|Enewsletter • July 5, 2003|
The email newsletter for people with a sense of humor.
It was great to see so many of you at AR2003! Here are a few pictures of Vegan Outreach at the end of June.
For the 02-03 fiscal year, Vegan Outreach sent out 589,143 copies of Why Vegan, Vegetarian Living, and Por Que Vegano. Thanks to everyone who made this possible! With your continued efforts and support, we can continue to expand distribution!
"With the state on the verge of setting standards for the treatment of farm animals, a furious debate is under way between farmers and animal-rights activists determined to curb what they call cruel farming practices. So far, the farmers are winning."
Thoughts from Jack Norris
After spending time at AR2003 East (you can still register for AR2003 West), we'll be asking people for their thoughts on the gatherings and/or their reflections on the state of the movement. We'll lead off with Jack Norris, RD, President and Co-Founder of Vegan Outreach:
State of the Animal Rights Movement
Possibly the best news of the AR2003 Conference was that of the people there, we all seemed to be getting along. This was the first year in a long time in which there were no major controversies or outbursts. The ban was lifted against the people who had taken the microphone at AR2002 to speak out about sexism, and the parties made peace. The panel debating "direct action" went off well with both sides treating each other respectfully, agreeing for the most part, and agreeing to disagree on a few points.
The idea that farmed animal issues need to be in the forefront now seems to be a given. While I don't think groups are going to drop everything they are doing in order to promote vegetarianism, and I would not want them to do so, people seem to agree that it needs to be a focus of the movement in general. My hope is that most activists will see the value in leafleting for a few hours at a college a few times a semester, just as many of us who work mostly on farmed animal issues spend a number of hours a semester writing letters, leafleting, or doing other things for non-farmed animal issues. In the three talks I was in where the issue came up, people seemed to agree that we should stick to promoting vegetarianism for animal rights reasons rather than for health reasons.
Just before AR2003, a Harris Interactive poll, commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), said that the percentage of true vegetarians (people who never eat flesh) has increased from 2.5% (in 2000) to 2.8%. Based on U.S. Census figures, VRG estimates as many as 5.7 million American adults are vegetarian; about 2.4 million of them are vegan. It seems that we are finally seeing an impact of our efforts. Let's keep it up!