other ag schools, I also met a good number of vegetarians who were really opposed to factory farming. I met quite a few vegetarians and one vegan. On a side note, the local natural foods store was amazingly vegan friendly. Country-fried seitan with vegan gravy – whaaaaat?! You go, Arkansas!
—Jeni Haines, 10/20/11

UMD vegan
This University of Maryland student has been vegan since getting a booklet last year.

Great outreach at Durham’s super-huge Pride event. Gave out Delight Soy’s chicken along with Compassionate Choices, and got great feedback, such as: I’m a diehard carnivore, and I love meat only… but I love this! This is just like chicken, except better. I can’t believe how much this tastes like chicken. Where do you get this stuff? (Heard this all day.)
     100 people pledged to go meatless on Mondays!
—Eleni Vlachos, 9/24/11

We reached 1,000 students at the University of Minnesota – the crowd was very receptive. Several hundred took CAA’s pledge to be veg!
—Unny Nambudiripad, 9/28/11

An awesome day of outreach at Prince George’s Community College. I had a number of intrigued students engaging me with questions. For example, “Don’t chickens exist for us?” I mentioned that their ancestor, the Red Junglefowl, came into being like all of us, for its own sake, and that its function was like ours, to continue to survive and enjoy life. “Didn’t Jesus eat fish?” I mentioned that he grew up in a radically different era than our era and that we can agree that he wouldn’t be thrilled about this (pointing to the booklet). In addition, a number of people said that this cause is a good one and that the information was really sad.
—Jon Camp, 9/20/11

Washington State was my favorite day of leafleting yet. Multiple conversations with interested people, and people who are interested in helping. I got my first bicycle and skateboard handoffs (and then my second of both as well).
—Caleb Wheeldon, 9/28/11

Brooke Andris

Brooke, Johanna’s 9-year-old daughter (right), jumped in with both feet at Cal Poly, and made a huge splash! She set a goal of 100, but then reached 102 and decided, “Why not 200?” And then 300… If we hadn’t run out of leaflets, she probably would have stayed the whole day! As a matter of fact, at one point she said, “Mom, can we do this every day?”
     Good conversations – one with a student who had just read an article about veganism and decided he was going to ask the next vegan he met (me) about eggs and dairy. He listened intently as I answered his questions. He happily took a Guide before he left, thanking me for the conversation. I also heard one student say excitedly, “I just wrote a speech about this!” as she paged through the brochure. We saw many people reading the leaflets as they walked away. It was an awesome day of outreach!
—Barbara Bear, 11/10/11

Loads of people said they were already vegetarian. One woman came up and asked for recipes, as she wants to go vegan. She got a Guide. In other news, Wednesdays are now officially vegan pancakes day in the Yale dining hall!
—Eitan Fischer, 9/28/11

Willie Camacho
Willie Camacho talks with a student at Modesto Junior College.

Nearly 200 students in 53 minutes at Oregon State. Great reception and supportive comments! I saw one girl walking along and reading the booklet aloud to the guy she was with. One person, who has seen me before walked by quickly and yelled out, “Yea vegans!”
—Nettie Schwager, 9/28/11

Set a new one-person record at Winona State, where an Even If You Like Meat spurred this dialogue:
     Girl 1: This makes me want to be vegetarian.
     Girl 2: I used to be for a year.
     Girl 1: Should we?
     They were excited to get the Guide I gave to help them on their way. Later, a journalism student asked to interview me.
     At the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, one of the last people I gave a leaflet to said, “Actually, I got one of these last year. I’ve totally stopped eating meat since then.” She hadn’t ordered a Guide and was very happy to get one.
—Fred Tyler, 10/21/11

Stagg HS students
Students at Stagg High School are engrossed in the truth.

Nettie, Kate, and I reached nearly 1,200 students at the University of Oregon. Kate talked to a bunch of football players who said, “Girl, we are black, we need our CHICKEN!” One guy asked questions and seemed interested, so Kate told him, “You know that boxer guy, the crazy one… who is he?” and they were like, “You mean Tyson?” “Yea, Tyson, he’s vegan and black and an athlete better than you!" and they were like, “No way!” One guy paused and said, “He ain’t vegan, he ate someone’s ear!” “But he didn’t SWALLOW the ear!”
—Cobie deLespinasse, 9/26/11

Mesa Community College is a goldmine for outreach. In a short time, we got into many conversations and met many people interested in vegetarian & vegan eating! Just a few examples: I met one student who said he and his wife were recently trying to be vegetarian. An administrator came outside on behalf of everyone in her office to get info on vegetarianism. Another student came back twice to get more information; she loved the info in the Guide. Yet another student commented on wanting to eat less meat while doing it in the healthiest way possible, while yet another one pledged to go vegetarian. Unbelievable response!
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/21/11

Ava, Jeff, Jeff, Bryce, Rachel, and I reached 1,543 people at Occupy Phoenix. Met many veg*ns and loads of interested folks. We thought it would be a good demographic and it definitely was. Extremely high take rate, interest rate and extremely low throw-down rate.
—John Oberg, 10/15/11

Occupiers for Animals
Nikki reports: “Our Occupiers for Animals affinity group submitted a proposal for ‘Eradicating Factory Farming of Animals’ to the Demands Committee. We finally got it through last night! My favorite line: ‘Wow. I had no idea this was going on. Wow. This is a change maker. Thank you all for bringing it to our attention.’”

 

Accompanying a donation to the Matching Challenge:

I have known Vegan Outreach for years. But frankly, (the) recent post on the Counting Animals blog made me see more clearly why the work you do is compellingly important and really urgently needed! Thank you for what you do!
—HS, 11/4/11

Ashley Rhinehart, Phil Letten, and John Oberg
Ashley Rhinehart, Phil Letten, and John Oberg hide under a tree to protect the booklets from the rain in Phoenix.

Another fantastic First Friday leafleting! Even though it started pouring rain at 9:30, we still reached almost 3,000 folks! Great feedback, too; e.g., Kelsey spoke to a girl who got a leaflet from us at FF last month and has been vegetarian ever since! We were also joined by David, a 16-year-old who went veg after getting leafleted at First Friday a year ago. He loved it!
—John Oberg, 11/4/11

Incredible day at Bronx Community College, where I reached over 800 students! I immediately schooled the security guard on the horrors of factory farming and eating meat and went from there. I saw SO many students reading the booklet. I met numerous people who were interested in finding out more information, which I gave them! One girl said she has been meaning to try to go vegan. I told her all of the benefits, how great I feel, and how easy it is. She, of course, got a Guide and my email address. One student wanted more booklets for a paper he was doing. He also took my email in case he needed more information. Another student wanted more booklets for a presentation she was doing on this topic. It seems like at almost every school I encounter students who are not only learning about factory farming, but are also presenting this information to their classmates! Amazing.
—Katie Pryor, 11/3/11

Anandini and I reached 400 surprisingly nice, primarily 14-to-25-year-olds at Chicago’s House of Blues. Tons of “Thank You”s and “Cool”s. I have a feeling many people from last night will begin on their path to helping farmed animals as a result of us being there for a mere 30 minutes!
—Kenny Torrella, 11/6/11

Macie Rivera and Jasmin Marie Valdez
Macie Rivera and Jasmin Marie Valdez warm up for changing lives at Cabrillo College.

Great tabling yesterday at Charleston’s Walk for Farm Animals, where lots of people took booklets to share with others.
     Today, this email was forwarded to me: “I’ve been a vegetarian for about 30 years and I’m raising my daughter that way, but she honestly thought it was just us… everyone around us eats meat. She walked around the place a bit before saying anything to me and her first comment was something like, ‘All these people are like us?’ She couldn’t believe it and she even said how nice it was to be around other people ‘like us.’”
—Paulette Wendell, 10/17/11

Lauren and I reached lots of people and got great feedback – e.g., one guy stopped dead in his tracks reading the booklet, and then said, “This stuff is disgusting.” Met a number of vegetarians and vegans; one girl told me, “I was a vegan, but now I’m just a slacker. I’d love to get back into it.” Of course she got a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 11/3/11

A woman was handing out booklets where I go to school, Kent State. When I read it, it renewed my inspiration for helping animals. Since I’ve read the booklet, I have gone vegan.
—SA, 10/19/11

At Niagara Community College, I met a professor who was interested in going veg. Then, Matt, Mara, and Morgan joined me at the University of Buffalo. Morgan goes to Canisius; her friend Ashley texted her yesterday that people were discussing the pamphlets in class, and she saw several read cover to cover in her class at Canisius. I love the buzz VO lit creates on small campuses.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/14/11

Hartnell vegetarian
Another vegetarian-on-the-spot, this time at Hartnell College!

Record today at SUNY Plattsburgh, where I reached over 800 students, and got a hug! A good level of interest, too. Two students told me they are transitioning to a vegetarian diet. After getting a leaflet, a different male student exclaimed, “CAFOs suck!”
—Lana Smithson, 10/20/11

Kalie and I set a huge new record for Sonoma State – almost 1,400 students reached! The high number of Guides is due to the presentation I gave after leafleting. This was a “third-tier” presentation at the school: a vegan professor invited me to her class two years ago, was impressed and recommended me to another professor, whose class I then presented in; the second professor then recommended me to a third professor, who also told me she loved the presentation and will be recommending me. Score!
     The real treat was meeting Murat. I gave him a brochure and he thanked me and then stopped in his tracks, inspected the cover and turned to me saying, “What is this, bro?” I gave him a 20-second rundown and he seemed satisfied and took the brochure with him. I saw him about 20 minutes later, and he told me he had read the whole thing cover to cover and was GOING VEG. 20 minutes… new vegetarian, just like that. I bro’d down with him for about 5 minutes, snapped his picture (top), and sent him on his merry way. So awesome.
—Brian Grupe, 10/17/11

 

UCSD vegetarian
This UC San Diego student has been vegetarian since getting a booklet last fall.

Great day at Oregon State! I was chatting with a vegan and I asked what made him go vegan. He said his friend got a booklet at OSU, read the booklet and then went online. Then the friend came to him and said, “Let’s go vegan together.”
     Later, two guys walking together told me they got booklets before; now one of them is eating half as much meat, and the other is vegetarian.
—Nettie Schwager, 10/17/11

So glad to have Katie join me again! We had a fun day today at Skyline College and College of San Mateo. Good interactions, too. At Skyline I met a young man who received a brochure in high school from us and started exploring the issue, slowly changing his diet. He then received one last semester and has been off and on veg. He got a Guide today and is going to try and go full veg!
—Brian Grupe, 10/19/11

Lots of people wanted the info at the University of Connecticut, West Hartford. Met many vegetarians and vegans! Ran out of Guides. One student read the booklet and came back to tell me she was going to work on going vegetarian. Met two women who read the booklet and came back to ask how they can get involved in leafleting. Gave them an AML and directed them to VO. Also exchanged emails for support. Met a woman who has four children ages 3 months to 11 years old. She read the booklet, then came over to ask for help in turning her whole family vegan.
—Karen James, 10/18/11

UVU vegetarian
Jeni Haines met this man at Utah Valley U;
he went veg after getting a booklet from her
exactly one year before.

Crystal, Alan, Mara, Phil and I set a new record at Central Michigan University – over 3,000 students reached. Wonderful, fruitful day; e.g., met one girl late for class who said she’s been veg since getting a VO leaflet last year.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/18/11

One girl at Occupy Philly said she didn’t need a booklet, because she had gotten one before (as a high school freshman), which caused her to go veg.
—Brian Wink, 10/21/11

Your booklet has CHANGED MY LIFE. Out of the blue, a sweetheart passed me Compassionate Choices… which I nearly declined, but changed my mind. I am so thankful I did… I had NO IDEA how appalling the situation still is… I am a converted vegan… funny how things turn out.
—Sally, 10/6/11

Within the first hour at El Camino College, Kim had converted a young man on the spot – and he jumped in to leaflet, too! I heard from a woman who’s been veg one year because of getting a booklet here. Then I bumped into Robert, whose picture I sent in last semester – he’s still vegan and lovin’ it!
—Nikki Benoit, 10/20/11

 

ECC student
This El Camino College student is stopped in her tracks by the truth.

Tons of questions today at the Community College of Baltimore County. For example: Did I think it was right to push my beliefs on others? For this one, I drew on something Eugene had mentioned before: when we confine animals, truck them to slaughter, and kill them, we are imposing our beliefs on them, and very violently so. By comparison, offering another individual a booklet is laughably mild. I’ve always liked the Howard Zinn quote, “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” The status quo isn’t neutral; it’s been established by people and deliberate actions. There’s nothing wrong with questioning and challenging this – it is the only way we’ve ever made progress.
—Jon Camp, 9/19/11

Chris and I reached nearly 4,000 students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State. At both schools we met vegans and veggies, and students who are moving that way. Only a couple of students challenged us; many others who were polite, curious, or supportive. A professor of animal science even thanked us for our work, and said he thinks factory farming is terrible. A few different students told me that receiving our literature in the past had prompted them to explore vegetarianism.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/15/11

At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a junior in animal sciences stopped and told me she was increasingly disturbed by what she was learning and seeing in modern animal agriculture. I let her know that I, too, was in UIUC’s College of Agriculture when I started at this school way back in 1989, but being bothered by what modern farming does to animals led me to the animal protection work I do now. I mentioned that most people do not work in the field of their degrees, but that having that degree might make her a real asset to animal protection due to her understanding and expertise in the field. She eagerly accepted a Guide and AML.
—Joe Espinosa, 9//16/11

Erin Gaines
More students learn the animals’ plight at the University of Texas, thanks to Erin Gaines.

Students at Fullerton College always deliver! Yvonne had a guy come back with his leaflet, thank her for informing people, and ask what the best way to switch his family’s diets would be. She Guided him and he thanked her. I had conversations like that too; e.g., one young man said he’d started to cry in class. I handed him a hanky shaped like a Guide.
     At Cal State, Dominguez Hills, Steve and I reached 2,600 students, nearly doubling the previous record! Had numerous interactions with folks who are appalled by factory farm abuse, and are eager to dive into their new Guides. A young lady came back asking a few questions, stating that something “clicked” while reading the booklet. As of this second, she’s going veg for a month! If that works, it’s Next Stop: Veganism, baby!
—Nikki Benoit, 9/20/11

Was able to reach way more students at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire with Sen’s help! One woman refused a leaflet saying, “No way! I can’t even eat chicken anymore because of that thing. I’m serious.”
     At the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, someone said to Sen, “This is gonna make me never eat meat again!” One guy said, “I read it. It’s terrible.” While having lunch in a campus cafe, we met a vegetarian guy who had received a flier from us earlier. He hopes to open a vegan food service on campus.
—Fred Tyler, 9/14/11

STC student
This South Texas College student is engrossed in learning the previously hidden reality.

Stopped by Miami Dade College briefly. One student said being veg was expensive. I gave her lots of tips on ways to make it economical: fewer meat substitutes and packaged products; more beans, rice, pasta, veggies, potatoes, and fruit in season. I also suggested including the value of just feeling better about making better choices that affect other beings who are less fortunate. She agreed and said she would try.
—Linda Bower, 9/19/11

Ravi (who got involved after being leafleted previously), Mara, and I had great interactions at Mercer Community College. Three different dudes thanked us for being out there. Burly manly men, so that was nice to see. On the other end of campus, Mara gave a student the booklet and boom, he stopped dead in his tracks three feet behind her and read the entire leaflet transfixed. She gave him a Guide. Another student enthusiastically told us, that was it, he was going vegan.
     Today, Mara and I had a fantastic day at Middlesex County College and Kean University. Numerous conversations. One administrator came up to me looking stern, asked what I was doing. “Handing out info on factory farming. Most people love animals, just don’t know how terrible factory farming is for animals and the environment.” He said, “Good for you!” and took a pamphlet, which was pretty sweet. A girl started off telling me we need to do all sorts of theoretical things. I eased into telling her to take actions you can control first, and she was convinced to change her diet. You should have seen her beaming smile of pride when I saw her later and she told me she had not ordered meat for lunch.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/16/11

Laquivia
At Occupy Charleston, Laquivia gives the Guide a thumbs up!

Being at Plymouth was great because of the super nice students. After I handed leaflets to two guys, one of them stopped suddenly, pointed at me, and then (I thought I might hear negative words) slowly and enthusiastically said, “I… LOVE… YOU!” His friend smiled widely, pointed at the leaflet and exclaimed, “We were just talking about this stuff!” They thanked me and walked away while looking through their leaflets. A woman asked if I am vegan. When I replied yes, she enthusiastically said, “I LOVE you! Keep up the good work!” Later in the day she walked by and said, “How’s my favorite person doing?” Shortly before I left, a woman who was wearing a sweatshirt with the words “I am not a freak; I am a vegan” stopped to show me the shirt and give me a hug! I’m feeling the love today!!
—Lana Smithson, 9/22/11

Lori, Diane, Jessica, and I reached over 1,600 students last week at Evergreen Valley College. Lots of great conversations and meaningful interactions; seemed like we met every student on campus! Lori and I then went to Branham High School, where we encountered super receptive students. We met a very excited vegetarian who had just decided a week ago to change.
     Two club members helped me out today at Butte College, Indran and Sarah. Sarah found a booklet in the library a few weeks ago and went veg, turned her boyfriend veg, and her sister has pledged to go fully vegan with her by the end of the year. And now she’s out leafleting for animals! Tons of conversations. I met two people who read the booklet today and are renouncing meat.
—Brian Grupe, 9/14/11

 

Mara Collopy
Mara Collopy makes the animals’ case at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Brigham Young University was pure gold. I talked to two separate students who are seriously considering going vegetarian; gave them Guides. One of the guys had tried veganism but said he couldn’t stay vegan, so I talked to him about making a shift that he could sustain for the long haul. Each conversation held some of those beautiful “Ah-ha!” moments. Friends, we have some new vegetarians in the making.
     Utah Valley University is probably one of my favorite schools ever for doing outreach. I met around ten vegans and had countless awesome conversations with people. One guy who received a leaflet from me exactly a year ago swore off meat that day and hasn’t eaten it since. I also met a vegan Mormon philosophy professor who has started an organization called “Mormons for Animals” and works to show how eating animals, especially those raised in factory farms, is in opposition to Mormon ethics.
     I set a new one-day record for myself, too – 3,014 students reached!
—Jeni Haines, 9/15/11

Yesterday, Sen and I reached over 750 students at Anoka Ramsey Community College. Talked to one girl very interested in being vegan. And after giving another girl an Even If You Like Meat booklet, she said “I’m gonna be vegan. I just can’t bear the thought of eating a dead animal.” Both she and a friend wanted Guides.
     Today at the University of Minnesota, I met a vegan who gets our enewsletters. She said she always sees the photos of people leafleting and was excited to see me in person. This got her interested in getting active. One guy came back after reading through the whole leaflet nearby and told me he was thinking about going vegan. He said the Even If booklet would help; when I gave him a Guide, he said that would help even more. One woman said she read the booklet and didn’t eat chicken for lunch. She said she was working her way towards vegetarian but that it had been hard. She was happy to get a Guide.
—Fred Tyler, 9/8/11

STC student
This South Texas College student has been stopped in his tracks by the truth.

Nettie and I got good feedback at Willamette University and Linfield College. One student said the pictures were sad. Nettie said to her, “Yes, it’s sad, but it’s important information.” Another student said, “I’ll read this, but it will make me cry.” Nettie told her that shows that she’s a caring person. The highlight was when Nettie asked a student leaving the cafeteria whether she had gotten a booklet. The student said, “You gave me one earlier, and I didn’t eat meat for dinner.”
—Cobie deLespinasse, 9/12/11

Mara, Katie, and I reached 4,275 students at Montclair State. Saw so many reading, pointing at pictures and showing friends. One student and her fiancé wanted to get involved with VO and leaflet in NJ. One girl teared and came up to Mara saying she never knew about this, and she wants to go vegetarian, and wanted to know how to do it.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/15/11

Alexandra (Who Killed the Electric Car?) and friend joined me at Occidental College today. Great conversation with members of the newly formed student group. Then, at Blair High School, one young lady stopped, asked about my eating habits, and then said, “I want do it, I want to go vegan.”
—Nikki Benoit, 9/15/11

John, Ashley, Ben, Jacqueline, and I had a great day at Arizona State’s downtown campus, with a number of positive interactions. Ashley met a young athletic guy who went vegetarian after reading the booklet. John met a student who ate organic chicken, but after reading the brochure and talking to John, came back later to say she was going vegetarian!
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/13/11

LA occupiers
Outreach 2 Occupy: Stewart reached 1,500 Los Angeles occupiers, including these two.

Reached 2,150 students at North Carolina State. I met a student who said she immediately went vegetarian four years ago (at age 14) after she picked up a booklet in the NCSU library and read it while eating lunch. She was really excited to see someone handing out booklets and happily took a Guide. A vegan student was surprised to see me handing out booklets as well and was interested in getting involved in the student AR group to connect with other vegans. One student told me she had just been in a discussion about the booklet in class. I overheard another student who got a booklet earlier in the day tell his friend, who had just taken one, “That’s actually not bad reading.”
—Brandon Becker, 9/12/11

At the University of Connecticut, we met a number of vegetarians and vegans, some who said they changed their eating habits as a result of receiving leaflets from our previous efforts. One guy said he got the booklet yesterday, pledged to cut back eating animals, and asked for a Guide.
     Smashed the old record at Eastern Connecticut State today – 1,110! Soon after I started, a student stopped to tell me he read the booklet, and had not known anything about the terrible treatment of animals. His wife is pregnant with their first child, and they are both going vegetarian! Later, one guy stood right by me and read the booklet. After finishing, he told me he went to a slaughterhouse about three years ago, and it was the most horrendous thing he ever saw. He pledged to reduce his consumption of animals by at least half.
—Karen James, 9/15/11

A great few days of leafleting – hit Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion U, Elizabeth City State, and UNC Wilmington. ECSU, a mostly African-American school, had never been leafleted before; a lady wearing a white apron came running out of the cafe after me. I thought I was going to get yelled at, but it turned out that she wanted to pass out leaflets to the students inside (she’s veg). I also had some great interactions with athletes who thought they needed meat for protein. After giving them a Guide and relating examples of vegan weightlifters, etc., they seemed really open to the idea of a vegetarian diet. And at UNCW, a student came up to me and said that the booklets are really opening up a dialog and making them think about their food choices. She stated that she overheard some students who said they aren’t going to eat meat anymore.
—Rob Gilbride, 9/15/11

STC students
More South Texas students learn the hidden truth, and how to make a difference.

Diane, Lori, and I set a huge new record at West Valley College, reaching 1,676 students. We all had fascinating conversations. One guy came back to me to ask about the work; the gears in this kid’s head were seriously turning. He told me straight up he knows he needs to go vegan. I kind of felt like I was talking to a version of myself from six years ago.
     We also shattered the old record at San Jose City College – 1,830. I had an amazing conversation with a young couple who were deeply disturbed by the brochure. I told them that being vegan really unifies the mind and body…factory farming is pure violence and putting that violence in ourselves is perpetuating an incredibly negative and destructive cycle. This deeply resonated with the dude, who I know is going to be making some serious changes.
—Brian Grupe, 9/8/11

 

Carol Misseldine
Carol Misseldine stops a biker in his tracks at the College of Marin.

Even though I started the day feeling blue, I was cheered almost immediately at Irvine Valley College. As if scripted, a young couple walking and reading their leaflets gave me a thumbs up. The guy’s chin quivered as he thanked me. Was thanked by numerous people, hugged four times, inspired at least two former vegans to come back, gave the finishing touches to a young girl entertaining vegetarianism, and heard “Help animals? Hell yes I will… I love animals” more times than I can count. And smashed the former record at this school.
—Nikki Benoit, 8/24/11

At the University of Colorado’s Freshmen Welcome, I went back to my bike for more leaflets and saw six or so students taking a group picture by the sign on the back of my bike, which reads, “Be kind to animals…Please don’t eat them.” As they were walking away I heard them say something about everyone in their house being veg.
—Barbara Bear, 8/19/11

18 dedicated folks joined Jeff and me to leaflet Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk, where we reached 3,387 interested people. We met soooo many vegetarians – handed out 60 Guides and seven AMLs. One guy told us he’s been vegan since getting a booklet at Arizona State three months ago.
—John Oberg, 9/3/11

Kara Phalen
Kara Phalen is enthusiastic about helping the animals at Mt. San Antonio College.

The take rate at Oak Park River Forest High School was excellent; nearly every student replied with “Yes! I love to help animals” to my “Info to help animals” line. I was super pumped up after leafleting, and can’t wait to go again.
—Darina Smith, 9/8/11

Before dinner, I leafleted Yale’s giant Morality class as the students filed in. During the class, the professor asked people to raise their hands if they forgo eating things they would otherwise, out of concern for the suffering of nonhuman animals. Some 10% of the class of 600 raised their hands.
—Eitan Fischer, 9/6/11

I tabled at Montgomery College’s student activities fair, and leafleted next to the table. The school’s main table was giving free hot dogs to the students; this year, there was a veggie dog option, and there were none left by the end!
—Jon Camp, 9/9/11

Reached 1,480 students at North Carolina Wesleyan College and East Carolina University. One student said she was vegetarian for years, but went back to eating meat because of gluten allergies. I informed her of Jack’s blog, gave her a Guide, and told her I have vegan friends who are gluten free. Returning during the next class, she thanked me for being on campus and is now returning to vegetarianism.
—Rob Gilbride, 9/12/11

Jeannie Trizzino
Jeannie Trizzino changes another life at Chico State.

Teresa and I blew out the old record at Central Connecticut State, reaching 1,314 students, and giving out many dozens of Guides to vegetarians. Two students want to get involved leafleting. Had some good conversations; e.g., after reading the literature, had at least six people pledge to reduce their consumption of animals/products by half.
—Karen James, 9/12/11

Ideal crowd at Richard Stockton College, where Mara and I reached 1,000 progressive suburbanites. Saw lots reading cover to cover. Had a nice bro-down yesterday, a large football player asked me, “What’s with this crazy vegan thing, break it down.” I started, “The word vegan, my brother, is just another word for love, combined with intelligence.” We parted friends after 10 minutes and he said he would read the pamphlet and eat more plant- based foods.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/8/11

Future superstar leafleter Paulette joined me for a quick leafleting at Millennium Park. I had a nice conversation with a Christian and, among other things, we discussed how Jesus would feel if he saw how the animals were treated in today’s modern factory farms. We both agreed that he would be horrified. He seemed to think deeply on this point.
—Mikael Nielsen, 9/4/11

Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown makes the compassionate case at Denver’s Auraria campus.

A group of people gathered to watch three seals being released back to the ocean, so I decided to leaflet the crowd!
—Lana Smithson, 9/11/11

Today was amazing, as Jeni, Vic, Lori and I reached 4,564 students at Mission College and San Jose State – awesome take rate, awesome conversations. We met a ton of interested folks including one young lady, Julia, who has been vegan for a year since getting a brochure. Vic got the contact info of a young lady who wants to get involved. One person said they were going veg on the spot!
     Friday, Seth, Jeni, and I set yet another record – 1,241 students reached at Las Positas College. Cool conversations with interested folks – the level of interest in the literature has skyrocketed over the last few years. So many people genuinely seem to care.
—Brian Grupe, 8/25/11

 

Michelle
Veg on the spot! Michelle had her life changed at Chico State.

Pinch me…cuz this can’t be real. All morning at Long Beach Community College, I was stopped by students wanting to get involved – some staff too. Collected their details and am getting in touch with them. More than ever, I had replies of: “Help animals? Hell yeah, I love animals.” If I could marry an institution, you’d be calling me Mrs. LBCC.
     Meaningful conversations, including a philosophy student looking for my “argument.” To sum it up, I quoted the head of the Department of Philosophy at Chaffey College, who said if person X disagrees with hurting and abusing animals, yet they eat animals and their secretions, they are morally schizophrenic. Period. This got his attention big time.
—Nikki Benoit, 8/18/11

A long and amazing day at Colorado State! I was joined by the school’s amazing animal rights group, as well as a local volunteer, and together we reached over 2,100 students! I had many conversations with vegetarians and inquisitive omnivores who were very intrigued, shocked, and fascinated by the message. Such a worthwhile day; I absolutely loved connecting with the student AR group.
—Jeni Haines, 9/30/11

Our event at Michigan State was very successful, mainly due to your literature. We handed out all 200 copies within two hours! Thanks for producing and sending these booklets, and for all your work for the animals.
—Molly McBride, Students Promoting Animal Rights, 9/30/11

Denise Hoffman
Denise Hoffman helps enlighten the Orlando art festival crowd.

Reached 550 students at Lewis-Clark State and the University of Idaho. Many of the students I reached today ignored me initially, until they realized it was about helping animals, and then they doubled back for the leaflet. It is a huge highlight for me when this happens.
—Caleb Wheeldon, 9/29/11

Highlight today: I had someone come back to return a leaflet saying they love meat too much. I told her she does not have to give up meat overnight and can try going veg one day a week and take it from there. She thought about it and said, “You’re right. I’ll take the leaflet back. Once a week. I can do that.” This then happened again with another person!
—Sophie Feng, 10/2/11

Phenomenal day of outreach at Syracuse University. Many people were interested, including a big football player who wanted to know about vegan protein, joining the AR club, etc.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/29/11

Today was my last leafleting at the University of Colorado, and I was glad to share the day with Lynn and Lisa. Thinking back to when I began doing outreach at this campus 7 or 8 years ago, it seems like caring about animals is much more accepted now than it was when I started.
—Barbara Bear, 8/22/11

Diane Gandee Sorbi
Diane Gandee Sorbi is happy to leaflet a disembodied hand at San Francisco State.

900 more students reached at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. It felt great being on campus again and leafleting. Most students thanked me for being there. It never gets old watching students read the information and hearing how it has changed their eating habits. Looking forward to more leafleting.
—Rob Gilbride, 8/29/11

Elyse and I totally rocked it at Kingsborough Community College today. Everyone was so nice, and we heard from lots of vegetarians. Two kids were interested in getting involved, so I gave them my contact information.
—Katie Pryor, 9/23/11

Gave 1,573 copies of Even If You Like Meat to students at Indiana University at Bloomington, along with 21 Guides – heard from dozens of vegetarians! I overheard a number of them tell their friends they had become vegetarian from getting the booklet in the past.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/30/11

New volunteer Ava and I reached 700 people at Phoenix’s Rainbow Festival. We heard from many people moving toward veg eating because of our previous outreach. It’s great to see so much movement!
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/2/11

Bronte Cummings
Bronte Cummings spreads sunshine and compassion at Cal State East Bay.

Jack, Jeni, and I reached almost 2,000 students at Chabot College – a huge new record. Previous times here, I didn’t meet a single vegetarian; today, we each met several! Three students pledged to me to move toward veg.
     Today was epic, with Jack at the College of Alameda and Jeni, Vic, and me at UC Berkeley! I met a young lady who has been vegan for a year after getting one of our brochures at Warped Tour. A vegetarian and a former vegan committed on the spot to going vegan. Tons of people wanted to talk and many committed to eating more veg. In the last two weeks, we Bay Area activists have distributed 16,980 leaflets. I feel so fortunate to be doing this work with such amazing people every day.
—Brian Grupe, 8/25/11

 

Deanne Thomsen
Deanne Thomsen leafleted Marquise at Denver’s Auraria campus; now he wants to get active for the animals.

I love Reed College! Many students mentioned being veg. I was able to hit the lunch rush near the cafeteria, and reached a significant chunk of the total student population. I also met a guy named Dylan who asked about getting involved, mentioning that he wanted to leaflet on his campus, and also that he had a car and would like to help out in other parts of the region.
—Caleb Wheeldon, 9/16/11

Very receptive crowd at Mt. San Antonio College’s summer session. One guy handed the booklet back, saying he can’t look at the pictures, “It’s horrible.” I thanked him for caring, reminding him that the only hope these animals have is us and our compassion. I told him it’s not all or nothing and that he could do what I did first: cut out chicken and eggs. His face shifted, now I had his attention. He took the booklet back and said he’d read it.
     Heard from another guy who read a leaflet last week (someone else is handing them out here too, woohoo!) and he’s cut his meat back significantly because “the piece of chicken on my plate was once a live chicken, and they were hurt to get here. I don’t want to eat much meat anymore.” Guided? You know it!
     Today at Chaffey College, my helper and I reached almost 1,900 new people. Tons of meaningful conversations! We heard from a girl who went vegan after I presented to her class last semester! Now she wants to help too, along with four other separate people I met, woohoo!
     I LOVE how people are on autopilot and just say “NO” when you offer them a leaflet, but when it sinks in that you said “animals,” they come back and say, “Oh yes, please!”
—Nikki Benoit, 8/17/11

Alexis Antonelli
Alexis Antonelli spreads the sunshine of compassion at Santa Monica College.

What a day! Jeni, Amman, and I made a memorable first day of school for 1,281 students at Los Medanos College. Then Lisa joined us for Diablo Valley College’s first day, where we reached an additional 1,725! Far too many conversations to mention; we met dozens of vegetarians. Great to see such progress at these schools – people seem to really view the message as important.
     Another huge day today with Kalie and Jeni at Solano College and Napa Valley College – we shattered both school’s records, reaching over 2,000 new students! At Solano, a woman walked by after getting a leaflet and said, “That’s it, I’m done.” We chatted and she said she couldn’t support this, she had to give up meat. She just had NO IDEA that animals were treated so bad. New veg, on the spot! Another young lady told me she had been veg since 7th grade after getting an Even If You Like Meat over 6 years ago – “That exact one, I still have it at home.”
—Brian Grupe, 8/17/11

Cuesta College was busy today, and Peggy and I got lots of great feedback, such as, “I read the whole thing! That’s crazy! I am definitely going to think twice about eating chicken!”
—Johanna Andris, 8/16/11

An immensely positive day of outreach at Northern Virginia Community College, where I handed a VO booklet to over 1,000 students. Lots of good questions, smiles, high fives, etc. One young woman said that she has been vegan since getting an Even If from us last September.
—Jon Camp, 8/25/11

SJSU student
Brian spies students at San José State (above) and College of Marin (below) fully engaged in learning the truth.

Although I couldn’t join John, Sean, et al. in Tucson (where they reached nearly 5,000 students at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College), I was able to get to Arizona State’s West campus over lunch. Glad I did – had a great conversation with a young student who was an editor for the school paper. She had tried being veg several years ago but only lasted a month. Now she’ll give it another shot.
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/7/11

Huge record at the University of Southern Maine – over 850! The acceptance rate was so high that I felt shocked whenever someone declined.
—Lana Smithson, 9/8/11

Team Triangle was in full force at Jonathan Safran Foer’s talk at the University of North Carolina. His book Eating Animals was chosen as the summer reading selection for both Duke & UNC, so we hope to have many more veg and veg-sympathizers here in NC! Javier, Leeanne, Amanda, John, Brenda, Rob, and I reached 650 of these soon-to-be friends of the animals!
—Eleni Vlachos, 8/25/11

Rich and I set a new record at Fountain Square. One highlight: I approached a group of three women, got shot down by the first, the second took a leaflet and, when the third saw what they were, she asked for two and said, “They need to see this,” and proceeded to chase down friend number one who had originally turned me down!
—Kevin O’Connor, 8/27/11

Went really well at the University of Toronto today, with good conversations. A middle-aged university worker took a booklet on her way outside to have her lunch; she came back and talked to me on her way back in, said she was no longer going to eat chickens as it was awful what they do to them, and asked for another booklet to give her friend.
—Alex Greenwood, 8/26/11

Cory and I reached over 1,500 folks at Northern Illinois University, and we noticed a marked decrease in the number thrown down or out. On girl turned down a booklet, saying she is already vegetarian. After explaining what was in the Guide, and that we had a local group for support, community events, and outreach opportunities, she completely changed her tune and left in a very positive mood. She also left with a few booklets to pass on to friends.
—Jon Bockman, 8/24/11

COM student

Ten of us had great outreach at Boulder’s Pearl St. Mall this evening. Several former vegans told us they were coming back!
—Barbara Bear, 8/17/11

I was in action from 7:30am–4:00pm at the University of Chicago, and heard from a number of vegetarians. One said it was a booklet she had received from us previously that led her to stop eating meat.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/16/11

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

After a Lady Gaga concert in Oakland, CA, a girl was passing out the Even If You Like Meat booklet. It has changed me and my girlfriend’s eating habits forever!!!!
—JC, El Sobrante, CA, 9/17/11

A boy handed me a booklet at Santa Rosa Jr. College – and it worked!
—SA, Occidental, CA, 9/7/11

Heard about you at Warped Tour. I am ready to make this change!
—TJ, Culpeper, VA, 9/13/11

 

PCC vegetarian
Birds aren’t angry at him!
Vegetarian since getting a booklet at Pasadena City College last fall.

The University of Washington was incredible. I did not receive a single negative comment and many people thanked me for being there. When foot traffic slowed, I was able to engage a few people in conversations and had some great chats, including two vegetarians who want to eat more vegan food. There were three food trucks on-site, and all three have vegan options. The best was the hot dog vendor, who stocked delicious Field Roast sausages. I pointed this out constantly to the students, and many told me they loved vegan food and ate it all the time because it’s better than the meaty stuff.
—Caleb Wheeldon, 9/8/11

Over 1,000 newly informed students at UC San Diego. Approaching my last hour, it happened: “Excuse me, would you mind speaking to my class?” Um…let’s see if I can articulate this clearly: HELL YES PLEASE! I chatted with his 50-person class about our individual roles in society, hidden atrocities in the fabric of our communities and our irrefutable role in them. All the while, Prof. Evans leafleted the class! Wrapping up, students kept requesting Guides until I was all out!
     More great stuff at Oxnard College and Ventura Community College today. For example, Omar read his leaflet immediately, cover to cover, then thanked me profusely for handing it to him. Knowing it’s not cool to abuse and confine anyone for any reason, he knew going veg was a must…he just needed someone to point it out.
     Side note: was in Yosemite recently, and in the little village mart, they carry five flavors of Primal Strips. And in the busiest aisle in the freezer section they have vegan shrimp and vegan fish! Got demand? Oh yeah baby, globe-trotters dig plants!
—Nikki Benoit, 7/11/11

Scout Kilbourne & Kate St. John
Scout Kilbourne and Kate St. John rock it for the animals at Warped Tour, Atlanta.

Yesterday at the Stern Grove Festival, I had an incredibly high take rate; many perked up once they heard the material was about animals. I met dozens of vegetarians, and was thanked by quite a few people. One woman walked back and forth a few times to get friends. She told me she overheard some people saying things like, “Wow, this is so bad” and “I’m never eating meat again.”
—Brian Grupe, 7/18/11

Great outreach at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. For example, one woman didn’t want a Compassionate Choices brochure when I offered, because she went vegan a few years ago after receiving one!
—Barbara Bear, 7/23/11

Great leafleting and interactions at Herald Square today – Jim and I reached 900 people! Two young kids came up to me for a booklet, which they brought back to read with their mother. The three of them spent some time reading the Compassionate Choices, and then the mother and daughter came up to me and asked questions. Before they left, I thanked the mother for taking the time to explain all of this to her kids. This was one of the greatest interactions I’ve had while leafleting.
—Danielle Amodeo, 7/28/11

David Coman-Hidy & Rich Sheer
David Coman-Hidy and Rich Sheer reach out at the Warped Tour’s Cincinnati stop.

Rich and I reached almost 500 people at Fountain Square’s Saturday concert. A number of vegetarians, and one person thanked me for being there. The highlight of the evening was a young man who said he got a leaflet at the Warped Tour’s Cincinnati stop a couple of weeks ago and had not eaten meat since!
—Kevin O’Connor, 8/13/11

Was great to be back in action with college leafleting. Good conversations at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria. I broke my old record there by a couple hundred, in spite of being stopped by the earthquake!
—Jon Camp, 8/23/11

Sean, Ashley, Jason, Michael and I reached over 400 people at the Decemberists concert. One interesting thing about that night was the high percentage of women who declined and then had their male companion accept. Booya!
—Jeff Boghosian, 8/11/11

Jeni Haines
Jeni Haines helps a Santa Rosa Junior College student break through the lies; below, another SRJC student is engrossed in learning the truth.

Yesterday at work, a colleague began asking me about my diet. I gave her a Compassionate Choices; she started reading it and literally began weeping. She said she had no idea animals were treated that way. We talked about making veg choices and she took a Guide. Just goes to show how critical our work is – there are people like her who would care if they knew!
—Leslie Patterson, 8/10/11

Deborah, Joe, Leslie, Laura, Madonna, Wally, Darina and I reached 2,900 people with CVA’s Would Jesus Eat Meat Today? booklet at the Night of Hope Conference. Emphasizing “vegetarian” when offering people a booklet from the “Christian Vegetarian Association,” many people actively sought out the booklet. We frequently saw people closely reading the booklets – a great success!
—Jon Bockman, 8/6/11

SRJC student

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

Someone at my college was passing out booklets. They explained to me the values and convinced me to give it a try.
—AG, Ontario, CA

Came across VeganOutreach.com, read Why Vegan?, and was surely persuaded!
—RV, Wheaton, IL

I was at the Green Cruise in Ferndale, Michigan and received some of your literature. I was shocked by what I saw and read. I am going to make a concerted effort to rid my diet of animal products.
—CS, Hazel Park, MI

Visiting Manhattan, I was given your booklet. Great Information! I’m going to share this information with my high school students. I’m definitely eliminating chicken and fish and becoming a vegan!
—YP, Queens Village, NY

 

Citrus vegan

You could make this up, but with it really happening, you don’t need to. While reaching over 1,700 students at Citrus College:

  • By 7:56 am, a young lady (right) brought her leaflet back asking where to get the plant-based cheeses and things in her neighborhood, because she’s going vegan now!
  • Was thanked by an administrator for being out there, Guided her twice (for her and a friend).
  • By 8:37 am, a young woman (below) said she went vegetarian five months ago because of a leaflet we (Yvonne and I) gave her. Guided? You bet.
  • Met ANOTHER woman whose diet also changed five months ago because of a leaflet we gave her…only she went vegan! Guided.
  • Loads more amazing conversations. Lost track of how many times I was thanked and how many veggies I heard from. Perfect model for how powerful leafleting can be.
Citrus vegetarian

—Nikki Benoit, 9/8/11

Over my lunch break, I reached 150 more students at Arizona State’s West campus. I had a great conversation with a young student who was an editor for the school paper. She had tried being veg several years ago but only lasted a month, but now seemed interested in giving it another shot.
—Jeff Boghosian, 9/7/11

Reached 520 students at CUNY Staten Island. Everyone was very receptive and kind! Two vegetarians are interested in helping in the future!
—Katie Pryor, 8/30/11

Small crowd at the concert tonite, but one guy came back to tell us he had been on his way to the restaurant on the corner to get some chicken strips but, after getting our leaflet, he got a vegan burger instead.
—Kevin O’Connor, 7/6/11

My favorite moment from leafleting the farmers’ market was when a mom said no to a brochure, then pointed to her 12-year-old son and said, “Give it to him, he’ll want one for sure.” The boy immediately started to read it as the whole family walked away. It was a nice switch from the parents who try to keep the info from their children.
—Barbara Bear, 7/9/11

GCC students
Engrossed in the truth at Glendale Community College (above and below).

365 more students at the University of Wisconsin. Heard from an amazing 16 vegetarians, including 2 who stated that they dropped meat after getting a booklet from us in the past.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/2/11

At the concert tonite, plenty of youngsters reacted very enthusiastically to “Info to help animals.” One kid asked immediately how he could donate to our group. Also, I offered a leaflet to a young girl who was walking with what I took to be her grandfather. I thought the older guy would reject the leaflet but he took one then came back and said he was a vegetarian for 40 years and trying to go vegan. I gave him a Guide and some web resources.
—Darina Smith, 7/15/11

Wow, such great outreach at UC Berkeley today! Reached 500+ in only two hours. Really receptive students and future students aka touring juniors and seniors. Lots of big smiles, thank yous and quite a few turnarounds once they realized what the material was. Awesome!
—Brian Grupe, 7/12/11

Steph and I had many positive interactions today in Times Square. It’s great when you see people actually opening the booklets and having the right kind of reaction! We were able to distribute leaflets to many different tour groups, reaching many children, which was fantastic!
—Danielle Amodeo, 7/20/11

GCC students

In Times Square today, an Australian girl told me she had gotten one of the booklets thee years ago down under and went veg.
—Casey Constable, 7/27/11

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival turned out to be the most successful event we have had in our outreach programs. Our booth was the most popular in the activist area of over 30 booths, and we put Compassionate Choices into the hands of 400 new people! People were happy to see that we were there. We got the sense that many people are ready for a lifestyle change. We also were asked by two other event organizers to join them at their events in the coming months.
—Shanti Urreta, 6/19/11

What a great week leafleting the Warped Tour, from Kansas City to Darien, NY! At almost every stop, we heard from people who are vegetarian because of getting a booklet at last year’s Warped.
—Jon Camp, 7/14/11

Eric Griffith
Eric Griffith makes the animals’ case at the University of Georgia.

I actually just wanted to congratulate you on this amazing website. Tomorrow, I am doing my first leafleting. I was very nervous, but your articles on vegan advocacy really helped me to have a more clear vision on what I have to do tomorrow, and also made me realize that I don’t have to be angry on meat eaters because I will not help the animals. It really changes my whole perception on how to do vegan campaigning and approach people. And I will suggest to the animal rights group for which I volunteer to adopt a college.
—CH, Belgium, 9/9/11

At Santa Rosa Junior College this morning, a guy (Brian) offered me your booklet. I was late for class and went by without picking it up, but I saw the cover, was intrigued, and after class went to get one. I have to tell you that I cried all the way home! Yes, I had read about these slaughterhouses and bad conditions before, but for some reason YOUR booklet hit home! I couldn’t ignore it anymore. And you are right: don’t make a total commitment to being a vegan and then stop because it’s too hard. It’s better to gradually eat less and less meat and keep THAT commitment. I know now that my changes will come – you are so right. I want to encourage you to keep handing out booklets at schools – it works!
—Bloom, 9/7/11

 

Rob Gilbride
Rob Gilbride makes the animals’ case at Duke University.

96 degrees at Purdue University, where I used my day off to reach 1,500+ new people. At one point, a group of athletic guys stopped. One told me it was getting one of our leaflets that caused his sister to go vegan, then their whole family to go vegan, including him, though he said he has been slipping now that he is at college. He said, “I just want to let you know you are making a difference.” I asked him if he wanted a Guide about how to stay healthy without animal products and he said yes. Then, surprisingly, the other boys he was with said they wanted them too.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/31/11

It was good to be in the old stomping grounds of Thomas Jefferson with new volunteer Jesse Grimes; together, we reached over 2,000 UVA Cavaliers. Had positive conversations with individuals who were moved as a result of receiving a booklet today or in the past. I also chatted with a professor who teaches animal ethics.
—Jon Camp, 8/31/11

Today was incredibly productive at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where I reached over 950 students. One vegetarian and one very interested person stopped by, and another commented in passing that he had just gone vegetarian.
—Katie Pryor, 9/2/11

Dalila Cunha
You don’t have to be able to hear to be moved to compassion, as Dalila Cunha shows at the College of Marin.

We’re back to school, and back in action. Today was the undergraduate organizations bazaar, where we gave out 125 VO booklets together with leaflets for our first meeting. Got lots of sign-ups, including three vegans and numerous vegetarians.
—Eitan Fischer, Yale Animal Welfare Alliance, 9/4/11

Aleta and I had a great day at Western Connecticut State University, where we reached nearly 800 students. Loads of people interested in the materials, including different people who wanted to get active. A local radio DJ approached me and wants to interview me on their talk show!
—Karen James, 8/31/11

A spectacular day of outreach at the College of Marin, where Carol, Dalila, and I set a new record for the school – 865 new people reached. Tons of awesome conversations, and we met dozens of vegetarians/vegans. I had a nice chat with a police officer who grew up on a farm in the South and is disgusted by how we farm today. He accepted a Guide. I leafleted another police officer who I saw twice more, still holding on to his leaflet. Was thanked for leafleting by a ton of people.
—Brian Grupe, 9/1/11

PCC student
Nikki came across this Pasadena City College student who’s greatly altered his diet after receiving a booklet last term.

Yesterday at the University of Southern California, we reached over 2,500 students. Yvonne heard from a woman who’s been holding on to her leaflet for (get this…you ready? Wait for it……) FIVE years. And FINALLY decided to read it YESTERDAY. Bought some of that “seitan stuff” and really liked it. Yvonne Guided her. Talk about a long germination cycle!
—Nikki Benoit, 8/31/11

Truman College was great leafleting! Lucy and Anandini were there most of the day, and I joined in for one hour. Met some people who have gone veg because of receiving the booklet in the past; they also met someone who got a booklet, went to class, read it in class, and then came back to tell them they’re going veg now because of it.
—Kenny Torrella, 9/1/11

 

 

Marysville concertgoers
Representin’ compassion at the Marysville, CA Warped stop!

While Stewart and I were leafleting inside the Carson, CA Warped Tour stop, I didn’t notice two young girls sitting behind me reading the booklets. During a quiet moment, I hear, “I think it’s time to do something about this.” I look over and Lauren says, “It’s just not right to eat some animals and love others.” We chatted about exercise / protein / alternatives, and she and Sarah both got Guided. Minutes later Lauren says, “Ya know, it’s just not right to see how wrong this situation is and walk away. Can I help you?” Yes, she and her friend Sarah not only committed to altering their eating habits but helped us leaflet the crowd, too! And they’re both excited to help me this fall.
—Nikki Benoit, 8/11/11

Vegans since WT ’09
Kate St. John met these two rockers who’ve been vegan since being leafleted at Warped 2009.

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

I was at Warped and someone happened to be handing out brochures. It was pure luck that I put it in my bag. When I got home, I read it, and now I am really looking forward to this!
—CF, Sun City, AZ, 8/8/11

I was walking out of Warped and I was handed a booklet. I always thought it would be interesting to try being a vegan and after doing some research, now’s the time.
—JT, Litchfield, IL, 8/4/11

Someone gave me a booklet outside of a concert. Thank you for making me aware about what’s going on.
—VM, Belton, TX, 7/25/11

I got your booklet at the Warped Tour. It was truly inspiring.
—SG, Kingsport, TN, 7/29/11

Warped Tour! I realized I can be cruelty free. I’m ready!
—BP, Salt Lake City, 8/8/11

Marysville leafleters
At the Marysville Warped stop, Kitty, Lauren, Jeni, John, Crystal, Brian, Vic, and Anthony celebrate reaching over 7,500 new people.

Council Bluffs, IA was my last day on the Warped Tour for this year. These last 10 days had us reaching 76,750 kids. I can’t remember having as much fun as I’ve had over this last month. Damn! Traveling solo has its merits, but traveling with some of your favorite people, doing long days of outreach, and seeing some of the best people in the world, city after city, rules.
     I’m continually floored by what an amazing network of Vegan Outreach activists exists. Thanks to everyone on this list who leafleted with us, who housed us, and who continues to donate towards this work. As evidenced by the people who mentioned being veg as a result of our past outreach, the tons and tons of starter guide requests that have been coming in this summer, and the online feedback (such as this Twitter post: “those pamphlets they hand out at warped make me wanna be vegan omg”), we’re making huge inroads.
      VO’s work is such a team effort and we are definitely a team on the move. Let’s go into the fall semester strong!
—Jon Camp, 8/5/11

 

Chaffey students
Bodacious Brian leads two more Chaffey College students to the truth.

I received your Compassionate Choices, and would like to request a free Guide. I was really turned on to the idea of “cruelty-free eating” by this line in the booklet:
     “If you decide to eliminate animal-derived foods from your diet, please remember: the objective is to reduce suffering, not to achieve personal purity or perfection.”
     I’m glad to read that, because now I’d like to follow a path towards reducing animal suffering through intelligent choices.
—CP, 8/3/11

Thanks for your enewsletter. Previously, I got one of your booklets, and after reading it, I can’t eat meat ever again. I think about some poor little creature.… I’m working to convert my husband.
—MK, 8/17/11

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

Heard about it at Warped Tour 2010 and thought about going vegan. I tried, failed…then after this year’s Warped Tour, I got another pamphlet and I decided to do whatever it takes to go vegan.
—JC, 7/18/11

Awesome Alexandra
Awesome Alexandra provides the animals a voice at Santa Monica College.

A friend showed me one of your brochures. I knew it was bad but wow.
—ML, 7/12/11

I went to a concert in Comerica Park in Detroit. Your brochure changed the way I see animals.
—JZ, 7/9/11

While waiting in an office at Lehigh University, I saw a pamphlet on the table that a professor had distributed. I had tried being vegetarian a few years ago, but it only lasted for two weeks. I want to take another try at it.
—AK, 7/14/11

I got your booklet at the Warped Tour. You opened my eyes.
—AC, 7/20/11

A Compassionate Choices passed to me after an Animal Collective concert in VA on July 11 really made me start to think about a vegan diet in a completely different way.
—EH, 7/14/11

 

Lauren
From the LA Warped Tour stop, Nikki reports: “Not only did Lauren commit to cutting animals out of her diet, but she also said, ‘It’s not enough to say it’s not cool – can I help?’ She and her friend took 100 booklets and hit the crowd!”
Anthony Policano
Anthony Policano spends his birthday helping San Diego Warped attendees make compassionate choices, while the great Kath Rogers (right) waits for her next encounter. Below, two SD rockers are deep in learning the truth.

What a day! Happy and appreciative people at Grossmont College, with good constructive conversations. One young lady came back with her copy of Compassionate Choices saying, “Thank you for this. I’m done, and going vegan right now.” And another student came back saying, “I want to go veg but don’t know where to start. What should I do?” BAM!
     More good interactions and comments at Cuyamaca College! Met a chef who doesn’t eat meat because “it’s insane” and said, “Every time you come here, you make me cry.” She was very excited to hear about alternatives to eggs in baking. She also said her daughter got a VO booklet somewhere and it made her vegan!
—Nikki Benoit, 6/29/11

Another great day at Union Square (New York), where Danielle and I reached 500 new people! Everyone was very receptive. One woman was so excited that we were taking action for the animals that she felt inspired and took brochures for all of her friends and coworkers. We met people who were so motivated by the Compassionate Choices literature that they decided to go vegan for lunch that day. Promising first steps!
—Meredith Thompson, 6/28/11

San Diego concertgoers

Very nice students at Malcolm X College. One woman stopped to tell me she spends her time helping humans not animals, and I pointed out it does not take extra time to choose vegetarian meals and we can prevent a huge amount of suffering by doing so.
—Leslie Patterson, 6/22/11

At the University of Illinois, Chicago, I heard from an impressive 15 vegetarians – including one who stated that getting the booklet from us there in the past is what moved him to become vegetarian – and 8 vegans. The city that was once known as the slaughterhouse capital of the world is changing to one of the most veg-friendly cities in the world.
—Joe Espinosa, 6/21/11

 

Nicholas
Three-year-old Nicholas makes sure the Boulder crowd knows how to make compassionate choices.

It is amazing that VO has distributed 15 million booklets! Also that it is translating into the huge increase in numbers of vegetarians and vegans is really encouraging. And shows how the steady, patient, one-person-at-a-time approach is really paying off.
—RS, 7/17/11

I love the message of your August 3 enewsletter, but you’re understating the value of Jack’s book. Your math is wrong. If you could increase the number of permanent vegetarians from 25% to 100% of initial converts, that would be four times as many vegetarians, not three times.
—Steve P, 8/4/11

Man what a day! I hopped on my bike with 200 leaflets for UC Berkeley; lo and behold, I was out within an hour. Rode home for more! Dave stopped by for a bit; between us, we reached 500 students. I had 10 different awesome conversations with vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters. Never a dull moment!
—Brian Grupe, 6/20/11

A great time leafleting Boulder’s farmers’ market and the Pearl Street Mall. There were so many positive comments throughout the night: “Thanks for doing what you’re doing” “I love animals!” “I’m all over this!” Even a thumbs up with, “I think you vegans are onto something.” Yes we are!
—Barbara Bear, 7/6/11

John Oberg

Only three students turned me or Shannon down today at Ben Franklin High School, and only three leaflets were discarded! Also chatted with a teacher’s helper who runs the environmental club at school – took my card to have me speak next year! They had an event this year and gave out vegan samples.
     Tuesday, Yvonne and I had one of our best reception-rate days at UCLA. The politeness of the students was almost Hitchcockianly creepy. Yvonne had a couple of moms from a tour group thank her profusely and ask for more lit and Guides! While offering them the Guides, a passerby behind her poked his head over saying, “You have recipe guides??” and he got one too!
—Nikki Benoit, 6/24/11

Yvonne, Kim, Kristine, Taylor, Jordan, Grace, Lorraine, Shannon, Stewart, Tania, Christian, Sally, Nikki and I just killed it at the Warped Tour’s Pomona stop – we reached 11,350 new people! This is the best group of leafleters I’ve ever worked with and enough can’t be said about their dedication. It’s an honor to leaflet with such great activists and good-hearted people.
—John Oberg (right), 7/1/11

 

Chicago Warped Tour stop
Arathi Jayaram helps open eyes at the Chicago Warped Tour stop, with David Coman-Hidy in the background.

While reading Adopt a College posts, I saw Jon’s recommendation to leaflet shows by the Decemberists. I clicked on the link he provided and, to my great surprise, saw that they were playing at that very moment just 10 miles away! I jumped in my car immediately. The folks I found were friendly and I had good conversations. Someone gave me a high five after getting a leaflet. A few commented on how “messed up” factory farming is. Several young men wearing “Environment Maine” T-shirts seemed very interested in the info.
     Today at the Michael Franti concert, I heard from a family of vegetarians and a family of vegans. I also heard from a woman who said she had been a vegetarian but developed a severe B12 deficiency. She said she would prefer to be vegetarian and to raise her three children veg, but the deficiency really scared her, and her doctors (plural) told her she must eat meat (which she now does). I told her about Jack’s website and she seemed interested to check it out.
—Lana Smithson, 6/16/11

At Golden West College, a buff athletic man eagerly accepted a booklet when offered “Info to help animals?” When he passed by later, he was still buried nose-deep reading it! I thanked him for doing so and he stopped to say, “I was driving on the freeway yesterday and saw a truck with chickens crammed in the back…that pissed me off!! So THANK YOU for being out here doing this. I WILL read this!”
—Nikki Benoit, 6/13/11

Borough Hall in Brooklyn is a great spot! The people who pass by are very friendly and receptive to the cause. Meredith and I had loads of people ask us questions on what to eat after reading the pamphlet. We handed out 500 in only an hour, and will definitely bring more next time!
—Danielle Amodeo, 7/1/11

Fiesta del Sol
At Chicago’s Fiesta del Sol, ¿Por qué vegetariano? has captured another mind.

Great day leafleting the Boulder Farmers’ Market / Yoga Festival. I had so many conversations with people who were in transition from flesh-eating to vegetarian and vegetarian to vegan I can’t recount them all. I also met loads of vegans today. One guy told me he’d gotten a Compassionate Choices on campus a year or two ago and since then had really embraced the ideas in it. A woman told me that since getting a Compassionate Choices and our conversing then, she’s decided to go vegan after being on the fence for years. She asked me all kinds of questions about dairy substitutes, etc. and read the Guide from cover to cover.
—Barbara Bear, 6/18/11

The summer school and prospective students were receptive at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, even though it was very hot! Best conversation:
     “I got that before.”
     “What’d you think?”
     “KFC is off the menu now!”
—Elaine Vigneault, 6/20/11

 

Alexandra Paul
Alexandra Paul takes the animals’ message to another student at Santa Monica College.

Amazing numbers – incredibly impressive! It really is helpful to see how resources are being so effectively used. Also, that’s really very interesting about Bon Appetit – I think that’s a very powerful benchmark – a huge increase, and I believe that your efforts can take the credit!
—JC, 7/19/11

Reached 680 more at Cal State Long Beach – feel the love! Heard many thanks and felt some shift in real time.
     Just gotta say how grateful I am to have the chance to speak for animals, opening eyes and hearts, carrying out the vision of you amazing humans with Vegan Outreach. I can’t thank you enough for all you do, donors and volunteers. I’m completely honored to have the ability to help.
—Nikki Benoit, 6/6/11

Hot dang, the kids at Oakland Technical High School were great! Jeni and I have done this school before and we don’t remember everyone being as receptive. Got some funny comments, heartfelt ones, and a little bit of healthy antagonism. Only a few booklets ended up on the ground; we saw many more kids reading them.
—Brian Grupe, 6/8/11

The crowd at The Decemberists concert was so good it was surreal – we quickly reached 650 polite and responsive individuals. I also ran into a lad who said, “Vegan Outreach, right?” Me: “Yes!” Lad: “Awesome!” And, as always, it was great to leaflet with Kate and Aaron!
—Jon Camp, 6/13/11

My communications class final was a speech. I chose mine to be on eating a plant-based diet, and gave everyone a booklet. It went fantastic. I also brought in vegan cookies. I don’t think I’ve been more pleased, until I saw my grade on it: 280/280. My instructor’s note: “Great delivery, pace, and eye contact. I won’t lie, the cookies also helped your grade.”
—Taylor Waters, 6/9/11

David Coman-Hidy
By any means possible: David Coman-Hidy goes to great lengths to reach more people at Warped Tour’s Minneapolis stop.

Been tied up on weekdays lately, so I was really happy to see a semi-full parking lot when I passed by Miami-Dade College. Leafleting went great – many students immediately looking through the info. Sad to think of the moral blindness so many go through their lives in, but at the same time experiencing that makes the fact that I stopped in today an even more worthwhile time spent for me. That’s one of the best things about leafleting in my book – no one can ever accuse us of preaching to the choir, now can they? I think not.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 6/11/11

Lori Atkinson and I went to the big farmers’ market in San Francisco at the Ferry Building on Saturday. We handed out 170 in 40 minutes and, as far as we could see, there were no throwaways.
     I’ve been so happy to find Vegan Outreach so I could finally do something. It has helped relieve me of that terrible sick feeling I get in my stomach thinking about what is happening to millions of animals at that very moment.
—Leslie Goldberg, 7/10/11

 

Palomar student
After receiving a booklet from Nikki, students at Palomar have their eyes opened and lives changed.

Another fantastic leafleting at First Friday Art Walk! We had 26 activists out, including 21 leafleters (the other 5 helped out in numerous ways). Together, we reached 2,693 people, including giving out dozens and dozens of Guides. We met quite a few people who’ve been affected by VO booklets in the past. Many conversations went like this: “Would you like info to help animals?” “Oh, I got those before!” “So are you vegetarian?” “Yeah!” “Excellent, here’s a Guide!
—John Oberg, 6/3/11

Today was really successful at Columbus State, where I reached 200 more students. At least 8 stopped to talk with me about animal rights; the general responses were ones of disgust at the literature’s contents, as well as concern, and interest. An older student told me that she had gone vegan after reading our literature and talking with me previously. Needless to say, that was really exciting.
—Jenny Nelson, 5/25/11

When leafleting the Denver Pride Fest, someone told me that they got a Compassionate Choices last year in Hollywood and went vegan because of it.
—Lisa Shapiro, 6/27/11

Palomar student

Good reception at Wright State, along with a general tone of curiosity on the issue from many students. Heard from three vegans and nine vegetarians; one stated that getting the booklet in the past is what moved her to drop meat.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/24/11

Someone handed me your Even If You Like Meat booklet on the street, and I think it might change my life!
—EG, 6/23/11

I first heard about this when I was younger – people were passing out booklets – but I was just 10 years old and knew I would have little support. I’ve luckily found you again by surfing the internet.
—VS, 6/28/11

Today I was interviewed by an ESL (English as a Second Language) student at Oregon State for a speaking project. The idea of organizations and a movement dedicated to promoting not eating animals was new to her. We looked at the VO booklets and some other things. She was shocked. I gave her 20 Even Ifs, 20 Guides, and 2 Compassionate Choices to share with her classmates and instructor. We also looked at several websites, including VO. (It’s great that there are Chinese translations there, as this student is from China.)
—Nettie Schwager, 5/24/11

Riley Law
Even more Riley! This time, young Ms. Law helps Warped Tour attendees learn the truth.

Lori, Jeni, and I reached over 1,500 people at the Live 105 concert – what a great experience! There were fewer than 10 booklets that ended up on the ground, no one was drunk, and most were cordial if not downright friendly. We leafleted the lines waiting and had 90% take rate. We watched many people taking the time to give the brochure a good read through. It was exciting to see!
—Brian Grupe, 6/5/11

Good conversations at North Carolina State. One student told me he went vegetarian last October but was interested in going vegan because he knew vegetarian wasn’t enough; I gave him a Guide and my contact info to help him make the vegan transition. An older guy told me he got a VO booklet a year ago and was cleaning the clutter in his house last night and came across it. He gave it to his wife and she read it and was horrified by the treatment of animals used for food. He got a Guide as well.
—Brandon Becker, 6/6/11

Handed out 499 Compassionate Choices and 5 Guides at the Boulder Creek Festival. Some people thanked me for being there, and a mom and ~9-year-old daughter came back to tell me that they got a booklet a couple of years ago and have been vegetarian ever since.
—Barbara Bear, 5/29/11

 

Olivia Gros
July 4 – Olivia Gros promotes freedom for all; full story here.

I spoke to a 7th grade class at a magnet school in Philadelphia, and gave them all a copy of Compassionate Choices. The presentation was about factory farming and veg eating. At the end I asked if they’d ever eaten anything vegetarian. I expected maybe one or two to raise their hands. Instead almost everyone in the class did, and many named these things they’d eaten: vegetarian riblets, Tofurky, veggie deli slices, veggie chicken patties, tofu, vegan ice cream sandwiches, and more. And these are (smart, future leaders) 7th graders from the city of Philadelphia!!
     Afterwards, as a service project, the teacher decided that she’d have the class do a Meatless Mondays program where they try to get their families to go meatless on Mondays for the rest of the school year. We’re getting them lots of info and resources to help.
     How cool is it that in 2011, virtually all of a 7th grade class in a city like Philly has already been eating (and liking) some vegetarian and vegan meals! Just think where we will be in 10 years if we all keep working as hard and as smart as we can.
Nick Cooney, 5/5/11

Concertgoer
At the Ventura Warped Tour stop, the truth is more compelling than the music.

Quick but productive class change at Lonestar College, Kingwood. Met an African-American teacher who was thankful I was out there, and wanted to cut out the birds from her diet and go vegetarian; she got a Guide. One student gave me a hug and a few mentioned seeing the booklet in the past. Others were overhead saying “it’s sad.”
—Casey Constable, 5/5/11

I saw the Chick-fil-A cow mascot with an “Eat Mor Chicken” sign being guided by two young women. So I walked up to the ladies and said, “Surely, you love animals, right?” They said yes, so I gave them both a copy of Compassionate Choices.
—Jennifer Mennuti, 4/19/11

Jeni and I set a new record at Oakland High School, reaching over 460 students! I met a young lady who said she had read the leaflet and was going to go veg, right there on the spot! We heard other students saying “vegan” and “vegetarian” in passing. They may not be veg yet, but this is on their radar!
—Brian Grupe, 5/18/11

Oxnard College student
Is that skateboard comfy? At Oxnard College, another student has his life changed by a VO booklet.

While leafleting at the University of Toronto, I met a former vegetarian who got a Guide as well as a Compassionate Choices. She had been vegetarian for six years until poor health made her stop; she had low iron (proved in blood tests) and her hair was falling out. She has been eating some chicken and fish, but wants to get back into vegetarianism. I told her about Jack and VeganHealth.org. She seemed inspired to find out I have been a vegan for over two decades, so I’m glad I had the chance to talk to her.
—Alex Greenwood, 5/24/11

Loads of great conversations at Montgomery College, Takoma Park. For example: I had a great discussion with a guy who was moved by the booklet, but found the idea of eating veg to be daunting. In addition to stressing that “it doesn’t have to be all or nothing” and emphasizing the simplicity of using mock meats, I mentioned that challenging ourselves to try new things and go beyond our current situation is what life is all about. By the time he left the table, he seemed committed to eating more veg meals.
—Jon Camp, 5/4/11

 

Stewart Solomon
School’s out, leafleting’s in! Teacher and Super Dad Stewart Solomon gets the Warped Tour rolling.

Good help and good conversations lately. At Concordia College, one woman said, “I got one of those booklets in October, and now I’m a vegetarian.” She was excited to get a Guide. At North Dakota State University, one man said, “I had a summer job in a turkey plant. It was so sickening, I just walked off the job. I didn’t even collect my paycheck.”
—Fred Tyler, 4/28/11

Aaron & Kate (aka The Humane League) and I reached 3,600 students at George Mason today – a huge new record! Combining last night’s outreach with today’s, we reached over 5,000 folks in the last 24 hours.
—Jon Camp, 5/2/11

Great vegan bake sale at Towson University; reached 500 students with booklets. One student said, “I went vegan from reading this last semester!”
—Kate St. John, 5/3/11

Tabling at Boulder’s Puttin’ on the Leash Humane Society gala was great! We doled out vegan sesame chickun from a local restaurant, along with various flavors of Purely Decadent nice cream. People were wowed by both, but they really couldn’t believe how good the vegan chickun was. Some people had trouble believing it wasn’t chickens’ flesh. Confirmed animal eaters started talking about veganism! Three people told us they’d gone veg or vegan because of our outreach at past Humane Society events, and many vegetarians came to the table to thank us for being there. Many great conversations; e.g., a man who rescues animals as a volunteer with United Animal Nations said we got him questioning why he rescues some animals and eats others. Hopefully being in the presence of vegan literature, posters, and smiling vegans all night helped him further along the path.
—Barbara Bear, 4/23/11

I had a lot of positive reactions, and only one or two negative, while leafleting Taste of Chicago. One young lady said she went vegetarian after getting a booklet last year.
—Kenny Torrella, 7/3/11

Bryan Wilson
Bryan Wilson promotes animal freedom on the 4th of July; photo by Carla Wilson.

Gavilan College was great! I met quite a few ex-vegetarians who seemed open to going back. I met a vegan getting something to drink from their snack bar and we exchanged high fives. The cashier wanted to check out a leaflet after all our vegan shenanigans had passed.
     I approached three young ladies standing on an area of grass and they happily accepted leaflets. I strolled around another building where I was able to see them again. They had totally stopped talking and were each standing quietly reading their leaflets. It was a sight to behold!
—Brian Grupe, 5/3/11

 

Yvonne LeGrice
Team Vegan member Yvonne LeGrice takes the animals’ message to Saddleback College.

We had a great spot near the finish line of the Peoria Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, but many people coming our way already had Compassionate Choices in their hands! We soon found the leafleters who were two ladies from a local group, Peoria Voices for Animals. They were just about out of their flyers, so we took over, and reached over 1,000 people. It was great leafleting; most attendees were young women.
—Team Vegan member Darina Smith, 5/7/11

Good conversations at the University of Northern Iowa. One girl saw her friend take a leaflet and said, “Oh my gosh! When I read that it made me cry.” Another girl said, “I got one of those. It’s so sad.”
     Today, I had very high acceptance rate at Iowa Western Community College. Moving on to Omaha, a Creighton University student told me, “Someone was just talking about this for speech class. It scared the crap out of me.” Then, a girl said, “I do like meat, but I don’t like this cruelty. What can we do as poor college students?” I told her how the vegetarian option is sometimes the cheaper one, and gave the example of Chipotle. She said she was planning to go there later and would get the veggie burrito instead. When I told her it comes with free guac, she shouted a very enthusiastic “Yes!”
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 4/18/11

Fullerton student
Nikki opens eyes at Fullerton College (above) and UCLA (below).

Fellow Team Vegan member Yvonne and I gambled that night classes at Pasadena Community College would be worth it, and we won! Nearly 2,000 students were reached, and we were profusely thanked by this young crowd! Dialogue of the night:
     Me: “Info to help animals?”
     Him: “I don’t speak English.”
     Me: “That’s ok, I don’t either. And these aren’t written in English.”
     Him: “OK, I’ll read it.”
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 5/16/11

Joe took a personal day from work so we could leaflet the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Despite the cold temps and rain, the students were quite receptive. Heard from tons of vegan and veg students; this is a very veg-friendly campus, lots of food offerings and an active student group. Other people expressed interest in the animals and going veg. A man told me his son went vegetarian due to receiving our booklet previously.
—Team Vegan members Leslie Patterson and Joe Espinosa, 4/28/11

What an outstanding four days with Wink and fellow Team Vegan member Scout! We reached just shy of 7,000 students across Georgia! So many great stories; e.g., I had a hugely productive conversation today with a guy who was moved by the booklet and was asking about what to eat.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/28/11

UCLA student

I got a request from our local 10-year-old activist & animal hero, Spencer. He wanted to leaflet, so of course I was up for that. Not many at the University of South Florida could resist his request to help animals!
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/29/11

Great acceptance at Cabrillo College and Monterey High School; tons of people were already veg! I opened with, “I bet you have a big heart. Yeah, you look like you care about animals.” And to my surprise, lots of people would say, “Yes I do! I’m vegetarian!” Loads of people stopped to talk from anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. I had quite a few productive conversations with people who weren’t veg (yet) but didn’t like what they saw. Many Guides went to people who had read the booklet in class and came back wanting more info. It was great to have so many conversations.
     I handed one leaflet to Macie, and she told me she was vegan. I then gave her a Guide and she said she already had it, and that she knew Vegan Outreach! I asked her if she had some time to help out and she did. She said she’s been wanting to leaflet so I’m glad I was able to leaflet with her and provide some guidance for her first time. Not like she needed it though; she took right to it, walking up to people and saying, “Do you want to help animals?” I was glad to have her help!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 5/2/11

Annie
Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin sends this picture of Annie, who got a booklet at Penn in 2005 and has been vegan ever since!

Good reception at the University of the Pacific, where I met one very interested woman who wanted all the resources I could give her.
     Students were also receptive at San Joaquin Delta College. There was an event going on for the LGBTQQIA Day of Silence, so I took leaflets over to the table and talked to some people about the interconnections between societal oppressions. I also had good conversations with aspiring vegans / vegetarians!
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 4/14/11

Worthwhile leafleting at the Coheed and Cambria concert. A staff member started joking about veganism and talking about human teeth, evolution, etc. Instead of getting into those debates, I just simply said, “This booklet isn’t about our teeth or whether humans can or cannot digest meat, it’s about the fact that every time we eat, we can make a choice to reduce suffering in the world – it’s that simple.” He agreed. For the rest of my leafleting, we’d chat when I’d finished a part of the line and he agreed with me about a lot of things.
—Team Vegan member Kenny Torrella, 4/30/11

 

Outside Ellen Show

Team Vegan member Yvonne, Armaiti, Doug, Kim, Marc, and I (right) were all dressed up and ready to leaflet the audience at Ellen D’s show, but when it was canceled, we just moved to the streets, leafleting walkers and vehicles at red lights (below). So many honks and aerial high fives!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 4/27/11

Amazingly great day with Brian and fellow Team Vegan member Scout. We reached nearly 2,000 students at Clayton State and Kennesaw State! I saw Brian engaged in a number of productive conversations; he is the type of dude that others feel comfortable talking with. And Scout was her super-effusive, sweet self, with almost everyone taking a booklet due to her immensely warm personality.
     Tonight, I gave an interview on Second Opinion Radio in Atlanta. It’s heard throughout a huge chunk of GA and even stretches to the AL border. It was 30 minutes and I was very happy with my performance, most of which was taking calls (which kept coming).
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/27/11

Yvonne LeGrice

On the first day of our leafleting vacation, we reached 1,325 students at the University of Akron. Very good reception. The highlight of the day came in the last hour when a student stopped to state that getting the booklet from us last year had inspired her to become vegan. Both she and her friend got a Guide.
     For the week, we reached over 4,500 students at U Akron, Bowling Green State, Youngstown State, Kent State, and Case Western.
—Team Vegan members Leslie Patterson and Joe Espinosa, 4/18/11

Such great kids at Rio Americano High School! I met two girls who are veg and really want to go vegan, so I gave them Guides and some tips on making the transition (and of course recommended Daiya to ease the cheese relationship into a more compassionate one). A great school, hardly any leaflets ended up on the ground, and plenty of receptive kids were reached.
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 4/25/11

USF students

Students from the Ethics of Food Production class at the University of South Florida joined me today (right, and below). In addition to getting VO booklets to their fellow students, they were promoting Meatless Mondays and handing out a brochure from Dining Services about veg options on campus. Their vegan professor totally rocks!
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/25/11

Short and sweet at Howard University; met a number of vegetarians in my short time there. One student stopped in her tracks after flipping through the booklet, and came back to me asking, “Is this what they do to animals before they die?” I said, yeah, these are their living conditions. She then said, “I kind of knew they were treated bad, but I had no idea it was to this extent. I’ve never seen pictures before.” She said she would order a Guide.
—Aaron Ross, The Humane League, 4/26/11

Very high acceptance and interest rate at Berkeley City College. At UC Berkeley…not so much, so Lori and I stepped it up. We started singling people out saying, “You’re a compassionate person. You’ve got a big heart, I can tell!” or, “You love animals, you totally do, I can tell. I know you’ve got a big heart.” This really got a lot of people to smile, and I would then comment, saying, “See, you’re smiling, I knew it!” and if they took one, I would then say, “I knew it, you do care!” reaffirming their awesomeness one more time. So many people opened up, saying they were already veg, loved animals, would check out the info, etc.
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 4/26/11

USF students

Jennifer (my host and leafleting superstar) and I reached over 3,000 students today at Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook University. Over 3,000! Great responses on both campuses, a ton of conversations with countless interested individuals as well as vegans and vegetarians. An amazing day!
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 4/26/11

Wow! Lots of veggies all day long at the University of Nebraska, and lots of people interested in more info. I almost ran out of Guides. I don’t think my smile could have gotten any bigger. One guy said, “I just recently switched to almond milk. That stuff is delicious. I don’t think I’ll ever drink regular milk again.”
     One guy said he got a booklet quite some time ago and remembered it being pretty gruesome. He glanced through it again and said, “This stuff is gut-wrenching.” After my explanation of why we focus on this type of activism, he took a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 4/25/11

 

Stormtrooper
Even a Stormtrooper (not a Team Vegan member… yet) can make Compassionate Choices; intergalactic photo by Team Vegan member Kelsey Mosher.

On Monday, Yvonne, Rory, and I reached 3,600 students at Pasadena Community College. Whoa! And tons of great conversations!
     Today, Yvonne and I enlightened 1,645 at Cal State San Bernardino. Saw lots of light bulbs go off with these leaflets, along with the “Yeah…what the?” response.
     Have I bragged on Yvonne lately? Well today, for instance, I look over and see an eruption of students swarming her. With no time for me to run to her aid, I stood firm to leaflet the ones heading my way that she couldn’t get. As they approached me, I noticed they all had leaflets! All of them!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 4/13/11

Yesterday, Foothill College was awesome. Lots of inquisitive students and plenty of veggie-minded folk. It was great to get help from Jaclyn, a new vegan. Also had really high acceptance rate at Stanford.
     Today, I was lucky to be joined by Lori and Daniel at De Anza College and West Valley College; we reached 1,669 students. Far too many conversations to recount, as usual. Lots of gears turning and lots of people genuinely interested in the material.
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 4/6/11

Eitan Fischer
Eitan Fischer helps expand the circle at the Capital Pride Parade.

I stopped by Oregon State on my way home from class. A middle-aged woman accepted a booklet and continued walking. A couple of minutes later she came back. Here is a shortened version of our conversation:
     “I want to thank you for doing this. This is terrible.”
     “Yes, it’s hideous,” I agreed.
     “Yes it is hideous. Thank you so much for spreading the word about this.”
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/12/11

Reached 436 students at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. One guy said, “I already read it, and I agree with it all.” One girl turned down a leaflet saying she couldn’t look at the pictures. I said I knew it wasn’t easy to look at, but that it was an important issue. She said, “I know. Most people don’t take into consideration how those animals are treated.” She happily accepted a Guide. Another girl walked by reading a leaflet and said, “This is the saddest thing ever. It’s horrible.” She said, “I’ll probably stop eating food in general.” I gave her a Guide so she would have some food options that would prevent her from starving.
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 4/4/11

It rained the whole time I was at Utah State, but luckily students were still pretty receptive and I was even told that I was doing a good job with putting up with the weather. A number of good conversations, including someone who told me that his T.A. brought one of the booklets to his bioethics class and they had a class discussion about it.
—Amanda Schemkes, 4/18/11

Amphitheater employee
Not so worried about traffic now: Team Vegan member Brian Grupe sends this pic of an employee at Shoreline Amphitheater.

We had a spectacular leafleting trip, reaching 8,289 students at James Madison University, Virginia Tech, and Radford University. Every semester we are meeting more and more students who say they have gone veg because of Vegan Outreach’s literature, and we met more on this trip. Too many great experiences and conversations to write, but here are a couple:
     One student at JMU read a Compassionate Choices and came back to us and said she has received pamphlets on vegetarianism from other groups in the past, but it was the non-offensive way that VO’s literature is written that she responded to. She said it was well written and she did not feel like she was being attacked. She said she now wanted to go vegetarian! Another JMU student told us that she went vegetarian last semester from reading a leaflet!
     A Virginia Tech student said she is going to stop eating eggs after reading an Even If You Like Meat booklet. Another student was ecstatic to see us being active for animals and said he wanted to get more active himself and asked for a stack to pass out on his own.
     At Radford University, one student was flipping through a CC immediately after I handed it to her and said, “I should really just be vegetarian, I don’t think about this stuff.” She said she would order a Guide!
—Kate and Aaron, The Humane League, 4/21/11

Reached 760 students at Emerson College and 250 at Suffolk University. I was a resident assistant at Emerson last year and I saw two of my former residents that have gone vegetarian, and another is trying vegan; I will be sending recipes. Keep up the good work! This really works!
—David Coman-Hidy, The Humane League, 4/12/11

Emily Weisiger
Emily Weisiger helps promote Boulder justice.

Amazing day at UC Boulder! Emily, A.J., Kristin and I met a receptive crowd at the Food and Environmental Justice Fair. We, along with Matt, had many, many conversations with people who were trying to become vegetarian or were transitioning from vegetarian to vegan. This was just an awesome and uplifting day of outreach.
—Barbara Bear, 4/13/11

Last week, Chip, Cassie, and I reached 1,350 students at Missouri State. I had just met Cassie the previous night, and this was her first leafleting. She has already sent me a message saying this was the launching of her advocacy!
     I reached 900 students at Western Kentucky University today, where I met a surprising number of individuals coming up to say that they were veg, vegan, and that they really appreciated me being out there. It was super-heartening!
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/18/11

It was great to be joined by Lindsay, Casey, Dana, and Matt at Marywood University today! This is my alma mater and where I became an activist, so this was a very special leafleting for me.
     As far as the veg-friendly factor goes, Scranton has done a 180 since I attended college there in 2001–2005! There is essentially a vegan mini-mall downtown: an amazing vegan cafe; a vegan, fair-trade, cruelty-free shop; another shop with environmentally-friendly and recycled products – all right next to each other. And the new group that has formed at Marywood had at least 14 members in attendance for my talk at their final club meeting of the semester! Way bigger than our group back in the day – totally amazing.
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 4/19/11

 

New vegan Lindsey
Vic sends along this picture of Lindsey, who went vegan after getting a VO booklet in New Orleans.

Shortly into my day at San Diego Mesa College, a young man told me, “I just got one of those – I won’t be eating meat anymore.” Boom! Later: another new veg; two high fives; a thumbs up; three thank yous; a “Can I please have one?”; three-or-so vegans; four vegetarians; and a “Yay! I love these things!” I reached 2,000 students, total.
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 4/5/11

Holy smokes, what a day! (Team Vegan members) Nora, Jeni, and I made quite a trio at UC Davis, where we reached 2,644 students! Just tons of conversations with students, so many gears turning. Between the three of us, we probably talked to at least 20 people who are going to significantly change their diets! I met an Animal Behavior professor who let me give a spiel to her class and then offer them leaflets as they left. There were probably 200 students in attendance, and 100 took them!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 3/31/11

Cobie and I encountered very receptive students at Western Oregon University – loads of vegetarians and great conversations. It was the kind of experience that leaves you feeling hopeful and excited about change in the air! Met several people who told us that getting a booklet previously had changed their eating habits. Soon after I started leafleting, I gave a booklet to a man who told me he was a professor, so I gave him a Guide too. When he asked if this was about eating free-range, I said that it’s about reducing suffering – he replied that he’s all for that. Later, I handed a booklet to a student, and he said, “My professor was talking about this in class.”
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/11/11

UO student
This University of Oregon student loses her illusions after getting a booklet from Nettie.

Four never-before-leafleted schools today: University of Dubuque, Loras College, Clarke University, and Dubuque Senior High School. At UD, a faculty member claimed I wasn’t allowed to leaflet on the public sidewalk and she would have security come talk to me. Turns out that is the best thing she could have done. When the guard walked up, she started looking at a booklet and said, “This is horrible. I don’t understand how anyone could do that and call it a job.” When she passed by a little later she asked if I was vegan and said her son was and her husband was most of the way there. She said she pretty much was too since he did most of the cooking. When I gave her a Guide, she said, “Big score for me!”
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 4/4/11

Although Michelle and I reached over 950 students at Modesto Junior College, Modesto High School was the highlight of the day! Kids were super receptive, and we reached 200 in a very short period of time. One girl told me she was going vegetarian on the spot!
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 4/12/11

As expected, some lively but productive conversations at Oklahoma State, where I reached 1,200 students in four hours. The highlight was a super-earnest and sweet young woman:
     Me: “Hello! Info to help animals?”
     Young woman: “Are you vegan?”
     Me: “I am.”
     YW: “Wow, so am I. I’ve never met another vegan.”
     Me: “It’s great that you’re vegan! High five?” (YW and I high-five.)
     YW: “Can I give you a hug?” (YW and I hug.)
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/12/11

Joe Espinosa

Joe (Espinosa of Team Vegan) took a vacation day to join me at Indiana University at Bloomington (right). I had good conversations with veg-curious students, including one who said he liked the idea that every time he chooses veg, he can spare animals. Later, he said he wants to try going vegetarian. A couple of students mentioned the Help Stop Violence Guy (Joe’s Facebook student fan club). A couple of big young guys said they “don’t eat meat,” which was great to hear.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 4/13/11

Take rate at Hofstra University was quite high. I heard many students conversing about leaflets as they were passing by, and many more remarking to their friends things like, “I’m a vegan!” One student who had been vegetarian for a while said this is the healthiest he’s ever felt in his life; and several other students came up to me to ask about going vegan.
     It’s nice to see this increase in awareness happen semester after semester. When I think back to the first time I visited this campus a few years ago, it is clear people are more open to the message right now than ever before.
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 3/31/11

 

Johanna Andris
Johanna Andris spreads the word at Allan Hancock College.

Wow, Las Lomas High has really come along! This is my third time here in 2.5 years and the kids were a lot more apathetic and some even a little snooty about the issue the previous two times. But today, so many of the kids were really excited to get the leaflets once they heard it was about animals. Lots of, “Yeah definitely,” “Oh cool!” and “Thank you!” I met one vegetarian and one ex-vegetarian who really wants to go back. I gave her strategies for dealing with family members in a welcoming and productive way. An awesome use of 1.5 hours!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 5/27/11

Reached 1,200 students at the University of Florida. After reading a booklet, one student said he plans to start a blog about the information. Another student gave positive feedback about the leaflet and VO’s approach. He said that other groups have turned him off, but he thanked me for the information and shook my hand. The best part of the day was when a student came back to me and exclaimed, “It’s official! I’m going vegetarian because of you.” She said the photos really got to her, especially the photo of the dying piglets in the gas cart.
     Today at the University of North Florida, I reached 1,500 students. One person was antagonistic, but he seemed to prompt others to read their booklets! I did get more positive feedback about VO’s approach. A girl said she thought VO was more practical and effective than another group. One guy who told me he read the entire leaflet said, “I WILL be making some changes in my diet – and I’m not lying – I really will!”
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/6/11

We had an all-time high of 30 activists come out to First Friday’s outreach; together, we reached 4,631 people! We met an absurd number of veg*ns, including numerous who said they went veg after reading the booklet! Even met a Navajo who wants to set up some outreach with his people on the reservation.
—John Oberg, 4/1/11

Brian Wink
Brian Wink does the necessary work for the animals at Clayton State.

Some really great conversations at Howard County Community College. Had the opportunity to introduce both my wife and a close friend to activism. Everyone was really positive and enthusiastic – we had four or five people thank us for being there and for what we were doing.
—Jay Kristensen, 4/2/11

Reached 800 students at Fresno State, and had plenty of good conversations. After getting a booklet, one girl squealed and said, “I’m never eating meat again!!!”
     The people I am couchsurfing with here are absolutely awesome and happen to be vegan for Lent! We’ve made some delicious vegan recipes and they’re talking about veganism to all their friends and raving about the delicious things we’ve made together. Since I arrived here, everyone who has come in the house has received a leaflet upon my hosts’ insistence.
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 4/6/11

Tamara, Amanda, and I set a one-day record for any school in New Mexico – 1,550 at UNM. The highlight of the day came at the very end when Jasmine, a thoughtful and cheerful young woman, let me know that it was getting a booklet on campus a year ago (kudos to Casey Constable for his work that day) that led her to go veg. She said the booklet was “fair,” and that it made a compelling case without resorting to outrageous claims or self-righteousness. She has since shown the booklet to multiple friends and they have said the same thing.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/7/11

CSUSB student
After getting a booklet from Nikki, this San Bernardino student is engrossed in learning the previously hidden truth.

Cassandra and I reached 600 students at Queens College. Almost everyone was very receptive, and we heard many supportive comments. One student in particular called back, “I’ve been vegetarian since the last time you were here, from reading that!”
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 3/31/11

Sen joined me at the University of Wisconsin, Stout. We got great feedback, including: “I got one last year. It was very informative”; “I gave up meat for Lent. Now (holding up the booklet), I’m pretty sure I’m giving it up for life”; “I got one of those. They’re awesome”; “I got one of those in the fall. That stuff’s awful.”
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 4/4/11

What a day at Southwestern College! One of my first leaflet recipients ran back to me saying she and another girl are giving presentations on animal cruelty and they need resources. I told her a bunch of links to visit and gave her 15 leaflets for her classmates. A security officer was going to write me a citation, until he called in and found out there was nothing to charge me with. We talked for a while, and he left with a Guide!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 4/5/11

 

Michelle Mamane
Michelle Mamane spreads the good word
at the University of Maryland.

At Chaffey College, Professor Dan Mages asked me to bring vegan literature to his “Is Eating Meat Ethical?” debate. His main argument was that our society has compassion schizophrenia in that most people who don’t support the suffering of animals are fueling it anyway. He worded it beautifully. When the debate ended, I shouted to the crowd that if they wanted info on a vegetarian diet, come see me, I have Guides. Within seconds, there were lines of people coming at me from everywhere. Whoa!
     I then spoke at his Critical Thinking class, where fresh faces awaited the compassion message. After 50 minutes of my PowerPoint and spiel, all thirty requested Guides. Not only that, I held up a whole stack of 50 Why Vegan?s and asked if anyone wanted one to read and / or take to others they knew. I passed the stack out and only got back two!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 4/1/11

Even in the rain and fog, it was a great day at Appalachian State, where I reached over 2,400 students. Good interactions, including a student who came up to me and said, “This is a great booklet (Even If You Like Meat). Not everyone can be vegan, but they sure can reduce suffering by eating less.”
—Rob of Team Triangle, 3/30/11

Big day of outreach with lots of help from (Team Vegan members) Jeni and Nora! At Skyline College, a math professor informed us that they spent their period talking about animal cruelty because of the booklets. I had a nice chat with one guy who said he wanted to go vegan and I gave him lots of tips and recipes. Conversion!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 3/29/11

Nettie Schwager
Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager poses with a newly interested student at Chemeketa Community College.

I was having one of those days when I thought, “Why do I have to go out to leaflet when others just get to stay home?” I had to remind myself that it’s not about what others are doing, but that the animals are suffering, so I forced myself to go. And I’m SO GLAD I did! A half hour or so into leafleting, I was thinking, “I have to get out here more often!” The receptive crowd really lifted my spirits! I had good seed-planting conversations and saw lots of people reading their Compassionate Choices. Definitely time well spent!
—Barbara Bear, 5/21/11

Cory and I reached almost 1,500 students at Northern Illinois University. Many students remembered receiving the booklet last semester; between the two of us, we had seven people come up to us and say that they got the booklet last semester, read it, and decided to either go vegetarian or drastically reduce the amount of meat that they eat! We also met a surprisingly large number of vegetarians, handing out over 20 Guides!
—Team Vegan member Jon Bockman, 3/31/11

A drop into the 20s again on Friday meant breaking out the heavy-duty layers, but I reached 750 students at Berklee College of Music. One woman ran up to me to let me know that a VO leaflet from an earlier semester had turned her vegan! Then today, I beat the rain at Boston College and reached 1,088 students; one told me it was a VO booklet from an earlier semester that made her go veg! Keep it up everyone!
—David Coman-Hidy, 3/31/11

Seiji Wallis
Seiji Wallis reaches another student at Columbus State, while the previous leafletee studies his booklet.

Aleta, Teresa, and I had a good take rate at Wesleyan University. One student said he received a pamphlet from me last semester, and he and his fiancée have almost eliminated meat from their diets, and are going to become organic farmers! After reading the Even If You Like Meat pamphlet, a student told Teresa that it made her cry, and she will never eat meat again! That’s what I’m talking about!
—Karen James, 3/31/11

While leafleting the My Chemical Romance concert, one person told me that his best friend has now been a vegan for four years after receiving a booklet. I also overheard another person telling her friend about how a person that they know in common became vegetarian as the result of the booklet.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 5/21/11

Tamara Hubbard
At the University of New Mexico, Team Vegan member Tamara Hubbard discusses the joys of veganism.

Interesting interactions at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For example: one woman said she had tried to go vegetarian several times before, but she would slip up and then just give up. I said not to worry if she made a mistake, that it wouldn’t have to affect the rest of her diet. I suggested she take it one step at a time and that she would get to the same place. She seemed committed to trying again and was happy to have a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 3/28/11

About 90% acceptance rate at the mostly Latino University of Texas, El Paso, where I reached 1,000 students. A number of people came back to ask questions or mention how they were moved by the booklet.
     At New Mexico State, the first student I offered a booklet to told me that she and her sister were vegan. The third to last fellow that I leafleted told me that he was vegetarian for ethical reasons and was super-grateful that I was there. Both of these folks asked about Vegan Outreach. A number of people told me that the booklet was sad; I saw others stopping to read it, and heard others talking about it.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/31/11

Great take rate at Rutgers; the booklets are widely recognized now. Several folks reported going vegetarian / eating less meat because of a booklet!
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 3/30/11

 

Macie Rivera
Macie Rivera uses the truth to enlighten a student at Cabrillo College.

New record at Sonoma State, where I reached over 800 students! Dozens of productive conversations, including a vegan who wants to get involved. I met a professor who told me he has an Even If You Like Meat tacked up on a board in his office, as it’s the reason he’s vegetarian! He happily accepted a Guide.
     Later, I met a young lady who told me that because a couple classmates had received booklets, the class ended up talking about factory farming for quite a while. I asked her what the consensus was, and she said everyone thought it was really bad and a few people mentioned that they didn’t eat animals anymore because of “stuff like that.”
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 5/9/11

Students were very receptive at Truckee Meadows Community College, and I had several wonderful conversations. When I was leaving campus, I cut through the student center and I saw students reading leaflets.
     At Lake Tahoe Community College, I also had many amazing conversations and met several vegetarians. People here were almost eerily enthusiastic about taking leaflets! In all my days of leafleting, never have I been so cheerily received with so many responses along the lines of, “Marvelous!” “Fantastic!” “Yes please!” “Oh great! Can I have another one of these?” and other equally awesome remarks.
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 5/3/11

Scout Kilbourne-Jervais
Team Vegan member Scout Kilbourne-Jervais reaches out for the animals at Columbus State.

Three students joined me at John Jay, two of whom weren’t vegetarian when they started. They read the leaflets during breaks and now wanted to go veg!
     At NYU, a security guard called me over…to ask questions about going vegetarian! Heard from many vegans and vegetarians throughout the day, and one comment stood out: “I went vegan for a week last time I got this, give me another one, I want to give it a shot again for real this time.”
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 3/9/11

Yale is the toughest school in CT, but we rocked it today – 777 students reached! Met dozens of vegetarians / vegans. Great interactions and feedback. A student told Aleta: “I got my booklet in Pittsburgh. You guys are all over the place!”
—Karen James, 3/22/11

My brother and I reached over 2,000 students at the University of Houston. Reception was through the roof! It was great to have help because person after person was coming up to ask questions – wanting to go veg or vegan, getting active, bulking up on a vegan diet, donating, etc.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/24/11

Eric Griffith
Team Vegan member Eric Griffith spreads compassion at Clemson U.

Reached 1,100 at Boston’s GLBT Youth Pride Parade. There were probably about 1,000 folks there (with maybe 500 spectators along the pathways of the common), so the take rate was absolutely phenomenal – probably 90% without a single rude comment and many, many veg folks and supportive people.
—David Coman-Hidy, 5/14/11

(Team Vegan member) Darina and I had an exhausting day at Iowa State, but it was well worth it! I was involved in conversations with angry farmers for much of the time. I always came back to our goal of reducing suffering. When it comes back to that, it’s hard to argue, unless the person is convinced that these animals don’t suffer in the least (in which case you probably need to move on).
     I had one exchange with a person who was seething mad. After a few minutes, another student (who had accepted a booklet while I was talking to the first guy) came by and listened to the conversation. He was originally siding with the agitator, but he came to understand my viewpoint, and even started doing some of the arguing for me at the end!
—Team Vegan member Jon Bockman, 3/29/11

Surprisingly good reception at the Great Human Walk. Many folks appreciated our efforts. Highlight was getting a picture taken with Ronald McDonald, who then ran away when he saw the Compassionate Choices booklet. Also met an entire family who are going vegan!
Team Triangle, 3/26/11

Palomar College student
A Palomar College student stops dead in his tracks to study the truth.

(Team Vegan member) Nettie and I met many vegetarians and vegans at Oregon State, and had a lot of good conversations. One student said we need regulations, because “You’re not going to get me to stop eating meat.” I replied, “You could eat vegetarian one or two nights a week.” This got him thinking, and he took a booklet. Good to get a foot in the door!
—Cobie deLespinasse, 3/28/11

We reached nearly 3,000 students and saw many wheels kick into gear at Cerritos College, along with great conversations. I met a young lady who wanted to do this topic for her class presentation; I gave her 20 leaflets for her classmates. (Team Vegan member) Yvonne heard from a woman who – after getting a leaflet from me – committed to vegginess right there!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 3/16/11

 

U of T students
After receiving a booklet from Jane Smiley, students at the University of Toronto learn the truth.

Cassandra and I reached 2,612 students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Despite the new record for this campus, we had the lowest rate of leaflets getting thrown on the ground and in the trash since I began leafleting this campus. Take rate was huge, and we heard just tons of great responses. Lots of students requested extras for presentations and projects. Things are looking up and attitudes are most certainly shifting!
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 5/5/11

I met 5 vegans and 12 vegetarians at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. One woman said she had been vegan for a while but stopped because her partner started eating meat again. She liked our approach and was excited to get a Guide so she could move back towards a veg diet. One guy took a booklet, and I heard his friend tell him: “It’s terrible reading, but it’s good for you.”
—Team Vegan member Fred Tyler, 5/5/11

John, Brian, and I had a day of fantastic outreach at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Two different women said they were now going vegetarian.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/3/11

Chip Ballew
At Missouri State, Chip Ballew chats with a younger version of himself.

At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the first person I offered the booklet to stated that she was a vegetarian, and the second person I offered the booklet to stated that he was vegan. Heard from a bunch more. Just before I left, a student let me know that getting the booklet from me in the past had moved him to decrease his meat consumption.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/3/11

Kate and I reached 1,600 students at the University of Maryland, College Park. One student said, “I’ve never seen so many people reading a handout before. This is insane!”
—Aaron Ross, The Humane League, 3/3/11

Cold, cloudy day at Western Connecticut State, but Aleta and I had great interactions. A guy Aleta leafleted came to talk to me, saying he had been vegan but stopped because of B12 deficiency. I told him about supplements, and discussed how easy it would be for him to return to eating vegan. He said he would try again! Aleta had a student say, “I was just thinking about this this morning because I got one of these leaflets last semester.” He took another one. Another student received a booklet last semester and spoke with Aleta about how it affected him, and how the animal cruelty is awful. One guy took a booklet and then came back for a dozen more to give to friends! Two students walked by Aleta, one took a pamphlet and one said no. The student who accepted said, “Yes he does, and I will carry his!”
—Karen James, 3/15/11

25 of us saturated Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk in what may be the biggest VO leafleting ever! Reached almost 4,000 people, got great feedback and had many productive conversations. Two separate women told us they went vegetarian after getting the booklet last year, one said it was “life changing.” One guy was happy to get all our booklets, saying he’d been looking for information like it for the longest time.
—John Oberg, 5/6/11

Nora Kramer
Nora Kramer provides the animals a voice at UC Davis.

At Florida A&M, Darina and I had students approach us and ask for a booklet, saying that their professor had brought up the booklet in class. I had a nice encounter with a woman, who, upon taking a booklet, asked if this was going to make her go vegetarian or vegan. I explained it wasn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. She said that she didn’t want to look at those pictures because they made her sad, and handed it back to me. I replied that it was certainly her choice to read it or not, but I felt it was very important as consumers to know what we are supporting when we spend our hard-earned dollars. She ended up taking the booklet back, saying that she would read through it.
—Jon Bockman, 3/1/11

We had great conversations today, with many saying how much our literature has influenced their food choices. One person even went into the deli, read through our literature, and decided not to order anything in the deli!
—Plaga and Tyler, 3/7/11

While leafleting the volleyball tournament, one of the girls told me that she has now been a vegetarian for two years as a result of having received a pamphlet. When I gave her a Guide, all her teammates requested a Guide, too.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 3/12/11

Great conversations at Richland College. One young woman said that she was now seriously considering changing her diet as a result of the booklet. A former vegetarian member of the faculty was very interested in the materials and liked VO’s approach. And a number of people asked about getting active!
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/20/11

I heard from more vegetarians / vegans than ever before at the University of Arizona – lost count of how many said, “I already have it (the booklet) and I’m veg / don’t eat meat.”
     While they walked away, I heard one woman say to her friend, “I have that (booklet) pinned up on my wall.” Another woman came back to talk, having been deeply affected by the booklet and now wanting to get involved. Later, two women came back, and one said, “I already read it – it is so sad!” The other said, “Well, I want one!” and took it; the first woman quickly chimed in, “You won’t want to read it!” But I watched the second woman study the booklet as they walked away.
—One-third of Team Green-Ball, 3/9/11

Lisa Shapiro
Lisa Shapiro reaches out for the animals at the Auraria Higher Education Center.

At El Camino College, Yvonne, Jennifer, and I reached 2,700+ students. Too many amazing stories to report; a sampling:
     Met a mom whose 9th grader was touring Santa Monica College earlier this year, got a leaflet and went veg on the spot! Gave her a Guide and she was stoked.
     Met Robert, who got a leaflet last semester and went veg.
     Yvonne heard a guy among his buddies say that THIS is why he wants to go veg!…but his mom won’t let him. She gave him a Guide.
     And of course, our fellow leafleter Jennifer, was a meat eater until she got her booklet. Since then, she’s been on the front lines and helped kick off the student group here!
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 3/2/11

Great day at Solano Community College and Napa Valley College. I told the first two people I saw how compassionate they looked and that they probably loved animals. It turned into a five-minute conversation with one woman saying, “I think I’m going to try and give up meat.”
     More and more, I’m encountering young people who count animals in their moral sphere. They may not be vegetarian or vegan yet, but the gears are turning. It’s amazing to see how much progress has been made at these two schools in the past few years. Stick with it everybody! We’re making a difference!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 5/5/11

 

Danielle Williams
Danielle Williams of VIVA (Vanderbilt Initiative for Vegetarian Awareness) brings the change!

I am someone’s Vegan Outreach success story! I was walking on campus at UCD, and someone from VO handed me a pamphlet. One look at those pictures, and I was done with meat. I talked to my boyfriend about it, and we decided to give being vegetarian a try – we haven’t looked back since!
—Kayla Knopp, from “Veg Life in the Mile High City”

Chicago’s Cinco de Mayo Parade was great leafleting with ¿Por qué vegetariano? I was delighted to be joined by Yolibeth, a terrific budding activist although still in high school! Yolibeth and I spent two hours at the parade, walking down the sidewalks to reach more people. We focused on high school and college age, and this audience is largely in the dark about the whys and hows of veganism. It’s important to plant seeds especially with the youth – this is a fast-growing population whose low average income and large families tend to fuel demand for cheap, factory-farmed animal products. Unless they get educated, that is, which is why we continue to work this demographic.
—Darina Smith, 5/2/11

What a great day of outreach – Camilla and I reached over 1,000 students at Sacramento City College! I met three vegans and quite a few vegetarians. Camilla and I both had awesome conversations with plenty of inquisitive people. One woman started to cry while flipping through the booklet. We talked for a while and I gave her some resources, including a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Jeni Haines, 4/28/11

David & Sally
David Coman-Hidy & Sally Andersen reached 3,362 students at Wayne State.

Denver’s Brown Suga Youth Festival was an amazing day of outreach – one of the best I have ever been part of. My three youngster friends – Reece, Ali, and Sydney – blew my socks off with how well they interacted with the crowd; I was able to speak to four candidates for mayor. We made sure every member of the largely African-American audience that came by was offered a booklet and vegan samples.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Shapiro, 5/2/11

The students at Harper College were very receptive, and it felt truly wonderful to get back into outreach! I had a lot of great conversations with students. Many signed up to receive further info and also noted that they would like to get involved with volunteering. A student involved with the school’s newspaper asked me a few questions about factory farming and said they were considering doing an article.
—Chris Capozziello, 3/3/11

Team Vegan members Sean & Queenie joined me, and we had great reception at the Hillsong United Concert, one of the best Christian events we’ve ever done. Very high acceptance, with most responding sincerely that they’d read the brochure; some people even came back to get one. We also overheard people starting to discuss it.
—Jeff Boghosian, 3/2/11

Victoria Randall
Victoria Randall makes the animals’ case at Middle Tennessee State.

Positive day at Fordham University! A number of teachers took a booklet, and many students stopped to say, “I’m with you on this.” A student from an environmental group invited me to participate in a forum on campus, so we exchanged contact info – I’m looking forward to it!
—Team Vegan member Eileen Botti, 3/2/11

A woman I met at Vanderbilt let me know that at parties she hosts, she puts out VO lit. She had them in her bathroom for one such party. One of her friends went in, did what needed to be done, read a booklet, and came out a vegetarian.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/20/11

One notable conversation I had was with a woman who at first was reluctant to take a leaflet and asked where are the organizations for helping humans. I told her there are many of them, but that our focus was on farmed animals, because unlike people, they cannot speak up for themselves. After we talked a bit more, she seemed to change her mind and took two leaflets, one to show her friend, and said she will read more about the issue.
—Stoyan Zaimov, 3/4/11

Reached 1,374 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, with great conversations. One couple came back to me, reading their booklets, and the woman said she didn’t want to eat meat anymore. I congratulated her enthusiastically and gave them both Guides. They listened intensely as I answered their questions.
     Another leaflet recipient said she and her daughter are two months into vegetarianism, and veganism’s on its way. Gave her two Guides, and she loudly stated how wonderful being veg is and wonders what took her so long! Many surrounding her stopped to listen, and naturally were receptive to their new booklets too.
—Team Vegan member Nikki Benoit, 3/2/11

From the latest batch of Guide requests:

I heard about Vegan Outreach at Earth Day in San Diego! I can’t believe what I saw… I’m disgusted and totally angry and sad! I can’t believe what we are doing to animals for our own benefit! I will not support these institutions any longer!
—AS, 4/17/11

Cal Poly student
Another life changed at California Polytechnic State, San Luis Obispo.

I got a Compassionate Choices at my community college. Reading about the atrocities that innocent animals must endure in order for humans to consume them is repulsive. In high school I was a vegetarian for two years, however I didn’t make health-conscious choices. Now I am more informed and ready to make a life-long commitment to a meat/dairy-free diet.
—AV, 4/23/11

I heard about Vegan Outreach several years ago and receive your newsletter online; however until just recently I am ashamed to say that I just ignored it. But that is all about to change. I am outraged at the treatment of animals. Thank you for making this information available.
—PM, 4/8/11

A friend showed me a Compassionate Choices. I read it and was shocked at what I had been contributing to. But no more! Once you know the truth, it shall set you free.
—BL, 4/14/11

I am in college and I was walking to one of my classes where I saw someone handing out the booklets. I love animals, but always thought it was impossible not to eat meat. I never knew there were so many options such as bacon, veggie burgers, and even sausage that they make for vegans. I really want to start eating those foods because it is horrible and heartbreaking what they are doing to animals.
—HC, 4/20/11

 

Josh James

Becky, Victoria, Kyle, Jon, and I had amazing positive encounters at Middle Tennessee State! I overheard one young woman tell her friend, “I’m never eating meat again.” I managed to get a Guide into her hands. Some students, who initially rejected lit, returned later and took lit after hearing about it from other students. One man walked past but spun on his heels and said, “Wait… did you say animals? I’ll take one.” Others took copies for their classes. Even a number of faculty members took booklets and/or stopped to talk.
—Josh James (right), 4/21/11

Wow, what an inspiring day of outreach at Towson University! We met two students today who said they went vegan from receiving a Vegan Outreach booklet in the past, had many informative discussions with students one-on-one, saw students reading booklets throughout campus, had one student want to get involved in activism, and met many vegans and vegetarians. Plus, we reached over 1,400 students today! Beautiful!
—Aaron & Kate, The Humane League, 3/3/11

Only a handful of students declined booklets at the College of the Sequoias, and I had a very nice discussion with a group of nursing students. None of them had ever considered going vegan but they loved their vegetables and seemed very moved by the plight of farmed animals. They asked for recipes and ways to get involved so I gladly obliged. Another student showed a level of empathy for animals that I never would have guessed. He talked to me about the frustration and sadness animals must feel when they’re locked in cages and denied their freedom. One young woman was especially excited to receive a leaflet because it would help her with a writing assignment. It seems that the teacher of English 101 and 251 has her students researching animal welfare.
—Jonathan Hussain, 2/28/11

Lorena Mucke
Another Emory student is enlightened by Lorena Mucke.

Cassandra joined me at the University of Nebraska, Omaha and leafleted as long as she could in the cold and wind. One student said he had been vegetarian before, but wanted to try again. He got a Guide. There were several groups of seventh graders touring campus. As one passed by a second time, a girl said, “Thanks for that. I really liked that pamphlet.” Another group’s teacher thanked me on their second time past.
—Fred Tyler, 4/19/11

Thank you for the updates. It was one of your pamphlets that led me to go vegan. I consider my contributions to Vegan Outreach the most meaningful donation that I make.
—JH, 4/19/11

Great interactions at MiraCosta College! For example: one man pledged to go veg for at least a week, and three ladies stopped with questions, leaving with Guides. One woman nearly yelled, “Thank you so much for doing this!” Then I met a young man who went vegan last semester after receiving a booklet!
—Nikki Benoit, 2/28/11

Took a vacation day, and, despite the snowy and icy roads, got to Eastern Illinois University by 8:10. Reached 726 students, and handed out eight Guides and seven AMLs. One Guide went to a student who let me know that getting the booklet from us in the past had moved her to eat meat free three days a week. Always great to hear people starting to evolve!
—Joe Espinosa, 2/25/11

Becky Sekeres
Becky Sekeres provides the animals a voice at Middle Tennessee State.

Excellent reception at Hillsborough Community College. One student who received a leaflet said, “Good message!” Another student looked over the leaflet, came back with her companion to ask some questions, and then she exclaimed, “That’s it; I’m not going to eat meat anymore!” She gave me a hug!
—Lana Smithson, 3/3/11

Darina and I had a tremendous day leafleting Florida State, reaching over 3,500 students with booklets (including 35 Guides). Students were very receptive, and we continually sparked great discussions. Many students were excited to get the booklet, and thanked us profusely for doing what we were doing. Darina had conversations with multiple faculty members who acknowledged that there was a problem with modern animal agriculture, and said that they would discuss the issue in their class.
—Jon Bockman, 2/28/11

Despite the very cold temperatures, Team Awesome (Cassandra, Marguerite, and I) descended on Baruch College, where a number of people recognized us/ the booklets; e.g., “I don’t eat chicken anymore because of you guys!”

Gun show!
Vegans are weak? At Vanderbilt University, Jon Camp (left) and Robert Cheeke beg to differ!

     At St. John’s University, one student came running up to me, saying to the crowd, “Hey, oh my god! Here everyone take these! You have to know about this!” and then turned to me saying, “You made me vegetarian when you handed this to me during my freshman year! I’m working on cutting out dairy and eggs. Thank you so much!”
     Within two minutes of that, another student stopped by and said, “This is really, really great. I just read the whole thing in class. I was thinking of cutting back anyway because of health, but this is a better reason.” She seemed like she needed more information, so when I offered her a Guide and a NYC vegan restaurant guide, she exclaimed, “Thank you! You are my savior! I’ve been wanting to do this and it will help!”
—Eileen Botti, 2/28/11

 

UGA student
A University of Georgia student is engrossed in seeing what modern agribusiness hides.

At Phoenix’s pride festival, the gang and I reached over 3,000 folks. We met numerous vegetarians and vegans and many people who wanted to cut down their meat consumption. One girl said she had received a leaflet at First Friday a year ago and it changed her life: she went vegetarian and is now making efforts to go vegan. She’s moving north to Flagstaff soon and she said, “Maybe I can start this kind of stuff (leafleting) up there.” Also met another couple very eager to help out; they got Guides and AMLs.
—Jeff Boghosian, 4/17/11

Reached over 830 students at the University of Miami. A girl came out of a building, held up a leaflet and said, “There’s a lot of talk going on about this right now in the lab.” She then gave thumbs up and thanked me for being there.
—Lana Smithson, 2/16/11

Met many vegetarians at Georgia Tech. The students were very friendly, and I had great reception. One said he got the leaflet before and it influenced him to move toward a much more veg-friendly lifestyle; he shared it with friends who went veg after reading it!
—Brian Wink, 4/14/11

Cassandra and I had an amazingly positive day at Bronx Community College, with tons of people stopping to ask questions, including professors asking for extra lit and getting our contact info for class presentations. Take rate was awesome and many students said they are learning about this in class.
—Eileen Botti, 4/14/11

Loren Hart
Loren Hart shines a light on truth and compassion at Guilford College.

At Purdue, uncannily good news came from three fraternity brothers who stated that they were vegetarian and had sent the Vegan Outreach website link to their frat brothers. Back when I was in school ’89–’93 at UIUC, fraternity people were really the last ones one might expect to care about this issue. All that has changed.
—Joe Espinosa, 4/14/11

Leafleting was easy and pleasant at Western Illinois University. I met a number of vegetarians, and saw even more people intently reading the booklet.
—Darina Smith, 2/21/11

Windchill of 8° at Cornell, but Brian, John, and I set a new record there, reaching 1,740 students. Went inside to warm up and immediately saw two students sitting in the hallway, reading their booklets. We win again!
—Vic Sjodin, 2/21/11

I was so nervous about leafleting by myself, and I don’t know any other vegans, but I finally decided that I sat on these pamphlets for long enough! I started leafleting today, hitting Westmoreland County Community College. It was a very positive experience, and I got some great feedback. More will be following soon!
—Michelle L, 2/23/11

Andrea Cimino
Andrea Cimino focuses on helping the animals at the University of Mary Washington.

Nina Vecchi and I had a terrific day at UMass Lowell yesterday, despite the freezing weather. Students were generally very polite and receptive and I heard several positive comments such as, “Yeah! I DO want to help animals.” and “Hey, we were just talking about this!” Also met three vegans and had a long chat at lunch with a student who is anxious to continue VO leafleting on campus.
—Jo Tyler, 2/24/11

The -5° windchill at Washington State made it too cold to leaflet outside. I decided to try inside the entrance to the student union building – and everything changed. Students were super receptive and the take rate became really high, there were a lot of positive comments. It seemed that whenever there were a few people who didn’t take one, there would be someone who’d say, “I’ll take one,” and restart the take pattern. Best moment of the day: when I was checking trash cans , there was a table of guys looking through one of the pamphlets; they were pointing out pictures to each other and talking about them.
—Amanda Schemkes, 2/25/11

I was extremely grateful to Dan for joining me yesterday at Montgomery College; he is a dear friend to me and the animals. Two separate individuals came up to tell me how interesting the booklet was. One young lady came up to show me her falafel sandwich, mentioning that she had previously experimented with veg eating, but slipped more and more, mentioning how easy eating meat can be. She said the booklet reminded her that it is likewise easy to opt for veggie meals, which is what she did today, completely as a result of being leafleted. I gave her a Guide; it sounds like she’ll be opting from more veg meals in the future.

Slide

     Tonight, while giving my advocacy talk, I debuted my new slide (right) in which I mentioned that the evolutionary adaptation that we have been striving towards since crawling out of the swamp of life has been the opposable thumb for the sake of leafleting.
—Jon Camp, 2/18/11

Reached about 6,000 students on my week-long tour. Life on the road can be hard, but it was well worth it. I know many were influenced and will make some changes. Lots reading, sharing, talking to each other, expressed concern, and a handful said that they would change and even go veg – many more will without ever telling us.
—Casey Constable, 2/25/11

 

Ashley Young
Jon sends along these four pictures from April 4, when he, Jeff Boghosian, John Oberg, and others from the incomparable Phoenix crew reached over 3,000 students at Arizona State. Above: Ashley Young.

Leafleting at the University of Oklahoma was stellar. A number of people asked good questions, asked for an extra booklet or two, etc. The highlight was when a young woman on a bike stopped by and said, “Dude, you changed my life. I was crying by page three. I’m totally going vegan.” I gave her a high five and a Guide. She stopped by later in the day to ask questions about local groups. Again, she stated, “You totally changed my life.”
—Jon Camp, 4/11/11

Good take rate at Skagit Valley College, where I reached 200 students. On my drive home, I passed by a transport truck on the highway – a reminder of why we’re all doing this and how much I hope that we all affect a lot of people every day.
—Amanda Schemkes, 2/16/11

Great crowd at Truman College – one woman said that she had already received the literature before and has since cut down how often she eats meat. Several students expressed interest in going vegan.
—Irish Phillips, 4/11/11

Most students at DePaul were interested in receiving a booklet. I had one girl stop to tell me that she and her sister both became vegan because of someone previously leafleting on the campus.
—Plaga, 2/17/11

Zubair Hussaini
Zubair Hussaini.

More amazing help from Sen at Anoka Ramsey Community College. One woman said, “You convinced me last time, dude. I’m done!” She was excited to get a Guide to help with her new eating habits.
—Fred Tyler, 4/6/11

Super outreach today. John Sakars joined me at Georgian University, where we saw dozens reading their booklets. Brian reached over 1,000 more at York University, and said he spoke to about 25 people in depth. He noted that about 15 people came up to him after reading it yesterday. He ran out of Guides.
—Vic Sjodin, 2/17/11

At Florida A&M, a young man seemed concerned about the information but stated that he doesn’t really care about the animals. I talked about farmed animals being individuals who feel pain and fear death. He looked a little surprised but he nodded. I asked him what he would do if he saw someone being cruel to a dog right here in front of us. He said he would help the dog because he wouldn’t want to see the animal hurt. I explained that farmed animals don’t have the anti-cruelty protections that dogs and cats have, and the suffering goes on behind the scenes. He accepted a Guide, thanked me, shook my hand, and said he hopes others listen to the outreach.
—Lana Smithson, 4/8/11

Karen Schmidt
Karen Schmidt.

From recent online requests for the Guide:

I was walking down the street (in Phoenix) and was handed a booklet. I will never eat meat again.
—LB, 4/2/11

Someone was passing out booklets as I was coming out of class (at UC Davis). I read through the whole thing, and I’m pretty convinced I don’t ever want to eat meat again! What they do to those animals is just sick!
—CC, 3/31/11

I got a booklet at my college campus today (in Escondido, CA). I’ve been contemplating going vegetarian for a while now, but hadn’t quite taken the plunge. It was one thing to know in a general sort of sense that animals suffered due to me eating meat, it was another to be confronted with it in that way. I read the booklet with tears streaming down my face, and I’m going to start removing meat from my diet. I don’t want any creature to suffer so that I can eat meat.
—CW, 4/4/11

I read my sister’s booklet (that she got from a friend here in Wichita) and have recently become full-blown vegetarian!! I started three weeks ago and feel great!! We are moving towards being vegan so we can save the animals!!!
—KE, 3/21/11

Someone left a booklet in my school library (in Boone, NC). This booklet was so well put together and offered such incredible help in finding ways to cut out meat from one’s diet that it inspired me. As a college student with very little money, I hope the Guide will help me be vegan even on a budget.
—FR, 3/30/11

Jacqueline Ginter
Jacqueline Ginter.

A lady handed me a booklet (at La Salle University). Ever since I saw the horrors inside of it, I decided to become a vegetarian!
—MD, 4/4/11

Many powerful connections at Golden West College and Saddleback College. Favorite overheard response (group of five guys, only one with a leaflet): The leafleted guy was completely engrossed in the brochure (speechless for over five minutes), not listening to the conversation of his buddies, his upper lip curling in disgust. Then was able to form words: “Oh my god…did you see this? Ugh this is terrible! That one’s ALIVE!” So his buddies peeked over his shoulder: “Holy crap man…that’s disgusting!” “Can you imagine living your whole life that way? UGH…man this is terrible!”
—Nikki Benoit, 2/22/11

 

Eleni Vlachos
Eleni Vlachos turns heads at UNC Chapel Hill.

When I was a sophomore in high school in San Diego, I was walking around a mall with some friends and someone gave me a pamphlet called Why Vegan? I continued to walk with my friends and started looking through the pamphlet. I was three pages in when I decided to become vegan. That day I gave up all animal products and the next day donated my leather shoes to charity. That pamphlet changed my dietary life and I ended up going to a vegan cooking school right after high school. I am now 27 and a marine biologist finishing my school at UCSC and I am still creating new vegan dishes.
—AL, 4/4/11

Yesterday at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, a girl said, “I looked at (the booklet) during biology. It made me cry.” Another girl said, “Every time I read that it makes me puke.” Today at UW Stevens Point, one woman liked that we didn’t present it as an all-or-nothing issue. She said she would be able to make incremental changes. One guy said factory farming was the moral issue of our age. He said we definitely need to do more to get rid of it, so I gave him an AML. Met a bunch of vegetarians/ vegans at both schools.
—Fred Tyler, 3/30/11

“The Wall”
Jon Camp and the Phoenix crew (including John, Jeff, Karen, Ashley, Hut, Jacqueline, Zubair, Brandon, Kelsey, and Marisol) reached 3,042 students at Arizona State, forming “The Wall” at the end.

Ran into Rachel at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and she helped between her classes. Together, we reached 1,275 students. Watched students reading, and could tell they were really being influenced. A student came up to me and said, “I don’t know if you know this, but this booklet is awesome.” He is going vegetarian, so I handed him a Guide.
—Rob Gilbride, 2/11/11

Cobie and I were thanked multiple times at Western Oregon University, where we met a number of vegetarians and vegans. One guy took an Even If You Like Meat and a Guide to use to write a paper on vegetarianism for a writing class. Later Cobie and I met another student who said she used a booklet she had gotten previously for a presentation. Cobie met a student who took 10 booklets to give to friends.
—Nettie Schwager, 2/14/11

Crystal

Students at Evergreen Valley College were super receptive! A number of people mentioned recognizing the booklet. I overheard a young lady say to her friends, “This is why I became a vegetarian,” so I snapped a picture of her (right). Her name is Crystal and she’s been veg for over a year after receiving a VO booklet at EVC.
—Brian Grupe, 2/15/11

Good day leafleting Broward College’s different campuses. Two Marines got pamphlets and they both sat on a bench to read them. A man pointed to the pictures of the pigs and said (in a very sad tone) that he eats a lot of pork. We talked for a bit and he said, “Thank you for informing me about these things. I didn’t know about it.” A woman said her family is currently transitioning to being veg. She appreciated receiving a Guide. I talked with another woman for a while, and she told me that I have a pleasant demeanor and she thought I would probably influence/ inspire a lot of people.
—Lana Smithson, 2/15/11

Brian, John, and I reached 2,675 students at York University, and had many productive conversations. A human rights major tried getting into a debate, asking if my shoes were leather, etc. I told her that even if my shoes were leather, the point is not absolute purity or a fundamentalist veganism but to reduce as much unnecessary suffering as possible. After 10 minutes, she came to see being veg as a big part of making the world a better place and that all issues are connected.
—Vic Sjodin, 2/16/11

From recent online requests for the Guide:

Mikael Nielsen
Mikael Nielsen helps someone fill her big shoes at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Got your booklet at San Jose State University. Two students did a great job of NOT forcing the flyer, so I took one to be polite. Hated the pictures, loved the solution.
—JJ, 3/14/11

A person on campus (Bloomington, IN) was handing out booklets. I used to be a vegetarian and this inspired me and reminded me why I want to send more positive light into the universe by avoiding cruelty.
—MM, 2/22/11

I received a booklet about factory farming (in Grand Rapids, MN), and have been doing a lot of research. I’ve now been vegetarian for about five months and am seriously considering going vegan. Thank you!
—SP, 2/25/11

At Carleton University, some students were handing out booklets. I already cut down my meat consumption for a year now, I'd like to see how far I can push myself to completely reduce my meat intake.
—SA, 3/10/11

 

New vegetarian

What better way to celebrate my one-year Cali-VO-versary than to leaflet with Yvonne? We reached 2,220 students at Citrus College today, where there is at least one confirmed convert every time I’m here! In addition to today’s (right), there were at least two others in the making. Also, while politely countering a “why not help humans?” person, I drew an appreciative crowd – score six more for the animals!
     Every day, reading the Adopt a College posts charges my soul. Dread and hopelessness are needless and a waste of energy… all the leafleters re-prove that daily! People care. They’re learning. They’re changing. And to all of you, I send thanks.
—Nikki Benoit, 3/15/11

Jamie and I had a special day at Bergen County Community College. One wrestler sitting next to us kept saying, “Read it!” when we gave someone a booklet. Another macho man said he gave his leaflet to three girls eating meat and asked them to consider the suffering of the animals. Two construction workers proudly showed us their veggie sandwiches from Subway, holding them up and saying “no meat” with pride and a smile. A girl showed us the salad she got for lunch. Saw lots reading as they walked, and many folks came back to talk after reading the pamphlet in class. Dozens and dozens of conversations over the course of this very powerful day; three students specifically stated they would no longer eat meat. Thanks as always to the donors for making days like this possible – we woke up many people and saved a lot of animals today.
—Vic Sjodin, 3/17/11

Jeni, Sarah, and I reached 2,235 hipsters at San Francisco State – an epic day of mega ultra awesome fun! We met upwards of 100 vegetarians/ vegans.
—Brian Grupe, 3/17/11

Another vegetarian
Nikki also met this woman who went veg immediately after receiving a booklet nine years ago.

Take rate was great at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where, with some help from Sean, I reached over 1,000 students. Heard from more vegans and vegetarians than ever before at this school. Countless positive conversations, with a lot saying they had been thinking of going vegetarian/ vegan, and now they’ll try it. One girl was particularly excited about going vegan, because just from giving up meat as a vegetarian, she lost 50 lbs and got her family and friends to start considering the plight of animals. Also heard from several people who were thinking about veganism since watching the Oprah show a few days ago, so I think it’s really great that we’re already seeing some positive effects of that. A former music therapy supervisor of mine, who refused to even try any of my vegan baked goods six years ago (let alone entertain the notion of a plant-based diet), is now going vegan for a week to try it out. We’re making progress!
—Eileen Botti, 2/4/11

Best part of today was at Southeast Louisiana State, where a nice student told me she got the booklet from me two years ago and immediately went veg. She has since done class projects and speeches on the issues, as well as other activism.
—Casey Constable, 2/10/11

Concertgoers
A mother shows her children the CVA’s booklet at the Christian concert.

We reached over 5,300 people at the Christian concert and evangelical event. We used the booklets from the Christian Vegetarian Association until we ran out, then we used VO booklets. The crowd was incredibly receptive, much more receptive than anticipated. Several people said they would go vegetarian on the spot. We met many part-time and former vegetarians, and encouraged them to continue or get back on the path. We also met many vegetarians and vegans who thanked us for being out there.
—Jeff Boghosian, 3/20/11

Kris and I had great reception at Cerritos College! Heard from a former veg who will now go back to being veg. Other positive comments from the very friendly students.
—Taylor R, 2/10/11

Despite this being the coldest day I have leafleted this year, the students at Ball State were very receptive – reached over 700. During the last hour, a student reporter from the paper took photos and interviewed me, and another took video footage for the student television station.
—Joe Espinosa, 2/8/11

When I left the apartment the thermometer said -6 and when I got back it said 3 degrees, so I think it is officially the coldest day I have leafleted! Despite this, the students at Harold Washington were friendly and incredibly receptive. Heard from a few vegetarians, had a few thumbs ups, and saw some students who got excited when they saw that the literature was about animals.
—Leslie Patterson, 2/10/11

Priscilla Temores
Priscilla Temores pushes the peanut forward at Mt. San Antonio College.

Today was a good day leafleting at Vassar. Since Wednesdays are always “chili days” at one of the cafeterias, one faculty member who took a leaflet, glanced at it, and said to me with a smile, “I guess I’ll get the vegetarian chili today!” It was great to get such an immediate response and know that I was definitely making a difference.
—Alan Darer, 2/9/11

Loads of good feedback at Cape Fear Community College, where I reached over 500 students. I leafleted a student as he sat down on the bench. Staring at the Even If You Like Meat booklet, he said to me, “See, the trick here is to stop eating meat.” It was amazing to see the lights go on in his head. One person came up to me and said, “You are a great man! Thanks for coming here. I was a vegetarian for years and now I’m going to return to it.” Another student came up to me stating that she is writing a paper on factory farming and is now going vegan.
—Rob Gilbride, 2/9/11

 

New veggie at Citrus
Thumbs up for another new veg – at Citrus College.

I didn’t want to leaflet this morning, but ended up having an epic day at Binghamton University. Nicole came back in the middle of a class change, and she ended up reaching 600 students – pretty great. She had fun and wants to leaflet again; she’s only a freshman, excellent.
     More people came back and said they were affected by the lit today than I can remember in a long time. I also watched students reading the booklet cover to cover. I can’t remember all the conversations – just so glad the day came together after a slow start.
—Vic Sjodin, 3/14/11

Cold at Central Connecticut State, but Aleta, Kim, and I reached 938 new students. Met one student who went vegetarian after being leafleted previously, and two who reduced meat consumption because of a booklet. Met two students who want to leaflet on campus. Then I received an email from a student we met last semester, who said he reduced his meat consumption tremendously after receiving a booklet and talking with Aleta and me. Also met another vegan who just joined our group last week!
—Karen James, 3/14/11

Jeni and I had a blast today! We reached 2,131 at Mission College and San Jose State. I overheard at least ten people say to their friends things like, “I already don’t eat meat,” “I’m vegetarian,” etc. We also met people whose gears were turning, and answered their questions. An excellent day!
—Brian Grupe, 3/14/11

Riverside CC student
A student at Riverside Community College studies the truth.

Bea, Diane, and I had a great day tabling at the Polk State health fair. One man said the timing was amazing because he had decided just yesterday to try going vegan for a week. One of the vendors came over to tell us that he opted for a veggie sandwich today because of us! The vendor next to us asked me some thoughtful questions and we had a good discussion. I gave him an Even If You Like Meat and he read through it intently. A doctor (who was there as a representative for a local hospital) came over to get literature. We had so many great conversations!
     The health fair provided free screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. All my numbers were ideal. When the guy gave me my cholesterol result, he seemed amazed and exclaimed, “That’s really great!” I said, “I’m vegan.” He said, “Well that explains it.”
—Lana Smithson, 2/2/11

Met a girl at Florida International University who went veg from getting a booklet previously. A couple of students saw the Even If You Like Meat cover and said, “No, I can’t look at that.” I replied, “This pamphlet is not asking you to go vegan, educate yourself and at least cut way down on the meat.” They then agreed to take it.
—Linda Bower, 1/27/11

I had some wonderful interactions today. One of the first people I met was vegan and very excited to get a Guide. Another young lady informed me she received the booklet on a previous day and now doesn’t eat cows or pigs. I told her that was great and asked her about chickens. She said only free-range. I told her there was information about “free-range” in our booklets, and she happily accepted a Guide as well. I also talked with several farmers, and although they may not be willing to become vegetarians, I convinced them I’m not against farmers or farms. I am only against cruelty. After explaining it to these gentlemen they actually thanked me and shook my hand. We’re making progress, slowly but surely!
—Josh James, 2/4/11

Veggie at U of L
This Louisville Cardinal has been veg since being handed a VO booklet three years ago.

Nettie and I had good conversations at Oregon State. People took extra booklets to distribute on their own, and a number mentioned still having booklets from previous times. It's good to hear that many students are hanging on to the booklets we give them.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 2/8/11

Good conversations at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. For example, one student asked me: “How can I help? You can be honest with me.” I told him, “You can help animals by avoiding animal products and choosing plant foods.” He told me how he liked the taste of meat and wasn’t sure he could make the change. I told him I used to think the same way and then showed him pictures of the vegan foods I now eat that look and taste like the animal products I used to eat. He was intrigued and thanked me for the advice. When he walked by later in the day, he thanked me again for helping him.
—Brandon Becker, 2/7/11

At Highline Community College and Green River Community College, different people told me, “Good job” or “Thank you” the class change after getting a booklet. A number of students came up to request a copy. After looking at a booklet, a professor asked for another to pass around to his students.
—Amanda Schemkes, 2/8/11

Abby and Taryn
Abby (4) and Taryn (2) Jarvis reach out for the animals at Southern Connecticut State.

It was my best day yet in Charlotte, when I reached over 2,100 students at UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College. I spoke to three students who are going vegan. Another said, “I’m going to try to eat less meat, that picture of the pig in its throw-up is terrible.” Twice today some students came up to me and asked for more leaflets, stating they were trying to convince their friends to stop eating meat. I had a nice conversation with a student who had been veg all her life but now eats meat; after looking at an Even If You Like Meat today, she is going to stop eating meat again. I also received a ton of high fives from people who were vegan; one said, “Word! This is why I have been vegan for two years!”
—Rob Gilbride, 2/2/11

So cold at New York City College of Technology CUNY that students were hesitant to take their hands out of their pockets. Overall, though, it was a good day – I got through the entire day with only one warmup break. Tons of students recognized the leaflet immediately and urged their friends to take a copy, which was great. I’m continuously noticing a positive shift in the general reactions people are having now compared to even three years ago. Keep it up, everyone!
—Eileen Botti, 1/31/11

 

New veg at El Camino College
This El Camino College student told Nikki Benoit he went vegetarian after getting a booklet last semester. Below, other El Camino students study booklets.

Brian, John, and I reached 760 students at Durham College, Oshawa, a never-before-leafleted school. One lady mentioned she will go veg, another took a stack of booklets to distribute, many had questions and we saw lots reading the booklets. Was a great end to a monster week – over 9,000 students reached!
—Vic Sjodin, 3/4/11

The quality of interactions at the Junior Statesmen of America’s Activism Convention was amazing. The kids were very interested in the issue, listened and asked sharp questions. Quite a few were already trying to eat veg, and really appreciated the resources. One girl said she had been vegetarian since receiving the Compassionate Choices booklet in front of her high school two years ago. Also had a great conversation with a young teacher who was not 100% veg but trying to get there, experimenting with veg foods, and was extremely sympathetic. He profusely thanked us for being there and bringing this important message to the students.
—Darina Smith, 3/5/11

At Laney College, I gave a Guide to a vegetarian professor, as well as to two guys who had received an Even If You Like Meat last semester. All I had to do was ask them, “So, what did you think about it?” to engage them. Naturally they thought it was bad/wrong/gross/etc., and were happy to get a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 2/2/11

More El Camino students

Despite the cold weather, some good conversations today while leafleting Columbus Circle. One boy told me about how his health class in high school is going over animal cruelty on factory farms this month, and how he has learned a lot about why he should not eat meat. Another man turned to his girlfriend and mentioned how he just read about how piglets get their teeth clipped; she took a couple brochures with her. It was nice to see people already informed about the cruelty of factory farming.
—Jordan Hamilton, 1/29/11

More blizzard-ish conditions today, so I used my leafleting wheelie cart as a snowplow to make my way to the subway. Lee, Marguerite, and I reached hundreds of NYU students, and I had the most positive interactions I’ve ever had here. We also had 22 new students sign up for Marguerite’s group, which is pretty unprecedented. Many of them were very excited to see other vegans on campus. One student came back to tell us that she got a wrap with beans and tofu today instead of eating meat, as a result of reading an Even If You Like Meat. I love those moments.
—Eileen Botti, 1/26/11

As the blizzard rolled in, I heard from 13 vegetarians and 4 vegans at the University of Illinois, Chicago. One of the vegetarians let me know that getting the booklet from me at UIC two years ago is what inspired her change in diet. Also had another noteworthy interaction with a student who at first laughed at my invitation to help stop violence upon seeing that the booklet was about farmed animals. I pointed out that animals have the same capacity to feel pain as he does. His face got quite serious and he stated, “You are right about that, let me check this out,” and he turned the page to enter the harsh world of today’s broiler chickens.
—Joe Espinosa, 1/31/11

At Wake Technical Community College, I helped a soy-allergic vegetarian student with tips on going vegan and doing so on a budget. I met a vegetarian since birth who wanted to become vegan. I also talked with a non-vegetarian student who was interested in eating vegan foods.
     The more I leaflet, the more I believe that it’s the most efficient form of outreach and cannot think of any other way to effectively reach the masses at the current time with the information needed for behavioral change other than this route.
—Brandon Becker, 2/1/11

Reached over 1,000 students at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. One came back to me and said, “I really feel for the chickens. After reading your booklet, I’m going to go vegan.” We talked about ways to cook vegan meals and I handed her a Guide. I spoke to a vegan student today – he was really happy I was there, and I handed him A Meaningful Life in hopes he will leaflet with me some time.
—Rob Gilbride, 1/27/11

Marshall University was the best leafleting experience for the semester so far – I reached over 1,000 students. A number of people thanked me for being on campus – even got an “I love Vegan Outreach!” One guy told me that he just did a report on eggs, was appalled, and is now considering going vegan.
—Jon Camp, 3/1/11

Brian Wink
A student at Ithaca College studies an Even If You Like Meat she received from Brian Wink.

Shannon, Marc, Kevin, and I reached 2,942 students at USC today. This private school houses a lot – a lot – of herbivorous humans… holy wow they were everywhere! Chatted with a campus chef who advised that an ALL VEGAN eatery is being planned for this campus!
     Can I just say how AMAZING AND INSPIRING IT IS to work among some of THE most dedicated animal heroes EVER!!! Add on all you amazing leafleters across the globe, roughing some fierce conditions to get the word out. I bow to you all… some of the Earth’s most amazing unsung heroes, you are.   <3
—Nikki Benoit, 1/17/11

Today at Ohlone College ranks among one of the best leafleting experiences I’ve ever had – reached nearly 1,000 students. It was one of those days when you walk away a little bit exhausted but totally high on life. The campus was filled with wonderfully open-minded students. I cannot even count how many inspiring conversations I had. One guy told me that he received a leaflet a semester or year ago, and when I asked him what he thought about it, he said, “Oh, it’s horrible what they do to the animals. I don’t eat meat anymore.” Another guy, a self-professed staunch meat eater, thanked me for being out there, as did many other people.
     I’m filled with so much love and appreciation for Vegan Outreach, all the people who support it, all the recipients of leaflets, and the evolution of vegan consciousness.
—Jeni Haines, 2/3/11

 

Anne Marie Vastano
Anne Marie Vastano doesn’t let the cold rain get between her and students at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Diana and I had a productive evening at Harold Washington College. One man stopped to tell me it was receiving a booklet from us three years ago that caused him to become vegetarian – it completely changed his life. Several students mentioned that they are moving towards vegetarianism. One student stopped to say she read the leaflet and thought it was terrible what is happening to the animals. She wanted to know what she could do to help and we talked about how we can prevent the cruelty just by making vegetarian food choices.
—Leslie Patterson, 2/28/11

Wednesday was a long but good day at Florida International University and Broward College, where I reached over 1,500 students. Two different people mentioned getting a booklet in the past and thanked me for doing this work. One man said he’s been thinking about it for a long time but today was the push he needed. He seemed thankful. We chatted for a while and he accepted a Guide.
     Yesterday and today, I reached even more students at Florida Atlantic University, with help from Jessie. More great comments and conversations; e.g., after looking at a leaflet, a young man exclaimed, “Wow, I will be changing my diet now!”
—Lana Smithson, 11/19/10

We continue to meet more receptive people at the art walk. Heard from two who are almost vegetarian as a result of receiving a booklet before. Another guy said he didn’t eat meat for two months after he got one. Also had many short conversations – many people want to change but have setbacks or are taking it slow. It’s good we’re out there to remind them and support them.
—Jeff Boghosian, 12/3/10

New vegan at MiraCosta
Nikki finds another new vegan because of a booklet – this one at MiraCosta College.

Yvonne, Adrianna, and I reached over 3,200 students at Cal State, Los Angeles. Heard from many veggies. One student – Crystal – was in tears after receiving a booklet; I watched her morph into a vegetarian right before my eyes.
     The next day, Yvonne, Shannon, Marc, and I reached 2,800+ students at Pasadena City College. Within the first hour we made (at least) two ladies cry. We helped wipe their tears with Guides.
     Today at Santa Monica Community College, made a young lady cry again…she’s oh-so on her way! Also heard from a young lady who, with her received leaflet, said, “You guys made me quit eating meat.”
     Meat industry folk: here’s hopin’ your mama taught you to pick a plan B!
—Nikki Benoit, 1/12/11

At the University of Colorado, a woman told me it was timely that I gave her a Compassionate Choices today, as she was thinking of going “more vegan.” A number of students thanked me for leafleting. One of them currently eats animals, but said he read the brochure and wants to try being veg one day per week.
—Barbara Bear, 1/25/11

The state of Indiana had not salted I-65 yet Monday morning, so my trip to Purdue was at a snail’s pace. I arrived without spinning off the expressway like 12 cars I saw along the way, and was in action from 9:40am to 5:45pm. A student who had grown up in a pig farming family at first dismissed the offer of the booklet, but later came back and apologized for his attitude. He talked briefly with me about my history with animal agriculture and the change to my present work in animal protection. He took a booklet with seemingly genuine interest in learning more about the transformation of animal agriculture that he himself had seen, which had inspired him to turn away from a future in farming.
—Joe Espinosa, 1/24/11

Chip Ballew
Chip Ballew spreads compassion at Cal State, Northridge.

Reached 419 students at Seattle Central Community College, Cornish College of the Arts, and Antioch University. A man who was waiting for his son to get out of class came over to see what I was doing. He told me that his son has been vegetarian since he was four because he made the connection of not wanting to hurt animals. He was excited to talk to me and asked for a booklet to give to his son – and I saw him looking through it. After taking a booklet during one class change, a girl came back to talk to me during the next – she’s working on becoming vegan and had some questions.
—Amanda Schemkes, 1/25/11

Day one of my tour: Olivia and I reached 1,100 students at West Virginia University. One young man told me the booklet made a profound impact on him and that he was going to take his first step towards the goals of the booklet.
     I also had a productive conversation with a young man whose family raises grass-fed cattle. He wasn’t necessarily a fan of the booklet, but I mentioned that my dad grew up on a farm; some of my family is still involved in animal agriculture; if people were to eat only one animal product, I would prefer them eating grass-fed beef and cutting out chickens and fishes first; if I were to pick one animal NOT to be reincarnated as, it would be an egg-laying hen, etc. Much of this caught him off guard and he found himself agreeing with a lot of what I said. When he left, we shook hands and he said that my points were reasonable.
—Jon Camp, 3/1/11

 

SMC student
A student at Santa Monica College is engrossed in learning the truth.

Yuri and I reached nearly 2,000 students today at the North and Kendall campuses of Miami Dade College. We each had a number of great conversations. A very nice young woman talked with me for quite a while about how terribly upsetting the information is, giving her a sense of urgency to change the world. She seemed close to tears. I gave her a copy of A Meaningful Life and she sat down and read it right away. She came back to thank me, saying the AML was very helpful to deal with her sudden emotional upheaval and that it will help her think about what to do. She gave me a hug and said she was so glad we met. I could sense that her life will never be the same.
—Lana Smithson, 2/17/11

Last week, while Queenie and I were leafleting at a fundraising run, we met a local MMA fighter, Aaron Simpson. The guy is in great shape, and said he and his family are vegetarian! He thanked us for being out there. That evening, I found one quote of his: “I have a really tough time with killing animals, that’s my worst thing.” Today, I ran into him again, and he said it was the images of what happens to animals that got him and his wife to stop eating them.
—Jeff Boghosian, 2/18/11

Today I was joined by Jill at Cornell College. Jill got a flier from me last time I was at this school and started an animal rights club on campus. She got in touch with me to help leaflet and was excited to help spread the word at her school. We found several new people for the group while we were leafleting. The group is also making a vegan guide to the dining hall.
—Fred Tyler, 11/17/10

Jovan Jimenez
Jovan Jimenez helps spread compassion at Northeastern Illinois University.

So cold last week at the University of North Carolina that most students were scared to take their hands out of their pockets. Still, I reached 700 new people. I also spoke with students who received a leaflet last year and are now vegan, and picked up an email of a student who wants to leaflet.
     Today at Shaw University, one student said it cost too much to be vegan. After talking to him, I gave more information (Guide) about being vegan and he decided to go vegan!
—Rob Gilbride, 1/12/11

It was a great day of outreach at the University of North Texas, despite it being very cold and windy. Rachel and I reached 1,350 students, despite the fact they were reluctant to expose their hands to the cold. We heard from vegetarians and vegans, got a high five, and were thanked for being out there spreading awareness. A few students asked us how they can volunteer to leaflet.
—Julie Rothman, 1/20/11

At East Tennessee State, we reached 1,908 students, and a woman got a stack of 50 booklets from Brian to hand out on her own. Met seven vegetarians this time, as opposed to two last time.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/17/10

Despite the cold weather, Alan, Melanie, Rochelle, and I found people very receptive at Herald Square on Tuesday. One woman took a Compassionate Choices brochure and then came back about a half hour later to tell me she was definitely going to go vegan after reading it. Another person was so moved by the brochure that she came back for more to hand out to her friends.
     Today in Brooklyn, booklets were practically flying out of our hands! One woman told me about how much she loves her dogs and that she had recently started thinking about how pigs and other animals are a lot like dogs; this thought has made her increasingly uncomfortable with eating meat. I gave her tips and recipes and she was extremely happy. Another guy stopped and talked to me for a few minutes and we had a very positive conversation. About a half hour later he came back and showed me all of the Tofurky deli meats he had just purchased at Trader Joe’s. He was very eager to try them out.
—Matt Rice, 1/6/11

Shannon Maraghy
Shannon Maraghy takes the animals’ message to the students of UCLA.

Marguerite, Colette, and I reached 1,758 students at St John’s University, with almost a 99% take rate and many positive comments! A family taking a tour stopped to talk. The mother appeared upset, but she told me her nieces recently organized protests in Ohio about factory farming and that she was thinking of going vegetarian herself. She took a Guide. Also ran into two students at the same time who had never met before, but wanted to start an animal rights club, so I gave them some advice and everyone exchanged email addresses. Heard from several people who were thinking of going vegetarian, including one who said that after reading the leaflet in her class that morning, she was going to definitely go vegetarian and possibly vegan.
—Eileen Botti, 11/22/10

Reached 1,700 today at the University of Houston. I had one person who, at the start of the conversation, told me that he doesn’t care because we can always make more cows, along with “For every animal you don’t kill, I’ll kill three.” However, after I answered all his many questions, and he heard all my points, he took a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and said that he will eventually go vegan.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 11/22/10

Snow and so cold at Illinois State that my drink froze before I could get to it, but I met dozens of vegetarians and vegans during my time there. Towards the end of the day, several students commented about me having been there all day in the cold. I pointed out that so much preventable suffering and death hangs in the balance, trying to stop it is the least I can do.
—Joe Espinosa, 1/11/11

Eric Griffith

It was awesome to have Scout’s help again today and it was so cool of Eric (Griffith, right) to drive down to Atlanta to meet us for leafleting. We reached a total of 2,450 students at Georgia Tech and Georgia State. Question of the day at Tech:
     Student: “What is the likelihood that cutting my meat consumption will give me psychic powers?”
     Me: “Two percent chance.”
     Student: “Well, that’s better than what I’m currently dealing with.”
     That night, I did a 30-minute radio interview on Second Opinion Radio, which broadcasts all the way to the Alabama border. The calls kept coming from listeners asking practical questions about transitioning to vegan eating. It was good to know so many people were listening.
—Jon Camp, 11/17/10

Amazing day at Cal State Long Beach, where I was joined by new vegan Julie Dais and CEASE (the student group). Together, we reached over 2,200 students! Within the first 20 minutes of leafleting, I noticed a young man sitting reading his leaflet. Moments later he approached me saying he’s now going veg. Seriously? YES! On the spot. Then a young lady brought her leaflet back to ask questions. She claimed she wasn’t veg, but is not only gonna be by day’s end, but took info to help the locals. BOOYAH!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/17/10

 

Yvonne LeGrice
Yvonne LeGrice makes the animals’ case at Glendale Community College.

Ann and I had a good acceptance rate at SUNY Purchase. One young lady said she had received one of the booklets before and that is why she is now vegetarian. Hooray!
—Jane Shakman, 2/11/11

After an hour leafleting outside the Interpol concert, I was about to pack it in when a guy came up to me and told me that he had gotten a booklet last year and has since gone vegan. So I decided to stay a while longer, so some more people got the info they otherwise wouldn’t have.
—Dustin Gross, 2/13/11

Rain and then ice at Winona State, but still reached over 300 students. Before I even left the campus, I got a Facebook message from someone I had leafleted earlier who asked how to get involved with VO! Then, at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, I met one guy who said he and a friend were trying out being vegetarian for six weeks. He was excited to get a Guide. Finally, at Scott Community College, I met one very happy vegetarian. When I offered her a Guide, she exclaimed, “Oh my God, you’re a lifesaver!”
—Fred Tyler, 11/16/10

Quick but good stop at Robert Morris University. One student told me she tried to go veg before but got sick. She remarked how sad the literature made her and we talked about how we can prevent that suffering by choosing veg options, and ways to stay healthy. Another student yelled excitedly, “Woohoo! I’m going vegan tomorrow!”
—Leslie Patterson, 11/17/10

FIU student
This Florida International University student is deeply engrossed in learning the truth.

Yuri and I reached 256 students at the University of Miami and then met Linda Bower at Florida International University, where we reached 1,775+ students. We got questions about dairy, eggs, free-range, etc. Also had positive conversations about easing into changes, what to eat, and so on. A student said he’s currently writing an “argument paper” about factory farming, and he was glad to get the booklet. One woman told me she received one last year and has gone vegetarian because of it.
     Linda reported a number of great conversations, too, including a comment from one student who initially refused a booklet, but after talking with Linda, said, “Okay, give me one, I can see that I’m going to be doing this too.”
—Lana Smithson, 11/16/10

Yesterday was a solid day at East Tennessee State – met more vegetarians than last time. One lady asked for more booklets, as she and her teacher were just discussing this. Another girl got a stack of 50 from Brian to hand out.
     David, Jessica, and Michael joined us today at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Liz stopped by to learn about VO and help leaflet! Together, we reached over 2,750 students. Met way more vegetarians this time than on previous visits.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/18/10

Scout and I were joined by Speak Out for Species, and we reached over 2,750 students at the University of Georgia. After receiving a booklet earlier, a young man came back to Scout saying Even If You Like Meat was the best animal advocacy booklet he had ever read, that it was welcoming and non-strident. He kept pointing to the Vegan Outreach logo on the back, saying we are a group that knows what we are doing.
—Jon Camp, 11/16/10

Kevin Olliff
Kevin Olliff provides the animals a voice, and a good vegan example, at UCLA.

Lots of good discussions at Fayetteville State, a historically black school. One student said she had been cutting back her meat consumption and wanted to go vegan. I also overheard another student tell her friends it was a VO booklet that led her to go vegetarian. A staff/ faculty member originally turned down the booklet and told me about a woman who had told him about all the great-tasting alternatives to animal products. After he walked far across the campus, he suddenly turned around and walked all the way back to get a booklet and thanked me for being there.
—Brandon Becker, 11/22/10

Great day with Jim and Dawn at the University of Arizona – we reached over 2,100 students. One woman said she had already gotten one, then turned to her friend and said, “It made me cry.” One skateboard handoff, and a number of people came back for a booklet or waited for me to turn around to hand them one. After the guy in front of him turned me down, one guy took an Even If You Like Meat booklet, saying, “I gotcha, bro.”
     Highlight of the day: An African-American student, about 6' 6" and maybe 260–280 lbs., told me, “I don’t eat meat.” Pulling out a Guide, I said, “Well, then you need this!” He reached in his bag and pulled out a Guide: “I already got one. Thanks.” (He had already met Dawn.) We shook hands with much warmth.
—Matt Ball, 11/15/10

New veg at CSUSB
Another new vegetarian, courtesy of Nikki – this one at Cal State San Bernardino.

What an awesome day of outreach at Morgan State! There was a lot of interest from students and we had great conversations. One student said she went vegetarian for a while last time she received a booklet, and we talked about ways to stick with it. Another student said the booklet made her sad; she concluded by saying she should try vegetarianism. Also, two separate students asked about how they could get involved in activism. The quote of the day goes to a girl who, referring to when she received a booklet last semester, yelled, “You have ruined my fast-food life!”
—Kate and Aaron, 11/16/10

So many enthusiastic folk at Fullerton College! A professor told me he’s going veg now, and asked me to come and speak. A couple other students also made a commitment to going veg shortly after; they each got a Guide.
—Nikki Benoit, 11/15/10

 

Festivalgoers read Compassionate Choices
Photo from Carla & Bryan Wilson.

At the University of Miami, I saw evidence that VO’s regular visits are really doing something here: the week prior, a petition for vegan cafeteria options gathered over 1,000 signatures.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 2/4/11

Queenie, Sean, Jeff, Yin and I reached over 1,000 people at Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk. Extremely encouraging number of vegetarians, vegans, and people telling us that our work is awesome – I think we’re really starting to see an impact!
—John Oberg, 2/4/11

Scout Kilbourne
Scout Kilbourne provides the animals a voice at Georgia Tech.

We reached 350 people at the art walk today. A couple girls stopped to say they don’t think they can ever eat meat again. Another girl took a leaflet and then went to her friends and said she is going vegetarian, hopefully going vegan will soon follow.
—Camilla Kendall, 11/13/10

Great leafleting at Saint Augustine’s College and Shaw University, two historically black institutions. One student said she had been vegetarian until she came to Saint Augustine’s but was interested in going back, so she got a Guide. After getting a booklet, a faculty member asked about vegan sources of protein; she also got a Guide. For the highlight of the day, a student happily told me she was vegan and received a Guide; as she was walking away, I overheard her tell her friends, referring to me: “Those are my kind of people.”
—Brandon Becker, 11/10/10

Very wonderful morning at SUNY Albany. Taking the opportunity to leaflet today made my day. My favorite parts of the day: five very polite professors throughout the day expressing enthusiasm (I had been avoiding profs from previous experience, but I am thinking that was a mistake); a vegetarian student trying to be vegan and standing up to his teasing roommates; a vegetarian who enthusiastically took a Guide plus other materials for his administrative assistants, who are also vegetarians; and many students who enthusiastically took pamphlets. I also had the chance to patch together students in search of a veg group that hasn’t quite gotten off the ground yet.
—Laura Hart, 11/10/10

Occidental College student
A student at Occidental College waits out a fire drill by intently studying the Even If You Like Meat booklet.

Over the last two days, I reached over 4,800 students at the University of Texas, Austin. The students were extraordinarily accepting. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of students told me they were already vegan.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 11/10/10

At City College of New York, many students quickly recognized the booklet. Lots of students turned around as they were walking away and said, “I’m vegetarian, keep up the good work!” giving me thumbs-up signs. Also met students who are interested in getting involved. Even leafleted groups of high school students. It was very positive.
—Eileen Botti, 11/10/10

Heard from dozens of vegetarians and five vegans at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is quite a climate change from the unreceptive student body I encountered when I started leafleting here ten years ago. Repeated appearances pay off.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/11/10

Reached 1,000 students at Northeastern University this morning. I had a really good conversation with a professor who came back after reading the pamphlet in order to get more for the people on his staff. He was very upset by what he read.
—David Coman-Hidy, 11/12/10

Greetings from Bangladesh
“Greetings from Vegetarian Society, Bangladesh! My sincere thanks for sending me these booklets. This will be really helpful for my work.”

Good outreach at the ACLU’s Daniel Ellsberg event, where I met lots of folks who are veg. A number of people were excited by my Vegan Outreach shirt!
—Denise Snyder, 11/13/10

Theo and I had a great day of outreach at West Valley and Mission Colleges. I had an especially nice chat with a guy who had recently read some Michael Pollan and, although concerned, he felt like he couldn’t make much of a difference. I told him that in the scope of human history we’ve abolished slavery, child labor, and established women’s voting rights in the developed world only within the last 200 years. This really got the gears turning in his head and it was amazing to see him go from concerned but slightly apathetic to totally empowered and hopeful. I sent him off with a Guide and a few book recommendations.
—Brian Grupe, 11/11/10

Lots of good feedback at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse:

  • A girl said, “I got one of those before. It was very scary and impactful.” She happily took a Guide.
  • One girl came up to ask a few questions. Her boyfriend had just gotten an Even If You Like Meat booklet and they read it together. She took a Guide and said, “It makes me really happy that you are here.”
  • A German woman was very excited to get the booklet. She said, “I love that you are doing this. This is really great.”
  • One girl said she was going into the environmental sciences because she wanted to study the impacts of our food system on the environment. She said it was because of the Even If that she started on that path.
  • A member of the faculty said, “I see you here every year. I just wanted to thank you. I think what you are doing is really great. I’m glad you keep coming back trying to keep these kids from becoming complacent.”
  • One guy said he talked to a neighbor of his in Savage, MN that was a farmer. He said, “The way they were treating those animals was an absolute injustice.” He shook my hand and thanked me for being there.

—Fred Tyler, 11/11/10

New veg at Cal State
After getting a booklet from Yvonne LeGrice at Cal State Los Angeles, this student went veg on the spot!

My host in Montgomery, Alabama is a civil rights attorney and a great guy. Last night, while we were walking around Montgomery, we bumped into a friend of his, a CEO for a major, multimillion-dollar civil rights nonprofit. The group has published some criticism about animal rights activists, but this man asked me a bunch of questions about animal issues and earnestly listened to my responses. We covered lots of stuff: why I didn’t think it seemed reasonable that a merciful God would create animals as mere resources while at the same time equipping them with the capacity to suffer and a brain that formed deep emotional bonds with others; how MLK, while not ever being overtly pro-animal, did have a vegetarian wife and a vegan son and was a great adherent of Gandhi, who was very pro-animal; and why it didn’t matter why we have historically exploited animals – we’ve done a lot of other things in the past that were considered useful at the time and have since been thrown overboard. What matters is recognizing the world as it is now and figuring out how we can make it a better place with less suffering.
—Jon Camp, 11/11/10

 

Andrea Cimino
Andrea Cimino doesn’t let snow and cold stop her efforts at the University of Mary Washington.

While leafleting outside the University of Colorado’s engineering building, I had a great conversation with a young student who decided to go vegan as her new year’s resolution. She was concerned about health issues and thought that being vegan was hard. She was considering trying to find a local “humane” dairy and egg farm, so I filled her in on the realities of profit-driven farms (all the males are killed, etc.), told her about various websites to make the transition easier, invited her to join our campus group and to come to the Boulder Vegan Meetup. Of course I gave her a Guide. She seemed relieved and grateful and told me the information would help a lot. She said her roommate, a vegetarian, told her recently that she wants to stop eating eggs and dairy too.
—Barbara Bear, 1/27/11

Gail and I reached over 1,400 students at Mississippi State University – reception was awesome. One young woman said, “I got this last year. It changed me!” Later, another person mentioned going veg after receiving a booklet in the past. Another woman mentioned that the Even If You Like Meat booklet got her grandparents to reduce their meat consumption.
—Jon Camp, 11/3/10

Marguerite Campbell
Marguerite Campbell provides the animals a voice at NYU.

Cassandra and I had an exceptional take rate at York College. We heard from several students who had been thinking of making transitions, but had never met any other vegans or vegetarians, so didn’t even know where to begin. They were excited to meet us.
—Eileen Botti, 11/5/10

Met a number of very interested students at Menlo College. While flipping through the Even If You Like Meat, one exclaimed, “Wow, I should go back to being vegan!”
—Brian Grupe, 11/9/10

Monster day at Northern Kentucky University, where Brian and I reached over 1,600 students, shattering the old record there. One guy told me, “You got me to get a salad for lunch, man, for real.” But that wasn’t as good as yesterday at the University of Cincinnati, where a woman told us, “I got one of those two years ago and have been vegan ever since.” So many great interactions of late!
—Vic Sjodin, 11/10/10

Really high reception at Indiana University-Purdue University, where I reached almost 1,000 students. Heard from 14 vegetarians and 3 vegans. Talked to a student from Africa who has stopped eating birds and mammals after getting a Compassionate Choices booklet last semester, is preparing a presentation on vegetarianism for class, and is planning to make the move to vegetarian when his current supply of fish is gone.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/4/10

USC student
A USC student is engrossed in the booklet she received from Nikki.

At Duke University, Rob, Gloria, and I met Janie. After talking with her briefly, she said she’d like to start leafleting with us. This is the second time this semester that someone at Duke told us they want to begin leafleting with us immediately after receiving a booklet. Good, good times!
—Loren Hart, 11/9/10

Reached 800+ at Saint Cloud State University. One girl said, “I have been wanting to be in an animal rights group my entire life. I will definitely join you.” One girl passed by again after getting a leaflet and said, “I feel so bad for the animals.” When I told her what she could do, she said, “I know. I’m gonna help!”
—Fred Tyler, 11/4/10

Total of 1,424 today at New Mexico State, Albuquerque and NMS, Gallup. Heard “OMG” and “Ooooooh” a lot. Explained the issues to a student who loves chicken. I left him with the thought that the most basic of their interests – to live a life for themselves and not suffer – is denied them because of the most trivial of ours. He nodded, and hopefully our chicken friends can add another to their list of fans!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/10/10

 

Matt Gonzalez
Matt Gonzalez provides the animals a voice at Northern Virginia Community College.

Yvonne and I met this beautiful soul after we had packed up to leave Santa Monica Community College. We made eye contact and I ran over to her with a leaflet to “help animals.” Within minutes she was crying, and later wrote me:
     “I’m happy I met you – total Providence! Lately, I was thinking I was eating too much meat and if I should eat meat at all, but was in a mindless loop. After our talk and viewing the pamphlets, I became disgusted by meat due to animal cruelty. Ironically, my mom prepared beef that night; upon seeing and smelling it, I wanted to vomit. Funny thing is I ruined her dinner after recalling our discussion – she’s on board too!
     “It’s shopping day tomorrow and we’re excited to go vegan!
     “Coworkers asked what was I reading and I told them, then lightly asked their opinions on animal cruelty. They all agreed that commercial farms are wrong and even expressed shame or guilt in their attitudes. Their general response was, ‘Being vegetarian is hard,’ but I was able to refute that.”
—Nikki Benoit, 1/14/11

At Santa Fe College, the students were so very receptive and thoughtful. Hardly anyone refused a booklet! Some students came back after reading the leaflet and the conversations went very well. I could tell that changes will be taking place in their lives! I was thanked multiple times for being there. A teacher said he’d share the information with his students for discussion.
—Lana Smithson, 11/3/10

Roshanne Bakhtiary
California Polytechnic State gets a dose of compassion from Roshanne Bakhtiary.

At North Carolina A&T State, the woman who approved our booklets told us she eats mostly vegetarian (sometimes fishes and chickens), and took booklets for herself. A lot of students (and even staff) stopped to ask for booklets; some wanted them to give to friends.
—Brandon Becker and Loren Hart, 11/1/10

I got a booklet from the Warped Tour this year and I finally read it. It made me feel sick how they actually treat the animals. I wish I could save them all.
—KA, 12/12/10

A great day for the soul – Brian and I reached nearly 3,000 students at Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton, and Wright State. Through-the-roof interactions. One student told us her professor asked in class, “What’s the difference between cock-fighting and the way we are raising our chickens?” as they discussed the literature. We were in our element and definitely got to a load of people today. Thanks as always to the donors for making effective days like this possible.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/4/10

Great day at Rutgers University, where Cassandra, Amanda, and I reached over 1,000 students. We met tons of vegetarians and had some really positive interactions, with students saying they had been thinking of going vegetarian.
—Eileen Botti, 11/3/10

Gloria Lloyd
Gloria Lloyd helps Duke University students learn the truth about modern agribusiness.

Great day at University of Arizona! I had more people stop / come back / wait to get a booklet than ever before. Also got the most verbal reactions ever – some squeals of delight at the sight of Compassionate Choices, but even more yelps of disgust as people opened the booklet while walking away: “Oh God!” “Ewwww!” etc. One woman came back and took ten more for a presentation she’s giving.
—Matt Ball, 11/4/10

Couch-surfing on this last tour, I stayed with two kids for a few nights. A few hours before I was going to leave, one of the kids sat down and asked me why I was vegan (like he was ready to debate me). I gave him a leaflet and talked all about the extreme confinement of farm animals and slaughter practices. After the discussion, he and his roommate watched Meet Your Meat. At the end, one of them said, “I can’t see how I can call myself a good person if I keep eating meat.” We then put some veggie burgers on the grill and ate a vegan meal. They both got a Guide. Sweet!
—Phil Letten, 11/2/10

 

SMCC student
At Santa Monica Community College, this student told Nikki, “You guys made me quit eating meat.…”

Was berated by an angry student at Tennessee Technological University. Another young lady who had been watching this exchange approached me and commented on how well I’d maintained my composure. I told her that to help end the animals’ suffering, I can endure a little myself. She happily took a brochure.
—Josh James, 1/16/11

Yvonne, Shannon, Kevin, and I reached 3,450 students at UCLA. It was an amazing day; even at moments when reception went down, everyone kept their poise and smile, winning hearts and minds!
—Nikki Benoit, 1/13/11

Fantastic leafleting at the Obama Rally, where I was able to offer booklets to thousands of mostly young people lined up. Met so many vegetarians I ran out of Guides. It was great to be joined by Vic and Brian, too!
—Darina Smith, 10/30/10

Compared to last time, Brian and I had much better reception at uber-liberal Oberlin University. Lots of talks, and ran out of Guides. The last person we offered a leaflet said she went vegan after getting a Vegan Outreach booklet when she was 14. We win!
—Vic Sjodin, 11/1/10

Loads of interest at Texas State, San Marcos, where I reached over 1,800 students. One student told me she was going to make the switch; later, two friends told me the same thing. Should have brought more Guides!
—Casey Constable, 11/1/10

Marissa and I had a wintery day at the Pratt Institute. One of the first students stopped and immediately asked, “Are you vegan?” After I said yes, he then told me he saw Food, Inc. the day before. He stood near us for about 15 minutes, reading through nearly every page of the Why Vegan? and Guide, and then left thanking us and saying he’d really try going vegan now.
—Eileen Botti, 11/1/10

Jeff Boghosian
Jeff Boghosian takes advantage of the sunshine to help the animals at Arizona State.

Aleta and I met a number of vegans and vegetarians at Southern Connecticut State. Two different guys passed me multiple times before they agreed (separately) to take a booklet; each promised to read it. Met a few students who received pamphlets from us in the past few months and greatly reduced their animal consumption as a result. One student came out to see me because she is vegan and wanted to know who was handing out all the literature. She said everyone was talking about it.
—Karen James, 11/2/10

The attitude at Ohlone College has changed so much over the last two years. In my two hours, people mentioned Food, Inc., being veg, class projects, vegan friends, and meatless Thanksgivings. I used to come here and meet almost no interested people. Gotta love the momentum.
—Brian Grupe, 11/2/10

Lourdes Rodriguez
Lourdes Rodriguez promotes compassionate living at Cal State Northridge.

Reached over 1,300 students at Louisiana State University, despite the rain. I saw many, many individuals reading the booklet and I had good conversations. One guy said that he respectfully disagreed with the booklet. I asked him what he disagreed with. He said that he thought meat was good. I jokingly let him know that nowhere in the booklet did we say that he didn’t think that meat was good. In fact, I used to think that meat was good as well, but came to realize that I didn’t want to contribute to the unnecessary suffering that it entailed.
—Jon Camp, 11/1/10

Really nice outreach at Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College (where I was joined by Brigette), and Gonzaga University. At SCC, a girl walked up to me, holding back tears. She said, “Thank you,” as she gave me a hug. You could hear the sadness in her voice.
     Also had a guy take a leaflet and antagonistically comment as he was walking away, “Tasty critters aren’t they?” To which I responded, “Yes. Taste isn’t why I stopped eating them.” Caught him off guard. He then came back after his class and said he loved the approach I was using with the Even If You Like Meat booklet, that it wasn’t all or nothing. He said he was going to try to eat vegetarian more often.
     This interaction is something that happens pretty frequently.
—Phil Letten, 11/2/10

 

PCC students
Nikki Benoit passes along this photo of another person who went veg because of a VO booklet (right) and her enthusiastic vegan friend at Pasadena City College.

Definitely more vegetarians from leafleting the First Friday Art Walk. For example, we met someone who said they went veg after reading the booklet. Also met a 15-year-old who went veg three months ago after talking with us at a demo – he has been loving being vegetarian ever since!
—John Oberg, 1/7/11

Jon Camp’s talk inspired a bunch of new people to come out leafleting today, setting a new record at UNC-Chapel Hill. It is really wonderful to see so much new interest in leafleting in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area!
—Loren Hart, 10/28/10

I am a freshman at Rutgers University. When I was walking out of class, I was handed one of your booklets. I had stopped eating red meat a couple of months ago. However, I continued to eat chicken until I saw the booklet’s information on how harshly chickens are treated as well. I am very grateful that I read this; now I have more than enough inspiration and motivation on becoming a full vegan. I want to help you raise awareness about how animals are treated.
—SG, 10/3/10

Hope Spring
Hope Spring helps the animals at UC Irvine.

At the University of Idaho, I had two people tell me they wanted to go vegan. One of them said his vegan niece has talked to him about it before, but the booklet pushed him over the edge.
     I also talked to a girl whose parents own a dairy farm. Although I don’t think she will ever change her mind, I think it is good that she now sees animal rights activists in a positive light. She said she is against abusing animals but thought a lot of the stuff was taken out of context. But when I pointed to the gestation crates, battery cages, etc., she agreed those would be found on every farm.
     At Washington State, I heard one person say to her friend, “I got one of these here three years ago, and that’s why I stopped eating meat.” Talked to a few kids about what they could do to help. I overheard a group of kids discussing the leaflet as I walked by them. I think the leaflets spark a lot of conversations on the campuses we go to – numerous times, I have had kids come back to me later in the day saying their professor just discussed the booklet with them in class. Very cool!
—Phil Letten, 10/29/10

Was great to leaflet with Aleta and Kathryn at Wesleyan. One student was very angry and said that I should warn people about the pictures. I let her talk, then gently commented that unfortunately these animals endure this horror, and the only way to have people understand is to shock them with reality. I said that most people do not realize they are paying someone to do this when they consume animals. We talked more, and when she left, she said she agreed this work needed to be done, thanked me for being there, and encouraged me to continue!
—Karen James, 10/29/10

Good lunchtime leafleting at Arizona State. We overheard one student say, “Now I have to think about what I eat.” Another said her 14-year-old sister happened to see the booklet in her room and went vegetarian as a result.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/28/10

Lana Smithson
Lana Smithson makes the animals’ case at Florida International University.

The leafleting at Schenectady Community College was very rewarding. I had a wonderful discussion with two students from Guyana who were really interested. One veg student came back asking about how to become an activist. A former vegan and activist bemoaned the treatment he got from his family and the expense of veganism. He got a Guide and was really excited at the prospect of cutting animal products back out of his life.
—Laura Hart, 10/29/10

Good day at Columbia University. A number of students returned to get extras for their friends and to request more info/ Guides. Also, a brand-new vegetarian food truck called VEGENATION pulled up and parked right in front of me – they serve falafel and dosas, modeled after a popular vegan food cart that is always parked at NYU. This created some good traffic and a receptive audience, as there was a great example of vegan food to point to right in front of me. Also met two vegans from Sweden who were astounded by the vegan restaurants in NYC, and told me that the Columbia cafeteria even has soy ice cream.
—Eileen Botti, 10/29/10

 

Linda, Lana, & Yuri

I was handed your booklet at my school and I have been vegetarian since that day (Sept. 15). I am working my way to being vegan. It is my New Year’s resolution! I even got my family to eat less meat!
—HD, 12/30/10

Lana, Yuri, and I (right) had really good conversations at Florida International University. A nutrition student was really intrigued by the information and said the booklet really made an impact on her: “I didn’t know how bad it was.” Later, two young students came up; one took a leaflet and said he was already vegetarian. The other student refused to look at the leaflet but they both stayed and talked a long time. The vegetarian said he really wants to go vegan but the dairy was so hard to get rid of. I gave him seven alternative milks to choose from and told him about Daiya and Follow Your Heart cheeses. He was really excited. They told me that veganism was definitely becoming a big part of the pop culture. After a long while the non-vegetarian student said, “Okay, give me the leaflet, I can see that I’m going to be doing this too.” It was great.
—Linda Bower, 11/17/10

Reached 1,500 students at Texas A&M, where I met a large number of vegetarians and vegans. On two separate occasions, students with animal agriculture backgrounds told me the industry treats the majority of farm animals humanely. Later, after I answered all their specific questions about animal agriculture practices, Bible quotations, etc., they shook my hand and told me that I know my stuff.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 12/8/10

Jamie Rivet
In warmer days, Jamie Rivet reaches out for the animals at a festival in Toronto.

Here in Queensland, we are still re-homing former battery hens. Each family has received the Aussie version of Why Vegan? We have had several families go veg and at least one go vegan. Thank you for such an inspirational booklet!
—Monique Wilson, 12/23/10

Aleta and I reached almost 600 Yalies today and met dozens of vegetarians. Aleta met a student who became vegan after receiving a VO leaflet this past spring, and I met a guy who greatly reduced his animal consumption and said he would work on going vegan. Aleta also met a student from the Yale law school who said that ending animal abuse was the most important issue today. She is planning to have an animal rights reading group at the law school next semester.
—Karen James, 10/29/10

Receptive students at Walla Walla University, Whitman College, and Walla Walla Community College. Saw many of them intently reading the booklet, and had a good conversation with two who had various questions about veganism.
     Every once in a while, someone hands back a booklet saying, “I don’t want to look at those pictures. It makes me sad.” When possible, I’ve started engaging these people by offering them a Guide and saying, “The thing with those pictures is that when we eat meat we are paying people to do those types of things to the animals.” This seems to have a positive effect. For example, I started a conversation like this with a girl yesterday, and by the end of our short conversation, she wanted to go veg.
—Phil Letten, 10/27/10

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