Activist Profile: Toni Okamoto

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we interview Toni Okamoto, VO’s Vegan Food & Lifestyle Coordinator. Toni, among other things, runs the Vegan Outreach blog, which provides readers with recipes and vegan-related news. She also leaflets from time to time!

Toni Okamoto
Above is Toni leafleting American River College last fall. To raise funds that will fuel next fall’s Adopt a College outreach, Toni is training to run a full marathon for her Team Vegan campaign.


What got you interested in veganism and animal advocacy?

I had been a vegetarian for a couple years, and decided to join a veg club on my college campus. Although I was vegetarian for ethical reasons, it wasn’t until I joined my campus club that I learned about the cruel practices of the dairy and egg industries that I had been continuing to support. I realized that I wasn’t comfortable identifying myself as someone who was compassionate to some farmed animals but who also still financially supported the devastating life cycle of “dairy” cows and “laying” hens.

There were fewer dairy alternatives back then, and giving up cheese was difficult for me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. With the support of my friends in the veg club, I learned how to cook delicious plant-based foods, as well as respectfully advocate for all farmed animals.

Full interview here.


  Nettie Schwager
  Since the spring of 2008, Team Vegan member and Adopt a College activist Nettie Schwager has reached more than 50,000 students with VO booklets!

Team Vegan at Halfway Point

Our Team Vegan campaign is at the halfway point, and at $81,383, we’ve already passed the halfway point in our fundraising! But we need your help to keep going strong, so please donate what you can and share the campaign with your friends.

Together, we can raise $150,000 by June 30 – which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a group of generous donors to total $300,000 for important outreach.

We and the animals thank you!


  Vegan cheese

Buy (Vegan) Cheese, Help Animals

Who says vegans have to give up cheese? Our friends at Miyoko’s Kitchen offer delicious artisan vegan cheeses in a range of flavors, and this month, they’ll donate 1% of online sales to Vegan Outreach, so you can buy cheese and support VO’s work at the same time! Additionally, you can purchase Miyoko’s cheeses for 15% off this month, using the discount code VO15. What are you waiting for? Get your (vegan) cheese on now!


Products of the Week

  Cups & chipsCupsChips

Toni: “It was impossible for me to pick just one product of the week, so I am choosing one sweet and one salty. Lately I have been loving Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups and Earth Balance vegan sour cream & onion kettle chips. Both are amazing non-dairy alternatives to products I once loved, and I can find both at the conventional grocery store by my house.”


  Vegan lasagna

From the VO Blog

Vegan Lasagna
Jack Norris shares his mom’s delicious recipe.

Supporter Spotlight: Deidra Smith
Through the end of June, 75% of your purchase of select prints and paintings from the Art from the Heart collection will be donated to Vegan Outreach. Meet the person behind this art and this generous donation.

  Violet Sweet Shoppe

Violet Sweet Shoppe
Vegan candy, sweet baked goods, and more – if you’re in Seattle, be sure to check out this shop!

Carlos Contreras, Emmanuel Marquez, and Katia Rodriguez | Sam Tucker
Some spring semester highlights from Mexico and Australia.


  Evergreen vegan

Recent Feedback

I ran into a student [right, at Evergreen State] who was handed a Why Vegan? pamphlet in 2004. He has been vegan ever since! He said reading it changed his life and he expressed his appreciation for our work.

—Shura Hammond, 4/15/15


Upcoming Event

Dinner to Benefit VO | Chicago, IL | Thursday, June 25
Join VO President, Jack Norris, RD, for a buffet dinner at Arya Bhavan vegan Indian restaurant to benefit VO’s grassroots activism. Dinner is 6:00–9:00 pm. $22/person. Dress casually and meet fellow VO supporters and activists in the Chicagoland area! Address: 2508 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659. Space is limited. RSVP by June 18. Type “Chicago Fundraiser” in the Comments field.

See Talks, Festivals, & Fundraisers for other upcoming events.


Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to expose and end cruelty to animals through the widespread distribution of our booklets promoting plant-based eating and compassion for animals.

All donations are fully tax-deductible.

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