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Activist Profile: Suzanne Haws

Suzanne Haws

June 8, 2005

Throughout the summer, Vegan Outreach will be including a profile on some of the top leafleters from our Adopt a College campaign. This week we profile Suzanne Haws, who handed out 6,682 Vegan Outreach booklets during the 2004–2005 school season.

What made you decide to start leafleting? If you were nervous the first time, how did you get over it?

I started leafleting after meeting Joe Espinosa at AR2004. He suggested that, rather than hoping that other people would start leafleting with me, I should just get started by myself. While I didn’t particularly like the idea of doing leafleting all by my lonesome, his suggestion just made sense.

Suzanne Haws

The first time I went out to leaflet, though, I began to doubt his wisdom. I was so nervous; I guess I thought it would be scary or hard or someone would yell at me. But after about five minutes of leafleting, I was laughing at myself. It was one of the easiest things I’d done all week! I’d also already bribed myself with the promise of lunch at my favorite restaurant later – that didn’t exactly hurt my motivation.

Why do you leaflet colleges?

There are two main reasons I leaflet colleges. First, there is nearly always a large volume of pedestrian traffic on college campuses, so colleges tend to be an excellent venue to get our materials into the hands of individuals.

Secondly, college students tend to be more open to change and new information than the general public. So on college campuses you not only have lots of pedestrians wandering around, but those pedestrians are a great target audience for our message. What could be better?

What was your most positive college leafleting experience this year and why?

About three people over the course of the year have told me that they’ve gone vegetarian after receiving a booklet from me. That’s very encouraging because I’m sure that there are many other people who’ve also decided to eliminate their meat consumption but who haven’t had the opportunity to let me know!

Suzanne Haws and Nick Lesiecki
Suzanne Haws and Nick Lesiecki.

What would you say to individuals hesitant about leafleting?

Get off your duff and do it!

How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested in this?

I’ve been involved in animal rights for about two years now. Once I started learning about what we do to animals, particularly animals used for food, I was horrified, saddened, and outraged. I was also motivated to do something about it.

What was the last good book you read?

I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter books in anticipation of the sixth book’s release this summer. I’m also reading Collapse by Jared Diamond, but it’s been collecting dust since I picked up Harry Potter.

Where do you live?

At the beginning of May, I moved to Mountain View, CA from Tucson, AZ.