Friday, March 30, 2012

Jack to Failed Veg: Get Protein!

Jack addresses another failed vegetarian, who seems to have bought into the "we don't need to worry about protein" myth.

If you haven't already, please be sure to see Why Jack's Book Matters.

At Los Angeles City College, Nikki met yet another
vegan-'cause-of-a-booklet, three months and goin' strong!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Four (Hundred Thousand)

Jon posts to Adopt a College:
Yesterday was a special day. Vic Sjodin, a road warrior amongst road warriors, handed out his 400,000th booklet for Vegan Outreach.... While 400k could only be accomplished by someone with immense dedication and stamina, the number itself only scratches the surface of Vic's impact. It's very often that I'll call him up and say, "Vic, I'm at such and such school. What should my strategy be?" He'll then, without a moment's pause, say something like: "If you're looking at the northeast side of campus, go about 50 yards, take a left, and then you'll see a walkway..." And he's usually spot-on, for a school he was last at, say, two years ago! And there are always new volunteers itching to help out, thanks to Vic winning them over and recruiting them. It's this combination of relentlessness, selflessness, smarts, and a super-warm personality that draws so many towards him, that makes Vic one of the most effective advocates out there.

From Vic's post about the leafleting session that put him over 400k:

One girl mentioned getting a booklet last year from Jon and went vegan, she then got her friend to go vegan, and they continue to effect their family and others. From this one booklet, many can go veg. Reminds me of stories of people who go veg then their entire familes and so on, so that was very awesome. Met three girls who wanted to start a club. We put them in contact. One girl from a well-off family wanted to know how she could donate money. She got VO's website and my contact info and thankfulness. I explained the team effort VO is, from donors to leafletters to staff  - one organism that can't work without all other parts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Wondrous Nikki

Many of you have already heard the news that Nikki Benoit has handed a VO booklet to more than 400,000  individuals!

Nikki's amazing leafleting is only part of her efforts for the animals. She is incredible in every other respect, too. Not just how she gets so many people involved and inspires countless others every day, but even in the day-to-day grunt work she does to advance Vegan Outreach's efforts. She is not only charismatic and charming, but also reliable and responsible, always looking to use every day to the fullest to help animals in every way. We are thrilled -- and fortunate -- to be able to work with her!

And for those of you who haven't seen it, here is her encounter with Barak Obama:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Jack, and Other Famous Vegetarians!

C'mon, you know you just can't get enough Jack!

Bonus link: One list of famous vegetarians. Can't vouch for the accuracy -- last I knew, Bill Clinton would occasionally eat fish. And, as the Ben Franklin story shows, not everyone stayed veg.

Cathy Berlot reaches out at Susquehanna U.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don’t Have a Cow!

Ellen’s editorial, mentioned here, has been accepted for publication by her school’s paper:

The air in the warehouse is foul, filled with the stench of dead bodies and rotting feces. Rows upon rows of cages line the dark, dank building; the inhabitants huddled, pressed together so tightly they can’t even turn around. Each one of these individuals has known nothing but this horror their entire life. Soon they will be crammed into trucks and shipped off to a brutal, violent death.

“‘Our own worst nightmare’ such a place may well be,” Michael Pollan, writing for the New York Times, describes. “It is also real life for the billions of animals unlucky enough to have been born beneath these grim steel roofs”. In the U.S. alone, more land animals are killed for food yearly than the entire human population of the world, according to the USDA. This does not include the many millions that die before reaching slaughter, unable to survive the cruelty of their conditions. All of us who oppose unnecessary suffering can agree: modern factory farms are an abhorrent system.

This is the system that brings meat to our grocery stores, our cafeterias, and our restaurants.

This is the system that vegetarians, vegans, and all those who work to reduce the amount of meat in their diets, seek to combat.

By not eating animals, people of all ages and viewpoints across the country make a concrete statement, denying this industry their support and saving animals who would otherwise endure this horrific existence.

Some people ask: How does not eating meat help animals when the animals are already dead? The answer is simple: supply and demand. Every time we leave meat off of our plates, we reduce demand. Fewer animals will be bred, and fewer will suffer.

Others suggest that personal choices couldn’t possibly have an impact on so large an industry, but recent reports reveal a different story. A USDA report documents a 12% reduction in the amount of meat consumed per capita in the past 5 years. In the same period, the number of vegetarians and vegans on college and university campuses has hugely expanded; a Bon Appetit survey found a 50% increase in vegetarians and a doubling of vegans from 2006 to 2010. The Values Institute at DGWB Advertising and Communications indicates that reducing meat consumption – ‘flexitarianism’ – is a rising consumer trend.

The factory farming industry has seen the writing on the wall. Reflecting on the decline in the consumption of animals, Jim Lochner, chief operating officer of Tyson Foods Inc., admits, “We are operating in a different world than we were a few years ago.” The decline, he concedes, “is a trend that is likely to continue.”

More and more people are choosing meatless meals. More and more people are deciding they don’t want to pay a company to torture and slaughter.

Some people respond to this information by saying, “Oh, I could never go vegetarian.”

Guess what? You don’t have to.

There is no need to conform to any dietary standard to make a difference. Whether you try Meatless Mondays, eat vegetarian three days a week, or stop eating chickens, you are sparing animals from the horrors of factory farms.

Remember, this is the 21st century! A meat-free meal doesn’t require resigning yourself to wilting salads and tofu. The quality and diversity of vegetarian and vegan alternatives widely available has exploded in recent years. Stores as common as Bashas and Safeway now stock veggie burgers and Tofurky. Local restaurants such as Lovin’ Spoonfuls are all vegan, offering a wide range of choices - from stir fries and soups to veggie burgers and “chicken” platters, plus a mouthwatering selection of cakes. (You think I’m kidding? I dare you to look at their display of desserts and not want to try a slice – or three.) And that’s not even considering everyday dishes that are already vegetarian – from waffles and pancakes to pasta and bean burritos.

When you plan your next meal, try a vegetarian option! You’ll find it’s easier than you think to help animals. Every time you choose a stack of pancakes over a sausage, a veggie burger over a turkey sandwich, or a pasta dish over fried chicken, you are choosing compassion over cruelty – something we all strive to do.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feedback Thursday

In reply to an email referencing this Enewsletter:

It's good to be reminded that although most of the the bad news about animal mistreatment relates to incidents, the good news tends to be more about trends. Must have something to do with the direction that the arc of history bends towards!

And from a long-time friend:

I'm glad to hear that the veg world is going well. I was at the dentist yesterday and he told me how he switched to be being vegetarian because of animal rights concerns one year ago. He then went on to tell me about a local periodontist who is also vegetarian. Instead of sending chocolate to referring dentists at the holidays, he sends a note to say that a donation was sent to the local animal rescue league.

Brian sends this picture from the University of Nevada, Reno;
student went veg after getting booklet last fall,
boyfriend has already cut meat by 50%.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Even More Links

As today's Enewsletter speeds through the series of tubes, we have some further links:

Kim Dreher does outreach via geocaching!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Good Team

Carla sends these pictures of Christopher and Erin Pirtle making the animals' case at the Winter Park Art Festival.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Erin Go Vegan!

Katie reports from the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade:

Well, this was an experience! Thousands of people make up for a low take rate. Sometimes people would double back and say "Actually, I will take one!" Others would come up and ask for one, going out of their way to get the information.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

17 Million!

Thanks to the generosity of our thoughtful donors and the amazing efforts of our incredible activists, Vegan Outreach sent out our 17,000,000th booklet!

One booklet's story:

Ellen's AP English class was recently working on editorials, and she had a Compassionate Choices with her while working on her editorial in class. The teacher walked up and picked the CC up. After reading for a few minutes, the teacher said, "Ugh. I'm never eating meat again." (Counting her Public Speaking teacher two years ago, that's two HS teachers now, that we know of!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bad News for Red Meat is Bad News for Chickens

Ginny has updated her important and insightful article. The key bit:

Assuming that one steer provides around 450 pounds of meat, a person eating a pound of beef per week would be responsible for the death of one steer every 8 ½ years or so. Replace that pound of beef a week with a pound of chicken (assuming that the average chicken yields 2 pounds of meat) and the number of animals killed would be about 220 chickens over the same time period.

Think this isn't likely? The latest anti-red-meat study, which many vegans promoted:

The researchers also found that replacing red meat with poultry or low-fat dairy foods decreased risk as much or more than replacing it with legumes.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Example

Monday, I passed along a personal comment regarding people who insist everyone must believe exactly what they believe about food (politics, etc.). Or, to use Jonathan Safran Foer's term, they insist on the last step from everyone, rather than focusing on getting people to consider the first step.

That same day, Ellen wore one of her Team Vegan shirts to track practice, prompting  comments and questions from some of the new girls. One said, "I thought about being vegan, but I just love meat too much." Instead of saying how much meat stinks or how healthy raw whole foods are, Ellen, anticipating yesterday's advice ("Give people what they want"), started extolling various types of vegetarian meats, the reactions meat eaters have to them (e.g., POW in today's Enewsletter) and where they can be purchased. Her teammate grew increasingly intrigued -- clearly primed for taking a first step toward cruelty-free choices!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Good News / Important News

Society continues to recognize and reject agribusiness' treatment of animals:

Another significant victory in the fight to ban sow gestation crates: Compass Group USA—whose U.K. parent company is the largest food service company in the world—announced that it plans to eliminate the crates from its U.S. pork supply chain by 2017.

And, if we want to keep the momentum going, we have to understand why people backslide from avoiding animal products. We previously discussed the motivations of former vegetarians. Now, Jack draws our attention to a study of people who stopped being "animal product limiters." The main reason cravings for meat; the top three were all unhappiness with their diet.

So instead of trying to insist people stop craving meat and instead eat raw veggies and organic quinoa (and, as the data shows, driving them back to the standard American diet), give people what they want!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Great Bittman Bit and Personal Note

Mark Bittman has a great follow-up to his wonderful video. Also see Erik's comment.

A quick personal note: Often, when we post positive news like this, some vegans will react negatively, with comments like, "I don't want processed food," or "People shouldn't even want vegetarian meat!"

Obviously, no one is saying any vegan has to eat any particular product. That isn't the issue, though. As we've long pointed out, since we vegans won't ever eat any animals, only current meat-eaters are in a position to help animals in the future. So we shouldn't be looking for events that specifically make us happy, but news that will move those who are currently eating animals to eating fewer or no animals, helping society progress as we want and need it to.

The simple fact is anything that makes veg eating easier and more familiar will increase the number of people willing to take the necessary first step, thus sparing more animals from the horrors of factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses, and further bend the arc of history toward justice.

It is understandable we would each prefer everyone else have the exact same views we do about animals, meat, whole foods, exercise, smoking, drinking, nature, politics, economics, religion, technology, family, education, etc.

But for the reasons outlined here, Vegan Outreach is focused single-mindedly on the animals.


If we waver and want to promote something regarding politics (or religion, etc.), we simply review our lit, or take four minutes to watch this. And we remember the animals' are counting on us to take their case to everyone -- not just people who vote or worship as we do.

That is the bottom line of every decision made every day: helping the most animals possible by changing society as broadly and quickly as possible.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Feedback, W. Conn

Karen reports from Western Connecticut State:
Kylee, the student in the black shirt, went vegetarian 9/22/2007,
after receiving a Compassionate Choices. She is now working on vegan.
The other three students said that they were going to cut their consumption of animal products in half.

Brian passes along this recent feedback:

At my community college, Oxnard, approaching the bus stop a young woman asked my friend and me if we loved animals. We said yes and she handed us brochures Compassionate Choices. Her question made the difference, I wouldn't have looked at it otherwise. She didn't give me a guilt trip, and was friendly. I didn't feel pressured, I just feel I want to try this.

Through a pamphlet passed out around my school, I have been a proud vegetarian for about 6 months now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Huge Story

Hard to keep up with all the utterly amazing news.

After this story of a Dr. Brown helping bring animal liberation closer, see Erik's take on another Brown with great stuff! The video is definitely worth watching.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Take. Your. B12!

Two new posts from Jack:

Reminder from Italy: Get B12!

Updated: Can a Natural Diet Require Supplements?

From the latter:

[E]levated homocysteine levels occur long before symptoms [of B12 deficiency] are noticeable.

So don't trust bacteria or algae or yeast (and if you still have doubts, see the case studies). Get real, proven B12!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It Rocks to be Proven Right

In various posts (e.g., 1, 2), we've pointed out the sharp decline in the number of animals eaten in the U.S., even as the economy and population grow. And the industry has stopped spinning this as simply a result of the 2007-09 recession, but a the state of our truly "different world."

Now, as VO hypothesized almost exactly five years ago, cruelty-free products are the future, with even big ag recognizing this. Visionaries in the industry want to get on the bandwagon. Even the industry mouthpiece, Meat and Poultry, is asking, Are meat analogs in industry’s future?

“Who better to make meat analogs than meat processors themselves?”

[I]nnovative meat analog products keep entering the marketplace and are something to take note of....

These are just a few meat analog products on the market and they are impressive....

[T]here are an increasing number of consumers seeking convenient, value-added products they perceive as being healthier alternatives, as well as being better for the environment. And of course, animal activists and vegetarians, in particular, love the fact that such products contain no animal protein.

(Obviously, it should go without saying vegans don't have to buy these products, but this -- Tyson selling Chik'n rather than chickens -- is the path to animal liberation.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meat Industry Off a Cliff

Today's Enewsletter covers how big ag admits those of us working for the animals are winning. Here, from the Daily Livestock Report, is what a new-world-in-the-making looks like:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Phil Letten for the Win

Phrom Phil:
Phil has the last laugh.

At the Detroit Warped Tour in 2009 a cop wrote me a ticket for leafleting. The ACLU represented me. 2.5 years later the lawsuit is over. The total amount won was $20,000. The money was split evenly between me, the other person whose lawsuit was filed the same time as mine, and the ACLU.

The Police Department also received new training on the following subjects:

Training Directive 1: First Amendment Right to Distribute Non-Commercial Pamphlets and Handbills

Training Directive 2: Retaliation For Exercising First Amendment Rights

Training Directive 3: Enforcement of Loitering Ordinances (this had more to do with the other guy's lawsuit)

Training Directive 4: Acceptance of Complaints from Individuals With Pending Charges

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Different World We Created

As we've pointed out, people in the US are eating fewer and fewer animals. Agribusiness has given up trying to spin it as just part of the recession; as Jim Lochner, chief operating officer of Tyson, admits:

"We are operating in a different world than we were a few years ago," Lochner said. "After decades of steady growth, U.S. per capita consumption of protein [sic!] declined 11% from the peak in 2006, a trend that is likely to continue."

Carla Wilson reports: "This guy  talked to Bryan after reading the booklet
 and said he had no idea. He said he knew a cow was a burger
but had never thought about it further."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Quotes

Someone at the University of British Columbia was handing out your Compassionate Choices booklet. As a result, I have decided to become a vegan.

Because of your booklet, I've decided to go vegan. Keep up the great work.

I was given the brochure at El Camino College. I was really struck by the stories and the pictures so I want to give it a try. I love animals and I didn't know about the procedure farms use to raise them. It is so cruel and sad that I had contributed to this horror. So I want to help by not purchasing animal products. Thank you.

A young lady in Chicago, IL at my school (Malcolm X College) was passing out literature. I was very interested in this lifestyle change.

[Because of a] person handing out booklets, I am becoming a vegan.

I read the booklet handed me cover to cover and was in tears. I want to help.

Someone handed me a pamphlet at Harvard University. It was just what I needed – I've been struggling for a while with the question of whether to return to vegetarianism or not, and this information was just what I needed to inspire me to go for it. It was really encouraging that the pamphlet said it's okay to make exceptions occasionally if that will make a mostly vegetarian diet more sustainable for you. Taking it one day at a time is much less intimidating than the idea of never ever eating any meat again ever. Thank you so much for helping me do this!

John Oberg helps open more eyes at the
College of William and Mary.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday Links

Eating Meat is No Longer Simple

Jack: Herbal Teas Inhibit Iron Absorption

Food Project Proposes Matrix-Style Vertical Chicken Farms

NY Times Backs Bill to Ban Battery Cages:

Yet the American Farm Bureau Federation, a trade group for farmers, the National Pork Producers Council, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association oppose the bill. They seem to fear that common sense and a humane regard for the well-being of farm animals will spread to their own industries.

Nikki sends this picture of Denise, another
veg-on-the-spot at Long Beach Community College.