Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Contributions

Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to the Double-Doubling for Team Vegan!

Many, many more people will learn about the hidden horrors behind the standard American diet – and the steps they can take to live true to their values – because of your thoughtful contribution.

This opportunity to multiply your money runs from now through 11:59pm Wednesday, June 2, and there are many dedicated Team Vegan activists who could use your support. More details here.

Please consider helping however you can. Thanks!

In other news, here's some interesting news about pistachios, and a comic sent by Gerry.

Thanks again to everyone who is a part of Vegan Outreach's efforts for the animals.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Be a Part of the Critical Mass

Link of the Day: excerpts from How Are We To Live?

...Anyone can become part of the critical mass that offers us a chance of improving the world before it is too late. You can rethink your goals and question what you are doing with your life. That might mean quitting your job, selling your house, and going to work for a voluntary organization in India. More often, the commitment to a more ethical way of living will be the first step of a gradual but far-reaching evolution in your lifestyle and in your thinking about your place in the world. One thing is certain: you will find plenty of worthwhile things to do. You will not be bored or lack fulfillment in your life.
Most important of all, you will know that you have not lived and died for nothing, because you will have become part of the great tradition of those who have responded to the amount of pain and suffering in the universe by trying to make the world a better place.

One person who has dedicated their life to making the world a better place is leafleter and Team Vegan member Glenn Lane. Glenn is planning a leaflet-a-thon as his Team Vegan activity, and would appreciate your support.

Please consider making a contribution -- your dollars will be double-doubled!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Jack

In other news, VO's President Jack Norris has new, interesting posts on his blog. In addition to his comments about the Conklin dairy:

And today's Team Vegan member is leafleter Trish Sutton. If you support her work by making a donation to Vegan Outreach through her page, your contribution will be double-doubled!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Government Approval, Friday Video

As a follow up to our Why Not Change the Laws? link yesterday, Paul notes that the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected Conklin dairy three times in the last year and approved it as a "Grade A" facility.

Of course, we wish there was some "big" step we could take to end such obvious (and already illegal) barbarism. But the government's explicit endorsement of this dairy again emphasizes just how important it is to get as many people as possible on the path of questioning the status quo and boycotting the industries that profit from pain.

Today's featured Team Vegan members – the Animal Awareness Project – are doing their best to truly end animal torture. Already this semester, they have handed booklets directly to more than 15,500 students at 23 different schools (at right, Aaron of AAP provides the animals a voice at Towson University).

If you'd like to help them change even more lives, please go by their page and make a contribution. As discussed earlier, your dollars will be double doubled, helping prevent even more cruelty.

Along with Thomas Jefferson's quote, "I tremble for my species when I reflect that God is just," this week's song has been on my mind the last few days: Mercy of the Fallen, by Dar Williams. Not a member (yet) of VO, she is the co-author of The Tofu Tollbooth. (I leafleted her concert in Pittsburgh years ago.)


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Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Entirely Inadequate Post

I think most animal advocates are reeling from the latest exposed cruelty (Jack's write-up; note – the footage is as bad as it gets; one long-time member wrote: "Reading the article, I was thinking, 'Yea, yea, I've seen it all before."  I was wrong.  These images are going to make me insane.  I just can't believe we are that evil.").

There is very little I can say that would be even remotely appropriate, just that this is why Vegan Outreach focuses on creating as much real change as possible – letting as many people as possible know the truth, getting as many people to start making real change.

Yes, I know how inadequate that is.

Some links:

Be well  – the animals need each and every one of us.


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Light Wednesday

Todays Enewsletter should have arrived in your inbox already, so please check to see you received it (if your ISP filtered it out, please mark it as legitimate email – thanks!).

There’s loads of great stuff in there – if you have favorites or suggestions, please contact us.

On the lighter side, here a a vegan double-down (in honor of VO’s double doubling??)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Your Donations Accomplish

As a follow-up to yesterday's great Team Vegan Doubled Doubling news, here's two bits of feedback from Team Vegan members that show what your donations accomplish!

At Saginaw Valley State University, the most memorable interaction was with two big guys. One was black, so I mentioned a few prominent African American's who are veg (Russel Simmons, KRS, Mos Def) and also threw in some athletes (Tony Gonzalez, Carl Lewis). They both still seemed a little unwilling to never eating meat again. I mentioned that even cutting down on meat lessens a lot of suffering. One got excited and said, "I can do that!" They both walked away intently reading the leaflets.
Phil Letten, 4/23/10

At the Durham Earth Day celebration, we handed out vegan chicken salad wraps with the Compassionate Choices. To say they were a hit with the very non-veg crowd (right) is an understatement. We had people coming to our booth after hearing how good they were: "Now, WHAT are you serving here? If this ain't chicken, what is in my mouth?" and "Where can I get these?" and "My kid doesn't like anything...and he loves these!" and "This isn't chicken?" When we ran out of wraps, we gave Compassionate Choices to passerbys, though some were sad the wraps they'd heard about were gone. Thirty people signed up and will be getting the recipe and Vegan Outreach links. Others copied down our vegan food blog where I'll be posting the recipe. Most asked where to get the patties (Whole Foods).
Eleni and  Rob, 4/24/10

Please consider supporting these great activists by visiting their pages – thanks!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Doubled Doubling! Get It Now!

Huge News!

Another donor has come forward to help Vegan Outreach change the world!

Any money donated to a member of Team Vegan from TODAY (May 24th) through and including June 2nd will be doubled immediately by this donor.

That's right  every dollar donated to a Team Vegan member between now and June 2nd will immediately be doubled, dollar-for-dollar, by the same amount from our anonymous donor – up to $1,000 per team member!

And all the money contributed  including the doubling by this anonymous donor  will again be doubled by John and Fany in August! 

It is win-win-win* for the animals!

Among others, Team Vegan includes such outstanding leafleters as Michelle CehnPhil LettenDarina SmithJim Hillman, The Animal Awareness Project  all of whom would greatly appreciate your support!!

Any questions? Please contact us!

* Example  Contribute $50 to Vegan Outreach via Jack Norris' page. An additional $50 also goes up at the same time! Then, in August, John and Fany will donate and additional $100 to Vegan Outreach. $200 worth of booklets reach new people!! So please support Team Vegan today – thanks!

Above, Compassion For Animals takes the animals' message to the young people of Toronto.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vegans in the News

Nina Gonzalez, the hero of the Stafford High chicken nugget rebellion.

Scott Jurek named athlete of the week.

Today's featured Team Vegan member is Kristi Capone, an activist and cook down in Florida. Please feel free to stop by and show your support!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Protein, Calcium, Starbucks, and Biking!

Ginny Messina has an honest and thorough roundup on the latest understanding of calcium needs; if you believe it is better to know the truth than promote feel-good myths, be sure to give it a read!

Speaking of trustworthy nutrition information, Jack has updated the VeganHealth protein page.

Jack also notes the ability to get a vegan breakfast at Starbucks -- an increasing convenience of ethical eating is a key for growing veganism!

Today's featured Team Vegan member is Patrick Broderick, who is doing a bike-a-thon until May 30! Feel free to head over to his page and show your support!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Opportunity! (And Friday Night Video)

Note -- Team Vegan is very close to reaching $25,000!

You could be the donation that puts us over the top! You can donate to a member of the team, or to the general fund.

Today's featured Team Vegan is Melissa Alles, who writes:

I'm a big fan of Vegan Outreach's positive, compassionate, and well-reasoned approach to the issues surrounding our food choices. With my back issues I won't be running any races, but I will be riding my bikes into the ground powered by whole grains, legumes, veggies, fruits, and other things that don't have pain or fear responses. Denizens of the plant kingdom, beware!

Please consider a donation to Melissa, or to the general fund --  your donation will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar!

And for your Friday video, here's former leafleter's Clonie.

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Jane Velez-Mitchell's Favorite Websites

VO's President Jack recently noticed CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell's favorite websites (scroll down to the lower right corner).

Here's a picture of Jane taking a break from leafleting with Jack and uber-activist Twila (on Twila's FB page).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Education Can't Always Overcome Overwhelming Stupidity

Kathy forwarded an email newsletter from "Doctor" Douglass, where he states (and I quote):  

It's medically impossible to remain healthy on a vegetarian diet. 
Let me repeat that just to irritate the vegans: It's medically impossible to remain healthy on a vegetarian diet.

It is pretty amazing what people can say in this society and not be committed to a mental institution! Indeed, it is difficult to come up with an appropriate analogy to convey just how mind-blowingly ignorant this is. "It is medically impossible to be over 6' tall!" "It is medically impossible for a woman to run a marathon!"

Funny that this should come out right after longtime vegan Scott Jurek shattered the American 24-hour endurance record. Not to mention Paavo Nurmi (back before Boca burgers!), Carl Lewis, etc. 

Oh yeah -- and all these lifelong vegans!

But why let reality get in the way of a comforting fantasy?

At right,  Ellen Green, a 15-year-old medically impossible lifelong vegan, earns her fourth varsity letter in two years, running a 6-minute mile.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shhhhh! Don't Tell Anyone!

Today is Jon Camp's birthday!

For those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting Jon, he is Vegan Outreach's Director of Outreach, as well as the author of thoughtful, insightful posts like yesterday's.

He is also far-and-away VO's all-time leading leafleter, having already handed a booklet directly to 594,125 individuals, all across the continent!

Jon is the ultimate embodiment of working smarter and harder! You can read more about him in last year's profile.

If you'd like to honor this most-dedicated individual, Jon always puts the animals first; he posted this to his Facebook page:
If you are fretting over what exactly to get me for my 34th birthday, might you consider a donation to Team Takoma Park? My friend Dan and I will be running a combined 30 miles to raise funds for VO. Each dollar donated will be doubled.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reaching, Not Preaching

A preview of tomorrow's amazing Enewsletter:

Last night, I was chatting with host and longtime Vegan Outreach member Hoss Firooznia. He was talking about how creating change isn't always as simple as giving people facts and these individuals then deciding if the facts alone warrant making changes. Rather, individuals decide to make changes if they would accord with their already-held beliefs. People have a tough time admitting that their previous way of living was wrong. So it makes sense to give them a way to change while still saving face.
     That is what I have always liked about the Vegan Outreach approach – it allows people the opportunity to make changes while still being able to save face, not forcing them to answer the big, broad questions at the very beginning. And then the changes lead to more changes; soon the originally-held positions have also changed. It's actually quite subversive.
     I saw the results of this approach today at Rochester Institute of Technology. One young woman came up to tell me that three years ago, she received an Even If You Like Meat on campus. She liked the idea of "you don't have to be perfect" and immediately cut her meat consumption to basically nothing. She told me that since receiving the booklet, she has consumed meat three times -- an average of once per year. The not all or nothing proposition sold her and continues to keep her on board.
     Also, a faculty member told me a story about her co-worker – she once got an Even If You Like Meat and tacked it to her bulletin board for whatever reason, continued to look at it, to make changes, and is now vegetarian.
     And Hoss was telling me about a colleague of his who had recently gone veg. He asked her what the original inspiration was; it was receiving a booklet on campus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – way to go, Joe!)
—Jon Camp, 4/22/10 

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Monday, May 17, 2010

WOW! Simply Amazing!

We are thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to announce that over the weekend, Vegan Outreach sent out our twelve-millionth booklet!

That’s right: 12,000,000!

And on top of that, Adopt a College activists have, already this semester, handed a Vegan Outreach booklet directly to over 500,000 students!

More than half-a-million students!

Of course, it is important to remember that all of this is only possible because of generous, thoughtful donors who support Vegan Outreach’s efforts for the animals.

Every booklet printed, every person reached, every life changed – all are because dedicated individuals believed in creating maximum change with their donations.

Even as activists keep reaching more people every day, Vegan Outreach’s Team Vegan is hard at work raising money to help change more lives. We are so honored to have such a great group of people working together to change the world!

Thanks so much to everyone who is a part of Vegan Outreach – and congratulations!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Team Vegan: Jenna!

Today's featured Team Vegan member is Jenna Weed:

Driving to Ohio 2 weeks ago, we saw a horrific sight. A tractor trailer carrying small piglets. My heart broke into a million pieces. Their little snouts were peeking thru the bars, and they looked into my eyes, and I knew they were very scared. Then on our way back, I saw little lambs in the same carrier. They too looked horrified. I run for the animals. They need our help more than ever.

Please consider making a contribution to the animals via Jenna's page; your tax-deductible donation will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar!

And watch this space for great news tomorrow!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great News Monday, and Jeff!

Look for a big announcement on Monday!

In vegan running news, check this out! Wow!

Today's featured Team Vegan runner is Jeff Boghosian, who is VO's leading leafleter in Arizona -- by far!

Please consider making a donation to Vegan Outreach via Jeff's page, to congratulate him on his amazing efforts, or in sympathy for the fact he lives in such a politically messed-up state!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Night Lites, May 14

Thanks to everyone who offered their feedback on yesterday's post about optimal advocacy; we've updated the post.

Think you need to eat beef to get iron? Au contraire! Mmmmm ... iron!

Today's featured Team Vegan member is Catherine Berlot:
“I became vegan after moving to rural and learning the sad and horrific truth about the lives and deaths of farmed animals. Please support Vegan Outreach’s efforts to change the hearts and minds of human animals towards the nonhuman animals with whom they share this world.”

Please consider making a donation to Catherine, or to the Team's general fund, and your donation will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar!

Finally: Sir Paul and the gang's Two of Us.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Calculating Optimal Advocacy for All Animals

Previously, we touched on the hazards of using the health argument, as it often leads to many, many more fishes and chickens being consumed.

According to USDA data, it takes more than 200 chickens to provide the same amount of meat as one steer. So everyone who gives up beef for chicken causes hundreds more animals to be raised and slaughtered (and chickens generally have much worse lives than cattle*). This is why there are literally billions more animals suffering intensely on U.S. factory farms and being butchered in industrial slaughterhouses today than 20 years ago.

To put it another way: the impact of many, many vegetarians will be offset by just one person who gives up eating mammals and replaces even some of those meals with chickens and fishes.

Regardless of how we think people should react to the information we present, as the animals' voice, we simply must avoid making arguments that can possibly lead anyone to eat more animals.

  *Independent of living conditions, chickens destined to be slaughtered for their meat have been genetically manipulated to grow so fast that their lives are terrible; from the "Enter the Chicken Shed," pdf, an excerpt from The Way We Eat: "Professor John Webster, of the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Science, has said: 'Broilers are the only livestock that are in chronic pain for the last 20% of their lives. They don't move around, not because they are overstocked, but because it hurts their joints so much.' Sometimes vertebrae snap, causing paralysis. Paralyzed birds, or birds whose legs have collapsed, cannot get to food or water, and – because the growers don’t bother to, or don’t have time to, check on individuals birds – die of thirst or starvation. Unable to avoid more aggressive birds in the crowded sheds, they may also be pecked to death." Photo from COK's

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Please Look for Enewsletter!

This week's Enewsletter on its way! Please look for it in the next 5 hours (and every Wednesday) – and please mark as not spam if filtered by your ISP. We really appreciate your help thanks!

If you aren't subscribed, you can read it online.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Link of the Day – AML

In case you've never seen this / want to understand/explain Vegan Outreach:

A Meaningful Life

And watch for tomorrow's Enewsletter – it is filled with great feedback!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post of the Month: Reliable Nutrition Information

Ginny Messina has posted an absolute must-read for all vegetarians, vegans, and advocates:

Too good to excerpt – be sure to read the whole thing!

And VO President (and Team Vegan runner) Jack Norris has a great post up as well that we'll be featuring in Wednesday's Enewsletter.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Links

We're sure to see more of this in the future: GE Puts a Quarter-Million Cows to Work in Chinese Biogas Plant

Freeing Hens From Cages Too Important To Delay

The lighter side: Mishka loves you

And the featured Team Vegan member today is Caroline Jones:

I'm an artist and working mom living near Gettsyburg PA. From May 1 - July 31 100% of sale price on everything at Vegan Jewelry will be added to the fundraising goal for Team Vegan. Go team!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jon's Triumphant Return

After 68 nights of sleeping on someone else's bed, couch, futon, air mattress or floor, I'm back in Takoma Park. Stats for the tour: 40,579 VO booklets handed to students at 75 schools; 9 talks given; 6,516 miles driven; and not one single heart broken. Profuse thanks to those who housed me, joined me for outreach, and to everyone who donates to Vegan Outreach.
 You can also check out Jon's Team Vegan page.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Last Day for Team Vegan Bonus! & Love Love Love


Team Vegan has exploded! Over 100 people have already joined up to help expand Vegan Outreach’s work for the animals – check it out!

If you wanted to be a part of this world-changing team and help reach more people with VO booklets, you can register here. If you complete your profile by midnight tonite (Friday, May 7), a generous donor will contribute $100 to your efforts. This $100 – along with all the other money you raise between now and July 31 – will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar, in August!

From this post at the Team Vegan blog:

As you know, we are dedicated to reducing as much suffering as possible per dollar donated and hour worked – so you can know we'll do our best to make your efforts has as big an impact as possible.

We are going to feature Team Vegan members until July 31. Today is Wendy Welsh, VO member since the mid-90s, who is reading books to her kids as her Team Vegan activity, as well as selling books and donating 15% to distribute more booklets! Please check out her profile and consider making a donation!

Friday video: VO member John Darnielle’s Love Love Love:

Some things we do for money
And some we do for love love love

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Bad News for Our Aquatic Friends

Two informative articles:

Toxic Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Despite Better Alternative

What the Heck is BP Putting in the Gulf?

And a broader overview:

A Tough Week for the Sea

As you know, Vegan Outreach doesn't promote the "health argument," in part because it generally focuses on mammals / the majority of people are convinced chicken and fish are "healthy." This has led most people to consume many more intensively raised smaller animals (like arsenic-fed chickens).

Unfortunately, many people have a hard time having any empathy for fish. For people who don't eat land animals but consume fish, pointing out that humans treat water like an unregulated dump (and other arguments) can sometimes help people get to the next stage.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Students, Leaflets, the Animals, and You!

This week's Enewsletter is now sailing to you – if you are subscribed, please look for it.

In it, we cover the huge numbers of students reached by Adopt a College advocates already this semester, and relate stories of lives changed by our dedicated leafleters.

We also talk about how you can help continue and expand this work by being a part of Team Vegan! There are still a few days to join such that you can put hundreds of dollars to work for the animals. Check out the team so far – now up to 90! You can be a part of this amazing group of people dedicated to making sure the animals have as great a voice as possible.

You can also be a contributor to any member of Team Vegan (or the general fund), and your donations will go twice as far for the animals!

As you know, Vegan Outreach is all about allowing everyone to be as effective an advocate as possible for the animals. Being a part of Team Vegan – as a member or as a donor – is a great way to be a part of changing lives and changing the world!


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Team Vegan Welcome and Feedback

Anne has just posted a Welcome message over at the Team Vegan blog. Please contact us with questions or comments.

And, from activist extraordinaire and Team Vegan member, Todd Lent:

Such an amazing day at SUNY Albany! Overall, the acceptance rate was ~80%, and I had tons of positive responses and interactions. A sample:
     After having received one, a girl came up to me and said these booklets “are really good,” and she's giving up all meat.
     One girl took one and told me she'd read it later because her roommate read one and it made her cry.
     Another guy came up to me after having read one and said that he sat and pondered it and decided that he's giving up meat for good. He also took a few leaflets to hand out to his earth science class.
     Someone else approached me a few minutes after having received the leaflet and said his sister is vegan and that he's decided to make the switch. I gave him and other new veggies copies of the Guide to help them out.
     I also had a handful of lengthy conversations that proved pretty beneficial. One ended with one guy saying “I was going to get a chicken salad for lunch, but not now.”

You can go to Todd's TV page and make a donation to help him continue this work!

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Team Vegan Kicks Off!

It is May 1, which means that Team Vegan is now officially underway!

Check out the team: 69 members strong as of this typing!

Kellie is leading the way, with $930 raised for the animals already -- well done, Kellie!

You still have a chance to be a part the team. If you complete your profile by May 7, a generous donor will contribute $100 to your fundraising efforts, and that $100 will be matched by John and Fany!

So please come by and set up your profile!

Already a member of the team? Start asking friends and family for contributions -- just send them to your profile page! GiveDirect (the site that processes donations with no fees withheld) was down earlier today, but it is up now.

Are you a donor who wants your money to go twice as far for the animals? Come by and make a donation to one of the team members, or donate to the general fund -- your contribution will be matched, dollar-for-dollar!

And please be sure to come by the Team Vegan blog.

Thanks so much for being a part of this work!

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