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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  •  April 17, 2013

Notes from Vegan Outreach

Rachel Shockey

Activist Profile: Rachel Shockey

Continuing our series of activist profiles, we chat with Rachel Shockey. Just this semester alone, Rachel has reached tens of thousands of students all across the country!

What was your most positive leafleting experience?

I’ve leafleted a few Pride parades, and it has been my favorite venue so far. The atmosphere is one of excitement, love, acceptance, and solidarity. Also everyone is friendly and open to getting a leaflet. It’s so great to spend the day leafleting with other activists and supporting the LGBT community, two causes that I love and support.

What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?

I would say that I was also hesitant to leaflet at first. But after making myself get out there, I was excited to see the positive responses and know I was making a difference for farm animals. I would also encourage them to get out of their comfort zone.

Full interview here.


Excerpts from The Essence of Earth Day

[T]rue ethics aren’t a question of what “we want.” We can be thoughtful individuals and go beyond personal preferences, feel-good campaigns, and vilification of faceless others. We can each recognize that sayings and slogans are superficial; intentions and ideology are irrelevant.

What matters isn’t this rock we call Earth. What matters are the sentient beings who call this rock home. We can’t care about “the environment” as though it is somehow an ethically relevant entity in and of itself. Rather, what matters are the impacts our choices have for our fellow feeling beings.

“Cruelty is wrong, whether the victim is an eagle or a chicken, a wolf or a pig.”
Photos courtesy of Gary Kramer/USFWS (wolf), MFA (pig), COK (chicken), USFWS (eagle).

All creatures – not just wild or endangered animals – desire to live free from suffering and exploitation. Cruelty is wrong, whether the victim is an eagle or a chicken, a wolf or a pig. The rest is just noise and obfuscation.

Veganism is a statement against “we want.” Veganism is the embodiment of a consistent, universal ethic. Veganism is a real choice with real consequences – a way to oppose and actively reduce violence, and truly make the world a better place for all. When we choose to live consistently and ethically as a vegan, at the end of the day, we can look in the mirror, knowing we are good people making choices that won’t lead to more suffering for our fellow feeling beings.

But we know that being vegan is only the beginning. Those of us who are already vegan have many further opportunities to make the world a better place. Even if our food choices aren’t directly causing animals to be slaughtered, our other choices – optimizing our example, time, and resources to have the greatest impact – have consequences even more important than what we eat.

This is why we are so honored to work with everyone who is a part of Vegan Outreach, where, in the best possible sense, every day is Earth Day.

Full article.



Product of the Week

Rachel: “Sweetriot’s pure 70% dark chocolate with kickin’ coconut chocolate bar. It’s vegan, organic, fair-trade certified, and my favorite sweet treat.”

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


Dawn Ratcliffe at FGCU
Christina at FGCU

Notes from Our Members

The students at Miami Dade College were eager to get booklets. Time and again, students kept coming back to grab one after passing by; many smiles and thank yous, and a number of times students also thanking me for doing what we do. Several great conversations ensued – including two extended conversations en español. The highlight for me was a student who came back to me exclaiming, “This changed my life!” while proudly holding up her booklet. There we have it: proof positive that the work we’re doing is making a difference.
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 1/29/13

I love Palm Beach Atlantic University! Too many conversations and great comments to list! Several professors and administrators took literature and two stopped to say that they would be talking about these issues to their students. One skateboarder scooted back to take a booklet. He said he totally agreed, and ended our conversation saying, “God bless you for doing this.”
     Was great to have Bea with me at Polk State’s campuses; one student even stopped to join us! Talked to an ethics professor who incorporates animal rights into his courses and heard from other staff and faculty members who were happy to see us out there. So many people interested in making changes to their diet – it’s pretty mind-boggling!
     Jon and I crushed the record at Florida Gulf Coast University. Highlight of the day was meeting Christina [right], who had gotten a leaflet from Jeff last semester; it made her cry and she has been a vegetarian ever since.
—Dawn Ratcliffe (above, at FGCU), 1/30/13

Claudia at BC Cynthia at BC Steve Erlsten at FCC
Lizeth at FCC


Lots of good conversations with students at Bakersfield College, including Cynthia [above, center], who recently wrote a report about the food system and is ready to make a change! Claudia [above, left], whose aunt had recently undergone open-heart surgery, said her mother’s been urging her to get healthy. She wanted to change her diet, but just didn’t know how! Now she’s ready to cut back on meat drastically – maybe even go vegan – because “the way they treat the animals is terrible.” And a man in a cowboy hat scoffed at the booklet in the morning, yet came back in the afternoon to tell me about a restaurant downtown where “you would think you were eating meat, but it was all soy!”
     A stellar day with Jonathan at Fresno High School (where the take-rate was ~99%!) and Fresno City College. Great conversations, and loads of moved people!
—Steve Erlsten, 2/7/13

At Fresno City College, Jonathan Hussain snapped Steve in action (above, right), as well as some of the many people moved by our booklets: Lizeth (above, left) now wants to go veg again; (below, from left) Ruth is a vegetarian now interested in going vegan; Alexa is eating less meat and convinced her mom to go veg after getting a booklet on 10/16/12; Jesus was stoked to get Compassionate Choices booklets to share; and Kayla is vegan and a member of Central Valley Animal Liberation.
Ruth at FCC Alexa at FCC Jesus at FCC Kayla at FCC
Student at UO
Server at UO
Dave Doctor at UVA


Cobie set a new personal record, and we reached over 1,500 students at the University of Oregon! Productive conversations, too. One guy [right] who had accepted a booklet came by later and asked me why I do this. We had a good conversation and he agreed that the animals are treated horribly and that it is an important issue and said he would eat less meat. Cobie met someone whose friend tried going vegan but only lasted a week. Cobie gave him a Guide for her and pointed out it is good to cut back on animal foods.
     At the mostly vegan place in the student union, we talked with one of the servers [below, right] who read a VO booklet in 2006 when she was 12. She and a friend have been veg ever since, and now she wants to leaflet.
—Nettie Schwager, 2/4/13

At Purdue, an ag science instructor was dismayed that his effort to dismiss me for having never been on a farm was disrupted, because I had been taught dairy farming as a child. One need not be a dairy child to know about modern farming, as most knowledge today comes to us not from direct experience – which often compromises our ability to be honest about the action in question anyway – but from third party and ideally credible sources.
—Joe Espinosa, 2/7/13

Bunches of vegetarians and good conversations at CUNY Brooklyn, including one person who said he’d definitely be able to cut down on his meat consumption, a lot who said “it’s so sad,” and when I was leaving the last person I gave a leaflet to said, “You know, I’m truly with you on this – it’s so sad the way they treat the animals.”
—Lisa Drapkin, 2/8/13

Great day with Dave [Doctor, right] at the University of Virginia. We reached over 2,400 students and had lots of positive conversations. For example, a woman came back to us and said she is now considering going vegan.
—Jon Camp, 2/7/13

Despite the wind and cold, awesome interactions at Texas State! Rachel and I met Carrie [below, left], who came up to tell us that handing out booklets really does affect people; she went veg since getting a booklet at a science convention in Houston in 2006. Long conversation while I leafleted with a seminary student interested in going veg after getting a booklet. Talked with two friends [below, center] who were seriously discussing going veg. One student [below, right] wants to try going vegan after reading a booklet. Many mentioned getting a leaflet in a previous semester – the word is out. Another student wanted to be a humane officer; I told her how I used to rescue dogs in Philly but someone pointed out 99% of abused animals are farmed animals, etc. She left saying she would eat less meat, and happily took a Guide. Score! Also met an animal ethics professor who already had VO lit, and the president of a progressive student group who thanked us for being out there and took a handful to show others.

Carrie at Texas State Friends at Texas State New vegan at Texas State

     After a great day at Baylor, Rachel and I had an amazing time at McLennan Community College, with a number of in-depth conversations. During one of them, a student said, “I will always eat meat.” Ten minutes later, he pulled friends over, saying, “You got to listen to this guy!” While talking to these six students, a cop asked me to leave, and they asked the cop to leave! “We got your back,” they told me. It really made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 2/4/13

Reader at Arroyo Grande farmers’ market
Barbara also leafleted the Arroyo Grande farmers’ market on 1/19/13: “[Above is] a guy who was so engrossed in his leaflet he didn’t even look up as he followed at his girlfriend’s heels from booth to booth – I thought he was going to bump into her. And a vendor was so deeply engrossed in reading a CC he failed to notice people passing by his booth.”

Lois, Matt, Jill, and I had a fun time at the San Luis Obispo farmers’ market! Lots of interested people. A vegan couple visiting from Portland thanked us for spreading the message. They got buttons and an AML, so hopefully they’ll be doing vegan outreach in Portland. Matt had a good discussion with three college students who wanted literature because their English professor is having them discuss the ethics of eating animals.
—Barbara Bear, 1/31/13

Killer day at New Mexico State! Met a ton of new / recent vegans and vegetarians, and had other great interactions:
     Spoke with Jose, a student that just moved to the US and was familiar with WSPA. I spit out the 99% fact, which really got his attention, and he promised to read through the booklet.
     Ran into Jasmine [below], who told me that because of receiving a booklet last year, she’s really cut down on the meat she eats. As we departed, she told me, “Good job on your movement!”

Jasmine at NMSU

     Spoke with Chris, an awesome dude with a vegan tattoo on the back of his calf. He went vegan a year ago after driving through Oklahoma and coming across a slaughterhouse and then just driving into it. He was chased out, but said he did a ton of research when he got back home; he and his wife then went vegan and now they want to get involved.
     Met a dude named Guatham, who mentioned that the cruelty we inflict on animals is wretched. He is a former vegetarian but said he’s now thinking of going back, and said, “Sweet!” numerous times after I gave him a Guide.
     Met a wildlife conservation and ag major who said he sees this s*** all the time and was really happy to see us out there.
     Interaction of the day: Earlier I leafleted a professor with a bow tie on and complimented him on it. A couple class changes later, he walked by and mentioned that he had gotten a booklet earlier and said he didn’t eat chicken for lunch because of it. So I Guided him and he then said, “I’m gonna cut that [chicken] crap out!”
—John Oberg, 1/30/13


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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