Thursday, February 28, 2013

More News and Pictures

Jon on 5 Things You Can Do To Add More Vegan Foods Into Your Life

Jack on NPR and Animals

Vegan-Friendly Cafeterias Are Sweeping the Nation!

Dylan, been making more compassionate choices
since getting a booklet last year from Vic.
Andrena, committed to eating fewer animals, after getting information
from Vic and Rachel at Lone Star College.


Host and leafleter extraordinaire, Patti Rogers-Engelby

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More on Chicken Farming, Transparency, and Infections

As a follow-up to Monday's post, the author of Superbug discusses Why We Can’t See Inside Poultry Production, and What Might Change if We Could.


On the flip side, you can now watch My Life as a Turkey online.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alex on Animal Advocacy for All (warning: graphic images)

The incomparable Alex Bury wrote this for a San Francisco Bay Area discussion group regarding the new shredded tofu option at Chipotle:


I have been vegan for almost 20 years. I can't wait to try this new option at Chipotle, and I will not ask where or how the tofu is cooked. I hope a lot of vegans in the Bay Area will do the same!




I understand concerns about potential contamination, but we need to be realistic. 99.9% of vegans grew up eating actual meat. We ate meat in meat restaurants for decades and did not die. (And we often go to grocery stores and buy vegan food that could easily have been prepared in a facility that also processes meat, but since we don't see the cooking happen in front of us, we don't ask.) Anytime we eat in any restaurant we run the risk of food poisoning. The risk of actually getting sick by eating a vegan dish prepared in a non-vegan restaurant is extremely low. [Editor note -- we recently saw an item of a couple who got food poisoning at an entirely vegan restaurant in California.]

More importantly, we need to realize that Chipotle does not, actually, need us. Billion dollar companies don't need a few hundred thousand vegans who may eat their new dish once a year. And we may think we're strong in number here in the Bay Area, but when you travel all over the country, like Vegan Outreach leafleters do, you are reminded that we live in a tiny little bubble of delicious veganism. It's hard to live in the Bay Area and not know at least one vegan, and not see great vegan options every day.

John Oberg leafleting in Iowa's snow.

But try going to Iowa and passing out 5,000 veg leaflets in the freezing cold. Interested students may still not even know what vegan is, and if they ask you for local vegan options, what are you going to say? Hand them a list of the 20 great vegan restaurants in downtown Iowa City? No, you're going to tell them about Chipotle. And you're probably going to eat there as well because you're cold and hungry and on a tight budget.

Students in Omaha, NE consider the animals' plight:
Omaha has three Chipotles.

If, instead of praising it, we complain about their vegan option, Chipotle may decide it's not worth the hassle. OTOH, if they get great sales and positive feedback, and decide to put the new item on menus across the country, millions of people will see that eating vegan maybe isn't so strange/hard/miserable/yucky/bland/whatever.

Also, when we make a puritanical fuss in a restaurant, we are showing the servers and the other customers that being vegan is difficult. Why would any of them want to learn more about what happens to animals in slaughterhouses if they just learned that vegans are so fussy and grumpy they can barely eat out?

One of the most powerful things we can do for animals is to happily join non-vegans in a familiar (to them) non-vegan restaurant. (I highly recommend reading these four short paragraphs.) When we order the vegan option with a big smile, without any fuss or complaints, we're acting as advocates for animals.


I find it doubtful that a pig crammed in a tiny crate -- or hanging in a slaughterhouse -- would want us to complain to Chipotle that their new vegan dish wasn't pure enough. If mainstream America starts eating that dish, millions of pigs could be spared a life of intense suffering. I think she would want us to support the new dish and get all of our meat-eating friends to try it.

-Alex


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Chickens - Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

If looking only at press releases, investigations, and Facebook posts, you could easily come away thinking the main animals abused by modern agribusiness are pigs and (mostly) dairy cows / calves.


But statistically speaking, nearly every factory-farmed land animal is a bird.

So why do advocates seem to ignore chickens, relatively speaking, even going so far as to publicize studies that actually promote eating chickens (see paragraph seven here)? There are many factors, including a natural affinity for mammals and the relative clarity of the health and environmental problems of red meat. Furthermore, it is easy -- almost irresistible -- to grasp onto anything and everything that seems to be disparaging to animal products; it is certainly easier to do that then think strategically about our advocacy such that we actually prevent as much suffering as possible.

Related to this is basic human nature -- we're generally outraged and focused on what is currently in front of us. This article -- Why We Haven’t Seen Inside a Broiler Chicken Factory Farm in a Decade --  goes into why the brutality chickens endure gets so little coverage.

Given all this, if we really care about helping animals rather than praising veganism, we must be constantly aware of the full consequences of what we say and what we promote.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Is “Better” Good Enough?

Here is an excerpt from when I spoke with the Australia’s Animal Activists Forum (via Skype):

[A]sk yourself – why is it better to be a vegetarian than someone who, say, eats only “free-range” animals. Obviously, eating animals that weren’t factory farmed is better. But as vegetarians, we don’t make our food decisions based on what is better. We want to make the best choices we can for the animals.

Well, that is exactly how Vegan Outreach looks at advocacy: We don’t want to make things somewhat better. We want to make the best choices we can for the animals.

Thanks so much to all the donors and leafleters who are doing their best for animals every day!

Rachel reports: "This was at Boston University. Dave and Ali leafleted this person,
and then I grabbed a shot down the block. SO GREAT!"

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pics and Interview

At Fresno City College, Steve and Jonathan met Lizeth;
after getting VO's booklets, she wants to go veg.
Bonus: you can hear Armaiti's interview with Steve here

Also at FCC, Ruth now planning to go vegan!

Vic and Rachel met going-veg Olivia at Stephen F Austin State.


Dave, VO's east-coast intern, makes the animals' case
at the University of Virginia.



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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Whole Range (and pic)

From Ginny:
The Vegan-for-a-Week Challenge: How to Survive and Thrive

To Fox News!
Making Meatless Mondays Stick

Vic and Rachel sends this pic of two more
at Stephen Austin.


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jon's Reddit Highlights


Jon's full Reddit discussion is here; a few highlights:

Jon:
You just need to get the information out there and be friendly and non-judgmental. I don't feel like we're asking individuals to adopt some radically new worldview. Americans spend billions on their pets each year, and survey after survey shows that Americans oppose animal cruelty. So we just want people to take their already existing values -- that unnecessary animal cruelty is bad -- and apply them to farm animals. For some, this is an easy leap. And for some it takes time. The main thing is to get the info out, and to be nice and patient with others.


Some of the comments:

One day during my senior year of high school I was walking down the street with my friend when we came across a little booklet on the ground from Vegan Outreach. We picked it up, looked through it and it changed our views so much. I became a vegetarian that very same day. Three years later I am still vegetarian and slowly making my transition to veganism. Thank you so much for all you do! : )


I don't have a question, but I just want to thank you for what you do, and it does make a difference in people's lives. I got handed one of your booklets about 5 years ago at a college campus. I looked at it, and it made sense to me, but I decided it was just too hard to do. Cue five years of cognitive dissonance, still eating meat but wondering if it was possible to stop. Two months ago I went vegan, and I haven't looked back since. I've never been happier and healthier in my life. I finally feel like I'm living up to my belief that unnecessary suffering is wrong, and on top of that I'm in the best physical shape of my life as well! Never going back.
Oh, and I still have that same booklet that sparked all this. It's sitting in my library right now.


I think I've actually met you and I remember you very clearly as you made a lasting impression on me. It was several years ago, but I'm inclined to say I was a sophomore at SUNY Albany and the year was 2009. You got my attention and generally, I like to give people a chance when they've got the difficult task of spreading their message when 99% of us don't want to listen.
Anyway, we engaged in a short conversation. My feeling over going vegan, has been along the lines of: how does not eating meat prevent animal suffering? I'm more of a, "Let's find the dude who broke that dog's back and beat him down with a baseball bat," rather than, "Let's not eat steak." Nothing against it, however, and I have close friends who are vegan.
In response to my comments you handed me the pamphlet which had some brutally honest examples of how not eating meat does save animals. The picture I remember most clearly is like a vat of yellow chicks being ground up like hamburger meat. It put my stomach in a knot.
What I remember about you, which was different than other activists I've come across, is that you were open-minded and almost intrigued when I presented an argument. Rather than getting angry or accusing me of ignorance, you offered suggestions and held back on judging me. Your personality and demeanor led to a brief 2 minute conversation, even though I was already late to class. After wards, we shook hands, I headed off to class and burned your pamphlet with a lighter.
Just kidding.
Glad to see your still going strong!


A few weeks ago someone who might have been from your organization was handing out books on animal suffering near Suffolk University in Boston.. I didn't take one because my instinct when someone tries to hand me a pamphlet is to keep going. If that person is reading this thread, I just want to let you know that I felt bad about not taking the pamphlet and have been making a conscious effort to cut back on my meat consumption.

Bonus pic! Jon's brother Marc.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recipes and New Veg

10 Awesomely Meaty Recipes Without Meat


At Sam Houston State, Rachel met Kelsey, who went vegan after being leafleted a year ago.

Rachel also sends this pic of two more vegetarians -- originally got a VO  booklet at Dallas Warped Tour!

Steve had a good conversation with Mark at Consumnes River College, and now Mark is Sacramento's newest vegan!


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pics and Morrissey!


John Oberg:
Highlight of the day was when Dillon [above], who had been leafleted earlier in the day, got off his bike asked, "Is it okay to eat fish?! They don't suffer like this do they?" I told him that cutting out fish is a good eventual goal, but for now moving away from land animals would be a great step. He then said, and I quote, "Well I'm gonna have to say f*** Qdoba today!" I then told him he could still eat Qdboa, just choose the vegetarian burrito instead. He mentioned knowing a few vegans and that they often eat at Taco Bell and joints like that, so it's good he already sees that vegetarians aren't extremely limited in places we can eat. I Guided him and we shook hands before he parted. Good stuff!


Rachel Shockey at Texas A and M

Pulin Modi and Dave Doctor leafleting at the Forward On Climate Rally in DC
And:
Morrissey Concert To Be First Ever All-Vegetarian Show At The Staples Center
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Picture of the Week

Click for larger

Nikki reports:
I was at the climate rally in LA, targeting young-ish enviros with my tag line "Help animals and the planet?"

I looked up and that whole row of folks was watching me, looking interested in my agenda, so i enthusiastically offered them one. They all had their hands out, and, as you see here, the rest is history.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Honesty Helps Animals Most

In his latest blog post, Jack notes:

"Someone sent me a news clip a couple days ago of a leader of an animal organization saying that B12 supplements aren’t necessary – the info is not getting through to some people!"

Of course, we understand the desire to believe our vegan diet is perfect, natural, etc. But refusing to be honest about veganism (with ourselves and with others) actively hurts animals, as shown in this article; excerpt:


...Jack’s experience is backed up in this Psychology Today article, which indicates 75% of people who go vegetarian in the U.S. eventually go back to eating animals. 75%! In other words, if everyone who went vegetarian had stayed vegetarian, there would be four times more vegetarians in the US today! (A similar survey in the UK also showed more former vegetarians than current vegetarians there as well.)

And what is the leading cause of people going back to eating animals? You guessed it – the leading reason most vegetarians go back to eating animals is because they didn’t feel healthy....

[T]he facts are clear. The biggest impacts that health concerns have on diet are: 1. Eating many, many more smaller animals, and 2. Causing people to stop being vegetarian and go back to eating animals....

[T]he way to have the biggest impact for the animals is simple:

1. Focus on the animals as the irrefutable bottom line: Buying meat, eggs, and dairy causes unnecessary suffering; we can each choose not to cause this suffering.

2. Provide people with honest, thorough, evidence-based information so they can change their diet and maintain that change.

The latter is why Jack and Ginny’s book – and their work in general – is of vital importance.

It is an absolute moral imperative that we learn and present the reality of vegan nutrition, so we can stop throwing away 75% of our efforts. The animals deserve no less.


Full article; Jack's blog.


Please share and promote this post, so we can stop the harmful misinformation. Thanks.
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Pics (and a Tweet)

Two pictures from Nikki:

Yacob, veg since getting a booklet last year.

Joyce makes the animals' case at Santa Monica College.

Rachel sends this picture from University of Texas, Arlington, of a student on her way to a compassionate diet:



Ethan also photographed another UT Arlington student dedicated to helping animals -- she had previously cut back on eating chickens after getting a booklet before, and is now going full vegetarian!




And Jon got this tweet from Ashley after leafleting the University of Virginia:

@jonrcamp First grocery trip to phase out animal products is this weekend. Thanks for reminding me I can take my own pace! :)

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Great Day in Oregon

The amazing duo of Cobie (who set a new personal record!) and Nettie report:


Great day at U of O. Got thanks and supportive comments from lots of people, and had a number of good conversations.

One guy [above] who had accepted a booklet came by later and asked me why I do this. We had a good conversation and he agreed that the animals are treated horribly, it is an important issue, and would now eat less meat.

Cobie met someone whose friend tried going vegan but only lasted a week. Cobie gave him a Guide for her and told him to tell her that it is good that she is cutting back on animal foods.


After we finish leafleting this school, we always eat at a mostly vegan place in the student union. We chatted with the servers [above], one of whom got a booklet in 2006 when she was 12 years old. The result was that she and her friend both went vegetarian. And she said the she wants to leaflet!


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hating Meat, Hurting Animals

ChickenIndustry.com

At times, it can seem difficult to be vegan in today's society, with nearly everyone around us eating the flesh of previously tortured animals. Most people's apparent indifference toward – even mockery of – our ethical diet can be very frustrating (to say the least).

Furthermore, given the horrors the animals go through, we often feel utterly compelled to take any and every opportunity to make any and every argument against any aspect of animal agriculture / the standard American diet.

As I discussed yesterday, this attitude – while entirely understandable – can perversely lead to more animals suffering and dying.

While making a larger point in her most recent blog post, Ginny shows another example (emphasis added):

Several weeks ago, I received an email newsletter from an animal rights group highlighting a study on red meat and lung cancer. It linked directly to the study abstract which concluded that “A high intake of red meat may increase the risk of lung cancer by about 35%, while a high intake of poultry decreases the risk by about 10%.

That’s hardly a vegan message. And since most people already view chicken meat as healthier than red meat, it probably only serves to perpetuate existing beliefs about poultry consumption, while encouraging a behavior that leads to more suffering.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, in his famous 1963 letter from the Birmingham Jail wrote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

He wasn’t talking about animals, of course, but it’s an observation that works well for animal advocacy. Vegans advocate for all animals. And even when we want to advocate for other things–like human health–we shouldn’t do it by endorsing a system that tortures mice, and rats, and monkeys and dogs and cats. And we shouldn’t do it with messages that can have the unintentional consequences of encouraging people to eat one type of animal while avoiding another.

Or to put it another way – if we want to help animals, we should advocate for animals.



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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lesson Learned: Advocacy Can Hurt Animals

Say we have developed what we think is the most powerful pro-veg argument ever, and present it to 10 people. Incredibly, 5 of them stop eating animals; the others decide to "eat better" – following the mainstream suggestions of their doctor and friends by giving up red meat.

We might think, "50% conversion rate? That must be the way to go!"

This is how I used to think. But after years, I finally learned to ask: How does this argument actually affect animals?

Every year, the average American eats:

23 birds
0.3 pig
0.1 cow

It currently takes about 193 birds (chickens + turkeys) to provide the same number of meals as one steer, and 56 to equal one pig.

So before our presentation, the 10 people consumed a combined 234 land animals every year. After our presentation, they eat 296 land animals per year. This is because, even though our argument has convinced fully half of them to stop eating animals entirely, the others replaced their red meat intake with birds in order to eat more healthfully. (And that is if the five replace the fractional cow and pig with birds; if they replace the red meat even partially with fishes, the numbers are much, much worse.)

Of course, we all know people who have gone veg for health reasons; as vegetarian advocates, we are obviously in a position to hear from and remember them. When we survey vegetarians (and/or meat-reducers), of course we sometimes hear “the health argument” as a motivation. But looking only at vegetarians can’t show the full impact of any argument. The error is thinking the “health” vegetarians we know / survey are a true sample of society. They aren’t – rather, they actually represent a highly a self-selected sub-sample.

History, however, shows that eating fewer large animals and more small animals for health reasons isn't a made-up, worst-case scenario – it has been the driving force for the suffering and slaughter of billions and billions of birds. Just look at the graph here – the slaughter of chickens has skyrocketed over the decades!

[Update, Jan. 2014: Moving from red meat to chicken is a well-documented fact. E.g. “’If you look at dietary recommendations put forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture [and other health institutions; e.g. http://bit.ly/1cThqW8], they are to decrease red meat and substitute lean meat, poultry and fish,’ says Daniel [a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center]. ‘We've seen in other data that people are gravitating towards poultry.’” http://n.pr/1cThghl

Also, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3045642/ which notes “The growing preference in the U.S. for poultry, but not fish, as a replacement for red meat.”

Studies contradict each other in terms terms of how much chicken is eaten by people who totally give up red meat. But for people who reduce the amount of red meat they eat – the majority of people who change their diet for health reasons – all the data is absolutely clear: red-meat reducers eat much, much more chicken. For example, in the largest recent study, those who consumed the lowest amount of red meat ate ~50% more chicken than those who consumed the most red meat. http://bit.ly/1an4wPy]

This is one of the reasons why Vegan Outreach doesn't use any argument that could, in any way, support the general move toward giving up only red meat: every person who decides to "eat better" more than counters the good done by a new vegetarian.

In other words: Vegan Outreach doesn't repeat anti-meat arguments. We promote pro-animal arguments. Obviously, it feels good to say, "Vegans have lower rates of disease X," but the point isn't to feel good about ourselves. We're not out to justify or glorify our choices – our goal is to keep as many animals from suffering as possible.

Of course, advocates can claim eating birds is bad for everyone's health, the environment, etc. Putting aside the veracity of those health and environmental claims, this simply isn't the way the world works; people don't just accept what a vegan advocate says as gospel truth. Rather, they combine what they hear from all sources, paying more attention to what their doctor and friends say. On top of this, people generally give much more weight to advice that leads toward what they want to do – e.g., continuing to eat the familiar and convenient foods their friends and family eat.

More importantly, we simply don't make decisions based on what is "perfect" for our health, the environment, etc. We don't exercise the optimal amount, we don't sleep enough, we don't floss every day, we don't work standing up, we don't give up our car, etc.

With few exceptions, we follow our habits / peers. For most people (i.e., not a self-selected vegetarian sub-sample), if we change anything, we do something somewhat "better" – e.g., eating chickens instead of cows.

In other words, no matter what vegans claim is true or what we want, people will react from where they are, what they're used to, and what they want. So no matter how strong we think our arguments are, or how noble our intentions, or how passionate our desires, when we advocate without considering human nature, history, and the numbers, we cause more animals to suffer and die.

If we want to help animals, we need to advocate for the animals.

-Matt
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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!
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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.


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

What Happens In Vegas ... Goes On and On!

Oberg week continues with several days in Nevada....

You can watch Jon give this talk here.
College of Southern Nevada -- Charleston Campus was a fun campus only blocks away from Ronald's Donuts! Some memorable statements:

"It was shocking." (followed by a genuine and sincere thank you once I handed her a Guide to Cruelty-free Eating)
"It was a good read."
"I got one and I agree with you!"
"Damn, that was some good information."
"Right on, brother."
"I got one. It was really... really sad."
"Keep spreading the word!"


Finally, met Scotty and Stephanie (above), a couple that received booklets earlier in the day and are now committing to going vegetarian after reading through them!
====

The Cheyenne and Henderson campuses of the College of Southern Nevada were amazing leafleting! Great conversations and people wanting to get involved.

At Cheyenne, I heard enouraging things like, "Keep it up, right on!" and "I'll take another because I wanna tell everybody!" A bunch of folks talked about rescuing animals, so I mentioned being able to rescue animals at every meal. Had an extensive convo with Ashley who, because of her love for animals, committed to trying more veg food, especially veggie chicken nuggets, which she had no clue existed before that point.


Had a great conversation with Amanda (above). She told me that the booklet made her really sad and is now on her way towards going vegetarian, despite the fact that she hates vegetables. One vegan exclaimed, "HELLLL YEAH!" and gave me a huge, jumping high-five. Another responded "Fashoooo!" when I made the statement about helping animals. I gave another student a Guide after she told me the Even If booklet was sad. Danielle, who plans on becoming a veterinarian, told me that the booklet almost brought tears to her eyes in biology class. Spoke with Lane, a progressive-looking long-haired dude that recently watched Vegucated, and now his whole family is veg!

Also at Cheyenne, a student told me that her Philosophy professor is vegan and was requesting vegan treats, so I recommended the chocolate peanut butter pie listed in the Guide.

Another student said "I read it, sir. It's crazy" I responded with "It IS crazy, but there's something you can do about it."
====


Today at UNLV, I was fortunate to be joined by some mega beasts on the outreach front! Elaine, Angelica, Julian, Christina, Chelsea (below, answering questions), and Annoula joined me and we reached over 1,200 students -- the most students reached at UNLV in over six years, even though it was Friday!


Elaine runs Vegas Veg and is doing so many amazing things for animals in the valley. She set up this event and recruited an all-star crew.


Angelica (above) just started getting involved in outreach and is an absolute natural. After being out there for many hours, she was disappointed we were wrapping the day up when we did -- she wanted to keep going!


Julian (above) is a new vegetarian that's been getting involved with Vegas Veg and dedicated a ton of time for the animals!


Christina (above) is great -- she went vegan as a result of getting an Even If You Like Meat booklet and is now a regular activist! How awesome is she :) Annoula (below) is also a great and critical player in the Vegas animal movement -- this crew is awesome!




Heard things like, "It's really good that you're out here" and other supportive things. One group of three students mentioned they're weening themselves off chicken! Elaine got a good pic of a couple students (above) -- one just went veg three weeks ago and was really happy to get the Guide; her friend was also interested.


All around great day and from the looks of it, Elaine (above) will be getting even more help from her local crew. She's a force to be reckoned with and VO is very fortunate to have such a great voice for the animals in Vegas! Only a matter of time before their veganization bumps demand for Ronald's Donuts up enough for them to go nationwide!


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