|Enewsletter • March 15, 2006|
Notes from Jon Camp
Approaching my six-week college outreach tour through the south, I had reservations about entering a region known for staunch social conservatism and close ties to animal agribusiness. But what I found was similar to any other region of the U.S. -- students eager to consider new information and deeply sympathetic to the suffering of today’s farmed animals.
My experience in the south was not only decent; it constituted the most successful, effective, and meaningful six weeks of my life thus far. In total, 34 schools were leafleted and with volunteer help, 34,093 Even If You Like Meat booklets [editor's note: more than the entire first semester of Adopt a College] were personally handed to students in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. I also gave a talk to the animal rights group of the University of Georgia and throughout the trip handed out hundreds of Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and A Meaningful Life booklets to those wanting more information on vegetarianism and/ or animal advocacy.
Throughout the last month and a half, I have detailed stories of my interactions while leafleting. But those stories don’t even scratch the surface of the net impact created by person to person college outreach. In addition to the numerous individuals who came up to tell me that they were going to reduce or eliminate their meat consumption because of the booklet I had given them, Vegan Outreach has received, and continues to receive, vegetarian starter pack requests and emails from southern students profoundly moved to action by the animals' desperate plight.
Perhaps the most significant impact of my tour was in getting other activists to see firsthand the sheer effectiveness of college outreach. Galvanized by their positive experiences leafleting campuses with me, dedicated activists -- including Kit King of Birmingham (at right), Eleni Vlachos of Durham, and Casey Constable of Houston -- have already seized the opportunity to leaflet their local colleges. Success in reaching as many young minds as possible with the animals’ plight hinges on those willing to do the unglamorous -- but absolutely vital -- person to person college outreach in their respective communities.
Thank you so much to everyone who housed me, who made the time needed to leaflet for the animals, and to everyone who contributes to Vegan Outreach financially. We at VO, including our indefatigable army of volunteers, will continue to work our hardest to make sure that your generosity reaches as many young minds -- and thus reduces as much animal suffering – as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Society is slowly but surely waking up to the horrors that animals endure as a result of modern food production. Creating meaningful, concrete change will take time, smarts, funds, and diligence. But through our Adopt a College program, Vegan Outreach has created a means to shape history, and to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice. We are gaining momentum. Please do what you can do today, so that together, we can shape history for the animals.