Monday, February 11, 2013

"So fortunate I'm a part of it."

JohnO continues:
This was a long but wonderful, wonderful day. I was so lucky to have the mastermind that is Tamara Hubbard (with me, below) help me out hugely -- she found me a host in ABQ (I slept in a heated bed -- luxurious!), she recruited SEVEN (!) other volunteers to help us out, organized a post-leafleting lunch, and even provided gift bags for the volunteers for spending their valuable time helping veganize the University of New Mexico!

Josh Padilla
She is a truly amazing individual and I'm so happy she's in Albuquerque.

Vrooom! Kate Skwire revs up compassion!

Karen Hammer
I hit the 7:30 class change at Central New Mexico Community College, then headed over to UNM. I got an extra class change in before all the others arrived.

Uva Mason
Once everyone was there, Tamara helped place people and ultimate veganization commenced. We had that place covered!

Early in the morning I met a former 4-year vegan that said he use to be a militant vegan but now sees a lot of problems with that mentality. I spoke a bit harshly of the militant approach which I think pleasantly surprised him, then talked to him about how that approach is becoming a relic of the past, and gave him a Guide. I also gave him also a copy of AML to show the direction the movement is heading, compared to his days of speaking down to all who haven't yet been enlightened with the knowledge of farmed animal suffering.

Heard lots of positive feedback like, "I respect what you're doing," plus heard from a ton of veggies. One dude accepted a booklet from Kate and came back later and said, "Thank you. I really needed this." Devon (above) even met a sociology professor that wants to have someone come in to speak about animal issues!

Judy Chavez
Lastly, Tamara had a conversation with a man from Uganda. He told her that she had given him a booklet previously. He went on to explain that when he lived in Uganda, he owned a cow. This cow wasn't to be killed -- it was companion. He even referred to it as his friend. She would sleep next to his window every night. A few months ago, he got word that he would be moving to Albuquerque to study at University of New Mexico. Before he departed, he made clear to the village that his cow was off-limits and to let it live. A couple weeks ago, he got an email telling him that the cow had been sent to slaughter. Tamara and this man both began crying and embraced in a hug and just writing this nearly brings tears to my eyes.

Although it's too late for this cow, I take comfort knowing that we're out there every day giving the animals a voice. We're showing people that animals are more than commodities -- they're living beings and sometimes even our friends. On this day I had a team of leafleters I couldn't have been happier with -- a team willing to spend hours in the cold to show students that animals deserve better. I feel so fortunate I'm a part of it.