Lisa Shapiro Award for Unsung Vegan Heroes

We at Vegan Outreach are excited to announce that two of the twelve winners for this year’s Lisa Shapiro Award for Unsung Vegan Heroes are VO employees!

Unsung Vegan Heroes

John Oberg, who was hand-picked by the late Lisa Shapiro, is VO’s Director of Communications. John started his time with VO traveling the country, leafleting college campuses. To date, he’s personally reached 381,987 individuals with a Vegan Outreach booklet. When John’s mom got ill, he returned home to be there with her, teaching himself the tricks of social media and applying them to help VO help animals. VO’s social media reach has expanded dramatically as a result of John’s hard work and smarts.

Yuri Mitzkewich is VO’s Southeast Outreach Coordinator. He got involved with VO as a volunteer in the fall of 2010. A little over a year ago, Yuri joined VO as an employee and has been traveling throughout the Southeast, reaching college students with the plight of farmed animals. In the five years Yuri has been involved with VO, he’s personally reached 190,694 individuals with a Vegan Outreach booklet, leafleting at 140 schools in this time. Yuri is humble, selfless, and as dedicated as they come.

Congratulations and thank you to John and Yuri for all you do for Vegan Outreach and to bring about a better world for the animals! And congratulations to the rest of this year’s Unsung Vegan Heroes (a number of whom are VO volunteers).


Links of the Week

Video: Gourmet Bacon, Anyone?
Watch these people’s reactions to being asked to eat some gourmet “bacon”!

Taco Bell’s New Vegetarian Certified Menu Has 26 Vegan Ingredient Options


From the VO Blog

New Recipes: Pumpkin Oatmeal and Mexican Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Oatmeal and Mexican Hot ChocolatePumpkin OatmealMexican Hot Chocolate


Recent Feedback

I was very thankful for Julie being along this week, since my lingering cold finally caught up with me this morning. We turned out early anyway, and thankfully weren’t waiting long before the cavalry started showing. Thanks to our awesome host, Tom Aiello (the widely known “vegan professor” here at Valdosta State University), who put the word out, for the first time we got some solid help here with VSU students joining in the action. And thanks to his pulling some strings, we got permission to leave the usual spot at the public sidewalk to move onto center campus. This simple change of location put our visit here into overdrive!

Leafleting team at VSU
Above (from left) are Christian Evans, Yuri Mitzkewich, Allie Sledge, Kellis Herring, Sarah Moore, Tom Aiello, and Julie Henry; along with Madison Tucker, they reached more than 2,200 students at Valdosta State!

Christian and his friend Sarah were great, having looked over Vic Sjodin’s How to Leaflet? video the night before. While Julie and I stayed at the campus center, the two of them visited the cafeteria building, working there through the lunch period. The best outcome we had from today was that while we were leafleting, Christian was also signing up any interested students for a soon-to-be-established VSU veg club. An awesome development, since none had existed here yet. New members Allie, Kellis, and Madison, who just signed up, even dropped their own plans today to join us, handing out booklets for a solid hour in the afternoon. Couldn’t have hoped for a better day on campus here with these developments!

Samantha at VSU

Another highlight here was meeting Samantha [above], who stopped after getting her Your Choice to tell me she was already vegetarian. I gave her a thumbs up and, like usual, asked what had gotten her started. She said it was the Your Choice she’d gotten the semester before, and looking me over said, “I think it was even from you”! Yay!! She told me the booklet made her see the suffering the animals are subjected to and that she would be better off not supporting it, deciding from then after to give up eating animals for good!

Hard feeling sick much when great stuff like this is going down!

—Yuri Mitzkewich, 9/16/15


Upcoming Event

Twin Cities Veg Fest | Minneapolis, MN | November 1
Going Vegan Made Easy – VO’s Food & Lifestyle Coordinator, Toni Okamoto, will be sharing ideas to challenge misconceptions of the general public regarding veganism, including: not sacrificing time, taste, money or culture in the pursuit of healthier and more compassionate eating. Be ready to learn tips on meal planning, money saving, and time-efficient cooking that are perfect for those with families and busy schedules!

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



The video 15 Surprising Vegan Finds at 7-Eleven was incorrectly linked in last week’s issue. Sorry about that!


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.

  Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest   RSS   YouTube