|Enewsletter • August 22, 2007|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Tribute & Profile: Jenna Calabrese
Working full-time for Vegan Outreach during the last school year, Jenna Calabrese handed out 43,981 booklets at 80 schools in the Fall, and 31,229 booklets at a record 111 schools in Spring. In addition to personally reaching over 70,000 students all across the Northeast in every type of weather, Jenna inspired many other compassionate people to move beyond just being veg, and to start taking real action for animals.
After a summer where she reached thousands more at concerts and other venues, Jenna is starting a new job in New York City. Given her commitment to the animals and her near-cult-level following, though, we are sure to see much more of her in the future!
Here are some excerpts from her profile:
How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested?
I went vegetarian when I was really young, but it wasn't until high school that I was given a copy of Animal Liberation and realized that there was more to activism than just the choices I made at each meal. I adopted a vegan diet at age seventeen and from there started getting active on behalf of the animals. From my first animal rights conference in 2003 to adopting my college during my freshman year to helping promote a documentary film about an open rescue at a battery-cage egg facility to working for Vegan Outreach full-time, my interest and dedication to animal activism has only increased as the years have gone on.
What was your most positive leafleting experience this year and why?
During the course of the 2006/2007 school year, I was so surprised and pleased to discover how open to and interested in this material students really are. No one likes to have their habits challenged, especially when you're implying that their habits have caused an endless amount of suffering to other beings. However, I found that a majority of the high school and college students who received a brochure from me this year were at least interested enough to flip through the literature. Many, many students thanked me for doing what I did, and each time someone told me that they had gone vegetarian because of an Even If or a Why Vegan, all of the trials and tribulations of being a full-time leafleter paled in comparison.
With Jenna's "retirement" from the Northeast, Vegan Outreach needs more people to leaflet! Every school needs to have us there, being the animals' voice. But the Northeast -- with its density of schools and relative availability of vegetarian products -- is a key leafleting area.
The Adopt a College website has lots of information about the program, including the Why and How. If you are interested in taking your veganism to the next level and creating real, fundamental change in our society, please contact us!
Another Way to Help: Housing Request
In the next few weeks, VO's Victor Tsou and Jon Camp will begin their college leafleting tours for the Fall '07 semester.
Victor will need housing near the following areas in the middle of September: Salt Lake City, UT; Bozeman, MT; Pocatello, Moscow, and Boise, ID.
In October, Jon Camp will need housing near near Kutztown and E. Stroudsburg, PA; Morgantown, WV; Athens, OH; and Green Bay and Platteville, WI.
If you'd be willing to house either of these courteous young men for one to four nights, please email info (at) veganoutreach.org. Moreover, Victor and Jon welcome any help in leafleting and they're available to give talks to your local college or organization. One of them will likely be in your part of the country at some point this school year, so please contact them to find out when and if you'd like to get involved.
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped out with tours in the past. In their combined four years of touring, Victor and Jon have yet to spend one penny of VO's funds on housing. This has allowed us to continue expanding on our cost-effective outreach, reaching more and more individuals with the animals' plight each year as a result of your generosity.
VO's Executive Director Matt Ball is featured in "The Vegan Crusade." Excerpt: "The main point is to try to have as much impact in the world as possible, instead of promoting one specific diet or one specific philosophy," Ball said.... Meanwhile, young people have shown an increased interest in animal rights.... Ball said the young are often angry when they realize that modern agribusiness treats animals like commodities to be produced at the cheapest cost. "The animal industry in this country--agribusiness in this country--is built on a lie," he said. "It's built on a lie that animals are treated well, and there isn't this overt cruelty."
Banners & Survey of the Week
New and old Vegan Outreach web banners are available here, with a link to the html code for each.
Want to vote for your favorite product (author, organization, restaurant, etc.)? You can do so at VegNews' survey, and perhaps learn of some new-to-you products, etc.!