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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 2013 Feedback

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The reason I support Vegan Outreach is straightforward: I think it’s one of the most effective nonprofits out there working to reduce suffering.
—MF

Students at UAQ
Students at UAQ

Vic in Mexico:

Israel, Alan, and I got the entire mountain of booklets into the hands of eager-to-learn students! If we could tabulate the animals saved in the last two weeks with new vegetarians, vegans, reducers, and ripple effects, I’m sure it is an astounding number!
     The Autonomous University of Querétaro is expansive and lush. Saw numerous people reading the ¿Por qué vegetariano? [some above and at right] and heard the usual start to conversations. One student said he needed to eat animals for protein – Israel quickly dispelled that, running down all the foods with protein, etc., relating that he was a semi-pro basketball player who has been vegan for years, and mentioning UFC fighters and numerous other veg athletes. We met Mariella [below, left], who sells sandwiches between classes. She read the booklet and we hung out with her and her friends for 10 minutes. She now wants to go full veg! And we nabbed three vegan sandwiches, and really should have gotten more – delicious!
     Best part of the day was running into Daniella [below, center], who had gotten a booklet earlier. She said she read the entire booklet, and didn’t want to support this anymore! She is going veg!!! We spoke with her and her two friends amicably, and it was a great way to close out our time at the school.

Mariella at UAQ Daniella at UAQ Isabella at ITQ

     We then hustled to the nearby Technological Institute of Querétaro. Again, very kind students and many readers [some below]. Met Chelsea, a foreign exchange student from Westmont College in Santa Barbara; she was flabbergasted I had recently been there doing outreach. I practiced my English with her, and we left as friends after discussing vegetarianism – she seemed interested in how it was a concrete step to making the world a better place for animals.
     Isabella [above, right] came up to me and asked for a few more booklets. She said she wants to be veg! We talked and she was super kind. I gave her my card to email me if she had any questions about foods, recipes, how to get involved, etc. Super tired, but very successful day, and that’s all that matters!
—Vic Sjodin, 11/22/13

Students at ITQ

Cobie, Zev, and I had good interactions at the University of Oregon. For example, a young woman started out telling me she doesn’t eat red meat. I got into how bad it is for chickens. We talked about a lot of things, including Gardein and Beyond Meat. By the end of the conversation she said that she was going to try going vegan.

Students at UAQ
More of the students Vic Sjodin saw engrossed in reading ¿Por qué vegetariano? in Querétaro.
Student at UAQ

     One person yelled back to me after she walked by that she is vegetarian. I said, “Great!” She yelled back, “Power to the people!” I yelled back, “Power to the animals!” and she yelled back, “Right on!”
—Nettie Schwager, 10/15/13

Had good conversations with students and staff at the Miami Dade College Medical Campus. Folks here are very interested in going veg, a few having tried it already and just looking for pointers on how to make it easier. Best conversation was with a mother of two attending the school. She was really interested, already having eliminated red meat from her diet. She had great questions and was excited to hear about all the new options available to try, especially more kid-friendly veg meals. Upon leaving, she was all smiles and super motivated to give it all a go. Even a security guy thanked me for coming. He was especially moved by the booklet, and after telling me how messed up factory farming is, he swore “No more meat!” Incredible! All in all, another wonderful day of action for animals.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/16/13

Lois and I had great reception at Cuesta College – almost everyone accepted a booklet. A vegan professor thanked us for being there and asked for booklets to display in her office. A student wanted to get involved – gave her a Guide and an AML, and she took copies of Compassionate Choices to share with friends and family.
—Johanna Andris, 10/17/13

At Cabrillo College, several people thanked me for speaking up for the animals. I also heard one of my favorite sentences, which is when one student says to another, “You should read this – this is why I’m vegetarian.”
—Steve Erlsten, 10/16/13

Lyn Cozart, leafleter extraordinaire, joined me at the University of Central Florida, where we reached 2,196 students. Highlight of the day was meeting a student who at first was concerned with our paper use. By the end of our conversation, he admitted that what we do makes sense and he will be making some dietary changes.
     We were up super early again to leaflet the University of Florida, where we reached 2,600 students. People praised us for being out there, and dozens of folks were especially excited to get a Guide.
     Today at the University of South Florida concluded our mini tour. Brittany joined us, and we reached 2,602 students. Tons of positive comments and conversations; also received emails from people who want to get involved. A solid day of outreach!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/17/13

Lauren at HACC
Chris Guinn sends this pic of Lauren, a Harrisburg Area Community College student and longtime vegetarian who now wants to eat more vegan meals!

I took a late lunch and headed to the nearby train station, which is heavily frequented by DePaul University students. Despite the rain, the take rate was excellent. Would have stayed longer, but had to get back to the MFA office. The highlight was speaking with Sam, who was very happy with this info and left with a big smile on his face. A short, but good day of leafleting.
—Mikael Nielsen, 10/17/13

At the LA Art Walk and Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, I reached 550 people. Also engaged in wonderful conversations with people right on the edge of going vegan!
—Robb Curtis, 10/12/13

We had an awesome day at the University of Western Ontario! John and I were joined by local activist Jason, and together we reached 1,460 students! Students were very receptive to our message of compassion. Many thanked us, and I even had one student say, “Wow, you must really care to be out here doing this!” All in all, a very rewarding day! I know Jason had a good time; he was super enthusiastic about leafleting with us and told us that he ran into several students that were already vegan!
—Chris Guinn, 10/17/13

Eric at SCC
Student at SCC

Had an amazing day at Spokane Community College! Students were extremely receptive and interested in the information! Lots of people stopped walking to read the booklet, and one guy [below, right] sat right down on the sidewalk to read it! Talked to Eric [right], who now wants to go vegan; he was concerned about the cost of vegan food, so we chatted a bit and he got a Guide. Others stopped to talk and ask questions. Got to leaflet a bunch of high school students on a tour, who all stopped to make sure they got one.
—Rachel Shippee, 10/16/13

Tonight was awesome. I dressed up as my alter ego (The Carrot Crusader) and reached 650 people at the Highwood Pumpkin Festival! I heard from a ton of folks who were impacted by the booklet and wanted more information on how they could help. They all got Guides. I also met vegetarians and vegans, which was great!
—John Jungenberg, 10/18/13

Good conversations at Ventura College, including one with a vegetarian professor. A remarkable number of students said “Yes!” to “Info on helping animals?” in such an enthusiastic way that it made me hopeful for a vegan future.
—Barbara Bear, 10/16/13

Not the highest reception rate at Ohio State, but I reached 850 students and I know it is quite likely that the work will spare a few thousand animals from the brutality of modern farming.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/14/13

21 leafleters joined me at RMIT University as part of the Australian Animal Activist Forum’s Day of Leafleting. Wow! Such an awesome day! We reached 2,100 people in about 45 minutes, and had many positive interactions! Everyone had a blast, and afterwards a few told me they are interested in leafleting in their home cities around Australia.
—Chelsea Collins, 10/18/13

Claire Amiel at SFA

Lauren and I reached 1,700 students at Lamar University, and a number of people asked good questions. For example: one guy asked about free-range farms. I told him that while they generally entailed less suffering than on factory farms, it would be hard to raise and kill 9–10 billion animals using the farming methods that were used when Americans ate a fraction of that amount. He said, “Well you just made me realize that, and I thank you for it.”
     Ethan, one of my new favorite dudes, showed up at Texas A&M early with Claire, and the four of us broke the old record for the state of Texas by over 1,000 – 6,100 students reached. Lots of great interactions. For example, I spoke with a woman who just read the new Matthew Scully piece about being pro-life and vegan. She’s pro-choice, but found his arguments about extending mercy to farm animals to be compelling.
—Jon Camp, 10/17/13

On 10/18/13, Claire Amiel (above), Ethan Dussault (below), Lauren Walker, and Jon Camp also reached a record number of students at Stephen F. Austin State University!
Students at SFA Ethan Dussault at SFA

Phil and I had everything down to a T at the University of Michigan, where we set the all-time record, reaching 2,931 students. Tons of positive feedback!
     Receptive students at Oakland University. One student proclaimed, “I’m already with you!” and a professor (who I hadn’t even leafleted) told me he already got one today and that it was a good idea.
     It was on this afternoon I learned one of the best we have is no longer with us. As harsh as this world is and with as much suffering that exists, I remind myself to be content with what is in my power to control and do my best to balance my ability to influence others while enjoying my short time here on earth. Years ago, this essay helped me grasp this concept a bit more than I probably would’ve on my own.
—John Oberg, 10/16/13

We support Vegan Outreach because you walk the talk. This can be seen in the many notes about success in offering our literature to the people who are the most responsive to the material.
—CW & LW

 

Given that nonhuman animal suffering accounts for the largest portion of suffering on earth, and given that Vegan Outreach’s program is one of the most economical and efficient means of addressing this suffering, I support Vegan Outreach.
—DB

Michael at ECC Raj at ECC Shari at ECC

At El Camino College, I met Michael [above, left], who is now interested in going veg; we had a long amicable talk during slow times. Met an older student who did not eat beef, and had a meandering conversation that ran the gamut of pigs, number of chickens, some environment, grain inefficiency, and more animal suffering. He left with a Guide, saying he was thankful for the info and excited to try more veg foods. Met Raj [above, center], who was also interested in going veg. We had a nice convo; he got a Guide and thanked me for being out there. Also met Shari [above, right], who came up to me as soon as she heard from her friends it was about animals. She got a quick spiel and a Guide.

Teresa at SMC
Gerald at SMC

     Thank you, Yvonne, for being such a good soldier and generally wonderful! Up at 5 am for a great day at Santa Monica College, where we reached 2,250 students. At 7:31 am, who did I see coming toward me? None other than the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and awesome dude, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. So I sky-hooked him an Even If You Like Meat!
     Massive veganization and so many wonderful conversations. Saw many reading as they waited for the bus [two below]. Overheard the beginnings of many conversations: “It’s terrible how they treat animals…” “Seeing this makes you never want to eat…” “It’s straight f-d up what they do to these creatures…” and so on. Met Teresa [right], who has been vegan since getting a VO booklet at Warped Tour years ago! Reminds me of when I spoke to two girls and eventually asked if they were veg friendly, and they said, “We both went vegan after getting a booklet last year at Warped.” I was pumped.
     Also met Gerald [right], who says after reading the booklet, there is “NO WAY I am eating meat ever again.” We had an epic bro-down about his life as a soldier, basic training, animal suffering and so on. I gave him my info and invited him to a potluck. Yvonne [LeGrice] also had a good convo with another student [below, right] and Guided her. Another student came back and asked for 10 booklets to show friends, family, and church. I ran to the car not too far away and got her some CVA lit too, and she was stoked. Another student also asked for booklets to show her friends. It is a social revolution. Each one teaches others.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/16/13

Student at SMC Yvonne LeGrice with student at SMC
Student at SMC

At Broward College’s Central Campus, one woman was dismayed by what she was reading and wanted to know what she could do. I talked to her about working her way to veganism incrementally and gave her a Guide. Several others pledged to reduce their animal product consumption.
     Was great to leaflet Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus with Yuri! Highlight for me was talking to a student from a small Venezuelan town in a rural area. Starting with two days a week of veg meals sounded reasonable to him, and he promised to read both booklets.
     Since I had not saturated Florida International University, Yuri and I went back – student response was even better than it was the day before. Some students who had gotten one from me on Wednesday wanted more info – they were all Guided. Yuri had a nice conversation with a woman who will undoubtedly make some changes.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/12/13

At Montana State, I was extremely fortunate to have Jennifer join me for leafleting! She is so nice and a great leafleter! Together we were able to dominate a very large walkway where many students come through. She even brought me snacks! We ran into Corey [below], who wanted to know how he could donate! Later, at Montana Tech, the highlight was a guy who said, “Thanks for handing these out, it’s really great.”
     Good take rate at the University of Montana. Supportive comments, and heard from a girl who had been given a booklet previously on campus and went veg! I had a guy give the booklet back saying his dad was a rancher. But then after talking, he decided to take it and said he would really look into it.
—Rachel Shippee, 10/11/13

Rachel sends the pics below from Montana State: vegan Corey, and a student engrossed in reading Compassionate Choices.
Corey at MSU Student at MSU

High take rate at Portland Community College. Nettie met countless vegans and vegetarians, a number of people who are trying to go veg, and many people who were glad we were there. I met a woman who is vegan because of a booklet she got in Ohio seven years ago! A man told me the booklet made him decide he will eat vegetarian two days a week. Another man said the booklet will cause him to eat less meat.
     I had the “humane” meat conversation with a number of people today, and varied the reply according to what questions and such the person brought up. One man asked whether I opposed all meat, and I told him that while I appreciate people who make a genuine effort to find meat from animals who are treated better, I think it’s really best if we move away from eating animal products.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 10/14/13

Alex Greenwood, John Sakars, Jenny McQueen, and Chris Guinn at Ryerson U
Caitlin at Ryerson U

Our day at Ryerson University started off pretty slow in the morning but fortunately picked up after an hour or so, and Alex [Greenwood], John [Sakars], Jenny [McQueen], and I [above] reached 3,088 students! I had the best conversation so far on tour with Sam – it was just great, made my day! Later, met Caitlin [right], a member of Ryerson’s vegan & vegetarian club, and ran into several other Ryerson veg students! Some asked about getting involved, so I told them to contact VO for lit and organize through their club! Another solid day!
—Chris Guinn, 10/10/13

Started slow at Triton College, but picked up! Talked with a number of students interested in going veg – they all got Guides.
     Kevin joined me at the immigration reform rally, and everyone was very receptive! I met a vegan trying to convince her friends who were there to go vegan, too, so I gave them all Guides. There was also someone documenting the event for a class at Northwestern. She said that she had thought about going veg before, but thought it would be very hard. I explained that it was actually a very easy thing to do, and gave her a Guide. She said she would definitely read the booklet and consider it!

John Jungenberg at Triton

     Really good day at UW Milwaukee! Ran into a bunch of vegans, which was really awesome! We also heard from a lot of people who read the booklets and are now interested in going veg as a result! They all got Guides. We also had a number of great conversations!
—John Jungenberg (left), 10/15/13

The University of Wisconsin, Superior was my first college leafleting, and the students were very receptive and interested. I saw a lot of people reading the booklets as they went to class, which was very encouraging.
—Elaine Wiggins, 10/16/13

Jovan and I were up at 4:30 am to leaflet Kenwood Academy HS before work. We could definitely see curiosity and concern on many faces as the students heard our statements to help stop violence and cruelty.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/15/13

At Johnson C. Smith University, the students I did see were very receptive. I had the pleasure of meeting some vegans and vegetarians; and one student, Johntá, read the leaflet then told me he is giving up chicken and pork and will begin to phase other animal products out of his diet.
—Andrea Gunn, 10/15/13

At New Jersey City U, people said that I definitely “ruined” eating meat for them with the booklet. I replied, “The animals will thank you for it and please keep it up – you’re only doing good by your decision.” I ran into a faculty member who applauded what I was doing. He is a vegan and gave me his email – I will reach out to him for help with getting the leaflets officially on campus and possibly setting up a talk for one of his classes.
—Anthony Rodriguez, 10/14/13

Suzeii Sierra and Oscar Martinez at UTPA
Lauren Walker snapped this pic of UTPA students Suzeii Sierra and Oscar Martinez.

At CUNY Hostos Community College, Gail and I gave booklets to a lot of very interested and curious students. We saw a bunch reading them. One said, “Thanks. This will probably make me want to become vegetarian!” Another was happy to get the information in the Guide.
—Lisa Drapkin, 10/15/13

At Shasta College, I had a great conversation with three women who were shocked by the photos of debeaking and discarded male chicks. They wanted to know which companies to boycott, and I let them know it’s standard industry practice.
     At Gavilan College, I met a teacher who wants to have me talk to his environmental science classes. At Hartnell College, I ran into Mely, who has been lacto-ovo vegetarian for nine years, but is getting pressure from friends to eat chicken to get healthier. We talked about going fully vegan instead, and she’s going to give it a try!
     At Monterey Peninsula College, I had a beautiful moment where a student came back to tell me she had just gone vegan while reading the booklet. We talked about vegan food. I also met Heather and Susie, who want to get involved! Then went to California State University, Monterey Bay, which has some of the most receptive students I’ve ever met!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/15/13

Lauren and I set a new record for college leafleting in Texas at the University of Texas–Pan American. We were once again blown away by the sheer number of students asking what they could do to help, giving us props for staying out for so long, for working for such a good cause, etc. And it was awesome having the help of Suzeii [above], who helps run the student AR group on campus – she’s the type of individual others will gravitate towards. I’d guess she exchanged contact information with at least ten students who want to get involved in her group. It was touching to see so many of today’s youth excited to play a role in bringing about a better world for animals.

Ram Kumar at UH

     We set a new record at the University of Houston, getting into the 4k zone for the first time there, and we heard from a ton of interested people, as evidenced by the dozens of Guides we distributed. Ram [Kumar, above] and Dan made their leafleting debuts and were great!
     Many positive interactions. We heard from two people who have been vegetarian since getting a booklet from VO in the past, and one guy who is now eating meatless days as a result of a VO booklet [below]. A young woman said she “didn’t eat for two weeks” after last getting a VO booklet. I told her that eating veg food was a lot more fulfilling than fasting, then Guided her.
     Talked with Anthony, who told me the CEO of Tyson said if they could meet demand with a painless system, they would. I told Anthony that I realized Tyson did what they did for the sake of efficiency, not to be cruel, but efficiency causes real suffering to animals. Anthony said he was going to get a salad for lunch. I thanked him for his concern, told him that fortunately, he could find much more filling options other than a salad, and gave him a Guide. I got contact info from students wanting to get involved – something that’s been happening virtually every day. In short, an utterly fantastic day of outreach.
—Jon Camp, 10/15/13

Below (from left): Andrew is eating less meat since getting a VO booklet at UH last school year; Kiernan has been vegetarian for two years since getting a booklet on campus; and Precious, who went veg last year as a result of receiving a VO booklet, is now taking the last steps to being vegan!
Andrew at UH Kiernan at UH Precious at UH

We support Vegan Outreach because you help people open their minds to learn that it is very easy to help animals by just making a change in their eating habits. Vegan Outreach helps people realize that they can make this world a more compassionate and better place for all animals.
—NS & ES

 

Back in the late 90s, I was looking to become more involved in animal advocacy and to contribute to the cause in some way. I connected with a local animal rights group, but I was not impressed with the level of critical thinking involved. I was starting to feel like the only vegan with a brain!
     Around this time, I discovered Vegan Outreach on the internet, and what I read there just resonated with me like nothing else. Finally, I had found an animal rights group that was intelligent, didn’t seem loony at all, and they were actually doing something meaningful. That was truly a defining moment for me.
     I support Vegan Outreach because I agree completely with the mission and the philosophy behind it. The world needs more reasonable, articulate, scientifically minded animal advocates like you.
—CC

Chris Guinn at UTM

Big day at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario! John Sakars, Alex Greenwood, and I were able to reach a total of 3,251 students! I met a good number of vegan and vegetarian students, and also spoke with non-veg students like Devin, who told me he was opposed to factory farming and thinks animals deserve better. John and Alex also had positive interactions with students! I’m so happy that we were able to reach such a large number of students today – that’s good news for animals!
     John, Alex, and I had a BIG day at York! We even had help from first-time leafleter and York student Layla Leto – she did a great job! We reached 3,870 students and had some great conversations! Through our leafleting we were able to put some veg students in touch with the campus group! I spoke with students like Kris, who was interested in eating more vegetarian meals but was in the dark about veg dining; I was sure to give her a Guide! I also gave a Guide to Mark, who wants to go veg!
—Chris Guinn, 10/9/13

Chris Guinn, John Sakars, and Alex Greenwood also reached 1,100+ students at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. Alex snapped Chris in action (above), and Chris took pics of some of the students reading Even If You Like Meat (below).
Student at UTM  Students at UTM

I was a little nervous going to Vancouver Island University, but it was a very good day! Met lots of people who said they were veg or thanked me for caring. One lovely young woman talked to me for a while, left, then came back and stayed with me – she talked to people while I gave out booklets.
—Sigrid Bjarnason, 10/2/13

Chris Dietrich at Coppin State
Brittany at Coppin State

Chris Dietrich [above] and I set a record at Coppin State today – the animals are lucky to have him on their side. We had great and effective conversations! Brittany [right] is committed to starting to change her diet to help animals; she was happy to get a Guide. Three different students were interested in me coming to speak to their group or class.
—Kassy Ortega, 10/4/13

At Clark Atlanta University, I had a ton of great conversations and received positive comments – too many to report! Even had a woman in her car yell to me from across the street that she would pull around because she was interested in getting a booklet.
     Highlight of the day was a conversation with a vegetarian and her friend. The vegetarian asked me how to best transition to veganism; her friend seemed interested in making changes as well. Also talked to a student about the overall lack of veg options (I have actually had several of these conversations recently). He and several others promised to check out the nearby Soul Vegetarian.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/4/13

Avid at USD

Reached 1,400 students at St. Cloud State. Talked with several people interested in vegan food and nutrition, and gave them Guides. A professor was having a class outside, and they were discussing eating lower on the food chain. He is mostly veg himself, and he waved me over to tell the class what I was handing out, why, and what organization I was with. For my first impromptu presentation, I think it went very well!
     Despite rain and strong winds, the students at South Dakota State were very friendly. Really great outreach at an ag school!
     At the University of South Dakota, the day started out great and ended great! Take rate and friendliness was at an all-time high! Halfway through the day I met Avid [left], who stopped to ask what he can do to help! We talked about how cutting back on meat consumption reduces animal suffering and he said, “I can do that!”
—Rachel Shippee, 10/7/13

Tiff, Tina, Heather, and I reached 1,265 students at Northwestern University. Other students were handing out veg booklets as well, and we heard from tons of vegan and vegetarian students and staff!
—Leslie Patterson, 10/9/13

Second round at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – reached 800 students and handed out eight Guides to various vegetarians and vegans. One of the vegetarians let me know that getting the booklet in the past is what moved him to drop meat.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/8/13

Erin Gaines at UT Austin  Students at UT Austin
Above: Erin Gaines reaches a UT Austin student, while two others are engrossed in booklets from Jon Camp.

Awesome day at the University of Texas – Lauren Walker, Erin Gaines [above], Ethan Dussault, Christie Norris, and I reached 5,000 students. This was a new Texas record – the first time any school here hit the 5k mark!

Student at Texas State
Above and below are a few of the students Lauren Walker saw engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Texas State.

     But the next day, Lauren and I also reached 5,000 students at Texas State! We distributed dozens of Guides as well, chatting with a lot of people who were interested in and inspired by this work.
     We extended our current record-breaking streak to three days today at South Texas College, by the Mexican border. We had more individuals asking us questions here than at any other school thus far on the tour – and we’ve had a lot of us questions asked at the other schools!
     Two separate individuals mentioned now being veg or nearly veg today as a result of Food, Inc. It’s interesting how Food, Inc. isn’t explicitly about going veg, but I often hear of individuals who have gone veg as a result of it – something to keep in mind before bashing other campaigns that don’t go as far with a vegan message as we might prefer.
     We heard comments today such as, “I really like what you’re doing here,” “I never thought about this till today,” “This is really sad,” “What can I do?” It was really moving to come across so many genuinely concerned and curious people.
     Chandra told us that she still wears old leather sandals, and she thought we might have criticized her for that. I told her that we endorsed being practical and non-purist, and criticizing a vegetarian taking steps to do good for animals is the last thing we would do. She really liked that approach, and she gave me her contact info as she’s now interested in getting involved. I’ll also send her some VO essays about our pragmatic approach.
—Jon Camp, 10/9/13

Student at Texas State Student at Texas State

Reached nearly 700 students at College of the Redwoods and had great conversations. Ran into a student who recognized me from Palomar last semester, at the opposite end of the state. And Bryan is now leaning toward going vegan and is going to look through our website.
     Another great day on the road! Reached over 1,100 students at Humboldt State! I heard from more vegans and vegetarians than I could count, and I was happy to have Sarah’s help! Now she’s interested in leafleting on her own!
     Great conversations at Southern Oregon University. For example, one student who doesn’t like animal cruelty and was excited to hear about all of the vegan meats in stores. I talked up Daiya cheese to quite a few lacto-ovo vegetarians. One member of the football team had lots of questions, too!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/10/13

Heather Pierce at SBCC
Marla at SBCC

OMG what an awesome and super long day! Thank you Barbara Bear for joining! Met Heather [Pierce, above] at a film screening last week and recruited her out, too. Together, we reached 768 students at Santa Barbara City College, and then 2,001 students at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB’s freshman cafeteria is all vegetarian Mondays, so perfect timing). Many one-on-one conversations for all of us, and watched so many people reading intently – snapped a few quick pics, including a couple reading intently with another dude reading in the background [below]. Spoke to one of those readers, Marla [right], who was very interested in these issues; she got a Guide and said she wants to go veg. Met Annika [top of page], who read a booklet and wants to go vegan. Also met Marco [top of page], who wants to go veg and is interested in volunteering. Perfect demographic for outreach. Long day with profound impact.

Students at SBCC
Student at Fullerton College

     Awesome day at Fullerton College! Saw numerous people reading the booklets [one at right]. Met Annie [below, left], who is now interested in going vegan. Spoke with a Paleo dude who was interested in these issues – the appeal to reduce suffering seemed to make inroads. Met another dude who told me he was going to go veg!
     Highlight was meeting Monica and Elyse [below, right]; we spoke for a few minutes when I approached them sitting with a friend and had a laugh together, then spoke about animal suffering. About two hours later ran into them and they happily and earnestly told me they were going to go vegan for a month together and take it from there. I gave them much encouragement and Guides.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/10/13

Annie at Fullerton College Monica and Elyse at Fullerton College

It’s pretty straightforward why I support Vegan Outreach. It’s a no-BS organization that is out to prevent suffering. They don’t do it to satisfy their egos. They don’t do it for grand, unattainable goals. They do it for results. That’s what I care about.
—DH

 

Karen Oberg at Dalhousie

I love you guys, and so admire what you’re doing. You chose to focus on farm animals above all else because their suffering amounts to the greatest single tragedy in the history of the planet, far exceeding any suffering that has ever, or hopefully will ever, occur.
     Also, I feel strongly that the animal rights movement needs a better understanding and appreciation of human psychology. I really appreciate that in addition to your outreach, you focus on activist behaviors that are most effective. It is hard not to get emotional when we care so deeply, and the level of suffering is so unimaginable, but we need to learn to compartmentalize and share our emotions with each other, then put on our optimistic, forward-looking face for the masses.
—ST

The University of New Brunswick is the first school in NB ever leafleted by AAC! Every student I offered a booklet took one, and many were genuinely interested. Mom [Karen Oberg, above] and I also had a great time at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia – hasn’t been leafleted in a decade. Again, great response! Third booklet went to a vegan, and we met other veg folks!
—John Oberg (below, leafleting Dalhousie U), 9/27/13

John Oberg at Dalhousie

Mixed leafleting and tabling at UNLV for World Day for Farmed Animals. Had a number of great conversations with people who were pescatarian, part-time vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan. They were all glad to see a veg presence on campus and wanted more. Everyone was positive – every single person.
—Elaine Vigneault, 10/2/13

Student at SAC
Above is one of the students Jon Camp saw engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat at San Antonio College, and below is one of the students Lauren Walker spotted studying the booklet at UTSA.
Student at UTSA

We only had a half day in El Paso, so I went to El Paso Community College and Lauren hit UTEP. It was her first solo outing, and she destroyed it, reaching 1,000 students in a short time! At EPCC, Cynthia said that animal cruelty broke her heart, and she would sincerely consider the information. Her genuine concern was touching, and it reminded me that if you just get out there and reach out to people, many will listen.
     At San Antonio College, we broke the record, reception was great, and we saw several people reading [one at left] and talking about the booklet.
     Solid leafleting at the University of Texas, San Antonio, especially for a Friday – we reached 2,600 students! Many productive conversations, including discussions of small farms, transitioning to vegan, etc. For example: Marissa read the booklet and was very moved. She ended up looking up VO’s site on her phone, and went back to ask Lauren a bunch of questions about what to eat.
—Jon Camp, 10/4/13

Nettie and I had two great days at Chemeketa Community College and Portland Community College! Becky joined us at the latter, did great, and wants to leaflet again! Very interesting conversations. One woman asked what the booklets were for. I said they’re about compassion for animals. She replied that Americans care about animals too much. An hour later she came back over and apologized to me for what she had said.
     A man said that he’s kept trying to go vegan on and off, and asked how vegans can build muscle. I suggested reading Robert Cheeke’s vegan bodybuilding website and VeganHealth.org. He said he’s tried to convince others to move toward vegan, but hasn’t gotten them to listen. I gave him an A Meaningful Life. Becky met another guy interested in vegan bodybuilding!
     One man was skeptical of our work. He said, “You’re going to have to convince an awful lot of people.” I said, “Convincing even one person will save hundreds of animals and make a difference.”
—Cobie deLespinasse, 10/3/13

Handed 1,666 students an Even If You Like Meat booklet at Western Michigan U. Heard from lots of vegetarians, vegans, and interested people who got a Guide. One of the vegans let me know that getting a booklet from us is what moved her to make the change.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/3/13

My Ethics and What We Eat class and I had a great day yesterday on the campus of Georgia College handing out VO booklets. Went very quickly, and we ran out!
—Mark Causey, 10/2/13

Lana Smithson and Ani Quigley at UVM

Ani runs the animal advocacy group at the University of Vermont, and yesterday was her first time leafleting. She did a wonderful job and helped smash the record – we reached 1,650 students! Alyssa, also in the campus group, stopped to help as well. I met another Alyssa here who wants to get active for animals. I’m putting her in touch with Ani. A young man held up a booklet and said, “I’m going to get a veggie wrap for lunch because of this.” A man took a booklet and said, “I’m an animal science professor here and want to see what you’re handing to our students.” Just before he got his booklet, he heard another faculty member thank me for doing this important outreach! I also had a productive conversation with someone who “only eats chicken” about how bad things are for birds in agriculture.
     Good leafleting at Middlebury College and Castleton State today. I heard from two young women who used to be vegetarian. The first said she had been anemic. I gave her a Guide and suggested she check out Jack’s online information. She thanked me. I also gave the second former vegetarian a Guide and encouragement. She seemed interested in trying again.
—Lana Smithson (above with Ani Quigley at UVM), 10/3/13

Melissa MacDonald at UC Irvine
Caitlin at UC Irvine

Another great day in Reno! Truckee Meadows Community College was buzzing. I got two high fives, both right after hunters walked past! Rushed down the hill to the University of Nevada, Reno. Quite a few students already had booklets from yesterday, but I still reached 250/hour. These students are hungry for this info!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/2/13

Janelle joined me and we reached 1,380 students at the University of North Dakota. Luckily the rain wasn’t too hard and students gave us props for being so dedicated. Kathleen stopped to help at North Dakota State, and we reached over 900 students there. Students were really nice and the take rate was great. Had good conversations, even with farmers – all very positive. One of the farmers told me that I answered everything very well; hopefully I planted a seed!
—Rachel Shippee, 10/3/13

Greg, Helen, and I reached over 2,400 students at the University of Cincinnati. Helen had the best conversation of the day with a couple of young men who got a booklet earlier in the day and now want to go vegan.
—Kevin O’Connor, 10/2/13

Had many productive interactions at UC Irvine. Melissa [MacDonald, above, right] and I reached 2,350 students and saw many reading. Also met Caitlin [right], who is now interested in going vegan!
—Vic Sjodin, 10/3/13

New record at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, North, and great interactions. Also met a teacher who was glad to see me. I put her in touch with The Humane League’s Andrea Gunn, who will give a presentation in her class.
     At both Allen University and Benedict College, I ran into students who wanted to go veg. Other students are going to ask for more veg options at the cafeteria.
     Great reception and interest at prestigious Emory University; we’ll be sure to hit it again this semester. Was wonderful to leaflet with Mukang at Georgia State, where we handed a booklet to over 1,500 students in two class changes. Very good conversations, too; we’ll be back here as well!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/3/13

Marissa at UB Leena at UB Laura at Buffalo State

Big day at SUNY Buffalo – reached 1,400 students with a VO booklet! One of them was Marissa [above, left], who told me that she’d previously had a brief stint as a vegetarian. She told me that she wanted to try again because she was very much opposed to the cruelty of factory farming. We spoke about making the transition sustainably, and I gave her a Guide. I’m confident the next time we’re here, she’ll be going strong! Also great to meet Leena [above, center], a VO donor – she was excited to see me leafleting.
     Reached 825 students at Buffalo State, and met several cool vegetarians like Laura [above, right], who went vegetarian only a few months ago after being inspired by her longtime vegetarian partner! So cool!
     My first day of outreach in Canada was great! John and I reached 2,000 students at Brock University. Good conversations, met lots of vegetarians, and many thanked us for being there!
—Chris Guinn 10/4/13

Austin at Shepherd U

Boom – another record! Jessica joined me at her old stomping grounds, and we reached over 800 students at Shepherd University. Just a few of the highlights:
     Jessica spoke to a student who is now going to give being a vegetarian another shot, thanks to her new Guide! One woman analyzed the cover for a moment and then looked me dead in the eye: “I received one of these once, and I love chicken – but the photos of these chickens here makes me sick to my stomach.” She has been eating less chicken because of the previous booklet – yay! I gave her a Guide and showed her all the great chicken alternatives available. She wasn’t aware there were even chicken alternatives and is now going to give them a try. Jessica also offered a booklet to another woman who said she received one before: “It really got me thinking.” Jessica gave her a Guide and they had a great conversation!
     Finally, I met Austin [right], a proud West Virginian who grew up hunting. He opened the booklet and agreed that factory farming was causing a lifetime of unnecessary suffering. He even referred to it as “slavery.” By the end of our conversation he agreed to buy less from factory farms. He came back to me later and said, “I took your advice. Instead of going to the diner for lunch, I went to the vegetarian joint and had a portobello mushroom burger.”
—Kassy Ortega, 10/3/13

 

I support Vegan Outreach for several reasons:
1. I share Vegan Outreach’s goal to put an end to animal exploitation, veganism being the most effective and efficient way to reach that end.
2. I like its methods (i.e., providing reliable information in attractive booklet form to promote the cause).
3. I appreciate its “demographic” – focusing mainly on college-age students.
4. I respect its competent staff for their ethics and for the quality of the work they’re doing for the animals.
5. I have seen the results – and that is the proof of the pudding!
—MO

I thought I might have brought too many booklets, but I ended up handing out every single one long before I had planned to finish! I plan to go to the University of Minnesota Duluth next week. After that, I will be ordering more! There are three other colleges nearby and a high school I would like to leaflet. Thank you so much for providing me with these booklets and for all the information you have on your website to help make this easier for me as a new activist. I am really excited to be part of a larger cause to help fight for the billions of animals out there still suffering right now who need our voices! Leafleting is nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be at first, even though I am a very shy introvert. It is the least I can do!
—Elaine Wiggins, 10/1/13

Lindsay Rubin and Riley at UC Davis
Lindsay Rubin and Riley reach UC Davis students with Compassionate Choices.

Lindsay [above] and I met many vegetarians at UC Davis today. Then I took a deposit to the bank (thank you to the donors who made this possible) and, as is almost always the case, when the teller saw I’m with Vegan Outreach, she started talking to me about it. So I Guided her!
—Jack Norris, 10/2/13

Madeline at SUNY Plattsburgh

At Yale, Wendy and I reached 669 students. Met many vegetarians and vegans! At Gateway Community College, Mike said he will start cutting back on his consumption of animal products after getting a VO booklet and our discussion. Janet told me she does not eat any beef, pork, lobster, so we discussed the suffering of chickens; she was surprised and disgusted, and said she would have to start cutting out eating them, too. I thanked her for her compassion.
     Evangelita made my whole day wonderful! She works at the hospital next door, and came to talk with me after reading Compassionate Choices. She has really been wanting to go vegan, and has been thinking a lot lately about food, the animals, and the poor health conditions she sees, even in young people. I gave her a Guide, Jack Norris’s website, and my business card. She hugged me and thanked me for being there today!
—Karen James, 9/26/13

Reached a record 900 students at SUNY Plattsburgh – take rate was very good! Met Madeline [right], who went vegetarian as a result of getting a VO booklet here two years ago. I received two high fives today; one from a young woman who’s been veg since 10th grade. After the high five, she said (almost sang), “We…don’t need…to eat animallllls!”
—Lana Smithson, 9/30/13

I spent the morning leafleting at San Jose State for World Day for Farmed Animals – I reached over 600 students! The highlight of my day was when a woman came up to me and said I had given her a leaflet last year, and after reading it she decided to become vegetarian. A couple of months ago she went vegan. She said she wishes she would have learned the truth years ago, and that she loves being vegan.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 10/2/13

Nicolas Tomas at Cal Poly Pomona
Nicolas Tomas provides a voice for the animals at Cal Poly Pomona.
Orlando and friend at Cal Poly Pomona
Mey-Sung and Courtney at Cal Poly Pomona

Nicolas [above] and I had great interactions at Cal Poly! Ran into Orlando [right] showing his friend pictures in the booklet as they walked and explaining the horrors. Orlando wants to go vegan; we spoke and he got a Guide. Met Courtney and her friend Mey-Sung [below, right]. Courtney had walked by and originally not taken a booklet, then heard it was about animals and grabbed one. Later I ran into her standing in the shade showing it to her friend – it turns out she had been considering going veg. I explained a few things and gave her encouragement – and her friend was now interested as well. Then met Hugo [below, left], who had seen a video on the internet. He was disturbed by how animals are treated in society and interested in eating more veg meals. We had a good convo and he left with a Guide and encouragement. Then had a conversation with Melinda [below, left], also now interested in going veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/1/13

It was so great that Team Jungenberg drove up to leaflet with me at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire! We reached 2,647 students, and had great conversations. Mary, in particular, met students going vegan after talking with her. I ran into a girl who took a booklet and now wants to transition to veg. We talked and I gave her a Guide!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/27/13

Great morning of outreach at the College of Lake County today! The students were very receptive! We met two people who had received booklets earlier and thought that it was sad – they both wanted to go veg! I gave them Guides. I also met a professor who had been vegetarian for 40 years. She got a Guide as well. Right as we were about to leave, there was a fire drill so hundreds of students were coming out of the building and we couldn’t hand the booklets out fast enough! Great way to spend World Day for Farmed Animals!
—John and Mary Jungenberg, 10/2/13

 Hugo at Cal Poly Pomona
Melinda at Cal Poly Pomona

At CUNY Hunter College, I was joined by another new leafleter! Nathan really enjoyed leafleting. We reached 800 students. I gave a Guide to one aspiring vegetarian. Gave another Guide to a student who was at first very disbelieving of how people could be vegan. He asked many many questions, and left with the decision to start eating more plant-based meals.
     Interesting day at LaGuardia Community College. I met some high school students who wanted to know how they could hand out leaflets as a service project. A vegetarian stopped to say I was doing a very good job. Gave Guides to an interested guy who really loves animals and to a newish vegetarian who was extremely happy to see what I was passing out, and got a menu from a vegetarian whose friend just opened up a fast-food vegan restaurant in Harlem. I also met a student who took a bunch of leaflets for his classmates because his environmental ethics class is currently talking about factory farming.
—Lisa Drapkin, 10/1/13

Take rate was somewhere in the 99% range at Miami Dade College’s Homestead campus, without a single throw down. Many students stopped to talk; the questions included “humane” labeled meat, dietary preferences of blood types, protein, and Arian Foster. Two students ending up interested in volunteering (both got Guides and promised to visit the AAC site). At different times, students approached me skeptically, asking if the point was they had to go 100% vegan; all were surprised and showed renewed curiosity when I suggested that just beginning by eliminating poultry was an entirely respectable place to start. All left vowing to read the leaflets and give it a try. Met a vegan faculty member very happy to see me there. On her way back later, she stopped again saying how great she thought VO was.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 10/2/13

Three schools and 900 students in Erie, including Mercyhurst U, a never-before-leafleted school! At Penn State Erie, I met Bri [below, center], who was happy to see me passing out leaflets because she had just gone vegetarian. I was sure to give her a Guide and thanked her for her compassionate new choice.
     Great day at SUNY Fredonia! Curry [below, left] told me that she was vegetarian and interested in veganism and activism; gave her a copy of A Meaningful Life. I also met Harry [below, right], another veg student here who was also curious about veganism and getting involved as an advocate for animals. It’s always a pleasure talking to veg students but it’s SUPER AWESOME hearing from students looking to get engaged in activism!
—Chris Guinn, 10/1/13

Curry at SUNY Fredonia Bri at Penn State Erie Harry at SUNY Fredonia

Rob, Amanda, Sara Beth, James, and I had a great day of outreach at NC PrideFest in Durham! Met the executive director of nutrition at Durham Public Schools, who wants to implement Meatless Monday in the school system (yay!), and a chef who wanted a recipe for vegan sausage (provided) because so many students are veg (double yay!). Also gathered pages of email pledges from people wanting to try meat-free one day a week to start.
—Eleni Vlachos, 9/28/13

Below are two of Eleni’s photos from NC PrideFest – the man went vegan two years ago and lost 150 lbs! More pics here.
Compassion fans at NC PrideFest Vegan at NC PrideFest

Despite the steady drizzle at Bethune-Cookman University, I beat the record by quite a lot, and reached over 25% of the student population. Great interactions, including folks who committed to give vegetarianism a try again after struggling with it previously. Others promised to reduce their animal product consumption. Highlight of the day was a student pledging to go vegan!
     Since even heavier rain was forecast, I also hit the University of North Florida for a few hours. Lots of positive feedback, and gave a bunch of Guides to students and staff / faculty who had already gotten a Compassionate Choices and wanted more info.
     Although it rained the entire time and I looked ridiculous totally drenched, I still had a high take rate at Armstrong Atlantic State University. A number of students who were thrilled to get a booklet, and some pledged to reduce their consumption. Then I set a new record at Savannah State. Highlights included different conversations with lapsed vegetarians who wanted to go vegetarian again, or students who wanted to go veg*n but were having trouble. We talked about starting again by going veg*n a few days a week and building up to more days as well as asking for more veg options in the dining halls (the ones they have are tasty) and setting a goal to be totally vegetarian or vegan when they are no longer on a meal plan. They all loved this idea.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 9/25/13

Student at NMSU

Lauren and I reached nearly 1,900 students at Arizona State – a great day for a Friday. One guy came up to me and said, “This is crazy.” He was amazed that we do this to animals. I gave him a Guide. Met other people interested in getting involved, too.
     A dude said, “I have chickens in my backyard. I like them.” I said, “That’s good.” He said, “And they’re tasty.” I smiled and said, “Meat is tasty. I’m not saying it’s not.” And that led into a decent chat about how there are other good tastes that come through vegan foods, that animal suffering mattered, etc. I’m glad that I just responded to his comments in a fact-based manner, as opposed to getting offended and moralizing everything.
     We reached 1,800 students at New Mexico State. Good interactions, and watched many reading the booklet [one at right]. Samantha, a mom who, along with her husband and two children, recently watched some documentaries on veganism, has been transitioning more and more towards a wholly vegan diet, with her 11-year-old son leading the way. She was really interested in what I ate, nutritional concerns I might have, etc. We had a fruitful discussion and she got a Guide. Damon, a guy who teaches rhetoric, really liked the opening pages of Compassionate Choices – he raved about how good they look. I also chatted with Laura. She went veg four months ago, had tried vegan, but it didn’t work for her. We talked about ways to transition towards this and harm reduction in the meantime – that, say, reducing egg consumption would do more good than reducing her consumption of cookies with a trace amount of animal products in them.
—Jon Camp, 10/1/13

 

Dave and Mario at RHC
Gabby and Jennifer at CSULA
Angelica and Katy at CSULA

VO is the only organization I support. Why? VO aims to stop the most animal suffering. VO gets me the most bang for my buck. VO concentrates on the young, who still can be persuaded to change. VO does not push political or ideological views. [VO’s writings are] sincere, smart, dedicated, focused, persuasive and honest.
—JN

Deep gratitude to Yvonne for joining me at Rio Hondo College! Watched loads of students reading their booklets cover to cover. One student said, “This is a sign!” Dave and Mario [right] said, “Wow, this is crazy,” as they had just seen Earthlings in class! They got Guides and encouragement.
     At UC Riverside, I met Julianna [below, center], who went vegan after getting VO’s booklet last semester. Also met Anya [below, left], who quit eating chicken and almost all other meat since getting VO’s booklet last semester!
     Back with Yvonne again at Cal State Los Angeles – beautiful to watch as we reached 3,150 students! Met Gabby and Jennifer [right], nutrition and nursing majors. They had an hour-long discussion about health and factory farming and veg eating after getting booklets earlier. The three of us had a solid convo, and both were interested in going veg. Later met Angelica and Katy [right]; Angelica want to go vegan and is interested in volunteering with VO in the future. Her friend asked for a Guide also, and is interested in veg substitutes for meat. Then met Mariana [below, right], who read a booklet in class and wants to go vegetarian; she got a Guide and encouragement. Lastly, met an animal lover, Maria, who already volunteers for animals and is very interested in vegan eating; her friend requested a Guide as well.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/30/13

Anya at UCR Julianna at UCR Mariana at CSULA

Dawn Ratcliffe, Philip Woods, Lyric Antio, Cathy Anderson, and I reached over 4,100 students at Central Piedmont Community College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Awesome feedback, too. For example, two girls read the booklet and yelled, “IS THIS REALLY HOW THEY TREAT THE CHICKENS? I LOVE CHICKENS!” and swore they’d stop eating chicken forever. Another student passed me and said, “I got one of those this morning and read it. I’m going vegetarian.”
—Andrea Gunn, 9/26/13

Cheyenne Huaracca at NAU

At Texas Tech, Lauren and I extended our record-breaking streak to 12 schools in a row, reaching over 2,200 students. One guy said he was in the meat industry, so I told him we promoted more vegetarian eating as a way to reduce the suffering that animals endure on farms. I said that we didn’t think farmers were intentionally cruel to animals, but the practices inflicted on animals for the sake of efficiency did cause suffering to animals. He mulled things over, then left.

Vegan student at NAU

     Thanks so much to Tamara for organizing the troops at the University of New Mexico – we reached a total of 3,000 students! A young woman told Lauren that she received a booklet last year on campus and has been veg since. Also met someone who wanted to donate, and another who wanted to get involved locally.
     Cheyenne [Huaracca, above] leafleted for the first time with me and Lauren at Northern Arizona University, and did a great job! NAU students are great – I heard many, many “I love animals!” One jockish looking dude went by on crutches, then said, “Wait: Did you say animals?” hobbled back, and got a booklet. One guy said, “I read that. It’s very informative.” Once again, Lauren heard from a young woman [right] who got a booklet a year ago (from John, Matt, or Anne) and stopped eating animals as a result.
—Jon Camp, 9/26/13

Today at McGill University, Lara [Mackenzie, below] joined me. She had never leafleted before but did an awesome job, reaching 600 students! And I just learned that she had been in the latest Miss Universe Canada pageant. In her pageant bio, she talks about advocating for animals and encouraging a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle! Yay, Lara! Even though leafleting is always a bit tough at McGill because of a low take rate, it does seem to be getting better – people stopped to ask questions.
—Lana Smithson, 9/27/13

Lara MacKenzie at McGill U

Watched many students reading booklets at Barry University. Met four vegetarians, plus two high-fiving vegans, all so enthusiastic when seeing me. Discussions going on around me were promising, too: many telling their friends how horrible factory farming treatment was. Twice I heard students commit themselves to going vegetarian. Very happy I made the extra effort to make it out today!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 9/30/13

Brenda, Tina, Nancy, Lynn, Sidney, and I quickly reached 300 University of Colorado students during our lunch hour. All of us are women in our 40s and 50s and and it was the first time leafleting for Tina and Nancy. Everyone said they want to do it again!
—Lisa Shapiro, 9/24/13

Nick at Cal U Melissa at Cal U Kristen at Cal U

Such a great day at California University of Pennsylvania – set a new one-person record! Early in the day I met Nick [above, left], who had reservations about going veg because of health concerns. So I reassured him that eating veg can be super healthy and gave him a Guide – he was very receptive and enthused. After he walked away, he jogged back over to me to grab an Even If You Like Meat for his roommate. I also met Melissa [above, center], who now wants to go vegan; I told her I was confident she’d make an awesome vegan! Kristen [above, right] is also looking to go vegan now – she recognized our work from the Vans Warped Tour. She thought it was awesome that VO does so much outreach. I made sure she left our conversation feeling confident about making the change!

Shannon at Cal U Idéa at Cal U

     Cassandra [below, center] said she was interested in vegetarianism so I gave her a Guide and told her to check it out after class. Savannah [below, left] told me she wants to start eating less meat, so I gave her a Guide; she was excited to learn about some veg alternatives! Shannon and Idéa [right] were already vegan, but Idéa’s friend was interested in vegetarian eating so I gave her a Guide! Lastly I spoke with Tyler [below, right], who told me that since receiving a booklet from Jon Camp last semester, he has drastically reduced his meat consumption! Tyler said that he was concerned about getting enough protein through his college meal plan, so I assured him that this was totally doable and gave him a Guide.

Savannah at Cal U Cassandra at Cal U Tyler at Cal U

     Excellent day at Slippery Rock U, especially for a Friday! I reached 1,100 students. I met three different students – Liz [top of page], Taylor, and Robin [below] – who were each appalled by what they saw in our Even If You Like Meat booklet, and expressed an interest in going vegetarian. They each got a Guide, and I took time to speak with each of them about how to get into veg eating in a way that’s healthy and would stick. They were enthused!
—Chris Guinn (below, with Taylor and Robin at SRU), 9/27/13

Chris Guinn with Taylor and Robin at SRU

Great take rate at the Bite of Las Vegas food and music festival tonite – reached 1,000 people in just 90 minutes. Many people said, “Awwww” or “Cute!” after receiving Compassionate Choices and looking at the cover. I got a couple woo-hoos and yeahs from people who said they’re vegan or they love Vegan Outreach. One woman came back to me and said she received a booklet 3 years ago and went vegetarian as a result. She’s still vegetarian and just wanted me to know that what I was doing was working. As usual, a great leafleting experience.
—Elaine Vigneault, 9/28/13

Rosie made her leafleting debut yesterday at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She watched for about five minutes, and went to a different spot and handed out all of her booklets in about 40 minutes. She was surprised so many students thanked her and really seemed interested, some stopping to talk. She went off to class very excited! Wyley made his debut in the afternoon. I leafleted Wyley a year ago, and introduced him and a bunch of students to each other – they are now very active in the UConn Veg Huskies. Wyley laughed at how I was buzzing and spinning, running backwards for the skateboard and bicycle pass offs, and having fun. He said, “You’ve heard of the angry vegan? Well, you let people know that you are fun, believe in what you are doing, and are full of energy!” Had 15 bicycle, skateboard, and motor scooter pass offs, and many excellent conversations! And 12 more students gave me their names for the Veg Huskies!
     Ashley remembered when I leafleted her last year – she went vegan! Michael stopped by to say that he also received a booklet from me last year, cut back and is now working to go entirely veg. He got a Guide and also joined the Veg Huskies! All together, met about 20 vegetarians and 12 vegans! Change is happening folks!
     Today at UConn, West Hartford, one student said, “I got one yesterday at Storrs.” I asked if it made a difference. She said, “Definitely, I am now going vegetarian!” More students want to form a group on this campus, so I collected emails. One of them, Jaida, came out of the school after reading the CC, and said, “What can I do? This is so disturbing. I didn’t know it was like this.” I thanked her for her compassion. She said she had no idea that there was so much cruelty involved in producing animal products, and that there was a lot to learn. I gave her a Guide. She said she really wants to do more, and will start with changing her diet, and wants to leaflet with me next semester! Proof we change lives!
—Karen James, 9/25/13

 

I am a recurring donor because I realize that the greatest amount of suffering in the world is the suffering of the animals who are destined to be slaughtered for food, whose lives are accorded no value except as they can be used for human ends and purposes. That is huge and just so wrong. I want to help and am grateful for the opportunity to support your efforts. I feel I am a small part of the change I would like to see in the world.
—JH

Jon Camp at OSU
Jessy at OSU

Lauren and I had an action-packed day at Oklahoma State. We extended our record-breaking streak to 10 days, rocking out the biggest day of leafleting in Oklahoma history. Good conversations, too. For example, Jessy [left] received a VO booklet from us last school year and has been veg since! Lauren met a young woman interested in going veg and eventually vegan. Lauren helped push her further along that path. There were two separate incidents where I offered a Guide to a student and another one overheard this and basically said, “I’m also veg and would like a Guide too!”
—Jon Camp (above, leafleting OSU), 9/20/13

Leslie, Kimberly, and I shattered the record at Bowie State! Timmi jumped for joy when I gave her a booklet: “I’m going vegetarian soon!” There was a stray kitten on campus with an eye infection (kitten now being cared for). Leslie overheard some students talking about the kitten. One of them said, “[The VO leafleters] made us realize that it’s okay to care [about animals].” Cool stuff.
     Today at Hagerstown Community College, LaTraya came to chat after getting a booklet. She told me that she can’t stand the way animals are treated and asked how she can help. We ended up having a great conversation about the similarities between different prejudices towards humans and the prejudice towards animals. Now she wants to go veg! She even requested extra booklets for her friends and is going to show her mom!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/26/13

The students at De Anza College were friendly and the take rate was high – I handed out all my booklets in a few hours. Gave Guides to interested people, and one to a new vegan for her brother. I also met a woman who thanked me for being there and asked for information about volunteering with VO.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 9/24/13

Carmen at CMU
Patrick at CMU
Dutch at Pitt

Nearly got the record at the College of Marin. Had very useful conversations. E.g., a student who said she was vegan for two weeks, then she gave up. Another student had been vegan for two years before giving up. The Guides will help them!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/23/13

Good day at Oxnard College and Channel Islands High. A number of students said, “Awesome” or “Cool” or “I love animals.” A physiology professor told me he uses his lecture on digestion to segue into the film Earthlings and his students are required to watch it. Wow. I noticed a sign for Vegetarian Awareness Day at Oxnard College with vegan food! A student got a Compassionate Choices and later flagged me down to say, “Now I don’t want to eat chicken anymore.” She was happy to get a Guide. A guy said the booklet made him want to go vegan; he also got a Guide.
—Barbara Bear, 9/26/13

At Carnegie Mellon University, Carmen [above, right] was in awe of our lit. She asked me if the images were real. When I told her yes, she asked if this was happening here (i.e., in the United States), again I told her yes. She was shocked that this cruelty was happening every day in her own backyard (so to speak). I could tell she was moved at learning this all, she clearly knew nothing of factory farming before seeing our leaflet. We spoke for several minutes about the cruel practices used on factory farms. I gave her a Guide because she wanted to know about what to eat. I also spoke with Patrick [right], a student who took a leaflet on his way to class, and stopped to chat with me on his way back after class. He was interested in vegan bodybuilding after seeing vegan bodybuilder extraordinaire Robert Cheeke in the booklet. He said that he understands that the cruelty is wrong, but he’s big into his health and fitness so he wanted to learn more about veg sources of protein and such. He told me that he lifts weights, to which I replied that I do as well. We spoke about where vegan athletes get their protein, and I directed him to VeganBodybuilding.com, which has a ton of information for vegans who lift.
     At the University of Pittsburgh, I was able to get out 1,450 leaflets! My day started on a good note when a professor gave me a literal pat on the back when she saw what I was passing out. From there I met several vegan students who were also pleased to see VO on campus. Dutch [right], who recognized the band Xibalba’s name on my beanie, approached me to chitchat about hardcore. After talking for a minute, I said, “You’ve gotta check out this information I’m passing out,” and to my surprise, he told me he was already vegan – very cool! He was pumped I was leafleting his school. I also met vegans Chelsea, Kinley, and Jackie [below].
—Chris Guinn, 9/23/13

Chelsea at Pitt Kinley at Pitt Jackie at Pitt

Chris took vacation time to join me at Oakton Community College. We heard from students who wanted to know what they can do to help the animals. Some said the booklet was sad, and one told me it made her go vegan for six months last time she received it, though she had gone back to eating meat sometimes. Another told me it made him change what he got for lunch.
—Leslie Patterson, 9/25/13

Student at Worcester State
Karen James sends this pic of a student reading Compassionate Choices at Worcester State.

Set a new record at Worcester State and met many vegetarians and vegans. Eight students shared their emails to start a group. I had many, many other amazing conversations. One professor stopped by to ask questions, also told me who could be faculty advisor for a campus group. A food service worker came by and took both a Compassionate Choices and a Guide.
     Very windy and cold at the University of Hartford, but a very satisfying day. Dani joined me for the first time, and did great! We reached over 1,100 students. Met 20+ vegetarians and vegans; and 17 students gave their emails for a campus group. Many good conversations and a lot of people stopped by to ask questions. For example, a guy stopped to ask about bodybuilding; I referred him to VeganBodybuilding.com.
—Karen James, 9/23/13

At Georgia State, Matt met a student who insisted that he needed to eat meat because of the taste and protein. Matt told him the animals are hung upside down and their throats are slit – the only way to stop this horrific slaughter is by eliminating meat – with each meal he has the power to save a life. He agreed and said, “Never thought of it like that! Please give me a booklet and I will read it tonight.” A girl told me that she has been thinking about going veg. She asked me if it is hard. I said I love being vegan!! It is very easy. I took down her info and told her I will help her in any way I can.
—Mukang Pederson, 9/18/13

Rachel Shippee and Team Jungenberg at UW Stout
Jamie Jungenberg, John Jungenberg, Rachel Shippee, and Mary Jungenberg provide a voice for the animals at UW Stout.

Despite the bad weather, CAA and I reached nearly 3,000 students at the University of Minnesota. I met a woman who loved the booklet and wanted more to hand out at the clinic there. Met Tony, who had been veg for 6 months and gave up. After I gave him a Guide and we chatted for a bit, he helped me leaflet. He really enjoyed it!
     Mike joined me at the University of St. Thomas, where we reached nearly 1,200 students! They were paving the street in front of me and I actually had a worker jump off a moving steamroller to get a leaflet! Then at Bethel University, every single person accepted a booklet!
     Today, Team Jungenberg [right] joined me, and we dominated the University of Wisconsin, Stout. John ran into a woman who received a booklet a few years ago and in return has reduced her meat consumption; he gave her a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/26/13

The students at Appalachian State were all SUPER friendly and receptive. I met 10 vegetarians and 6 vegans, 2 of whom changed their diet from receiving a VO booklet last year! Three people said no to a booklet at first, but then came back and asked for one later. Two students who read the booklet that day told me they were very affected by it and intended to change their diets.
—Andrea Gunn, 9/25/13

Lisa at CSUSB Erica at CSUSB Student at CSUSB
Students at CSUSB

At Cal State San Bernardino, I met Cheyenne [top of page], who now wants to go veg. She joined me to leaflet, too! Many other great interactions! Had a long conversation with Lisa [above, left], who now wants to move to vegan! Another student told me getting a VO booklet in the past is why she went veg. Another woman [above, right] came back and told me she was really considering these issues, and asked for more booklets to show friends. I saw many reading cover to cover. One student said, “Finally I get handed something I really care about!” Heard others say, “This is terrible,” and discuss it with friends. Snapped a pic of a fraternity brother showing Compassionate Choices to a friend [right] – then gave him a Guide and had a brief convo. Met Erica [above, center], who loves animals and is now open to adding more veg meals. Also met a professor who told me how horrible animal experiments on campus are. I agreed and then pointed out that 98 or 99 percent of animals who suffer similar horror are the ones raised for food. She told me how much she loved animals, followed by, “I should probably go vegetarian.” Bingo! Great day!

Laura and Jenny at GWC Marlene at GWC
Melissa MacDonald at GWC

     Melissa [MacDonald, right] joined me at Orange Coast College and Golden West College, where we had numerous conversations and watched a bunch of students reading their booklets. First we met Marlene [above, right], a psychology student and professed animal lover who is now interested in eating fewer animal products. Then Laura and Jenny [above, left]: Jenny had gotten a VO booklet in the past and had started to eat less meat. We had a beautiful conversation, and Laura also asked for a Guide. Heather [below, right] had received a booklet last year and ate vegan for four months, then started to eat some eggs and fish. After our talk and getting a Guide, she is committed to not harming animals. Melissa had a productive 20-minute convo with an inquisitive professor who had many questions. Then I met a near-vegetarian who was thrilled to get a Guide; I think she’ll go fully vegan. Talked with Matt [below, left], an environmental sciences major. He was so open to the beautiful world of compassionate living and eating, he really made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/24/13

Matt at GWC Heather at GWC

 

John at UDC
Arniella at UDC

I support Vegan Outreach because I want to help create a truly different world.
     I’m aware of factory-farm horrors and the plethora of other ways people cause harm to our precious animals. It keeps me awake at night, and steals my attention during my commute to and from work – I think to myself that there is cruelty, mistreatment, and various forms of abuse occurring somewhere at this very moment, and it leaves me feeling helpless and terribly saddened. By donating to your wonderful outreach program, a small portion of the indirect pain that I experience subsides. Furthermore, reading the newsletter and seeing the results of the work fuels a personal fire for me to help in a more significant way. What you do helps me believe in my dreams for a new, kinder, loving world.
—JF

I just read your brochure Compassionate Choices, and I’m so happy I did. I’m vegetarian now and I know I’m never going back, because of this booklet!
—CC, 10/29/13

For such a small school, I met a bunch of vegetarians and vegans at the University of DC! It was fabulous – and great interactions! I handed John [above] a booklet, and he stopped and said: “Oh, thanks! This is actually one of the reasons why I’m vegetarian now.” He had received a booklet last year and dropped animal flesh. He is now working towards ditching dairy. VICTORY! Arniella [right] said I couldn’t have come at a better time in her life – she’s now planning on going vegan! Also gave Guides to current vegetarians and people interested.
     Met a number of vegetarians and vegans at American U, and many positive and grateful students eager for booklets. I watched students stop in their tracks and open the booklets – right in the middle of pedestrian traffic! Powerful.
—Kassy Ortega, 9/19/13

Lauren and I extended our record-breaking streak to seven at Austin Peay State – Megan [Holland, below] joined us, and together we reached 1,350 students. Had good conversations, including Consuela, who is now inspired to try more vegan eating. My day ended on a nice note with a Facebook message from a Penn State student who came to one of my talks there in the spring, liked my approach of taking it at your own pace, and now eats meat only every few weeks. We never know when we’re going to have an influence on others; we just have to continue reaching out to people where they are, and doing it repeatedly.

Megan Holland at APSU

     We rolled into rural Kentucky and extended our streak to eight consecutive days at Murray State, reaching over 1,550 students. Highlight was two happy, singing young women. When they saw what I was giving out, and said, “We’re vegetarians!” I told them that I appreciated their enthusiasm and gave them both Guides – they were thrilled.
—Jon Camp, 9/18/13

Sen and I had an epic day at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Despite the rain, we met with very receptive students and vegetarians (who got Guides). At Hamline University, I met Leera, who wants to leaflet. One girl yelled back to me, “Thanks for doing this!” One of my favorite responses was, “I don’t eat meat, I eat MorningStar!” Talked to a really nice guy who used to be veg and is disgusted by the cruelties; he got a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/18/13

Jeremy at Clarion U Kate at Clarion U Rachel at Clarion U

Great interactions at Clarion University. Jeremy [above, left] and Alexis were both very supportive of our message and told me they’re considering eating veg after reading our booklet, so I was sure to get them each a Guide. I encountered a failed vegetarian who said that going veg made her gain weight. I gave her a Guide and told her it was “healthy veg eating 101.” I said, “Promise me you’ll read it!” as she ran to class. Kate [above, center] approached me from across the street to inquire about our lit; I also gave her a Guide. Rachel [above, right] is interested in volunteering; I gave her my email, so hopefully we’ll have another young activist on our side! Very rewarding day.

JD at IUP Student at IUP Stic.Man fan at IUP

     Today was an awesome day of outreach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania – I reached 1,750 students and staff, and had great conversations! JD [above, left] was psyched to see me on campus. Another student [above, center] approached and asked me to explain what our lit was all about. We had a really nice conversation about how cruel animal agriculture is and how easy it is to make compassionate choices. He was very perceptive and happy to take a Guide. Another student [above, right] recognized my T-shirt and we talked hip-hop for a minute. I told him he should delve deeper into Dead Prez’s catalogue to learn why Stic chooses to live a healthy vegan lifestyle. It was a cool connection to make! I even had an IUP professor stop to chat with me; he was also pleased that I was presenting students with this information. He was a pescatarian, so I spoke briefly with him about the cruelty of farmed fish and told him about other non-animal sources of protein. He was happy to take a Guide! All in all a very good day of outreach, really feeling that positive energy!
—Chris Guinn, 9/19/13

Student at UTA
Ethan Dussault snapped this UTA student engrossed in reading Compassionate Choices.

Reached 1,200 students at the University of New Hampshire. A biochemistry professor doubled back to chat after getting a booklet. At the end of the day, I offered CVA booklets to some religious people on campus. Two accepted, but another was very belligerent. A student who saw how the guy treated me said, “I’ll take one of your booklets.”
—Lana Smithson, 9/18/13

Highlights of the day at Miami Dade’s Wolfson campus were groups of culinary school students, with nearly all 30 taking a leaflet. One came back to talk and asked for more info.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 9/17/13

Tremendous day at Sonoma State! Lisa joined me, and we handed a booklet to nearly 2,000 individuals – almost a quarter of the entire student body! So busy I didn’t have time for conversations, but great reception.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/19/13

Team MFA was excited to be able to leaflet the students at Roosevelt HS, getting them talking about the message in Compassionate Choices. We reached a huge number in just a short time – an amazing day of outreach!
     Today, we reached 1,800 students at Roosevelt U, despite the rain. One woman said she was on the verge of completely adopting a plant-based diet, so I gave her a Guide. She said this will definitely help her on her journey and thanked us for being out in the rain! Another man stopped to talk because his daughter in high school recently became a vegan. He wanted more information on why one would adopt such a diet. After I explained to him the suffering these animals go through, and that we have plant-based options for all of our favorite foods now, he understood more. Hopefully his daughter and our conversation inspired him to make more compassionate decisions in his own life as well! So happy about the positive interactions today!
—Becki Markle, 9/19/13

Jennifer Greene at NCC

At Holyoke Community College, five students gave me their email info to form a group and/or help leaflet. Jose got a Guide and is going to try going vegan. Alex accepted a booklet and asked other people near me to take them, too. After class, he came back to say that he is now nearly vegan. At Westfield State, Maurice [below, left] asked me to do an interview with the campus radio station, and Matt asked me to come speak with his spirituality group!

Maurice at Westfield State

     Jennifer [Greene, above], Ann, Jana, AnneMarie, Lauren, and I reached nearly 2,500 students at Nassau Community College. It was a sweltering day, and I nearly passed out in the heat! Glad I didn’t, because it was so productive. I met so many wonderful vegans and vegetarians, and so did the others! Mary read the booklet and came back to discuss how to help. She’s going to start by going veg; got a Guide. A student said she received a booklet from me last semester and went vegetarian. Many students came over to ask for a leaflet when they saw us handing them out. One unhappy-looking dude rushed past and called back over his shoulder, “I work on a farm, and you guys are ruining it for me.” Nick said he wanted to eat more meat-free meals. Jennifer pointed out the meal ideas on page 12 of Compassionate Choices, and gave him a Guide. Another student said he’d been vegan for six months and would like to get back to that. He got Guided, too.

Karen James at NCC

     Emily [top of page] received a VO booklet last year, and is almost vegetarian as a result. Her 10-year-old sister read it and went vegetarian immediately! They are now working on their mom, dad, and 7-year-old brother! I like that chain reaction!
     At the very end, one of Jennifer’s last leaflets went to Agada, who gave her a hug and said she’d been thinking she ought to go vegan. She was so excited and grateful to have met Jenn, it was the perfect way to finish the day. Or so she thought… because as Jennifer was going to her car, a student spotted her Kare-n-Wear vegan shirt and said loudly, “I’m vegan, too!” Jenn almost thought he was just clowning around to make his friends laugh, but no, he wasn’t kidding – he stopped to talk and was thrilled to give his email address to be in touch.
—Karen James (right), 9/16/13

 

Cyrus  at LHU
Heather at LHU

Chicago’s MFA team had another awesome day of outreach at the University of Illinois, Chicago, handing 1,400 Compassionate Choices to a diverse range of college students. What’s so fantastic about leafleting to students is how receptive and open-minded they are. Not only are they more likely to accept pro-veg lit, but they graciously accept with smiles on their faces. Most were excited to be receiving something that would help them on their journeys to becoming more educated, conscientious consumers. We also had the pleasure of running into a multitude of vegetarians and vegans who said they would share their Compassionate Choices booklet with their non-veg friends. John from FARM also joined team MFA today to help educate students on the ills of factory farming. Without MFA’s compassionate volunteers, we wouldn’t have had such a successful and positive day of outreach!
—Becki Markle, 9/13/13

Today was a really strong day of outreach at Lock Haven University! Set a new record and got to chat with some really cool students! Cyrus [above] was a friendly vegetarian, happy I was on tour hitting so many schools! Heather [right] said she went vegetarian in February, so I asked her if she’d ever considered a vegan lifestyle. It was a very positive interaction and I’m confident that the next time we hit Lock Haven she’ll be doing well as a vegan! Gave Guides to two young women [below, left] horrified by the images in the Even If You Like Meat booklet. At first, they told me that despite considering going vegetarian in the past, they thought the dietary change wouldn’t make any change in terms of the animals involved. I explained that as consumer demand drops, more and more animals will be spared lives of cruelty, to which they responded that they hadn’t really considered that. From there, they asked other questions; I ended by suggesting they try to eat veg a few days each week to get started – they seemed enthusiastic! Also met two vegetarian students [below, right] outside the dining hall who were happy to see me on campus leafleting. A very positive day out here!
—Chris Guinn, 9/17/13

Students at LHU Vegetarians at LHU

Lots of thank yous and positive comments at Hudson Valley Community College. One student in particular had trouble expressing himself because of a language barrier, but he seemed awed and really grateful that someone would be passing out lit promoting compassion. He finally blurted out, “I’m vegan!” and before walking on, “It is good you are doing this.” The look in his eyes will stay with me for a long time.
—Laura Hart, 9/17/13

Jessica Abbate and Melisa at Farmingdale State

Fabulous day at Farmingdale State College! So many great interactions! Joey walked by, held up his booklet and said that his girlfriend got a VO booklet from me last year, and she is now vegan! And he almost is!
     Shannon came back after reading the Compassionate Choices and wanted to know what she could do. We talked for a while, and she said she was going to start by cutting her consumption of animal products in half.
     Philip said the booklet was full of good information, and he is going to do Meatless Mondays.
     John came back and said sadly he couldn’t read the booklet anymore. I gave him a Guide and asked, “Perhaps you can help end some of this suffering?” He replied, “I will cut down. I want to end suffering.”
     Another student said she had been vegetarian since this summer’s Warped Tour. I gave her a Guide, and now she’s going to try vegan!
     I leafleted Jessica [Abbate, right] earlier in the day. She later came back to help leaflet, and returned later with Melisa [far right], who also wants to leaflet!
—Karen James, 9/12/13

Been a while since I got out from behind the computer and onto the street, so it felt great to join Team MFA at DePaul University. It was also Jessie’s first time leafleting. Thanks to some training from Becki and lots of online reading, she did great and got more and more comfortable as the event went on. By the end she was “pumped for next time.” Big thanks to Stephanie and Alan, too!
—Mikael Nielsen, 9/18/13

Kim Moffatt, Jessica Silva, Sarah De Munck, and Kassy Ortega at UMD
Above (clockwise from top left) are Kim Moffatt, Jessica Silva, Sarah De Munck, and Kassy Ortega with the Jim Henson statue at UMD.

This Friday the 13th was an extra special day for Kim and Jessica. Why? It was their very first time leafleting! Jessica was inspired by Vic at AR2013 to give it a shot. She was hesitant at first and watched Sarah and me. Then Jessica and Kim took that first step forward and asked, “Help animals?” The four of us [left] reached more than 3,000 students at the University of Maryland, College Park!
     Heard from many vegetarians and vegans on this campus. Kim could only join us for an hour, but she plans on leafleting at Bowie with me on Friday! Jessica also plans on leafleting again. She told me that it’s really exhilarating, and she feels like she is really making a difference for animals.
     And I forgot to say that at Towson University, Leslie met a student who has been vegan ever since Leslie handed her a booklet last February!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/13/13

Alan, a retired cop, joined me at Villanova University, and he was so amazing! So happy we were there – reached 1,000 students! At Bryn Mawr, a great take-rate! About 98% of people accepted a booklet and seemed genuinely interested! Met a ton of vegetarians, and I grabbed all of their email addresses and emailed them about our work. One of them now is applying for an internship with The Humane League! So excited!
—Rachel Atcheson, 9/18/13

Ackles at PCC Chris at PCC Beth at PCC
Students with Yvonne LeGrice at PCC

Despite the melting heat, Yvonne [LeGrice, in background at right] and I reached over 2,150 students at Pasadena City College. Met Ackles [above left], who now wants to go veg. Also had a good conversation with Chris [above, center], who is very interested in eating veg. Another Guide went to Beth [above, right], who is also very interested in helping animals.
     Today at Chaffey College, I spoke for a solid hour with a class full of interested students – very happy to see these kids light up. Several made it clear they were interested in veg eating. Another said that he had made fun of his sister for going vegan and thought it was weird but now feels dumb for mocking her, and was very kind.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/18/13

Ross, Jenny, and Laila joined me for a quick leafleting at the University of Toronto. Heard from a student who started off declaring how much he liked meat and would hunt if possible, but ended up saying he is already eating several vegan meals a week and would probably go vegan one day.
—Alex Greenwood, 9/16/13

Rachel Golusinski at Marquette

Pretty great day at Marquette University. Heard from a few vegetarians and vegans, and a few people stopped to see what organization I was with. Thankfully, Rachel [Golusinski, above] was able to join me for a few class changes, and we reached more than 1,700 students – a new one-day record!
     Today was a very positive and inspiring day at Winona State! I talked with a student who had just given a presentation on animal cruelty and was disgusted by factory farms. Met a man who thought the booklet was fantastic and that my being there was a great thing. A couple other people stopped to talk about the booklet and the organization. Finally, a young guy came over to shake my hand and tell me how amazing I was and that he admired my passion!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/16/13

Rebecca and Chris at LPC
Nikko at LPC

Reached 1,450 students at Contra Costa College, and had great conversations. One that started with “Will this make our bacon better?” turned into a very productive conversation about how it couldn’t ever be humane to kill a healthy animal! Definitely got those mental gears turning. Talked with another student who is now phasing out meat.
     Great conversations at Las Positas College. Chris [right, with Rebecca] had been thinking differently about animals since the death of a dog in the family. Then Nikko [below, right] stood nearby and read the entire booklet. He was immediately ready to make a change, so I gave him a Guide!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/17/13

Biggest day in Tennessee VO leafleting history – Lauren [Walker, below] and I reached 3,400 students at Middle Tennessee State. During a conversation with a young woman who said she didn’t think she could give up meat, Lauren covered how it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
     I had interactions that started off negative and turned out positive.
     One guy said that he didn’t want my “propaganda.” I told him we’re just detailing common agricultural practices. We want to be honest with people; we want them to see what animals really endure. He then asked for a booklet, sat down, read it for about ten minutes. When he left, I thanked him for reading it and told him to have a good day.
     Another dude said we’ve been eating meat for centuries and we’re not going to change that. I told him there is a certain percentage of individuals willing to consider this message, and that VO’s outreach is having an impact on them. We accept that there are individuals out there that we’re unable to change at this point. He ended by saying that eventually, with resource depletion and such, more and more people will be moving towards vegan eating.
     Lastly, a young woman walked by and said, “I’m an ag student, and I don’t agree with what you’re promoting.” I told her it’s understandable that an ag student wouldn’t agree with all the goals of a vegan advocate, but to have a nice day. She walked back a few minutes later to apologize for being rude. We had a really productive conversation for about five minutes, and it ended with us shaking hands, her wishing me luck with my work, and me telling her to have a good day.
     I’ve been guilty many times of responding to rudeness with sarcasm. It’s often tough not to. But I continue to see that it doesn’t pay off. Our first interactions matter, and they can lead to a bridge forever burned or the very modest beginnings of a long and fruitful discussion. Each person is a potential ally, even though that might not be apparent during our first interaction with them. The goal is to act in a manner that would make a second interaction possible.
—Jon Camp, 9/16/13    Full post here.

Lauren Walker at MTSU

 

The students at American River College were hungry for this information! I talked to more vegetarians and vegans than I could count, and lots of Guides went to people who have been trying to go vegan. One Guide went to a culinary student who talked about the rise of demand for vegan foods, and how she wants to be prepared to accommodate customers!

Rebecca at Shippensburg U

     Today was another fantastic day at Sacramento City College! The most memorable interaction was brief but powerful. On her way past, a student said she read the booklet in class and started crying. She didn’t stop to talk, but as she went past, she said, “Thank you…and not thank you, because now I can’t eat meat anymore.” It stuck with me because she was so genuine and her raw emotion came through so clearly. In three seconds she communicated volumes to me. It was one of the many small victories that make all of this hard work worthwhile!
—Steve Erlsten, 9/12/13

Pretty good day – reached 660 students at Shippensburg University, and 140 at Dickinson College. Met James who wanted to have someone give a presentation – I got his email and gave him some videos to show. Also met Rebecca [right], who told me that she had been eating a semi-veg flexitarian diet; we conversed a bit about transitioning to veg eating and I told her about some easy meals I make and was sure to get her a Guide too! She was compassionate and understood the cruelty of animal agriculture, I just had to reassure her that eating veg is easy!
—Chris Guinn, 9/12/13

The wondrous Chelsea and I continued our leafleting fun with a short day at Oakland University. Was crazy busy and the take rate was so good we could have reached twice as many people had we brought more booklets! One guy named Duncan said, “I’m vegetarian, please tell me what more I can do to spread the word.”
—John Oberg, 9/5/13

Shaunagh, Elizabeth, Kristin, Rachael, and I had a record day at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology! We all noted many more vegans and veggies out and about and stopping to tell us about it. Annie wanted to hear more about what we were doing and get involved. My favorite moment was right at the end when someone said, “I want one of those vegan books.” Another said, “Me too,” and a third stuck out her arm. It was like a feeding frenzy and I didn’t know which way was up!

Sam and April at U of L

     From Shaunagh: “One guy said he had already read the booklet and was trying to cut down his meat intake. I encouraged him, saying that every little bit helps. Another young man wondered if it would be possible to still be healthy and get all his dietary requirements on a vegan diet. I explained that yes, the Australian dietary guidelines have recently changed, saying that a vegan diet is perfectly healthy, and encouraged him to Google them for more info. Another guy looked pretty sceptical as he took a booklet. He said he’d met some arrogant vegans, and asked if it is appropriate for someone in a third-world country to be told to go vegan. I said I wasn’t leafleting in a third-world country, that I was completely aware of how privileged I am to be educated and to be able to afford meat alternatives at the supermarket. I said that for me, not being part of contributing to factory farming is a really good place to start, when often it’s hard to know how to make a difference in the world. He thanked me and shook my hand.”
     From Kristin: “8 people said they were already vegan. An older man read the book then came back to me to have a chat about it. He was a meat eater completely open to learning more. We also discussed the disconnect between the food we buy and where it comes from. He told me bacon doesn’t taste like it used to. I suggested that may be because he doesn’t want to be eating it anymore!”
—Chelsea Collins, 9/12/13

Tricia Lebkuecher and Jon Camp at Vanderbilt U

Lane Tech High School was my first time leafleting to high school students – the take rate was great! It was very exciting knowing that these malleable minds are so eager to accept new information and have the potential to be future change agents. Sydney, Alan, and I had a very rewarding day of outreach.
—Becki Markle, 9/5/13

It was great to have Sam and April of the Louisville Vegetarian Club join us at the University of Louisville [above] – they helped Lauren and me reach 2,355 students, continuing our string of records. Had good conversations with people upset about what they learned from the booklet, with questions about nutrition and fitness, and interest in what VO does. A good day!
     After two class changes at Belmont University, Lauren and I extended our record streak to five schools at Vanderbilt, where we were joined by two members of the local group. Met a number of interested students. Also had a productive discussion with a woman who was curious about people who have chickens kept in good conditions and eat their eggs. She also inquired about honey, noting that more honeybees are used in food pollination than for honey. I told her that I didn’t spend any of my advocacy time stressing over the gray issues, focusing on the black and white – the obvious forms of suffering. She said that this approach was different than her form of advocacy years ago, where there was more of a focus on making everything black and white. She said that her breed of advocacy had died out, saying, “Perhaps you’ve learned from us.”
—Jon Camp (above, right, at Vanderbilt U with VIVA member Tricia Lebkuecher), 9/13/13

Kassy Ortega at Towson U
Shakira at Towson U

Boom, baby! Kate, Sarah [below], Leslie, and I reached over 3,100 students at Towson University! Shakira [right] was very interested in the booklet and sharing everything she learns with her friends on social media. Also, an on-campus vegan bake sale!
—Kassy Ortega (above, at Towson U) 9/12/13

For day 5 of my Ohio vacation, we headed down to Cleveland State to vegucate the students there. Had a record day thanks to the super leafleting powers of Frances! Vacation total = 5 schools, 28 hours, 7,290 people reached!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/13/13

The rain didn’t seem to slow me down at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Higher take rate and more smiles than last time I was here. During a slow spell a student was envying my umbrella, so I walked him to the end of the path he was on and we chatted about his semester – didn’t plug the animals, but I countered the angry vegan stereotype, and he has a booklet to read.
—Laura Hart, 9/12/13

Good interactions at CUNY Baruch. I met a high school student who was vegetarian and really excited to hear about VO. Same goes for a student in the environmental club who is looking to do a program pertaining to vegetarianism. I met someone whose 14-year-old daughter has been vegan for three years and he said she would be thrilled to see the booklet. I also saw a student who I used to work with at my previous job – I had given him a leaflet about a year ago and he told me he still has it and since then has cut back on meat!
—Lisa Drapkin, 9/12/13

Below: Sarah De Munck provides Compassionate Choices at Towson University.
Sarah De Munck at Towson U
Student at UW Oshkosh

Reached almost 1,500 students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. One Guide went to a girl who used to be vegetarian and is looking to get back into it – hopefully she now has the encouragement to do so. Also gave a Guide to a girl who said the booklet was very sad and we talked about what she can do to reduce the suffering of animals. Watched one student who, after taking a booklet, walked ten feet, stopped and stood reading it, front to back [right].
—Rachel Shippee, 9/11/13

At the University of Toronto, I heard from someone who had been on and off vegetarian, and it was getting a VO booklet last year that got her back on track. She also took a Guide today.
—Alex Greenwood, 9/11/13

Matt at BC Frances at BC Pablo at BC
Students at BC

Solid day for the animals at Bakersfield College today! Lots of interactions; e.g., met Frances [above, center], a really kind student who wants to go veg, we had a productive convo. Also met Pablo [above, right], who had seen video online from social media and had some questions. We had a very productive talk and he is now interested in vegan eating. Met Matt [above, left], and we had a long and comprehensive discussion on animal suffering in factory farms. He seemed deeply interested in eating vegan and was very affable. I saw many reading booklets as they walked. For example: early on, I saw two students reading and walking, finally they stopped and had a discussion of these issues [right]. They were very sincere, saying what is done to animals is awful.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/11/13

 

Student at WSU
Above is one of the WSU students reached by Chelsea Collins (below) and John Oberg.

I was so stoked to be joined at Wayne State by Australia’s #1 leafleter, Chelsea Collins! Her enthusiasm for this work is undeniable, and we set the all-time one-day record for any school in the state of Michigan – 3,740 students were handed an Even If You Like Meat booklet, and 37 wanted Guides. The leafleting was great – super high take-rate and really positive reception from the students. We each heard things like “this is so sad” and “I love what you guys are doing, this is so cool.”
     Of course with most of this work we never get to hear about the results, but I do have this epic story to conclude with: My friend Stephanie Bay (a vegan I met at VegFest who helped leaflet the Warped date with us) texted me a day after we leafleted and let me know that one of her sorority sisters messaged her asking for advice about becoming vegan. She told her that she was inspired to try to go veg because somebody handed her a VO booklet on WSU’s campus! That “somebody” would be one of us – this work really does pay off!
—John Oberg, 9/4/13

Chelsea Collins at WSU

At Montgomery College, Helena found a booklet in the cafeteria and set off to find who was passing them out. Well, she found me! She was so happy that the school was being leafleted and wants to volunteer the next time I’m around. A really nice couple stopped and asked about our organization after they received booklets at the previous class change. They thanked VO for being there today and said it was a great cause! Vegans in the making right there.

Students at Montgomery College
Kassy sends this pic from Montgomery College: “Shocked to learn the horrors of factory farming! The student on the far right is already veg.”

     At George Washington University, Bo stopped to tell me that he was happy to get a booklet. He was vegetarian for a while until he read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. I asked him what about the book changed his mind on being vegetarian. He brought up the purity argument: that no matter how many animals we do not eat, human existence will never be able to never hurt animals in some way. In short, I explained to him the idea that being vegetarian or vegan is not about being pure or perfect, but about doing the best we can to hurt as few animals as we can. He seemed to click with the idea of non-purism. (It’s effective and brings about positive change? Go figure!) He promised to read the booklet again, and was happy to get a Guide!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/9/13

About a month ago, a student that I tutored was leaving to go home to Korea. Her last week in the US, we went to Portland and ate at Native Foods – her first meal in a vegan restaurant. She also got a vegan tour of Whole Foods. When she asked me if vegans eat honey, I explained the goal of reducing suffering rather than trying to achieve purity and how it applies to different situations, honey, restaurant meals, etc. She said, “I’m really happy to hear that because I was thinking that it’s too hard to be vegan.”
—Nettie Schwager, 9/9/13

Brock at UK

Lauren and I set a new record at Eastern Kentucky U – 2,200 students reached, and good conversations. For example, Andrew, an earnest and sweet dude who goes to EKU, let me know that he was straight-edge and has a lot of respect for vegans. We talked about how even cutting back on animal products was a huge step forward.
     Long hot day at the University of Kentucky, where Lauren and I set an all-time record for the state, reaching 3,600 students! My favorite interaction was with Brock [right]. He let me know that receiving a VO booklet on campus two years led to him going vegetarian. And then a year ago, on his one-year anniversary of going veg, he went vegan, which he’s been for a year now.
—Jon Camp (below, leafleting UK), 9/10/13

Jon Camp at UK

Reached nearly 2,000 students at Cal State Fullerton. A student [below, center] came back after class and now wants to go veg; got a Guide and some encouragement. Later met Amber [below, right], who wants to eat far less meat; also asked for a booklet and Guide to give to her bestie. Lastly, met Anita [below, left], who had been veg for two weeks a few years ago; after getting a booklet today, she was amped to give it another try. We spoke at length, and she took an extra booklet and Guide for her friend. Also had a convo with a very receptive amateur bodybuilder about vegan proteins.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/9/13

Anita at CSUF Student at CSUF Amber at CSUF

At CW Post, one student came back after reading the booklet to tell me that she agrees with the information a lot, and that she is cutting back a lot on eating meat. Rechelle [below, left] got a booklet from me last year, and went pescetarian, and then vegan two months ago! Then met Lauren and Ketan who started a campus group, and now want to go vegan! They all received a Guide. Six people gave me their emails, will introduce them and past emails to Lauren and Ketan. Of the 6, 4 said they want to leaflet!
     Great discussions at Hofstra U! I met Nipun [below, right], who started at Brandeis and got their cafeterias to go cage free! Met Ana who had been vegan, got a kidney stone, which her doctor said was from tofu, and she went back to eating meat. She really wants to go back to vegan, especially after reading the Compassionate Choices. Gave her Jack’s website and a Guide, and we talked a bit. She is going to try again. Siobhan was vegan, stopped, and is now motivated to being vegan again, too! Louis and I discussed cutting back more on meat, milk, and egg consumption; gave him a Guide. Finally, met Kelsy who said, “You gave me one of these at Norwalk Community College, and I went vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 9/10/13

Rechelle at LIU Post Nipun at Hofstra U

First day of my Ohio vacation started out cold and rainy. I was thrilled to meet up with Jen and Stefanie to destroy Bowling Green State. Jen [Black, below] runs an animal advocacy group in Toledo and was able to come for most of the day. Stefanie is the president of the campus group and was able to join us for a couple hours in between her classes. Students were super-receptive! A number asked about getting involved and I referred them to Stefanie. Students even came up to Jen to ask for leaflets! Talked to a few students who were working on going veg, and a couple who had tried but felt they needed meat, so gave them harm-reduction ideas. A professor was interested in using our lit for an ethics class.
     Second day of vacation was a dizzying 96 degrees at Kent State. Great questions, comments, and conversations. For example, one student told me that as a result of receiving a booklet, he and his whole family had gone vegan!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/10/13

Jen Black at BGSU

Good day at CUNY Brooklyn! I had a veg mom who wanted booklets to give to her daughter and her friends. I met a vegan from Florida who said she knew no one else here that was vegan and was really interested in getting involved to volunteer and to meet others! The best was when a girl took one, rolled it up, and hit her friend on the head with it while saying, “Yea! I’m vegetarian!”
—Lisa Drapkin, 9/10/13

Record day at Sacramento State, where I reached over 2,400 students. Great conversations, too. Jennifer is interested in getting involved for the animals. Another student is currently vegetarian and wants to go vegan, but her parents are deeply concerned. The Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating I gave her should help her go vegan while addressing her parents’ worries.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/6/13

Gina, Elaine Vigneault, and Niala Wesley at CSN

The Vegas Veg crew [Gina, Elaine Vigneault, and Niala Wesley, right] very quickly reached 1,000 students at the College of Southern Nevada. One guy was worried about building muscle on a plant diet but after hearing that there are vegan bodybuilders he gladly took a Guide to learn more about veg nutrition. A woman said she was proud of us and we were doing good work. A man came back and asked, “So chicken is out but why is turkey ok?” and so I explained that he was pointing to TOFUrky not turkey. He said, “Oh, I guess I should read this!”
—Elaine Vigneault, 9/9/13

I’ve been recovering from a bad sprain, so I was very happy to be able to get out there to leaflet again. By the way, when the sprain happened and the pain was intense, all I could think about was the pain endured by farmed animals and how they don’t get any help or comfort. My thoughts went to how they get the opposite; they get whipped, prodded, kicked, dragged, and then they lose their lives. Along with the physical pain, they are frightened and bewildered. I can’t even imagine what they endure. They are individuals, and the pain felt by each and every one of them matters – so we leaflet and speak up for them. Thank you, all!
     When offering the VO booklets at Southern Maine Community College, I heard comments such as, “I’m with you on this one,” “Cool,” “Sweet,” and “Thanks for doing this.” One young man said he plans to write a paper about the information. A young woman thought I was there because of a current animal cruelty news story, where two local female teenagers briefly microwaved a kitten (the kitten survived). Of course there is public outrage but, as we know, most of the people expressing outrage are happily eating cooked animals without giving them any thought. I was glad to have the opportunity to discuss compassion for all animals.
—Lana Smithson, 9/9/13

 

Amy at COC

Your book [The Animal Activist’s Handbook] gave me hope and strength. I was very depressed, did not think I am made for this world, could not get along with my meat-eating coworkers… Thank you and thank you! I share your recommendations with all of my activist friends.
—MP, 8/11/13

Student at COC

Another amazing day with Yvonne – set a new record at College of the Canyons, reaching 1,600 students. One woman stopped dead in her tracks on a busy narrow walkway and read the booklet cover-to-cover, not moving for 15 minutes, transfixed. We gave her a Guide. Amy [right] got a booklet and now wants innocent animals to stop being hurt. Met a vegan who wants to leaflet in the future. Others related they read the entire booklet and were moved by it [including the student at left, who will now eat less meat].
     Scorcher – thermometer said 102. Set a one-person record at Citrus College, reaching over 1,600 students before hustling over to Pomona College. Ran into Ellen [below], one of the top leafleters in AAC’s first year. Met a frosh student who went veg on his own at three – wow, precocious – once he realized his food had been a living animal, he stopped eating meat. I gave him a Guide and we had a nice talk.
—Vic Sjodin, 9/3/13

Below are Citrus College stuents reading Even If You Like Meat, and Vic Sjodin with Ellen Green at Pomona College.
Students at Citrus College Vic Sjodin and Ellen Green at Pomona College

At Catholic U, I talked with a man who is in the beginning stages of making the connection between animals and his “guilt” about eating them. He appreciated getting a Compassionate Choices and a Guide. I also met a 40-year-old whose husband just went veg a couple months ago after being hired to shoot photography for a campaign against a factory farm. They are now raising their children mostly veg (one of them who she claims was veg coming right out of the womb!). After answering her questions on protein and iron, I gave her a Guide.

Katie at Georgetown

     Quotes of the day:
     “I’m vegan! I love you and this is great!” – student on the way to class
     “I want one. Oh man, I love helping animals!!!” – 12-year-old
     And the winner for best quote of the day goes to: “Thanks, but you already gave me one – and I think it’s working, too.”
     Reached over 1,400 students at Georgetown University. Katie [left] ran back to me excitedly after receiving a booklet, asking how she could get involved. She is now transitioning to vegan, and was happy to get a Guide and my information. Another student, Annie, stopped to chat after a class change. She asked me: “Why vegan?” And I gave her the details. She happily received a Guide! I met a VO volunteer, Marie, who is staff at Georgetown. She was so grateful that so many students were receiving booklets today!
—Kassy Ortega, 9/5/13

Lauren Walker at WVU

Really big day at West Virginia U. Lauren [Walker, right] and I started leafleting at 8 and reached more than 4,000 students by the time we left campus at 4. Met many, many vegetarians and vegans – distributed more than 20 Guides. For example, I had two young women in a row, totally unaffiliated with each other, tell me no thanks to a booklet because they’re vegan (they both got Guided). Lauren had the best conversations of the day:
     A young woman told her that she read the booklet earlier and cried. She had companion animals, loved them, and never really made the connection that the animals raised for her meat suffered like they do.
     Later, a young woman told Lauren that she was previously vegan, but had slipped a bit lately. After reading VO’s booklet today, she recommitted to being vegan.
     Lauren and I crushed Marshall University, setting a huge new record by reaching 2,400 students. My two favorite interactions:
     Joshua initially told me he was interested in going veg. I talked with him for a while, telling him to take a pace that he’s comfortable with, to not stress out over minuscule ingredients, etc. He seemed much more resolved to go vegan after our conversation.
     A young woman told me she was now interested in going vegan, so I gave her the same advice I gave Joshua. A definite step forward.
—Jon Camp (below, leafleting Marshall U), 9/5/13

Jon Camp at Marshall U

Peggy joined me at Allan Hancock College, and we quickly reached 500 students. Many expressed that they like animals and were happy to get a leaflet. We also watched students reading them. Favorite quote of the day: “This is a powerful booklet!” And when I stopped for a moment to acknowledge her, she said, “Keep handing them out!”
—Johanna Andris, 9/4/13

Student at UNLV
A UNLV student is engrossed in Compassionate Choices.

At Suffolk County Community College, met a number of vegetarians and vegans. Also met Nicki, who took booklets to give to friends. At Dowling College, a guy looked at the Even If You Like Meat booklet and said: “Oh no, I am not going to eat dinner tonight!”
     Me: “Just keep animals off of your plate.”
     Guy: “OK, I can do that!”
     Another student got a booklet earlier, and as she passed me a second time, she said, “I am now going vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 9/4/13

Was lucky to have the Jungenbergs drive up to join me at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Met vegetarians and vegans, and John heard from someone who went veg from getting a leaflet in the past!
—Rachel Shippee, 9/4/13

Tina and Debbie joined me at Moraine Valley Community College. So many students said they are interested in changing what they eat and trying a vegetarian diet. Lots of students wanted to know what they can eat if not animals. Tina, Debbie and I offered lots of suggestions and encouragement. I was impressed with the ability of the students to stop in the middle of their day, encounter a difficult issue, and react to it with positivity and thoughtfulness. There is hope in the universe!
—Leslie Patterson, 9/4/13

Elaine Vigneault at UNLV Anne Green at UNLV

Even though it was nearly 100 degrees when we started, and a Friday, Anne [Green, above, right], I, and Vegas Veg – specifically, Elaine [Vigneault, above, left] and Angelica – reached 900 students at UNLV. I was two for two with skateboards, and Anne had a bike handoff. Later that evening, Elaine and crew reached 1,500 people at Las Vegas’ Pride Parade & First Friday.
—Matt Ball (below, leafleting UNLV with Angelica Derossi), 9/6/13

Angelica Derossi and Matt Ball at UNLV

The weather was hot, but Team MFA was hotter, passing out 1,500 Compassionate Choices at Harold Washington Library. High-fiving vegans and vegetarians (one of 40 years!) and encouraging Meatless Monday, we had an awesome day of outreach as the community expressed interest and enthusiasm in moving towards a more plant-based future!
—Heather Darley, 8/27/13

Steve Erlsten at CRC

Today was another phenomenal day! Jack joined me for the first three class changes at Cosumnes River College, and we set another school record, reaching over 2,100 friendly students. I talked to one vegan who thought government action was our only hope, but I brought him around to the idea of dollar democracy and multiplying our personal impact by influencing others…by leafleting, naturally. Late in the day I had a lengthy conversation with a student from Russia whose grandparents have a small farm. She is comfortable having animals killed for food, but wants them treated better. Traffic was slow, so I talked to her for a while about the quotation from J.S. Foer’s Eating Animals from a factory farm operator: “You hear about free-range eggs and grass-fed cattle, and all of that’s good. I think it’s a good direction. But it ain’t gonna feed the world. Never. You simply can’t feed billions of people free-range eggs. And when you hear people talking about small farming as a model, I call that the Marie Antoinette syndrome: if they can’t afford bread, let them eat cake.”
—Steve Erlsten (above, leafleting CRC), 9/5/13

 

I received your Even If You Like Meat…You Can Help End This Cruelty booklet (actually my daughter was given this book while on a college campus). I think so many people get discouraged because they have a hard time sticking with a vegan lifestyle, so I thought this book was very relevant because even if someone still eats some meat at least they could cut back, and then maybe eventually they would make the switch to a vegan lifestyle.
—JR, 9/18/13

Gabby with Yvonne LeGrice at USC

Yvonne and I set a huge new record at USC – Yvonne apparently means “born to leaflet” in Greek and I believe it – such a great leafleter and person, a real joy to work with for the animals! We reached 3,300 students in blazing heat – watched people read as they walked, others read the entire booklet sitting on benches. Talked with some of them, and others thanked us for being there. Highlight was Gabby [above, with Yvonne LeGrice], who now wants to go vegan.
     Set a solo record at Cal State Long Beach – reached over 3,200 students. Had a convo with a woman who had been vegan for five months, but felt sick and regressed. She read the booklet and after we talked, she wants to slowly go vegan again – got a Guide. Talked with another man had various questions – I believe he will go vegan now.
—Vic Sjodin, 8/27/13

Student at LMC
Steve Erlsten spotted this woman studying Compassionate Choices at Los Medanos College.

Good conversations at Northern Virginia Community College. For example, I talked to an older guy whose daughter attends UVA. His daughter watched Food, Inc. and was aware that there was a problem with modern animal agriculture, but didn’t know the specifics. He said the VO booklet was a tough read, but agreed that it’s an issue everyone should know about. He now wants to reduce his meat consumption and try some meatless meals. If his daughter didn’t get a booklet from me or Jon, he will pass it along to her!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/29/13

Diablo Valley College has some new vegans today! Brittany and I reached nearly 2,400 students. Quite a few said they are working on going vegan, and two students are interested in leafleting!
     Great interactions at Modesto Junior College – reached over 1,600 students. I ran into more vegetarians and vegans than I expected for a small farming town in the middle of farming country. One Guide went to a student who was amazed that I’m actually vegan. She and two friends stared at me in literal disbelief. I might as well have been a unicorn.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/3/13

Received many good comments at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College today!
     “I’m vegan! Good job!”
     “I’m vegetarian! I need this for my friend!”
     “Sure! I want one!”
     A few people who were on the opposite side from where I was leafleting came over to take booklets. Gave Guides to new vegetarians / vegans and people interested in more information.
—Lisa Drapkin (below at Bronx Community College, photo courtesy of Lindsay Margeton), 9/3/13

Lisa Drapkin at BCC

Getting to Madison Area Technical College early was key – I reached my first 1,000 students in less than 2 hours. Reached a total of 1,677 during the day. Great take rate, students were very friendly, and met a number of vegans. One Guide went to a man who is in the process of cutting back on his meat consumption.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/3/13

Jennifer, Judith, Beverly, and I reached 2,211 students at Stony Brook University. Great encounters – so many vegetarians and vegans and people who now want to go vegan! Met a student who said he has been vegetarian since he received a booklet from me last semester! Talked with Valentine about nutrition concerns. We met 11 people who want to join the newly formed SBU Vegetarians.
     Reached over 1,100 students at Suffolk County Community College. Good comments and conversations. For example, Montis liked my shirt, but said he couldn’t go vegan. I said it was not a matter of taste, but a matter of compassion, and asked him to read about the animals, and to cut back his meat consumption. He agreed that he would do both!
—Karen James, 9/3/13

Below are a few of the young people happy to receive booklets from Karen James at a festival in Woodbury, CT.
Woodbury festivalgoers

 

Shaunagh O’Neill at RMIT

Freezing winter wind at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology – so strong, it was hard to hold the booklets out to people! But we – Shaunagh [O’Neill, right], Liz [Dealey, below, left], Karina, Souraya [Rainbowbrite, below, right], John, and I – made quick work of all our booklets. Met five vegans, which lifted our spirits! Word is really getting out about our outreach – more and more people are contacting me.
—Chelsea Collins, 8/20/13

Liz Dealey at RMIT Souraya Rainbowbrite at RMIT

Love the enthusiasm at Virginia Commonwealth University – these students wanted the goods! In large groups, they were slowing down with their hands out – I couldn’t keep up with such quick demand!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/23/13

Student at Old Westbury
Jennifer Greene snapped these pics at SUNY College at Old Westbury last semester: above, a student is engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat; below, Karen James reaches another student with Compassionate Choices.
Karen James at Old Westbury

My friend Reem handed out 86 booklets at Northern Virginia Community College like a champ. She was a little scared about rejection but built up her courage and did it! Kassy had leafleted the school on Monday, and when Reem leafleted it today, numerous students remembered getting a booklet yesterday from Kassy; and one told her that he saw the pictures yesterday and is planning on completely stopping eating meat! Go, Reem and Kassy!!!
—John Oberg, 8/27/13

Booklets were flying out of my hands like hotcakes at SUNY Old Westbury! Met three vegans and four vegetarians. Five students gave their emails for a campus group. Good discussions – one with a student who had been vegetarian for a few months, but returned to eating animals. She was concerned about health issues. Gave her a Guide as well as Jack’s site. She was very grateful, and said she was going to try again! A student told me he read the whole booklet. When I asked what he thought, he said it was well written, informative, and not too graphic – a great booklet to get the point across.
—Karen James, 8/26/13

Leafleted for 9.5 hours on the second day of classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Heard from three vegans and 10 vegetarians. Inspiring to revisit the exact spot in the union where I met Matt Ball 20 years ago.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/27/13

Team MFA handed out 1,500 Compassionate Choices at Millennium Station. Stephanie talked with a man who was on his way to Popeye’s, but after reading the leaflet, turned around and decided a plant-based dinner would be a better idea! There were lots of people to talk to, and we received interest from some vegetarians looking to go vegan! A fantastic day of outreach.
—Heather D, 8/26/13

Kitty and I reached 2,100 students at Santa Rosa Junior College. I had more excited responses than I could count, and quite a few “I’m mostly vegan” responses. I talked to two students who were interested in helping, one who volunteered before she started the nursing program, and one who has been emailing the PDF of the booklet around!
—Steve Erlsten, 8/26/13

Vic Sjodin at IVC
Vic Sjodin spreads compassion at Irvine Valley College.

I was pleasantly surprised by the receptive students at Ventura College. Take rate varied between 90 to 100 percent. Many thanked me for being there, said they support what I’m doing, and/or said they love animals. Met one long-time vegetarian and one woman who’s been vegan just a month or so. They both got Guides.
—Barbara Bear, 8/27/13

I had a number of good conversations at Willamette University. For example, when I offered a man an Even If You Like Meat, he said, “I’m against that, but I don’t see anything that I can do about it right now.” I held up a Guide and said, “Would you like this? It has recipes and a good article about nutrition.” He said yes he would. More constructive interactions at Linfield College; e.g., I offered a booklet to a woman, and she seemed very sad when she saw it. She mumbled something – I think something about how much she loves pigs. I asked if she’d like a Guide, and she brightened. She said, oh yes, she would like the Guide because she used to be vegan.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 8/27/13

Many wonderful interactions and a new record at Irvine Valley College. The highlight might have been a group of women [top of page] who came back together after getting booklets earlier. I gave a very brief highlight of the benefits of a vegan diet and they said they were interested in changing – they all got Guides. Met Mariel [below, right], who also wants to go veg! Met Doreen [Marciano, below, left] and invited her to help on the spot – she did! Saw others engrossed in reading – gave them Guides and encouragement. And had numerous other positive interactions.

Doreen Marciano at IVC Mariel at IVC
Students at Moorpark
At Moorpark College, Vic snapped a group of supportive students reading Even If You Like Meat together (above), and a student (below, left) who stopped in his tracks and read the booklet cover-to-cover.

     Another new record and uplifting interactions at Moorpark College. Many folks vocalized their support for our efforts: “Thanks for being out there,” “I support what you are doing,” etc. Others told me they read and were affected by the booklet. Best highlights: Pedro [top of page] is now committed to going full-on veg. Melissa also wants to go veg; got a Guide. Andrea [below, right] is thinking of drastically reducing her meat consumption. Another woman [below, center] who was veg-friendly wants to go full vegan and help leaflet next semester! Had many other talks and interactions, and overheard others talking with friends about these issues.

Student at Moorpark Aspiring vegan at Moorpark Andrea at Moorpark
Aspiring vegetarian at Cerritos Aspiring vegetarian at Cerritos
Students at Cerritos

     Awesome, epic, splendiferous day at Cerritos College! Reached 2,500 students – a new one-person record – and received awesome feedback. Four separate people came back later saying they wanted to go veg [two at left], another [Jamal, bottom right] said he wanted to eat far less meat. Met a woman, Anna [bottom, center], who has been vegan for five years since reading a VO booklet her friend had gotten at a concert. Saw many sitting and reading [left], walking and reading, just epic. Met Magali [Cota, bottom, left], an¬†aspiring vegan who helped me leaflet most of a class change. Mucha gracia, Magali! Lots of Latino Americans here, 50¬†percent maybe, so got to practicar mi Español. Extremely tiring and rewarding last three days, so happy to be back at it and getting all the great feedback on the ground. Thank you to all of you who make it possible.
—Vic Sjodin, 8/21/13

Magali Cota at Cerritos Anna at Cerritos Jamal at Cerritos

 

John Sakars at RMIT

A nice start to my 21st semester of leafleting for Vegan Outreach – I reached nearly 1,500 students with VO’s booklets at Illinois State. Heard from two vegans, 17 vegetarians and one student who let me know that getting the booklet from me last year moved him to drop meat. I gave him a Guide and thanked him for sparing animals.
—Joe Espinosa, 8/20/13

It was a cold and windy day at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but we were overwhelmed with the response. People were really receptive and the take rate was quite high. Some people went out of their way to come and take a booklet, and others stopped for a chat. Kristin, Liz, Rachael, John [Sakars, right], Eliza, and I handed out all our booklets in 42 minutes. At the cafe we found a long line and a few people were reading their booklet, and many many more reading them at the tables.
—Chelsea Collins (below, reaching a student at RMIT), 8/9/13

Chelsea Collins at RMIT
Karla at VSU

I kicked off this fall with Virginia State. These open-minded students weren’t even a little hesitant to grab a booklet that was offered to them as “info to help animals.” Had two conversations with a vegetarian [Karla, right], and then with a pre-vegan who wants to go meatless every day for lunch. Baby steps, folks! Had a long, wonderful conversation with a biology student who was told every veg-myth I’ve ever heard. She was so wide-eyed when hearing the truth, nodded in agreement (many “that’s true”s and “never thought of it that way”s), and was excited to get her Guide after asking how she can get started in reducing her meat consumption. AND…I broke my first record today – the new all-time high at VSU is 1,334!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/22/13

Cold wind at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market earlier this month, but a receptive crowd. I targeted the booklets to young adults, but quite often they ended up in the hands of kids. I watched a boy and girl [below] read the booklet cover-to-cover. The girl sat on a curb and read it for the longest time, and when her mom told her it was time to move on, she kept right on reading as she walked.

Reader at PB farmers’ market Reader at PB farmers’ market

     At the Pismo Beach Car Show, I saw many people reading the booklet and sharing the info with others. A few people asked what the literature was about. My standard reply today was, “It’s about how animals suffer to become food and what we can do about it.” Everyone still took a copy!
     A guy came back with the booklet in hand to tell me he had worked in a slaughterhouse and how it caused him to swear off animals’ flesh for a while, though he currently eats some birds. He said he’d like to be vegan if he could figure out good sources of protein, so, of course, he got Guided.

Readers at PB farmers’ market
Barbara also sends this pic of two young men reading our booklets at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market.

     Great interactions back at the Pismo Beach farmers’ market today. Three young men walked up, and while two of them joked about liking bacon, the third stopped and asked what the booklet was about. I told him the brochure was specifically about how animals suffer to become food. He paged through it, then said, “I appreciate you,” and shook my hand sincerely before we parted ways. Another guy came over purposefully to see what I was handing out. As I answered his questions, he paged deeper into the booklet and kept shaking his head saying, “This is just wrong.” We shook hands and he left with a Guide in hand. The way his opinion changed during the course of the conversation, I think he’s going to be cutting back on his animal consumption.
     Finally, Gavin said he’d been all sorts of things – macrobiotic, raw, vegan, then slipped back to “the dark side.” I said it was never too late to come back to the light. :) He spoke of having “vices” that he is haunted by – eating sugar, etc. I said as long as my vices don’t hurt anyone else, then I’m O.K. with them. He thought it was important to free oneself from suffering first before trying to free others from it. I said “compassion” means “to suffer with,” and that if I didn’t feel the animals’ suffering, I probably wouldn’t be out there leafleting. He took that to heart.
—Barbara Bear, 6/26/13

Another great day leafleting at University Center. MFA volunteers Brian, Jen, Alan, Heather, Stephanie, Glenn, and I reached 1,600 people. Multiple people asked me about what was in the leaflet and wanted to know where they could get more information. Not only did it seem like people were receptive to learning about the suffering of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, there were tons of pro-veg people on the street thanking us for the amazing outreach. It really seems like, slowly but surely, change is happening.
—Becki Markle, 8/8/13

Tonja Robertson at Gen Con Indy

Good convos at Miami Dade College – probably met a good half-dozen happy vegetarians. Several others stopped, saying they’d been wanting to try going veg but were asking for pointers on how to get started. The several who felt especially challenged in the past were really receptive to trying the incremental approach. Felt good seeing people feeling recharged and ready to give vegetarianism another go.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 7/15/13

Wendy and I had good interactions at Gen Con. For example, Wendy spoke with one man who said he really liked bacon but after hearing how pigs are treated he said he would try some of the vegan alternatives she suggested. One girl in a pig costume [right] saw the booklet and said she loved pigs, and thought it was awful that they suffer such cruelty and abuse.
—Tonja Robertson, 8/16/13

Today the Finrymple bunch (Sky, Elsa, Bodhi, Alek, Sen, Anna [Dalrymple, below, left], Fin, and mom Alissa) headed over to the University of Oklahoma Freshman Orientation Fair. After spreading out, we shared 400 booklets in no time!
—Alissa Finley (below, right, leafleting OU with Fin), 8/18/13

Anna Dalrymple at OU Alissa Finley and Fin Dalrymple at OU

We reached 200 people at the Foggy Bottom Metro station. When we were about to hand out our last one, a woman said, “I read this last year and stopped eating meat. And since I cook, my husband doesn’t eat meat at home anymore.” I said, “The cook has the power!”
—Gary Lowenthal, 8/20/13

 

Brooke Andris at Strawberry Festival
Barbara sends these pics from the Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival: above, Brooke Andris reaches another festivalgoer; below, two boys share a Compassionate Choices as their dad looks on, and two young women are engrossed in their booklets.
Readers at Strawberry Festival

My first day on tour was great – I reached over 2,150 students at Iowa State! I met two vegans who were looking to start clubs on campus; I took their info. I heard from other vegetarians who thanked me for being there. Overall students were receptive. A man stopped by to tell me that his daughter was vegan and most of the swimmers she coaches have gone vegan; we talked about nutrition and I gave him a Guide.
—Rachel Shippee, 8/26/13

Brooke, Johanna, Peggy, and I had two amazing days at the huge Strawberry Festival. So many people stopped to thank us for our work, told us we were doing important work, and one vegan even gave me a big hug while saying, “Yea, us!” A young guy stopped to help, too. A number of people who at first refused the booklet, then, realizing it was about animals, took it after all. Met some folks who were earnestly trying to go from veg to vegan, so they got Guides and vegan buttons for inspiration.
     One teenager accepted a Compassionate Choices, then handed it back saying, “Oh, no thanks, I…” then hesitated. I asked, “Were you going to say ‘I like meat’?” He said yes. We had a nice, short conversation during which I told him I used to feel the same way until I found out what happens to the animals. He took the brochure back from me saying, “OK, I promise you I will read this.” I said that’s all I ask and thanked him.
—Barbara Bear, 5/26/13

Some high school leafleting during the final week. At Lincoln Park High School, I handed out every booklet I had. One boy exclaimed he was already vegan, and gladly accepted the Guide. The take rate at George Westinghouse College Prep was high, and hopefully some seeds were planted. A number of students said, “Yes please, I love / want to help animals.”
—Darina Bockman, 6/4/13

Readers at Strawberry Festival

Georgia and I planned our day off to meet up at Northwestern. Maxine stopped by to help, too. We reached 900 students, and it was a lively day! A big high school group was visiting campus and almost every single student wanted a leaflet.
     Georgia and Jovan joined me at Taft High School, where a nice teacher directed us to where we could reach more students. And great reception from these students, including some who were already veg! I saw many students reading the leaflets as they waited for school to start.
—Leslie Patterson, 6/4/13

At the University of Chicago, a student asked why animal suffering was my focus. I explained that birds, mammals, and bony fish all have the ability to feel pain. I explained that the number of animals made to suffer, the intensity of their suffering, and the whimsical reason that they are made to suffer, as well as each of us having direct control over that suffering and death, is what drew me into this work on my days off from being a social worker.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/14/13

Nina Edwards at Pierce College

While leafleting today, one girl said after reading about what happens to pigs in Compassionate Choices, she would no longer eat pigs. Later, while waiting for her friends to get to Chick-fil-A for lunch, one young woman asked me for a booklet. She later told me that she didn’t know about the things that went on in factory farms prior to that. She also said she was going to think about her eating choices and she was “sure as hell not gonna eat here today with my friends.”
—Becki Markle, 6/20/13

I fit in about two hours at Georgia State. High take rate and positive responses. I even had a campus policeman come hang out next to me for a while; we talked about how animals suffer on factory farms, he agreed it was horrible and took a booklet. One woman took one and then came back by an hour later with a burrito; she pointed to it and said, “I got tofu!” Another guy took a booklet, then immediately turned around and asked for another for his stepdad – he said they have both been talking about making these changes. Lastly, I met one vegan woman, and one guy said he was already vegetarian and was going to give his booklet to a friend.
—Laura, 6/26/13

Juan at LAMC
Eduardo at ECC
Agnes at CPP

An amazing day at two schools in LA! I met Juan [left] at Los Angeles Mission College; he doesn’t eat pork, because of the way the pigs are treated. We discussed battery cages, fish farming, and a vegan diet! He was once vegetarian for two years, and he knows if he puts his mind to it, he can go vegan. He is excited about reading the Guide and getting started!
     At Pierce College, I met an aspiring vegan activist! Nina [Edwards, above] has been vegetarian for two years, and she wants to go vegan and get involved. I got her started leafleting. She is a natural, and she handed out 300 leaflets in less than two hours! She will be putting her new Guide and her copy of A Meaningful Life to good use!
     Another great day at El Camino College! I heard comments ranging from “THIS is what I wanted to show my mom” to “I read that. That’s why I quit eating meat” to “I JUST did a debate about that.” I’ve heard from quite a few people this semester who have written about or debated the ethics of animal abuse.
     Eduardo [left] took a booklet and mentioned that some of his friends in the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty are vegan. He has been thinking about it more lately and appreciated his Guide. Late in the morning the Young Americans for Liberty set a table up near me. I sparked some conversation, so I got to hear the vegan members telling the other YAL members about the incredible food at Veggie Grill and Native Foods. It was another great reminder that animal abuse knows no political limits, so everyone can participate in this revolution!
     Great take rate and productive conversations at Citrus College. I spoke with aspiring vegans, including one woman who founded an animal rights club in high school, but had since lapsed! She got a copy of A Meaningful Life, as did a student who struck up a conversation about the nature of suffering, why it matters, and the evolutionary origins of empathy. It was a fun day!
     Phenomenal day at Cal Poly Pomona! Agnes [left] took a leaflet on her way to class. A couple hours later she stopped back by to tell me the abuse is depressing. I reminded her that we have the power to change what’s happening, and we discussed vegan meats and other options. She took a Guide and was excited to try some new vegan dishes! I also met Nicole, who wants to get a vegan / AR club started. At the very end of the day I met aspiring vegan Natasha, who is excited to start an internship with Ellen DeGeneres in the fall! She’s excited to tell everyone there about Vegan Outreach – for the animals and for brownie points!
     Handed out all my booklets pretty quickly at LA’s Pride Parade. Some good feedback, including one man who said he received one of our booklets at San Francisco Pride last year and it changed his life! The highlight was hearing one woman loudly tell her friend, “THIS is what made me stop eating meat!”
—Steve Erlsten, 6/9/13

 

Great interactions [during the record day] at Cal State Northridge. Met Natalie [below, right] who went vegan after getting a booklet at the Ventura Warped Tour. Luis [below, left] read the booklet today and wants to go veg now. Their recreation department administrator and I had a good walking conversation; he said, “This is interesting, thank you. I will read it.” Had a bro down with many dudes, but one in particular seemed moved. At the end, I told him, “You seem awesome, I’m sure you will respond to a good and timely message.” Two separate women said they wanted to go veg, but didn’t want their pics taken. Spoke to Christy from the campus group last night and she came to say hello before class. I invited her to leaflet and she did for about 15 min before class; her group will likely help in the future. Others said they read the whole thing. Three asked for a second booklet to show someone else. Another student said she has been wanting to go veg and got a Guide and some encouragement. Had many other interactions. Several thanked me for being out there and a kind woman could see I was beat and brought me a water and Gatorade right at the end. What a fun day!!!
—Vic Sjodin, 8/28/13

Luis at CSUN Natalie at CSUN

On the 50th anniversary of MLK’s I Have a Dream speech, Vic broke the one-leafleter record, and Jon and I broke the record for the most students reached at the University of Virginia. After taking a booklet, one student asked me what was the solution to the problem of animal suffering. I told him that our mission is to reduce suffering by encouraging others to eat less meat, stop buying factory-farmed meats, embrace a vegetarian diet. After a short conversation, he told me he was going to try to eat less meat and stop purchasing from factory farms! He was happy for his Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. Another student was excited to get a booklet to learn more about the issue since her sister is vegan. She was very thankful for a Guide! She plans on eating fewer animal products and eventually transitioning to be vegetarian!
—Kassy Ortega (below, at UVA), 8/28/13

Kassy Ortega at UVA

Tremendously high reception rate at the University of Georgia: I reached over 1,200 students, with many good, productive conversations! I encountered 15–20 vegetarians and vegans. Every time I do this leafleting, it seems there are more vegetarians, and that students are becoming more receptive, more aware, and more responsive to this message.

Eric Griffith at UGA
Wendy Moore captured Eric making a skateboard handoff above, and reaching another UGA student below.

     One woman told me she was recently driving behind a truck transporting chickens to one of the local slaughterhouses. She saw one of the chickens fall off the truck and hit the road…she went to try to save the bird, but she was already dead. Since then, she has not eaten chicken again, and she is buying vegan “chicken” nuggets for her children. She eagerly took a Guide.
     A man approached and said, “Is that the vegan stuff?” At first glance, he looked exactly like most of the animal ag students on campus, even down to the camouflage ball cap. We talked for several minutes, and he totally demolished my initial impression. Rather than being confrontational as I expected, he told me he recently went vegetarian for a few months, but found himself going back to eating bacon sometimes. But he really wants to try it again…even though his uncle is a cattle rancher and it means going against his family. We talked a lot about the benefits of cutting back on meat consumption, local veg-friendly restaurants, and other stuff. I found it a very surprising and positive encounter demonstrating that we are making inroads even in unexpected places!
—Eric Griffith, 8/28/13

Eric Griffith at UGA

A sweltering but amazing day of outreach at the University of Northern Iowa, where I reached 1,160 students! The take rate was amazing and everyone was extremely nice! Gave a Guide to a girl who wanted to know how to add more iron to her diet, so she could now stay healthy and veg!
—Rachel Shippee, 8/30/13

Lisa Drapkin at BCC
Lindsay Margeton snapped this pic of Lisa speaking with an interested student at Bronx Community College.

Interested students and good conversations at Adelphi University and Iona College, including a number interested in forming / joining a student group. Highlight was Elana, who received a booklet from me last semester, and did a report about factory farming. She also cut back eating animals and animal products almost entirely!
—Karen James, 8/28/13

Lindsay and I had a great first leafleting day of the semester at Bronx Community College! Met three vegetarians and two vegans. Everyone seemed very curious when they realized what we were handing out, and we saw many reading them while waiting for the bus. A lot of people were excited to take copies for their friends as well!
—Lisa Drapkin, 8/29/13

Two good days at Edinboro University – going to different spots, I reached nearly 1,000 students. Lots of good conversations. I met a number of vegetarians and thanked them for their compassion; also gave them Guides. One student came back to talk and expressed his interest in helping. I invited him to join me at the next class change and he did!
—Justin Berkheimer, 8/29/13

Heather and I met super-receptive students at Wilbur Wright City College, and Jovan was able to join us too – reached nearly 1,500 students! Heard from many veggies, including a couple interested in going vegan and happy to receive Guides. We also heard from some students who want to get involved with activism.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/28/13

At the University of California Berkeley, Kitty and I reached 1,700 students. I ran into at least 20 vegans, including a few who want to get involved; I gave one a copy of A Meaningful Life. Interesting conversations, including a long one with Mike. One of the Guides went to a man who has been vegan for long periods, but keeps falling off the wagon. He was excited to look through the Guide to find some new vegan meats to try.
—Steve Erlsten, 8/30/13

 

Fun day of leafleting with my mom [Karen, below] at Macomb Community College. We recently got some pretty bad news about her health, but her immense positivity has her turning sadness around and into motivation to get out there and do something to reduce others’ suffering. She’s currently wheelchair-bound, but that didn’t stop her from smiling ear-to-ear and offering a booklet to every student that walked by. She more than doubled her previous one-day record. We heard lots of supportive words and had many wonderful, productive conversations with interested individuals – which brought an even bigger smile to my ma’s face. It was a VO booklet that turned my mom veg, so she knows firsthand the power of this work. She inspires me every day and I feel I’m the luckiest son in the world.
—John Oberg, 5/8/13

Karen Oberg at Macomb CC
Student at U of Toledo
At the University of Toledo, Vic Sjodin heard from numerous people who got a VO booklet in the past; this student said, “Keep up the good work, it works!”

Great to be joined by Laura at Dartmouth today. She said the veg options there are improving; the booklet acceptance rate is definitely improving! When I first started coming here in 2010, it was one of the toughest schools, but now there seems to be more interest in the information. Today was a great day and we set a new record here! One young man shook my hand and said, “I appreciate your efforts. Keep up the good work.” Another young man thanked me for the leaflet and as he walked away he cheerfully said, “And happy Meatless Monday!”
—Lana Smithson, 5/13/13

It was an awesome day of outreach today with Joe at Joliet Junior College! The students were accepting booklets at a rate of 80% which was really incredible! Many students were already vegetarian, and many expressed interest in exploring a veg diet / limiting their meat intake to help save animals! A few let me know that they had successfully transitioned into veganism. One girl, who recently became vegan told me how wonderful she felt since changing her diet. Others, including a couple of faculty members, mentioned how saddened they were to see how animals are treated, and agreed that this was unacceptable. A number of students requested extra booklets to take with them to distribute to others! I spent some time talking with students who told me they had tried a vegan diet but were unsuccessful. Besides offering the Guide, I encouraged them to transition at their own pace if that works for them…perhaps eliminating one type of meat at a time or having meat-free days of the week. They were very appreciative of the advice and sincere about their desire to help animals.
—Tina Czerwinski, 5/7/13

Jovan and I quickly reached 580 students at Curie Metro High School on Chicago’s South Side. I was a bit worried that the line of parents in cars would object, but a father actually rolled down his window to ask for one.
—Leslie Patterson, 5/8/13

Leslie sends this pic of the Milwaukee Warped Tour crew (from left): Georgia Argiris, Stephanie Frankle, Becki Markle, Leslie Patterson, Jamie Jungenberg, Stephanie Lipari, Rachel Shippee, John Jungenberg, and Mary Jungenberg.
Milwaukee Warped Tour crew

In my short time after work at Harold Washington College, I heard from 2 vegans and 10 vegetarians, and most importantly a good number of students who were curious about the way modern farming treats animals. The opportunity before us is golden.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/8/13

John and I had a wonderful time leafleting at Triton College – the take rate was amazing. I gave a Guide to a student who used to be veg and had reservations; we talked and he left saying he has friends he wants to share the booklets with.
—Rachel Shippee, 5/8/13

Great day with Nicolas in San Diego! We reached over 2,000 students at California State University San Marcos and Palomar College. Talked with several vegans who want to get involved – I’ll follow up.
—Steve Erlsten, 5/7/13

Laura at Oberlin College
At Oberlin College, Vic Sjodin overheard Laura talking with a friend about wanting to go veg after getting booklets; of course, they both got Guides!

In a short time at Central Oregon Community College, I handed out 30 Guides to interested students. Many students said how glad they were that I had given them the Even If You Like Meat, and some students sounded very sad when they saw the Even If. Good conversations, including one with a student who said that he gets most of his meat from a particular ranch which he named. I asked if he had visited the ranch, and he said he had. I said, “I’m really glad to hear that, because some of the animal products that carry labels like free-range, if you visited the place they come from, you wouldn’t like what you saw.” After that, he seemed receptive to the message, asking more questions.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 5/13/13

Good interactions at Oregon State today – a number of students stopped to talk about how disgusted they were by how animals are treated. Leafleting’s great, given how easy it is: just bring the booklets – no complicated setup or equipment necessary. A large number of people can be reached in a short amount of time.
—Nettie Schwager, 5/20/13

Today at Irvine Valley College was a little difficult for me at first. Luckily an enthusiastic vegan came along just in time and we had a great conversation that lifted me up. Also had a nice discussion with a student named Max. I saw him sitting down completely engrossed in the booklet for around 15 minutes. He approached me to tell me how messed up he thinks it is; he received a Guide.
—Shura Hammond, 5/15/13

Jamie Platt at Rutgers
Jamie Platt (above, discussing Compassionate Choices with a student), Boris Yakubchik (below), and Jon Camp handed out 1,050 booklets at the Rutgers College Avenue Campus!

Big day at Bloomsburg University with Cathy! I talked with Ayisha, a student who said the booklet pushed her over the edge, and she is very serious about significantly changing her diet. Cathy spoke with a guy who used to work on a duck farm. He agreed that today’s farm animals are treated horribly. Cathy also spoke with a defensive farmer, who said that she treats two of the cows on her farm as pets. The farmer and Cathy agreed that today’s chickens lead really bad lives.
     Lots of friendly students at the University of Scranton. A really sweet professor told me that he has been cutting back on his meat consumption. I gave him a Guide, and we had a nice talk. As he left, he said, “You’re doing the right thing. My heart is with you.”
     Two minor bits of antagonism. For any given leafleting outing, a certain percentage of students are not going to be receptive. But all surveys on individual attitudes and dietary choices indicate this percentage will get a little smaller each year, as society is slowly getting more receptive to this issue. We’re gaining ground, the naysayers ranks continue to decline, and we don’t do any good stressing over these folks in the meantime. Also, even the naysayers change their minds from time to time. So by being polite to these folks, we at least leave the possibility open for them to think favorably of animal advocates, perhaps leading to an eventual change. And of course, the naysayers are the minority. Most people are quite nice.
—Jon Camp, 5/9/13

Boris Yakubchik at Rutgers

 

Readers at Detroit Warped Tour
Above are concertgoers at the Warped Tour stop in Detroit, photographed by Chelsea Button, shown below at the Minneapolis stop.
Chelsea Button at Minneapolis Warped Tour

This year’s Warped was amazing. We were received so well, kids were really nice, and it bolstered our sense that the number one way to change the hearts and minds of society in regards to how we treat animals is to do outreach to youth. Amazing to watch so many people so engrossed in reading the booklet, to overhear so many conversations about veganism. This work is definitely a conversation starter; it gets people who otherwise wouldn’t be discussing this issue, discussing this issue. The hundreds of starter pack requests that have come in over the last two months are testament to the fact that leafleting youth gets the goods.
     Too many stories to relate from my time on the tour. Having Oli Sykes on the custom booklet’s cover has been huge. So many kids say, “It’s Oli Sykes!” or “Really? Oli Sykes is a vegetarian?” Brian from the band Rosedale – who play each day on the tour – became friends with Ben and helped leaflet as well; Brian now plans to go fully vegan! At the Minneapolis stop, a member from the band Silverstein walked up to Chelsea [right] to say that his band should have been featured in the booklet, since they’re veg. That was nice to hear – bands who care about this issue and who want to be in the booklet!
     In addition to the dozens and dozens of volunteers who took time out of your busy schedules to join us in your city or to travel along for several dates, this year’s Warped Tour wouldn’t have been the smashing success it was without Anne Green, John Oberg, Ali Pester, Nathan Shin, and Ben Sylvester.
     But none of this work would be possible without you donors on this list who work hard at your jobs and donate to ensure that today’s youth are reached with a message of kindness towards animals. We gave our absolute all this summer to guarantee that your generosity did as much good as possible. Once again, our most profuse thanks for making this happen.
—Jon Camp, 8/5/13

Phil Letten, Ali Pester, John Oberg, and Rob Stephens at Detroit Warped Tour Tommasina Dandelion, Ben Sylvester, Ted, Kimito Sakata, Hulya Johnson, and Zubair Hussaini at Denver Warped Tour
Above are Phil Letten, Ali Pester, John Oberg, and Rob Stephens at the Detroit Warped Tour stop; and Tommasina Dandelion, Ben Sylvester, Ted, Kimito Sakata, Hulya Johnson, and Zubair Hussaini at the Denver stop.
Stephanie Bay at Detroit Warped Tour

It was so good to be back on the pavement at the Detroit Warped stop. My buddy Rob (who isn’t even veg) and I showed up at 4:00, joined shortly by the Button. Within minutes we were joined by the all-star crew of the Pest, the Beast, the Shinbone, and the Camp. Philboy and Matt showed up a little bit after and we spread out. Stephanie [Bay, right], who I met at Michigan VegFest when I was tabling, joined later and the awesome Beau of FARM helped us out at the end. We offered a booklet to nearly everyone, and 7,900 accepted.
—John Oberg, 7/19/13

When the Warped Tour volunteers left my house, they couldn’t fit all their leaflets in their car. So Angelica, Lizbeth, and I leafleted Vegas’ First Friday event. We met lots of interested people, including teens who said, “Oh, I got this at Warped Tour. Can I have one for my friend?”
—Elaine Vigneault, 7/6/13

Elaine sends this photo from the Las Vegas Warped Tour stop: Jinal Shah, Tommasina Dandelion, Roy Rendahl, Ben Sylvester, Tina Radatz, Elaine Vigneault, Annoula Wylderich, and Emily-Angelica Derossi.
Las Vegas Warped Tour crew
Reader at Las Vegas Warped Tour
Above: Elaine spotted this woman carefully reading her Warped Tour booklet while waiting outside the Vegas venue. Below: Sandi Swiss snapped John Jungenberg providing a voice for the animals at the Chicago Comic Con.
John Jungenberg at Chicago Comic Con

 

Pulled in so many different directions at the Ventura stop of the Warped Tour. One enthusiastic first-time attendee now wants to get involved in leafleting! We were nearly trampled while leafleting the exiting mob, and I had to leaflet with a box between my legs to keep stocked with lit., but it was totally worth it to reach so many young minds! Thanks Ethan, Victoria, and Ben for a memorable night – and for your amazing work on the tour!
—Barbara Bear, 6/23/13

Solid night on Fountain Square during the Friday concert event. Most people were very receptive to the literature. I encouraged the vegetarians I met to take a leaflet and give to a friend. The highlight was a young woman, who got a booklet earlier in the evening, telling me the information was very enlightening and that it “had a great impact” on her. She thanked me for being out there and asked for a few extra leaflets to take with her.
—Rich Sheer, 6/14/13

The crowd was incredibly receptive at the Artscape festival. Sarah, Kate, and I had great conversations. For instance, a teenager, who said he went vegan recently, was excited to get a booklet; we had a good conversation about vegan health and weight-training. Tons of people were excited to get a booklet!
—Aaron Ross, 7/22/13

My second year leafleting the Bud Billiken Parade, the largest African American parade in the country; I was thrilled to team up with Jovan to hit it. Very high reception among the friendly and curious crowd. Lots of people stopped with questions about the leaflet, the treatment of farmed animals, and veg eating. Good outreach and a fun event to cover.
—Leslie Patterson, 8/10/13

Very good reception at the Grayslake Summer Days festival! Many people were asking questions and wanted to help stop animal cruelty. One person said that she was going to look into having her company donate to VO!
—John Jungenberg, 8/16/13

Nathan Shin at NYC Pride
Nathan Shin offers Compassionate Choices at NYC Pride.

At the Long Island Pride Parade, I combined my dance moves with the opener, “Info to help animals, widen your circle of compassion.” Outstanding reception rate!
—Jennifer Greene, 6/8/13

Brian, Alan, Haz, Chad, Stephanie, and I went downtown and handed out 886 Compassionate Choices around the Art Institute of Chicago area. Numerous people stopped to thank the team for getting out and educating people about the ills of factory farming. Among those people, many were either vegetarian or vegan. We had bikers, runners, and even those on Segways take a booklet. A woman who was standing in line to get into the Art Institute of Chicago told me to turn around because a cab driver wanted to read one.
—Becki, 7/9/13

Vic Sjodin at Dallas Warped Tour
Jeremy Minnerick snapped this pic of Vic Sjodin at the Dallas Warped Tour, where activists reached 10,000 people!

Today was Mark’s first day leafleting and he seriously rocked it, along with Ethan. Together, we reached 1,300 mostly 12-to-16-year-old young women at the One Direction concert with the case for compassion. Many were in long lines waiting to get in the venue, and the booklets started countless conversations. Epic outreach and a special day for many concert attendees who now are new vegans. Met several parents and concertgoers who were already vegan, and gave them Guides.
—Vic Sjodin, 7/22/13

Reached 300 people at the Beach to Beacon race. I was wearing my Team Vegan shirt and was happy to have a presence, speaking for the animals. One man said, “Team Vegan…tell me more.” We had a nice chat.
—Lana Smithson, 8/3/13

 

Melissa at U of Akron
Student at U of Akron

Rachel and I reached 1,670 Zips at the University of Akron. The third booklet went to Melissa [right], who is now leaning toward going fully vegan; she took a Guide for herself and a Compassionate Choices and Guide for her boss, who is considering going veg. Saw many reading in sunshine, snapped one pic [below, right]. Also met Sophia who would like to leaflet with VO in the future.
     Today at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Kenyon College was our 117th and last day together on our spring tour. Together, we’ve reached more than 100,000 students with VO booklets; add in all the volunteers who joined us and we reached many more!
     Since I started leafleting in 2008, never before have I had so many positive interactions on campuses. The world is changing and it is because of all of Vegan Outreach’s donors and leafleters!!
—Vic Sjodin, 5/2/13

Leafleting the Cinco de Mayo parade was great – I was able to use Christian Vegetarian Association booklets, ¿Por qué vegetariano?, and Compassionate Choices. There were so many people it was easy to target the younger people. I got a lot of “I want to help animals” or “I need to go vegetarian” comments, and even a few “My friend just learned about this, and went like seriously vegan” comments.
—Darina Bockman, 5/5/13

At Keene State, one young woman said she had been vegetarian for six months and then “failed.” I gave her encouragement and reassurance that there is no such thing as being perfect. She said that made her feel better and would try again. Another young woman said she’s mostly vegetarian and the info would be helpful.
—Lana Smithson, 5/1/13

Vic sends these pics from Kenyon College: Rachel Shockey and James, who read Compassionate Choices and got a Guide.
Rachel Shockey at Kenyon College James at Kenyon College

Rita and I had good interactions at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. Two people asked for recipes, so we gave them Guides. Another person asked how can people themselves actually make a difference in such a huge problem – our answer was supply and demand. He really thought it made a lot of sense.
—Lisa Drapkin, 5/6/13

Student at Macomb CC Student at Macomb CC
Above: John Oberg snapped these students engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Macomb Community College. Below: Jon Camp sends this pic of Justin Berkheimer leafleting Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Justin Berkheimer at Edinboro

I met Danny at Macomb Community College. He had previously tried to be vegan. I gave him a Guide, and he said, “This is exactly what I need!”
     At Schoolcraft College, I met Jeremiah, a new vegan who is loving it. Another student said, “Helllll yeah” when I said, “Help stop animal cruelty.” Another student told me the booklet made him now want to become a vegetarian. Another said, “Thank you so much for doing this. I try to tell people all the time about what’s going on.” He took a Guide and shook my hand.
     Interaction of the day was with two hunter- / country-looking dudes. One had Uncle Kracker playing from his cell phone. I asked if they got a booklet yet. One did and one didn’t. I gave the one who didn’t a booklet and said, “It’s pretty messed up how they’re treating animals.” The Uncle Kracker-playing guy, who had gotten one earlier, said, “Yeah, I read through it. It even had me crying a bit.” Then the other asked if I had seen Food, Inc. I told him yeah – it was the PG-version of what’s really going on. He was shocked and sincerely wished me luck, while Uncle Kracker excitedly accepted a Guide.
—John Oberg, 5/1/13

While Gina and I were leafleting today, a security guard approached to say he had recently gone vegetarian! So he got a Guide and a “Congrats! That’s fantastic!” from me.
—Elaine Vigneault, 5/6/13

At Harrisburg Area Community College, I had a nice chat with Terry, a culinary student, who had seen Food, Inc. and The Meatrix. He said that he ate grass-fed beef. I said that while that was a step forward, since he was a culinary student, he might like to try some good veggie recipes. He took a Guide.
—Jon Camp, 5/6/13

Jessica and I had 90% acceptance rate and good interactions at Gannon University. One vegetarian was very happy to receive a Guide. Jessica had a person return and ask her questions about the animals portrayed in Even If You Like Meat; she also took a Guide.
—Justin Berkheimer, 5/6/13

Student at Chemeketa CC Nettie Schwager at Chemeketa CC

We had a great day at Chemeketa Community College and Western Oregon University. Lots of people asked us questions / picked our brains about eating veg. Cobie watched one woman intensely reading a booklet [far left], so offered her a Guide. The woman repeatedly said how awful factory farms are, in a voice loud enough that Nettie [left] could hear her about 30 feet away. The woman said she would read everything.
—Cobie deLespinasse & Nettie Schwager, 5/6/13

Great day at Grossmont College and Cuyamaca College, with interesting conversations. For example, I was patient with a devout Christian who was very talkative. In the end, I was glad I let her talk, because (with a bit of guidance) she told me the animal abuse has to stop, and the only way to stop it is to stop buying animal products!
—Steve Erlsten, 5/1/13

Steven at Buffalo Warped Tour
While leafleting the Warped Tour stop outside Buffalo, Aaron Ross snapped this pic of Steven, who’s been veg since getting a VO booklet at last year’s show!

 

I was @ Warped yesterday in Hartford and my friends and I were approached by someone handing out your booklets. I talked with her for a while and was horrified when I looked through the booklets. I decided to go full vegetarian and mostly vegan (I’ll ease my way into veganism).
—CM, 7/15/13

Pretty good take-rate at Michigan State – about 70% and I encountered little resistance, even from ag students! One athletic guy described a video about a Tyson farm. I then informed him that nearly all animals raised for meat and dairy go through the same things, so it’s not just Tyson. He was happy to get a Guide and wished me luck. Christine [below] came back and said, “Thank you for giving me this! I’ve read half of it on my walk. It is really good. I had no idea it was like this. I think you’ve got me convinced.” I informed her that as bad as it is, there’s something she can do about it and gave her a Guide.

Christine at MSU

     Excited reactions and good convos at two Oakland Community College campuses. In the hour and a half that Catalina and I were at Royal Oak, we met so many veg*ns and people who were very moved. One woman said that when her then 4-year-old daughter realized chicken nuggets came from actual chicken, she stopped eating meat. Now she’s 13 and still keeping it up! It was very useful to have a Guide on hand for the mom.
—John Oberg, 4/29/13

Was great to have Melissa join me at the University of Maine, Orono; great feedback and thanks for our work – even high fives! One student said he remembered getting a booklet last semester and as he took one today he said, “Thanks for the reminder of why I should eat less meat.” Even had a constructive conversation with a woman from a ranching family – we found common ground and she expressed appreciation for our efforts to reduce suffering.
—Lana Smithson, 4/29/13

Leafleting was really good at the Miami Dade College InterAmerican Campus. Friendly interactions and met four vegans – a nice surprise, the first time I’d ever come across any here. Best interaction of the day was talking to two young ladies with an infant who were super happy to receive booklets. One of them took our meeting as a sign and agreed to go veg right on the spot! Both got Guides and left on such a positive note with thumbs up in the air that two groups of students coming from both directions all lined up to make sure they’d get booklets too. Toward the end, a psych professor invited me to do a talk in her class, the second invitation I’ve received here.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 4/29/13

Above is Christine at Michigan State, and below is a student reading Even If You Like Meat at OCC Royal Oak.
Student at OCC

Great at Cal State San Marcos! It was really nice to come across so many interested people who were so eager to learn about how they can help.
—Shura Hammond, 5/1/13

Vegan at YSU

Heard from three vegans and 15 vegetarians at Joliet Junior College, and talked harm reduction (avoiding bird, fish and egg consumption) with three students who cared about animal suffering but were not ready to go all the way vegetarian. Also talked with a few ag students about my history moving from animal agriculture child and animal ag student to animal protectionist. Apparently that conversation went well enough that the student spoke with his instructor who brought the whole class of 24 ag students to talk with me about what we are doing to animals in modern animal agriculture. It takes more than 24 ag students and a professor to intimidate me, and that discussion went equally well.
—Joe Espinosa, 5/1/13

At Youngstown State, Mara and Amber [below, left] thanked us for leafleting and said they were very touched by the booklets. They are going to cut down meat consumption drastically and try to go veg; both got a Guide. Rachel met a student who used to be veg and is now thinking of going back; he got a Guide and encouragement. We also met a vegan student [right] who had two roommates thinking about going vegan, so he came back to get booklets for them.
     Poignant to be working to end violence at Kent State, where Rachel and I met many veg folk. Met Steven [below, right], who supported us and is going to eat less meat. Two women went to give back the booklets, and this led to a 15-min conversation that was eye-opening and informative and kind; both left with Guides and a new perspective on things.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/30/13

Mara and Amber at YSU Steven at Kent State
Ted at SBU
After receiving a Guide from Lisa Drapkin at Stony Brook University’s Earthstock festival, Ted plans to have many more meat-free meals!

 

At St. John’s University, I met Sonjay, whose 12-year-old daughter wants to be vegetarian – she was happy to get a Guide. Met a vegan student who was in the middle of explaining something about veganism to his friend when I gave his friend a booklet. Another vegetarian student asked how I got involved in doing this, and I told her all about VO and gave her my card.
—Lisa Drapkin, 5/1/13

Great day and great conversations at San Diego City College and Southwestern College. I talked with a Muslim student about halal practices and the cruelty inherent in killing animals, and I talked to a couple of vegans who might check out the AAC program. One woman talked about how her daughter is vegan and inspiring her to eat more meat-free meals. Another student was looking for a way to atone for his history of shoplifting. I could almost see him calculating how many lives he could save by going vegan, and how many petty thefts could be erased from his karmic record. It was a bit strange, but I was happy with how the conversation went. He went from “I don’t really give a [expletive] about animals” to “I guess they’re kinda my brothers too” in about two minutes. Whatever works!
—Steve Erlsten, 4/30/13

Liz, Joe, and I got sunburned at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Jovan was already sunburned! But a small price to pay for such a great day. Everyone heard from a ton of vegans and vegetarians, and we were very happy with reaching over 1,700 students!
—Mikael Nielsen, 4/30/13

Mikael sends these pics of Sydney Ward (left) and Kayla Hutchings (right) reaching students at Columbia College Chicago.
Sydney Ward at Columbia Kayla Hutchings at Columbia

 

Susan at HFCC

Lots of good vibes on this cold, windy day – Jennifer and I set a new record at Nassau Community College, reaching over 1,900 students. We met many vegetarians, and 5–6 vegans! Had 18 students give their emails to get a club on campus, and had great conversations / feedback. E.g., “This is just what I needed – I was thinking of going vegetarian!”
—Karen James, 4/23/13

It snowed at Saginaw Valley State…Snow! April 24! Still, great conversations. One guy said what we do to animals is appalling, another asked what he could do to make a difference. A student told me how she was really happy to get the Even If You Like Meat because she had been vegetarian for a while, but recently started eating meat. I mentioned to her that I have many friends, myself included, who went veg in the past, “failed,” and came back to it with much success. She was very happy to get a Guide!

Adam at HFCC

     Henry Ford Community College is the best! Very receptive student body – super interested, and saw tons of people reading the lit. Lots of folks asking questions and engaging with us. Karley [Bodis, below, left], Rachael [Murray, below, right], and I reached more than 2,200 students and had a damn good time doing it. Had too many discussions to go through them all, but a few stand out:
     Adam [left] stopped and told me, “This is some serious stuff. It really makes me think differently.” He really enjoyed the part where we compare cats and dogs to farm animals and seemed very convinced that he should probably stop eating animals.
     A student told me that she just stopped eating meat. She said with real conviction, “I just can’t do it. I own a dog! How can I do that if I love my dog?!”
     Finally, Rachael and I had a good convo with Susan [above], who I could tell was holding back tears. She said repeatedly, “I’m just so shocked,” and really seemed touched by the pigs. “If I had known about how they were treating animals, I would never have been eating meat.”
—John Oberg, 4/25/13

Karley Bodis at HFCC Rachael Murray at HFCC
Tian at Ryerson

 

Nice conversations today while leafleting Ryerson University with John Sakars. One was with a young man who has been vegan for a month [Tian, right]. I asked him what had prompted the change and he said getting a Compassionate Choices previously. He is interested in learning how to eat better so was pleased to get a Guide. I also met a woman who is leaning towards vegetarian and now seems interested in doing more.
—Alex Greenwood, 4/26/13

At Oregon State, I had a long and very good conversation with a young woman who had tried going vegetarian but gave up. She got a Guide, and we talked about ways to stay healthy and make being veg easier. She now wants to try again, and her goal this time is to go vegan.
—Nettie Schwager, 4/26/13

Rachel and I had an epic day at Cleveland State. Saw many, many reading cover-to-cover and met lots of folks with questions. We met Sara [below, center], who now wants to go vegan. We met Karima [below, left], who wants to go veg. Talked with Sarah [Hernan, below, right], who I invited to leaflet. She helped out after class until we ran out of booklets. She loved leafleting, especially after getting the Nietzsche breakdown – a person who has a why can bear any how – and wants to leaflet in the future.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/25/13

Karima at CSU Sara at CSU Sarah Hernan at CSU
Diana at Pomona

 

Quick trip to IUPUI, where I had a conversation with a lady who has been veg for 25 years, who was really concerned with her 4-year-old son’s diet. I gave her a Guide and told her about all of VO’s nutrition information, so she’ll find ways to have her son follow a healthy diet.
—Tonja Robertson, 4/25/13

Highlight of the day at the University of California, Santa Barbara was meeting Andrew, who joined me to leaflet. He’s a natural and is going to check out Adopt a College!
     The highlight of tabling at Pomona College was meeting Diana [left], who has been vegetarian ever since getting a VO booklet previously. We had a nice chat, and I gave her a Guide.
—Steve Erlsten, 4/25/13

Students at PVHS

Kimberly, Matt, and I had a great time tabling for Earth Day at Pioneer Valley High. A few favorite interactions:
     After chatting with a student about the animal ag industry, she said, “I don’t think I can eat my lunch now.” She left with literature and a new attitude about what / who is on her plate.
     Another student hid behind her friend as he asked us questions. At one point she started walking away saying, “I shouldn’t be at this table” because she was carrying a basket of chickens’ flesh and tater tots. I told her she’s exactly the type of person we like to come to our table, we all used to eat animals too. Then I pointed out that tater tots are vegan. She smiled and seemed surprised about that.
     A former vegan said she felt so alone in her veganism, but she now wants to go back to being vegan. She and her friend [right] were so elated to see our booth at their school. Both took vegan pins and put them on their backpacks immediately. They said they want to do outreach for animals too, so I told them a bit about leafleting and gave them each an AML.
     While I was leafleting at Allan Hancock College, one student stopped in his tracks when he saw the Compassionate Choices and said, “Oh, this one…we analyzed this booklet in English class.”
—Barbara Bear, 4/22/13

Very busy day. At Central Piedmont Community College, gave a Guide to a former vegan who was very happy to get the information. Then, leafleting with Philip, we had great conversations, including one with a woman who said the booklets will help her go vegan. Additional discussions with folks who wanted to reduce their meat consumption. Also met several vegetarians who were thrilled that I was leafleting.
     At Clemson today, students were more receptive than during previous visits; I reached over 1,200 students. Highlight was meeting a woman who had been contemplating going vegan, and the booklets solidified her decision.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/25/13

FAST
FAST activists Mary Jungenberg, Jamie Jungenberg, John Jungenberg, Rachel Shippee, and Kevin Cooney.

This was FAST’s first advocacy bike trip. We traveled to Madison and Milwaukee via bike and sometimes truck (due to high winds and harsh weather conditions).
     Day 1 was very successful at UW Madison, reaching over 2,000 students. We heard from a student who had gone veg from a VO booklet she received on campus about a month ago! After UW Madison, we split up and leafleted two local high schools. It was amazing; everyone was eager to get a leaflet and was sincerely interested in the content. Kevin heard from a student who had recently gone vegan and asked for a few more to give to her friends, to help them go veg!
     Day 4 started out at UW Milwaukee, and ended with two local high schools. UW Milwaukee was great. John had an amazing interaction with a student that started off negatively; then after 15 minutes of talking with him, he said that he would try Meat Free Monday! Jamie had a woman tell her that she had decided to become vegetarian on the spot, as a result of our having given her a Compassionate Choices!
—Rachel Shippee, 4/19/13

 

Readers at Seattle  Warped Tour
Concertgoers read our booklet at the Seattle Warped Tour stop.

I received your booklet at the Warped Tour in Baltimore. It has changed my life for the better – I am now vegan forever!
—BV, 7/20/13

Good take rate at the Pitbull / Ke$ha concert; lots of people were genuinely interested in VO’s booklet. A worthwhile event that reached a lot of underexposed suburban kids.
—Darina Bockman, 6/9/13

It begins! Victoria, Ben, Jeremy, Sacha, and I put in long hours, handing booklets to 6,150 young people at the Warped Tour’s opening day. The Seattle crowd was pretty excited to see Oli Sykes on the cover of VO’s Warped Tour booklet.
     Kassy, Jonathan, Beau, Radish, and Michelle joined the five of us for the first date of the Pomona stop. Of the 9,000 people who attended today, we reached 8,000. So awesome!
—Ethan Dussault (below, leafleting the Pomona stop), 6/20/13

Ethan Dussault at Pomona Warped Tour

Big crowd at Hip-Hop night – very receptive. One man told me he read the booklet last time and it made him not want to eat meat. One young woman came up to me a while after I handed her a booklet and said that reading it made her want to cry.

Tina Radatz at Vegas Warped Tour
Tina Radatz (above), Felicia Pellegalle, and Emily-Angelica Derossi (below) leaflet the Warped Tour stop in Las Vegas.

     Perfect demographic at Bunbury Music Festival! Lots of young people, very receptive. I ran out of booklets before the concert was over.
—Jane Smiley, 7/13/13

John, Sandi, Alex, and I heard from many vegetarians and vegans while leafleting the FUN concert. One guy came back and told me he received a VO booklet five years ago and he has been veg ever since!!
—Rachel Shippee, 7/10/13

After the Warped Tour leafleters left my house, Angelica, Lizbeth, and I decided to leaflet the First Friday crowd. Met a number of very interested people, and met teens who said, “Oh, I got this at Warped Tour. Can I have one for my friend?”
—Elaine Vigneault, 7/5/13

Felicia Pellegalle and Emily-Angelica Derossi at Vegas Warped Tour

At Long Island University, Post, two separate students came back to tell me my timing was perfect, because they were each writing a paper about eating meat. They each got a Guide. Also had an extended conversation with a group of five students; at the end, four of them wanted a Guide!
—Karen James, 4/22/13

Erica at JMU

Alex and I met many vegetarians and vegans at the University of Toronto, where we each handed a booklet to 500 students, and gave out 10 Guides. One student wants to leaflet in the future.
—John Sakars, 4/22/13

Great Earth Day leafleting at Bergen Community College – one girl said she would go vegetarian and another guy promised to try it for a week.
—Constance Li, 4/22/13

On their last day of classes at James Madison University, 2,500 students were handed a VO booklet about factory farm cruelty. The response was amazing – many constructive conversations about factory farms and quashing of myths associated with vegetarian and vegan health. Many students told us that they wanted to go vegetarian, and a couple students [including Erica, right] said they went vegetarian immediately after reading the booklet. It was an inspirational way to end the semester!
—Aaron Ross and Kate St. John, 4/23/13

Scout and I were joined by Jenell, David, and Anonymous at Georgia State, where we reached nearly 3,000 students, and handed out nearly 100 Guides! Solid conversations, too. No doubt many of these students will be making changes.
     Rob cranked out serious numbers in a short time at North Carolina State and was told, “Best booklet I got this semester.” I talked to a woman who now wants to go vegan.

Ernest at UM

     My mom joined me to table at Wake Forest’s Earth Day, next to the ARAMARK table, where they were promoting vegetarian and vegan dining options. We talked with vegetarians, vegans, and those wanting to go down that road, as well as many who vowed to slash their animal product consumption.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/22/13

Great take rate – about 70% – at the University of Michigan. Was awesome to leaflet with Kate [Brindle, below]; we had our leafleting strategy down cold. Afterward, went to Jazzy Veggie, an all-vegan restaurant near campus, and the server told me, “It’s been a good day!” Hope our work played a role in that.
     Kate and I were back there today – over the two days, we handed a booklet to more than 4,700 students. One student said, “I got one of these yesterday and I’m just so happy you’re out here. It’s something that people really need to see.” She was definitely stoked on getting a Guide!
     Another student told me he got one yesterday, read through it and found it very informative; was happy to get a Guide. Met Ernest [right] – an awesome older man who said he read through the booklet and was in shock. “I’m definitely going to eat less meat. I can’t believe the way we treat chickens just in the name of profit!” He was definitely enlightened on this day.
     Kate met a vegan duo who were really excited to get Guides, and a professor told her she’s really happy we were out there. A student handing out free condoms told me Even If You Like Meat made her want to become vegan! Met a vegan named Spizzy who said he’s been vegan since June because of the cruelty in factory farming. He said it’s more difficult when he goes back home. He shook my hand when we parted. I think it was a really good thing that he saw us out there speaking up for the animals.
—John Oberg, 4/23/13

Kate Brindle at UM

I leafleted in front of the VO table at Montgomery College’s Earth Day. It was crazy how many individuals mentioned being veg or vegan, and how they ran the gamut in terms of appearance, ethnic background, age. We’re becoming more diverse and mainstream, and we’re gaining ground!
—Jon Camp, 4/23/13

Amerea at BGSU

Rachel and I had great interactions at Bowling Green State. Amerea [left] wants to go vegan, and her friend’s sister also wants to give it a go. Amerea then asked for booklets to distribute, and she will leaflet in the future! We met Laura [below, right] – she was vegan for a bit but for whatever reason went back to eating meat. She said after reading VO’s booklet, there is no way she will eat meat again. Rachel met Staci [below, left], who wants to go vegan and educate her family, too. We also met numerous veg folk, and others who want to leaflet next time someone comes to campus.
     What a change on campus we’ve helped to create since I was here in ’08, when people didn’t know what “vegan” meant and were far less receptive to the message.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/23/13

Staci at BGSU Laura at BGSU

 

Cordell at WSU

Amazing day at Wright State! Rachel and I were joined by Elizabeth [Freeman, below, center], who went vegan after getting a booklet after a concert in Cincinnati a few years back and has been a powerhouse for animals ever since. Good feedback all day; e.g., one student [Greg, below, right] who told us he read the entire booklet; he thought it was well written, and the theme of Even If You Like Meat You Can Help End This Cruelty appealed to him, since he said he would never even entertain going vegetarian or vegan. But after reading the booklet, he agrees the treatment of animals is wrong and thinks it is reasonable to eat less meat. Also met Cordell [right], who wants to help animals and eat less meat; and had a long conversation with Charles [below, left], who promised to read both Even If and the Guide.

Charles at WSU Elizabeth Freeman at WSU Greg at WSU
Prof Meier at CSCC
Marilyn at CSCC

 

     Special day at Columbus State Community College. Four separate people came back to us after classes to say they wanted to go vegetarian or vegan! Met Mrs. Meier [right], a math professor who got a VO booklet at a restaurant and cut back. After reading a booklet today, she said, “No more.” Got a Guide, and we had a lengthy, informative, and fun talk. We also ran into Jamie [below, left], who is an animal lover and did not like their abuse, but has been learning about the environmental implications of factory farming and wants to go vegan; we encouraged her, hammered home the myriad benefits, and she gladly took a Guide. Then we met Jasmine [below, center] – she was horrified at what she had been supporting, and is not eating meat again! We talked for a while, and she got a Guide. Next up, met Savannah [below, right], who had been floating the idea around of going veg earlier this week and BOOM got a booklet and a Guide – it was meant to be! Marilyn [right] came by; she wants to go veg with her mother and took two Guides. Two other students came back to ask for another booklet for someone else. Also met an increasing number of veg and vegan folk – great to see.

Jamie at CSCC Jasmine at CSCC Savannah at CSCC
Alex at OSU
David at OSU

 

     So much colder and blustery today at Ohio State, but really fantastic! Met Alex [right], who went vegan after getting an Even If from Joe last year. One of the last leaflets we had went to David [below, right], who comes from a very conservative area and family. He had received and read an Even If previously, and though he didn’t think he could go veg, he said he realized “I could make a difference by just decreasing my meat consumption.” After getting the booklet again today, he realized there was no longer any reason to eat and hurt animals. He is going vegan! Further, both he and his girlfriend are interested in leafleting in the future.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/19/13

Fabulous day at Santa Fe College! A lot of people were thrilled to get a Guide. Talked to a former vegetarian who is now going to give it another try. At least seven or eight other folks expressed an interest in changing their diet.
     Stellar day at the University of North Georgia Gainesville – loads of interest and great conversations. For example: a deep-sea fishing enthusiast agreed to decrease his meat consumption (including fish and chicken). Another student stopped to tell me that his girlfriend was vegetarian; by the end of our conversation, he said he would reduce his animal product consumption. A manager at the coffee shop on campus was thrilled to find out that I was vegan, since she’s working towards going vegan. Was invited to speak at a Student Affairs-hosted event in the fall.
     Scout rocked it today at Clark Atlanta University; Nigel joined me both there and at Morehouse. Lots of productive conversations! One woman thanked Scout profusely, telling her the booklet has changed her life. Nigel was impressed with how eagerly people took the Even Ifs. Too many conversations to recount, including a number who said how eye-opening the booklet was.
     At Johnson C. Smith University, I talked to the head football coach, who was so thankful for the booklet, as he wants to reduce his meat consumption. Also talked with several administrators and a football player – Jordan Mosely – who will be in the NFL draft. The latter said that while he needs to keep his weight up, he knows that eating cheeseburgers isn’t the way to do it. He said that the Guide will help him make some better food choices. Also talked to a professor who was impressed with my understanding of nutrition and what I should be taking in terms of supplements, which I attributed to VO’s resident registered dietitian.

Constance Li at Boston Pride
Constance Li gives free hugs and Compassionate Choices at the 43rd Annual Boston Pride Parade.

     More good conversations at Winston-Salem State. Eight or nine conversations that will result in dietary changes; Guided many others because of the interest. A student in her 40s came back to tell me how happy she was that I was doing this and that she and her family have been talking about going vegan for some time. They have been reducing their animal product consumption and had just said the day before that a sign from God would seal the deal. She said that I was the sign and she and her family would now be going vegan.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/18/13

At Monroe Community College, Constance went table to table in the food court, and a lot of those people said that they would eat less meat. One girl was in the middle of eating chicken when she learned about how chickens are treated on factory farms. She hadn’t even wiped the BBQ sauce off her lips before she said that she would cut down on chicken. After a short conversation, another guy pinky promised that he would eat less meat. Two separate people reached in the hallways said that they had been seriously considering vegetarianism, and receiving the leaflet was exactly what they needed to finally go through with it.
—Nathan Shin, 4/15/13

Student at Rutgers
Jon Camp snapped this Rutgers student engrossed in Compassionate Choices.

Many great conversations at San Diego State, and quite a few people came back to talk and ask more questions after reading the booklet. Talked with a guy who used to be vegan, went over some of the various excuses he’s come up with, and gave him a Guide. He ended up saying, “No more excuses.” More than a few people said things like, “Wow, you have just opened my eyes!” One guy came back later saying, “I had NO clue that this kind of stuff went on, this is unbelievable.”
—Shura Hammond, 4/17/13

Four inches of snow on the car this morning, and blowing snow throughout the day, but very receptive students at Idaho State! The next day, had great conversations at Boise State – lots of opposition to factory farming, interest in vegan options, etc. Nia is a longtime vegan who was excited to connect with other vegans. Kelly is excited to volunteer in the future!
     Despite more cold, windy weather, solid take rate at the University of Utah. The food trucks there have plenty of great vegan options, and an earthquake drill provided a massive rush of students! One student walked past a second time proudly showing me his falafel sandwich, inspired by the booklet I had just handed him!
—Steve Erlsten, 4/17/13

Great day at SUNY Purchase! Shanti joined me – she came to see Jon Camp’s presentation a few years back and has been active ever since. We met many vegetarians, vegans, and people interested in forming a group. One guy said he had seen the Compassionate Choices already, and said it was very well done, very informative, and the pictures are heartbreaking. I gave him a Guide, since the CC had motivated him to cut back his animal consumption. He will start by outright eliminating one product at a time.
—Karen James, 4/18/13

Julie at Goucher College
Aaron Ross and Ben Sylvester at the Toronto Warped Tour
Alex Greenwood sends this pic of Aaron Ross and Ben Sylvester at the Toronto Warped Tour, where activists reached 6,800 people!

Ken and I handed out all our booklets in only two class changes at Miami Dade College’s North campus. Lots of students thanked us for the information, and we each had many conversations with students about lessening their animal consumption as a great way to begin making a difference. Students I talked to were immediately more open and receptive when I suggested this as a good way for them to start. Great to see so many people receiving the leaflets with such openness and curiosity.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 4/15/13

At Goucher College, a woman came up to tell me that she could go vegan, but she really loves pizza, especially the real cheese. I told her that she could make a “pizza exception” and eat vegan the rest of the time. She said, “I like that idea!” I leafleted a group of high school students. One of them asked me, “Are you vegan?” I told her I was. She said, “Me, too!” She got a Guide. Julie [left], a student there, asked, “Are you with Vegan Outreach?” I said that I was. Julie then let me know she got a VO booklet a year ago from Aaron Ross and Kate St. John, and she’s been a vegetarian since.
—Jon Camp, 4/22/13

I am really glad I went out today despite the iffy weather. Jessica joined me at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and was a joy to leaflet with – together, we reached 1,400 students! The students were super receptive at the Community College of Baltimore County – I had several great discussions, and a number of students said they would try a vegetarian diet. One student said he was just talking about going vegan and was excited about the good timing of getting a booklet. A student athlete said to me, “You have a lot of mass for a vegetarian,” which made for a perfect opportunity to talk about vegan health and tell him all about the vegan UFC fighters like Aaron Simpson, football players like Arian Foster, boxers like Timothy Bradley (the undefeated welterweight boxing champion of the world), and other star veg athletes – this really peaked his interest. His comment and the conversation was a good reminder that it’s helpful to look healthy while doing outreach.
—Aaron Ross, 4/19/13

Nebil at UM Dearborn

Great reception at the University of Detroit! A 98% take rate, and good feedback – e.g., “Awww, this makes me cry” and “I actually just gave up meat! I’m anti anti anti [meat]!” Another told me he loves what I’m doing.
     At the University of Michigan, Dearborn, the first 40 students in a row took a booklet. One dude sang the title aloud as he walked away. A professor took 50 Even If You Like Meats and 5 Guides to give to her students. Two people were antagonistic, but one came up to me later, apologized, and took 10 booklets to distribute to his classmates! One woman I had Guided earlier told me she loved what was in the Guide – she had no idea there were so many substitutes out there. Nebil [right] came back to me, held up the booklet and said, “Some of the stuff in here is crazy, man. I had no idea.” He shook my hand three times before we parted ways. Had a nice conversation with Mohammed. He was stoked to get a Guide and we laughed about having the two most common names in the world. Another student told me he was vegetarian and that he loved what I was doing.

Student at UM Dearborn Student at Oakland U Students at Oakland U
A few of the 2,500+ students who received a booklet from John at UM Dearborn (left) and Oakland U (center and right).
Student at WSU
One of the 2,150+ students reached by Eric, Stephanie, and John at Wayne State.

 

     Very receptive students at Oakland University! Lavar told me he’s been thinking about going vegan but he doesn’t know how to fit it into his schedule. I broke it down for him, gave him a Guide, and we parted on great terms. Had a great convo with two women; one of them ended with, “Wow, that’s a really valid point. Maybe I’ll change my ways.” Met another woman that just went veg three days ago; and another who, because I handed her a booklet today, is convinced to go veg now because she’s disgusted by the way these animals are being treated. Heard numerous words of support like “I’m happy to see someone doing this.”
     Wayne State – now one of my favorite schools to leaflet! Students are very receptive here, interested in discussing the issue, and super veg-conscious. Eric [Ford, below, left] joined me in the morning – he was great! Stephanie [Lipari, below, right] is a friend of mine from high school who has been following my work via Facebook. She got inspired, went veg, and joined me this afternoon! Had so many amazing conversations; it was absolutely nuts. At one point I had a string of six people – four accepted, the fifth declined, and then the last said, “Man, why wouldn’t everyone take one?!” (in response to “Help animals?”) An hour later, he saw me and said (referring to what he read in the booklet), “Man, that is craaaaazy!”
—John Oberg, 4/18/13

Eric Ford at WSU Stephanie Lipari at WSU

 

Despite the fact we got poured on, it was great to have Jessica and Eleanor with me at Las Positas College. Many students were super interested. The second person I offered one to informed me they were vegan – “Awesome! That’s my favorite answer!”

Worker at the Academy of Art

     Big thanks to Jess for powering through the Academy of Art University and UC Hastings with me! These schools can be tough to leaflet, but we did see a lot of people reading their booklets while waiting for the bus. And I snapped a great pic [left] of a construction worker engrossed in the material – and eating veggies and hummus!
     Chilly but good day at Contra Costa College – Dalila and I reached just about everyone on campus, and got great questions and feedback. For example: One guy said he was just talking about this minutes ago in his sociology class. He and his friend both got booklets and started intensely discussing the materials on the way to the parking lot.
     What a day! Diane [Gandee Sorbi, below, left] was with me at both Mission College and San Jose State. Manisha, Melissa, Judy, Donna [DeLurgio, below, behind Diane], Lu, and Mike joined us at SJSU. Together, we reached 2,998 students – just great responses! For example, one guy [below, right] told us he had been veg for a year after getting a VO booklet on campus – and he was feeling great!

Diane Gandee Sorbi and Donna DeLurgio at SJSU Vegetarian at Mission College
Clifton Stone at USF

 

     A great day at the University of San Francisco with Clifton [Stone, right]. Good reception, and met lots of vegetarians and vegans!
     Hadn’t been to Berkeley City College for a while; a great experience again, as I always seem to have at this school! Fascinating discussions. One of the highlights was meeting an enthusiastic new vegetarian eager for more information. Got some great pics, too [below].
     Another great day with Kitty at Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College! I ran into a student I’ve seen every semester for the last two years; she said talking with us has been really helpful, and every time she gets a booklet, it keeps her on track.
     Diane and I had all sorts of interesting encounters today at Skyline College! For example, three women were interested in learning more after getting a booklet. Two of them are considering going veg, and the other has been trying to stop eating meat, but her mother is afraid she’ll get sick from protein deficiency. Diane explained there are plenty of excellent sources of protein that don’t include animal products. They all happily accepted a Guide. Another student wanted to get involved with VO. Finally, a guy approached Diane with booklet in hand, looking upset. He asked if the things he’d just read were true. She assured him they were. He said it was disgusting the way animals are treated and was shocked it was legal. He said he planned to change his diet because, “I don’t want animals treated like this just so I can eat scrambled eggs or a cheeseburger.”
—Brian Grupe

Below: Students are engrossed in Compassionate Choices at UC Hastings (left) and Berkeley City College (center and right).
Student at UC Hastings Student at BCC Student at BCC

 

Maria at UK
Vic Sjodin reports the highlight of leafleting the University of Kentucky on 4/10/13 was meeting Maria (above), a student who went veg as a result of receiving a booklet last year!

Leafleting gets better and better at the Homestead Campus of Miami Dade College; I met more vegetarians / vegans than ever before. One called back: “I’m vegan! It’s so awesome you’re out here doing this!” Not only was this really encouraging, but also got the crowd much more interested. Watched dozens of students intensely studying their booklet, and overheard others discussing the booklet. One student told me how she’d been unaware of the cruelty involved in our farming practices, and said she wouldn’t be looking at her food choices the same again. Just a few of the great things that happened on this day of awesome outreach here.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 4/8/13

At Western New England University, Joseph stopped and asked me if I was trying to make everyone a vegetarian. I said I would love that, then explained what we do at VO: that we are trying to reduce suffering as much as possible, and it is something that EVERYONE can do! He said he would read the booklet and reduce his consumption of animals.
     Lauren, a student I met last semester, joined me today, and we reached over 1,100 students at Southern Connecticut State. MaryEllen read the booklet, and said she wanted to stop eating animal products altogether. The most difficult for her would be chicken; I advised that she try Boca chik’n burgers and try the Gardein BBQ “wings.” I also told her about Beyond Meat. Then, Robert said he was now going vegan after reading the booklet!
—Karen James, 4/16/13

Terrible weather at Syracuse University, but a good spot made the day successful. I got a group of nearly 100 high school kids to take the booklets; they were all excited to read it – heard from 2 girls who really want to go vegan and said the booklets helped.

Gail Mayer at CSI

     Hail, snow, and rain at SUNY Oswego, but Constance and I reached 2,500 students. Met so many people already veg that we collected their information to put them in touch with each other. One girl came back after class to leaflet and took a couple dozen to her next class.
—Nathan Shin, 4/11/13

At CUNY City Tech, one lady said she got one last time and it made her not want to eat meat. Another girl was interested in how the food pics in the back went along with the animal pictures in the front. I explained the connection, and went on to tell her that it’s best to try many different foods and find the ones we like the best because there are so many options available.
     At CUNY Staten Island, met several people now interested in going vegan. A girl asked what she could do, and Gail [Mayer, far left] and I explained that everyone could help by even making just gradual changes in their diet.
—Lisa Drapkin, 4/16/13

Rochelle and BF at Miami U

Great conversations at Miami University, where Rachel and I reached 1,600 students, despite the rain. Also heard a number of students discussing the booklet. Brianne was enthusiastic and got a Guide. Karin wants to volunteer with VO in the future! Rochelle said she doesn’t see how she could eat meat again after reading the booklet, and asked about what to eat, etc. As she was encouraging her boyfriend to eat less meat, I took a quick pic of them with their Guides [right].
     New record at the University of Dayton, where we reached 1,450 students. Emily now wants to leaflet; Brigitte [below, center] now wants to go veg and was thankful for the Guide. Long conversation with Sammy [below, right], who ended up with a Guide. Great day.
     Rachel and I reached over 1,600 students at Sinclair Community College, with fantastic interactions. Also watched many students engrossed in their booklets. Met Tyson [below, left], who had questions and wants to stop supporting the cruelty on factory farms; he got a Guide. We also met an ethics professor who took 20 to give to her students. An older student said she supported us and wanted to go veg; also took a Guide.
—Vic Sjodin, 4/16/13

Tyson at Sinclair CC Brigitte at UD Sammy at UD

The highlight at Castleton State was when a young man said he and a friend had been looking through the booklet and were disturbed especially by the photo of the piglets. He went on to ask me some thoughtful questions, and we had a good discussion. He said he really liked VO’s approach, and the information will definitely have an impact.
—Lana Smithson, 4/15/13

Tina Czerwinski at SSC
Tina Czerwinski (above) and Leslie Patterson also reached 650 students at South Suburban College on 4/24/13.

Great to have my mom’s help at Utah Valley University and Weber State. Brittany joined us at UVU, and we reached 2,400 people – a new record for the school! The students were among the most receptive I’ve ever encountered, and one professor wants someone to speak to his classes next semester. Watched lots of students reading their booklets – especially at Weber, where we reached another 1,400 students.
—Steve Erlsten, 4/12/13

Tina and I had great conversations at Moraine Valley Community College. We heard from a couple different students who had tried but failed to be vegan, so Tina gave them some good tips and Guides. One student said our visit last semester led her to go veg. Another woman told us receiving the booklet caused her to change what she got for lunch. One student asked for a few leaflets to pass on. Other students stopped with questions, to express support, or to ask how they can help animals. Wonderful!
—Leslie Patterson, 4/17/13

John Sakars at York U

Gave a booklet to the school president at Niagara College. Reached nearly 600 people, including an interested security guard; and answered many, many questions from interested students.
—John Sakars (left, at York University), 4/17/13

Marley joined me at Central Piedmont Community College, where we met Jessica who wants to get involved. We talked for quite a while, and she said she had goosebumps up her arms just talking about what we are doing here! Marcele, a security guard, was excited about us being there. She recently rescued a turkey that fell off of a slaughter truck, and showed us pictures. She asked for more booklets and I gave her a Guide. She said she wanted to cut meat out of her diet, and she hoped we would come back!
—Curt Albright, 4/17/13

Sharon at McMaster U
Vidhant at Western
Student at St. Clair College

John and I reached over 3,000 students at Brock University, and had great conversations! Spoke with Sierra, who told me this was some heavy reading. I mentioned that as bad as it is, it is fortunate there’s something we can each do about it; this cheered her. She thanked me for doing this and left with a Guide in her hand. Also had an excellent conversation with Beata, who told me that she never wants to eat eggs again. As she walked away she turned back and said, “Thanks for turning me off eggs!” Win for the chickens! Later, one student said, “You already gave me one and you convinced me!” Made sure to Guide her!
     I reached over 2,100 students at McMaster University, and had good interactions. For example: a semi truck drove by and a guy rolled down the window and requested a booklet. When I told him it was to help animals, he said, “I love animals!” I handed two friends each a copy of Even If You Like Meat…You Can Help End This Cruelty, and as they walked away one pointed at the title and said, “This is sooo true!” Later I spoke with Sharon [right], who told me she’s definitely going to eat less meat after getting a booklet earlier in the day! She hadn’t eaten meat all day as a result of reading about how farm animals are treated!
     Poured at the University of Western Ontario, but good conversations. Handed Moe a booklet; he read it for a bit, then walked back to me and asked more about it. Turns out he tried going vegan once before but couldn’t keep up. Because he got this booklet, he now actually promised to give it another shot! Ran into Steve, an awesome vegan dude who told me about the recent outpouring of interest in animal activism in London. He told me that two years ago there was nothing going on and now there are 4 groups with 300+ people! Assan told me he really liked the “meat reduction” approach and was appreciative of the Guide I handed him. Best story of the day goes to Vidhant [right], whose sister received a booklet two years ago in Ottawa. He ended up reading it and went vegetarian as a result and has been for two years! Go, Vidhant!
     At St. Clair College, I saw tons of people reading the booklet [one at right] – got a real sense of interest from the student body. Had a real good convo with Jonathon, who said he read through the booklet and it’s really shocking stuff. He even asked for some more copies to give to his friends. His grandmother owns an egg farm with over 22,000 birds, and he said he knows it’s wrong. I actually recited the story from Joe Espinosa’s post about seeing the turkeys on their way to slaughter in the cold, and it really touched a nerve with both of us.
—John Oberg, 4/11/13

 

Shannon at York U
Below: Ali Pester, John Oberg, John Sakars, and Alex Greenwood celebrate their record-setting day at the University of Toronto with some Yves veggie dogs!

John, Ali, and I set an all-time Canadian record at York University – handed an Even If You Like Meat booklet to 4,602 students, and also gave out more than five dozen Guides! Ali took the bus for five hours and skipped two days of classes. We met numerous students that want to get involved, tons of vegheads, and tons of people impacted by the lit. Great feedback! One student told John that he got a booklet a couple years ago, and now he and his friend only eat meat on the weekends. Another student said, “Keep up the great work! I just want you to know that it’s so great you’re out here.” Finally, I had a wonderful conversation with Shannon [left], who is vegetarian, working on vegan, and now wants to get involved more and leaflet! I gave her a Guide and an AML, and will be putting her in touch with others from the school.
     Alex, Ali, John, and I [below] set a new record at the University of Toronto, reaching 2,812 students with Even If You Like Meat and Compassionate Choices, and handing out dozens of Guides. One student was familiar with Vegan Outreach and congratulated me on us hitting 20 million booklets handed out! Another student said, “Oh, you’re vegan? I’m vegan! This makes me really happy.” Yet another said, “Oh, Vegan Outreach? You guys are awesome.” I gave her a Guide; she held it up, smiled, and said, “I NEED THIS!”
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 4/5/13

Ali Pester, John Oberg, John Sakars, and Alex Greenwood at U of T

Had a very positive experience today at Carleton University with Allison and Katie [below], volunteers who hadn’t leafleted before, as well as my great friends Marc and Len, who are always around to help out the student group. One student interviewed me for her journalism class, where she wants to write a feature about vegetarianism and what we were leafleting about and why. She is transitioning to vegetarian and wants to expose her professor and class to veganism. Very cool! Great day also for meeting new students who might want to get involved next semester!

Allison Wallis at Carleton U
Allison Wallis (above) and Katie Hartai (left) provide a voice for the animals at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON.

—Team Vegan member Ali Pester, 3/25/13

Great reception from friendly students at Indian River State College. Talked to some interested in going veg. One student had been raised vegetarian, but had quit. Now, though, he is going to start reducing meat consumption ASAP and go from there.
     Fabulous day of outreach at Broward College – lots of conversations with people pledging to go vegetarian. Talked to a woman who read the booklet during class and said she was thinking of going vegetarian for other reasons but felt that doing it for the animals was a much better reason. Met lots of vegetarians and vegans. It was one of my favorite days of leafleting this semester and a one-person record for this school – as well as the most Guides I have handed out at one school – 142!

Katie Hartai at Carleton U

     Wonderful response at Miami Dade College’s West campus, especially from faculty and staff. Highlights of the day were watching a number of students read the booklets, talking with two police officers who were especially touched by the Even Ifs, and chatting with a construction worker who stopped to tell me that the images really upset him, and he was really taken aback by the obvious sadness in the eyes of the animals in the booklet. Also, the Guides were incredibly popular!
     Wow, the students at Edison State College’s Charlotte campus were super nice and very interested in the booklets. There will be some major dietary changes at this campus by many who got the Compassionate Choices. Had a couple of longer conversations; one was with a very nice security guard and another was with a student who asked me some good questions as well as some odd ones. But I realized it was more of a test; he ended up being very nice and said that I did a good job answering his questions. He said that he will definitely start cutting down on meat consumption.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 4/4/13

At the University of Arizona, I gave my last Compassionate Choices to a pair of guys, who then came back to me. They thought the booklet was cool, and the second guy wanted one. I said all I had left were Guides, with nutrition and recipes; they thought that was great and would share both booklets.
     Hiking yesterday, I was wearing my VO shirt, and an older couple stopped to say their 13-year-old granddaughter had gone vegan; they wanted a shirt for her, were excited to learn about VO, etc. Great stuff.
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/28/13

Elana Pessin at NCC

Was great to finally feel the sun’s warmth at SUNY Nassau, and great to be joined by Elana [Pessin, right], Melissa, and Jennifer! We were able to reach 1,500 students. Jennifer met a professor who said, “I eat meat. I can’t help it. But I think you’re right, and I feel guilty now. Guilty!” To which she replied, encouragingly: “Don’t feel guilty, feel motivated!” He seemed to like that. Another professor expressed support for our efforts and said he knows it’s probably what he should do (i.e., stop eating animals). I Guided him. A student said she’s nearly vegan, she was happy to accept a Guide. This is how we change the world, baby.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 4/8/13

Rain hurt the traffic but might have improved the take rate at Western Illinois University. Heard from half a dozen vegetarians, which was nice at this ag school!
—Team Bockman, 4/10/13

Bernadette at Transylvania U Geno at U of L Rachel M at U of L
Student at Transylvania U

 

Great day at the University of Louisville! Rachel had a 15-minute talk with Geno [above, center] – he was shocked by many things, and is on his way! Also met Rachel M [above, right], who was welled up with emotion after reading the booklet; she got a Guide, and wants to go veg and leaflet! Spoke with Matt for a half hour, even into his class time. We discussed animal suffering on factory farms, vegan nutrition, protein, and other things. He came around more and more and was very disturbed by animal cruelty; I think we got another one.
     Then a fantastic day at Morehead State University, Transylvania University, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Great conversations. One student [right] had been vegetarian but went back to eating meat two years ago. She says she is now back on board – after getting the booklet, she can never eat meat again. Yay! Another student [Bernadette, above, left] who was veg, wants to go vegan and asked for lit to show her friends. Score!
     After, while getting an oil change, had an amazing conversation with the four working there – blew my socks off. They all got Guides and were still discussing it as we left.

Librarian at EKU Brian at EKU Murtaja at EKU
Students at EKU

 

     More great conversations at Eastern Kentucky University, where Rachel and I reached a record 1,700 students. Had a really nice interaction with Murtaja [above, right], who now wants to eat less meat. One woman [a librarian, above, left] came back to say she had been on her way to Chick-fil-A when she got the booklet. She started reading it, and decided to go veg. Also met Brian [above, center], who stopped eating animals after getting a VO booklet in the past. As usual, saw several students reading booklets cover-to-cover [two at right]; a highlight was seeing one student reading in a hammock between class changes [below].
     Note: Rachel went to EKU for two years; she heard a persuasive speech on going vegetarian, but dismissed it at that time: “I will never go veg.” So that is inspiring: everyone can come around once they make the connection. Some even take months to volunteer and educate others!
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 4/9/13

Student at EKU

Cobie and I met enthusiastic students at Lane Community College, and had good interactions. For example: one guy initially refused a booklet but assured me that he is in agreement and thinks factory farms are bad. However, when I asked him what he eats, his actions were not in sync with his beliefs. I told him that when we purchase something we are voting with our dollars for what we like and don’t like. He said that I was right and took a booklet.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/9/13

Janet Glover at McGill U
First-time leafleter Janet Glover (above) and Lana Smithson reached 1,200 people at Montreal’s McGill University on 4/9/13, including the student shown below, engrossed in Compassionate Choices.
Student at McGill U

 

Great conversation at SUNY Plattsburgh with a young man who wants to transition toward more vegetarian meals. Another student said she just wrote an article for the school paper about animal cruelty and was happy to get a booklet.
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/10/13

Snowy driving was worth it for the amazing students at Colorado Mesa University! I heard one student tell another, “That’s the best booklet I’ve ever gotten!” As she walked past, I asked if she had gotten it before. She explained that she was vegan for years, but had fallen off the vegan train a couple years ago. Getting a booklet last year made her think; this year I gave her a Guide, and she is ready to come back to a compassionate diet!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 4/9/13

Eric Griffith at UGA

Dawn was on campus today, and our group was doing a large Meatout food sampling – Tofurky, Gardein, So Delicious, a yummy vegan “mock chik’n salad” from the deli of our local Earth Fare grocery, and other items. Many hundreds of students stopped at our tables and sampled cruelty-free foods and took literature. I decided to leaflet as well [right], and reached several hundred more students.
—Team Vegan member Eric Griffith, 4/12/13

Great take rate at Quinsigamond Community College! Zion remembered me from last semester, so he stopped to leaflet. Jenny also remembered me, and took booklets to put on display in the student center where she works. One student came back after reading the Compassionate Choices and wanted more for his friends, some of whom are vegan. I briefed him about VO and how we are here to help reduce suffering. He said he would start by cutting his meat eating in half, as he felt that this was doable!
     Sheryl joined me today at Holyoke Community College, where we had good interactions. For example: Matt, who said he loves meat and also hunts, stopped to talk. After a discussion, he said he would do Meatless Mondays, and got a Guide. Another two guys stopped, saying that they love meat. After we talked, one said he would cut back. Same thing happened at Westfield State, three different times!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 4/10/13

Aspiring vegan and Hayley Plageman at IUB
While leafleting Indiana University Bloomington, Team Vegan member Tonja Robertson snapped this pic of Hayley Plageman with a student who is working toward vegan!

I recently saw 42, the film about Jackie Robinson. During Jackie’s first games, he was taunted by racists in the stands over and over again. He and the team executives understood that if he were to continue to play, he would have to bite his tongue each and every day. And so he did, as ignorant people spewed irrational and venomous nonsense. Jackie didn’t respond, and he eventually won the war; he had a career leading to an induction in the Hall of Fame, and MLB became an integrated sport.
     While we never have to endure anything like Jackie did, we have a similar choice every time we get out to do this work – we can get upset over any tiny jab that individuals throw at us, or we can channel any frustration effectively so that it leads to a better world. Any individual who actively challenges the status quo is going to get resistance. And it’s the effective advocates who see beyond the immediate battles and who focus on winning the war.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 4/15/13

 

Student at MTSU
Student at MTSU

I handed out my 900,000th booklet for VO today. Thank you so much to everyone on this list who donates to ensure that activists have all these booklets to hand out! This work gives me a great amount of joy and meaning. So you’re not just helping animals, you’re giving me the opportunity to do work that I find rewarding. And I never take this for granted.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/26/13

Good conversations at the University of Maine, Farmington. An older woman gave thumbs up and said, “I approve of what you’re doing. Thank you for doing it!” Another woman said she grew up on a farm and she lamented, “Looking back, it wasn’t a very nice place.”
     Productive day at the University of New Hampshire. A professor said, “Good timing; I was just talking about these issues with my students.” I had a meat-reduction conversation with someone who said he could never go vegetarian. He probably thought I would criticize him but he was very happy with our conversation. He shook my hand and seemed willing to reduce meat consumption. Very positive.
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 4/5/13

Middle Tennessee State was great outreach for me and Rachel, here in increasingly veg-friendly Murfreesboro. Many great interactions, including three students [below] who said they now want to go vegan! We met one student [above, right] who told us he went veg after getting a VO booklet last semester; after talking longer, he revealed in the past he used to taunt his veg friends, “For every animal you save, I will eat two.” Now he is veg from a VO booklet! We met another student [right] who was disturbed by the info in the booklet; and after a long talk said she was going to start cutting it out and eating meatless meals. I really feel our conversation helped and augmented the booklet.

Student at MTSU Student at MTSU Student at MTSU

     We had an outstanding day at East Tennessee State with Frannie [Miller, below, right]! Many great reactions; e.g., “Thank you SO much for handing these out.” Met Yesenia [below, left], who told us she now wanted to go vegan; got a Guide. Another student came back to say he would eat less meat; others asked for extra booklets to give to friends and family. After heavy leafleting the last few years, we are helping make this area far more vegan friendly.

Yesenia at ETSU Frannie Miller at ETSU
David Shaffer at UT Knoxville

 

     I’d say this was one of the best days of the semester; then again, when you are saving animals and awakening people to compassionate living, every day is the best day!
     David [Shaffer, right] joined Rachel and me at the University of Tennessee – we reached over 2,400 students, including Sara [below], who now wants to go vegan! Incredible how much more receptive students are to the plight of the animals than in ’08 and ’09. Many students thanked us for being out there. It is evident we are making a huge difference.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 4/3/13

Sara at UT Knoxville

 

Another productive day at Oregon State. Just a few negative comments; when one person refused a booklet saying she likes steak, the person she was walking with yelled back to me that she is eating less meat due to receiving a booklet.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 4/1/13

So much interest that the night just flew by at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! A woman told Jeanie that getting a Compassionate Choices at the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market caused her to go vegan. There were a couple instances of guys saying they wouldn’t get enough protein if they were vegan – I showed them the photo of Robert Cheeke in Compassionate Choices. A group of students got booklets and posed with the cow [below]. I have a feeling there will be some new vegetarians out of that group!
—Team Vegan member Barbara Bear, 3/28/13

Students at San Luis Obispo farmers’ market

The first guy I met at Norwalk Community College was a new vegetarian. He took booklets and said, “I am going to share this great information with my family and friends! This cruelty needs to stop!” Another guy said, “I’m all for this! My aunt introduced me to vegan eating, and being nice to animals. Keep up the good work!” Met Mario, who received a Vegan Outreach booklet 13 years ago and went vegan! His girlfriend is vegan too.
     At Housatonic Community College, a student said, “I help animals: I don’t eat them anymore since I got one of these booklets from you last year!” An older woman came back and said, “I read the booklet. What is happening is a shame. I am so glad you are standing up for the animals. I WILL cut back on animal products!” Score! An older man walked by, stopped, looked at the booklet, said his daughter is vegan, and that his wife is a teacher who may be interested in this info and a talk for her class. He took my card.

Kyra at FSU
John Oberg reached more than 1,200 students at Ferris State on 3/26/13. The first booklet went to Kyra (above), who said, “Awww, this is so sad. God didn’t make animals to be tortured like this.”

     Reached over 1,000 students at Dutchess Community College, where after getting a booklet, one woman said she will now cut back consuming animal products to twice a week. A security guard said, “Keep going, and good luck doing the good work!” Eleven students wanted to start a group and eight of them were interested in leafleting!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 4/1/13

Driving to Purdue, I passed a number of chicken and pig sheds, as well as Fair Oaks Farms, a dairy and now pig operation that makes it a point to paint a pretty picture of animal agriculture. I was also thinking that this is the day after the 45th anniversary of the killing of Dr. King and our work for justice does not require us to withstand fire hoses, police attacks, firebombings and lynchings. Reflecting on our great position in time and space to effect change made me serious about the work.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 4/5/13

Great day at the University of Northern Colorado! Reached 1,175 students, and gave a talk. Knowing it is a slaughterhouse town, I expected the worst, but wonderful reception!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 4/1/13

Shocked by the reception rate at the University of Arizona Book Fair. People would stop and come back when they heard what I was offering. Even more shocking was the percentage of people who were already vegetarian / vegan. I could have easily handed out dozens more Guides. Loads and loads and loads of people – including those you absolutely wouldn’t expect – said they were veg, thanked me for being out there with *great* appreciation, etc. No long interactions, but some nice short ones. (E.g., one guy with a St. Louis Cardinals hat and shirt took a booklet, and I said, “Tony La Russa is a vegetarian.” He stopped and said, “Really?” with great interest.)
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/10/13

Kids at Miami Beach
Linda Bower reached 200 beachgoers in Miami on 3/29/13 and reports getting “lots of support and gratitude for the booklets.”

I was blown away by the response I received at St. Petersburg College! Even some of the more conservative-looking folks responded with sincere interest and talked to me despite record low temps for this time of year, as well as fierce wind. Several folks came back to get more booklets. And an ethics professor wants me to come back to campus.
     Lots of people at the University of South Florida were very grateful for the literature. A long, thoughtful conversation with a pre-med student who will undoubtedly be making some changes. He appreciated that I did not make outlandish health claims about veganism and was very happy to hear about Jack’s approach (honest and based on peer-reviewed studies) to vegan nutrition. While we were talking, a woman approached us to thank me for leafleting.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/27/13

Suzanne Smalligan at GVSU

Cornerstone University was sweet. I walked onto campus and noticed a faraway door open up with a huge flow of students exiting. Knocked out a ton of booklets and heard awesome stuff. E.g., met Jessie and Hailey that said how sad it was. I Guided Jessie, then Hailey wanted one. Jessie told Hailey, “We should get on that vegetarian kick!”

Antaeus at GVSU

     Take-rate was 97% at Aquinas College. I had a great conversation with a student who had been vegetarian for 6.5 years, so I encouraged her to try it again; she seemed genuinely interested. I think just asking someone to do it is a powerful thing. Also met a vegan that was happy to see me out there and said she’d never met another vegan before; I put her in contact with some locals.
     Was great to have Suzanne [Smalligan, above] with me at Grand Valley State. So much amazing feedback. For example, Antaeus [left] came up to Suzanne and said, “This is soooo interesting. It makes me not want to eat meat anymore. Thank you for being out here.” A set of eyes opened up to the plight of farm animals because of our presence! Awesome.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/29/13

Rita and I had a great day at John Jay! One girl took a bunch for her classmates. Another girl said she was glad to have found a booklet! Also met two veg people who thought it was awesome to see us out there and were happy to hear about VO!
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 4/4/13

 

Student at GVSU
Above, a student is engrossed in one of the 3,200+ booklets handed out by John Oberg and Chelsea Button (below) at Grand Valley State!
John Oberg and Chelsea Button at GVSU

On the way home after handing a booklet to over 1,100 students at Michigan State, I drove behind a truck crammed with turkeys on their way to slaughter. They were packed as 4 birds per wire cage (looked to be 24" x 24" x 24" cages) with no protection from the weather and wind. They were absolutely motionless due to the pain of their overgrown bodies and damage done in the handling, and no doubt fear of the experience of shipping.
     While I have seen some pretty brutal stuff during my years in animal protection, this made me cry. Let’s work.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/26/13

I woke up to Joe’s message about the truck of turkeys on their way to slaughter. It made me sick to my stomach and shot adrenaline to my arms. Later in the day, I decided to re-read it. Teary-eyed and all, I got a booklet into the hands of every possible student I could.
     Based on the feedback from compassionate students throughout the day, I couldn’t have been happier that I did. Thank you to Joe for putting this work in perspective and reminding us all why we’re out there every day doing this necessary work. And thank you to the ones financially supporting this work; it’s for these turkeys that we can’t thank you enough.
     That day at Grand Valley State, with Chelsea [right], was one of my greatest this semester. The students were absolutely friendly, interested, and engaged. I literally met dozens of vegetarians / vegans and dozens of people who verbally stated how sad this is. One student pointed to the booklet and said to her friend, “Ahhhh!!!! This is why I’m vegetarian!!!” I gave her a Guide. Other students told me they had received a booklet previously and were really excited about it. Each got a Guide. I asked one student what he thought of the booklet and he said it made him not want to eat meat. One dude, as he walked down the steps towards me, reached out his arm to grab a booklet, jokingly saying “another victim.” I smiled, tapped my fingers on the cover of the Even If and said, “These guys are the victims.” He replied in a more serious tone, “Yes, they are.”

Kate Cowdery at WMU Deanna McDonald at WMU
Kristen at WMU
Janet at WMU

 

     At Western Michigan University, I had help from my host Deanna [McDonald, above, right] and her friend Kate [Cowdery, above, left] – they were great! One student pointed to her friend’s booklet and said, “That’s why I’m going vegetarian!” I flagged her down and gave her a Guide, which she joyfully accepted. Productive conversations with Kristen [left], Dana, and Janet [below, left], all of whom I expect will be changing, and maybe getting involved! A lot of other great feedback; e.g., another student explained that he really liked that we were there, that it’s so true how the only way things will really change is when consumers demand them to change.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/28/13

Good reception at Christopher Newport University. One young woman got a booklet, read it while standing up for a few minutes, sat down and read it for a few more minutes, then ran into her friends and told them that they should take a booklet. The highlight of the day was a guy who rode by on his skateboard with his belly on the board. As he approached, I got down on the ground, and did the handoff while laying there. He and his friends enjoyed it, as did I.
     One young woman said, “You’re still here. That’s diligence.” I get the feeling that many students respect someone who is willing to get out and stand up for a cause for many hours. One benefit of person-to-person outreach in an increasingly digital world is that we put a positive, friendly face to this work, and we send a message that this cause is so important that people are willing to get out in the cold for it.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/22/13

At Southern Maine Community College, a young man initially refused a booklet, saying things like, “We’ve been eating meat since the dawn of time!” When he walked by again, he stopped and heard me out, and ended up taking a booklet. Later, I met a young woman who got a booklet last year; she said she and her boyfriend are eating a lot more vegetarian meals now.

Sunni Mullenix at APSU
Christine at TSU
Jasmine at Vanderbilt

     A young man said he had worked at an egg farm. He said the conditions were horrible, and described small cages, sick birds with hardly any feathers, etc. He said part of his job was to go around and remove dead / dying birds from cages. While looking at the battery cage photos in the booklet, he said that conditions are sometimes even worse than what the photos show.
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 3/26/13

Rachel and I hit four schools in the snow today. Interesting interactions; e.g., after reading the booklet, one student, whose brother is vegetarian, said it finally makes sense; took a Guide for himself and another to show his brother.
     Great to run into Sunni [Mullenix, right] at Austin Peay State and have her help out. Interested students and productive conversations, including a professor. Met a student who had gone veg for a few months in the past and was no longer veg – gave her a Guide and encouragement that she could still eat less meat, not just go completely the other way; she agreed.
     Up early for a three-school day filled with many conversations. At Tennessee State, we met Christine [right], who was super stoked to get a Guide and thanked us for being out there. Vanderbilt was great; we met and then Guided and encouraged Jasmine [below, right], who now wants to go vegan. Had a long convo with a student who at first was adamant humans were carnivores. I quickly steered the conversation from biological characteristics to the ability to reduce suffering, and the awful treatment of animals on factory farms. This hit home and he warmed up; he left saying he would consider eating less meat.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/27/13

Gave a presentation on factory farming at Illinois State – it went really well, and I gave out Compassionate Choices and Guides at the end. Stuck around after to leaflet, and I’m sure the message stuck with some of them!
—Team Vegan member Jon Bockman, 3/21/13

First-time leafleter Rita joined me at Monroe College. Students were very friendly; e.g., talked with one very curious guy who was happy to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/28/13

New school for me and Stacey – Albertus Magnus College. Mike had a lot of questions about eating inexpensively, vitamins, health, protein, etc. Gave him a Guide. Met Robert, who came back and said he likes pigs feet, pork chops, etc. I said I understand, but it is not about taste, it is about compassion and reducing suffering. I asked if he could cut back on consuming animal products, to help. We talked for about 10 minutes and he took a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/22/13

Was initially slow at Montana State, but then the fire marshal started testing the fire alarms! It was like a dream come true, with each building emptying out one at a time! After we followed the marshal around to all of the academic buildings, it was pretty well saturated. The most memorable conversation was with a professor who is vegan two days a week; hopefully our quick conversation will encourage him along!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/27/13

At Loyola, enough interested young faces and people reading the booklet to give hope. Also, I leafleted a security guard who said she is vegetarian and was excited to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/27/13

Good day at Valdosta State – reached over 1,000 students, and gave out dozens of Guides. Students thanked me for being out there and/or commented on how moving the booklets were. Spoke with a professor who, after our conversation, totally agreed with me that at least reducing animal product consumption was definitely the way to go, instead of eating “humane” products.

Zemone at Nicholls State
After leafleting Nicholls State in Thibodaux, LA, Vic Sjodin reports the highlight was meeting chemistry major Zemone (above), who now wants to go veg!

     Despite the rain-shortened day, I had a ton of great conversations at the College of Central Florida – was actually shocked by the near-universal interest in the booklets! Three people told me they now wanted to go vegetarian, and one said he would work on going vegan. The latter’s girlfriend had gone vegan to lose weight, but when that did not happen she went back to eating meat. However, he is trying to go vegan for the animals as he sees it as unnecessary to eat animal products – noting that it’s cruel when alternatives exist.
     The University of New Orleans was a fabulous experience and now one of my all-time favorite schools. Met lots of vegan and vegetarians, and will probably be giving a talk to the newly forming animal group in the fall as we exchanged contact info. Lots of conversations with folks wanting to make significant changes.
     New records at Loyola University and Xavier University, with good conversations. Two students said that they pretty much eat vegan during the Lenten season and wanted to know what foods are out there to make their diets more varied. Another student declared he was now a vegetarian after reading the Even If You Like Meat, as he can’t ethically justify eating meat anymore. Definitely worth it!
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/18/13

 

Marcela at UTEP
John reports: “Marcela is a vegetarian for the animals and very excited to get in contact with other veggies at UTEP so she can become more active.”

A record day at Elon University; good reception for a Friday. Highlight was when a woman came back to me and said that she read the booklet I had given her earlier and is now a vegetarian.
     Love Salem College, a private women’s school. And the best thing of all is that administrators want me to distribute booklets, since more and more of their students are going vegetarian / vegan. In fact, this has the largest percentage of veg*ns that I have encountered outside of New College.
     Philip, Loren, and I set a new record at Winthrop University. We all had great conversations. Met people wanting to get involved and connect with the new Charlotte group; watched many others reading their booklet. For example, Loren reports a student liking that the booklet doesn’t take an all-or-nothing position. Connor, who was vegan for a year before “giving in” to his girlfriend’s meaty diet, was excited to take an Even If You Like Meat and a Guide for her to consider.
     Curt joined Loren, Philip, and me at Central Piedmont Community College, where we shattered my old record, reaching over 2,300 students! Loren reports a vegan student who asked for extra booklets to distribute; a student who had been persuaded by her mother not to become vegetarian earlier in her life, and now wanted to make the change. Hiren, a student who was so impressed with the booklet that he visited the website and then made a point of returning to chat. A student passed by after having read the Even If earlier in the day, saying with a smile, “There’s good information in there.” As we finished leafleting for the day, I was on a natural high, knowing that our efforts are making a real difference in addressing animal oppression, climate change, and other life-and-death issues. Thanks to all who make this outreach possible.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 3/5/13

Emily at Marshall U

A great day at Marshall University! Good conversations, including with Emily [right], who has been veg since getting a booklet from me during my stop at Marshall in the fall. Oh yeah!
     At York College, I had a productive conversation with Jimmy, a student who (correctly) didn’t envision the world going vegan overnight, but heard me out on the importance of piecemeal change. And it was nice to talk with April, who attended a talk I gave at York last semester and left as a vegan. In three of my last four days of outreach, I’ve had someone come up to say they’re now veg or vegan as a result of our past outreach on their campus. Woohoo!
     I was floored by how many people at Montgomery College mentioned being vegan, veg, consumers of vegetarian meats and tofu, etc. A number of the people expressed genuine enthusiasm for going veg as a result of our conversation. Amazing.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/12/13

Friday afternoon at Oregon State. Highlight of the day was talking to a guy who went vegetarian as a result of a VO booklet he got two years ago. Had a great conversation with him and he got a Guide. When I was back, I met one young woman who was really excited when she saw what I was giving out. She will end up being a voice for the animals.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 3/15/13

At the University of Southern Maine, an older man told me he used to have a small farm but factory farmers put him out of business. A woman said the booklet will be helpful for a project she’s doing in an environmental class. She said, “It’s very important to get this information out to the community.” A student thanked me for being there and said, “This is very important to me.” Another student said, “This will be perfect to show to my family.” A vegetarian woman said she had been thinking lately about starting to eat meat again, but getting the booklet was a good reminder of why she should stay veg! Whooo!
—Team Vegan member Lana Smithson, 3/13/13

Aspiring vegan at UL Lafayette
After receiving a booklet from Vic at UL Lafayette, this student wants to go vegan!

Constant snow at Western Michigan University, but one of the highest reception rates! Heard from 4 vegans and 11 vegetarians and one gentle giant of a student who stated that he felt very strongly about animals and wanted to stop eating them.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/12/13

Thousands of people at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market – got out a ton of booklets. And great conversations; e.g., a sweet teenager who went veg in 5th grade and really wants to go vegan now – she took a “vegan” button and we loaded her up with info. Also a boy of about six and his mom; he didn’t want to eat animals anymore – they got the info needed.
—Team Vegan member Barbara Bear, 3/14/13

At the University of Arizona, the first five people turned me down, but then it picked up. Highest percentage of “already have that” or “already veg” I’ve ever encountered. Right when I had to leave, a huge group of maybe 50 middle school kids were coming right toward me. I let the front group (with the adults) go past, and then started offering booklets. You would have thought I was Santa offering Xboxes! Seriously – they all flocked to me as though I was the Pied Piper! It was unreal.
—Team Vegan member Matt Ball, 3/8/13

At CUNY Staten Island, met students who said they were thinking about this already and were happy to get a booklet. Also met a teacher who was a longtime vegetarian happy to see this work being done.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/11/13

Despite the rain, good conversations at Seattle Central Community College. For example, talked to a woman who wanted to go vegan; gave her a Guide.

Justin at UL Lafayette
Jolie at LA Tech
Krystal at GSU
Jairon at GSU

     Great morning at Everett Community College. Talked to two people who have been working on going vegan; one wants to get involved because she loves the work we are doing!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/14/13

Georgia and I had a hard time keeping our fingers functioning at Truman College, with three-degree windchill. One woman stopped and said she cares about animals and only buys chickens from Perdue because they treat them well according to the commercials. I filled her in on what Perdue actually does and how chickens suffer due to their genetics, and she said she is going to try giving up chicken. She was excited to receive the Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/20/13

Great day at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, with excellent feedback. Met a student who has been veg after getting a VO booklet last year and is still excited. Spoke to Justin [above, right] for a long time, who concluded he cannot support the abuse of animals in factory farms, so wants to go veg and also discuss issues with wife. Rachel spoke to a cowboy who loved to eat meat but didn’t want to support factory farm conditions and said he was considering the issues.
     Rachel and I also set a record at Louisiana Tech. Watched many reading their booklet. Highlight was meeting Jolie [right], who wants to go vegan and leaflet in the future!
     Big impact today! At Grambling State, spoke to Jalen who is now interested in eating veg: “It is all kinds of cruel how they are treated.” Had a long talk with Jasmine; then spoke to Krystal [right], who now wants to go vegan. Best part of the day was meeting Jairon [below, right], who stopped in his tracks to read the booklet. He was very thankful for the booklet and the info, and we had a moving discussion; he concluded by saying he never wants to eat meat again!
     Outstanding day at Murray State – great conversations. Met Garret, a vegan who wants to leaflet in the future. And one of the highlights of the tour was meeting Jeremy [Cleaver, below, left], a brave vegan freshman. I gave him a Guide and invited him to leaflet with us at any point the rest of the day. We talked for a few minutes and I wished him well. In 15 minutes, he came back to leaflet. He is so supportive of our cause, so kind and intelligent and brave. He was very happy to do activism and will leaflet with VO in future. I fail to describe how inspiring he is and what a friend he is to animals! So thank you, Jeremy!
     Frigid and murky at Indiana State, but fantastic outreach – Rachel and I reached over 1,200 students. Two vegetarians were stoked to see us on campus. A student came back after reading the entire booklet in class. He said he was an animal lover and that he would eat less meat.
     Astronomical outreach at the University of Memphis, where we were joined by a volunteer and reached over 2,000 students, topping the previous record by more than 300. One student [below, right] said she had gotten an Even If previously and drastically reduced her meat consumption; asked for a Compassionate Choices for a friend. A sociology professor took booklets for her students. One student said she was going to do a report on factory farming after reading the booklet, another had a similar story – she was going to use it for a presentation. Another student took two Guides, for herself and her mom. A vegan student thanked us emphatically for being out there; I explained how handing out 60–100 leaflets will double the amount of animals his personal veganism saves, so he joined us. Rebecca [below, center] wants to go veg, and said the Guide was “exactly what I need!” Then her friend came up to me and asked me if he, too, could get a Guide.
     Solid day and massive impact at Ole Miss, where we beat the previous best mark at this school by 620 booklets. Great interactions: e.g., a professor grabbed 15 to give to her class; another student asked for 25 to show friends and family; and Taylor, who has leafleted before, came to say hello and took 100 for her on-campus activist group to distribute. Another student had many questions; we had a 10-minute talk that centered around animal cruelty. Met another woman who wants to go vegan; gave her a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/21/13

Jeremy Cleaver at Murray State Rebecca at U of M Student at U of M
Santana at MATC

Great interactions at Central Connecticut State. For example, a student stopped and thumbed through the booklet, and he said slowly, “Oh…I just had a steak.” I said that he could read the booklet, it might change his mind about animals used for food and perhaps he could reduce suffering by reducing his consumption of animals. He said, “I can do that!”
     At SUNY Westchester Community College, I met a guy who initially had a negative view of animal rights groups, but after talking to me, he calmed down, shook my hand, and said that he was glad that I was out here speaking out for what I believe in. Seven students want to help leaflet. One student raised her fist in the air and yelled out, “I don’t eat meat! I don’t eat meat!”
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/13/13

Cheryl Abbate at MATC
Unny Nambudiripad at UMNTC

So great leafleting Milwaukee Area Technical College with new leafleter Cheryl [Abbate, right]. Despite heavy snow, take rate was really high. Rachel joined us for a bit, too! Cheryl was told by someone that they’re really thankful we were out there, that he’s been thinking about going vegetarian; so she Guided him. Another guy said, “It’s pretty interesting stuff. I never thought about it like that, it’s like you get a meal and it’s just sitting there and you don’t really think twice about it. Thanks, brother.” I offered a booklet to Santana [above] and she said, “Oh! I got one of those, it’s so scary!” We then talked for a minute and I gave her a Guide. As we parted she yelled out, “This makes me want to be a vegetarian!” Also met Phil who said, “I’m never going to eat meat again!”
     Unny [Nambudiripad, right] organized an amazing day at the University of Minnesota. Mike, Sen, Fred, Jeff, Dustin, Jacque, Jennifer, Kealy, Markus, Unny, and I reached over 5,000 students! Much support for us being out there in this weather, lots of people moved by the literature, and we met tons of vegetarians and vegans.
     Out the door at 4:50 am this morning to get to the University of Minnesota, Duluth, but man, was it worth every minute! From 7:45 to 8:00 I was able to hand out 360 booklets. That’s a booklet every 2.5 seconds for 15 minutes straight – it was nuts. I met a bunch of vegetarians / vegans, and ran into Taylor, who wants to get involved. Met Ian, who was the “knocker” at a slaughterhouse straight out of high school – he’s been vegetarian ever since! He shook my hand and thanked me for doing this good work.

Fred Tyler and John Oberg at UW Stout

     Snowing at the University of Wisconsin, Stout, and it was the last day before spring break. But nearly a 100% take rate, and Fred, Sen, and I had occasional snowball fights. We met a ton of vegetarians!
     Despite the continuing snowstorm, amazing feedback at Michigan Tech. Brendon told me he read through it and agreed that animal cruelty is bad but that he just loves meat too much. I told him how nearly every vegetarian I know was in the same boat but we’ve all made it and actually love all the vegetarian meats on the market. Looking at them in the Guide, he said, “Great! I’ll check some of these out!” Also met Armando, a gangster-ish lookin’ dude that took a look at the cover and sincerely said, “Oh yeah man, I like this.” I gave him a Guide and he said how they treat animals is terrible. I told him it is terrible but luckily there’s something he can do about it. We parted ways and he said, “Thanks for being out here, raising awareness!”
—Team Vegan member John Oberg (shown with Fred Tyler, far left, at UW Stout), 3/19/13

 

Amber Smith at Marquette
Above: Amber Smith reaches another student at Marquette University. Below: UWM students read an Even If You Like Meat together.
Students at UWM

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Despite a slow start, I set a personal best at UNC Chapel Hill, reaching over 2,300 students. I happened to overhear one student say they are going veg as a result of the booklet. The highlight was a conversation with a student about free-range, etc.; after she said she was going full vegan.
     This leafleting outing was done in memory of my beloved kitty, Toonces, who recently passed away at 21 years old. She was such a fixture in our lives and will be missed terribly.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/28/13

At Quinnipiac University, the head of security took an Even If You Like Meat; and another security guard said that he agreed with what I was doing. His ex-wife is vegetarian, and he knew a bit about the horrendous conditions on factory farms, and he is against them. I asked him if he would like a Guide with health info, and he took it. He said he would try to cut back even more on his consumption of animal products.
     At Yale, I handed a booklet to a doctor of internal medicine who read it and came back to talk. “What can I do?” he asked. We discussed the cruelty of animal agriculture, and discussed reducing consumption of animals. He was very happy to accept a Guide when I told him that it had a lot of health info in it. He said it was good, and he was going to research / learn more, and start toward becoming vegetarian!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/6/13

Heard lots of great feedback at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater – both on the idea of helping animals and general support for the work that VO does; e.g., “Thank YOU for helping animals!” “Keep up the great work!” One student was very moved when she got a booklet a few semesters ago; I made sure to whip out a Guide for her. At the end of the day, a student walked out of the University Center holding a booklet and as he passed me he said, “I’m reading it! It’s really sad stuff.” I handed him a Guide and told him, “It is, but luckily there’s something you can do about it.”
     Beautiful day at Marquette with Amber [Smith, above], who met Joe Espinosa and then got involved. Really receptive students and good interactions. Two students even brought me a coffee with soymilk, with “Thanks for all your hard work!” written on the side of the cup.
     Amber was back again today at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, along with her mom! We reached nearly 2,500 students, and had many meaningful interactions. For example, a biology professor told me he had a slightly heated discussion with a student in his class who had received a booklet and dismissed it based on religious grounds. He expressed his displeasure at her dismissal of the issue based on ancient principles out of touch with the world we live in today. Hopefully he’ll bring up these points in coming days with students of his that may have received a booklet today.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 3/4/13

Lisa Drapkin at Lehman College
Team Vegan’s Lisa Drapkin hands out Even If You Like Meat at Lehman College.

Had a good day at Kean University – good thing I was inside because the weather outside was absolutely awful. I had three people tell me they were very interested in going veg and all took Guides; we had good conversations about finding new foods you like and making it easier that way. One guy gave me a not-so-nice remark passing by. I replied in a friendly manner, and he stopped by again on his way back past, and we had a short conversation; he left saying he respects what I’m doing. Also, one girl came back after reading the leaflet to thank me and tell me how informative it was.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/6/13

Snow and drizzle, but solid leafleting – reached over 2,000 students. I did not have a single negative comment. At West Virginia University! And I was really enjoying the leafleting, and I think it showed, and people were smiling back at me, and saying nice things. While a number of people mentioned being veg or vegan, one vegan in particular stood out. She came up and said in such a sweet and sincere manner that she was really happy to see me out there. “It actually made my day,” she said. Awww. I then met Jill [below], who got a booklet from us when John Oberg, Joe Gonzales, and I were on campus a year ago. She’s been veg since.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 3/6/13

Fellow Team Vegan member Steve, Cobie, and I reached over 1,600 students at Portland State. Of the three food carts there, two were totally vegan. They also have lots of vegan food on campus.
     Three memorable conversations. One with a woman who buys “humane” animal products; we discussed marketing and also about making choices which cause the least suffering (avoiding bird flesh and eggs). The second was with someone who took a booklet and then came back to thank me and tell me how meaningful this was to her. She is vegetarian but her husband isn’t and she was happy to have the Compassionate Choices and Guide to show him. The third was with someone who got a booklet 2 years ago and started off telling me how the pictures in the booklet affected her kids. She just wanted to chat with someone who understands.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 3/4/13

Jill at WVU

Off to Harold Washington College after work. I was also curious to see if the slightly warmer temperature and lack of falling snow increased reception…it did. Heard from four vegetarians and two vegans, and talked harm reduction (avoiding consumption of birds and fishes) with two people.
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 3/6/13

San Jacinto College was awesome. Very receptive students. Saw many reading and discussing booklets. We met a student that wants to go vegan after getting a booklet. Also met a vegan who was happy we were on campus. Overheard one girl say “I want to go veg” to her friend.
     Some encouraging feedback from our host Professor Ramiri in Corpus Christi, after I wrote to thank him for housing us, he wrote back:
     “I’ll have you know that one of my professor friends in political science walked into her class this morning to find several of her students with your pamphlets in hand. They ended up changing the day’s lesson plans and talking about animal rights and activism. So, yeah, I’d say you not only awakened hearts and minds – but also changed the teaching plans for today in some classes.”
     This happens often – I’ve heard of classes discussing the booklets in the past.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/6/13

 

John Oberg at UW Madison Ben Collins at UW Madison

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Gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, Madison last night, and despite the heavy snow, Josh [Kissel], Marina [Drake], and Josh [Turner, below] joined Ben [Collins, far right] and me [right] today. At the talk, I covered the leafleting survey, showing that our work really is making a difference. The study convinced Josh T to not only give leafleting a try, but he forced himself to reach more students! He was overjoyed that in about 45 minutes he was able to do as much good as he will the rest of his life by just being veg, which is something I really stressed.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/27/13

Josh Kissel at UW Madison Marina Drake at UW Madison Josh Turner at UW Madison

Met a number of interested students at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. The highlight was meeting a student who had recently been in a chicken farm (as factory farms are prevalent in this area) with a friend of his and was appalled by what he saw. He asked for tips on vegan cooking.
     Loren and I had fantastic experiences at both North Carolina A&T and UNC Greensboro. Thoughtful questions, people interested in making the transition, etc. Enthusiastic responses, such as, “Ohh! I dig this! Thanks so much!” “Can I have another? My friend will love this.” Two students were very excited to get information from Vegan Outreach because they are doing a class project on the impacts of our food system. We’re thankful for how many people we were able to reach on this day – we sense a clear shift in how students are thinking about vegetarianism, food politics, and animals.
     Thanks to everyone who makes this life-changing outreach possible.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/25/13

Loren Hart snapped these pics at the start of the semester, when he, first-time leafleter Jill and her 8-month-old son Peregrin (left), and Team Triangle’s Rob Gilbride (right) handed out 1,458 Compassionate Choices at UNC Chapel Hill!
Jill & Peregrin at UNC Rob Gilbride at UNC

Great interactions at CUNY John Jay. One student came back to say they got a falafel sandwich. Useful conversation with a woman about all the veg food available; she wants to work in that direction. Another guy said, “Awesome!” One guy said his teacher talks about this stuff, so he’s going to give him a VO booklet. An ethics teacher also took one and said that he’s going to contact me about ideas for making this into a class discussion. A woman took a few and said “I’m gonna tell my doctor about this – he asks me why I don’t eat chicken and other meat!”
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 3/4/13

Melissa at DMC Sy at TAMUCC Andrena at LSC
Student at DMC

Many students at both Lone Star College campuses sat and read the booklets. Rachel and I met Andrena [above, right], who is now committed to eating far less meat and happily got a Guide. Also met a vegan who was into getting a Guide: “This is great, my mom always asks me how I get my protein.” Two separate students walked over to us to get what others were reading. Another said she had been thinking about going veg; got a booklet, Guide, and encouragement. A professor said she has been meaning to eat healthier; I said, “Well maybe this is a sign? Why not eat healthy and cruelty-free from now on!”
     Windiest day of leafleting I’ve ever experienced at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi. Deanna [top of page] was stoked to see us on campus and pledged to go vegan. After getting a booklet, Sy [above, center] wants to go vegan and get active! Less windy at Del Mar College, with lots of students stopping to read the booklet [left and below]. Met Melissa [above, left], who got a salad after getting the booklet and said she is inspired to go veg! Amanda wants to go vegan and was stoked to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 3/4/13

Student at DMC Student at DMC

Acceptance rate was 90% at the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus. Met half a dozen vegetarians / vegans in my short time here; some of them wanted to start a group on campus. A student took a booklet and said she was sorry that I was standing in the rain. I said, “It’s OK, I love what I do.” She turned around and gave me thumbs up! Ten minutes later, it stopped raining! YAY!
     Amy and I had great interactions at the University of Connecticut’s main campus. For example, a student said the Compassionate Choices would motivate her to go back to being a vegetarian! She and her friend gave me their emails to join the Veg Huskies on campus! The friend said, “I applaud you, standing out here in the freezing wind!” A guy stopped to ask if I was trying to turn everyone vegetarian. I replied that this would be ideal. However, I truly believe that most people are compassionate and do not agree with the horrendous conditions and practices forced upon animals. He agreed. I said my goal is to reduce suffering by asking people to at least cut back on buying and consuming animals. He said it was a good goal, and that he would do his part!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 3/4/13

Ali Pester at Harvard
Team Vegan’s Ali Pester and THL members reached 1,000+ Harvard students on 2/21/13!

Got in three class changes at the University of Portland, where I met a future volunteer. At the main cafeteria, I got a great vegan ham wrap with a homemade vegan ranch dressing, and as I sat there I heard one campus tour guide bragging to her group about the great vegan options at the school!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 3/1/13

Chris and I had to be out the door by 3:30 am to get to Madison Area Tech, where we reached 900 receptive students. Long conversation with a woman struggling with her food choices; she was happy to get a Guide.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 3/4/13

So many volunteers today! Diane, Jessica, Judy, Mike, and Vicente! Met tons of interested students and vegetarians / vegans at both West Valley College and Foothill College! Very worthwhile outreach.
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/12/13

Amazing day of outreach with Dave at George Mason – we reached over 2,100 students. Had a heart-to-heart with Jake. He said that while he eats meat now, he thought it was crazy how the pleasure we get from eating meat is so disproportionately small compared to the suffering a farm animal endures. He was glad that I was out in the middle of the walkway [below], ensuring that everyone who walks by is offered this information. He was Guided.
     Met Maris, who is now looking to start an animal rights group on campus, and is planning to get more vegan options on campus. She was radiating lots of enthusiasm, as she had found a kindred spirit. We’ve already exchanged emails about her getting involved. RJ, an environmental sciences professor, asked about speaking to his class. I said that I would love to, stressed that we have a non-hostile approach and encourage dialogue. That was music to his ears.
     A communications professor told Dave that she was really impressed with our Even If You Like Meat booklet; she asked for other booklets and our website url to show her class.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/28/13

Jon Camp at GMU

 

Mark Turner at NU

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I really like to leaflet Western Oregon University. Standout conversations! One was with a young woman who is trying to go vegan. She was into it, enthusiastic, and really wanted information. Also talked with a guy who eats meat but is interested in and concerned with how the animals are treated. It was a good conversation aimed at getting him to take the first step.
     Cobie met a man who told her that his friend had worked on a construction project in a slaughterhouse. The day after the construction project started, his friend went vegetarian: “He didn’t like to talk about it a lot. He said that they were brutal to the animals. He said that there was blood dripping from the ceiling.”
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 2/18/13

Normally I’d be disappointed with reaching only ~800 students at the College of Charleston, but this college has been leafleted hard every semester. Amazing stuff is happening here – I noticed a big difference in the number of vegans and vegetarians since I leafleted here five years ago. In fact, the people who told me they were vegan outnumbered those who reported being vegetarian. Too many good comments to count. Heard from a student who was thrilled they are opening up an all-vegetarian cafeteria in 2014!
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/12/13

Headed to Northwestern for my day off, and Mark Turner [above] met me there. So much snow that my mascara ran as it melted – I looked like Alice Cooper! We heard from TONS of vegetarians and vegans. One student told me she had received the booklet in the past and had gone vegetarian as a result!
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/27/13

Students at TSU

Tough weather at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – my feet were the only thing dry by the end of the day. Did hear from three vegans and six vegetarians!
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 2/27/13

Good take rate at CUNY Medgar Evers. Met four vegetarians, including one who took booklets to distribute to classmates not yet vegetarian.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/26/13

Three-school day for Rachel and me – Houston Community College, Rice University, and Texas Southern University. Met one student [far right] who had gone vegan from getting a VO booklet in the past; now, her friend [right] wants to reduce his meat consumption. Had a long, productive conversation with a history professor who at first said he didn’t care about animals. By the end, he agreed to read through the booklet. Another woman thanked us for the information, said she now wanted to quit eating meat.

Vic Sjodin with UH students

     Phenomenal day of outreach at the University of Houston, where Rachel and I reached nearly 4,000 students! Great conversations. Spoke to two fraternity members who were disturbed by the treatment of animals; [Patrick, left, center] is going veg today, the other [far left] will reduce consumption and wants to learn more about veg eating. Also met John, a bio student who want to go veg now. Rachel met a girl who now wants to go vegan; she got a Guide. Another student asked for a stack to show friends and family. Also, a poli-sci student [below] read the booklet and now wants to go veg. Met many veg folk, which is encouraging. As usual, the booklets were a conversation starter for many folks walking by. Saw a multitude of others reading. I get excited thinking about all the students we reached and the lives we saved today.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin (above with UH students), 2/27/13

Student at UH

The first student at the University of Connecticut said he got a booklet from me the day before at Eastern Connecticut State! Delaney, Amy, and I reached over 1,700 other students. An interesting and productive conversation with a woman who had gone vegan in the past but got sick. She said she really liked talking with me because I was very approachable and nonjudgemental. Another student told me he received a booklet from me last semester and went vegan!
     Rained all day at Three Rivers Community College. Talked with Kevin, who said he and his girlfriend were just transitioning to being vegan! One professor read the booklet, came back out of his office, and spoke for about 15 minutes. He said he wanted to experiment with vegan eating with his family for a month. He was very in tune with learning about ending animal suffering.
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/27/13

Quite a few vegetarians at Southern Oregon University. One student is interested in getting involved; got an AML. University of Oregon was great, despite the rain! Yet another vegan wants to get involved, also got an AML.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/28/13

At Chabot College, Jessica met a lot of vegetarians. She also leafleted a young woman who said she wanted to go veg – perfect timing!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/11/13

Epic, record day at the University of Iowa with my wonder of a volunteer, Patti. A long, fun day chasing [Team Vegan members] Darina and Jon’s record at this very receptive school. We each met tons of vegetarians, vegans, and I even met a dude named Carl who wants to get involved. Another student informed Patti that she didn’t need a booklet because slaughterhouses prompted her to go vegetarian two days ago! I handed a booklet to one guy, Malcolm, who walked a few yards then came back my way and said, “Man, I don’t need this because I’m vegan.” Turns out he’s been vegan for a month because of the cruelty done to animals! It’s definitely encouraging for new veg people to see us out there, promoting a message that they’ve just recently begun to embrace themselves.
     I leafleted one guy who walked up to a friend and they began talking. I could tell both were definitely opposed to cruelty, so I chimed in and Guided them each. “Wow, before you gave me that, I had no clue it was so bad for the chickens; I only thought it was bad for the pigs and cows.” Victory!
—Team Vegan member John Oberg (leafleting UI below), 2/25/13

John Oberg at UI

At Salisbury University, a young woman came up and gave me a big hug for being there. And at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a young woman told me I had pretty eyes. I like this job!
     Dave and I saturated Anne Arundel Community College, with good conversations. One athlete was concerned about protein; I Guided him, and told him he could read more in detail about protein at VeganHealth.org. I told him that I liked Jack’s approach to nutrition because he just looks at what the science says about a vegan diet, and responds in an impartial manner, even telling vegans findings that aren’t always flattering to veganism. By doing this, you know that the good things he reports are really good. This seemed to be exactly what this guy wanted / needed to hear – that there’s a credible source out there.
     This whole issue of trust reminded me of an interaction I had last week. I did an online Q&A, and a fellow vegan criticized me for admitting that before being a healthy vegan, I was a healthy meat eater. I guess I was supposed to say that I was in the hospital, on my last breath, and then I found veganism, and I’ll now live to be 150 years old (minimum). But I think that when we just speak honestly, more people will hear us out. We’ve got a compelling enough case that we don’t need to exaggerate the truth. We’re trying to have a long and extended dialogue with society, and the thoughtful individuals we’re trying to convince aren’t dupes. When we concede to one point, the other will often concede to another point, and will then give us more attention.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/27/13

 

Tonja Robertson at IUB

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Up at 3:30 am to get down to Indiana University, Bloomington, where it was 6 degrees with subzero windchill. On my way there I saw transport trucks driving predawn, can’t imagine how much the poor pigs were suffering.
     Tonja [Robertson, left] made her leafleting debut and did an awesome job. She plans to do more leafleting at Indiana schools! My dear friend Laura also drove over from Cincinnati to join us for the last hour and rocked it; together, we reached nearly 900 students. One of the Guides went to a vegan girl to share with her sorority house.
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/20/13

Patti Rogers-Engelby at UNI

Snow was so bad at the University of Northern Iowa that classes before 10 were cancelled. That didn’t stop Patti [Rogers-Engelby, right] and me, though – and good thing! Such amazing reception – one of my top five universities in the country. One professor said he has his students read the VO booklet in class. He loves how open the message is, how it isn’t, “Hey, you’re a bad guy for eating meat.” Loads of other great interactions, including one guy who said his sister has been veg ever since getting a VO booklet there.
     Despite the pushback from the ag community, I had a great time at Iowa State. Many productive and satisfying conversations, even with ag students, whom I treated with friendliness and seeking common ground. For example, with one group, I pointed out we’re not there to demonize farmers; we understand that there are reasons these practices are done, but at the cost of efficiency comes a lot of cruelty. Their wall of hostility quickly turned into genuine curiosity about my opinions versus a complete dismissal of whatever I thought.

Kelly at ISU

     Ran into Alex, who got a VO booklet last year and hasn’t eaten chicken since. Met Sam who has been vegan for two years and has never met another vegan before! Kelly [left] said she’s now going vegetarian because the booklet reminded her about how they treat the animals. She asked, “What can I do? Is it really as simple as cutting out meat?” She told me that she tried and failed before, so I Guided her. Right at that moment, Emilie walked up and said, “Hey, my friend said you were over here! I’ve been vegan for a while and I’m happy you’re out here!” I told Emilie about Kelly wanting to go veg, and Emilie sold the ease of being veg better than I ever could’ve. I’ll be putting all three of these lovely people in touch with each other – which is crucial in this aggiest of ag schools in the middle of Iowa!
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/22/13

Vegetarian at Hostos CC

Good interactions at CUNY Hostos Community College and CUNY Baruch. Met one student [right] who has been veg since getting our booklet in high school! One person mentioned the horse meat scandal; I said it was no different than cow meat. He took a booklet and agreed we should all be vegetarian. One woman stopped to talk, mentioning her fur coat. I commented that even though I wouldn’t buy a fur coat, I focus my advocacy on food animals because ~99% of animals suffering are killed for food. So, instead of me criticizing her coat and her possibly being turned off, she left with a really good impression and knowledge to spread to others.
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/25/13

Good day with Joan at Wesley College and Delaware State. Marissa was the highlight – she was thrilled we were there, said this was a passion of hers and she wanted to give me a big hug. It’s always heartening to come across those so enthused about helping animals.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/25/13

Quick outreach today with Toronto Pig Save. One student came back to help leaflet!
—Team Vegan member, and feature of Leafleting for Introverts, Alex Greenwood, 2/24/13

Dylan at SFA Olivia at SFA Chase at SFA

Students showed so much interest at Stephen F. Austin State. Rachel, Ethan, and I had so many great interactions, and received / overheard so much positive feedback (such as “I think we should go vegetarian”). I love how many conversations are started by the VO booklets!

Kat Garcia at SFA
Student at UT Tyler
Joanna at El Centro

     We met Chase [above, right], who went vegan after getting a booklet at the Dallas Warped Tour! Third Dallas WT veggie we’ve met in two days!!! Also ran into Dylan [above, left] – we spoke last year and now he’s mostly veg. Olivia [above, center] came back to say she was horrified at the treatment of farm animals and now wants to go veg and talk to her fiancé to try to get him on board. Gotta love the ripple effects of outreach! Ethan gave a booklet to a student who said, “Animals taste delicious.” He came back after class, apologized, said he could see we’re “fueled by goodness,” and that he disapproved of factory farm conditions. Ethan spoke with him for a long time. Lastly we met Kat [Garcia, left], who was stoked to see us; she encouraged her friend to go veg, took extras to show other friends, and briefly leafleted with us. This school was definitely veganized!
     Heavy rain at the University of Texas at Tyler, but still worthwhile outreach. One student came back wanting to change her diet; she got a Guide. I had a long, involved conversation with a Navy veteran [left] who read the Guide cover-to-cover after we spoke.
     Compassion rang out today at El Centro College, and loads of support. Ethan met Joanna [below, left], who went veg after getting a VO booklet in the past! Rachel and I met Tina [below, right], who said she thought factory farming was just awful, “My heart can’t take it.” And pledged to go full vegan! At Whole Foods, one of the cashiers at a side cafe saw my shirt and started asking questions. Gave her a Compassionate Choices and a Guide; I believe she will go veg as well. Many thanks to Ari for providing us with housing and solidarity.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/25/13

Almost every student at Middlesex Community College took a booklet – and I got good feedback, including people who want to form a group on campus. One student looked at the booklet, said he had just written a paper about factory farming and wished he had this booklet then! A professor said he was going to use the booklet in his business class!
     Productive conversations at Eastern Connecticut State. One guy asked, “Can I still eat meat?” I said that it was up to him, but it would be nice if he learned the truth. He said he would read the booklet! Another came back and said he received a booklet earlier from me, thought it was very good information, and said he was cutting back on animal products as of right now!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/25/13

Evergreen Valley College was Judy’s second outing, and she’s really psyched on leafleting! Once again, Diane met a student who went vegetarian the day she got a booklet from us last semester and vegan a month later and is slowly convincing her best friend to be vegan too. Woo!!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/5/13

Tina at El Centro

Lots of interested students at Florida State College, including one who exclaimed, “Oh, my god” when he saw what I was handing out. He even ran back to get extra booklets. At College of Coastal Georgia, my most productive conversation was with a legally blind student. He was excited to hear about vegan chicken and other products since he likes the taste of meat but also loves animals.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/20/13

Charlotte, Brittany, and I had great conversations with the students at Butte College. One student has been vegan since getting a VO booklet last year! Another student surprised Brittany with his enthusiasm. Charlotte had handed him a booklet, and he was muttering profanities as he approached Brittany. She was expecting some of those profanities to be directed her way, but she found out that his ire was all directed toward the animal abusers!
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/21/13

 

Student at UTA Student at UTA
Vic sends along these pics from UTA: above are two of the students who were moved to change their diets after receiving a VO booklet; and below, Rachel Shockey and Ethan Dussault provide more students with Compassionate Choices.

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Ethan, Rachel, and I came across many friendly students at the University of Texas at Arlington. Met several students who had changed their diet after getting a VO booklet previously – after our discussions and a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, they’re each committed to going even further. Lots of other great conversations; e.g., one student had seen others reading and came up to us asking what people were reading in class; we had a conversation and he got a Compassionate Choices and a Guide. Also met numerous vegetarians / vegans.

Rachel Shockey at UTA Ethan Dussault at UTA
Student at TAMU

 

     We reached another 3,650 students at Texas A&M despite heavy downpours after 10 am. Saw a multitude of people reading as they walked down from where Ethan was handing them out; was able to leave my spot, run over and snag a pic [right]. We encountered no antagonism at this ag school. Several mentioned that they love animals when they got a leaflet. One was a huge football player who came back for a booklet after initially not wanting one, saying, “I’ve always loved animals.” Great friendly students here and encouraging to see so many reading the booklets.

Kelsey Fowler at SHSU
Veg couple at SHSU

     At Sam Houston State, the three of us beat the previous record by more than 500, reaching over 2,200 students! Watched many reading the booklet. One came back and got a Guide after reading the Compassionate Choices in class. Met enthusiastic Kelsey [left], who went vegan after getting a booklet from us last year. Also met a vegetarian couple [below, left] who had been handed booklets at Warped Tour in Dallas.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/19/13

Reached 700 students at CUNY LaGuardia. One guy walking back held up his booklet and said, “Thank you – I really like this.” The owner of the halal food cart was at first annoyed with me, but then softened and gave me a free falafel!
—Team Vegan member Lisa Drapkin, 2/19/13

Really felt the 10 degrees and whipping wind at Creighton – had to go in to warm up during lulls. Despite the cold, it was a good time. A duo of students enthusiastically exclaimed, “We’re vegetarian!!!” Another student came back to say how heartbreaking the booklet is.
     At Metropolitan Community College, one student yelled out, “I like this! Thanks a lot!” on her way down the hallway. Saw a handful of other students reading through the booklet [below, right] in my short time there.

Students at MCC

     Despite the 5° temperature this morning, today at the University of Nebraska, Omaha was my favorite day of outreach in the heartland of America this year! I encountered nearly no cynicism and heard tons and tons of good feedback. I really couldn’t believe how many students willingly took their bare hands out of their pockets to take a booklet upon hearing “Help animals?” One supportive and friendly woman had a giant blanket over herself and her backpack. I made a joke saying, “I wish I had a blanket!” to which she then literally offered the blanket off her back! I declined of course but how nice of her!
     Right off the bat, at 7:50 am, Jessica came up to me and said, “I just want you to know I’ve been vegan for two years and want to thank you for doing this!” She got a Guide and now wants to get involved! One student exclaimed, “Ohhh, I’m all about this!” Another student took a booklet, and by her facial expressions and wide-open eyes I could tell she was genuinely interested. I asked if she’d like a Guide as well and she grabbed it out of my hands and said, “Yes! I’ve been thinking lately about doing this!” Sometimes as VO leafleters we’re the seed planters, but sometimes we’re the plant growers.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/20/13

Student at DePaul
Kenny Torrella snapped this student reading an Even If You Like Meat while waiting for the train at DePaul.

Many great conversations at Naugatuck Valley Community College today! Met five vegetarians and three vegans, and got ten names and emails of students interested in starting a campus club. A student remembered me from last semester, and said after I gave him the VO booklet, he cut his consumption of animal products almost entirely! Another student remembered me from Southern Connecticut State a year ago. I asked him if it changed anything in his eating, and he said, “I don’t eat meat anymore!” He thought the treatment of the animals was disgusting. A girl asked if I was just at the Ivy League Vegan Conference at Yale. I said I was. She asked me if there was someplace she could sign up for a club. Indeed!
     One of the last students I spoke with came up to me and said, “Oh. You are the one handing out this information. This is a good thing you are doing. I want to sign up.” Got his email!
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/19/13

Team Chicago – Liz, Kenny, and I – descended on DePaul today. DePaul can be tough, but there are always new people to reach. We met a new vegan interested in getting involved for the animals. Another student came back and wants to go vegan; she was happy to get a Guide!
—Team Vegan member Leslie Patterson, 2/18/13

Loved Mississippi State! Despite the rain and cold temps, students happily accepted literature even if they were drenched or fiddling with their umbrellas. Amazingly receptive and friendly feedback. One student told me her experience with Future Farmers of America was what made her become a vegetarian. She couldn’t deal with raising animals that would eventually be killed. Super day and I have no doubt that many will be making some changes and joining the increasing number of recent veg folks already on this campus!
     Met lots of vegetarians and even more vegans at Florida State. Highlight of the day was a guy who said that he read the Compassionate Choices during the class change and it really impacted him. His friend then spoke up to ask for both the CC and Guide, as he could stand a good cry, especially since it was Valentine’s Day.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/14/13

Jessica Carroll, Diane Gandee Sorbi, Brian Grupe, and Kitty Jones at CCSF
Jessica Carroll, Diane Gandee Sorbi, Brian Grupe, and Kitty Jones (above) reached 2,900+ students with Even If You Like Meat at the City College of San Francisco; and Loren Hart snapped Team Triangle’s Rob Gilbride (below) leafleting Duke University, where they reached 1,000 students, staff, and faculty this semester!
Rob Gilbride at Duke

 

Was great to have Darren and Todd with me at Solano CC and Napa Valley College. Students were receptive, and we met a number of vegetarians. Both of these schools have come a long way over the years!
—Team Vegan member Brian Grupe, 2/4/13

Great leafleting at East Carolina University! As always, I met vegans who had received a booklet in the past and decided to change their diet. Nothing beats the power of a VO booklet.
—One axis of Team Triangle, 2/18/13

Tatiana Mendez at GHS
Jon sends along these pics of Tatiana Mendez (above) leafleting Gaithersburg HS on 2/14/13, and Dave Doctor (below) leafleting the U of Mary Washington on 2/15/13.
Dave Doctor at UMW

Brittany and I had great responses at Yuba College, despite the rain! A professor invited me to speak at his 4 pm class. I went through the presentation somewhat quickly, leaving plenty of time for Q&A. It was a phenomenal 90-minute discussion / presentation with great questions and discussion from the students. At the end, the professor invited me to stay for his 6 pm class, and we did it all over again. He is eager to have me back next semester!
     Today, I made another great connection! Cal State Chico’s sustainability coordinator wants us to give a presentation later this year. Brittany, Charlotte, and I also reached 1,550 students.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/20/13

Quick stop at Oregon State – good acceptance rate and conversations! Also met a student who did a report on factory farms last semester – nice to see it on people’s radar.
—Team Vegan member Nettie Schwager, 2/14/13

Dave and I had a great productive day at the University of Maryland. Despite the bitter cold, we reached over 2,400 students! One guy said he read my Reddit Q&A, and he’s working on reducing his meat consumption. Booya! Another guy told Dave that this issue is more important than what most others spend their time promoting. He also said that he’s working on cutting back his meat consumption.
     Amy told me she was considering going veg, and that her boyfriend (who lives with her) insists on eating meat. I gave her a lot of information about veg eating, and told her, for her boyfriend, where she would be more likely to find meat that was associated with better animal welfare standards. I always let these individuals know that I see “humane meat” as less cruel, but not cruelty-free, and go into detail why I would say that. I think that answering every question with “Go vegan!” might make us feel good, but it can be a disservice to animals if the end result will be a diet of factory farmed meat.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/21/13

 

Student at MVC

A great, four-school day, with two records! Some of the students at the State College of Florida were really excited to get a booklet. Ringling College of Art and Design and University of South Florida Sarasota were quick but good uses of my time. New College was the highlight – more veg folks per population than any other college I’ve ever leafleted. It even has a vegetarian café run by students. Most students were thrilled to get a booklet – next time I’m using Why Vegans, because it’s a better fit for this crowd. Lots of students thanked me for being there, and I met so many veg folks I ran out of Guides.
     The highlight at the University of South Florida, Tampa was a group of visiting high school students – they huddled together in two groups reading the booklets. One of the chaperones sat down and read the Compassionate Choices from cover to cover – she was visibly moved.
     The best conversation at Alabama State was with four guys, three of whom are athletes. They were totally into the info and all got Guides and we had a conversation about some of the things they can eat. One even said that he had the veggie burger in the cafeteria and liked it, and all expressed a real interest in making changes.
—Team Vegan member Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/7/13

Rachel and I had a great day at Richmond College. One veg student was exhilarated we were on campus: “These are my people!” he exclaimed to his friends. Saw many engrossed in the booklet and others discussing. Others had questions, and a student told Rachel she wanted to go veg! Feel great about these kids, I’m sure many went veg.
     While setting a new record at Texas Woman’s University, Rachel and I had one of the best days of outreach ever! Some of the booklets went to people before they got in line for the elevators; we saw loads of people engrossed in the booklets while waiting [below, left]. A history professor took booklets for her class. Also met a student who used to be veg; she said she would redouble her efforts to go full vegan.
     We also set a record at Mountain View College. Saw LOTS reading [below, center & right], and Rachel spoke with a student [above] who used to be veg friendly and now wants to go fully veg.

Student at TWU Student at MVC Students at MVC
Holly Huertas at Richland
Desiree Ortiz at TCU

 

     Despite torrential downpours, Ethan, Rachel and I headed over to Richland College, where we met Holly [Huertas, right]. She helped us leaflet even though she’s not veg yet; she said that she was going to go veg several days a week and work to being vegan. Over at the University of Dallas, a student spoke to Rachel and was so thankful we were on campus; she took an Even If and a Guide to show her roommate. I overheard one student make a disparaging remark, to which the other student replied, “No. Being cruel to animals is wrong.”
     Mieke, Ethan, and I had amazing interactions at the University of North Texas, where we reached over 3,500 students. Many thanked us for the info. Met someone who had gone vegan after getting a booklet before, but had lapsed. After speaking and giving her a Guide, she pledged to change her diet again. Another good conversation was with Miguel, a new vegan with lots of questions.
     Texas Christian is a smallish school, but Rachel and I reached nearly 1,400 students. One of the highlights was meeting Desiree [Ortiz, right], an affable soldier who strongly supports the fight against animal cruelty.
—Team Vegan member Vic Sjodin, 2/14/13

Jennifer and I had an amazing day at Stony Brook University; Max and Ted joined us, too! Jennifer had 3 skateboard pass offs, and I had 5! Good conversations as well; e.g., one student said she’d gone vegetarian from reading a Compassionate Choices her friend had given her last month. We got the names & emails of 20 people who want the campus food service to offer more meat-free options, and who might help get the student org off the ground.
—Team Vegan member Karen James, 2/7/13

Mark at CRC

Another great day with Jonathan at Hoover High School and Cal State Fresno! We reached more than 1,800 students today, and told interested people about activism possibilities.
     At Cosumnes River College, my last booklet went to Mark [left] – he got a Guide and is now Sacramento’s newest vegan! Speaking with him was a great reminder that it sometimes takes a second or third exposure for a concept to really click in someone’s mind.
     Great conversations at Cal State Sacramento, including a woman who is now going to stop eating animals. There was a huge and very receptive group of Air Force ROTC students.
—Team Vegan member Steve Erlsten, 2/15/13

Despite windchills in the low 20s, Dave [Doctor, below, left] and I had a great time at the Forward on Climate rally, and Pulin [Modi, below, right] joined us, too! I heard lots of “I’m already vegan” comments; I counted four in less than one 30-second interval. And many individuals thanked us for being there, told us they agreed with the cause, etc. But it wasn’t just speaking to the choir; I could tell that this was new material to a good many of the individuals we reached.
—Team Vegan member Jon Camp, 2/18/13

Dave Doctor and Pulin Modi at the Forward on Climate rally in Washington, DC
Stacy at OCU

 

As this was Valentine’s Day, I asked the students at Indiana University at Bloomington, “Have a heart for animals?” Reached over 1,350 students – and two vegetarians came back to get Guides right before I left!
—Team Vegan member Joe Espinosa, 2/14/13

Such engaging students at Oklahoma City University! With a huge smile and ultra appreciation, Stacy [left] said, “Ohhhh, this is PERFECT!” I overheard one student say to his friend, as they opened their booklets, “Well, I like meat, so let’s take a look!”
     At never-been-leafleted Rose State, I gave out 13 Guides to people very interested or already veg, and two AMLs to people very interested in getting active (e.g., “I want to get involved with animal rights!”).
     Great take rate at the University of Oklahoma. Three different guys came back to me to say they had read the entire booklet, and were happy to get a Guide. Logan, Aaron, and Mark joined me at different points during the day.

Dillon at UNL

     Oklahoma State in the snow was not quite as pleasant as a normal day of outreach, but still good outreach! Ran into Hayley, a student that had a “vegan means I’m trying to suck less” bag. She came back to talk and joined me for a class change. Another student said she had gotten a booklet before and altered her diet.
     Reached over 700 students at rural Fort Hays State in western Kansas. Some enthusiastic support, including: “Help animals? Yeah!” “Thank you for doing this. It really means a lot to me.” “My wife’s vegan.”
     Today’s highlight at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln was when Dillon [right], who had been leafleted earlier in the day, was riding my way on his bike and got off to ask some questions. After a good conversation, he concluded, “Well, I’m gonna have to say [no] Qdoba today!” I then told him he could still eat Qdoba, just choose the vegetarian burrito instead. We shook hands and he rode off.
—Team Vegan member John Oberg, 2/18/13

Dawn Ratcliffe at FGCU
Christina at FGCU

 

The students at Miami Dade College were eager to get booklets. Time and again, students kept coming back to grab one after passing by; many smiles and thank yous, and a number of times students also thanking me for doing what we do. Several great conversations ensued – including two extended conversations en español. The highlight for me was a student who came back to me exclaiming, “This changed my life!” while proudly holding up her booklet. There we have it: proof positive that the work we’re doing is making a difference.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/29/13

I love Palm Beach Atlantic University! Too many conversations and great comments to list! Several professors and administrators took literature and two stopped to say that they would be talking about these issues to their students. One skateboarder scooted back to take a booklet. He said he totally agreed, and ended our conversation saying, “God bless you for doing this.”
     Was great to have Bea with me at Polk State’s campuses; one student even stopped to join us! Talked to an ethics professor who incorporates animal rights into his courses and heard from other staff and faculty members who were happy to see us out there. So many people interested in making changes to their diet – it’s pretty mind-boggling!
     Jon and I crushed the record at Florida Gulf Coast University. Highlight of the day was meeting Christina [right], who had gotten a leaflet from Jeff last semester; it made her cry and she has been a vegetarian ever since.
—Dawn Ratcliffe (above, at FGCU), 1/30/13

Claudia at BC Cynthia at BC Steve Erlsten at FCC
Lizeth at FCC

 

Lots of good conversations with students at Bakersfield College, including Cynthia [above, center], who recently wrote a report about the food system and is ready to make a change! Claudia [above, left], whose aunt had recently undergone open-heart surgery, said her mother’s been urging her to get healthy. She wanted to change her diet, but just didn’t know how! Now she’s ready to cut back on meat drastically – maybe even go vegan – because “the way they treat the animals is terrible.” And a man in a cowboy hat scoffed at the booklet in the morning, yet came back in the afternoon to tell me about a restaurant downtown where “you would think you were eating meat, but it was all soy!”
     A stellar day with Jonathan at Fresno High School (where the take-rate was ~99%!) and Fresno City College. Great conversations, and loads of moved people!
—Steve Erlsten, 2/7/13

At Fresno City College, Jonathan Hussain snapped Steve in action (above, right), as well as some of the many people moved by our booklets: Lizeth (above, left) now wants to go veg again; (below, from left) Ruth is a vegetarian now interested in going vegan; Alexa is eating less meat and convinced her mom to go veg after getting a booklet on 10/16/12; Jesus was stoked to get Compassionate Choices booklets to share; and Kayla is vegan and a member of Central Valley Animal Liberation.
Ruth at FCC Alexa at FCC Jesus at FCC Kayla at FCC
Student at UO
Server at UO
Dave Doctor at UVA

 

Cobie set a new personal record, and we reached over 1,500 students at the University of Oregon! Productive conversations, too. One guy [right] who had accepted a booklet came by later and asked me why I do this. We had a good conversation and he agreed that the animals are treated horribly and that it is an important issue and said he would eat less meat. Cobie met someone whose friend tried going vegan but only lasted a week. Cobie gave him a Guide for her and pointed out it is good to cut back on animal foods.
     At the mostly vegan place in the student union, we talked with one of the servers [below, right] who read a VO booklet in 2006 when she was 12. She and a friend have been veg ever since, and now she wants to leaflet.
—Nettie Schwager, 2/4/13

At Purdue, an ag science instructor was dismayed that his effort to dismiss me for having never been on a farm was disrupted, because I had been taught dairy farming as a child. One need not be a dairy child to know about modern farming, as most knowledge today comes to us not from direct experience – which often compromises our ability to be honest about the action in question anyway – but from third party and ideally credible sources.
—Joe Espinosa, 2/7/13

Bunches of vegetarians and good conversations at CUNY Brooklyn, including one person who said he’d definitely be able to cut down on his meat consumption, a lot who said “it’s so sad,” and when I was leaving the last person I gave a leaflet to said, “You know, I’m truly with you on this – it’s so sad the way they treat the animals.”
—Lisa Drapkin, 2/8/13

Great day with Dave [Doctor, right] at the University of Virginia. We reached over 2,400 students and had lots of positive conversations. For example, a woman came back to us and said she is now considering going vegan.
—Jon Camp, 2/7/13

Despite the wind and cold, awesome interactions at Texas State! Rachel and I met Carrie [below, left], who came up to tell us that handing out booklets really does affect people; she went veg since getting a booklet at a science convention in Houston in 2006. Long conversation while I leafleted with a seminary student interested in going veg after getting a booklet. Talked with two friends [below, center] who were seriously discussing going veg. One student [below, right] wants to try going vegan after reading a booklet. Many mentioned getting a leaflet in a previous semester – the word is out. Another student wanted to be a humane officer; I told her how I used to rescue dogs in Philly but someone pointed out 99% of abused animals are farmed animals, etc. She left saying she would eat less meat, and happily took a Guide. Score! Also met an animal ethics professor who already had VO lit, and the president of a progressive student group who thanked us for being out there and took a handful to show others.

Carrie at Texas State Friends at Texas State New vegan at Texas State

     After a great day at Baylor, Rachel and I had an amazing time at McLennan Community College, with a number of in-depth conversations. During one of them, a student said, “I will always eat meat.” Ten minutes later, he pulled friends over, saying, “You got to listen to this guy!” While talking to these six students, a cop asked me to leave, and they asked the cop to leave! “We got your back,” they told me. It really made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 2/4/13

Reader at Arroyo Grande farmers’ market
Barbara also leafleted the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market on 1/19/13: “[Above is] a guy who was so engrossed in his leaflet he didn’t even look up as he followed at his girlfriend’s heels from booth to booth – I thought he was going to bump into her. And a vendor was so deeply engrossed in reading a CC he failed to notice people passing by his booth.”

Lois, Matt, Jill, and I had a fun time at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! Lots of interested people. A vegan couple visiting from Portland thanked us for spreading the message. They got buttons and an AML, so hopefully they’ll be doing vegan outreach in Portland. Matt had a good discussion with three college students who wanted literature because their English professor is having them discuss the ethics of eating animals.
—Barbara Bear, 1/31/13

Killer day at New Mexico State! Met a ton of new / recent vegans and vegetarians, and had other great interactions:
     Spoke with Jose, a student that just moved to the US and was familiar with WSPA. I spit out the 99% fact, which really got his attention, and he promised to read through the booklet.
     Ran into Jasmine [below], who told me that because of receiving a booklet last year, she’s really cut down on the meat she eats. As we departed, she told me, “Good job on your movement!”

Jasmine at NMSU

     Spoke with Chris, an awesome dude with a vegan tattoo on the back of his calf. He went vegan a year ago after driving through Oklahoma and coming across a slaughterhouse and then just driving into it. He was chased out, but said he did a ton of research when he got back home; he and his wife then went vegan and now they want to get involved.
     Met a dude named Guatham, who mentioned that the cruelty we inflict on animals is wretched. He is a former vegetarian but said he’s now thinking of going back, and said, “Sweet!” numerous times after I gave him a Guide.
     Met a wildlife conservation and ag major who said he sees this s*** all the time and was really happy to see us out there.
     Interaction of the day: Earlier I leafleted a professor with a bow tie on and complimented him on it. A couple class changes later, he walked by and mentioned that he had gotten a booklet earlier and said he didn’t eat chicken for lunch because of it. So I Guided him and he then said, “I’m gonna cut that [chicken] crap out!”
—John Oberg, 1/30/13

 

Kate St. John at Inauguration
Kate St. John (above) and Jaime Hecht (below) hand out Compassionate Choices at the Presidential Inauguration.
Jaime Hecht at Inauguration

At the Inauguration, Jaime, Kate [right] and Aaron, our friends from FARM, and I reached 2,750 people with a VO booklet. Various reactions, but a solid use of time; there were definitely a number of individuals who were enthused about receiving a booklet, especially younger individuals.
—Jon Camp, 1/21/13

Set a new record at Florida Atlantic University – one of the best leafleting experiences I’ve had! I literally ran out of Guides – I could have exceeded 50. Tons of conversations and friendly students. Talked to several new vegans who were thankful for the conversation / advice. One guy said he didn’t think he could be vegan, because he had heard you have to be 80% raw. I quickly squished that rumor and we had a nice conversation. Later, I was approached by a woman who wanted a Guide, and several others groups of students (and staff) who wanted more info. Fabulous day and extremely productive outreach!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 1/23/13

The MLK parade drew a great crowd, with many genuinely interested in learning more about factory farming. Bianca, a first-time leafleter, commented later how surprisingly effective she felt our few hours of outreach had been. Especially surprising to her was how interested the younger members of the crowd were in getting the info, many who kept catching up to us to get a leaflet after seeing others with them from locations we’d already passed.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/21/13

Brian and I had a productive day at Canada College and the College of San Mateo. First-time leafleter Judy joined us at CSM, and did a great job. The highlight of the day was a woman who came up to me about an hour after I gave her a leaflet to tell me she’d looked through it and decided she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore. She said she knows being vegan would be even better for the animals, but she isn’t ready for that step yet. I congratulated her and told her most people go vegan in stages. She said she hoped to become vegan someday.
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 1/24/13

Vic Sjodin at UTB Rachel Shockey at UTB
Vic Sjodin and Rachel Shockey offer Compassionate Choices at the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Sony at UTB

Rachel and I had a solid day at the University of Texas, Brownsville, and South Texas College. Highlights of the day include Sonya [right], now going veg. Also spoke with a student who wanted to go vegan, and had two professors come back for booklets. One student exclaimed, “Aww, what a cute piggy!” and we heard him discuss issues as he walked away. Another student has been veg for six years and was very inspiring; she educated her friends and they too went veg. She had many questions and was worried about becoming pregnant while veg, so we had a long talk, and she said she was excited to read a Guide. Another veg student took a Guide to show her mom, who thought eating veg was unhealthy.

Paige at STC

     Back at STC the next day, met two more students now planning to go veg after getting a booklet; Rachel had a very nice conversation with one of them [Paige, left].
—Vic Sjodin, 1/23/13

At the College of Lake County, we had one person who read the leaflet and said that he decided to go vegetarian on the spot. We ran into Jamie’s former swim coach and he took about 25 to distribute at the hospital where he works.
—The Jungenberg Clan, 2/5/13

Dwight at York College
While leafleting York College on 1/30/13, Lisa snapped this pic of Dwight, a new vegetarian and aspiring vegan!

At CUNY Brooklyn, a guy asked why it would matter if just one person stopped eating meat. I explained that as more and more people stop eating meat, fewer and fewer animals will suffer. He really started to get it, and did actually say he’s going to cut back on eating meat and research more information.
     Despite the freezing wind, new record with Paula at CUNY Queensborough! A highlight was when a teacher passed by with his class, saw what we were giving out, and told all his students that they needed to take one so they could discuss it in class.
—Lisa Drapkin, 2/4/13

Jennifer, Ted, and I had a solid day in the snow at Suffolk County Community College. Good conversations, including with a student who said he went vegan for a week, but could not stay with it. Told him about new products, and gave him a Guide. He said he was going to try again. Also got the names and emails of five people interested in learning more about going vegan and getting active.
—Karen James, 2/5/13

Fantastic to work with Angela and Eva at Harold Washington College, even with the temperature in the low 20s. Many students expressed interest in vegetarianism or concern for the animals. One student told me he is trying to go vegan and was happy to receive a Guide.
—Leslie Patterson, 2/4/13

Student at SCC
Above: After Santa Ana College, Steve leafleted Santiago Canyon College, where he spotted this student engrossed in his copy of Compassionate Choices. Below: Rachel reaches another student at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, HI.
Rachel Shippee at Leeward CC

At Santa Ana College, I had two separate amazing conversations with soon-to-be vegans who both want to volunteer with us! I gave them each an AML. I also talked to a former military man who doesn’t buy into veganism because of vegan stereotypes. I used the “if you wouldn’t do this to an animal, why would you pay someone else to do it?” angle. In the end, he said he would try some of the vegan meats!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/31/13

My friend and I had good outreach throughout Hawaii this last week – we reached 1,500 students. At Kapiolani Community College, had a great conversation with a woman trying to reduce her meat consumption; we discussed meat alternatives and she left happy and motivated. Another student said she’ll never eat meat again.
—Rachel Shippee (left), 1/29/13

Erika, Jill, Kimberly, and I had a great time at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! Some fav encounters:
     A couple who’ve been vegan just 4 days and were excited to get more info.
     A couple who came to the table with their 2-year-old daughter who refuses to eat animals. They seemed relieved to see healthy vegans and get some info on what to feed their little girl. We clapped for her and praised her for her choice.
     A philosophy student who has been thinking a lot about his food choices and said he would “sleep better at night” if he could stop eating animals. His main sticking point is that he’s an athlete, so he thought that would make it hard to go w/o animal protein. I showed him the pic of Robert Cheeke in the booklet (he said, “Whoa!”) and told him about VeganBodybuilding.com, good sources of vegan protein, etc. He left with a new can-do attitude.
     A 20ish girl said she tried being veg for a year, but became anemic. Gave her a Guide and chatted for a bit about giving it another try. She was very excited about the possibility of being able to go veg again.
     Later, Jill was at a local vegan restaurant and the owner told her a college student had come in and told him our table at the farmers’ market is what influenced him to go vegan.
—Barbara Bear, 1/17/13

Brinley Suppes at ASU Downtown Natalie at GateWay CC
Molly Lansdowne at Phoenix College
Emit at Phoenix College

At GateWay Community College, I heard, “You’re doing a good thing, keep it up!” and “I’m already on board.” Handed Natalie [above, right] a booklet and she entered the building. An hour later she emerged: “That little booklet you gave me made me so sad. I want to go vegetarian now.” She wants to start getting involved in animal issues and cut meat out of her diet. Awoooooooo!
     Brinley [Suppes, above, left] joined me at Arizona State. I leafleted her last semester; she went vegan, got a friend to go vegan, and wanted to get involved. Turns out she’s since turned her dog vegetarian and another friend vegetarian. How awesome!
     Was great to be joined by Molly [right] and Meggie at Phoenix College and by Zubair at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. I met Emit [right], who got a booklet last semester and said he’d definitely be transitioning towards vegan. Another student mentioned this stuff is “really messed up.” Another said the stories in the booklet are intense. Max told me that he really likes the “reduce approach” because in the past he’s gotten info like this and felt like they were asking too much.
     Reached more than 2,500 students at the University of Arizona; some favorite feedback:
     “This is what I believe in!”
     “Hell yeahhhh!”
     “If I look at that I’ll cry for hours.”
     “Oh my god! I’m never eating meat again!”
     “Awwwww it made me really sad.”
     “This made me go vegetarian for six months!” (Now only a part-time veggie so I gave her a Guide and some encouragement.)
     “That’s really good information you’re handing out.”
     “I’m going to start following some of those guidelines in there”
     “Awww this is too sad.” (Handed her a Guide; then her friend asked for one, too. Her friend said, “Yeah, I used to be a vegetarian. Maybe I should be vegetarian again.” I told her how easy it is in 2013, and we parted on a very good note. Glad to have provided some encouragement!

Below: Three of the 1,980 Phoenix College students reached by Meggie Townsend, Molly Lansdowne, and John Oberg.
Student at Phoenix College Student at Phoenix College Student at Phoenix College
Student at MCC
Above: A Mesa CC student studies an EIYLM from John and Meggie (below).

     And a solid day at Mesa Community College with Meggie! Heard tons of great feedback like, “This is gruesome stuff,” “Oh, I’m already vegan!” and “Yeah, I love animals.” Had a good convo with Mike who asked when I was first exposed to this issue. I told him about four years ago and then asked if it was his first exposure to it. “Yes, this is pretty crazy, man.” I handed him a Guide and my card; he was keenly interested in moving away from this kind of cruelty! Also had a good convo with a student named Paulina who wanted to cut back on meat. Unfortunately she was just thinking about cutting back on beef, so I informed her about the numbers of chickens raised and slaughtered vs. cattle.
     Best part of the day, and actually of the week, was when I reached out to hand Cortni [below, right] an Even If You Like Meat and she told me, “Oh, you guys already got me! I’m vegan now.” When I inquired, she told me that on 9/21/11 (she remembered the exact date!) she was handed a booklet by a leafleter (Dawn Ratcliffe!) and instantly went vegan from her then-current meat-eating state! She seemed super excited by us being out there on her campus again. Epic!
—John Oberg, 1/22/13

John Oberg and Meggie Townsend at MCC Cortni at MCC

 

Andrea at UTPA

Rachel and I had a great start to the tour: despite the unusual cold, we reached over 4,200 students at the University of Texas–Pan American. So many highlights, including a student who had decreased his consumption of animals when he got a booklet in the past, and is now committed to going all the way. We also met Andrea [right], who was stoked to get a Guide and pledged to go veg from now on! Many came back to get booklets for friends, family, coworkers, and students, including two philosophy professors. Rachel was asked to be interviewed for the college radio station. We met so many interested students – a huge change from when I was first here in 2008!
     Who but Vegan Outreach would be speaking out for the animals in Edinburg, Texas of all places? I love the work we do!
—Vic Sjodin, 1/17/13

Was great to leaflet with Michelle at UCLA – we reached over 1,600 students. One guy said the last time he came across a Compassionate Choices, he and his wife almost went vegan. Hopefully this day’s booklet, conversation, and Guide will be the last push they need!
     Set a new record at Moorpark College – reached over 1,700 students. One of the Guides went to a 76-year-old civil engineer! After a long conversation, he’s going to talk to his wife about trying some vegan recipes!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/15/13

Student at PCC

Reached a total of 1,541 students at two Portland Community College campuses and Clackamas Community College, including giving out nearly 100 Guides!
     At both branches of PCC, vegans told me about non-vegan friends who gave them a hard time about being vegan, and they wanted to read A Meaningful Life and The Animal Activist’s Handbook. Other good encounters, including:
     A man [right] had cut back on meat since reading a previous booklet, and he wants to go vegetarian in the future.
     A man took a booklet and said, “(expletive) those factory farms!” so I gave him a Guide.
     A man whose wife is vegetarian said he feels unhealthy when he doesn’t eat meat himself, and he was happy to get a Guide.
     I also met a woman who had done a report on this topic, a woman who had done a Girl Scout project on this topic, and a man whose high school culinary teacher had encouraged the class not to cook factory farmed animals.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 1/9/13

The highlight at Miami-Dade College, Medical Campus came right at the end, when the security officer who passed me several times even returned asking why he hadn’t been offered one! Turns out he’d already been considering vegetarianism since his sister and an aunt had been eating mostly veg. A nice end to this great day of outreach!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/15/13

Vegetarian at De Anza

Started off the semester big by breaking the record at CSU East Bay – Eleanor, Kitty, Rob, and I reached over 2,100 students. Supportive feedback and friendly students!
     Another record at De Anza College – Eleanor, Kitty, Rob, and I reached 3,570 students! I met a young lady [left] who went veg after getting a brochure from Mike last semester. Eleanor met a woman who went vegan over a year ago from a booklet.
     And yet another record at Santa Rosa Junior College – Kitty, Tim, and I reached 1,900 students. Students were friendly and receptive, despite temperatures in the 30s!
     And yes, another record, this time at Diablo Valley College, with Jeni, Kitty, and Jessica. Despite the freezing temperatures, we reached nearly 4,000 for the day (including Los Medanos College). Best for me was a young lady who came right back and said, “Thank you so much for this, I just made the decision to go vegan last week and this is really inspiring to see!”
—Brian Grupe, 1/15/13

New record at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria. Ruth, a vegan of 30 years, stopped by to say that she really appreciated what I was doing and that she followed VO. She stopped by later with her 18-year-old daughter who has been vegan her whole life – great representatives of a vegan diet. I also came across a number of new vegans and those interested in eating more vegan fare. After getting the Even If You Like Meat, one guy said, “But I do like meat.” I told him that we’re simply asking people to cut back on it. He said, “That’s reasonable. I’ll give it a try.” A great day!
—Jon Camp, 1/14/13

John Oberg at ASU Meggie Townsend at ASU
John Oberg and Meggie Townsend leaflet Arizona State.

Meggie and I were joined by Molly, and we reached over 3,100 students at Arizona State. Early in the morning I handed a booklet to a student who replied with “I’m vegan! F*** yeah!” Clearly she was happy we were there. Also met a supportive 12-year vegan. In fact, I met 8 vegans by 10:30 am! Must be a personal record. Ran into a dude named Xavier who had gone veg before but got sick; he told me he’s now trying to get back into it and the Guide will be super helpful. Had a good conversation with a student who had gone veg but became anemic. Of course I handed her a Guide and pointed out the health tips! Highlight was meeting JJ [below, right], a student who received a booklet from us on December 3rd of last year. He exclaimed, “I haven’t eaten meat since you guys gave me this last month!” He made it clear we made an impact on him. Great stuff!!!

Bailey and Elisia at GCC JJ at ASU
Matt at ASU

 

     Glendale Community College is a hotbed of interested students – new vegetarians, people wanting to go vegetarian, people wanting to go back to being veg, etc. Had a great conversation with Bailey and Elisia [above, left]. Elisia is a vegetarian who is trying to keep on it and Bailey is her former-vegetarian friend that wants to get back on it. Both were inspired by the booklet; Elisia to continue and Bailey to give it a second shot! They were both totally stoked to get a Guide.
     Four different students – Netty, Kirsten [below], David, and Nick – stopped to help me leaflet during the day. Once we had saturated the campus, I returned to Arizona State for a bit. One of the first students I spoke with, Matt [left], said the booklet turned him vegetarian when we handed him one last semester! He was even interested in volunteering. Whoop whoop!
—John Oberg, 1/15/13

Netty Kinnz at GCC
Netty Kinnz (above) and Kirsten Schulte (below) leaflet GCC.
Kirsten Schulte at GCC

The Morrissey show in Bethesda was fantastic! He performed “Meat Is Murder” and projected Meet Your Meat on a huge screen as the last song of a set. Kimberly and I grabbed booklets and handed them all out in a short period of time. People were very receptive, so if there is a Morrissey show in your town, it’s definitely worth leafleting – the people will be primed by the show!
—Vlad Konstantinov, 1/16/13

Today’s leafleting at Clara Barton High School puts me over 500,000 reached, lifetime. Lots of work over the years but it’s very worthwhile. I’ve discovered that most students don’t share feedback unless we inquire. But I know from experience it works – when slow, I ask those who got the booklet before what they thought, and most state it’s bad / sad, and many go on to say they have made changes. Leafleting can educate / influence an entire school with very little time, effort, and resources.
—Casey, 1/17/13

Genuinely interested students at Eastern Illinois University, despite the cold rain. Heard from a dozen vegetarians / vegans – one of whom said it was receiving a booklet in the past that had prompted the change.
     Double-digit number of vegetarians and vegans at Illinois State; more importantly, many students with seemingly genuine curiosity about what modern farming does to animals. A good example: one of the first students I offered the booklet to initially declined, but upon seeing it was about animals, doubled back to get it, then walked a few steps, paused and turned around to thank me for the booklet.
—Joe Espinosa, 1/15/13

Great leafleting with Mark at the University of Illinois, Chicago. We were able to answer many questions from interested students, and met a number of vegans and vegetarians.
—Leslie Patterson, 1/16/13

A great start to the semester at the University of North Florida – we reached over 1,400 students! Met students who had just started to change their diets; and several students commented how many vegans there are on campus now compared to years prior.
—Jeff Boghosian, 1/8/13

Good conversations at Armstrong Atlantic State University, where I met several vegetarians and a couple of aspiring vegetarians and two folks who were going from veg to vegan. One woman I had spoken with before said she was still making steady progress toward being veg.
     Even more great conversations at Savannah State, including various people who had been influenced by booklets in the past. Loads of other great feedback. I love this school!
     Solid day at Georgia Tech, including a conversation with a faculty member who was going to read the booklet in her office. Lots of vegetarians, vegans, and people transitioning. Some students even came around after passing me several times before.
     Well worth it today at Rollins College, with lots of positive reactions. Veganism is really well known at this school; e.g., a recent newsletter profiled a student who went vegan after taking a class on food issues at Rollins.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 1/17/13

 

Student at Fullerton College

At Cal State Long Beach, I reached 900 people in my first hour, on my way to reaching 2,000. Amazeballs crazeballs Monday. Down to my last stack, I began packing up to leaflet on my way back to my car. Awl’a sudden a young lady comes up behind me asking, “Can I have one of those?” Yes…the booklets often leaflet themselves.
     Reached 1,832 at Long Beach City College with two on-the-spot helpers. Natasha was the 15th person to get a booklet. She asked for extras to help hand out; I also gave her my contact info so she can join the fun going forward. The 100th booklet went to Britain who also came running back to help out.
     Tons of receptive peeps at Fullerton College [one at right]. Coby [Pellatiro, below, left] and Maritza [Galvan, below, right] helped for an hour, and we reached over 1,400 students. At one point, a pod of eager veggies formed at my crosswalk, all excited to meet other like-hearteds at their school. They were blocking foot traffic and surely getting people’s attention talking excitedly about veg eating, all the great foods and restaurants out there, and the pack of lies most people are fed. Good things coming soon with these animal lovers!

Coby Pellatiro and Maritza Galvan at Fullerton College
Yacob at SMC
Joyce Wong at SMC

 

     Santa Monica College takes the record for highest number of turn-backs ever (when people turn around after denying a booklet, saying, “Wait…what’s that for?” then they hear it’s about animals and take one). Bumped into Yacob [left], a young man who got a booklet last semester and stopped to chat about it. He’s been veg ever since! Two months going strong! Then met Joyce [Wong, right], a longtime humanitarian. Wanting to up her animal game, she was stoked to play hookie from work and help out for an hour (shhhh don’t tell anyone). After she finished leafleting, she took more to hand out on her own time.
     Trying to leaflet the Forward on Climate rally was frustrating at first. Then I glanced over at a row of adults sitting along the wall, looking at me curiously. I handed them all booklets, which they EAGERLY ACCEPTED THANK YOU. They dove right in, reading their hearts out [below]. After that, my mood improved dramatically. Had some good conversations with some conscious folks by the end of the rally. Always. Worth. It. Bam.

Readers at LA climate rally
Kim Dreher at GCC
Brenda at MVC

 

     I scored an awesome sauce prof connection at Saddleback College last semester, and the presentation with his class went over really well so he had me back again. I showed Farm to Fridge and left more time for Q&A. The students were very grateful. All but six students wanted a startup Guide WOOT.
     Having Kim [Dreher, left] and her amazing energy at Glendale Community College definitely helped. Lotsa readers and lots of new vegans! Make sure to keep wondering what you’ll do when there are no fires to put out. Cuz humanity’s headed that way!
     Seamless day at Riverside City College. Lost count of how many people stopped to discuss beginning-veg steps; they were all Guided until I ran out! Then, early on at Moreno Valley College, met Brenda [below, left], who – thanks to compassionate arsenal – is gently pushed into the awesomeness that is veg living.

Todd Lee at CSUSB

     Was great to have Todd [Lee, right] with me for my last, record day – three colleges and a high school! Todd’s first full day leafleting with me and we went crazeballs in the Inland Empire! Folks in these parts are always receptive, love animals, and MANY are already veg!
     It’s been an AMAZING adventure leafleting full-time through southern California (almost THREE YEARS!) – there are no words for how absolutely perfect it’s been. I’m sure I’ll be leafleting as a volunteer here and there until all the cages are empty, so it’s not “goodbye,” more like, “I’ll see ya later!”
     HUGE thanks to all of you who have made this type of outreach possible. Knowing you’re all out there, bringing smiles, compassion, and information to the masses has inspired me beyond my wildest hopes.
     With deep gratitude to my Vegan Outreach family, and all you amazing supporters,
Onward!
—Nikki Benoit

Santa at SLO farmers’ market

 

Mary, Jamie, Kevin, John, and I dressed up as elves to leaflet Christkindlmarket, and had good interactions. Mary had a wonderful conversation:
     A mother came back to me and said her daughter had a question for me. I knelt down on the pavement because she was so small. The little girl asked me if my booklet had foods in it that didn’t hurt animals. I said yes and that there were lots and lots of foods that are made that don’t hurt animals. She then asked me what I ate. I told her that I ate sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti, breakfast scrambles, desserts…but that I made them in a way that didn’t hurt any animals. She looked incredibly relieved and happy. Her mom told me that her daughter (she’s 6) was very upset about “chickens getting hurt.” I told her that she had an amazing daughter.
—Rachel Shippee, with Mary Jungenberg et al, 12/22/12

At the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market, we met a few former vegetarians who accepted a Guide to get back on the path. Once again, there were many who commented on wanting to be vegan and getting closer to being vegan, so Erika, Jill, Randall, Eron, and I were happy to help them in that effort. With the visit from St. Nick [above] and two new activists, it was a great night all in all!
—Barbara Bear, 12/13/12

NYC veggie
Casey snapped this pic while leafleting the Lycée Français de New York on 12/13/12: “A young woman passed by and said, ‘This is why I went vegetarian 3 years ago; just so you know it works – keep it up.’”

Many students at Lane Tech College Prep were interested in learning about what happens to farmed animals. Terry, Nicole, Mikael, Kenny, Jovan, and I reached nearly 700 of them before work.
—Leslie Patterson, 12/12/12

Six-hour round trip to Broward College was worth it, as I had some of the best interactions I’ve had this whole semester. For example, through the course of our conversation, one student became convinced of the benefits that would come if more people stopped contributing to the inherent violence of animal agribusiness. It was great to hear the thoughfulness these students put into their questions and comments. It was really obvious these kids already had been giving the issues some deeper thinking, and I have a strong feeling the booklets being giving out here today will only cause more to do the same.
     While leafleting Miami-Dade College, Medical Campus, many stopped just a few steps past me to read their booklet; others thanked me after accepting one and seeing how it was they could help animals by lessening their consumption. It’s the coolest thing ever, seeing the magical way these booklets help people make this connection!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 12/17/12

Amy at ASU Tempe
Kathleen at MCC
Anthony and Torin at MCC

What what WHAT a day of outreach at Arizona State, my old stomping grounds! Together, Meggie, Joseph, Zubair, Chris, Dillon, Amber, and I reached 4,435 individuals – the most at any school in the state of Arizona! I met 5 people that want to get involved and probably 30 vegetarians/vegans. Had a great conversation with a student who had an issue with one part. I gave him credit and pointed out how the other 99.9% of the booklet is still information that he probably agreed with; he seemed really content and actually interested in the idea of vegetarianism. Thank you, Mr. Carnegie. Another great interaction was with Amy [right], a former vegetarian. Apparently she was anemic, so I gave her a Guide and pointed out the “Staying Healthy on Plant-Based Diets” section; she was ridiculously excited about it.
     Take-rate was super high at Mesa Community College, as was interest in the subject. This was excellent outreach, as evidenced by several standout interactions: Spoke with Kathleen [right], a woman that told me how she loves animals so much and is always signing petitions for the Humane Society, but she loved meat. We had a great 10-minute conversation about the mistreatment of farmed animals. She actually almost started crying when we were talking and guess what: “I’m going vegetarian right now!” Had a great conversation with Anthony and Torin [right], who were disturbed by our food system. I gave them both Guides, and they seemed keen on the idea of moving towards a veg diet, especially Torin who seemed to just need this reminder and a few answers to simple questions! Also ran into one person who walked out of the Student Union with a salad and pretzel bites in her hands. When I offered her a booklet, she said, “Oh, I already got one. I was planning on getting chicken nuggets but after reading it, I got this instead.” Score!
     More great conversations at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Alanna [below] started crying while we were talking. She said she’s been “wanting to get into this” for a while and this was the perfect catalyst.

Alanna at CGCC

     Excellent reception at Phoenix College, a community college comprised almost entirely of minorities. Heard tons of awesome things like, “This is why I’m vegetarian!” “This is really sad,” “It’s pretty crazy stuff,” and “Lots of people in class are talking about this.” Had absolutely amazing conversations, including instant vegetarians. On a side note, the last three days I’ve met like 6 people who’ve said they’ve written research papers on the subject of farm animal mistreatment. The word is spreading!!!
     Reception was also super high at Glendale Community College. One student said, “Awww, they’re so mean!” (referring to those that abuse animals). Another said, “Are those bags?!?!” (referring to the trash bags male chicks are often thrown into). Another guy said, “I am so voting for this!” Others expressed their sadness and one student even brought me a water for my time out there.

Student at GCC
Above and below: GCC students are engrossed in Compassionate Choices.

     Headed to GCC for the second day in a row and it was excellent! These kids are super receptive. Met Cynthia, a video production major who thought the booklet was very well-designed and loved how it includes heartwarming pictures of animals at the end. She said she’s been thinking about this for a while and now thinks she’s going to do it. At first she told me she was going to start by cutting out beef, so I quickly guided her in the opposite direction, stressing the emphasis on chickens. She said their household eats a lot of bacon, so I gave her the idea of eliminating or cutting back on meat except for bacon and then, with time, incorporating Fakin’ Bacon (not Smart Bacon, which tastes nothing like bacon IMO) so she and her family could go at a sustainable pace. It’s amazing how simply handing her a booklet triggered her to finally commit to a meat-free life after considering it for some amount of time.

Students at GCC

     Had a great conversation with a dude who stopped in his tracks and was like “Yeahhhh, I hate animal cruelty. I feel very strongly about this.” He ate meat, so I verbally expressed the pie chart of animals that die yearly in the US. He was flipping through the booklet and muttered “son of a b**ch” to himself a few times (just to give you an idea of how upset this made him). He was under the impression that this was only going on outside of the United States, but when I corrected him and then told him how our purchasing power controls whether or not this goes on, he seemed pretty pumped up and happy to receive a Guide. Spoke with Freddy, who came up to me and asked what I was handing out – when I explained it to him, he told me he was actually pretty interested and that his stepmom was a new vegetarian, so I Guided him! Then I talked to Brandon – it was slow and he asked me to tell him more. He was pretty shocked. I gave him a Guide and pointed out some things he could buy next time he was at the grocery store, and he said he would. Another excellent conversation with Ken. He said, “but I love pork and chicken” after I mentioned “Help animals.” I gave him a 20-second spiel about still being able to get those same kinds of tastes, textures, and aromas from plant-based meat alternatives without supporting this kind of cruelty. He seemed to have never heard of meat substitutes before and when I mentioned he can get a lot of these where he currently shops, his eyebrows lifted up high and he excitedly said, “I’ll have to check it out, thanks man!”

MCC student at Phoenix First Friday Joaquin at Phoenix First Friday Ali at Phoenix First Friday
Above are a few of the people at the Phoenix First Friday Art Walk who let John know our booklets made an impact on them. Dave Hernandez, below, went veg after getting a booklet at a First Friday in 2010, then helped leaflet more of these events!
Dave Hernandez

 

     My first First Friday leafleting in exactly a year – I forgot how awesome the outreach is! Meggie, Clarrissa, Joe, Jacqueline, Joseph, June, Zubair, Erik, Rachel, Kimberly, and I reached over 3,300 people. As soon as I put my boxes down, a guy named Joaquin [above, center] walked up to me and asked, “Do you have any recipes? A whole year and still going strong!” He went vegetarian from getting leafleted by us at First Friday exactly a year ago! Later, I met a person [above, left] that received a booklet from Meggie at Mesa Community College on Tuesday. She recited some of the booklet word-for-word, and mentioned, “Yeah, if I cut my meat intake in half, I’ll still save a lot of animals!” She told me that after she read through the booklet, though, she doesn’t wanna ever eat meat again! Also spoke with Ali [above, right], whom I had leafleted at Mesa CC, and she told me the Even If You Like Meat had her crying. I handed her a Guide and she said, “Awesome!”

Brinley Suppes at ASU Tempe

     Great day back at Arizona State with Meggie. Ran into Brinley [Suppes, left], a student I leafleted here a week ago. Last week, when I said, “Help animals?” she said, “Yeah, definitely.” I mentioned how farm animals comprise 99% of animals killed in the US. I gave her my card and within the hour she had shot me an email and said how shocked she was about the statistic and that she is immediately going to make a change and encourage others to do the same. Turns out that change was her going VEGAN!!! She’s been vegan for a week (straight from eating meat), has gotten one friend of hers to go vegan, and is encouraging her family to look at their food choices. She even helped me leaflet for about 20 minutes before her next class and wants to start volunteering. Amazing!

Althea at ASU Tempe

     Had a student tell me, “You already made me cry once” when I offered her a booklet. She was happy to get a Guide, for sure! Also ran into Althea [below], with whom I had a quick conversation last week here. She told me she’s been eating less meat since we talked and that the other day, she was going to have chicken but decided not to because that’s the worst choice in terms of animal suffering!
     My last college leafleting of the year was Grand Canyon University. Handed a booklet to two ladies and as they walked away, I witnessed one hold it up to her friend and say, “This is messed up. It’s why I’m vegetarian!” Another student came up to me and thanked me for handing it to her – she informed me that she’s been vegetarian for four years and seeing this reinforced it. Similar interaction with Colt, who went vegan overnight two months ago, and was having a bit of a hard time of it. Useful conversation.
     Finally, a quick stop at Tempe High School. Made sure to get the booklets into the hands of a few uber-progressive looking kids. I wish someone had handed me one in high school – I think there’s a good chance it would’ve worked. Being unique comes from how we impact the world, not how we dress or how long our mohawks are.
—John Oberg, December 2012

 

Gwen at HCC
Miguel at NCC

We set two new records because I had my secret weapon with me today: Gwen [right], one of the cutest vegan 6-year-olds ever! At Housatonic Community College, we met a bunch of vegetarians. Two students exchanged emails to start a group on campus next semester. Two different students came back to ask for more booklets to give to friends and colleagues.
     At Norwalk Community College, we exchanged emails with five students who wanted to start a group. A girl came up to me after reading the booklet and asked me where this is happening. I let her know that this happens in almost all states. Miguel [below] stopped to talk about these horrid conditions. He could not believe it, and agreed that this needed to end. He already stopped eating beef, and said that because of the booklet and our discussion, he was going to stop eating chicken and pork. Gave him a Guide.
—Karen James, 12/4/12

A great day at Montgomery College. A number of vegetarians, and I got the contact info for two interested in joining me for outreach in the DC region. The highlight of the day was meeting Maggie, who let me know that getting a VO booklet in Boston in 2007 gave her the push needed to go vegan.
—Jon Camp, 12/3/12

Great day at Cal State, San Marcos! All day when I offered a booklet, I heard “OOOooh!” “AAAaaah!” and “I love animals!” I met a number of happy vegans and vegetarians who gave props to outreach.
—Kassy Ortega, 12/6/12

 

Students at AIP Students at AIP
Student at AIP

 

Phenomenal day at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, and Duquesne University! At AIP, folks queue for 5 to 10 minutes during class changes waiting for elevators. Thus most got booklets and then had to stand and wait. I was pumped to see so many engrossed in reading [above] and discussing with friends. One woman [above, far right] said she didn’t think she could ever eat meat again; she got a Guide. Another woman [right] wants to go vegan and help leaflet in the future.
     Giannina [Gonzalez, below, right] was so bright and positive and we had a pretty good take rate at Carnegie Mellon. One student [below] told us he got a veggie burger for lunch because of the booklet. Several expressed support for our cause and thanked us for leafleting. Heard others discuss with friends. One student said he was very disturbed by the treatment of animals and wanted to help; he got a Guide.
     Icy rain in the morning for the last day of the tour, but still reached well over 700 students at Wilkes University and Luzerne County Community College. Saw lots of students reading cover-to-cover, and got good feedback. Met a former vegetarian who, after reading the booklets, said she’s going back to being veg.
—Vic Sjodin, 12/7/12

Student at CMU Giannina Gonzalez at CMU

Lois – an 82-year-old vegan who looks much younger [below] – continues to inspire me with her energy and activism for animals. At the farmers’ market, we met many more vegans than normal, and had good, productive conversations. One guy refused the booklet at first, saying, “I don’t have any pets.” I told him it was about the animals people eat and then he readily accepted it. Another guy handed the leaflet back saying, “I’m a meat-cutter.” I said he could still look over the material. He smiled genuinely and kept it after all, telling me that a coworker is vegan.
—Barbara Bear, 12/8/12

Lois Barber at AG farmers’ market
Above is Lois Barber at the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market; below are Emily Burton and Alijah O’rourke-Marquez at MHS.
Emily Burton and Alijah O’rourke-Marquez at MHS

Darina and Mikael joined me at The Story Tour Concert, where we reached over 700 Christians with Would Jesus Eat Meat Today? We met nine vegetarians, and gave a Guide to eight – the ninth already had one!
—Jon Bockman, 12/4/12

Christine and I reached 450 students at UNLV and met a number of vegetarians. Had a good “meat reduction” conversation with one woman. Met one professor who said he incorporates animal issues into his English course. He said he even shows Earthlings to his students! Wow, things have changed!
—Elaine Vigneault, 12/10/12

The students at Cal State, Monterey Bay were really great yesterday! I met a faculty member who came and found me and told me how thrilled she was that I was spreading this message around campus. My pal Alijah made her college-leafleting debut between classes; then she and her roommate drove to Monterey High School later to help [right]. Both plan on doing some more leafleting before the year is up – yay!
     Overheard quite a bit of discussion about the booklets at Hartnell College today, and reception was around 98%. I gave a Guide to a veg student and, after my brief explanation, her friend said, “Oh my god, I need that really bad!” One woman told me she read it in class and wants to give up meat now. Gave her a Guide.
—Brian Grupe, 12/4/12

A quick 48 at Scarborough High School. One student said his job is selling meat. I said this pamphlet is important information about the industry. He kept it. A student who said he hunts also kept a pamphlet.
—Lana Smithson, 12/11/12

John Oberg at UA Student at UA Student at UA
Matt sends these pics of John Oberg and a few of the thousands of UA students they reached with Even If You Like Meat.

Was great to hit the University of Arizona with John [above]! We reached over 3,400 Wildcats; and Haybe, whom John had met at Arizona State before, also stopped to help. John met one woman who had gotten a booklet from me earlier in the semester and is now going vegan!
—Matt Ball, 11/30/12

Maria Goller at USU Students at USU
At Utah State University, on-the-spot leafleter Maria Goller (above, left) hands out Even If You Like Meat, a couple of students share a Why Vegan? booklet (above, right), and Luribel Gonzalez (below) starts her “path toward a veggie life” after reading a Compassionate Choices from John.
Luribel Gonzalez at USU

 

Beautiful day at Utah State – another 2,300+ students reached. Had several high points during the day. For example: leafleted Maria [above], Guided her, then she came back a few minutes later and offered to help. She was awesome.
     At the University of Denver, a professor took a booklet and said, “I love this! Thank you for giving me this!” About 15 minutes later, she came strolling back my way and I handed her a Guide. We got to talking and she thanked me several times for being out there and told me I was “magical.” She was really touched by our work and even said she’d like to donate to VO. Had a great conversation with a student who had been vegetarian. Fortunately, the booklet and our conversation led to her really considering giving it another shot.
     Despite being right by the biggest slaughterhouse in the Western Hemisphere, the University of Northern Colorado was good leafleting! One dude said, “Hey man, that’s pretty interesting stuff.” A student told me, “I’m vegan and glad to see somebody’s out here doing this.” Another said, “You’re doing good work, man.” One more told me, “it’s pretty gruesome stuff.” They all got Guided. I also had a nice conversation with Gina; by the end, she seemed committed to start eating differently!

Bill at CU Boulder

     Despite it being a slow Friday right before break, had good interactions at CU Boulder. Two students wanted to get involved. Had a great ongoing conversation throughout the day with a guy named Bill [right]. After I had handed him a booklet early in the day, he told me he thought it was great and was considering going 75–80% vegetarian. So I handed him a Guide. An hour or two later he came back over and told me, “Wow, I read that and I’m now convinced to go 100%!” Tony read through the booklet and seemed impacted, but didn’t see how “a few students in Boulder” could make a difference. As we talked, he seemed to become more convinced and was really impressed with the amount of vegan food there is on the market. Good times!
     Central New Mexico Community College was a blast! One woman came back and asked me, “Is this really happening? How can I help?” Then, at the University of New Mexico, amazing interactions! I gave one student a Guide, saying, “It has good veggie recipes,” and another student piped up, “Good veggie recipes?!” as if she had just heard I had been handing out free $20 bills.

Melanie at UTEP

 

     The outreach at New Mexico State was some of the best of the semester. Nearly every student accepted a booklet (I’d say a 95% take-rate, the highest of any public school I’ve ever been to) and the reception was top-notch. One dude told me, “That changed what I ate for lunch today.” A student told me that she was vegetarian before but got sick; now wants to go back. I gave her a Guide, pointed out the health tips in it, and wrote down the link to VeganHealth.org. One student told me he read it and that it made him sad and feeling guilty while another football player-looking guy gave me a sincere “thank you for that flier” after he had read it. Perhaps the highlight: Two students walked up to me and the guy said, “Know that what you’re doing is making an impact.” He then shook my hand. I asked if he was veg and he replied, “No, but soon I will be. Thank you!”

Tom Linney at EPCC
Alex at EPCC

     At the University of Texas at El Paso, the first 52 students in a row accepted a booklet. I heard lots of oohs and awwws from many an enthusiastic bunch. So many people told me how sad it was. A big dude that probably played on the football team told me it made him cry. Met an exchange student from Africa who said, “This is very important!” after I handed him a booklet. We talked for a few minutes; he said “pain is real.” One student, Melanie, came up to me and said, “It got me.” She explained how she read it in class and it made her decide to be vegetarian now. Snapped a pic [above] after giving her a Guide!
     What a day at El Paso Community College! The first 120 students in a row accepted a booklet, and I was fortunate to have the super-cool Tom Linney [right] join me for a couple hours! I overheard students saying, “Aww, this is so sad” to each other and saw many, many students reading the booklet cover-to-cover. One student said, “I’m vegetarian and I’m so happy that you’re out here!” I had a good conversation with Cesar, who wanted to cut his meat intake in half. He said he’s excited to read the Guide. Another guy brought up concerns about dolphins being harmed in the catching of tuna. I related this back to farmed animal suffering and he really seemed empowered by the idea of saving many chickens per year and then convincing others to do the same! The highlight of the day was a conversation with Alex [right], who loves animals but eats meat. She was interested in the idea of eating vegetarian but had no clue what to eat so I ran over a few things with her and gave her a Guide. By the end of the conversation, she said, “I’m going to go vegetarian.”
—John Oberg, 11/29/12

Caroline Sanchez at CSULB
Caroline Sanchez (above) and Tyler Lang (below) hand out Compassionate Choices at CSULB.
Tyler Lang at CSULB

 

Caroline & Tyler [right] – recent rejuvenate-ees from the Animal Lib Forum 2 weeks ago – joined Kassy and me at CSU Long Beach, and we set a huge record: 3,500 students reached! We heard from tons of veggies / vegans, and saw loads of folks reading the lit. We were both thanked numerous times – just great!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/27/12

Was great to hit San Joaquin Delta College and the University of the Pacific with Eleanor [Thomas, below], my gracious host. Seeing as how the 5th person I met had been vegan for 25 years, I figured today was going to go pretty well. And it surely did! We both had interesting conversations, and watched lots of students read the booklet all the way through. Two students came back to Eleanor separately and asked, “Is this really real? Is it really this bad?”
     What a great crew at Foothill College and San Jose State – Diane, Ekaterina, Kitty, and I reached over 2,400 students! Great conversations, too; e.g., I chatted with a guy who was at that moment listening to a podcast about people’s disconnect with their food. When I gave him a Guide, he said, “This is EXACTLY what I need!” I also met a 3-year-old who wanted to trade me some sticks for a leaflet. We are pretty much best friends now.
—Brian Grupe, 11/26/12

Eleanor Thomas at SJDC

Amazingly receptive students at Rock Valley College. Kevin and I reached nearly 600 very quickly; 49 students accepted a booklet before I got my first rejection.
—Rachel Shippee, 11/28/12

At U of Miss, a student told me how his friend that owns a chicken farm got drunk one night and told them all about it. He said they throw chickens against the wall and also “play ball” with them by having a person throw the chickens and another person hit with a piece of wood. Very disturbing.
     I reached 825 people today at Florida Gulf Coast University. One student said the booklet almost made her cry; another said it broke his heart. I gave them Guides and encouragement. Another student stopped to say that the brochure affected her and she promised to reduce her meat consumption. A couple of different vegetarians and vegans were excited to see me leafleting and thanked me for being out there. Two other students expressed interest in volunteering with us. A grad student has been trying to work with dining services, so we chatted and I offered her some tips. Several other students mentioned how they hate animal cruelty or that they love animals. All in all it was a really solid day of outreach!

Allix Velázquez and John Kedroff at Palomar

     Good day of outreach at receptive Edison State – I reached virtually everyone on campus. Great conversations, too – I was able to convince two students to try veg eating; four other students said they would reduce meat consumption.
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/20/12

Set a new record at Palomar College the day before Thanksgiving! [Allix Velázquez and John Kedroff, right] and I banged out booklets so quickly that by 2:00, we reached our goal of 1,000! Students were very receptive here: about 80% of them took a booklet, and by the end of the day, almost everyone said they’d already received one! Some of the day’s best memories: high fives from 2 vegetarians; a hug from a vegan; and “There is some sh** in here – spread the word!”
—Kassy Ortega, 11/28/12

Student at UPitt
A student reads Compassionate Choices at UPitt.

Reached 1,000 students at the University of New Hampshire. I heard from a student who said getting a booklet in the past helped her go vegetarian. An older Buddhist man was happy to see this outreach and asked for an extra booklet to give to a friend.
—Lana Smithson, 12/3/12

In the snow at the University of Pittsburgh, Giannina was the heroine of the day. We met an English professor [below, left] who is a VO donor and super stoked to see us on campus. Also met a student who now wants to get involved [below, right].
     Really solid day of outreach today at the Community College of Allegheny County. One woman wanted to go veg with her family; we talked for a while, then I took her pic [below, center]. Had about a dozen other quick convos, including one with a professor who had students do a report on factory farming.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/28/12

Professor at UPitt Student at CCAC Student at UPitt

Great day at the University of Utah. Met a bunch of veggies. One woman told me that she really appreciates our work, and she’ll be telling her husband to eat less meat. She’s been substituting more vegan food into her diet but the Even If You Like Meat really made her think of substituting a lot more; plus the Guide has a lot of helpful stuff in there, so she was excited to get it.

Student at Utah Student at Utah
Two of the 1,925 Utah students John reached with Even If You Like Meat.

     Great time at Utah Valley University. I met Chris Foster, the founder of Mormons For Animals, and one of the coolest guys around. Then, after I leafleted Sara, she came back to help me leaflet! I also spoke with a woman [Veronica, below] who said the booklet made her want to be a vegetarian!
     Reached a quick 820 at Salt Lake Community College, and met two students stoked I was there. Personal highlight of the day (and likely of the month) was meeting one of my favorite rappers – Foeknawledge – a vegan straight-edge rapper who was one of the inspirations for me to go vegan and get into activism.
     The University of Wyoming had the highest cowboy-to-non-cowboy ratio of any school I’ve been to. One student thanked me for handing her the booklet and said it was really interesting and was glad to have been distracted from her homework. Offered a booklet to one guy, and he bowed to me, hands together, and said, “Thank you, I’m vegan.” Spoke with him later and he expressed his gratitude and was so glad to see me out there.
—John Oberg, 11/9/12

Veronica at UVU

UT Knoxville leafleting was awesome; Kathy, Kevin, John, Peggy and I reached over 1,800 students. The highlight was a young woman who came up to say the booklet really impacted her. She had to stop herself from crying when talking about it, and was considering going vegan as a result. I gave her suggestions for moving towards a vegan diet, Guided her, and thanked her for caring so much about the animals’ plight. Kathy also chatted with two women who were doing Christian outreach on campus. Both are vegan!
     So cold and snowy at York College, I had to keep going inside to warm up. I was able to give a talk, too, which was well received. I mentioned that most of us lead pretty comfortable, relatively pain-free lives, but the overwhelming majority of conscious beings on earth aren’t so lucky. So it’s important for us doing well for ourselves to look out and help those not so lucky. I also stressed that the suffering that exists gives us a tremendous opportunity to do good. I stressed the importance of philanthropy, and how taking a mainstream job and giving back to good groups goes so far.
—Jon Camp, 11/27/12

 

Matt Ball at UNM
Above: Matt Ball makes a successful skateboard handoff at the University of New Mexico.

Reached 2,000 students at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. The highlight of the day was when a young woman came up to say that she does outreach for gay rights issues, that it can sometimes be discouraging, and asked if I ever felt the same way. I told her I don’t get discouraged, because I see this as a numbers game; part of the scenario is that we’re going to have to deal with some antagonism to reach those willing to hear us out. But there are always those willing to hear us out, and reaching those people is an exciting thing. And for any movement that seeks change, there will always be resistance, but it’s a lot more rewarding to be a part of this change, to know we’re playing our role in something great, than to give up. I stressed the work she was doing was important, and she said the same to me. The conversation seemed to leave both of us happy and inspired.
—Jon Camp, 11/8/12

Four more students at the University of Connecticut wanted to join Veg Huskies, and three want to leaflet! Angie even took booklets to get started, and Amy stopped by to help. A young woman came over and proudly stated, “I turned vegan because of you!” She remembered me from Eastern Connecticut State last semester, and said that the Even If You Like Meat I gave her made her change.
     Today at UConn’s West Hartford campus, I handed a Compassionate Choices to a young woman. She stopped, looked at me, and asked, “Weren’t you just at Manchester Community College?” When I replied, “Yes,” she said she got a booklet from me Monday and committed to going vegetarian! YAY!
—Karen James, 11/14/12

Five skateboard and one bike handoff at the University of New Mexico, and big numbers quickly. Heard a number of students look at the Compassionate Choices and say, “Awww!” or “That chick (piggy) is soooo cute!” One guy, looking down at his booklet, said out loud, “Even If You Like Meat? Well, I DO like meat!” Just for you, dude!
—Anne Green & Matt Ball, 11/9/12

Awesome day at Florida International University. The vegetarians and vegans I met were very happy to see me handing out info. Their excitement kept me positive all afternoon.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/13/12

Rachel Shippee at BC Yuri Mitzkewich at FIU
Above: Yuri Mitzkewich snapped this pic of Rachel Shippee handing out Even If You Like Meat booklets at Broward College; and Linda Bower sends this pic of Yuri leafleting Florida International University.

Good conversations at Triton College. One student wanted more booklets to hand out during a presentation. I also ran into a professor who is vegan. She was very glad to see me and thanked me for being out there. She also wanted a few leaflets for her students. Also heard from a proud vegetarian who agreed with what I was doing. It was a great day!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/14/12

Francisco at COD
After receiving a booklet from Kassy Ortega at College of the Desert, Francisco (above) came back and said, “I’m going to stop eating meat now!”

Great day of outreach! Kitty joined me at Merritt and Chabot College. Leslie then joined me in leafleting the Pachamama Alliance event – big thanks to Ari Nessel for the recommendation! The crowd was hugely on board with the message!
—Brian Grupe, 11/15/12

Students at College of the Desert were fabulous! I saw a number of students reading the booklets, heard alot of “OMG!”s and “THIS IS HORRIBLE!”s. Others stopped to ask questions about moving in the direction of eating more plant-based.
—Kassy Ortega, 11/13/12

Outreach was bananas at Rowan University, where Tara, Ayeisha, and I reached 1,800 students. In addition, one student asked for 200 to distribute to the students in her dorm; later, someone came up to say they had gotten one from her already. Other good conversations, including another student who wants to leaflet.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/12/12

At San Diego Mesa College, I heard from a security guard, “The only meat I eat these days is broccoli.” Me too me too! Also heard from numerous veggies and vegans. One kat stated he got a booklet from me last year and has significantly altered his life and eating choices. Me too me too!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/15/12

Thankful Eric made the long drive to leaflet Kennesaw State – we reached almost 1,500 students, despite the wind and cold. One student said that she was just thinking about being vegetarian so it was perfect timing. Another student exclaimed, “I love animals!” several times amongst a large group of people – so awesome!
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/13/12

Josh Padilla, Tamara Hubbard, Kate Skwire, John Oberg, Devon Bobb, and Judy Chavez at UNM
Above: Josh Padilla, Tamara Hubbard, Kate Skwire, John Oberg, Devon Bobb, and Judy Chavez at UNM.

Tamara organized an amazing crew for the University of New Mexico. We all had great encounters! Early in the morning I met a former 4-year vegan that said he used to be a militant vegan, but now sees a lot of problems with that mentality. I spoke a bit harshly of the militant approach, which I think pleasantly surprised him; then talked to him about how that approach is becoming a relic of the past, and gave him a Guide. I also gave him a copy of AML to show the direction the movement is heading, compared to his days of speaking down to all who haven’t yet been enlightened with the knowledge of farmed animal suffering.
     I take comfort knowing that we’re out there every day giving the animals a voice. We’re showing people that animals are more than commodities – they’re living beings and sometimes even our friends. On this day I had a team of leafleters I couldn’t have been happier with – a team willing to spend hours in the cold to show students that animals deserve better. I feel so fortunate I’m a part of it.
—John Oberg, 1/29/13

 

Barbara Bear at UCSB

At Oxnard College, one booklet recipient loves piggies so much she kissed the booklet. Yes, it’s true – why would I make that up?? Her friend used the opportunity to tell her how ignorant it is that we’re so powerful and then we use our power to abuse animals (which is why he went veg a long time ago). Her dinner will look different from now on.
     Was so great to leaflet with Barbara [Bear, right] and Johanna [Andris, below] at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We met TONS of students wanting to get involved, including a fine young chap “Danny,” who actually cried a bit when he saw the pictures. A “big meat eater,” he eagerly took a Guide. Great to know so many hearts with feet are walkin’ around out there! :-)
—Nikki Benoit, 11/8/12

Johanna Andris at UCSB

Johanna, Peggy, Lois, and I leafleted and tabled today at the Save Our Seas Music Festival. We thought we’d share our own version of saving, to help bridge the gap for those who are still eating animals. It was such a great crowd to hit! I’m sure we opened many hearts to the animals’ plight – new people are definitely on their way now!
—Barbara Bear, 11/11/12

Over two dozen Aggies took a booklet at New Mexico State before the first rejection. At one point, a tour of high school students came by – they actually stopped to wait for booklets, and squealed with delight at the pictures of the chick and the pigs. Can really see what a difference our efforts have made – the student union had a vending machine with only vegan snacks!
—Matt Ball & Anne Green (below), 11/7/12

Anne Green at NMSU
Kim Barber at MCC

 

Jovan and I noticed the progress at Marquette University, in the numbers of vegetarians and vegans we met, and that the cafeteria was featuring “plant based” eating. Also discovered they now have a student group for the animals!
—Leslie Patterson, 11/7/12

Great conversations with interested people at Manchester Community College. Kim [Barber, right] asked about how she could go back to being vegan. After a discussion and giving her a Guide, she joined me to leaflet! We got eight names of people who want to start a student group. Later, a teacher asked for booklets for her class!
—Karen James, 11/12/12

Students at BCC
Above are two of the students Vic saw studying their Compassionate Choices after the fire alarm rang at Bergen Community College. And below are Daniela Artiga at Passaic County Community College (left) and Quindaya Williams at Ramapo College.

 

Monday, I met Daniela while leafleting William Paterson University with Matthew Glover. Today, we had the best Friday of the semester, at Passaic County Community College, Bergen Community College, and Ramapo College. She also brought her friend Quindaya along. Both were filled with enthusiasm and were natural leafleters!
     At PCCC, had a great conversation with a professor, who requested booklets for her class. Many other good, quick conversations there, too.
     At Bergen CC, the fire alarm rang. OMG. Hundreds streamed out; Daniela and I quickly took position at one of the main exits and got hundreds out. Many read as they waited outside with nothing to do. Had some conversations, and then was able to walk among crowd and distribute more.
     Today was Daniela’s first full day eating vegan, and she is committed to helping animals! She’s a big score for the animals – as is Quindaya. I love the ripple effects of leafleting. Really rejuvenated by this great day and by their buoyant spirits, and also by the selflessness of Matthew Glover. It’s been a great week.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/9/12

Daniela Artiga at PCCC Quindaya Williams at Ramapo
Kitty Jones, Brian Grupe, and Ekaterina Moysov at UC Davis
Brian with Kitty Jones (left) and Ekaterina Moysov at UC Davis.

 

Great team at UC Davis: Jack joined me and Kitty, as well as Ekaterina, whom I met while leafleting her school (Skyline College) a month ago. Esther also helped leaflet, having read the booklet during her first class. Although not vegetarian, she wants people to know about the issues and she plans on cutting back a lot.
—Brian Grupe, 11/6/12

High reception rate and a number of vegetarians / vegans at the University of Toledo, where I reached over 1,000 students. One of the vegetarians let me know that it was getting a booklet from me in the past that moved her to become vegetarian. She lamented that she was not yet vegan; she got a Guide, and we had a constructive conversation.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/13/12

Student at WSU
Above and below, students are engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Weber State University.

Diane and I reached 300 students at Woodside High School between 3:10 and 3:35. Some of the students came back to talk to us, and we heard many, many conversations starting as kids walked away after receiving the booklets. I saw one young man reading his leaflet on the bus, and a young woman reading it carefully while sitting on the curb waiting to be picked up.
—Jessica Hope, 11/6/12

Yesterday at the University of Mississippi, I had one of my best days of conversations ever, including a number of students who were interested in returning to veg eating. One student hadn’t eaten meat in two months since doing a report on the subject. Another student was just starting to eat veg, along with four friends. Other students were interested enough to start reducing meat, via Meatless Mondays or reducing 50%.
     Today at Alabama A&M, a bus full of people pulled over where I was (not a bus stop) because the driver wanted a booklet!
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/9/12

Student at WSU

 

Today Miguel and I voted 1,685 times – to get these kids to stop eating so many animals!
     Huge number of good interactions at Weber State. Met Genie, a woman that repeatedly told me that the booklet was “really good stuff” and that she would love to incorporate this information into future presentations. One older student read through a couple pages of the booklet, came up to me and said, “I’m with you in spirit…but I’m old. How do I do it?” Whipped out a Guide and landed it in his hands. Another student told me, “No, thanks. I read Animal Liberation and it made me want to slit my wrists.” So I gave her a Guide and told her if she wanted to make a difference for animals, this was a good starting point; she very happily accepted it. Had a great conversation with a group of three students who had been discussing the booklet. I gave two of them Guides, and one student said, “I think I’m going to do it.”
—John Oberg, 11/6/12

Within the first dozen booklets I handed out at Lamar University, I heard from a vegan and a vegetarian. In Beaumont, TX! And like I’ve continued to experience, even in TX, I heard from way more people who said this was sad or that they were veg than from those who questioned why I was there.
—Jon Camp, 10/30/12

 

Matthew Glover at WPU

Couldn’t have had a better day with Matthew [Glover, right] at William Paterson University, where we reached over 1,000 students! Great conversations, and a number of students interested in going veg / getting active with Vegan Outreach. One of them – Daniela – came back to help leaflet, and later sent this message to Matthew:
     “I wanted to say thanks for caring about animals as much as I do. I was very excited to have met an animal rights activist in person. I am filled with excitement and can’t wait to begin helping animals in need. I would also luv to help volunteer for Vegan Outreach.”
—Vic Sjodin, 11/5/12

Thanks to a Cuesta College student who had an epiphany after being leafleted at the SLO farmers’ market a couple of weeks ago, we were invited to have a table at Cuesta’s Fall Fest event. Very receptive students, and the organizer of the event thanked us profusely for coming, said she would keep us in the loop about all future events they have on campus, and said she could give us an “in” for our own events on campus anytime we’d like. How cool is that?! When I went out to another area of campus to leaflet, a teacher who couldn’t make it to the event said she’d share the Compassionate Choices with her class.
—Barbara Bear, 10/31/12

Kim Christian, Rachel Atcheson, Sarah Hudson, and Kim Carland at Salem State
Above are Kim Christian, Rachel Atcheson, Sarah Hudson, and Kim Carland at Salem State University.

Nettie and I reached over 1,000 students at the University of Oregon. Many good conversations, including one with a man who replied to my offer of a booklet by saying, “Oh, I buy organic.”
     I answered: “If you want to go the route of eating animals who are treated more humanely, it’s best to actually visit a farm. Because sometimes when it has a label like ‘organic,’ if you actually visited the farm you wouldn’t like what you saw. Thank you for considering the animals’ well-being when you eat. And another thing you can do that’s really good is to eat vegetarian some of the time.”
     I used to respond to “humane” meat people by immediately telling them why they were wrong. I do think they’re wrong, but am trying to be more encouraging – it’s a fine line to try to walk.
—Cobie deLespinasse, 11/5/12

Probably the friendliest crowd I’ve met was at tonight’s Propagandhi concert. I caught the last few seconds of a conversation among three young women that ended with the phrase, “OK, Let’s go veg.” One of the girls came over to me as the other two were walking in and said she wanted to shake my hand and thanked me for being there. Definitely one of the top moments of my activist career so far.
—Kevin O’Connor, 11/5/12

Student at UH
At the University of Houston, a student is engrossed in Compassionate Choices (above), while Marc Camp fields questions from other interested individuals (below).

Good interactions at Idaho State, including Audrey, who, after getting a booklet earlier in the day, told me it was “so cool” that I am vegan. She’d thought about being vegan, but had been convinced it would be too hard. I simplified it for her, emphasized the number of athletic friends I have, as well as the plethora of vegan professional athletes, and mentioned the section about staying healthy on plant-based diets in the Guide. She seemed stoked! Also met Courtney, who told me the booklet is a push for her to move toward compassion. Guided her and left her with some words of encouragement.
—John Oberg, 11/1/12

It’s part of Texas A&M culture to address others with “Howdy!” Because of this, my opening line would often be, “Howdy. Info to help animals?” It went over well. I was so surprised by how little antagonism there was this time at TAMU. Even many of those who were obviously involved in animal agriculture took a booklet and thanked me. And besides the lack of antagonism, I was heartened by the number of students who told me how sad the booklet was or that they’re vegetarian or vegan. One young woman let me know that she took an animal science class a little while ago, and that it really bothered her, and left her with a sick feeling about what we do to farmed animals.

Marc Camp at UH

     Today was an amazing day at the University of Houston. Renuka, my brother Marc [left], and I reached more than 3,600 students. Not only was the leafleting prolific, but so were the conversations. For example, a talk with Zubair was one of the most engaging and productive conversations I’ve had throughout my history of outreach. We discussed many things, including religion. After explaining that I’m just one person and that there is great diversity on this throughout the animal advocacy community, my belief is this is the only life I’ll live – I didn’t think those who lead lives of abject misery now will be somehow rewarded in an afterlife. This was one of the reasons why I took suffering so seriously, and why I felt an urgency to do something about it – because this existence of suffering was all they had. But then when it got to the fact that he was a Muslim, I pointed out that our fellow leafleter Renuka was as well, and I explained how I thought a life of mercy and considerateness and really walking the walk was a better advertisement for any religious conviction than a life of following the status quo. I also explained that I often feel more connection to those of faith than the faithless because they really believe in something greater than themselves. Everything I said clicked with him.
—Jon Camp, 11/5/12

 

Sam and Lisa at MLK parade

This was our second year leafleting the MLK parade, and it was fantastic once again! We reached nearly 1,600 people. There were quite a few good questions and conversations, but the highlight was when Brittany met Lisa and Sam [right], who have just gone vegetarian – they couldn’t support the system of animal abuse any longer! They helped leaflet, and Robb is going to follow up with them about getting some vegetarian events going in their neighborhood!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/19/13

Great outreach at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market. It’s great to see vegans, vegan wannabes and veg-curious folks coming out of the woodwork. Seems like it’s more common every time we’re out there. Hooray for that!
—Barbara Bear, 10/25/12

Record-breaking day of outreach at the University of Nevada, Reno, thanks to all the great volunteers who came to help out! Anita coordinated the day’s leafleting, and my awesome host Susan made her leafleting debut. Together with Lari and Aquila, we reached more than 2,200 students! Plenty of great interactions, and we totally saturated the campus!
     Today at the College of San Mateo, Diane, Jessica, Kitty, and I reached a ton of students during the first class change. They stayed (and ended up setting a record), while I headed over to Notre Dame de Namur University, where I reached 250 of the 700 undergrads there (also a record). I had a great view into the cafeteria at NDNU and watched a round table of 8 students pass around 3 leaflets, read them, point, and obviously discuss. So heartening for me to see things like this.
—Brian Grupe, 11/1/12

Below are Brian Grupe, Susan Pitts, and Aquila Nelson at the University of Nevada in Reno.
Brian Grupe, Susan Pitts, and Aquila Nelson at UNR

After my presentation at Santa Monica College, I was hugged, hand-shaked, thanked, high-fived, and informed by at least 3 people that they were inspired to change. Was stopped later on campus by 2 young women who are so grateful and inspired cuz of the talk – they’re taking the veg plunge!
     With each presentation these days, more and more students raise their hands when I ask if they’ve heard how bad animals are treated on factory farms. And upon completing the info session, before Q&A, almost the entire group will ask for booklets!
—Nikki Benoit, 10/30/12

Good day at Louisiana State. One woman came back to say she’d probably go veg. I met other vegetarians and many others against factory farming. It’s great to see the excitement when a fellow vegetarian sees us doing outreach on campus.
     Small school but good outreach at Delgado Community College. Met several vegetarians and many people against factory farming. In fact, a couple of people took booklets and started discussing it amongst themselves, even though they were strangers.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/23/12

Gumby at University Center

Able to quickly reach 200 students at Oakland Community College. The crowd was very receptive, and Don and I had conversations with students who were vegan, in the process of becoming vegetarian, or very excited about learning the issues and helping the animals.
—Italia Milan, 10/30/12

Despite the rain, Troy, Gena, Pauline, Livia, Carolyn, and I had a good night. One woman stopped to tell me that her son had gotten a booklet a little while ago and now they were both on their way to going veg. Another woman got a booklet from Pauline and ended up blogging about it later in the evening.
     More good outreach at University Center. Nick, Troy, Pauline, Livia, and I spread out to reach as many people as possible. Pauline and I even handed a leaflet to Gumby [right], who was outraged at the way farmed animals are treated.
—Mikael Nielsen, 10/26/12

An amazing day at Harper College – Autumn, Belinda, Chris, Janna, Mark, Mikael, Nico, Troy, and I handed out 1,188 Compassionate Choices as well as 223 Guides! One young man sat down on a bench across from us with his head in his hands for a while. Many students said they planned to change their diets and wanted more information on how to do so. Several students also expressed an interest in volunteering.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/31/12

Great interactions at Richard Stockton College. For example, had a long conversation with a philosophy major who used to be veg but now was not. We quickly found some common ground and he came around. One professor showed me the booklet while walking past again, and said she was going to talk to her class about this. Met numerous vegans, including a professor, and told them about VO.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/1/12

Tommasina Miller at PCC

Had a great day with Tommasina [Miller, above] at Lewis & Clark College, the University of Portland, and Portland Community College. PCC was the end of the day on a Friday, but in the 73 booklets we handed out, we met more than 10 vegans!

Tori at COCC

     Nettie, Cobie, and I reached 2,600 students at Oregon State – and Nettie set a personal record! Good conversations, including one student telling Cobie that after looking over the booklet, he wanted to give being veg a try.
     Leafleted Central Oregon Community College with the VegNet Bend crew: Judy, my wonderful host, joined me for a while, as well as Barb and Kale. Reception was great. One woman told me, “It kinda pulls at the heartstrings looking at these pictures,” while another said, “Yeahhhh, I love animals! I don’t eat them.” Also met Tori [right], who wants to go veg after reading through the booklet. After leafleting, I did a little interview with Judy and Barb, who host the radio show All Things Vegan.
     Boise State was one of the most receptive, interested, and polite crowds I’ve experienced. Right as I got there, between 7:40 am and 8:00 am, I had 3 different people say encouraging things like, “It’s great that you’re doing this,” “Thanks for handing those out. That’s really cool,” and “Glad you’re doing this – awesome!” Throughout the day I heard this more, including “Keep fighting the good fight” and “Keep doing what you’re doing, man!” Met a large handful of vegans and even more vegetarians.

Kristen at BSU

     Had other great interactions, including a guy who walked by and told me, “Yeah, I got one. I’m probably gonna stop eating meat now.” A woman told me, “Yeahhh, you gave me one earlier. It made me so sad. It might’ve worked.” I also handed her a Guide, and her friend walking beside her seemed very intrigued. Another student said that she previously liked to call herself an “accidental vegetarian” but after reading the booklet I had handed her, she might have to start calling herself a “purposeful” one. Also, Guided a group of 4 students, and one (who’d been leafleted earlier) pointed to the booklet in his friend’s hands and said, “Check out those chickens, man! That’s inhumane!”
     Also had a great convo with a professor who happily took a Guide, and met a student who wants to get involved. The standout interaction was when Kristen [left], who had gotten a booklet earlier in the day, came up to me and said, “I think I’m going to become a vegetarian now. I feel so bad for the pig [on the front cover of Even If You Like Meat].” I gave her a Guide and words of encouragement!
—John Oberg, 10/31/12

I got to the University of Texas–Pan American just as the sun was coming up, and I left as it was starting to come down. Lizeth, who I met here last year, joined me for a class change. With her 50, we reached a total of 3,200 students. One guy told me he remembered talking with me last year. He said that our talk from last year and getting the booklet again has led him to the realization that he really should do something about this. I told him that it’s important that we challenge ourselves, and that we make efforts to really walk the walk with our beliefs. That seemed to impact him a good deal. There were other good interactions during the day, especially when I presented for Professor Faver’s class. A question of which presidential candidate was better for animals gave me an opportunity to segue into a bit about how there were both prominent conservatives and liberals who were vegan and/or took animal issues seriously.
     Awesome day at the University of Texas, Brownsville – reached 1,000 students. I saw lots of people reading the booklet, and heard many mention how sad it was. Had two important and productive conversations with former vegetarians.
—Jon Camp, 10/30/12

 

Mary at Mt. SAC  
 

I leafleted a woman today at Mt. San Antonio College [Mary, left] who had wanted to go vegetarian for years! She didn’t have any good resources, and her husband repeated the usual misconceptions about the standard American diet. I talked to her for a while, showed her part of the Guide, and she stood nearby reading for a few minutes. I left her alone as I leafleted other students, but she came back to me with more questions. She is giving a vegan diet a shot, and she even joined me in leafleting for almost two hours! She’s a natural leafleter, too!
—Steve Erlsten, 1/10/13

This was my most productive semester of leafleting yet! Not just in terms of total people reached, but in how many people were interested in moving towards vegetarian and vegan diets! Students are becoming more familiar with vegetarian and vegan eating through popular culture, documentaries, and their college courses. Many people are open to it, we just have to reach them and give them that final push. As one student told me at Miami Dade College, it’s just not fair what we do to animals.
     Thank you to all of the donors who make this national campaign possible. You are truly the engine that drives this social change, and it’s because of your membership and support that together we are able to reach youth across the entire country and beyond! Thank you!
—Jeff Boghosian, excerpted from his semester report

At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, I met 7 vegetarians and 3 vegans. A bunch of folks were super supportive and thanked me for what I was doing, and quite a few people passed me saying, “No” or “No, I don’t want to look at that,” but then came back after a few steps and requested one, saying genuinely that they’d read it over. One person hailed me down when I was walking through the union and said, “I wanted to thank you for giving me that booklet. I read it all. I was hiding in the corner of the union, bawling – that stuff is horrifying. I was just on the phone with my friend from South Dakota – we’re going to eat less meat.”
—Sen Holiday, 10/17/12

Students at CSU Fresno

Huge day at North Centers Community College and Fresno State – Jonathan and I reached more than 1,600 students. Highlight of the day at Fresno State for me was chatting it up with a small group of sorority women [right] who were doing a breast cancer awareness display. I bought some raffle tickets and noticed they had VO booklets, so we chatted. At least 2 of them were already seriously considering changing their diet, so I’m glad I stopped by. I gave them all Guides.
     At Folsom Lake College, a woman took a booklet, stopped, and choked up. She then gave me one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever received, saying, “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS!” Another woman screamed out, “God bless you!” a few minutes after this. Eventful 2 hours!
—Brian Grupe, 10/19/12

Yuri, Nick, Jennifer, Boyd and I had a great day at Florida International University, with good interactions. For example, a janitor at the school said that he had seen stuff on TV which led him to Google factory farming. He was appalled and disgusted but was still struggling with the diet. I gave him a Guide.
—Linda Bower, 10/22/12

Linda sends along the pics below of Boyd Weidman and Jennifer Mennuti handing out Compassionate Choices at FIU.
Boyd Weidman at FIU Jennifer Mennuti at FIU
Student at VIU  
 

 

Sigrid, Sheila, and I had a huge day of outreach at Vancouver Island University. Memorable quotes:
     “I respect what you’re doing.”
     “It’s a good read, but I’ll give this back to you.” (Hands back Even If You Like Meat; I hand him Guide.) “Okay, this is worth taking. Looks like it might be helpful!”
     “Really good information!” (I hand him Guide.)
     “I’m glad you guys are here.”
     “Oh, awesome!”
     “This is gruesome s**t. My girlfriend and I are trying to get off the meat kick.”
     Hand guy Even If; he walks up two flights of stairs, shouts down at me: “Good job, man!”
     “I hate when people say all farmers are like this.” Me: “We’re definitely not out to demonize farmers. While most aren’t factory farmers, the reality is that 98–99% of animals raised for meat are raised on factory farms. So unless you’ve actually followed the animal’s life that you’re eating, you’re almost certainly eating from a factory farm.” Her: “Good response – right on.” (I later found out she was a vegan chef and was just playing devil’s advocate.)
—John Oberg, 10/22/12

Above is one of the students reached by Sigrid Bjarnason, John Oberg, and Sheila Haniszewska (below) at VIU.
Sigrid Bjarnason, John Oberg, and Sheila Haniszewska at VIU

 

Huge new record at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. There were lots of smiling, booklet-taking kids, and I reached over 1,000 students. One guy came back several times to ask questions; e.g., about plants feeling pain. I told him that there was a difference between responding to stimuli and the experience of what we consider suffering, and that without a central nervous system, a brain, there would be no suffering, that any reputable biologist would say the same thing. And if we were really honest with ourselves, we’d accept that there’s a big difference between mowing the lawn and, say, slitting a dog’s throat. He left saying that not only would he relay his good experience with a vegan to others in the future, but he would also go vegan for the next week. I thanked him, shook his hand, and Guided him.
     Massive day at Stephen F. Austin State University – reached over 1,500 students. One administrator or professor told me that a number of the people on campus earned their livelihood by raising animals, and they found what I was doing to be offensive. I told him that the nice thing about the First Amendment is that it allows me the right to say things he and others might find offensive. I also said that what is done to farmed animals offends me, and that was why I was doing the outreach.
     That said, the hurt feelings of ag students and professors are real, they matter, and shouldn’t be scoffed at. If we were them, with the same experiences, upbringing, etc., we’d feel exactly as they do. But the alternative is to just accept the status quo, and that’s not good, and would lead to a suffering that is orders of magnitude greater. So it’s a matter of accepting some tension in the here and now for a greater good in the future. It’s like what MLK said about a negative peace being “the absence of tension” and a positive peace being “the presence of justice.” We obviously want the latter. So we’ll have to upset some people in the meantime, but it’s important that we do this with empathy, fairness, and a lack of self-righteousness.
—Jon Camp, 10/18/12

 

Langara College student
John Oberg snapped these students reading Even If You Like Meat at Langara College in Vancouver (above) and Simon Fraser U in Burnaby, BC (below).
SFU student

Reached 1,034 students at Riverside City College’s winter intersession. Heard from vegetarians and vegans, including one student who went veg on the spot! He got a Guide, along with a few others who are already veg or likely to go veg.
—Steve Erlsten, 1/3/13

Patti and I reached 1,550 students at the University of Iowa, and met a number of vegans, vegetarians, and interested, very enthusiastic students! One person said, “Gimme one. Now give me another one,” then handed it to the other person and walked away saying, “Here, you have to read this.”
     Even better at Iowa State – tons of support and enthusiasm! A bunch of students stopped to thank Jordan and me for our work. Another person said, “I heard recently about all this. The tight spaces that the animals have, it’s not enough. I’m with you, thank you for doing this.” Someone else said, “I read this. I am going to be vegetarian.”
—Sen Holiday, 10/11/12

A great day of outreach. At Oklahoma City Community College, I had a young woman say that she got a VO booklet at Oklahoma U awhile ago. It made her sad, and she just did a report on the issue for a class she is taking. I also had a young woman come up to tell me that she was aware of this issue, was appalled by the treatment of animals, and was very happy to find a like-minded soul at her school. We had a good heart-to-heart.
     At Oklahoma State, Oklahoma City, I met Craig, a conservative Christian who is perhaps the most enthusiastic individual I had met on the tour thus far, reminding me how nice it is to work on a cause that can be adopted by those from all sides of the political spectrum.
     An even 2,000 reached at the University of Oklahoma for Logan, Natasha, and me. Sample feedback: “This is awesome! Thank you so much for being here!” While leafleting, I chatted for well over an hour with a very interested student – very productive conversation!
—Jon Camp, 10/11/12

Incredible day at Southern Connecticut State – reached 450 students in the first 20 minutes! Then, Susan, Stacy, and Wendy joined me, and we blew past the record for this school – reaching a total of 1,993 students. My ace-in-the-hole vegan assistant dean came by for a hug! Met dozens of vegetarians and vegans; one of whom told me he had changed after getting a booklet from me. Ten students exchanged emails to get a club on campus, and some want to leaflet.
—Karen James, 10/11/12

Solid day at Hillsborough Community College. Met a number of vegetarians and vegans, had good conversations. A not-fully vegetarian Mormon student stopped to help leaflet; another student wants to get involved.
     Reached 1,040 at Southeastern Louisiana University. Good conversations with a vegan and vegetarians, and also meat reducers, local-meat supporters, and former vegetarians. A group of four students were among the former vegetarians, and they seemed still interested in the issues so I gave them all Guides.
—Jeff Boghosian, 10/18/12

Rebecca Smith at UBC

 

Jane Schneider and John Oberg at SFU
Jane Schneider and John Oberg at Simon Fraser U.

Jane and I reached 2,030 students at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby. One woman returned, raving about how excellent our meat-reduction approach is; she got Guided!
     Reached 1,777 yesterday at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and the University of British Columbia. At the latter, Rebecca [Smith, above] came back to help leaflet – she reached 481 students, and is going to help later in the week as well!
     Today, Roger [Clarke, below] and I reached 1,539 at Langara College – heard plenty of awws and oooohs. Also, was told, “I’m vegan and so glad you’re handing these out!” as well as, “Got one, loved it, thank you!” Not only had many students gotten a Compassionate Choices or Even If You Like Meat before, but three had a Guide with them!
—John Oberg, 10/17/12

Jovan and I left work early to head over to DePaul, where we met a number of interested people. One young man who said he does not think he could go all the way veg, has reduced his meat consumption; he was happy to get a Guide. One woman asked for another booklet and a Guide, because she’s trying to convert her nieces.
—Leslie Patterson, 10/23/12

Roger Clarke at Langara College

 

Alan and I had a phenomenal day at SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Cobleskill, and Hartwick College – over 2,100 students total. In general, we were met with great enthusiasm, and had many positive interactions – even with some ag students.
     Laura, Alan, and I had a great day at SUNY Albany – over 2,200 students reached. First we met a vegan professor who is a donor to VO and was stoked to see us on campus; others enthusiastically thanked us for being on campus. Met a student interested in helping leaflet in the future. Met a student who went mostly veg from getting a booklet in the past and was stoked to get a Guide and become more veg. Also met a woman who was mostly veg who now wanted to go vegan after reading the booklet.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/18/12

New veggie at Reedley College  

Love both Reedley and College of the Sequoias – such receptive students. At Reedley College, a woman [left] converted to veg on the spot – said she had to do it. Another two individuals came up to me separately and told me they had been thinking about going vegan. They were both really excited to get Guides. Jackiie, head of the student group at CoS, and I had great conversations there, too.
—Brian Grupe, 10/17/12

Reached over 1,200 students at Indiana University, Bloomington. One student came up to apologize for his “disrespectful comment last time you were here about loving to eat chickens.” I let him know that my feelings were not center stage, so he need not worry about offending me. Rather, these animals were the ones with much on the line, so taking a serious and honest look at what chickens go through before they end up in the bucket would be the best use of his remorse. He took a booklet and stated that he would do just that.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/17/12

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