|Enewsletter • April 16, 2008|
Notes from Vegan Outreach
Jon Camp's Spring Tour Roundup
Last Friday night, I returned from my 68-day college leafleting tour. With the help of 49 volunteers, 45,804 booklets were handed out in VA, TN, AR, TX, OK, NM, AZ, CO, WY, KS, MO, IA, IL, WI, KY, and WV. What I saw on the road was similar to what other VO leafleters continue to see on a daily basis -- scores and scores of individuals sincerely considering the plight of farmed animals and making changes.
But seeing the tangible results of leafleting also left me longing for what could be if more were to get involved with this outreach. How great it would be if we had even a weekly presence in every major metropolitan region and college town in the US and Canada! And for the regions where one or two individuals were active, what if 5 or 10 or 20 were to leaflet regularly?
As vegans, we see that by simply abstaining from meat, eggs, and dairy, we can reduce a great deal of needless misery with one fell swoop; we are sometimes dumbfounded that others don't grasp this. But the same holds true for activism. By getting out for even one hour a week, we have the potential, over time, to spare millions of animals a lifetime of suffering.
Cesar Chavez once stated that, "Talk is cheap...It is the way we organize and use our lives everyday that tells what we believe in." It's often easy to get daunted by the prospects of making substantive change for animals. But I see on a daily basis that change is not only possible, it is inevitable when -- and only when -- we make it happen. Each one of us, through our time and/or financial contributions, can help significantly push the ball forward for animals. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you get involved in doing this important work that needs to be done.
Rockin' for the Animals
Consider adopting a concert this summer and continuing to reach new hearts and minds with the message of compassion. Please take a look at our ‘veg-friendly’ concert list, and let us know which concert(s) you can cover. We’ll supply the booklets and the helpful advice. Rock on!
Evil Product of the Week
Matt: Trader Joe's vegan chocolate chip cookies sit in the cupboard, taunting me all day, calling out that I should just give in and eat the entire delicious bag. Bad cookies! Bad!
Notes from All Over
Egg Industry Update
The egg industry in 2007 saw the "largest single year decline in per-capita consumption in the last 10 years. Expectations for 2008 per-capita consumption are for levels to once again be historically low." Page 8 of pdf.
In Vitro Meat Update
Wired: "To produce the meat we eat now, 75 to 95 percent of what we feed an animal is lost because of metabolism and inedible structures like skeleton or neurological tissue," Jason Matheny, a researcher at Johns Hopkins and co-founder of New Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes research on in vitro meat, told Wired.com. "With cultured meat, there's no body to support; you're only building the meat that eventually gets eaten."
New York Times: My colleague Mark Bittman wrote a fine piece recently about the greenhouse-gas consequences of conventional meat production. Others have explored the environmental and ethical impacts of factory and feedlot farming. Manufactured meat, in theory, provides an end run around these issues. ... [O]ne could envision someday a model, say, of a solar-powered facility in southern California or Singapore basically turning sunlight and desalinated seawater into growth medium and then tons of cruelty-free, sustainable nuggets of chicken essence.
Notes from Our Members
It was great leafleting
at Kent State University. More than
half the students thanked me for
the booklet, and there were several
who said they had received the booklet
in the past and were now
vegetarian or vegan.
Dalai Lama "Seeds of Compassion"
events in Seattle, Jessica Dadds,
Anu Garg, Yvonne LeGrice, Emily
Pepe, and Adrienne Youmans joined
us in distributing over 10,000 Vegan
Outreach booklets! Dave Bemel and
Action for Animals were there (they
handed out 3,300 on Friday!), as
well as Rachel Bjork, David, Debbie,
and Chuck from NARN. What a great
experience! We highly recommend
Dalai Lama events,
especially if he's speaking in a
big arena. We'd also like to plug
participation at these big events.
While we did great yesterday, with
five more volunteers and 5000 more
leaflets, our total would have been
that much higher.
Above, from L to R: Nick Lesiecki, Emily Pepe, Jessica Dadds, Anu Garg, Adrienne Youmans, Yvonne LeGrice. You can attend an upcoming conference to meet with other Vegan Outreach folks!
Today was a fun day
of outreach, with
lots of high school students from
a nearby high school coming through
John Jay Square on their lunch break.
I could tell that the school has
been leafleted heavily before, because
I heard from students who had leaflets
from the last time someone (Jenna)
was there! A teacher from Beacon
H.S. stopped by and was excited
to see that I was leafleting, and
said that after the lunch break,
many of his students were showing
him the leaflets. He wants to order
some for his classes!
was Agriculture Awareness Week
at North Carolina State University,
where they displayed live animals
while grilling dead ones, and had
many signs promoting the meat, dairy,
and egg industries. The NC Farm
Bureau, local Farm Bureaus, industry
trade associations, and others sponsored
the event. Unfortunately, but not
surprising, very little of the event
was devoted to plant agriculture.
After initial resistance from NCSU,
our campus animal rights group,
Promoting Animal Rights Collectively
secured a table in the brickyard
for the event. We tabled from 9am-5pm
each day to present the viewpoint
of the animals -- the victims of
these exploitative and profit-driven
industries. We displayed posters
on sandwich boards around the brickyard
to expose the reality of animal
agribusiness and promote veganism.
Thousands of Vegan Outreach pamphlets
were handed out, and media coverage
was surprisingly positive!
A few days ago, I
helped our mail carrier unload a
huge shipment of leaflets. He was
curious, so I gave him an Even
If. I saw him again today,
and he told me, "I read your
booklet. It was thoughtful and well
written. It didn't scare people
off in the first two pages like
the old animal rights info, and
it presented some good solutions
to the problem. I'm going to pass
it on to one of
Kurt Mantheiy leaflets at the University of North Texas; photo by Jon Camp.
At the University of
Pittsburgh, one girl
ran up to me saying "You are
right! You are so right! You are
right! You are so right!" She
had read through the booklet and
was blown away and was intent on
going veg. She also took booklets
to share with friends. We had other
good experiences too: one woman
said she would try her best to go
vegetarian; one teacher took a bunch
of booklets for his class; etc.