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Vegan Outreach: Working to End Cruelty to Animals
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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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Vegan Outreach Enewsletter  •  October 2, 2013

Note from Vegan Outreach

Turkeys shackled for slaughter
Photos courtesy of Farm Sanctuary.

From Radical Pragmatism: A VO Manifesto

Vegan Outreach doesn’t seek to promote a particular diet or dogma. We’re only seeking to lessen suffering. And in this – recognizing the diversity of people and the frailties of human psychology in order to do our absolute best for the animals – we are radical, hard-core pragmatists.

Of course, it is easy to think, “I’m vegan for the animals, therefore everyone should be vegan for the animals!” And if everyone were as thoughtful, courageous, and dedicated as VO members, then of course our approach would be different – and our task much, much easier!

But go to your school’s food court, or head over to Disneyland – there aren’t bunches of people exactly like us. There are lots of good, ethical people around, but they aren’t currently willing to stand out from the crowd. Those are the people we have to reach if, to use Jack Norris’ phrase, we are going to create a vegan world, as opposed to protecting the purity of our vegan club.

It is perhaps our biggest problem: we are often more concerned that our message meets our current personal standards, rather than using the optimal message to reach those who can help animals: non-vegans.

I used to be driven by words and dogma; I used to think we couldn’t give people an “out” or an “excuse” to eat animals by talking about anything other than absolute veganism. Really, though, people don’t need an “out” to eat animals – they already eat animals.

Pig destined for slaughter

Indeed, by presenting a seemingly unachievable standard, we actually give people an “out” to ignore the animals’ plight outright.

Insisting on conveying our current conscience isn’t the best way to help animals. Our experience over the past quarter century has shown this.

We know it is far easier to get ten people to eat half as many animals, compared to convincing two people to go immediately and fully vegan. More importantly – the animals are far better off in the former case, especially when we continue to provide realistic and pragmatic support so those people can continue to evolve.

These are all lessons we’ve learned over the years. It took time and courage to learn that we could help animals much more by not insisting people immediately adopt the entirety of our current, personal world view. We can only do our best for the animals when we work with people where they are, and try our best to get them to take the first step.

—Matt Ball, Executive Director  |   Full article.

 

Notes from Our Members

I received your Even If You Like Meat…You Can Help End This Cruelty booklet (actually my daughter was given this book while on a college campus). I think so many people get discouraged because they have a hard time sticking with a vegan lifestyle, so I thought this book was very relevant because even if someone still eats some meat at least they could cut back, and then maybe eventually they would make the switch to a vegan lifestyle.
—JR, 9/18/13

Gabby with Yvonne LeGrice at USC

Yvonne and I set a huge new record at USC – Yvonne apparently means “born to leaflet” in Greek and I believe it – such a great leafleter and person, a real joy to work with for the animals! We reached 3,300 students in blazing heat – watched people read as they walked, others read the entire booklet sitting on benches. Talked with some of them, and others thanked us for being there. Highlight was Gabby [above, with Yvonne LeGrice], who now wants to go vegan.
     Set a solo record at Cal State Long Beach – reached over 3,200 students. Had a convo with a woman who had been vegan for five months, but felt sick and regressed. She read the booklet and after we talked, she wants to slowly go vegan again – got a Guide. Talked with another man had various questions – I believe he will go vegan now.
—Vic Sjodin, 8/27/13

Student at LMC
Steve Erlsten spotted this woman studying Compassionate Choices at Los Medanos College.

Good conversations at Northern Virginia Community College. For example, I talked to an older guy whose daughter attends UVA. His daughter watched Food, Inc. and was aware that there was a problem with modern animal agriculture, but didn’t know the specifics. He said the VO booklet was a tough read, but agreed that it’s an issue everyone should know about. He now wants to reduce his meat consumption and try some meatless meals. If his daughter didn’t get a booklet from me or Jon, he will pass it along to her!
—Kassy Ortega, 8/29/13

Diablo Valley College has some new vegans today! Brittany and I reached nearly 2,400 students. Quite a few said they are working on going vegan, and two students are interested in leafleting!
     Great interactions at Modesto Junior College – reached over 1,600 students. I ran into more vegetarians and vegans than I expected for a small farming town in the middle of farming country. One Guide went to a student who was amazed that I’m actually vegan. She and two friends stared at me in literal disbelief. I might as well have been a unicorn.
—Steve Erlsten, 9/3/13

Received many good comments at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College today!
     “I’m vegan! Good job!”
     “I’m vegetarian! I need this for my friend!”
     “Sure! I want one!”
     A few people who were on the opposite side from where I was leafleting came over to take booklets. Gave Guides to new vegetarians / vegans and people interested in more information.
—Lisa Drapkin (below at Bronx Community College, photo courtesy of Lindsay Margeton), 9/3/13

Lisa Drapkin at BCC

Getting to Madison Area Technical College early was key – I reached my first 1,000 students in less than 2 hours. Reached a total of 1,677 during the day. Great take rate, students were very friendly, and met a number of vegans. One Guide went to a man who is in the process of cutting back on his meat consumption.
—Rachel Shippee, 9/3/13

Jennifer, Judith, Beverly, and I reached 2,211 students at Stony Brook University. Great encounters – so many vegetarians and vegans and people who now want to go vegan! Met a student who said he has been vegetarian since he received a booklet from me last semester! Talked with Valentine about nutrition concerns. We met 11 people who want to join the newly formed SBU Vegetarians.
     Reached over 1,100 students at Suffolk County Community College. Good comments and conversations. For example, Montis liked my shirt, but said he couldn’t go vegan. I said it was not a matter of taste, but a matter of compassion, and asked him to read about the animals, and to cut back his meat consumption. He agreed that he would do both!
—Karen James, 9/3/13

Below are a few of the young people happy to receive booklets from Karen James at a festival in Woodbury, CT.
Woodbury festivalgoers

 

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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