|Enewsletter • November 11, 2009|
approach, simultaneously pragmatic
and forward-thinking, focuses on engaging those
who are deemed most open to lifestyle changes:
namely, the young, and, in particular, college
students. Perhaps more importantly, its philosophy
extends well beyond mere “vegan” outreach
as a practical recognition of how vital it is
to meet people where they are, not
where animal advocates want them to
Notes from Vegan Outreach
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Activist Profile: Barbara Bear
Your donations have such as tremendous payoff because they provide booklets to amazing volunteers, like Boulder-based Barbara Bear. By the time you read this, The Bear will probably have reached her 40,000th new person with a VO booklet. Excerpts:
Who has been / is a major influence in your life and why?
Farmed animals and animals in general are the major influence in my life. The choices I make on a daily basis are driven by whether or not it will cause harm to them. I feel like my purpose on the planet is to help eliminate as much suffering as possible, and since animals being raised for food suffer immensely and in the greatest numbers, alleviating their suffering is my main focus in life.
What made you decide to start leafleting?
While there were some successes in getting people to consider the animals’ plight during protests, they were few and far between. I started thinking about the number of animals who suffer to become food (which far exceeds the number of animals suffering and dying for all other reasons combined) and decided to make promoting veganism my main focus. I wanted to do what I could to alleviate the most suffering. I began tabling for farmed animals and showing Meet Your Meat on campus with a couple of local activists on a regular basis and that spun off into leafleting on campus. It makes so much sense now to leaflet a more receptive crowd. I only wish I’d come to that conclusion earlier in my activism.
Read the full interview!
Notes from All Over
New at JackNorrisRD
Notes from Our Members
great leafleting after a campus
talk, “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dog, or
a Chicken: Why You Shouldn’t Eat Meat.”
The highlight of my night was looking over to
see a guy reading a Compassionate Choices
with his jaw fully dropped open and his eyes
bugging out in shock. Really, his expression
resembled something you would see on Looney
Tunes when a cartoon character is surprised.
I’m so grateful to Vegan Outreach and to the
people who took the photos for making this information
available to the public. We really are opening
eyes – and hearts!
University of Wisconsin, Madison
today, Joe Espinosa (right) and I were joined
by Melissa Tedrowe, who, after getting a VO
booklet 2.5 years ago, went vegan and has been
active for the animals ever since. Highlights
included two separate individuals who stopped
and read their respective booklets, totally
engrossed in them, oblivious to the cold drizzle.
One young woman stopped by to say that she received
a booklet a year ago and has been vegetarian
since. Less than an hour later, a man, who had
the appearance of a dean, stopped by to tell
me the exact same thing.
Lots of interactions
at Medgar Evers College, including one student
who proudly held up a bagel instead of the burger
he had been planning on eating. Two female students
stopped to talk – one had tried veganism previously,
and the other had tried vegetarianism. They
were very sympathetic and said they would give
it another try – one of them even said, “I
can’t believe we ran into you! I think you must
have been sent from God or something to get
me to go veg again!”
University of Wisconsin, Superior,
an administrator walked by and asked for a leaflet.
I thought she was going to tell me I wasn’t
allowed to leaflet. It turns out she has tried
to go vegan a few times and was glad to get
day at North Carolina State. One
student told us the booklet he received last
time caused him to go vegetarian and, just a
month ago, he decided to be vegan. Brandon gave
him a Guide to help him stay healthy
and happy. He thanked us for leafleting and
sincerely appreciated the effort. Another vegetarian
student wanted to go vegan but needed recipes,
so he gratefully received a Guide.
One of the best parts of the experience was
walking around campus and witnessing several
groups of people looking at the booklets they
had just received and talking about the issues.
This was a powerful reminder of how our efforts
with Vegan Outreach are leading directly to
people becoming knowledgeable about the realities
of animal farming and of plant-based diets.
And we are succeeding in helping people to have
informed conversations with others about these
day at Stony Brook for us (Martin
Benevides, Drew Winter, Jennifer Greene) –
many interactions, great outreach, several people
stopped dead in their tracks to read a pamphlet,
many walked and read. One student said he went
veg after previously getting a leaflet, and was considering
veganism. The highlight was when a professor
invited us to talk to her class.
years ago, both Matt (Ball) and
Jack (Norris) emphasized to me how important
it is for Vegan Outreach to stay focused on
the bottom line, and know what to do, as well
as what not to do. I have shared that wisdom
with a lot of people and I follow it myself
it has served me well. Thank you for that, and
for all that you do for the animals!