Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bonus Stories

Today's Enewsletter is racing through the InterTubes, so, as always, please look for it and make sure your ISP doesn't filter it.

Some recent stories posted to the Adopt a College list include Brian at Modesto High School:

Me: “Sup dude, this is about our food system.”
Him: “Oh sh*t! I got this from you last time and it totally changed my Mom!”

Jon reporting from Old Dominion U:

The highlight was when a military girl said to John, “My drill sergeant got one of those and went vegan.”

Totally engrossed at ODU.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Mexico Pictures

Some of the new vegetarians, interested people, and leafleters from the work of Jeni, Vic, and Israel. (More Mexico stories in the 2/29 Enewsletter).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Not So Few, But Proud

Brian reports:
Tyler (a vegan Marine) at Mission College, 2/21/12. His wife may help me leaflet in the future too. He has been vegan for 4 years and convinced some other guys in the Corps to try vegetarian while stationed in Japan. Super cool dude, tall and strong too! A great representation for veganism in the military.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jon, John, and Parker

Mr. Camp relates:

Big day. I met Parker and John in Takoma Park this morning at 6:45am and dropped them back off roughly a half day later. But in that half day, a lot was accomplished, including getting a future sponsor at York College. We reached over 1,750 more students at both schools!

At Millersville University, we nearly doubled the previously held all-day record. Some of the encounters we had:

• A pair of young women stopped by to say that they read the booklet and are both going vegetarian as a result.

• A dude stopped by to say that he used to be veg, had gone back to eating meat, but that the booklet was going to push him to go back to being veg.

• A young woman said that she would not be able to go completely veg, but, as a result of the booklet, was pledging to cut back on her meat consumption.

A great day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Far, How Fast

Erik comments on his latest links (below): "Either of these would have been the story of the year if they occurred five years ago. We should remember not to take for granted how quickly progress against animal agribusiness is accelerating."

Chicken Industry Meltdown Continues

Bon App├ętit Makes Big Move Against Animal Confinement

Driving the change: A student at San Francisco's
Academy of Art learns the truth.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Effective Advocacy Requires Critical Thinking

Important post from Ginny on the importance (and difficulty) of critical thinking. Be sure to check it out!

Honest advocacy at work!
Brian sends this picture of a Berkeley City College student who went veg last fall after getting a VO booklet.

PS Be sure to check out Jeni and Vic's post in today's Enewsletter!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is This the End of Factory Farming?

If this article is true, bringing about animal liberation will be a relatively simple matter of driving awareness / demand, and marketing. (via Erik)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Effective Advocacy Focuses on the First Step

A question for all of us as advocates: Do we promote precisely how we live — our particular food choices, amount and type of cooking, etc.? Or do we reach out to non-vegans where they are, so as to encourage them to consider taking the first step toward helping the animals?

While not about veganism, this article is a good summary of how many people moralize food preparation. This is true of some in the vegan community, where a focus on side issues comes at the inherent expense of providing the animals a voice.

Folks send Vegan Outreach a recipe and say, "Only takes 45 minutes!" with an ingredient list 20+ long. While foodie vegans with loads of time on their hands will love exploring new recipes, your average American — esp. young people — will simply dismiss the idea. If non-vegans think veganism necessarily entails learning entirely new foods and spending much more time cooking, they won't consider changing.

If our bottom line is helping animals, we have to reach out to non-vegans effectively. To do so, we can't argue from where we have arrived, but rather, work from where our audience is starting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Serious Eats on Veganism

Jessica sends along this summary from the Serious Eats blog, with summary lessons at the end.

Note: the author loves to cook -- for them, spending an extra hour on vegan recipes is a feature, not a bug. For the vast majority of people, extra work would not be a selling point. And let's be honest -- it is a rare meat-eater who would dream of equating braised kale with a steak.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bonus Friday Video

Friday video of me in SoCal about a year ago.
Best part is -- the lighting is so bad, you don't have to actually see me!


Friday Links

Since getting a VO booklet three years ago, this College of Marin
student and his girlfriend have been veg.

Food and Conscience in the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Sun-Times on torture pens.

Erik on McD's news.

Why all this news? Investigations like this. And this investigation of Butterball just led to an arrest.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Brian Story: Actions Drive Beliefs

After leafleting at CSU – Stanislaus, Brian wrote the following post to the Adopt a College list (which reminded me of this study):

A student at Fresno City College is engrossed
in the truth after getting a booklet from Brian.

This is the third day in a row I have gotten help from a non-veg person and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the concept. Let’s delve together!

Joyce approached me during the beginning of a class change to tell me how horrible what she saw in the pamphlet was. She started talking about how more people need to be aware about this, how this picture was so bad, how she loved animals, etc. I could tell right away that she was a friendly, outgoing, and normal person. This is key … all of the pieces must be there (e.g., they can’t be socially awkward, unapproachable, etc.).

Because of this, I wanted to get her not only to help, but to get an even stronger personal conviction about the issue so as to change her own diet. Another normal, personable, functional member of society gone vegan/vegetarian is huge.

A sample conversation:
Them: Wow, this is terrible. I mean, I kind of had an idea about what was going on, but I didn’t realize it was this bad?
You: Right??! It’s pretty crazy. Just imagine if more people knew about this.
Them: I KNOW! I mean, look at this picture…. Who would do that to an animal?
You: (handing them a small stack of booklets, maybe 20). Here. I know you’re busy, but you probably have 5 minutes. It would mean a lot to me if you helped out. Like you said, people need to know about this. It’s easy! Watch me. I just smile and say, “Info about the food system” or “Booklet to help animals?” You try! (Be careful about being pushy though. If they are obviously an outgoing and friendly person, this shouldn’t be a problem.)

So much is happening here psychologically for this person once they give out a few leaflets:
First, they see how easy leafleting is and that they are reaching so many people in such a short time. They see the recipients looking at the cover, reacting, saying similar things to what they themselves said when they got the leaflet X minutes or hours ago, “Wow, this is messed up….” “Oh my god…” etc.

They have also created a new piece of their identity; they are now an animal rights activist. They have taken the step from passive bystander to active do-gooder. This is huge. They will tell their friends and family about what they did. They will feel good for the rest of the day, maybe even the next day as people continue to discuss the booklets around them at school. They helped get the word out. I don’t doubt that they will be forever changed as a person.

I saw it first hand -- all three of the people who helped me out were intensely questioning their dietary habits. Once they’ve seen the truth, teamed up to do something about it and educate their peers, they come face to face with more cognitive dissonance than ever before about their food choices. The reality became intensely stronger after leafleting.

I’m going to keep experimenting with this. I hope you try it out too! More leaflets get out, new potential long-time volunteers, and more new vegans/vegetarians.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Counter the Doubters

Ellen — VO's Facebook admin, lifelong vegan, and new National Merit Finalist — was just admitted to Pomona College. Pomona is Kiplinger's #1 Liberal Arts College (US News and World Report's #4), and the second most selective (<15% acceptance rate). She'll join our members Ted and George, who have helped expand the vegan options on campus (and last year, Pomona went cage-free). Ellen will also run cross-country and track.

What was that about not being able to thrive on a vegan diet?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

From a Batch of Starter Guide Requests

Morgan Faulconer, Brian Grupe, and Jackiie DeLexa Cano at the College of the Sequoias.

A guy handed me a booklet at UNF, so I read it. I'm glad I did, otherwise I would have probably never known the shocking facts. Thank you!

I saw a booklet about the cruelties of factory farming laying on a table by chance. It changed my life.

My girlfriend is vegan, but I'm a meat eater. At her University, she received your booklet and gave it to me. After reading it, it is finally able to pull me down from the fence. I'm going to try changing my diet. Thank you for providing this information.

Was handed a booklet at Disneyland, and haven't eaten meat ever since, trying to do even better than that. :) Thank you.

There were brochures going around Merced College and thought it would be a good experience to try something new. I'm against animal cruelty 100%.

I was walking from class to my car and found one of your booklets on the floor. I was picking it up to throw it away but then I saw what it was and kept it.

I received a booklet on compassionate eating while waiting outside a venue before a concert. It made me cry.

I was on my campus and was handed a booklet. I always wanted to go vegan I just never knew how to get started. Thanks so much!

Received a booklet from a friend about a year ago. Loved it! Inspires me to become vegan. :)

My daughter received a booklet on campus, and I was very interested in the contents. I'm looking at going vegan and this was helpful.

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Web Resource

To avoid the 75% regression rate of people who go veg, we're combining Farm to Fridge with the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. Thanks to Nathan / Mercy for Animals for use of F2F.



Please "Like" and promote this resource. Thanks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Funny

Ellen ran across this yesterday (Get Fuzzy often mentions vegetarianism).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jon at 200k (Don't try this at home)

Jon's FB post yesterday:
When I first started working for Vegan Outreach in 2004, I bought a new-ish Corolla with 2983 miles on it. Today I hit the 202,983 mile mark. Big-time thanks to all of you who have been a part of these first 200,000 miles -- those of you who've met up to leaflet, who've housed me, set up a talk for me, and who've generously donated to VO; my life is infinitely better due to meeting and working with you. It's been a joyous and productive ride so far and I'm excited for the next 200k miles!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pay It Forward

Nikki sends this picture of Britteny, who went vegan last year after receiving a VO booklet, and is now a leafleter (here at the College of the Desert):

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Hope


I've just read A Meaningful Life. I am a vegan, and, finding myself an angry one, I googled 'angry vegan' and was led to the reference in your article.

Thank you! For all you've obviously done in your life to help animals, and for your support and wisdom in this article which has helped me transform anger into determination and even optimism.

Of course you are right, being angry isn't going to help the animals. I  know that, but hearing your clear logic, hearing your passion directed at raising awareness, has really helped me feel there's someone out there who cares, and who has learnt to focus that care in a way that's actually useful for the animals.

I used to be active, but I gave up...believing it was useless. Despair overwelmed me. Your article has given me hope and I will now begin leafletting again, knowing that 5% will get it. Even if its just 1%, it's worth doing.

The other thing you helped me see is that holy grail of finding the elusive key to opening the hearts and minds of all people, magically transforming them and releasing animals from suffering overnight...isn't going to happen. But slow steady focused campaiging to raise awareness, will help to bring change about in the world.

For years I've thought the same as you, that first there was abolition of slavery, then children were protected from exploitation and women given the its time to release the animals. But I didn't know that democracy was first considered 2,000 years ago, and yet it took till the last century till these changes came about.. Its helped me because now, as I patiently leaflet outside colleges, I can feel that even if it takes 2,000...we will get there.

Though, I do have a great hope that it will take far less time than that.

Feeling so much gratitude to you. Feeling energised, hopeful, determined,


Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Pic and Key to More Veg

Brian sends this pic of two more Veg-On-The-Spot, at Laney College.

Ginny on Making It Easy To Be Vegan; key graph:
I’ve written before about the importance of acknowledging people’s fears and perceived barriers about going vegan. Our job as change makers on behalf of animals is to put those fears to rest by making dietary change as easy and realistic as possible—without promoting practices that compromise health, of course. And the nice thing about nutrition research, as opposed to popular nutrition dogma, is that it shows us that a healthy vegan diet is less challenging than most people imagine.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Barbara reports:

It was so great leafleting with Johanna and her daughter, Brooke, again! We reached over 10% of the students at Arroyo Grande High School. Some good conversations. One girl exclaimed, "Chickens! I want to have chickens someday!" as she clasped the brochure with both hands.

Johanna adds:

I have been completely amazed at how my daughter has taken to activism.

Here is a recent conversation:
Me - "Can you believe there are some people do this as a job and leaflet every day?"
Brooke - "Luckyyyyy!"

Vegan Outreach might have a new recruit in a few years!

Barbara and Brooke share the "luck" of knowledge with more students.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pantry and Pictures

A good post to share with non-vegetarians: Let Meatless Mondays Diversify Your Pantry

Stopped in his tracks by the truth, at Moorpark College.
Across the country, University of Miami student engrossed in discovery.
Parker Pillsbury makes sure another U Virginia student has the chance to act with real compassion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More Kenny

Today's Enewsletter features Kenny Torrella, so a good time to replay this post from 2010:

Activist extraordinaire Kenny Torrella, recently read this commentary by Bruce Friedrich. On another blog, he quoted it and added this comment:

I read [Bruce's quote in this interview] a few weeks ago and have been experimenting with it lately, and I think it's a small tip for activists that goes a long way. For 2.5 years I had been telling people I was vegan if the subject came up. Now if people ask I say I'm vegetarian, and it makes a world of a difference. When I used to say I was vegan, people would immediately say some kind of variation of, "That's awesome, but I could never do that myself." Now when I say I'm vegetarian, people become more open and tell me about other vegetarians they know, vegetarian foods they've tried, how they've considered going vegetarian, or they had been vegetarian in the past and want to get back into it.

Whenever I met a vegetarian while leafleting, I used to say, "Have you considered veganism?" The situation would immediately turn a bit sour. For a split second they saw me as someone they had much in common with, and after asking if they've considered veganism, they see me as someone telling them to do more -- that their vegetarianism is not enough. Out of the number of vegetarians I had met and responded to like this, not a single one responded positively -- none said, "Why yes, I have been considering veganism lately!" All of them said a variation of, "Well, veganism seems like a good thing, but it's just too much for me." No matter how much cajoling, they wouldn't budge. The funny thing about this is that when I was a vegetarian I was the same way toward vegans. This is something important to remember. I didn't go vegan because another vegan was telling me to, or even telling me about it... I did it on my own after thinking about it and researching it for several months.

Now while leafleting, I give words of encouragement to vegetarians I meet. I tell them how awesome it is that they're vegetarian, to keep it up, I say "Aw, you're the best," I give them literature that has recipes and nutritional information. This makes a huge difference! They feel encouraged to do more, rather than being told to. They may not feel as alone in their choice if they meet another "vegetarian" that is also an activist and is thanking them.

Although our initial reaction is to identify as a vegan or to convince vegetarians to go vegan, 9 times out of 10 it doesn't turn anyone on to veganism -- it only makes them feel like they're being judged, as if their lifestyle choice to eschew all meat products was worth nothing. I'm not saying this is a fool-proof guide to live by and of course there are instances where it's important to say you're vegan, or if a vegetarian wants more information about going vegan, then by all means, hand out vegan literature and share your experiences as a vegan.

Although I was first skeptical of Friedrich's tip, I experimented with it and found it to be a much better approach toward turning more people on to a vegetarian lifestyle.

As always, kudos to Kenny for being concerned less with justifying his own choices and more with opening as many new hearts and minds as possible! (See also this follow-up.)