Monday, April 30, 2012

Maggie Asks....

What??? You haven't joined Team Vegan yet???
It kicks off May 1! Join up right now!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday News

Brian notes the passing of Murray Rose, an Australian swimmer and actor. He was a six-time Olympic medalist (four gold, one silver, one bronze), and at one time held the world records in the 400, 800, and 1500-meter freestyle. He attributed his success to his vegan diet -- back in the 1950s!

Give people what they want! Ellen D edition.

Give non-vegans what they want! Ellen D's chef's edition.

Pick Your Battles Wisely

Our Henhouse Picks Best Essay

John snapped pics of SUNY Geneseo students deeply engrossed in VO booklets:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Feedback Friday

From a recent batch of Guide requests:

My good friend gave me your booklets, and after reading through them, I have no desire to eat animal products anymore.
—LD, Vero Beach, FL, 3/21/12

Got your booklet at Sinclair Community College and decided it's time to make the switch to vegan.
—AB, Kettering, OH, 4/10/12

My boyfriend had your booklet and I read the entire thing immediately. I am making it my mission to spread this awareness and to get people to ask themselves, "Should we be better?" Thank you for giving me this inspiration!
—SC, Pittsburgh, PA, 4/3/12

 I have friend who took a trip to New York, who was a handed a booklet by someone on the subway. When she returned, she gave it to me. After reading it I immediately became interested and concerned.
—KC, Dickson, TN, 4/2/12

John saw this student at Hartwick College
stopped dead in his tracks reading an Even If.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catching Up On News

Ginny answers New York Times / Planck.

Reed answers New York Times / Planck.

Ginny in LA Times.

Burger King to Eliminate Battery Cages and Gestation Crates

The Ultimate Study of Red Meat and Mortality

Jane Smiley reporting from Xavier University (above: students reading booklets from her):
All students were very appreciative. Best exchange:
Me: Information on animal cruelty?
Two women: Yes! Great!
Woman 1: And does this have recipes?
Me: Well, if you'd like recipes, I'll give you these (handing them Guides).
Woman 2: Vegan recipes? Great! 

I thought this conversation was hopeful because my opening line only mentions "animal cruelty" and not veganism or the meat industry or anything of the like. So these two women at least made the connection right away between cruelty, compassionate choices, and their food...and they were so enthusiastic about getting the information and the recipes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Team Vegan = More Vegetarians!

Melody stopped eating animals because of the efforts of a member of a previous Team Vegan.

Today, you can join Team Vegan 2012, and create more new vegetarians this Fall!

Please register and join our amazing (and rapidly growing!) team -- it is quick and easy, and you will make a difference!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Want More Vegetarians?

Daniel stopped eating animals last Fall because of the efforts of a member of Team Vegan 2011.

Today, you can join Team Vegan 2012, and create more new vegetarians this Fall!

Register here -- it's easy!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Huge Opportunity! You and Team Vegan 2012!!

Vegan Outreach is preparing for the 10th year of Adopt a College: our tenth year of Vegan Outreach to the people who can change, will change, and — as the feedback we receive every day shows — have changed!

AAC activists have already handed our well-research, detailed, and compelling booklets to over ten and a half million young people — 7+ million on college campuses and at high schools. That's a lot of students! Overall distribution recently passed 17,500,000!

But together, we can do more — much, much more! We can reach that tipping point where it's just as easy to choose veg as to eat meat!

As you know, we've got the best team of activists and volunteers on the planet. If you give them booklets, they will enthusiastically deliver — in every state and in all kinds of weather.

This is where you come in!

Team Vegan 2012!

That's right, you can be a part of Team Vegan 2012, and help reach more people with these efficient and effective booklets!

Registration for Team Vegan 2012 is now open! Check it out here:

What is Team Vegan?

Team Vegan is a fundraiser for Vegan Outreach. If you'd like to help raise money to support Vegan Outreach's Adopt a College program, you can join the team. Every dollar you raise will help our activists and volunteers reach more students with Vegan Outreach’s booklets.

Team Vegan 2012 will begin on May 1 and 'run' through the end of June. You'll see here that some of your favorite activists are already on the team!!

How can I join the team?

Register now at! Post your 'page' to your social network on May 1, 2012 and ask for donations to support Vegan Outreach. (See, for example, this team page:

Do I need to run?

Nope. You can set another goal – like leafleting or cycling or having a bake sale and donating the proceeds to VO. You don’t have to have any goal or do any activity, though, besides raising funds for Vegan Outreach.

Why should I do this?

Several generous donors have pledged to match money raised from May 1 to June 30, 2012 up to $85,000! That means we can potentially raise $170,000 for this powerful advocacy!

Just so we’re clear, the money you raise goes to Vegan Outreach to print booklets for the Adopt a College program, not to any one team member, nor to another group or cause.

Simply put: being a part of Team Vegan will create more vegetarians!

The running, leafleting, baking, etc. is part of the fun. And there are prizes for fundraising! (See the Team Vegan site for more info).

We hope you’ll join us for Team Vegan 2012!

Please let us know via this contact form if you have any questions or problems with the Team Vegan site!

We'd be thrilled if you could join with your fellow dedicated members and help make Adopt-a-College 2012-13 the best year yet!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Voting

From New Harvest: Quick way to support cultured meat. Vote for "I'm about to eat meat.." essay in the NY Times list of essays about meat.

From Jack to Californians: Coalition2FightFactoryFarming is in lead to win advertising on BART. The top groups win. Vote at

From Danielle Legg's FB page: "Aaaaand it's official. I LOVE Vegan Outreach, I mean, I did before, but this was the first time I've been able to join a leafletting event. I had a great time, and together Jon, Sarah, Rosemary and I handed out 1900 leaflets! Amazing?! I'd say so. AND Pekoe got a win too, check out this happy cat ♥ All the leaflets were gone, so I even came home with a toy!"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Video: Drugged Chickens

Via Paul:
The World's Greatest Conservative, Stephen Colbert, discusses food issues. Third part covers chickens.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

From Lana

Lana Smithson, mentioned yesterday, sends along this note:

Ever since I discovered Vegan Outreach years ago, I have been thankful to participate in the outreach. VO has been a tremendous influence in shaping me as an activist. It has also helped me tremendously with dealing with the painful issues (as one vegan student recently said to me, cruelty information is so difficult and can "smother the soul"). I am so thankful for VO's practical and positive approach. I really appreciate being a part of such an amazing group.

We're lucky to be able to work with Lana, and all the other amazing activists and donors, who are making a huge difference for the animals every day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Oneonto, Lana

John Oberg reports the following exchange with Curran at Oneonto University: "You turned me vegetarian!" "The booklet did?" "Yes!" "Great, here's a Guide!" "Thank you so much!"

PS -- Bonus shoutout to Lana Smithson, who reached her 100,000th student months ago (I just noticed yesterday -- bad Matt!). Amazing job, Lana!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New URLs and go to Farm to Fridge and Guide request form. and go right to our Guide.

John Oberg sends this picture along from RPI.

Monday, April 16, 2012's Shopping List

What do vegans eat? Here are a few of Erik's suggestions that are available from

PS -- Remember for restaurants, shopping, etc. And you can help improve the database with your own reviews!

John catches these Rutgers students studying a booklet together.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Order Feedback

Just received, accompanying donation and order for booklets:

I'm so thankful I got the booklet [from Jeff Boghosian] at my college [Edison State College]. After I read this (and cried for a few days), I immediately swore off meat and eggs. I just had no idea about these atrocities. Now I want to show others. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
—JS, 4/15/12

Rutgers students have their eyes opened.

Sunday Funny

Via Erik

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Pictures

John Oberg Tebows for the animals at Rutgers College Ave Campus; below,
Jon Camp makes the animals' case there, too.

Nikki catches David Coman-Hidy reaching out for the animals at Northshore CC.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nikki in the Northeast

The elder N Benoit helps animals at Northshore
Community College; below, another Northshore student
is deeply engaged in learning the truth.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

“The rest is just noise and obfuscation.”

Beyond “We Want” to a Real Earth Day Ethic
-Matt Ball
Executive Director, Vegan Outreach

“It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own views, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.”
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 1993

Many people are concerned about the environment, and believe Earth Day is a good opportunity to draw attention to various issues. But sadly—yet not surprisingly—Earth Day has become largely a meaningless event, with just about everyone—from the strictest vegan to the largest multinational—claiming to support “the Earth.”

Of course, the giant planet Earth is in no danger. Only the environment of the razor-thin biosphere matters, because it is where we and our fellow feeling beings reside. And this is the key: the ethics of the environment is, at the root, about those who are able to suffer.

When you look at what has become of “environmentalism” in the US, it isn’t obvious that ethics is ultimately about the lives of sentient beings. The general avoidance of an honest, meaningful analysis of the fundamental bottom line isn’t surprising; it is much simpler to parrot slogans, follow painless norms such as recycling, and vilify faceless corporations like BP. All environmental problems are treated as equally pressing, and anything we do for “the Earth”—changing a lightbulb, eating “locally,” buying a trendy car—is considered equally commendable. This makes it easy to continue the status quo and still feel good and green.

In many cases, "environmentalism" in the US is just a different expression of narcissism. We want charismatic macrofauna to entertain us. We want wild spaces to use. We want clean air and water for our children and friends. We want others to change to be like us.

But true ethics aren’t a question of what “we want.” Truly thoughtful individuals go beyond personal preferences and feel-good campaigns. We can each recognize that statements and sayings are superficial; intentions and ideology are irrelevant. All that matters are consequences. Actions—indeed, our very lives—matter only because of their consequences for feeling beings.

All creatures—not just wild or endangered animals—desire to live free from suffering and exploitation. Cruelty is wrong, whether the victim is an eagle or a chicken, a wolf or a pig. The rest is just noise and obfuscation.

And the greatest amount of suffering on Earth—by far—is caused by people who choose to eat animals instead of a cruelty-free alternative.

Veganism is a statement against “we want.” Veganism is the embodiment of a consistent, universal ethic. Veganism is a real choice with real consequences. At the end of the day, we can each look in the mirror, knowing we are good people making choices that won’t lead to more suffering for our fellow feeling beings.

Being vegan is only the beginning, however. Those of us who are already vegan have many further opportunities to make the world a better place. Even if our food choices aren't directly causing animals to be slaughtered, our other choices—setting an attractive example, optimizing our time and resources to have the greatest impact—have consequences even more important than what we eat.

We can each take more steps, every day, to make a better Earth for all creatures.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on earlier versions of this, esp. Paul and Anne.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More Links

Toxic Chicken Is the New Pink Slime

Isn't this the US in a nutshell? McDonald’s Restaurants at 22 USA Hospitals

PS  In need of jewelry? April is a great month to shop McFarland Designs. 5% of sales will go to help animals.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

VegWeek and Request

VegWeek kicks off April 23 -- a great hook for non-veg friends and family to try meat-free eating for a week!

Also, please be sure to look for the Vegan Outreach Enewsletter every Wednesday. Every once in a while, an ISP or filter marks it as junk mail. If this happens to you, please be sure to mark it as legitimate email.

Thanks so much!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Better for the Animals

Nick Cooney, who wrote this great bit on booklet titles, has a short new essay about how best to make the animals' case to the public. Important reading for anyone who wants to help the animals as much as possible!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

More from Mogantown

John's report from West Virginia U:

Johnna (top) tried being vegetarian before, but it didn't work for her; gave her the Guide and a few tips and she's "going to try being a vegetarian again." Eva (bottom) had gotten a booklet at WVU earlier, then we ran into her at co-op (where she works) and she said that she's trying to go vegan, so she got Guided and was really excited about making the transition.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Joe's Influence at Central Michigan U

Joe Espinosa came across this post about his time at CMU:

There was a young gentleman handing out pamphlets on my campus. I decided to grab one and it changed my life for the better.
-HK, 3/2/12

Anita Dombovari makes the animals' case at the University of Nevada - Reno

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bad News for "Chicken" is Good News for Chickens

All the attention to "pink slime" risks driving people to eat many more chickens (and fishes). Luckily, some attention is being paid to the modern reality chickens' lives. Via Erik, Nicholas Kristof finds things pretty slimy in the modern chicken coop. Even chicken-eating Tom Philpott, who generally only writes what reinforces his pre-existing prejudices, discovers something even grosser than pink slime.

Via Nikki, this Cal State Long Beach student
is engrossed in learning the whole truth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Biggest Day for Jon / WV

From Jon Camp:

Monster day of outreach with so many stellar folks helping out -- John, Nina Gonzalez, Joe Gonzales (below), Tori Stipcak, Whitney Metz, Caty Metz, and Brian Ornduff. We reached over 4,800 students at West Virginia U! It was the biggest day of outreach in WV history and the biggest day of college outreach that I've ever taken part in.

The trip was a wild and fun 55 hours with just shy of 8,000 booklets handed out, over 500 miles driven, a flat tire, and me ending up worn down and sick. All for the animals!

From John Oberg:

What an epic day of outreach at WVU! Within four minutes of leafleting, Joe and I came across two vegetarians and a vegan. Met tons of vegetarians, a handful of vegans, and even more people touched that we were out there. Much encouragement coming from the Mountaineers. Heard from several people that they appreciated the "eat less meat" approach. Even came across a couple people that said the leaflet made them cry -- definitely Guided them.

Had great conversations with one woman who was tabling for a Relay For Life event. She said her 14-year-old watched a video on farm animal cruelty and has toyed with veganism for the last year. After reading the VO booklet, she said she now knows why he wanted to go vegan and would encourage him. She even agreed to get her family to participate in Meatless Mondays, in exchange for me putting on bright red lipstick and kissing her poster board. It was a good trade. Also, she was happy to hear about the eat-less-chicken approach as a means to reduce animal suffering and was excited to receive a Guide.
See this post, too.

Monday, April 2, 2012

John O at U Pitt

From VO's old stomping grounds:

 Katherine: "This totally broke my heart.
I'm going vegetarian."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Misc

"My name is Geena and I'm 15 years old, and I recently saw someone handing out your booklet. I ignored it at first, but once I got into school I saw many people reading it, so I decided to pick one up. Oh my god. I had no idea what those poor animals had to go through. I have made a decision and decided not to eat any type of meat (including chicken). You really made me see things differently. Thankyou :)"

Iowa Ag-Gag Hypocrisy

Responses to Nonvegans

More Bogus B12 Claims

"I just can't thank you enough for posting blog entries like the last one that ended with 'Give people what they want!' It bothers me so much when other vegans tell me, about the 'fake' meat products, 'OH, I would NEVER eat those.....etc.etc.' I've been vegan for almost a year now, and so has my boyfriend, and had it not been for products like Tofurkey and Gardein, I don't know if it would be as easy for us to do. People have to realize that our main focus should be what helps the animals!!!"

Can't take her eyes off the booklet,
at Edinboro University.