Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Never Eating Meat Again

[This] Oberg week concludes:

Nearly 2,000 students at New Mexico State University -- killer day! Met a ton of new/recent vegans and vegetarians.

Met a wildlife conservation and ag major (who knew you could study those simultaneously?!) who said he sees this s*** all the time and was really happy to see us out there.

Ran into Jasmine (above), a student that I had leafleted last semester. She told me that because of the booklet, she's really cut down on the meat she eats. As we departed, she told me, "Good job!"

Spoke with Chris, an awesome dude with a vegan tattoo on the back of his calf. He went vegan a year ago after driving through Oklahoma and coming across a slaughterhouse and then just driving into it. He was chased out by a blacked-out Ford Explorer but said he did a ton of research when he got back home and him and his wife went vegan and now they want to get involved.

Met a dude named Guatham that mentioned that the cruelty we inflict on animals is wretched. He is a former vegetarian but said he's now thinking of going back and said "sweet!" numerous times after I gave him a Guide. We departed on a handshake followed by a high five.

Interaction of the day: Earlier I leafleted a professor with a bow tie on and complimented him on it. A couple class changes later, he walked by and mentioned he didn't eat chicken for lunch because of the booklet. So I Guided him and he said, "I'm gonna cut that [chicken] out!"


OMG. One of my favorite days of outreach in a long time. Leafleting in El Paso is such a treat, I wish I could spend a week there.

At El Paso Community College, ran into a former vegetarian that had given up because she was protein-deficient, but said she wanted to come back to the light. I gave her a Guide, a few encouraging words, and she was off. Met another student that received a booklet last semester and said he keeps it on top of his fridge to remind him of why he chooses to eat beans and lentils instead of animals. Of the 278 students I offered a booklet about helping animals to, 276 accepted! Over a 99% take-rate. This city is awesome.

Marcela, now fired up to get active for the animals at UTEP.
I hustled to my Civic and shot over to UTEP. I fortunately arrived right at the beginning of the 10:30 class change...

Oh. My. God. I dropped 517 booklets that first class change, and managed to get out about 650 at the 12:00 change. I literally couldn't hand them out quickly enough -- the massive, perfectly narrowed traffic flow + the 99% take-rate led to some of the best outreach I can remember.
I met a ton of vegetarians and vegans and a bunch of them wanted to get in touch with other locals, so I'll be putting them all in touch with each other, plus throwing in the folks I met there last semester.

Just a few of the standout interactions:

Sarah (above) explained to me that she received a booklet in March 2011 and has been vegetarian ever since! She was handed a booklet by none other than Mr. Jon Camp and she was super excited to see our presence there -- in fact she pointed toward me and said, "I want to be like you!" and further explained that she wants to start leafleting her campus. Exciting!

Zack read it during class and on the way back handed it back and stated, "I agree but I could never give up meat." I gave him a short spiel and a Guide and he actually promised to eat more "meals without meat."

Also met Nick, an ultramarathon vegan. He remembered me from last semester and was stoked to see me back, throwing a bunch of supportive words my way. Great to leaflet such a receptive crowd!

Finally, I asked a group of three students; two males, one female; if they had gotten one yet -- to which one of the guys said, "Yeah, she's a vegetarian now." Anna (above) seemed a bit shy but said she was so heartbroken about what she read that she's never eating meat again. Whoop whoop!

Can't get enough of John? He's interviewed at the end of this All Things Vegan podcast!