Vegan Outreach ENEWSLETTER  •  FEB. 5, 2014
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Your Choice PDF

Introducing Your Choice

Vegan Outreach has a new advocacy booklet available: Your Choice (PDF).

You will notice a number of differences between Your Choice and our other advocacy booklets – much less text and no footnotes, for example. YC is made specifically for leafleting at colleges, addressing the decisions students face.

Your Choice is also less focused on factory farms, which are now much more widely known than when Vegan Outreach developed our first booklets. Instead, YC uses the marketing idea of “social norms” to show students examples of peers who are opposing cruelty with their choices. In many parts of the country – especially on college campuses – people already question eating animals. Social science research has shown that it can be very helpful for people who are contemplating a new idea to see others like them who have already successfully adopted this interesting but previously unexplored idea.

Your Choice seeks to inspire these curious people to take the next step on the path of making better, compassionate choices for the animals.

WV ’97

As always, Vegan Outreach strives to make the most effective booklets possible. If you’d like to see how they’ve evolved through the decades, we have pictures of many of them in A History of Vegan Outreach.

You can order Your Choice and our other advocacy booklets via Vegan Outreach’s catalog.

Thank you to the many individuals and groups who contributed to this project.



From Vegan Outreach’s Blog


Pura Vida

Product of the Week

Our friends at Pura Vida (“Pure Life”) sell beautiful, handmade bracelets from Costa Rica, as well as iPhone cases, beanies, and other products. They donate a percentage of proceeds to many causes, including Vegan Outreach!

Please submit your nominees for product of the week via this page; previous entries here.


Recent Feedback

¡Hola amigos! So stoked to be doing outreach again in Mexico and on a larger scale. Truly a dream come true.

Student at UAM Students at UAM
Above are some of the students who received a ¿Por qué vegetariano? booklet from Israel Arriola and Vic Sjodin at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Xochimilco.

     Israel and I had a great day at UAM Xochimilco, after bus rides, some walking and subway, carrying 122 pounds of booklets. Right away, I met 4 people who told me they were vegetarian. One came back and asked for 5 more booklets to show friends. Two security guards read the booklet cover-to-cover, and the one on the busier side called me over. I thought I was in trouble but he unsmilingly told me this was important and a good service to be doing. He then semi-floored me by asking me to leave a stack of lit next to the sign-in board on his desk [below], so students can take one as they enter the school. Supernice of him, and I saw students take a booklet as they signed in. I refilled his table supply right before we called it a day.

Security guard at UAM

     In over 500 schools of leafleting and 6+ years, an unheard of amount of people came back to me to get a booklet after a friend had gotten one but I had missed them, or they came after someone else had been reading one. I would guesstimate around 20–25 students and 3 professors walked up to me to ask for a booklet. Got a pic [below] of a student engrossed reading cover-to-cover while Israel was leafleting. Saw many, many reading cover-to-cover or reading way later after getting one. Really makes you feel awesome to see so many readers.

Israel Arriola at UAM

     The highlight of the day at Chapingo was watching as a student stopped in her tracks after getting a booklet in a small plaza in front of a beautiful mural as the light shone on her [below] – captures some of the ambience of Chapingo and her seeing the light of not harming animals. Como se dice…sweet!!

Student at UACH

     On a personal note, I was very thankful I got to meet Drew and his partner two weeks back in Marin, who make all this outreach in Mexico possible. I can never thank Drew and all of you who are part of VO enough. Only thing I can do is give a full effort on my side of things. To be aware of the horrors animals go through, our human and first world privileges and to be willing to sacrifice to help others is truly a beautiful thing. Glad to finally meet Drew and I hope our efforts on this groundbreaking trip make Drew, the animals, and Vegan Outreach proud.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/8/13

Students at UACH Ingrid at cafe
Above are two of the students Vic reached at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (left), and Ingrid (right), who works at a cafe in Texcoco: “She wanted to help leaflet but has to work weekdays, very unfortunate. Nevertheless, she says she loves animals and wants to go vegetarian, so that was awesome.”

The take rate at Ventura High School was at least 90%, and many of the students were very enthusiastic about the Compassionate Choices booklet, squealing in delight when they saw the animals on the cover, or saying, “Yes, I love animals!” “I’m all about this!” etc. I saw so many students intently reading the CCs by themselves and in groups. One son and mom sat in their car and studied the booklet together. The pro-animal enthusiasm at this school made my day and gives me hope for the future.
—Barbara Bear, 11/7/13

David at Binghamton

I spoke with one student at SUNY Cortland who told me that he’d been thinking about going vegetarian a lot lately – good timing!
     Had an awesome day at SUNY Binghamton! I was joined by student volunteers Carlos and Tyler, who totally killed it; together the three of us reached over 2,200 students with VO literature! I met David [right], a vegan of 20 years who was super happy to see us out leafleting. I also spoke to a student who went vegetarian only two weeks ago; I was sure to congratulate him on making an awesome choice. I gave him a Guide to help him with his transition to veg eating. I had another student ask me for a few extra booklets for her friends, which was really cool.
—Chris Guinn, 11/6/13

Central Maine Community College hasn’t been visited since 2009, so I thought I’d stop by. A security guard walked up to me and said, “Are you the one with the vegetarian booklets?” I said yes. He smiled and said, “Oh can I have one? I try to be vegetarian and would like more info.” Whooee! That’s not the usual interaction with security guards. He also got a Guide.
—Lana Smithson, 11/6/13

At UC Berkeley, I had two people tell me that our booklets are what turned them vegan! It was also great to be joined by Seldy, who is a fantastic leafleter and provided some much-needed friendliness.
     Diane and I had a great day at Mission College! One student stopped back to tell Diane that he had been planning to have a burger for lunch. He said the booklet changed his lunch plans, and he wanted to know what he could eat with a clean conscience. Diane talked to him about veggie burgers and other options. He got a Guide and is well on his way!
—Steve Erlsten, 11/5/13

Student at ELAC
A student is engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat at East Los Angeles College.

Shanti joined me at Mercy College, where we met 9 students who want a club on campus. One student was interested but concerned about B12. Gave him a Guide, and he said that this “pushed him over the edge” and he was going to get the supplement and start his journey as a vegetarian now!
     Lots of conversations and positive feedback at Housatonic Community College. For example: “I got one of those last semester at another college, Norwalk. It was so sad. I was eating a BLT and could not finish it. I cut back on eating animals.” “Thank you so much for spreading the word about this important issue!” “I will stop eating meat.” Christina wants to go vegan, but her parents are not supporting her decision. We talked a while, gave her a Guide and my card. She was very interested in trying this, and asked me to be her surrogate parent to guide her through the steps to being a vegan! Joseph read the Compassionate Choices and came back and said he now wants to go vegetarian; gave him a Guide. Best was when I was handing Shaquana a leaflet and she said, “You’re the reason I turned vegetarian last year!”
—Karen James, 11/6/13

Short but great time at Miami Dade College’s Medical Campus. A younger Latino was in the middle of a group who all took booklets – all except him. He told me he didn’t need it, because he got one several weeks earlier and had been veg ever since! Pointing to the Compassionate Choices in my hand, he said that that had been enough for him to make the decision. It was obvious to everyone around him that this had been a joyous decision for him. So great to see – yet another example of what a small amount of time committed to leafleting can accomplish!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/7/13

Giannina Gonzalez at QC

Rainy day at my Alma Mater, CUNY Queens College. I didn’t even think that leafleting today would work at all, and Giannina [Gonzalez’s, right] positive attitude proved me wrong. Great take rate and genuinely interested people. One girl said that she had thought about going vegetarian for a long time because she felt horrible about the way animals were treated. She said she had no idea how, and so I gave her a Guide and said the best way is to just try new foods and you can gradually replace animal products with the new ones. She was happy to get this information. Another woman said she read the booklet and it will make her stop eating meat for a day, but seeing others eat meat around her will make her go back. I told her to try cutting out meat one day of the week for now, and she said, “OK, I will start today!”
     Giannina had a great conversation with an interested student. She explained to him that taking steps to change your diet, like finding foods you like and phasing out the old for the new can be a good way of transitioning. We gave him a Guide to help. He was happy we were there!
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/7/13

We reached 63 students in less than 10 minutes at William Fremd High School, which was pretty awesome. I offered a booklet to one student and said, “Info to help animals?” She took it, and another student heard me and said, “I love animals!” and took one as well. Other students put their bus windows down to get booklets.
—John and Mary Jungenberg, 11/6/13

Kathleen Taylor at ODU
Kathleen Taylor hands out Compassionate Choices at Old Dominion University.

Team MFA planted 654 seeds of compassion today at Amundsen High School. Take rate was great!
—Jen, Brian, Jovan, Heather, Alan, and Madeleine, 11/7/13

Christina at NOVA Woodbridge
George at ODU
Peter at JMU
Student at W&M
Above: A student stops to read one of the 800 booklets that Kassy Ortega handed out at the College of William & Mary. Below: Michelle Johnson hands out Compassionate Choices at James Madison University.

Reached over 1,000 students at the University of Washington and North Seattle Community College. Met Eva, who is vegan and wanted to know about VO and get involved! I will be putting her in touch with other Seattle activists. Also ran into someone now going vegan; she was thrilled to get a Guide!
     Horrible weather but awesome students at the University of Washington, Bothell! One vegan was thrilled I was there. Then there was this really funny guy who wanted to help by taking a booklet and going up to people and saying, “Take this and read it.” It worked!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/7/13

What a great mini-tour! Met Christina [right], a student at NOVA Woodbridge. She now wants to try vegan and help me leaflet the next time I come to these stomping grounds.
     At the College of William & Mary, Riley had found VO’s booklet online and has started doing research about going vegan! Consider her “Guided.” Heard from one student on the way to class after grabbing a booklet: “Last time I got one it really made me go vegetarian for two weeks!” I asked him why he started eating animals again and we chatted. He promised to read the booklet again, and I gave him a Guide.
     Old Dominion University is a blast to leaflet! These folks had their hands ready to take a booklet. All 2,300 of them! I was joined for the last 3 hours by the amazing Kathleen Taylor [above]. I caught her having multiple conversations with students! She said the conversations went well, and it was a thrill seeing their lightbulbs go on. For instance: George [right], after opening the booklet, came to Kathleen asking about what he can do to help animals on factory farms. She said he was very concerned and it won’t be long until he is vegetarian.
     Michelle Johnson [below] joined me at James Madison University, where we reached over 2,000 students. A few great moments from today: Two students walked by me having a conversation with booklets in their hands. I overheard one of the students say: “I mean, either way, if it’s an open field or a pen, you are still killing them.” Peter [right] stopped to chat, and now wants to go veg! After a conversation and a Guide, another student said to me, “I’m totally doing this.”
—Kassy Ortega, 11/8/13

We reached 3,200 students at George Mason. We met a student who went vegetarian for a year, and vegan for four months as a result of getting a leaflet last semester; and he asked us about plant-based nutrition. There were students all over campus reading and discussing the booklets, including inside the cafeteria. We also met a few vegetarians and vegans on campus who want to get involved in activism. What a great day!
—Aaron Ross and Kate St. John, 11/6/13

Leafleting Bucks County Community College went well – met vegetarians and vegans, and so many people came out and talked to me about reading the booklet! Awesome day! One student came back 45 minutes after getting one, and said the booklet had changed his life, that he could never eat meat again. WOW! So amazing, we had such a great time!
     Two of us reached 800 students at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Some folks stopped and read the booklet right in front of us. We also met some vegans who gave us a ton of praise.
     Dang, leafleting is just so fun! Thank you Vegan Outreach for all you do, and for introducing me to leafleting!
—Rachel Atcheson, 11/6/13

Jovan and I are both working late shifts today so we leafleted Northeastern Illinois University, despite the rain and cold. Two security guards stopped and read the booklets and had questions about veg eating. One faculty person said we should be working for a classless society. I said sure but in the meantime we can prevent a lot of suffering just through our food choices.
—Leslie Patterson, 11/11/13

Michelle Johnson at JMU

I gave a talk sponsored by the Penn State Veg Club and the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic Association. Reception was great, attention was super-high, and Q&A was at least as long as my actual talk. One guy said he couldn’t accept that animals feel pain; I asked if he would be OK if we took a dog into the center of the room and applied a hot branding iron to her. He came up after the talk to say that I really made him think. A Christian asked how he could best reduce animal suffering through his diet on a limited budget. Someone asked if by bringing animals up, we brought humans down. I mentioned that women getting the right to vote didn’t bring men down, and that showing that we’re a caring, empathetic species elevates us. I saw a lot of heads nod in agreement to these points. Another person asked if farm animals have actually thrived due to our use of them, since there are so many of them. I told him that if I woke up one day in a battery cage, I wouldn’t proclaim “Victory!” I would say that someone screwed me. The crowd laughed. It was exhilarating so many people were really hearing me out.
—Jon Camp, 11/5/13


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