Thursday, January 31, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
Animal Voices has posted a podcast interview with me, discussing The Animal Activist's Handbook, as well as various lessons I wish I'd known when getting started.
You can listen to the podcast on the site, or download the mp3 for your iPod, etc.!
I know vegans are generally reticent about their opinions, but feel free to send feedback via this page. Thanks!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tonight we did VO at the Justin Bieber show. Wow, did I underestimate the crowd! I think it was the largest at the Amway Center we have done!
In the hour and a half we handed out 1000 Compassionate Choices -- Bryan [above, left] and I, Alicia, Bea, and Jeff :)
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Over at his blog (which you can subscribe to in many different ways), Jack has been covering a lot of ground, including:
Soaking – Nuts
Soaking – Beans
Preventing Flatulence via Digestive Enzyme Supplements
And even a Lip Balm recommendation!
Be sure to follow the blog if you want an honest, spin-free examination of nutritional issues.
Friday, January 25, 2013
One big highlight of the MLK Parade: Brittany leafleted Samuel L. Jackson. After he looked at the booklet, he went back and gave her a hug! I didn't realize it, but he's vegetarian! I hope he looks Vegan Outreach up and volunteers with us and becomes a donor!
Thursday, January 24, 2013
If you have read the VO History, you know one of the key kickoff moments was the Fast for Farmed Animals outside a slaughterhouse in Cincinnati. Jack chose it because he had been down to that neighborhood and very disturbed watching the pigs being trucked past, and hearing their screams as they were forced off the trucks.
Here is a video of pigs being transported in the Toronto winter. I was reminded of it by recent Adopt a College posts -- by Jon at Northern Virginia Community College, who noted it was 20 degrees that morning (but he still reached 800 students), and Joe and Leslie, as well as Rachel, who separately leafleted schools when the wind chill was minus 6. AAC leafleters have amazing dedication!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Chipotle Testing Tofu Option
My question is -- is this 1973? In 2013, even Boca* is old news! Not Gardein? Not Beyond Meat? C'mon!
Here is hoping they at least promote this option, unlike how they killed off the Garden Blend!
*Oh Boca, you know I love you. And your Original Chik'n Nuggets are still the best!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updating this semester's leafleting totals:
73 schools; 73,000+ booklets
And 73 words from President Obama:
Now we must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today's victories will be only partial. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time - not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift. With solemn duty and awesome joy, with common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history.
I thought this (The 19 Most Annoying Things About Being Vegan) was funny, but of course, The Onion tops it:
As our pal Phil would say, "Don't you get it? It's funny 'cuz it's not funny!"
Monday, January 21, 2013
Jack's latest: Evidence for Nutrition Recommendations: DHA and Prostate Cancer
|Rachel (above) sends this picture of another new vegetarian at Pan American University.|
Sunday, January 20, 2013
This was our second year leafleting the MLK Parade, and it was fantastic once again! We reached nearly 1,600 people. There were quite a few good questions and conversations, but the highlight was when Brittany met Lisa and Sam, who have just gone vegetarian -- they couldn't support the system of animal abuse any longer! They helped leaflet, and Robb is going to follow up with them about getting some vegetarian events going in their neighborhood!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Vegan Outreach's History. Also mentioned how correspondence with members can become an essay, such as A New World.
We had this delicious dish, along with tortillas, chips, beans, rice, and different salsas, topping it off with Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie -- also a perfect breakfast food!
For his day at the University of Arizona, he had a Tofurky, pickle, and mustard sandwich. As we had just finished the last chocolate chip cookie, he took cookies from Trader Joe's.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Gateway is a small community college in an industrial area of Phoenix. I've had a good reception there in the past and today was no different. Heard things like, "You're doing a good thing, keep it up!" "I'm already on board." Most importantly, I handed Natalie [above] a booklet as she entered the building. An hour later she emerged and began walking my direction: "That little booklet you gave me made me so sad. I want to go vegetarian now." We got to talking and she was so moved by it, she wants to start getting involved in animal issues. Awoooooooo!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Reading your sublime Animal Activist`s Handbook again (over dinner, on the iPad -- tres cool) and yet again moved to contribute modestly to your wonderful and precisely targeted organisation. Thank you for everything you do, but more importantly, for everything you inspire OTHERS to do, to create a vegan world.
With unbounded gratitude and admiration,
Peter in faraway Australia.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
While we suffer record cold here in Tucson, Loren sends this report and pictures from warm Chapel Hill:
Awesome experience at UNC today while handing out more than fourteen-hundred Compassionate Choices. Rob (above) exchanged contact info with a professor who is interested in having someone speak to her Performance Studies class about veganism. And my friend Jill (below) joined us. It was her first time leafleting and she was a real natural. She brought her eight-month-old son, too. He had a lot of people smiling and aww-ing as they accepted booklets.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Nearly 20 years ago, Jack summed it up well: "We want a vegan world, not a vegan club."
This may seem obvious, but the implications are significant. If a vegan world really is our goal, we can't spend our time talking back and forth with other vegans about how great we are / how amazing veganism is. Rather, we have to convince more and more meat eaters to change their diet.
These are two very different discussions. Although many vegans care about the minutia of any negative health claim regarding meat, far-reaching environmental issues, and any and every connection to animal exploitation, this is simply not the case for the vast majority of non-vegans. Go to any McDonald's, or to a grocery store, or mall food court -- people aren't making their choices for optimal nutrition. They are choosing what is familiar, convenient, cheap, and tasty.
For all intents and purposes, modern animal agribusiness doesn't care about a handful of whole-food locavore hard-core vegans -- they know that although this is a profitable sidebar at Whole Foods, it isn't the future for the masses. And for every person who goes entirely vegan because of health concerns, many more give up eating large animals and start consuming many more smaller, more intensively raised animals.
What is a threat to entrenched interests are psychologically-informed campaigns that accept human nature as it is and work within our current system; e.g. meat reduction (e.g., Meatless Mondays) and cruelty-free foods that are familiar, convenient, cheap, and tasty.
To fend off the latter, there is a concerted effort by industry to attack soy, the basis for most veg meats. (Here is an article discussing one aspect of the war on soy.) It is a transparent ploy, but surprisingly effective -- aided by a subset of vegans who are quick to believe any negative claim about any food. If you know someone who has bought into the meat-industry's attacks, send them Ginny's summary and Jack's reply to one of the hatchet jobs on soy.
In the end, we each need to make a choice -- do we spend our time glorifying and defending our specific veganism (and any other food and political obsessions we insist on attaching), or do we do realistic work for a vegan world?
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Missed these that Brian sent at the end of last year, from people requesting a Guide:
I was walking to class this morning and a man was passing out these booklets on campus and I began reading it and started to become VERY interested in helping these animals and wanting to make a difference!
-MH, Wichita, KS
My brother received the booklet in 2007 and he's been a vegetarian ever since
-KH, Bellevue, WA
|Tatiana Mendez leaflets Bethesda Chevy Chase High School|
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
I leafleted a woman today at Mt San Antionio College who had wanted to go vegetarian for years! She didn't have any good resources, and her husband repeated the usual misconceptions about the standard American diet. I talked to her for a while, showed her part of the Guide, and she stood nearby reading for a few minutes. I left her alone as I leafleted other students, but she came back to me with more questions. She is giving a vegan diet a shot, and she even joined me in leafleting for almost two hours! She's a natural leafleter, too!
-Steve Erlsten, 1/10/13
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
|Jeff Boghosian, Yuri Mitzkewich, and Linda Bower at Miami-Dade College|
One of my favorite schools to visit is Edison State College in Fort Myers, Florida. While somewhat of a small school, the students are polite and inquisitive. When visiting this semester, I had two conversations simultaneously (happened twice!) while continuing to leaflet. Some had basic questions about what to eat, another was relating a story of how they once tried vegetarian eating and were prompted to try again! In just a few minutes I was able to convince 2 students to try veg eating - one was mostly veg already but the other wasn't. And in the time I was there, four other students said they would reduce meat consumption - and these were only the ones that reported back to me so there are obviously many more at each school we visit!
Another great day of leafleting happened in an unsuspected place. I happened to be in Mississippi during the week of the presidential elections, and I was a little nervous since on election night there was a protest involving burning of signs and racial slurs. Luckily two days later the campus was calm. In fact, in turned out to be one of my best outreach days ever in terms of conversing with people. At least one person wanted to chat at every class change, and most class changes there were multiple people. I did a good job of encouraging them and answering questions while keeping it short in order to optimize the number of people I reached through leafleting. I met a few people interested in returning to veg eating. One student hadn't eaten meat in 2 months since doing a report on the subject. Another student was just starting to eat veg along with 4 friends. A few other students were interested enough to start reducing meat via Meatless Mondays or reducing 50%. Many mentioned there not being many options in town, so I gave them several helpful tips and encouraged them to do as much as they could sustain and be on the lookout for new veg foods. As more people try vegetarian eating, more options will be available to them. It was so exciting to see the huge interest in veg eating at a place not known for its interest in veg eating. If it's happening here, it's happening everywhere!
Thank you to all of the donors who make this national campaign possible. You are truly the engine that drives this social change, and it's because of your membership and support that together we are able to reach youth across the entire country and beyond! Thank you!
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
We're thrilled to announce that Dawn Ratcliffe is taking over as VO's Southeast Coordinator for 2013. More details to follow, but wanted to share this quote from her (one of my favorites, as it a lesson it took me long to learn as well!):
Since becoming vegan in 1995, I have distributed tens of thousands of Vegan Outreach booklets [now over 100,000 -ed] in a dozen states (and counting). Although I started using VO literature early on in my activism, I still felt that leafleting by itself wasn't as effective as protesting every weekend. I couldn't have been more wrong, especially when I looked at the amount of time I spent organizing protests, calling activists to attend the protests, making signs, etc. Maybe I felt that since I had invested so much time and effort, protesting had to be more effective than simply handing out leaflets for an hour or two. Thank goodness that Vegan Outreach continues to steer activists in the right direction!
Monday, January 7, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Yet another reason to avoid any advocacy that could possibly lead to an increase in a net consumption of chickens:
More Chickens May Be Boiled Alive Under USDA’s New Proposed Rule
Ginny and New Year Resolutions
Our Friends at COK Interview Beyond Meat's Ethan Brown
And, full circle:
Chicken Saves the Day!