Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Links

Jack updates Vitamin C and Iron; the punch line: “They concluded that vitamin C was more effective at increasing iron status than iron supplements.”

Also, Jack on fat in diets.

Ginny on The 7 Habits of Healthy Vegans.

MRSA Superbugs in U.S. Retail Meat.

Yuri Mitzkewich makes the animals' case at the University of Miami.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Girls with the Vegan Tattoo

Via Jack:
“Vegetarian/vegan diets were reported by 20% of girls and by 6% of boys.”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Cost of Eating Animals

Recently, Vegan Outreach received a phone message from someone who had been presented with the "health argument" from her school's vegan group. Her message said eating vegan is too expensive, and we should just promote healthy diets people can afford. They left their email address, so I replied:

Thanks so much for your call.

Obviously, if beans, lentils, and other non-animal sources of protein were more expensive than animal flesh, poor people would eat more meat than rich people. But that is obviously not the case.

There is a bit more here:


If I can, I'd like to share a bit of my own experience. For several years, I survived on about $7,000 a year, and maintained a healthy vegan diet. I was motivated to do so because the huge ethical cost of supporting factory farms / consuming the flesh of animals -- individuals who wanted to live.

In short, I couldn't consider myself a good person if I didn't live truly ethically.

I hope this better explains our position. Every day, more and more people are joining with us and living true to their ethics.

To which she replied:

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my message -- I find your cause much more inspiring now! When I return to school, I will provide the vegan activist group with your information!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

“Meatier” – The Key to Animal Liberation

Once again, Erik has an excellent post in reply to this WSJ article. His conclusion catches the simple key to a vegan future:

My parents always turned up their noses at the prospect of eating meat alternatives instead of the real thing, until Gardein came along and changed everything. It’s nice to know that competition in this niche is intensifying: it’s threatening the #1 reason that Americans continue to eat animals.

Or, in longer form, One Possible Future: A Roadmap to Animal Liberation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Supreme Court Overturns Law

As a counter to all the great news in terms of increasing numbers of vegetarians and decreasing numbers of animals killed, it is important to keep in mind not all is coming up roses. Be sure to see this post, in which Erik summarizes the news and implications:

Supreme Court Overturns Law

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Pessimist's Case for Vegan Outreach

After seeing Peter tweet this calculation about Bill Gates, we decided to take a quick look at Vegan Outreach's efforts.

If you think Vegan Outreach's booklets have only a net 1% efficiency (only one recipient in a hundred stops eating animals, or 2 in a hundred cut their consumption in half; they don't influence anyone else at all for the rest of their lives), Vegan Outreach has saved more than 220,000,000 land animals from the torture and butchery of modern agribusiness -- for a bit less than Gates' $28 billion.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hey, SoCal! This Sunday! Have Great Food and Help Animals!

This Sunday, Jan. 29, Veggie Grill in Santa Monica will donate 50% of sales from Fundraiser Guests (excluding tax, comps or gift cards) to Vegan Outreach. Folks just need to present this flier (check out that sandwich! Yumm!) or mention the fundraiser at check out.

Sunday Jan 29th
5 pm - 10 pm
Veggie Grill
2025 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Sunday, January 22, 2012

California Dreamin'

Kara, Tiana, Javier, Vic, and I brought our positive attitudes and smiles to UC Berkeley, and the rewards were great! Despite the cold and rain -- and it being a Friday -- we reached over 1,000 students. I met a young man who received the brochure last semester and has significantly reduced his meat consumption. We had a quick chat and he was excited to receive a Guide. Vic met a young lady who read the whole Even If You Like Meat booklet and said she is going to go vegan!
-Brian Grupe, 1/20/12

Diane Gandee Sorbi finds another hand for the truth at the College of San Mateo.

Aaron Libby reaches out to the eager students at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fewer Eggs, and Those Driving the Decline

Not only are fewer animals being consumed, but fewer eggs as well.

One of VO's very first members, Coby Siegenthaler, spreads justice on MLK Day.
Matt Zavortink opens eyes at UC Davis.
Smilin' John Oberg takes the animals' case to VCU.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"We wouldn't like it, either."

After reading the booklet he got at the MLK parade,
this gentleman told Nikki, "Yeah, we wouldn't like being abused and eaten, either."

PS: Lauren finds this report, indicating exports of slaughtered animals increasing 2010 to 2012, and 2012's projection higher than 2008. With the population growing and exports increasing, it is even more impressive that the overall total number of animals slaughtered is declining!


Vegan Outreach is now a partner in VegGuide. So be sure to update your area's listings! Details here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Changing Lives, Changing the World

Christine at Chaffey College:
“I got one of those last semester. It changed my life.”
Thanks for the corrections, clarifications, and comments on yesterday's post. Several people made the point that the decline in animals slaughtered occurred even as the population grew, making the reduction even more impressive!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hundreds of Millions Every Year

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, hundreds of millions fewer land animals were raised and slaughtered for food in the U.S. than at the peak in 2008.

Adding up the decline for 2009, 2010, and 2011, compared to 2008, 1.1 billion fewer animals were killed than if 2008 levels had continued.

Edited at 4:09pm: Andrew and Eitan point out that the 8.4 billion number referenced in the earlier version of this post is through November, meaning the decline is hundreds of millions per year (not a billion in a single year, but over 3 years); further decline is projected for 2012.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Story from Stewart

Stewart, one of our top leafleters, relates this discussion from one of the high school classes he teaches:

Male student asks: What difference does it make? They're going to kill all those animals anyway.
Me: Actually, because so many people are going vegetarian and eating less meat, the number of animals bred and killed has dropped by millions and millions in just in the past five years.
Female Student: Really? All right!! That's so cool.

Stewart adds:

I was thinking about the significance of the exchange last night. We are, in a way, the first generation of modern vegans, and we tend to see things differently than most people. Many people just don't see the connection, which is so ridiculously obvious to us. "Why not buy a turkey on Thanksgiving? The turkeys are already dead!" The majority of people don't even bother to vote because they feel their vote doesn't matter. And similarly, in the face of what they think would be a major sacrifice, they feel going vegan wouldn't make any difference either. So the gains we are making can now be used as an example that demonstrates that the less we buy, the less they die.

Food News

From Erik:

Meat Safety to Go Further Downhill
Because of budget cuts, the USDA is closing five of its fifteen Food Safety and Inspection Service offices. It’s all part of their newspeak titled, “Blueprint for Stronger Service.”

Bittman on the FDA’s Cephalosporin Ban
To recap, the F.D.A. will partially ban a disappearing family of antibiotics that is relatively non-existent in animal agriculture and that the meat industry does not rely upon. Not exactly a bold move. Kind of like protecting less than 1 percent of the acreage in the rainforest or 1 percent of the fish in the sea while allowing producers to devastate the rest, and patting yourself on the back to boot.

Josh Gutier helps students at Pasadena City College
make informed decisions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feedback and Pics

Sonja just wrote:

Someone handed me one of your Compassionate Choices booklets, and as a result, I have decided to becoma a vegan. Please send some more booklets so I can hand them out at my school and to friends and family.

A little cold and drizzle doesn't stop Parker Pillsbury
from making the animals' case at Shepherd U.
Nice sunny weather doesn't stop Emma Tamayo
from making the animals' case at UC Davis.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Various Thursday

Video / investigation page updated

Quorn Launches First Vegan Product

Nikki offers the cuteness overload of a 9-year-old vegan

Video of people buying "fresh" meat (hilarious)

From Charlie: 14 Must-Read Books for Activists (although they could have stopped at #1  ;-)

And feedback I missed last year:
I have not stopped crying since I saw all those pics of people who have stopped eating meat because of the people  who get the message out.  To me personally, there is no higher calling then to help those who have no voice.  I absolutely adore what you are doing and am so inspired by all you guys. 
-CE, 10/15/11

From Brian: Engrossed in learning the truth at Consumnes River College.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yes, People Are Eating Fewer Animals

Mark Bittman explains; excerpt:

...[E]ven though excess supply kept chicken prices lower than the year before, demand dropped.

Some are choosing to eat less meat for all the right reasons. The Values Institute at DGWB Advertising and Communications just named the rise of “flexitarianism” — an eating style that reduces the amount of meat without “going vegetarian” — as one of its top five consumer health trends for 2012. In an Allrecipes.com survey of 1,400 members, more than one-third of home cooks said they ate less meat in 2011 than in 2010. Back in June, a survey found that 50 percent of American adults said they were aware of the Meatless Monday campaign, with 27 percent of those aware reporting that they were actively reducing their meat consumption.

I can add, anecdotally, that when I ask audiences I speak to, “How many of you are eating less meat than you were 10 years ago?” at least two-thirds raise their hands. A self-selecting group to be sure, but nevertheless one that exists.

In fact, let’s ask this: is anyone in this country eating more meat than they used to?

We still eat way more meat than is good for us or the environment, not to mention the animals. But a 12 percent reduction in just five years is significant, and if that decline were to continue for the next five years — well, that’s something few would have imagined five years ago. It’s something only the industry could get upset about. The rest of us should celebrate. Rice and beans, anyone?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Three Quick

Via Erik, Paul Shapiro explains the ag-gag bills.

MFA on meat-consumption projections.

And I just came across this story; even though it will be in Wednesday's EN, I'll share it here too:

The University of Mississippi was one of the most positive leafleting experiences I've ever had! The response was wonderful, and I met so many people who were genuinely interested in our message. I even got invited to go speak to a food policy class, so I jumped on the opportunity and had an amazing conversation with the students. Students were so engaged that I ended up speaking for more than twice my alloted time, so as to answer all the questions. The professor is really interested in Vegan Outreach, even though he comes from a family who raises cows for beef. I had such great feedback, and when I left, everyone was profusely thanking me for coming to their class and telling me how much they loved hearing about these issues. Seriously, it was one of the most productive, proactive conversations I have ever had.
—Jeni Haines, 10/26/11

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Attn: PA, NJ, and NY: You Can Help Jon Camp!

Jon Camp, VO's Director of Outreach, will be spending March and April on the road, doing college outreach. He'll be in PA, NJ, and upstate NY. To make this tour as cost-efficient as possible, he, America's Most Considerate Houseguest, is in need of 1-3 nights of housing all throughout NJ, throughout PA (except for Philadelphia), and in upstate NY. Additionally, he'd like your leafleting help when he travels through your city and would love to give his talk on effective advocacy to your local group. If you can help out with any of this, please email jon(at)veganoutreach.org. Thank you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

NYT Rips Off VO

Obviously inspired by our blog post, the New York Times has an article on vegan bodybuilders.

Bonus link: HufPo gets in on in meatro.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


At Santa Monica College today, Nikki reports Mario went veg on the spot, and then helped change more lives!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jon Story

Tonight, I went out with a few HSUS employees and interns. I told one intern what I did (college leafleting) and she let me know that she was handed a VO booklet back in 2006 at the Auraria campus in Denver. She not only went vegan as a result of it, but is now heavily involved in activism and is looking to do it full-time. Viva VO!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Links

We've already set a record for people who contributed to End of Year, and we're still going through the mail. Thanks again to everyone who gave!

A couple quick links from Erik:

5 Easy Ways to Spread Veganism in 2012

Taking a Vegan Challenge Turned Into a Lifestyle

And: Ginny on Skinny.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to our End of Year campaign! We're still going through online donations and have a big stack of envelopes (with checks dated 2011 still coming in), but as of right now, it looks like a record number contributed!

Happy New Year!