|Enewsletter • September 9, 2001|
Ive been a vegan for many years, but every time I read Vegan
Advocacy, I'm inspired! Youre so right about not exaggerating
our cause. Im glad Im able to help.
Many, many thanks for the things you sent. I will wear my t-shirt with pride,
and the brochures will go to those people who ask me why I am vegan, and those
who tell me I'm going to go blind or die young. My son is also going to take
some to his college for friends there.
I had only just told my mate that I could never be vegan "blahblahblah
lovecheese blahblahblah". She then showed me your site, and I started
reading about the reality of the situation, the fact that the animals' lives
are truncated so drastically and facts of their treatment – I went vegan
on the spot. She came with me (she'd been there before). Our little daughter
has been vegan since birth (even when her mom wasn't) – she's two now,
and healthy like anything, of course.
Your organization has influenced the world in many beneficial ways, making
it a better and more peaceful place for both animals and people. Along the
way, you have inspired such high school groups as our own. We have reached
all types of people all over the world. We must help one another in our efforts.
Although we are a small high school group, we would are sending you this donation
for $100, because we truly believe in what you stand for and we support your
For the past eight years, Vegan Outreach has focused on reaching "convertible" people with Why Vegan? Compared to when we started in 1993, the concept of "vegan" has become more widespread in our society. For example, when I was recently in the local grocery store wearing my Vegan Outreach shirt, I went to look at the ingredient list for a new burger. The woman next to me immediately said, "Egg whites." Turns out her son is vegan, and she was looking to get something for him; we had a nice conversation. Leaving the store, people coming in said, "Is there anything vegan in there?" Anne and I just pointed to our full cart.
The increased awareness of veganism reflects the increased numbers of vegans and vegan products, and certainly makes it easier for people to go and remain vegan. However, while promoting veganism to certain audiences is effective, I believe that waiting for everyone to be receptive to veganism is not the most efficient way of reducing factory farming.
At this time, the reality is that most people will not become vegan, and these are the people whose buying choices lead to the slaughter of billions of animals each year. These people may not be willing to accept the idea of animal liberation and they might not be willing to make radical changes in their diet. But many are willing to take some significant steps in reducing their consumption of animal products. Given these realities, we may do more good for animals if we work to convince two people to become ethical vegetarians who buy free-range eggs, than if we work to convince one person to become vegan. I say may be preferable because a vegan's influence on others is often a more powerful force against factory farming than one's own, isolated buying choices.
This is why we produce Vegetarian Living – to be able to reach out to people who won't consider veganism at this time. At the local libraries and natural food stores, we keep the display areas stacked with both Why Vegan and Vegetarian Living. Both are taken. Some stores, festivals, restaurants, and other venues that won't allow Why Vegan to be displayed do allow Vegetarian Living. Some activists have reported better success at getting friends and family to read Vegetarian Living than Why Vegan. Although we may be able to print more copies of Why Vegan if that were our only publication, we believe that, ultimately, we are more effective at working towards our ultimate goal by producing both. Likewise, we hope you will consider using both booklets in your outreach efforts.