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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



Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  September 12, 2012

Notes from Vegan Outreach


All-Time Record Day!

John Oberg reports: “Epic day of outreach! At the University of Minnesota, alongside leafleting badasses Fred Tyler, Jeff Johnson, Jenna Cameron, Derek Ritchison, Ben Collins, and Ben Bockover, we set an all-time record for the amount of leaflets given out at a college campus, anywhere in the country. Collectively, we distributed 7,600 Vegan Outreach booklets and heard many students say how impacted they were, including Dan (right) who was handed a booklet last semester and has since reduced the amount of meat he eats for the very reasons listed in the booklet. Great day!”

Note that John personally set an all-time record for the most students reached by one person in a day: he handed out 5,188 Even If You Like Meat booklets and 41 Guides! Wow!


“Optimal” Veganism vs. the Animals

  Jack Norris and friend

In a recent blog post, Jack (right) noted this important distinction:

“[Neither] Matt nor I care about veganism as anything more than a tool for protecting animals and the environment.”

It is true: we only care about what will help the most animals / prevent the most suffering. Period. Vegans can debate among themselves what they find to be the optimal diet for them, but this is, at best, irrelevant for the animals.

This is because the vast, vast, vast majority of people don’t make their food choices based on what is nutritionally optimal for them. They eat what they like, what is familiar and convenient, and what their social circle eats. And this won’t change – it is ingrained human nature. Instead of complaining about human nature, Vegan Outreach focuses on helping animals in the way that has the greatest impact for the animals – appealing to another aspect of human nature: revulsion at cruelty to animals.

Understanding human nature shows that we are actually hurting animals by insisting one particular diet is “the healthiest” (raw, low-fat whole foods, etc.). Promoting our “optimal” diet cuts off the majority of people from ever considering taking steps that will help animals (as well as reinforcing the idea that we should only do what we think is in our best interest).

Of course, it is understandable to want to optimize our own personal diet. We also understand wanting to believe and trumpet anything and everything that seems to make our veganism sound good.

But if we want to do our best to help animals, then we must understand and reach out to people where they are, rather than preach at them from where we want them to be.


Notes from Our Members

Wall of leafleters at Ventura Warped Tour stop
Part of the awesome crew that worked the Ventura Warped Tour stop (left to right): Dave Coman-Hidy, Norma Sanchez, Estela Sanchez, Josh Gutier, Nikki Benoit, T, John Oberg, and Phil Letten.

T, Carrie, Norma, Estela, Stewart, Josh, John, Phil, Sacha, The Humane League, and I reached 13,000 rockers at the Ventura Warped Tour stop! Tooooo much fun! These events get better every year. Attendees at these shows are SO RIPE for this information. One person went vegan on the spot, and numerous others said they were headed in that direction. Can’t say enough great things about this crew!
—Nikki Benoit, 6/25/12

  Vegetarian at Houston Warped Tour

Texas Warped Tour stops were amazing!
     At San Antonio, Cynthia, Sacha, Ben, Jen, David, Alan, Amy, Kat, and I reached 12,625 people. Huuuge thanks to Alan (MFA Dallas’ campaign coordinator for the summer) for bringing his two star interns. Without the MFA crew there, we would’ve reached thousands fewer people. The teamwork between people from different organizations throughout Warped Tour has been incredible.
     Shockingly, Dallas had the highest take-rate and lowest throw-down rate of any show yet. Alicia, Sylvia, Sacha, Ben, Jen, David, and I reached an even 10,000 there despite the heat.
     Great saturation at the Houston stop – almost 90% of the crowd had a seed of compassion planted in their hands. Eugene, Lisa, Sacha, Ben, Jen, David, and I reached over 13,000 more young people. Such an amazing night of outreach – including getting a hug from a girl [above] who said, “Thank you so much for this. I received one last year at Warped Tour and have been vegetarian ever since!”
—John Oberg, 7/3/12

  Alicia Townsend at Dallas Warped stop
  Alicia Townsend provides a voice for the animals at the Dallas Warped Tour stop.

Leslie and I encountered an amazing crowd at the Stern Grove Festival! The majority of people reacted favorably. A few people stopped to tell us they were working on going veg, and we met some veg / vegans who thanked us for spreading the word. The crowd was incredibly smiley and friendly; very, very few booklets ended up in the nearby recycling bin. Such an excellent use of time.
—Brian Grupe, 7/1/12

So many positive encounters at the San Luis Obispo Pride Fest! A few examples:
     A woman came bounding out of the dancing crowd to ask for a booklet. She said her daughter is a vegan and is getting the rest of the family on board. She is very excited about veganism and wants to get together to get active for animals. We had a great conversation and exchanged info so we can be in touch about animal advocacy, etc.
     As I was talking to the above woman, a teenage girl passed by and made a point of saying, “I like your (Vegan Outreach) shirt!” The woman I was talking to said, “Here, take a brochure!” and grabbed one off the stack to give to her. The teenager was happy to get a Guide as well.
     A guy yelled out “Vegan!” from the sidelines. I assumed he was one, but it turns out he isn’t veg, just felt the need to shout “vegan.” Regardless, it made me turn around and offer copies of Compassionate Choices to him and his friends.
     A security guard came over to ask me about the definition of veganism. We had a lengthy conversation during which I praised him for thinking about the animals’ plight. He said he normally wouldn’t have, but just moved to the area and the people he rents from had five female chickens and a rooster. He started feeding them and “bonded” with them. He’s upset because there’s now only one hen and one rooster left. He said the rooster is upset each time one of the chickens is taken to slaughter. I think he’ll continue to consider this issue.
     After, I decided to get a treat in a coffee shop that purportedly has good vegan sweets. The young woman who waited on me asked if I was vegan (again, the shirt!). She said she’d been veg for about a week and a half and was having trouble with it. I congratulated her, told her to cut herself a break and give it some time, just keep walking past the “open casket” section when she goes grocery shopping, etc. She laughed and it sounded like she was going to stick with it. I told her what I was doing in SLO and offered her a leftover Guide, which she gladly accepted.
—Barbara Bear, 7/8/12


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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