Friday, December 30, 2011

Deadline for 2011 Biggest Bang for the Buck!

Please share this post with anyone looking to get the biggest bang for their last 2011 buck.

If you haven't seen this video, we hope you take a minute to watch:

And the graph worth 2.9 million booklets:

There are only hours before the deadline to give for 2011. Please consider supporting our work together one last time this year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adopt a College 2011

Jon Camp's Tuesday post to the Adopt a College list:


As of now, we've handed out 879,096 booklets this semester at 913 schools. Wow! The previous record for booklets in a semester was 690,374 (Spring of '11) and the previous record for schools visited was 843 (Fall of '10). When we first started AAC (Fall of '03), we distributed 22,217 at 63 schools.

Nikki Benoit led the employees this semester with 78,468 booklets. That said, there is some speculation that she used performance-enhancing drugs, as no non-doped-up mortal could possibly do what she did. We'll let you know the results of the blood tests. Brian Grupe visited a grand total 88 schools in these few months!

On the volunteer front, Mara Collopy leafleted an amazing 32,999 booklets at 63 schools, followed by Joe Espinosa's 29,587 and Casey Constable's 23,264. Unbelievable!

It was great to welcome all stars Katie Pryor and Caleb Wheeldon to our regular roster and to see folks like Kirby, Mieke, and Moran really step up their game.

The Humane League took first place for groups with 77,842 booklets handed out.

And the rest of you? A total of 76 individuals and groups handed out more than 1,000 booklets this semester! The totals are here.

There are only two reasons for the success of this work: a) financial supporters who ensure that booklets are printed and b) leafleters, who get the booklets into the students' hands. It's a gorgeous alley-oop. The supporters lob the ball up and we, the leafleters, slam it home. It's a team effort with so many of you playing such an important role.

As all of you know, it's easy to take the route of comfort and indifference, but that is not the option that any of you have chosen. You continue to use so much of your time, talents, and energy (in all weather extremes) to ensure a brighter future for animals. I hope that all of you take a moment to reflect on all the good that you have done thus far and how the world is truly better off because of your efforts.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pay It Forward

My favorite bit from today's Enewsletter:

Here is my contribution to the matching. Please keep up the good and important work you are doing. Three years ago, one of your booklets handed to me on a street corner convinced me that I could no longer live in denial of the abuses and injustice humans inflict on animals.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Australian Excerpt

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to address (via Skype) Australia's Animal Activists Forum. Here is an excerpt from my prepared remarks:

[A]sk yourself – why is it better to be a vegetarian than someone who, say, eats only “free-range” animals. Obviously, eating animals that weren’t factory farmed is better.

But as vegetarians, we don’t make our food decisions based on what is better. We want to make the best choices we can for the animals.

Well, that is exactly how Vegan Outreach looks at advocacy: We don’t want to make things somewhat better. We want to make the best choices we can for the animals.

Thanks so much to the hundreds and hundreds of donors who also want to do their best for the animals. You can check the status of the matching challenge at the VO homepage.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Help Hack at the Roots – Doubling Expanded!

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root.
—Henry David Thoreau

Several donors, dedicated to striking at the root of animal abuse, have come forward to expand the end-of-year matching challenge!

We'll need your help to put all the money to work for the animals.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Meowy Catmas

Or here.

PS -- Corrected link for yesterday's article about Jon. Sorry for the error.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Guess who this is?

Ginny tweets:

For @examinercom's "America Inspired" contest, I nominated --surprise!-- a vegan activist. He's truly an inspiration.

(Note: Link corrected.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From the Recent Batch of Guide Requests

“I was handed a booklet today in my town, and then I watched some videos on And I never want to eat meat or dairy again. I'm devastated. Thank you for getting this info out.”
—CM, 11/30

“I found your booklet on the bus. It stunned me. Reading this makes me want to change my life. I would like to do more."
—LD, 12/7

Alexis Antonelli smiles in the face of confusion in Santa Monica.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

From Today's Enewsletter

Please pass along today's Enewsletter to anyone you know who is concerned with animals. We hope the graph will show them that they really can make a difference.

Here is the lead section:

The brutality of factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses is far from public view, hidden behind walls both physical and psychological.

The cruelty to chickens, turkeys, and pigs that occurs on factory farms is every bit as horrible as any act of barbarism inflicted on other animals.

Even worse, this brutality is on a scale that vastly exceeds all other acts of cruelty to animals.

Every day, agribusiness is ruthlessly pursuing profit through their factory farms and slaughterhouses.

That is why Vegan Outreach strives to be as relentless for the animals as big ag is ruthless to the animals.

Every single day, we focus single-mindedly on having the greatest impact possible.

You can make a difference via!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Report from Vic

Amazing new record at Wayne State; Crystal, Mara, Phil, and I reached over 3,300 students. Many conversations, and watched loads reading their booklet. Overheard one guy pointing to leaflet and saying to his companion, "That's why I'm vegetarian." Another told us she's been veg since getting booklet last year. One guy came back to Phil and told him he read whole thing in class and can never eat meat again.

Deb Elliot gives the gift of truth!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shopping for Compassion

Even when school's out, nothing stops VO's outreach! Nikki catches these shoppers deeply engrossed in learning the truth:

Thanks to everyone who has given to the End-Of-Year  Challenge. Because of you, more people will learn the truth in 2012!

Note: The deadline is less than two weeks away!

If you've not had a chance to give, please click over to make a secure, tax-deductible donation on your credit card! Your donation will go twice as far for the animals! Thanks!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bonus Video: Vegan Bodybuilding

Via the Vegan Bodybuilding site, Michelle Risley describes her motivation and fitness program.

Longtime vegan and VO leafleter, Robert Cheeke helps dispel myths!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another on the Spot!

Nikki went to the mall where Katy Perry was visiting:

Tons of parents with kids enjoying the free entertainment. Lots of honks, and as we wrapped up, the LAST woman I leafleted (above) went VEGAN ON THE SPOT! She's a single mom with 2 kids, who -- of course -- will be vegan now too. Hip hip!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Doesn't Spread Itself

One of Jack's talks is, "Does Veganism Spread Itself?" In the talk, Jack gives the details, but the punchline is: no, veganism doesn't spread itself.

In today's Enewsletter, we talk about the huge growth in vegetarianism and veganism in the United States. Last year, we pointed out the huge growth in vegetarianism and veganism on college campuses.

And although it's common sense, it is worth repeating: This fundamental change is both necessary for bringing about a better world, and it doesn't just happen on its own.

Real, lasting change comes about because of all the people who aren't satisfied with soundbites, who just don't want to fight specific cases of abuse.

Real, lasting change is driven by those who refuse to hack at the branches, and insist instead on striking at the root.

But even better: By focusing on bringing about fundamental change, we set the stage for faster change in the future and around the world -- as laid out here and here.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this amazingly successful work!

From Brian: Another Pledge to be Veg, at CSU Stanislaus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Results You Can Count

In yesterday's post, we referenced a poll that showed nearly half the country is already interested in vegetarianism to some extent.

That poll also estimates there are 5.7 million adult vegans in the US -- more than 7.5 million vegans if you extrapolate to the entire population!

Compare this with the 3 million adult vegans estimated by the poll in 2009.

This is the change that you drive, with your leafleting and with your donations. Not seeking soundbites, or feel-good stories, but single-minded focus on creating real, fundamental, lasting change.

It really is that simple.

Nikki reports from Palomar College:
Crystal (above) stopped to ask about volunteer opportunities.
I asked: Is now soon enough?
She was a natural!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Is the Size of Our Target Audience?

Often, the people who are anti-veg are the loudest and, sadly, most memorable. But check out this recent report of a recent poll:

Seventeen percent of Americans stated that they “don’t eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at many of my meals (but less than half the time)” and 16% don’t eat these foods at more than half of their meals (but not all the time). Thus, 1/3 (33%) of the country are eating vegetarian meals a significant amount of the time (in addition to vegetarians)!

In a 2008 Vegetarian Resource Group national telephone survey, 40% said when eating out they often order a dish without meat, fish or fowl. For those of you trying to get a handle on the population very interested in vegetarian foods, though not vegetarian, it appears to be 30% – 40% of the country.
Heidi Cohen-Wolff expands the
circle at Mesa College.

Reviewing the entire poll, they conclude:

48% Thus we estimate this is the audience for good tasting vegetarian foods that fit individual needs.

This matches almost exactly with the 49% estimated here.

We know what an opportunity this is, so every day, we are providing compelling, honest, and thorough information to thousands of interested individuals!

If you'd like to reach and motivate twice as many of these people, please give a special, tax-deductible donation to VO's matching challenge.

How many we reach in 2012 depends on you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ho Ho Ho! It's Saint Nikki!

Nikki reports: At The Grove in LA, this kat had a vegan burger
at a bbq joint for lunch cuz of his leaflet!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feedback Friday

Received over email last night:

On my campus today, I received one of your booklets. I just wanted to say thank you for avoiding shock-value photos. I find it much easier to listen to points an organization tries to make when the "thousand-words-per-picture" noise from gruesome photographs. It isn't often that one finds an organization willing to not only make rational arguments that can stand on their own, but also to provide suggestions and clear paths to take. Not only that, but you guys are REASONABLE, as is exemplified in your statement "'s more important to take an approach you can sustain."

Being rational and reasonable are two qualities that are hard to find. Seriously. Before Thanksgiving break, some people from [a different campaign] came to our campus with all their disgusting photography and irrational arguments and extreme viewpoints and ugh. They had the complete opposite affect they wanted to have on me.

Thank you for being a voice of reason. We could use more organizations like you in our world.
Nikki spied two Saddleback College students
deeply engrossed in learning the truth.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Use This Holiday Season To Change Lives!

The folks at Reducing Suffering suggest asking for donations:

...Considering how much suffering can be prevented by a single dollar, it's tragic to consider what the money is used on instead. ... Instead, I suggest asking your family and friends to make a charitable donation on your behalf. I sent an email to those who might give me gifts requesting that, if they do give anything, please make it a donation to Vegan Outreach in my name. I encourage readers to consider trying this as well.

The donations will definitely change lives! E.g., Linda Bower reports:

James Wildman is doing vegan presentations at SW High School this week and next. I've been bringing soy and coconut milk ice cream sandwiches. Thought you might like to see this photo I took this morning. The kids have been really receptive.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Striking at the Root

Today's Enewsletter leads with a good summary of Vegan Outreach's approach. But I think it is more important for everyone concerned with animals always to keep in mind Thoreau's insight:

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots.

As discussed in the VO History and Letter to a Young Matt, we did, originally, hack wildly at the branches, doing something, doing anything.

But early on, we realized the fundamental truth: When we choose to do one thing, we're choosing not to do another. And we were, ultimately, spinning our wheels.

Or, as we wrote in 2001:

If we were the animal exploiters, our ultimate plan would be to keep caring, compassionate people focused only on the immediate and short term: rescuing individual animals and protesting relatively small-scale cases of abuse. Since animal advocates have very limited resources compared to the industries they protest, compassionate people will never be a threat to the status quo as long as they fail to address society’s fundamental attitude toward animals – namely, that animals exist for humans to use.

Instead of directly fighting exploiters, we recognized that we must change society's view of animals at a fundamental level, even though this required long-term person-to-person outreach.

Of course, we realize most people will give to the familiar, the immediate, and/or the sensational.

But more and more of us aren't satisfied with a world that seems a little less bad. We want a world that is fundamentally different, where animals aren't viewed as food.

And we are putting our hours and our dollars into driving this change by reaching more people.

Because of your thoughtful and dedicated support, we are seeing record numbers of people learning the truth and taking action for the animals. Every day, we're seeing more and more people open their hearts and minds daily, going on to influence others, and creating fundamental change.

Click here for full-size pdf.

Thanks for being a part of this powerful and necessary work! I hope you enjoy today's Enewsletter.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pragmatism Pays

VO’s approach, simultaneously pragmatic and forward-thinking, focuses on engaging those who are deemed most open to lifestyle changes: namely, the young, and, in particular, college students. Perhaps more importantly, its philosophy extends well beyond mere “vegan” outreach as a practical recognition of how vital it is to meet people where they are, not where animal advocates want them to be.
—VegNews, “The Road to Vegetopia”

Fred Tyler recently passed along this story, illustrating the power of this “focus on the first step” approach (for more discussion, see Nick Cooney's research):

At Central Lakes College, one guy passing by after reading the booklet said, “I'm more compassionate than you might think. Though I'm glad you said reduce, cause I like pork.” Later as he passed again, without any prompting he said, “I'm a humanitarian. I can give up pork. I know I can.”

If you believe in VO's pragmatic and forward-thinking approach, please give a special contribution to the matching challenge!

Another serving of truth and compassion before another set of eyes:
Brian at City College of San Francisco.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ten Million Monday!

Adopt a College activists have now reached 10,000,000 individuals!

That s right – VO activists have personally handed our powerful, persuasive booklets directly to ten million new people!

Every single day, activists are letting more students know the truth about the hidden, vicious cruelty inherent in modern agribusiness, as well as offering concrete, understandable steps to sustainable change.

Every single booklet, every single student reached, every single new vegetarian – all because generous, thoughtful donors have contributed to Vegan Outreach.

Distribution is a direct result of your donations. And today, your donations are doubled!

Please click here to make a special, tax-deductible donation to the matching challenge.

Your dollars will change lives!

Hope for the future: Jessica opens eyes
at City College of San Francisco.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Note from Peter Singer

I visited one of the discussion sections in my Practical Ethics course this week - not a section I cover, and the students did not know beforehand I would be observing it. Each week a student introduces one of the topics I discuss, and this week we were discussing eating animals. The student began by handing everyone a copy of Compassionate Choices!

Don't have to go to Princeton!
Jon makes sure the students at Georgia Southern know the truth.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Never too late to start anew.

From a Guide request:

I went vegan back in 2007 due to what I saw and read on your web site, but still had to cook meat-based meals for my husband and son and deal with all the silly questions from friends. After a couple years I just couldn't do it anymore because of the lack of support and teasing. After recently being re-exposed to factory farming's animal suffering and cruelty, I have decided to be vegan again; this time for the rest of my life. I don't care what other people think or say anymore. I am doing it for the sweet, precious, innocent animals. Why they have to be tortured I just don't understand and never will. It just rips my heart out. I am 55 years old, but it's never too late to start anew. This is why I am requesting a kit. Thank you.
—JC, 12/2/11

Lisa Towell changes another life
at Foothill College.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thibideaux Thursdailies

I am currently a senior in University of California, San Diego. Today, as I was walking from my class, I was given one of your booklets. As I was getting in to the elevator and looked through the booklet, I found myself disgusted with everything I have eaten that had meat in it. It was not just me though; by the time we approached the 6th floor, I realized I was not the only one with the disgusted look on my face -- others had been looking at my booklet.
After reading through the booklet and realizing what a massacre animal farming is, I have decided not only to become a vegetarian, but also to volunteer for your organization.
—MM, 11/30/11

One take on top famous vegans (made the front page of Digg).

More on lab-grown meat (with other links).

Dog steps on gun, shoots Utah hunter in buttocks.

UC Santa Barbara student has eyes opened.
Sophia Cresci makes the world a better place at Santa Clara U.