Vegan Outreach ENEWSLETTER  •  FEB. 19, 2014
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Activist Profile: John Jungenberg

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we talk with John Jungenberg. John, still only 18, has already handed a VO booklet to nearly 25,000 individuals!

John Jungenberg

How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?

I was raised vegetarian and my family always had animals around our house, so needless to say, animals were a big part of my life from early on. My sister Jamie went vegan after watching a video of male chicks being ground up alive at hatcheries. I wanted to go vegan, but I thought it would be nearly impossible for me, because I am gluten free as well. Feeling the inconsistency of my values and not acting on them, I was one of the “defensive non-vegans.” I jokingly mocked my sister for being vegan to make myself feel better about my actions. Jamie was never rude back to me, but instead was encouraging. Four years ago (January 6, 2010) I decided I was done feeling guilty about what I ate, so I went vegan. I was surprised how simple it is to be vegan and gluten free!

The reason I mentioned that I had been defensive and rude about veganism is to remind any activist reading this that it is essential to always remain calm and polite to people hostile to veganism. Jamie could have been rude back; if she had been, I likely wouldn’t be vegan, let alone an activist. Sometimes the most defensive people are the closest to changing!

Full interview here.


From Vegan Outreach’s Blog

What Have We Accomplished Together?
“Vegan Outreach has now distributed 22,362,282 of our proven booklets. If you assume only a 1% net effectiveness rate, our work together has prevented the suffering and slaughter of 301,890,807 land animals.”

Just Mayo


Product of the Week

John: “Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo!! I love that stuff a lot!”

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


Recent Feedback

Amazing day at Oakton Community College! My mom had a great conversation with one womyn who said after the conversation that she was going to start eating more veg foods! She got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. I met a guy who said that the leaflet depressed him, so I gave him a Guide and encouraged him to eat fewer animal products. Highlight of the day was meeting one student who is giving a presentation to his class tomorrow about animal agriculture. We gave him some extra Compassionate Choices and Guides to give out after his presentation. He was very appreciative!
—John Jungenberg, 11/19/13

Israel Arriola and vegetarian students at BUAP

Epic day of outreach at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. We may have affected more students than the day before at UNAM, if that is even possible.
     We met three women [above with Israel Arriola] who were vegetarian and friends. One had seen a Paul McCartney video online and never ate meat again. She asked for extra booklets to show friends. Several people returned to get booklets to show others. Others came up to us after they saw people reading and asked for a booklet. We spoke to a number of students who were generally interested in vegetarianism. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many reading the booklets [a few below]. Many got the booklets as they got on buses. Giving someone a booklet heading to mass transit is always epic, since they often have nothing else to distract them from reading the booklet and veganizing themselves.

Students at BUAP Student at BUAP

     Met Daniela [below, right], a vegan student who wanted to get involved in activism; she spoke to me in near-perfect English. We got her email and she also spoke with Israel at length. She was so happily surprised that there were people on campus speaking up for animals. It was great to meet her and we are now FB friends. At the end of the day another student spoke with Israel, saying he wanted to get involved in activism with AnimaNaturalis.

Rosa at BUAP Daniela at BUAP

     Second day at BUAP was awesome! Constant readers – there were always 3 to 5 people reading at the gate where we were standing. Israel had a long conversation with Jaime who wanted to go veg. We met another woman shortly thereafter who had a lot of questions. Alan met a professor who wanted a speaker on veganism for her class; Israel will likely return to talk to her class in the future. She also took booklets. Another professor came back and also asked for booklets for her students. Then three separate women came back for more booklets to show others. A shopkeeper came over and asked for copies, too.

Students and Israel Arriola at BUAP
Several BUAP students read ¿Por qué vegetariano? while Israel speaks with some interested individuals; click here to watch the video version.

     Had convos with security guards at both gates and both read the booklet cover-to-cover. One surprised me by how knowledgeable he was of these issues. I mentioned how animals are completely innocent; and the dog/cow analogy, how we view them differently. He agreed it was wrong not to value the life of both equally. My favorite interaction was meeting Rosa [above, left], who wants to go vegetarian and had many questions and took booklets to show others. She made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/14/13

Met a vegan at CUNY Baruch who was very happy to see me there. A security guard came back reading the Compassionate Choices and gave me a thumbs up. Another guy who initially refused, on walking past again, said that he saw the cute pig and had to take one.
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/20/13

It was great to have Sherrie’s help at Foothill College. One Guide went to a student who received a booklet last year, and has been trying to cut back on meat consumption. Another went to a student who gave up meat last week, and another went to a student who has vegan friends who are making him think!
—Steve Erlsten, 11/18/13

Sarah at Rutgers
After receiving a Guide from Chris Guinn, Rutgers student Sarah (above) is moving toward veg, and Drew University student and lifelong-vegetarian Sylvie (below) wants to cut dairy from her diet!
Sylvie at Drew

Another day of tearin’ up Virginia – reached 700 students at the University of Mary Washington. One student said, “I already got one. I’m going to order a Guide.” I quickly stopped him and asked him if he was already vegetarian, and he replied, “No, but after reading this I just might be.” Motivation!
—Kassy Ortega, 11/15/13

Great day at two Rutgers campuses! Reached over 500 students in one booming class change! Sarah [right] told me she’s been contemplating a move to vegetarianism. It was great timing that I reached her, and I made sure to give her a Guide. I was super encouraging and advised her to start phasing meat out of her diet in a way that would be sustainable. I’m confident that when I return to Rutgers next year I’ll be chatting with Sarah the vegetarian of 6 months!
     Another great day at more Rutgers campuses. I love leafleting by bus stops because I always see students reading while they wait! I saw so many students sitting down reading through the whole leaflet while waiting for their bus, very cool! Really great conversations with people interested in changing their diets or getting active for the animals. I also spoke with a once-upon-a-time vegan and encouraged her to give it another go. I’m bringing plenty of our Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and A Meaningful Life booklets to the veg club’s event tonight as well.
—Chris Guinn, 11/20/13

Lyn and I reached 1,000 students just during the 9:15 am class change, so we knew it was going to be a record day at Clemson University! Had a great conversation with a former veg student who was looking to get back into veg eating; I have a feeling he’ll be a vegetarian again before you know it. Also had a good conversation with a student who is part of the Agricultural Mechanization and Business program and had several heartfelt, genuine questions for me. He thanked me for taking the time to talk with him and answering him honestly, as he is trying to figure out how he feels about various ag industries.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 11/12/13

Reached over 1,100 students at Grand Valley State between 8:30 and 4:30. Heard from a number of vegetarians and vegans.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/19/13

My mom and I reached over 900 students at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the past two days, and met a number of vegetarians and vegans. We saw an older man intensely reading; he was shaking his head in disgust. Made a remark to us saying, “They can’t do that! That’s illegal!” And we assured him it should be illegal, but it’s 100% legal. Others told us they couldn’t believe what they read. Martin gave my mom a hug, saying how much he appreciated seeing us spreading compassion.
—Amber Smith, 11/20/13

Rosa Moreno, Christa Zaros, and Deb Hollm at SBU

Good day! New leafleters Rosa Moreno, Christa Zaros, Deb Hollm [above], and Steve Spagnola [below, right] joined me [Jennifer Greene, below] and Lisa at SUNY Stony Brook. Everyone loved their leafleting experience, and all are looking forward to doing it again.

Steve Spagnola at SBU

     Before we parted, I shared with everyone another reason why I’m such a fan of leafleting: it has been helpful to me in my personal life. How so? In the past, I used to spend way more time and emotional energy fretting that my family members still haven’t joined me in going vegan; now, leafleting provides a productive outlet for my energy and passion. I take heart, especially during trying times like the holidays, knowing that even if my relatives don’t seem reachable right now, I can reach hundreds of other potential vegans when I leaflet.
—Jennifer Greene, 11/18/13

Jennifer Greene at SBU

Despite near-zero temps, a lot of young people were very receptive to the Compassionate Choices at Duluth’s Christmas parade! Even a police officer asked for one, and then studied it with interest. One young girl was very interested in learning more about Vegan Outreach and showed an interest in volunteering to leaflet in the future.
—Elaine Wiggins, 11/22/13

Good interest at Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican Campus. Best interactions from the day came from the groups of HS students I met for the first time on this campus. Their enthusiasm got a couple groups of older students more curious than they otherwise might have been. One former vegetarian said the booklet was the sign she needed to go back to eating veg, and from the reactions of her friends who were listening to us talk, I’m sure they will be giving farm animals more consideration now, too.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/21/13

Irene Zhou at TWU
On 11/18/13, Irene Zhou (above), Mark McClure, and Ethan Dussault set a new record at Texas Woman’s University, reaching 1,550 students with Compassionate Choices!

The University of Chicago is a tough school, but I met some interested students and watched others reading. Many veggies here, including one who told me our booklet caused him to go vegan. And when he passed the booklet on to a friend, she went vegetarian!
—Leslie Patterson, 11/20/13

Great day at Utah State! One student told me he is now veg because of getting a VO booklet previously. Another one said he and his girlfriend made significant changes to their diet after they had been handed one!
     Also found very receptive students at Idaho State! Met a girl who wants to go vegan; she got a Guide. Met another really nice guy who was already not eating meat MWF; he also took a Guide.
     At the University of Utah, talked with still more students who had changed their diets after previously being handed a VO booklet. A number are going to be making more changes now! Very productive day.
—Rachel Shippee, 11/21/13


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