Friday, September 30, 2011

Feedback Friday

Thank you so much.  Just thought I'd share with you that the booklet I found helped me to increase my commitment to vegetarianism.   My 8 year old son is already a full vegetarian, but when I showed him the booklet, he was so moved that he wanted to share it with his friends at school it is for him that I ordered the extra booklets.
—Denise, 9/29

Brian sends this picture of a life being changed at Laney College.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Link and Photo

Link of the Day:

A Rose by Any Other Name?
What Psychology Research Can Tell Us about Vegan Outreach Booklet Titles
By Nick Cooney, head of The Humane League and author of Change of Heart

Blake Brennan leaflets at Denver's Auraria campus.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Newsletter Wednesday

Great stuff in today's Enewsletter, such as: AAC is already over 300,000 for the semester, already!

Be sure to check it out!

Tyler Cook is happy to be working for the animals at UCLA!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Leafleting Tuesdailies

Mila and Vincent help wake up students at
Anne Arundel Community College.

John Oberg breaks out the Dapper
at Arizona State University.

Some great stuff coming in tomorrow's Enewsletter -- be sure to look for it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guide Requests

A few notes from the latest batch of Guide requests:

After a Lady GaGa concert in Oakland, CA, a girl was passing out the Even if you like meat booklet. It has changed me and my girlfriend’s eating habits forever!!!!
—JC, 9/17

A boy handed me a booklet at Santa Rosa Jr College -- and it worked!
—SA, 9/7

Heard about you at Waped Tour. I am ready to make this change!
—TJ, 9/13

Katie Pryor and Marguerite Campbell get ready to table at NYU.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Florida International University

Linda Bower reports:

When I handed Melody a booklet, she said "Oh, I just want you to know that I went vegetarian after receiving one of these." She said she got it in 2008 and that it sat on a table at home for a couple of months before she really read it, but that once she did, she went vegetarian. I gave her a Guide to check out the vegan recipes and substitutes. Once again, thanks to VO for giving us a chance to make a difference. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No One Cares About Health, Part XL

A telling update to "Got Health?"

Back in 1991, there were zero states in the U.S. that had an obesity level over 15 percent.
Today, Colorado is the only state with an obesity rate below 20 percent. Another 12 states have levels over 30 percent.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Disney Outreach


Dave Simon - atty and activist in Orange County - worked for hours to get us on Disney's property to leaflet for a couple hours. GREAT reception! Heard from quite a few veggies, and were approached by very concerned families wondering what they could do to help. Spectacular!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday News

A failed former vegan no more!
After meeting Nikki at Irvine Valley College
Sasha is back on the vegan train for good!
From online Guide requests:

Someone at my college was passing out booklets. They explained to me the values and convinced me to give it a try.
—AG, Ontario, CA

Came across, read Why Vegan, and was surely persuaded!
—RV, Wheaton, IL

I was at the Green Cruise in Ferndale, Michigan on Saturday August 13, 2011. I received some of your literature and was shocked by what I saw and read. I am going to make a concerted effort to rid my diet of animal products.
—CS, Hazel Park, MI

Visiting Manhattan I was given your booklet. Great Information! I'm going to share the information with my High School student. I'm definitely eliminating chicken and fish and becoming a vegan!
—YP, Queens Village, NY

Online feedback:

I just wanted to say that I definitely LOVE your site and found it extremely helpful. I've wanted to go vegan for the LONGEST time... and now I feel like I can!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Funny

From John Oberg:

Just wanted to let you know that I leafleted a girl at U of AZ, with whom I've since followed up and who wants to get involved. I directed her to read A Meaningful Life and she said this:

"Thanks for this article! I liked it a lot. Actually, I went to school with the girl in one of the pictures (Ellen Green), so I'm just surprised how small the world is haha"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Repost: Words and Results

Veganism is getting lots of media attention lately. Oprah just did a big Vegan Challenge and Kathy Freston's Veganist [was] #1 at Amazon. With the "v-word" finally gaining mainstream recognition, why is it that some activists and organizations are choosing this point in time to shy away from using it?
For example one advocate has said: “My long experience shows the word vegan scares many people, but the word vegetarian interests them (we also see this overwhelmingly when leafleting – people want vegetarian information far more than vegan information). Ironically, I’ll bet we get far fewer vegans by using the word vegan, since many vegetarians do go vegan, once they see how easy it is and start down the path of compassionate eating.”

Thanks for this important question – it brings up a key aspect of Vegan Outreach.

I understand the personal pride that many vegans feel when “vegan” gets mentioned in the media, and when famous people endorse it. But VO doesn’t exist to promote the word “vegan,” to celebrate veganism, or to get media attention.

Rather, our goal is to reduce as much suffering as possible.

As we write here:

“[W]e must honestly evaluate the world as it currently is, and then do our very best to reduce as much suffering as possible.

“We must reach and influence the people who might be willing to go vegan; reach and influence people who might be willing to go vegetarian; reach and influence the people who won’t (now) go veg, but who might stop buying meat from factory farms…

“…and help support all of these people as they continue to evolve as consumers. Outreach efforts to all of these people are necessary if we are to help a large and diverse society evolve to a new ethical norm.”

So we don’t want to limit ourselves only to the small audience that is currently receptive to veganism.
Rather, we want to maximize the impact we have for the animals everywhere possible.

In addition to the quote from Bruce’s extensive personal experience you have above, Nick Cooney discusses the relevant research here.

And two last things.

1. I think we might be making a mistake if we make too much of rich and powerful people talking about veganism; see this for example.

So many vegans went overboard when Oprah first talked about veganism, but despite being immensely rich and powerful, she was back eating chickens soon thereafter.

2.Tangentially related: overall, “the health argument” has probably caused more animals to suffer and be slaughtered than anything since the advent of factory farming; see, for instance, Got Health? and Calculating Optimal Advocacy for All Animals.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Leafleter Report

Deanne Thomsen:
I scheduled a leafletting night last night at the Auraria campus [Denver]. Three friends joined me, and we reached 300 people! I had several people stop to ask questions about protein, etc. We also ran into a few fellow vegans and invited them to our monthly vegan community dinner. They seemed interested in that. My friends said they enjoyed it and wanted to help again. I, too, enjoyed it very much. The campus is definitely my favorite place to leaflet. It lifts my spirits and I'd stay all night if there were enough people!

With new friends:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Even More Links, with Picture

They want to learn.”

VO member and leafleter goes for more running records.

Tainted Turkey Time Again!

Birds aren't angry at him!
Another new vegetarian at Pasadena Community College,
after getting a booklet in Fall, 2010. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another Retrospective

Our Enewsletter after 9/11/01:

I know that factory farms have not been emptied. I know that slaughterhouses have not been shut down. I even know that greater human tragedies have occurred, and that tremendous human suffering continues around the world.

I can logically understand all these things, and yet, I have to admit that, having been involved in animal advocacy for a decade now, the events of Tuesday affected me unlike anything else ever had.

“What are you going to do?” my brother asks over email. What can I do? Can I do anything to lessen, let alone remove the hatred in the world? Can I address other's despair when that is what I feel? Can I end poverty, deprivation, fanaticism? Starvation, sickness, violence? This week, I have felt a pointlessness of trying to say or do anything, the naiveté of calling for a vegan utopia in the face of fiery fury, murderous malice.

Is it futile? Can one really expect a better world when people will immolate themselves with the only purpose to horrifically slaughter as many fellow human beings in a certain country as possible?

One answer might be: “What choice do we have?” Is the horror in the world really such that we are unable to accomplish anything? I think that, when taken as a whole, history indicates that progress has been made towards a more just world. Those trying to extend the circle of ethics have met with halting yet relatively steady success. As pointed out in The Economist (8/19/95): “Historically, man has expanded the reach of his ethical calculations, as ignorance and want have receded, first beyond family and tribe, later beyond religion, race, and nation.” Or, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of history is long, but bends toward justice.”

The arc doesn't bend on its own, however. Rather, it has been bent by dedicated efforts of those who refuse to be cowed by the oft-seeming hopelessness of humanity. The hard, sometimes unbelievable progress has been made by those who look beyond the travesties of their time, to force – through shear force of will and that magical, impossible blend of pragmatic idealism – the next turn in the arc of history.

Obviously, the arc of history is jagged. Yet because of those before us who dedicated their lives to justice and compassion rather than anger and hatred, we also face unprecedented opportunity. Instead of having to struggle for basic liberties for ourselves or other people around us, we are able to seek to address the suffering of unseen individuals of other species.

This week, it may seem an absurd goal. Yet despite all the horror and continued suffering, we, like the selfless visionaries before, should take the broader view. As The Economist concluded, “To bring other species more fully into the range of these decisions may seem unthinkable to moderate opinion now. One day, decades or centuries hence, it may seem no more than ‘civilized’ behavior requires.” It is up to us to make this happen, but to do this, we must not allow ourselves to be defeated not only the pettiness and banalities of our time, but also the evils.

To paraphrase Camus: “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which there is suffering. But we can lessen the number of those suffering. And if you do not help us do this, who will?” I believe that we must continue to do what we can to make a better world, to alleviate the suffering, to lessen the violence, to counter the hatred, to expand the circle, to bend the arc. I believe that this is our ethical duty, our human duty. Not just so violence doesn't triumph. Not just because it is the most purposeful thing we can do with our lives. Not even just for those who are suffering. We must continue, if only to honor those who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for us.

-Matt Ball

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Website Feedback

Yesterday, we got two emails; the first from JR:

I'm glad that I stumbled across your website. Although I am new to being a vegetarian, I am very passionate about ending the cruelty to animals. I plan to hand your booklets out to others in my local community.
Thank you for everything you do!

And from CH in Belgium:

I actually just wanted to congratulate you guys on this amazing website. Tomorrow, I am doing my first leafletting. I was very nervous, but your articles on vegan advocacy really helped me to have a more clear vision on what I have to do tomorrow, and also made me realize that I don't have to be angry on meat eaters because I will not help the animals. It really changes my whole perception on how to do vegan campaigning and approach people.
And I will suggest to the animal right group for which I volunteer to adopt a college.

Eric Griffith helps more U GA students learn the truth.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Good Stuff Fridays

Check it out: Brian "The" Grupe was interviewed!

Also, VO recently got this question:

After I mentioned that vegans must rely on fortified foods or supplements for vitamin B12, this person cited that fact as evidence that nature intends for humans to consume animals or animal secretions. This person's point had me incapable of responding. What is your take on this comment?

Jack replied: "Nature doesn't "intend" anything - things just happen, humans evolve. As a vegan of 23 years, who takes B12 supplements, and is still alive at the ripe old age of 44, I would never want to trade my current state of health for the state of health of any 44-year old prehistoric meat-eater."

He also sent this link.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Reports from the Past Few Hours

Bloom wrote last night:

At Santa Rosa Jr college this morning, a guy [Brian] offered me your booklet. I was late for class and went by without picking it up, but I saw the cover, was intrigued, after class and went to get one.

I have to tell you that I cried all the way home! Yes, I had read about these slaughterhouses and bad conditions before, but for some reason YOUR booklet hit home! I couldn't ignore it anymore.

And you are right: don't make a total commitment to being a vegan and then stop because it's too hard. It's better to gradually eat less and less meat and keep THAT commitment.

I know now that my changes will come -- you are so right. I want to encourage you to keep handing out booklets at schools -- it works!

And while still in the field at Citrus College today, Nikki phones in this picture of a new vegan as of 8am:

And this woman, who has been vegetarian for five months since getting a booklet from Nikki on her last visit to Citrus!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quick Request

Today's Enewsletter is going out; should be done by 5pm CA time, today (Wednesday).

Please look to see if you get yours. If not, try to see if your ISP filtered it, and mark it as legitimate email. Thanks so much!

Another life changed by Nikki.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Good News Keeps Coming!

Paul sends even more numbers, with the hatchery numbers down 7% over the corresponding period in 2010, continuing the trend of 2011 being significantly below 2010:

Click for larger image.

Monday, September 5, 2011

AAC Storms Into New Term!

Last Fall, hundreds of activists handed Vegan Outreach booklets directly to 658,639 students (just a few hundred short of an all-time record) at a record 843 different schools!

In the Spring, activists had an even more amazing term, smashing the record by reaching 690,074 students!

(Thanks, as always, to everyone who contributed to Vegan Outreach's 2010 End-of-Year fundraiser, which enabled us to print and ship all those booklets. Without your contributions, our incredible leafleters wouldn't have been able to reach so many new people!)

Brian met Julia last week at San Jose State;
she has been vegan for a year, ever since getting an Even If.

And in the current term — as of only Labor Day! — activists have already reached over 100,000 students at over 100 different schools (page won't be fully updated until tomorrow). Nikki, our resident crazy-armed (or is she somehow quadruple-armed?) SoCal coordinator is over 30,000 already (!!!). Even Jack is over 1,000!

We say this a lot, but it is absolutely true: all of this really is only accomplished with all of us working together — all the donors and all the leafleters. Every one of us should be absolutely thrilled with these amazing numbers — congrats to everyone!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Links

Jack's latest post addresses an important nutrition issue. Be sure to pass it on.

Need to work up an appetite? Check out the Field Roast blog!

From VegNews: Veg Meals Win Contest | Veg Diet for Healthy Mood

Jesse Grimes helps enlighten another student at
Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia

Friday, September 2, 2011

Paleo and Pics

Jack's latest post is about the fascinating PaleoVeganology blog.

Warped Wall of Compassion:
David Coman-Hidy, Aleta Markham, Julia Goldreich Caruk, Karen James, Nathan Shin,
Jessica Greenebaum, Lana Smithson, John Oberg, Devin Pray, Caitlin Elizabeth
(click for larger)

Carol Misseldine seeks to change The Man
at the College of Marin.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friends of VO

The indefatigable Mark Middleton has released Farm Rescue for Facebook!

And congrats to Peter Singer for making the All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books.