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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  •  February 13, 2013

Notes from Vegan Outreach

Steve Erlsten

Activist Profile: Steve Erlsten

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we chat with SoCal-based Steve Erlsten, who is currently on tour, leafleting throughout the Northwest!!

What made you decide to start leafleting?

Animal Rights Foundation of Florida organizers Bryan and Carla Wilson introduced me to leafleting, and I was blown away by how easy and effective it could be! Some of my favorite events were the huge Independence Day celebrations in Orlando. We went to concerts, art festivals, and busy downtown corners. In a matter of hours, I could hand out hundreds of leaflets, inspiring compassion in others! Every meal is important, but I realized that I could have a far greater impact in a couple of hours than I will with every meal I eat for the rest of my life! The power of influencing others is tremendous! Simply put, leafleting is the most effective way most individuals can reduce animal suffering.

What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?

It took me a couple of hours to get comfortable approaching strangers, and now it’s second nature. I forced myself to get over my own discomfort, because I knew it was nothing compared to the discomfort of the animals who still need me to plead their case. I was surprised how quickly my worries faded away. I quit worrying about answering difficult questions, because it never hurts to admit I don’t have all the answers. I quit worrying about being rejected, because it’s not a sign of failure – there is always someone else coming down the sidewalk! I quit worrying about security, because it’s easy to find a public sidewalk where we are allowed to leaflet. I quit worrying and started making a difference for the animals. A big difference! I’m proud of my small share of responsibility for Americans’ declining meat consumption. I hope everyone who cares about animals will put aside their worries and help us make that decline even steeper!

Full interview here.


Jon Camp

Reddit, not Ribbit

Attention Reddit users! Jon Camp, VO’s Director of Outreach, will be answering questions about his eight years on the road for VO on Reddit’s IAmA, next Tuesday, February 19th. VO will post the link via Twitter and Facebook on the 19th.


From “Your Daily Dose of Vegan Outreach!” & Jack Norris RD Blogs



Product of the Week

Steve: “Daiya cheddar, which I’ve seen at Kroger, Ralphs, Vons, and health food stores around the country! And although it’s been mentioned just recently, Beyond Meat’s chicken is pretty phenomenal, too.”

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


Notes from Our Members

Matt Ball at UNM
Above: Matt Ball makes a successful skateboard handoff at the University of New Mexico.

Reached 2,000 students at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. The highlight of the day was when a young woman came up to say that she does outreach for gay rights issues, that it can sometimes be discouraging, and asked if I ever felt the same way. I told her I don’t get discouraged, because I see this as a numbers game; part of the scenario is that we’re going to have to deal with some antagonism to reach those willing to hear us out. But there are always those willing to hear us out, and reaching those people is an exciting thing. And for any movement that seeks change, there will always be resistance, but it’s a lot more rewarding to be a part of this change, to know we’re playing our role in something great, than to give up. I stressed the work she was doing was important, and she said the same to me. The conversation seemed to leave both of us happy and inspired.
—Jon Camp, 11/8/12

Four more students at the University of Connecticut wanted to join Veg Huskies, and three want to leaflet! Angie even took booklets to get started, and Amy stopped by to help. A young woman came over and proudly stated, “I turned vegan because of you!” She remembered me from Eastern Connecticut State last semester, and said that the Even If You Like Meat I gave her made her change.
     Today at UConn’s West Hartford campus, I handed a Compassionate Choices to a young woman. She stopped, looked at me, and asked, “Weren’t you just at Manchester Community College?” When I replied, “Yes,” she said she got a booklet from me Monday and committed to going vegetarian! YAY!
—Karen James, 11/14/12

Five skateboard and one bike handoff at the University of New Mexico, and big numbers quickly. Heard a number of students look at the Compassionate Choices and say, “Awww!” or “That chick (piggy) is soooo cute!” One guy, looking down at his booklet, said out loud, “Even If You Like Meat? Well, I DO like meat!” Just for you, dude!
—Anne Green & Matt Ball, 11/9/12

Awesome day at Florida International University. The vegetarians and vegans I met were very happy to see me handing out info. Their excitement kept me positive all afternoon.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/13/12

Rachel Shippee at BC Yuri Mitzkewich at FIU
Above: Yuri Mitzkewich snapped this pic of Rachel Shippee handing out Even If You Like Meat booklets at Broward College; and Linda Bower sends this pic of Yuri leafleting Florida International University.

Good conversations at Triton College. One student wanted more booklets to hand out during a presentation. I also ran into a professor who is vegan. She was very glad to see me and thanked me for being out there. She also wanted a few leaflets for her students. Also heard from a proud vegetarian who agreed with what I was doing. It was a great day!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/14/12

Francisco at COD
After receiving a booklet from Kassy Ortega at College of the Desert, Francisco (above) came back and said, “I’m going to stop eating meat now!”

Great day of outreach! Kitty joined me at Merritt and Chabot College. Leslie then joined me in leafleting the Pachamama Alliance event – big thanks to Ari Nessel for the recommendation! The crowd was hugely on board with the message!
—Brian Grupe, 11/15/12

Students at College of the Desert were fabulous! I saw a number of students reading the booklets, heard alot of “OMG!”s and “THIS IS HORRIBLE!”s. Others stopped to ask questions about moving in the direction of eating more plant-based.
—Kassy Ortega, 11/13/12

Outreach was bananas at Rowan University, where Tara, Ayeisha, and I reached 1,800 students. In addition, one student asked for 200 to distribute to the students in her dorm; later, someone came up to say they had gotten one from her already. Other good conversations, including another student who wants to leaflet.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/12/12

At San Diego Mesa College, I heard from a security guard, “The only meat I eat these days is broccoli.” Me too me too! Also heard from numerous veggies and vegans. One kat stated he got a booklet from me last year and has significantly altered his life and eating choices. Me too me too!
—Nikki Benoit, 11/15/12

Thankful Eric made the long drive to leaflet Kennesaw State – we reached almost 1,500 students, despite the wind and cold. One student said that she was just thinking about being vegetarian so it was perfect timing. Another student exclaimed, “I love animals!” several times amongst a large group of people – so awesome!
—Jeff Boghosian, 11/13/12

Josh Padilla, Tamara Hubbard, Kate Skwire, John Oberg, Devon Bobb, and Judy Chavez at UNM
Above: Josh Padilla, Tamara Hubbard, Kate Skwire, John Oberg, Devon Bobb, and Judy Chavez at UNM.

Tamara organized an amazing crew for the University of New Mexico. We all had great encounters! Early in the morning I met a former 4-year vegan that said he used to be a militant vegan, but now sees a lot of problems with that mentality. I spoke a bit harshly of the militant approach, which I think pleasantly surprised him; then talked to him about how that approach is becoming a relic of the past, and gave him a Guide. I also gave him a copy of AML to show the direction the movement is heading, compared to his days of speaking down to all who haven’t yet been enlightened with the knowledge of farmed animal suffering.
     I take comfort knowing that we’re out there every day giving the animals a voice. We’re showing people that animals are more than commodities – they’re living beings and sometimes even our friends. On this day I had a team of leafleters I couldn’t have been happier with – a team willing to spend hours in the cold to show students that animals deserve better. I feel so fortunate I’m a part of it.
—John Oberg, 1/29/13


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 fully tax-deductible.

Vegan Outreach

POB 30865, Tucson, AZ 85751-0865

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