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Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to
reducing the suffering of farmed animals
by promoting informed, ethical eating.

Donations to VO are fully tax-deductible.
VO’s tax identification no. is 86-0736818.

Vegan Outreach
POB 1916, Davis, CA 95617-1916

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Enewsletter

Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  February 9, 2011
This issue sponsored by Gardein
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Notes from Vegan Outreach

Beloved Eleni

Eleni Vlachos

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we turn today to Eleni Vlachos. Often leafleting alongside Rob, Eleni has handed VO booklets to well over 23,000 individuals. She has reached many, many more with 150 screenings of Seeing Through the Fence across the country!

Here’s an excerpt:

Who has been a major influence in your life and why?

As for activism, Jon Camp, hands down. I’ve been active since roughly ’02, but my activism did not get as focused until the time Jon toured through to leaflet our area in ’06. I remember mentioning that I’d written a song as part of activism to share the plight of animals, and I’d asked Jon if he uses his music skills this way. He kindly suggested that he chooses leafleting because he reaches way more people with a direct message, and this, in addition to the idea that you can make a difference in only an hour per week, made something click for me. I heard an actual click.

What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?

It seems like most every time we leaflet, someone inevitably approaches to say that they are going to either try veg again or go veg. Since many more people invariably decide this but do not report back, this is always a positive reminder to experience. One memorable occasion was with a student in Louisiana. She received a leaflet then subsequently went home and told her grandmother she couldn’t eat the pork. Her g-ma was worried she was joining a cult! Later that night she attended my screening and said the info in the brochure was “eye opening.” Evidently, this small act of passing along information had changed her life forever. I try to remember that each time I’m leafleting – this is powerful enough to change a person’s life.

Read the full interview.

 

Product / Recipe of the Week

Daiya

Eleni: “Daiya vegan cheese is amazing, and I love this vegan sausage recipe.”

Please submit your nominees for product of the week via this page; previous entries here.

 

Notes from All Over

Lightning Round

 

Notes from Our Members

Festivalgoers read Compassionate Choices
Photo from Carla & Bryan Wilson.

At the University of Miami, I saw evidence that VO’s regular visits are really doing something here: the week prior, a petition for vegan cafeteria options gathered over 1,000 signatures.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 2/4/11

Queenie, Sean, Jeff, Yin and I reached over 1,000 people at Phoenix’s First Friday Art Walk. Extremely encouraging number of vegetarians, vegans, and people telling us that our work is awesome – I think we’re really starting to see an impact!
—John Oberg, 2/4/11

Scout Kilbourne
Scout Kilbourne provides the animals a voice at Georgia Tech.

We reached 350 people at the art walk today. A couple girls stopped to say they don’t think they can ever eat meat again. Another girl took a leaflet and then went to her friends and said she is going vegetarian, hopefully going vegan will soon follow.
—Camilla Kendall, 11/13/10

Great leafleting at Saint Augustine’s College and Shaw University, two historically black institutions. One student said she had been vegetarian until she came to Saint Augustine’s but was interested in going back, so she got a Guide. After getting a booklet, a faculty member asked about vegan sources of protein; she also got a Guide. For the highlight of the day, a student happily told me she was vegan and received a Guide; as she was walking away, I overheard her tell her friends, referring to me: “Those are my kind of people.”
—Brandon Becker, 11/10/10

Very wonderful morning at SUNY Albany. Taking the opportunity to leaflet today made my day. My favorite parts of the day: five very polite professors throughout the day expressing enthusiasm (I had been avoiding profs from previous experience, but I am thinking that was a mistake); a vegetarian student trying to be vegan and standing up to his teasing roommates; a vegetarian who enthusiastically took a Guide plus other materials for his administrative assistants, who are also vegetarians; and many students who enthusiastically took pamphlets. I also had the chance to patch together students in search of a veg group that hasn’t quite gotten off the ground yet.
—Laura Hart, 11/10/10

Occidental College student
A student at Occidental College waits out a fire drill by intently studying the Even If You Like Meat booklet.

Over the last two days, I reached over 4,800 students at the University of Texas, Austin. The students were extraordinarily accepting. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of students told me they were already vegan.
—Eugene Khutoryansky, 11/10/10

At City College of New York, many students quickly recognized the booklet. Lots of students turned around as they were walking away and said, “I’m vegetarian, keep up the good work!” giving me thumbs-up signs. Also met students who are interested in getting involved. Even leafleted groups of high school students. It was very positive.
—Eileen Botti, 11/10/10

Heard from dozens of vegetarians and five vegans at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is quite a climate change from the unreceptive student body I encountered when I started leafleting here ten years ago. Repeated appearances pay off.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/11/10

Reached 1,000 students at Northeastern University this morning. I had a really good conversation with a professor who came back after reading the pamphlet in order to get more for the people on his staff. He was very upset by what he read.
—David Coman-Hidy, 11/12/10

Greetings from Bangladesh
“Greetings from Vegetarian Society, Bangladesh! My sincere thanks for sending me these booklets. This will be really helpful for my work.”

Good outreach at the ACLU’s Daniel Ellsberg event, where I met lots of folks who are veg. A number of people were excited by my Vegan Outreach shirt!
—Denise Snyder, 11/13/10

Theo and I had a great day of outreach at West Valley and Mission Colleges. I had an especially nice chat with a guy who had recently read some Michael Pollan and, although concerned, he felt like he couldn’t make much of a difference. I told him that in the scope of human history we’ve abolished slavery, child labor, and established women’s voting rights in the developed world only within the last 200 years. This really got the gears turning in his head and it was amazing to see him go from concerned but slightly apathetic to totally empowered and hopeful. I sent him off with a Guide and a few book recommendations.
—Brian Grupe, 11/11/10

Lots of good feedback at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse:

  • A girl said, “I got one of those before. It was very scary and impactful.” She happily took a Guide.
  • One girl came up to ask a few questions. Her boyfriend had just gotten an Even If You Like Meat booklet and they read it together. She took a Guide and said, “It makes me really happy that you are here.”
  • A German woman was very excited to get the booklet. She said, “I love that you are doing this. This is really great.”
  • One girl said she was going into the environmental sciences because she wanted to study the impacts of our food system on the environment. She said it was because of the Even If that she started on that path.
  • A member of the faculty said, “I see you here every year. I just wanted to thank you. I think what you are doing is really great. I’m glad you keep coming back trying to keep these kids from becoming complacent.”
  • One guy said he talked to a neighbor of his in Savage, MN that was a farmer. He said, “The way they were treating those animals was an absolute injustice.” He shook my hand and thanked me for being there.

—Fred Tyler, 11/11/10

New veg at Cal State
After getting a booklet from Yvonne LeGrice at Cal State Los Angeles, this student went veg on the spot!

My host in Montgomery, Alabama is a civil rights attorney and a great guy. Last night, while we were walking around Montgomery, we bumped into a friend of his, a CEO for a major, multimillion-dollar civil rights nonprofit. The group has published some criticism about animal rights activists, but this man asked me a bunch of questions about animal issues and earnestly listened to my responses. We covered lots of stuff: why I didn’t think it seemed reasonable that a merciful God would create animals as mere resources while at the same time equipping them with the capacity to suffer and a brain that formed deep emotional bonds with others; how MLK, while not ever being overtly pro-animal, did have a vegetarian wife and a vegan son and was a great adherent of Gandhi, who was very pro-animal; and why it didn’t matter why we have historically exploited animals – we’ve done a lot of other things in the past that were considered useful at the time and have since been thrown overboard. What matters is recognizing the world as it is now and figuring out how we can make it a better place with less suffering.
—Jon Camp, 11/11/10

 

Prevent Suffering!

Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the suffering of farmed animals by promoting informed, ethical eating.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach
POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865

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