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Wow. Number 1 local volunteer Mu Jin Han suggested leafleting the WorldFest. I was pretty skeptical because at a vegfest, isn’t everyone veg already? Au contraire! Maybe 40 percent veg folk to my best estimation, and lots of semi-veg, veg curious, and progressive folks. It got kind of crazy.
First Mu spoke to 3 people for over 10 minutes; then he and I spoke to a young Greenpeace volunteer [Thomas, right], who said, “I really need to go vegan” and was into it. Then we spoke to a family [below, left] for over 20 minutes; their daughter was veg and both parents said they too now wanted to go vegan and had great questions about how to substitute certain things and where to get certain items, etc. Later on I spoke to a WorldFest volunteer [Dave, right], who had given up beef but ate more turkey and chicken as a result. We had a very long conversation during the slow trickle, and I believe he is well on his way.
Several of the people who had gotten Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets while in line came up to us later with questions. Perhaps the best interaction was a Swedish man [Sven, below, right], who spoke to Mu for about 15 minutes; then brought his friend over and they spoke for another half hour solid. Unreal, he said he is on board. Special day.
We ran into Your Choice cover model Hayley; she was great and also discussed future summer leafleting with several newbies, and interacted with numerous local activists and supporters in 9 hours straight of nonstop schmoozing and talking. I also did some recordings on video for two different projects. Fantastic day that blew me away – I highly recommend leafleting local vegfests and specifically offering Guides to any interested parties as they enter. We leafleted very conservatively today, which was a change but fit the tactical situation.
—Vic Sjodin, 5/18/14
|Susan, shown above at the AR2014 conference, received a Why Vegan? booklet 11 years ago at an anti-war rally and went vegan as a result!|
This was the best visit to Dartmouth yet! The reception here has improved tremendously over the years. It’s such a good feeling because this used to be one of the toughest schools to leaflet! Today’s number (616 booklets) is a record here.
One young woman said she grew up in a small farming town with its own slaughterhouse and went vegetarian because of it. One faculty member said she’s veg and thanked me for being there. There were a few high school tours coming through, and some students from each group took leaflets.
At lunchtime, there was a free BBQ set up outside the student center. A sign said, “Movement Against Violence BBQ.” Wow…products of violence (dismembered body parts of beings who didn’t want to die) were being fried and eaten as a way to be against violence!? Well, someday more people will make the connection. I’m glad I was there to give a voice to those victims of violence. And, along with the piles of various meats, at least there was an option of veggie burgers. And inside the dining hall, I have noticed an increase in veggie options such as vegan cutlets, vegan ground beef marinara, vegan cookies, tofu scrambles, etc.
In the evening, the Dartmouth Animal Welfare Group screened Speciesism: The Movie. The director, Mark Devries, was there for Q&A afterward. It was very nice to meet him.
—Lana Smithson, 5/12/14
Great night in Tinley Park/Chicago with help from awesome local activists! Together we reached just shy of 13,000 Warped Tour attendees!
The highlight of my night was meeting Danay [right], who went vegan for the animals after getting a booklet from us at Warped last year! She asked me to tag her photo on Twitter and we had a little exchange online after the show – awesome! She tweets about animals a lot, and we follow each other now!
I also met vegetarian Jessica and pescatarian Montserrat [below], who made big changes after getting booklets last year, too. I told Montserrat she has to try Gardein fishless filets!
It’s always great to have these reminders that we are changing the world for animals in a big way out here on the Warped Tour!
—Chris Guinn, 7/19/14
|Above, from left, are Jessica, Montserrat and some of the awesome activists who worked the Chicago stop: Mickey Kudia, Brian Pietrzycki, Jennifer Pietrzycki, Kevin Cooney, Mikael Nielsen, Becki Markle, Leslie Patterson, Alex Corrigan, John Jungenberg, Radish, Chris Guinn, and Rachel Shippee.|
|Stephanie Frankle reports: “Janette [above, right] went vegetarian four years ago after getting a booklet at Warped Tour in Phoenix! She’s a model and said that going veg really helped her be healthy, stay in shape, lose weight, and have a successful modeling career.”|
We kicked off Warped Tour with a bang down in Houston, reaching more than 10,000 attendees. The highlight of my day was meeting Bailey [above, left], who loudly exclaimed that she went fully vegan after getting a VO leaflet last year at Warped – so awesome! Here’s to a whirlwind summer of awesome outreach!
—Chris Guinn, 6/13/14
|Jessica: “Are you Vegan Outreach? I read a booklet you gave my brother a couple years ago and it changed my life! Thank you for your work!”|
I thought it was going to be a slow day leafleting Millersville University the day after Easter, but surprisingly it picked up pretty quickly! I met Jessica [right], a student who went veg after reading a booklet her brother received from us in the past! YAY! You never know who is reading!
Today I reached 300 students at Lehigh Carbon Community College, which had never been leafleted before. There were so many great moments for such a tiny school! First off, campus police walked over so I thought I was going to get the boot. Turns out, he really liked the booklet! We talked about the transport trucks on the highway, and he compared them to the Holocaust rail cars. Incredible. A student came up to me, told me she read the booklet, cried and is now vowing to never eat meat ever again! Guided. I also heard from a vegetarian! This is definitely an ag area, and there were so many receptive students. Quality, not quantity here.
—Kassy Ortega, 4/28/14
The highlight at the University of South Dakota was running into Avid [left], who I met last fall. He came by to say hi, and let me know he’s been vegetarian for 3 months now. He didn’t go veg right away, because he was worried about protein; but after doing more research, he’s a confident and healthy veggie. He’s also started powerlifting.
I also heard from several other vegetarians – much more than last semester. Great day!!
—Rachel Shippee, 3/31/14
Rachel snapped this pic of Avid on 10/7/13, after he stopped to ask her what he could do to help: “We talked about how cutting back on one’s meat consumption reduces animal suffering and he said, ‘I can do that!’”
Whoa! I love the students at the gritty El Camino College Compton Center. Outstanding day of small school outreach. I saw so many people sitting outside or in the library foyer reading – it was spectacular to see.
I met Anna [left], who was reading a booklet and walking. She said, “This is really interesting” and we ended up having a long conversation. She volunteered that she had thought about going veg sometimes, and this is exactly the knowledge and info she needed. It was such a nice conversation.
Walking around, I came upon a student tabling. She was busy discussing these issues with another student tabling with her. She asked for more literature, and we had a long talk on cruelty and nutrition – had to channel that inner Jack Norris. That conversation was fantastic. Lastly, near the end of the day, I approached 6 women on the lawn, which led to another long conversation and was the perfect way to end the day.
Hard to articulate, but just a day of outreach that uplifted the soul!
—Vic Sjodin, 4/30/14
|Below are some of the many students that Vic saw engrossed in Your Choice booklets at ECC Compton Center.|
How awesome is this!!! [Genesis, right] went vegan at 5 but she is now 7. She had such a great experience leafleting for the first time, and everyone was very receptive to her. She asked if she could do this every day! We now have a stack of leaflets in the car, and she has been passing them out wherever she goes. Thank you so much, Victor Sjodin and Mu Jin Han, for inspiring her and showing her the ropes. She has found her passion and it’s Vegan Outreach!
—Genelle P., 5/26/14
I must relate this one story her mom told me: Genesis came home crying one day, and her mom asked why; the kids were waving hot dogs and ham in her face at lunch. Her mom asks, “Are you crying because they are making fun of you?” “Oh no, I’m upset because they don’t get it, they don’t understand they are hurting animals.” Wow.
—Vic Sjodin, 5/26/14
|Andrea Gunn snapped this pic of Alex, a JCSU student who received a booklet from Dawn Ratcliffe two years ago, immediately went veg, and has remained vegetarian ever since!|
Fabulous day of outreach with Yuri Mitzkewich, leafleting the Florida Atlantic University campuses in Boca Raton and Davie. At the main campus, we were happy to have smashed the old record by over 700. We heard from folks who had gone vegetarian from getting a Compassionate Choices or Even If You Like Meat in the past, and had conversations that we both confidently feel will end up in new veg*ns. So happy that Yuri could get the day off, because he is such an amazing leafleter!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 2/6/14
Today was arguably my best day of leafleting with Vegan Outreach so far (I feel like I’ve said that a few times now, guess it just keeps getting better out here – can’t complain)! I had help from a group of students from Wittenberg University’s WALI veg club who were first-time leafleters – always exciting! Our outreach today was their first organized event and it turned out to be a big success!
We reached almost 400 students – great for a school this small – and our new Your Choice leaflet was really well received! We distributed a good number of Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets and had a number of quality conversations with students interested in making some compassionate changes with their eating.
The highlight of my day was meeting DGlove [left]; we chatted for several minutes about veg nutrition, what to eat, and how to go about making realistic behavioral change. DGlove was super cool and great to talk to, and I can say with confidence that he’ll be making some big changes after our conversation – so awesome!
All in all, a great day of outreach – I’m sure there’ll be several new vegetarians the next time Vegan Outreach visits this campus!
—Chris Guinn, 2/4/14
Outstanding day of outreach in San Marcos today – got 2,490 booklets into the hands of students at Texas State! Heard from a girl who is trying to go vegetarian but wasn’t sure how to get started; she got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and is feeling more confident that she can do it! The highlight was meeting Travis [right], who used to be a vegetarian, and the leaflet reminded him of why he wants to get back into it. He was happy to get a Guide with the tools he needs to get started again.
—Rachel Shippee, 2/4/14
Today at West Valley College, I talked to one enthusiastic student who is recently vegan and looking forward to using her new Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating to help her parents and siblings go vegan. I also met Lisa, who recently went vegan after meeting our volunteer Belle at a local farmers’ market! The best conversation of the day was with Melinda [right], who thinks it’s cruel to eat animals, and is going to use her Guide to cut out all animal products!
—Steve Erlsten, 2/18/14
It was a really cold and rainy morning at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. I was really excited that first-time leafleters Tonja, Richard, and Frazer joined Rachael and me. After getting them set up in our usual spot, Rachael and I went exploring and found a 10-story building that was going crazy! It was like a blur of bodies and leaflets. All of a sudden all the booklets were gone! Despite being a little nervous, they had a wonderful time and I think they’ll be leafleting again soon! All together we set an all-time record for any school in Australia – 3,000 VO booklets!
—Chelsea Collins, 3/24/14
|Below: Rachael Krutulis (left) and Richie Porter (right) give the animals a voice at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.|
I just leafleted for the first time!!! It went really well – people [at Edith Cowan University in Perth] were very receptive and kind.
—Lou Burnes, 3/28/14
I was a bit nervous when I began leafleting for the first time. But I had a great time and I’ll definitely be leafleting for Vegan Outreach again!
—Tonja Wright, 3/24/14
|Below is Tonja Wright leafleting at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.|
I believe that the EIYLM booklet is one of the most complete and easy ways to raise awareness in the importance of adopting a vegan lifestyle. We hope to do more leafleting with this amazing document.
—Sameer Muldeen, President of the MVA, 3/23/14
|Below: Sameer Muldeen, Catherine Vourlessis, Nancy Leclerc, and Martine Embellit Son Jardin provide a voice for farmed animals at the Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert in Montreal.|
Ten years ago, I took the full-time plunge into the work of Vegan Outreach leafleting. I found it – and still find it – to be such a simple and effective way to make real advances for those whose heartbreaking plight is so often overlooked in our society – farmed animals.
Last Friday at the University of Georgia, I gave out my millionth booklet and a celebratory piece of chocolate cake to the recipient of this booklet [right].
If you think this is a milestone worth celebrating, know that it’s been a team effort. If you’ve ever welcomed me into your home with a place to stay, leafleted with me, sent an encouraging word my way, or sent your hard-earned dollars to Vegan Outreach, this millionth booklet has come about because of you.
I’m profoundly honored to play my humble part in this movement alongside all of you – my kind, smart, and selfless friends. We’re on the right side of history, and one day, genuine concern for all sentient individuals, regardless of what species they belong to, will be the norm. Thanks for bringing this about.
Two million or bust!
—Jon Camp, 3/31/14
Very excited that the man who got me leafleting is so close to his goal of a million booklets, astounding.
Jon Bockman [below, right], Rachel Curit, Steven Litrov, and I employed a new strategy at San Diego State and reached 3,060 students, beating the previous record by over 650 booklets. Saw numerous readers. Highlight of day was meeting Autumn [below, left], who came back later in the day; she was so moved by the lit and wants to go vegan. She had lots of questions and we had a long conversation, wonderful.
—Vic Sjodin, 3/19/14
Mississippi State was fantastic leafleting. With the steady flow throughout the day, I was able to reach 1,800 students.
I met Paris Prince, a professor whose style is as cool as his name. He teaches a class on social responsibility, and he discusses food issues in it. He regretted that he wasn’t discussing it today, as he would have liked for me to have talked with his students. Still, he appeared to discuss the issue in class, as a vegan came up to me afterwards, telling me she heard about me from Paris.
One guy let me know that he went vegan after picking up a booklet many years ago in Seattle. We rock!
—Jon Camp, 3/18/14
|Jon snapped this FGCU student reading Compassionate Choices.|
Another gorgeous day in southwest Florida and a chance to leaflet with Jon Camp, an amazing animal advocate and good friend. I am in awe that he has done this work semester in and semester out for ten years and find him to be a truly inspirational person with a heart of gold.
As for outreach, it was a stellar day at Florida Gulf Coast University. We handed out 1,290 VO booklets, including 34 copies of the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, and had some brief but good conversations. Talked to the two vegan students who leafleted with me last semester in December, and they told us that a student came up to them to join their group because they went veg after getting one of the booklets. Also gave a professor 50 Compassionate Choices so she can have her students write papers centered around reasoning and critical thought. Super day!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 1/28/14
Vanderbilt was great. I had the help of five VIVA members throughout the day. A young woman said, “I already got one – with Ryan Gosling and Kevin the sad chick. It was like oh my God,” in a manner that indicated she was really moved by the booklet. This is the second time this week in which someone mentioned one of the animals in Your Choice by name.
One of the leafleters today was Alex [right]. In October of 2012, I leafleted him. He let me know he was veg. I gave him a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, and we briefly chatted. Turns out he went vegan as a result.
—Jon Camp, 2/28/14
Made it in to Guadalajara at 3:15 am, and after four hours of sleep, Alan [Jiminez, below, right], Israel, and I hit two campuses of the University of Guadalajara. Talked for a long time with Pablo [below, left], who said he is now going to work toward becoming veg, and took a stack of 50 booklets for classmates. He’s also going to get involved with AnimaNaturalis locally. That is definitely an awesome ancillary benefit to this tour, every day 1–4 people want to get involved, so we are helping birth more activists, which will magnify our impact.
Met a number
of other interested people, answered many questions,
saw a lot of people reading! As usual, many people came up to us and asked for
lit after seeing others reading or discussing
I don’t know how to convey how awesome outreach at the Exact Sciences and Engineering campus was. So many people were totally engaged in reading the booklet or talking with us. For example, Linda [below, with Israel Arriola] now wants to go veg and volunteer with AnimaNaturalis. Luis [below, right] said it’s horrible how these animals are treated, wants to go veg, asked some questions. He was deeply moved and he gave us each a hug as he left.
Reached 5,500 students
today with only a handful of rejections. I could have
broken my camera taking pictures of everyone reading [some below]
– totally engrossed, reading cover-to-cover, discussing
it with friends. This was my favorite school so far
– the level of interest was unreal. Special day for
me and the animals!
—Vic Sjodin, 11/21/13
1,000 Boilermakers at Purdue, despite
the cold. I heard from a student who let me know that
getting the booklet from me back in August is what
moved him to stop eating animals. Heard from
12 other vegetarians and 2 vegans during the day.
Also encountered an ag professor who scoffed at the
concept that modern animal agriculture is violent
to animals. I let him know that his position in the industry is
probably what made it difficult for him to be honest
about the amount of suffering and death that modern
farming brings to animals. He then of course
had to ask me how I felt about abortion. I let
him know that I had never had one and never would.
He declared my response “stupid” so
I said okay, and went back to leafleting in search of
more honest people. On his way back past me
an hour later he did stop again and more humbly stated
that he did want to look into the issues raised by
the booklet. I pointed out the strong citations
in giving him one.
—Joe Espinosa, 12/5/13
a couple hours of personal time from work to leaflet Harold
Washington College. Super-receptive students
as usual despite temps in the teens. One student
took the leaflet and said, “Yes.” Then as he
was walking away I heard him yell, “Yes!!”
—Leslie Patterson, 12/11/13
had a truly awesome day at Rowan University – reached
over 1,000 students. An absolutely stellar
interaction with Tyler: After I gave
him a booklet, I continued to leaflet the big
crowd, but I could see him reading.
Then he came back and said, “What
can I do to help?” I proceeded to
tell him that he could help by eating fewer
animals, or better yet no animals, and gave
him a Guide to Cruelty-Free
Eating. I’m confident
that when I return next semester Tyler will
be rockin’ it for the animals! Just goes to
show you that people are truly compassionate,
and sometimes – a lot of times! – it’s something
as simple as a VO booklet that can flip that
switch that extends that compassion to all.
—Chris Guinn, 12/5/13
|More students engrossed in reading ¿Por qué vegetariano? at the Universidad de Guadalajara.|
and I had an amazing, record day at Georgia
Regents University! Could not believe the number of people who excitedly
took booklets. For example,
one student who refused lit initially and proudly
proclaimed his support for cockfighting, came back
later and said he was actually against factory
farming and wanted to read the booklet. Heard from
several people who wanted to make dietary changes,
staff, and faculty members. Some even returned
when they heard the Guide had recipes.
Great reception at St. Petersburg College! Met an older student who has a six-year-old who doesn’t like meat; was very grateful for the Guide. Talked with another student who does a lot of tutoring – said I influenced him to change his diet, and he would influence some of his students! Someone from the math department took extra booklets for the office.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 12/3/13
lots of vegetarians and vegans at Eastern Connecticut State University. Mark remembered me and said he
stopped eating animals after getting a VO booklet
Great time at Mercy College’s Health and Wellness Fair! Was able to give out so much lit to incredibly interested people – including 300 Guides! Loads of conversations, including people who wanted to form a group on campus – I’ll put them all in touch.
—Karen James, 12/9/13
Saint Augustine’s University, a
vegetarian was happy to get a Guide. Her
friend, upon seeing the Guide, asked if she
could get one, too. Then the vegetarian said to her
friend, “But you’re not vegetarian!” to
which the friend replied, “See, I need this because
I may become one!”
—Brandon Becker, 12/5/13
(my greyhound) and I reached 300 students at
USF Tampa in under an hour!
One student told me she is in the process of going
vegan and is finding it difficult. I gave her my card
and also told her about the Guide. She said she’s
never met another vegan – glad I ran into her!
—Jodi Chemes, 12/10/13
was nervous before tabling at
the College of St. Scholastica, but they were happy to
have someone from Vegan Outreach!
I talked to one young student who said she wanted
to go vegetarian but struggles with anemia, so I gave
her a Guide and showed her how she could
get plant-based iron and increase absorption with
food rich in vitamin C. She hadn’t known about
this and said she’d give it a try. I also
Guided a guy who was interested in going
veg but said he likes meat too much and would
have a hard time giving it up. I talked about how
my diet actually expanded substantially when I went
vegan. I also had a challenging discussion with a
hunter, but we ended up agreeing about cruelty
to animals, and he took an Even
If You Like Meat.
—Elaine Wiggins, 12/11/13
have been better leafleting at
I met Goldie from the VH1 reality show Flavor
of Love, who happens to be a student there! She
said she wants to be vegan, but loves chicken too
much. We talked a lot about how she can still
make other compassionate choices and slowly phase
out the chicken, and she was thrilled about that idea. Our
chat helped her realize that it’s not the chicken
itself that she likes, it’s the sauce, breading, spices,
etc. She is now excited to try her favorite
recipes with faux meats!
—Andrea Gunn, 12/6/13
and I reached 1,350 students at San Jose City College!
Rachel [above, right], who is vegetarian, was excited about
using her Guide for some holiday cooking! I also met Carlos [above, left], a vegetarian
fitness trainer who tries to go vegan every year but seems to start
slipping after about a month. He is hoping the information in the Guide will help it stick this time!
City College of San Francisco was a great school to close out my regular season! I also received a link today to a story in the University of Northern Colorado’s paper about the presentation I gave there this past spring! It was a great presentation and discussion. It amazed me to be so warmly received in Greeley, CO, a town I had only heard of in reference to the slaughter facilities.
—Steve Erlsten, 12/10/13
100% take rate at Woodside High. I talked to
two friends who told me they’ve been thinking
about going vegan, so they were happy to get
Guides. Also, one girl walked away reading
her leaflet and came back a few minutes later
to say that there was no way she’s going to
eat the Christmas ham this year. She said she’d
always thought of it as just food, but now
she’d see an innocent pig and it would hurt
her too much to eat it. It made me happy to
see someone make the connection so quickly!
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 12/17/13
|Above (from left) are Thomas Black, Beth Menser, Louis Hill, Mike Bravo, and Kate Richmond at UoN.|
Kate, Thomas, Mike, and I [above] found many open minds
at the University of Newcastle (Australia),
distributing every booklet we had! We also
met vegetarians and vegans happy to see us
—Louis Hill, 11/7/13
to do birthday leafleting! It was
really, really cold out but when I gave two leaflets
to a woman and her friend, the woman stopped
and told me that she used to be vegetarian
but she went back to eating meat. She was asking
how I got my nutrients, etc. I explained and
I gave them both a Guide. I also explained
how it makes a really big difference for the
animals if they stop eating meat for even just
a day a week. They agreed!
Today was great leafleting in Chicago’s snowstorm! Met a guy campaigning for LGBTQ rights with The Human Rights Campaign. I talked with him about how animal rights and LGBTQ rights are connected. I told him that “oppression is oppression.” He said that he supported our cause and took a Compassionate Choices booklet. Love planting seeds!
—John Jungenberg, 12/14/13
Reached 2,500 students
at Colorado State – so thankful for Tommasina [Miller, right] and Daniel, who came out to help!
We had some nice interactions and heard from a few vegans and vegetarians. The temp dropped severely
later in the day, but I got to see Tommasina leaflet while dancing to stay warm.
She is great, and so hard core that she stayed with me the whole day.
Celina made her leafleting debut at Denver’s Metropolitan State. She’s hard core too, because it was below zero! Despite the cold, we reached over 1,100 students and had good conversations. One girl was excited to get a Guide; she thought she had to keep eating meat every few days to stay healthy, but with this new info and resource she seemed confident she could go veg and stay healthy.
—Rachel Shippee, 12/5/13
very last student at Falmouth High turned back
toward me while waving the booklet in the air
and exclaimed, “Yay,
I LOVE this! Awesome!” As she and her
friend walked away, she was enthusiastically
showing him the leaflet. That was a wonderful
way to finish my semester. Thank you all –
for leafleting, donating, being inspirational,
and making the world a better place!
—Lana Smithson, 12/20/13
had a great conversation at the Catholic University of America with
a student who was
really disturbed by the photos in the booklet
and discovering what “meat really is.” She
definitely wants to give going vegetarian a
shot! Boom – Guided.
—Kassy Ortega, 12/3/13
Monster day with Linda Bower at Miami Dade College! We handed out 1,645 booklets, and our many conversations with eager and curious students added up to a big day for animals!
|After reading an Even If You Like Meat booklet from Vic Sjodin at Palomar College, Jolene now wants to go vegan!|
interactions at Broward College! One
incredible unexpected talk was with Mohammed,
from Bangladesh originally, a father of three and
manager at a local BK. He
came back telling me he’d read the Even
If You Like Meat booklet. We
had a long discussion spanning everything from cultural
traditions to religious beliefs towards animals. Through
this discussion we came to the same conclusion, where
being veg is really about the avoidance of participating
in violence towards innocent life – with him making
the final points! May be the beginning
of a whole vegan family witnessed here today, since
he said his wife and children are well ahead
of him with this already. Another great interaction
came with Rose, who took a booklet and virtually
exploded with enthusiasm, sharing with me her experiences
with and concern for animals. Making the point so
much better than even I’d have been capable – she
told me: “Every living
thing has a heart beating and a life that matters.
Just as much as yours and mine.” Boom
boom and more boom!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 12/13/13
Biggest day of Vegan Outreach in Mexico history: Alan and I reached 6,800 new hearts and minds at UNAM Mexico City!
Salvador [above, left] read the booklet in class and returned to say he doesn’t think he can ever eat meat again, asking how he could help. I got his contact info and will put him in touch with AnimaNaturalis. Met Kathy [Cruz, above, right], a vegetarian who was beyond stoked we were on campus; wanted to schedule a talk for us, so we put her in touch with Israel. Also met Angelica [above, center], who is vegan and was over the moon happy to see animal activists on campus and wanted to help. I got her info and also put her in touch with AnimaNaturalis.
|Above (from left) is a UNAM student engrossed in reading his ¿Por qué vegetariano? booklet; Angelica, a student who now wants to go veg and took booklets to show friends; and Maria, another UNAM student who now wants to go veg!|
Tomas came back and said he is interested in going veg and had a few questions. Met a woman [Angelica, above, center] who wanted to go veg and came back to ask a few questions and for booklets to show friends. Met another student who said, “I’ve been wanting to go veg” when he got the booklet. Another woman read the booklet cover-to-cover standing next to us. Numerous people came back for booklets, some [below] to show friends, others after seeing friends reading. I always feel very encouraged meeting all the vegans and vegetarians and hearing “ser vegetariano” when people get the booklet.
Today at UNAM Oriente went well!
Highlight was meeting Daniel [below, right], who came back after reading, had
numerous questions and wants to go veg! Big
—Vic Sjodin (below, left, leafleting the CCH Oriente campus), 11/20/13
Big Friday in Utah! The
students at Utah Valley University are extremely receptive!
My host Jessica was able to join me for a bit before
her class and reached 250 students quickly.
Together, we reached 2,000 students and heard
from a lot of interested people.
—Rachel Shippee, 11/22/13
I had one of the best leafleting experiences ever at North Carolina Central University. Almost 100% take rate all day. One student came back and said, “I’m going vegan right now”; I gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating for help. Another student said he was interested in going vegetarian; he also got a Guide. I talked with two students who wanted to know what foods I eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I showed them pictures in the booklets and explained what I liked best and where to buy them. Another student asked whether any one individual going vegan made a difference since animals will continue to be killed by the meat industry. I explained how as more people change, fewer animals will be bred and killed and the movement will gain strength to bring the slaughter to an end. He agreed with this reasoning and was happy to receive a Guide.
|Vic Sjodin snapped these students reading ¿Por qué vegetariano? at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.|
One student turned down
a booklet at first but then quickly changed his mind
when he looked closer and saw that it was about animals.
He was horrified by the pictures and wanted to know
what to do. I told him not to buy animal products and
instead choose plant foods. He apologized for initially
turning down the booklet and said it was because he
thought I may have been handing out religious pamphlets.
He pointed at the booklet and said, “This is
the real bible.” He was glad to receive a Guide to help him change his diet.
A professor leaving campus called me over as he waited
at a red light. He said that he saw the students
bring the booklets into his class and was looking
to get three to share with others. I gladly obliged
and he thanked me for handing them out.
—Brandon Becker, 12/2/13
day of outreach at Flagler College –
met lots of vegetarians and vegans. Heard that
the dining hall is slowly increasing veg options
to keep up with the demand. Met a vegan who
wants to leaflet with me next time around,
and talked to a woman who is determined
to give a vegetarian diet a try again.
Despite the cold, wonderful leafleting with Matt at Georgia Perimeter College, and great interactions. Talked with a middle-school-aged boy who was on campus with what looked to be older siblings. As a result of reading the Compassionate Choices, it sounds like he is going vegetarian.
Reached 1,600 students at Georgia Southern University, and gave out 19 Guides. Friendly students and lots of veg folks! Many positive interactions, with the highlight being a conversation with a woman who was going to work on going vegan.
Too many conversations to relay at Coastal Carolina University – my best experience there yet! For example, one student had previously tried to go vegan but failed; I gave her a Guide and discussed the incremental approach of building up vegan days.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 11/21/13
|Mark McClure (above) and Irene Zhou (below) provide students with Compassionate Choices at Texas Woman’s University.|
Mark, and I reached 1,550 students at Texas
Woman’s University on Monday, and 1,500 at
Texas Christian University today. It is cold
and windy, but the numbers are still solid.
Must be the students’ insatiable thirst for
—Ethan Dussault, 11/20/13
nearly 1,200 students at
Western Illinois University. Very high reception
and a variety of conversations, including
ag kids. Met a number of vegetarians and
vegans at this most rural of all the schools
in my territory.
—Joe Espinosa, 12/3/13
Diane, Sherrie, and
I reached over 2,000 students at De Anza College, and met a number
of students who wanted more information (they
all got Guides).
Had a great conversation with one student who seemed
very resistant at first, but was very interested in
industry practices. He was especially surprised about
the cruelty in the egg and dairy industries.
Diane, Jessica, and Belle joined me at Canada College. Jessica met April who said after reading Compassionate Choices, she wants to go veg! After leafleting, Belle stopped by the art gallery, and the receptionist said she went vegetarian after getting a VO booklet a couple years ago!
—Steve Erlsten, 11/26/13
|Sherrie Tullsen-Chin (below) also joined Steve Erlsten at Evergreen Valley College, where they reached another 1,250 people!|
Was a rough morning
at Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus, but
after I moved my car I found a better spot
and reached many receptive students.
One student said she did not want the booklet since
the last time she got one it made her go vegetarian
for three weeks. I told her that was good, and suggested
that she should read it again! Many of the students
were already vegetarian.
—Leslie Patterson, 12/4/13
Big day out here at Middlesex County College! Reached over 800 students, my take rate was exceptional. Almost every student I offered our booklet to was interested and happy to take one. One student ran up to me and ask for a booklet; he seemed really intrigued so I gave him a Guide as well. I had a girl ask for a second for her boyfriend. One of the highlights was after I gave a student a booklet and watched him flip through it as he walked away. He was maybe 100 yards away when he shouted back a big “Thank you!”
Another great day –
reached over 860 students at Union
County College and Seton Hall University. Watched so
many people reading! A number of students asked for
extra booklets for friends; one wants to get active
for the animals. Nyeisha [left] was appalled by what she saw
in our Even If You Like Meat booklet. We talked
about what I ate, and that anything she could name
has a veg alternative. She was clearly very compassionate
and motivated to make changes; she left with a Guide!
Great day at Princeton and Rider University. Even the Pepsi delivery guy came over to ask for a booklet! Jonathan told me that he already eschews pork and beef. We conversed a little bit about why I decided to ditch animal products. He walked maybe 50 feet away with his head buried in the booklet, and then turned around and shouted, “I think I’m going to go full vegetarian now.” I jogged over to him and gave him a Guide, told him that he was making an awesome choice, and wished him good luck! It was so inspiring to see that instantaneous reaction to the booklet: that is the power of leafleting!
—Chris Guinn, 12/3/13
and I had a great day at
Nova Southeastern University – met more vegetarians
there than every before. Good conversations,
too. One student is now interested in starting
a group on campus. Another said she has been
veg ever since getting a VO booklet last semester.
More solid work by Vegan Outreach!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 12/4/13
day at UNC Wilmington! While
the take rate for students was decent, the
take rate for professors/staff was 100%! I
met at least a dozen veg students, including
3 from the student animal rights club who said
they’d leaflet with me next semester. Two
additional students separately asked me if
I was part of a club, so I was happy to be
able to put them in touch with the campus group!
—Andrea Gunn, 12/4/13
|Todd Lee sends this pic of two new vegetarians at Ventura College!|
outreach on Santa Monica’s Third
Street Promenade and at LA’s Art Walk. Had
one conversation with
Nick, a seventy-year-old man from Greece, there with
his wife, both of them genuine, kindly people. I gently
encouraged him to move further along the compassion
continuum; they really seemed
to comprehend this. I also witnessed a group
of teenage boys aghast at what they saw, shocked
and truly responsive, and I knew the seed had
been planted. Then there was the guy in his
forties, Jason, who
said he “used to be vegetarian.” He
didn’t really explain, because while
looking through the booklet, he started
commenting on how horrible it was. Both he
and his wife were so receptive to what I had
to say! He grasped my hand and
with a warm smile thanked me. Meeting these
people gives me hope and keeps me going!
—Robb Curtis, 11/23/13
night of outreach at the Paramore
show! Sandi and I handed out all 600 leaflets
in 20 minutes! Many people said that they got them at Warped
and that it was sad. Many seeds planted,
Reached 86 students at Libertyville High School in only 15 minutes! The students here are really receptive, and many students came up to me asking for a leaflet after they saw me handing them out to their classmates.
—John Jungenberg, 12/2/13
day at Oakton Community College! My mom had a great conversation
with one womyn who said after the conversation that she was
going to start eating more veg foods! She got
a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. I met a guy who said that the
leaflet depressed him, so I gave him a Guide
and encouraged him to
eat fewer animal products. Highlight of
the day was meeting one student who is giving
a presentation to his class tomorrow about animal agriculture.
We gave him some extra Compassionate
Choices and Guides to
give out after his presentation. He
was very appreciative!
—John Jungenberg, 11/19/13
day of outreach at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. We may have affected more
students than the day before at UNAM, if that
is even possible.
We met three women [above with Israel Arriola] who were vegetarian and friends. One had seen a Paul McCartney video online and never ate meat again. She asked for extra booklets to show friends. Several people returned to get booklets to show others. Others came up to us after they saw people reading and asked for a booklet. We spoke to a number of students who were generally interested in vegetarianism. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many reading the booklets [a few below]. Many got the booklets as they got on buses. Giving someone a booklet heading to mass transit is always epic, since they often have nothing else to distract them from reading the booklet and veganizing themselves.
Met Daniela [below, right], a vegan student who wanted to get involved in activism; she spoke to me in near-perfect English. We got her email and she also spoke with Israel at length. She was so happily surprised that there were people on campus speaking up for animals. It was great to meet her and we are now FB friends. At the end of the day another student spoke with Israel, saying he wanted to get involved in activism with AnimaNaturalis.
Second day at BUAP was awesome! Constant readers – there were always 3 to 5 people reading at the gate where we were standing. Israel had a long conversation with Jaime who wanted to go veg. We met another woman shortly thereafter who had a lot of questions. Alan met a professor who wanted a speaker on veganism for her class; Israel will likely return to talk to her class in the future. She also took booklets. Another professor came back and also asked for booklets for her students. Then three separate women came back for more booklets to show others. A shopkeeper came over and asked for copies, too.
|Several BUAP students read ¿Por qué vegetariano? while Israel speaks with some interested individuals; click here to watch the video version.|
Had convos with security guards at both gates
and both read the booklet cover-to-cover. One surprised me
by how knowledgeable he was of these issues.
I mentioned how animals are completely innocent;
and the dog/cow analogy, how we view them differently.
He agreed it was wrong not to value the life of
both equally. My favorite interaction was meeting
Rosa [above, left], who wants to go vegetarian and had many
questions and took booklets to show others.
She made my day.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/14/13
a vegan at CUNY Baruch who was very
happy to see me there. A security
guard came back reading the Compassionate
Choices and gave me a thumbs up.
Another guy who initially refused, on walking past
again, said that he saw the cute pig and had to take one.
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/20/13
was great to have Sherrie’s help at
Foothill College. One Guide went to a student who received a booklet
last year, and has been trying to cut back on meat
consumption. Another went to a student who gave up
meat last week, and another went to a student who
has vegan friends who are making him think!
—Steve Erlsten, 11/18/13
|After receiving a Guide from Chris Guinn, Rutgers student Sarah (above) is moving toward veg, and Drew University student and lifelong-vegetarian Sylvie (below) wants to cut dairy from her diet!|
day of tearin’ up Virginia – reached 700 students
at the University of Mary Washington. One student
said, “I already got one. I’m going to order
a Guide.” I quickly stopped him and asked him
if he was already vegetarian, and he replied, “No,
but after reading this I just might be.” Motivation!
—Kassy Ortega, 11/15/13
day at two Rutgers campuses! Reached over 500
students in one booming class change!
Sarah [right] told me she’s
been contemplating a move to vegetarianism. It was
great timing that I reached her, and I made sure to
give her a Guide. I was super encouraging and
advised her to start phasing meat out of her
diet in a way that would be sustainable. I’m
confident that when I return to Rutgers next
year I’ll be chatting with Sarah the vegetarian
of 6 months!
Another great day at more Rutgers campuses. I love leafleting by bus stops because I always see students reading while they wait! I saw so many students sitting down reading through the whole leaflet while waiting for their bus, very cool! Really great conversations with people interested in changing their diets or getting active for the animals. I also spoke with a once-upon-a-time vegan and encouraged her to give it another go. I’m bringing plenty of our Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and A Meaningful Life booklets to the veg club’s event tonight as well.
—Chris Guinn, 11/20/13
and I reached 1,000 students just during the
9:15 am class change, so we knew it was going
to be a record day at Clemson University!
Had a great conversation with a former veg student
who was looking to get back into veg eating; I have
a feeling he’ll be a vegetarian again before
you know it. Also had a good conversation with a student
who is part of the Agricultural Mechanization and
Business program and had several heartfelt, genuine
questions for me. He thanked me for taking the time
to talk with him and answering him honestly, as he
is trying to figure out how he feels about
various ag industries.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 11/12/13
over 1,100 students at Grand Valley
State between 8:30 and 4:30. Heard
from a number of vegetarians and vegans.
—Joe Espinosa, 11/19/13
and I reached over 900 students at the University
of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the past two days,
and met a number of vegetarians and vegans.
We saw an older man intensely reading; he was
shaking his head in disgust. Made a remark
to us saying, “They can’t do that! That’s
illegal!” And we assured him it should be
illegal, but it’s 100% legal. Others told us
they couldn’t believe what they read. Martin
gave my mom a hug, saying how much he appreciated
seeing us spreading compassion.
—Amber Smith, 11/20/13
Good day! New leafleters Rosa Moreno, Christa Zaros, Deb Hollm [above], and Steve Spagnola [below, right] joined me [Jennifer Greene, below] and Lisa at SUNY Stony Brook. Everyone loved their leafleting experience, and all are looking forward to doing it again.
Before we parted, I shared
with everyone another reason why
I’m such a fan of leafleting: it
has been helpful to me in my personal
life. How so? In the past, I used to spend way
more time and emotional energy fretting that
my family members still haven’t joined me in
going vegan; now, leafleting provides a
productive outlet for my energy and
passion. I take heart, especially
during trying times like the holidays,
knowing that even if my relatives
don’t seem reachable right now, I
can reach hundreds of other potential
vegans when I leaflet.
—Jennifer Greene, 11/18/13
near-zero temps, a lot of young people were
very receptive to the Compassionate Choices at Duluth’s Christmas parade!
Even a police officer asked for one, and then studied
it with interest. One young girl was very interested in learning more about
Vegan Outreach and showed an interest in volunteering
to leaflet in the future.
—Elaine Wiggins, 11/22/13
interest at Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican Campus.
Best interactions from the day came from the groups
of HS students I met for the first time on this campus.
Their enthusiasm got a couple groups of older
students more curious than they otherwise
might have been. One former
vegetarian said the booklet was
the sign she needed to go back to eating
veg, and from the reactions of her friends
who were listening to us talk, I’m sure they
will be giving farm animals more consideration
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/21/13
|On 11/18/13, Irene Zhou (above), Mark McClure, and Ethan Dussault set a new record at Texas Woman’s University, reaching 1,550 students with Compassionate Choices!|
University of Chicago is a tough school,
but I met some interested students and watched
others reading. Many veggies here, including
one who told me our booklet caused him to
go vegan. And when he passed the booklet
on to a friend, she went vegetarian!
—Leslie Patterson, 11/20/13
day at Utah State! One student told me he is now veg because of getting
a VO booklet previously. Another one said he and his
girlfriend made significant changes to their diet
after they had been handed one!
Also found very receptive students at Idaho State! Met a girl who wants to go vegan; she got a Guide. Met another really nice guy who was already not eating meat MWF; he also took a Guide.
At the University of Utah, talked with still more students who had changed their diets after previously being handed a VO booklet. A number are going to be making more changes now! Very productive day.
—Rachel Shippee, 11/21/13
Alan and I had such amazing interactions at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City!
The day began with an athlete very interested in a meat-free diet. We talked about recovery, inflammation, protein sources, etc. He patted me on the shoulder, smiled, and thanked me. Then a philosophy professor [above, right] spoke to me for 10 minutes and asked for booklets to show her class. Wants to get involved, got her email. Two other professors [above, left and center] came and asked for booklets for their students.
Met a 7-year
vegan [above, left]! He asked for 5 booklets to show friends.
And heard around 30 people say they were
vegetarian or vegan – more than two years
I had a very nice talk with Jacobo [above, right], who works at UNAM in some capacity (had an official shirt), and was SO happy to see Vegan Outreach on campus. He told me he has been a vegetarian for 21 years, and he took booklets to show others.
Two very sweet medical students – Anna and Maria [above, right] – came back to talk after class and said they were animal lovers, and never really considered how animals for food are treated. We discussed what to eat and that there is no difference between domestic / farm animals. They now both want to go veg. Another student came back and gave back the booklet saying it was too much to see them suffer, and she thanked us for being out there and is no longer going to eat them. Another woman [above, left] who came back after class said she read the whole thing, it is so terrible; her family cooks meat but she will not buy or make meat anymore herself now, and asked for another booklet to show her friend. About 5 people walked up to me to ask for a booklet, and then walked back.
I saw many groups of students looking at booklets and talking about these issues [some above]. One young woman was just absolutely statuefied by the booklet – she missed her crossing on the crosswalk that changes only every 2 minutes for the next 4 light changes. So awesome! She just stood there reading as the multitude walked around her. I spoke to her briefly after taking her pic [below, right], and you could tell she was deeply, deeply moved by the booklet. Also spoke to a librarian as I asked him for permiso to leave 25 folletos informativos para ayudar los animals, ambiente y salud. We spoke and shook hands several times and he thanked me for doing this work. As we chatted, 4 students grabbed a booklet leaving the library.
|A student is transfixed (above) by one of the 3,000 ¿Por qué vegetariano? booklets handed out by Alan Jiminez (below) and Vic Sjodin on the UNAM campus in Mexico City.|
You have to see it to believe
it. I can’t say it enough, outreach down here is the
best I have ever been a part of in my 6+ years and
over 500 schools!
—Vic Sjodin, 11/11/13
at Florida International U, I stumbled upon students tabling for the
Alternative Break program. This year’s “Alternative
Break” is a trip to Farm Sanctuary while
also trying a vegan diet! They were happy to
take some Vegan Outreach booklets for their
—Linda Bower, 11/13/13
an ag school, Oregon State is hard to leaflet,
but very worthwhile. Had a cordial conversation
with two guys who eat meat that they or their
friends hunt. Despite our differences we all agree that the way farmed
animals are treated is horrible.
—Nettie Schwager, 11/11/13
monster morning of outreach at Montclair
State University! Together with all-star activists
Jamie and Noel, we reached 2,786 students! Throughout the morning
the three of us collectively met over
a dozen vegans and vegetarians! I also met
students curious about veg eating and
gave them each a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. All in all, a great
day here in New Jersey; I know we made a
big impact and positive change for animals
out here today!
—Chris Guinn, 11/13/13
had a really good day at Boise
State! Reached 1,050 students before it really
felt saturated. I had one student stop to thank me for
what I was doing, and another who wanted
to get involved. Was also great to hit Walla
Walla University, as the students were genuinely
interested in the information!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/15/13
students were very excited to
receive a booklet at North Carolina A&T.
One student told us she gave up all meat
and dairy from receiving a VO booklet
last year! Cameron showed up midday
to help break the record at this school!
—Andrea Gunn, 11/14/13
Valencia College, met a professor who was going to
use the Compassionate Choices in an upcoming
argument and debate class. Solid leafleting
at Kennesaw State, despite cold and rainy weather.
Funny conversation with a student who started
to tear into me about not focusing on global
warming aspects, but after hearing my reasoning
left being very supportive and happy about
what VO does. Lyn and I also hit Life University, Jack’s alma mater. Solid use of time
given that students are there for chiropractic
and/or health science education, and many were genuinely interested
in the subject matter.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 11/7/13
|Lisa Drapkin sends this pic of Holli Hughes braving the cold to get Compassionate Choices into the hands of students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College: “It was Holli’s first time leafleting and she was a natural!”|
Great day leafleting
at Hunter College! Nathan
and I met many people who were interested in what we were handing out. A girl [left]
who got a VO booklet last year said that since
she’s gotten one, she’s eaten considerably
less meat! She was very happy to get a Guide. Her friend took
a Compassionate Choices, and we all
agreed that he is next. A girl who is taking
animal studies at Hunter was so happy to see
what we were giving out, and is going to join
the animal rights club at the school. I gave
her a Guide as well, after she told me that
being vegetarian is something she has thought
Jennifer and I were gratified by the insanely high take rate at Nassau Community College. A student recognized the Compassionate Choices and said happily, “Were you here, like a month ago? I got one of these! I got in trouble for reading it in class.” She got a Guide. Also ran into one student who is vegetarian and is trying to go vegan now. I gave her a Guide and also made plans to potentially leaflet together sometime in the near future.
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/14/13
day at Ohlone College, where I reached 725
students. I met Corey [left], who had felt good about buying organic
chicken until we talked about what those standards
really mean. He works out a lot, so we quickly went
over protein. He’s excited to look through his Guide and the VO website.
—Steve Erlsten, 11/12/13
day of outreach at Harper College! A ton of
amazing interactions. Mary, Jamie,
Alan and I heard from a bunch of people that
said they would never eat meat again!
—John Jungenberg, 11/13/13
and I reached 300 students at San Diego City College.
One student I spoke with is a cat
rescuer so she was interested to hear about
helping suffering animals. We talked for
about 20 minutes; she said she is going vegan
and will share all she learned with her two
—Berenice Weber, 11/14/13
At Anne Arundel Community College, a group of really cool guys [above] stopped to chat. Two of them were vegetarian – the other one is moving in that direction. It was kind of cool to see how the non-vegetarian felt like the “odd one out” for not being veg (yet!). But I included him in the conversation and he is definitely moving in that direction. He loves vegan food, and he is going to seek out the support of his veggie-loving friends.
Crazy-awesome day at
the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University with Casey [above] and Laura!
At VCU, Christina came back and said, “On my break, I read
your booklet and it really made me realize that I really
need to go vegetarian.” She had thought about going
veg, but never realized the level of cruelty involved
with animal agriculture. Then she grabbed a stack of
Compassionate Choices and started leafleting with us!
A professor with a booklet in his hand came back to say he is currently teaching a Spirituality and Ethics course, and asked me if I could come speak to his class about the ethics of eating animals. I am now scheduled to speak in a few weeks – I’m ecstatic!
—Kassy Ortega, 11/14/13
|Below (from left) are Kassy, Christina, Casey, and Laura after reaching 2,000 VCU students with Compassionate Choices.|
always tended to be an introverted leafleter, rationalizing
it by saying the people who accept a booklet
are more likely to read it. But as Jack
always points out, increasing the number
of vegetarians and vegans is a numbers
game. So today, my ~20th time at the University
of Arizona, I worked to go beyond my comfort
zones to reach more people for the animals,
learning from John and Vic. I reached 600+
students in 1:45. One woman said she doesn’t
like dolphins, but likes javelinas. But
she agreed to help chickens! And three
vegans were really thrilled to see me leafleting,
and happy to get a Guide. During the few
slow times, I watched people engrossed
in reading the booklet. And I love to hear, “Awwww!
Chickens!” in reaction to seeing the Compassionate
Choices! Hear that all the time – really great!
—Matt Ball, 11/13/13
|Phil Letten snapped these two students engrossed in Even If You Like Meat at Henry Ford Community College, where he, Stephanie Bay, and John Oberg reached 1,800+ people last semester.|
chilly temps and a nonstop drizzle,
today at Michigan State was so freakin’ sweet
– Phil and I shattered the one-day record, reaching
over 2,500 students. Really made me miss leafleting
on a daily basis – a truly wunderbar day!
One dude declined a booklet, saying he’s gotten one before and it creeps him out. I offered him a Guide instead. He asked when I thought lab-grown meat would be a viable alternative. I told him likely at least several decades but until that glorious day arrives, it’s our choices on a daily basis right now that make a difference to animals. He agreed, then commended us for putting up with the weather.
a bizarre turnaround that gave me a bit of
an adrenaline high, one angry ag student was
about a half-inch into tearing his Even If
You Like Meat in half, but within a minute
we ended up shaking hands before he went on
his way. I let him know that while we probably
have different views, we actually each likely
share many of the same values. I added that
we’re not out here to demonize farmers, and
everything cited within the booklet is from
neutral or agricultural sources. It’s important
to do our best to avoid leaving a bad taste
in the mouths of others, even those that disagree
—John Oberg (above, leafleting MSU), 11/11/13
¡Hola amigos! So stoked to be doing outreach again in Mexico and on a larger scale. Truly a dream come true.
|Above are some of the students who received a ¿Por qué vegetariano? booklet from Israel Arriola and Vic Sjodin at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Xochimilco.|
Israel and I had a great day at UAM Xochimilco, after bus rides, some walking and subway, carrying 122 pounds of booklets. Right away, I met 4 people who told me they were vegetarian. One came back and asked for 5 more booklets to show friends. Two security guards read the booklet cover-to-cover, and the one on the busier side called me over. I thought I was in trouble but he unsmilingly told me this was important and a good service to be doing. He then semi-floored me by asking me to leave a stack of lit next to the sign-in board on his desk [below], so students can take one as they enter the school. Supernice of him, and I saw students take a booklet as they signed in. I refilled his table supply right before we called it a day.
In over 500 schools of leafleting and 6+ years, an unheard of amount of people came back to me to get a booklet after a friend had gotten one but I had missed them, or they came after someone else had been reading one. I would guesstimate around 20–25 students and 3 professors walked up to me to ask for a booklet. Got a pic [below] of a student engrossed reading cover-to-cover while Israel was leafleting. Saw many, many reading cover-to-cover or reading way later after getting one. Really makes you feel awesome to see so many readers.
The highlight of the day at Chapingo was watching as a student stopped in her tracks after getting a booklet in a small plaza in front of a beautiful mural as the light shone on her [below] – captures some of the ambience of Chapingo and her seeing the light of not harming animals. Como se dice…sweet!!
On a personal note, I
was very thankful I got to meet Drew and his partner
two weeks back in Marin, who make all this
outreach in Mexico possible. I can never thank
Drew and all of you who are part of VO enough.
Only thing I can do is give a full effort on
my side of things. To be aware of the horrors
animals go through, our human and first world
privileges and to be willing to sacrifice
to help others is truly a beautiful thing.
Glad to finally meet Drew and I hope our efforts
on this groundbreaking trip make Drew, the animals,
and Vegan Outreach proud.
—Vic Sjodin, 11/8/13
|Above are two of the students Vic reached at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (left), and Ingrid (right), who works at a cafe in Texcoco: “She wanted to help leaflet but has to work weekdays, very unfortunate. Nevertheless, she says she loves animals and wants to go vegetarian, so that was awesome.”|
The take rate at
Ventura High School was at least 90%,
and many of the students were very enthusiastic
about the Compassionate
Choices booklet, squealing
in delight when they saw the animals on the
cover, or saying, “Yes,
I love animals!” “I’m all about
this!” etc. I saw so many
students intently reading the CCs
by themselves and in groups. One
son and mom sat in their car and studied the
booklet together. The pro-animal enthusiasm
at this school made my day and gives me hope
for the future.
—Barbara Bear, 11/7/13
spoke with one student at SUNY Cortland
who told me that he’d been thinking about
going vegetarian a lot lately – good timing!
Had an awesome day at SUNY Binghamton! I was joined by student volunteers Carlos and Tyler, who totally killed it; together the three of us reached over 2,200 students with VO literature! I met David [right], a vegan of 20 years who was super happy to see us out leafleting. I also spoke to a student who went vegetarian only two weeks ago; I was sure to congratulate him on making an awesome choice. I gave him a Guide to help him with his transition to veg eating. I had another student ask me for a few extra booklets for her friends, which was really cool.
—Chris Guinn, 11/6/13
Central Maine Community College hasn’t been visited
since 2009, so I thought I’d stop by. A security
guard walked up to me and said, “Are
you the one with the vegetarian booklets?” I
said yes. He smiled and said, “Oh can
I have one? I try to be vegetarian and would
like more info.” Whooee! That’s not
the usual interaction with security guards.
He also got a Guide.
—Lana Smithson, 11/6/13
At UC Berkeley, I had two people
tell me that our booklets are what turned
them vegan! It was also great to be joined
by Seldy, who is a fantastic leafleter and
provided some much-needed friendliness.
Diane and I had a great day at Mission College! One student stopped back to tell Diane that he had been planning to have a burger for lunch. He said the booklet changed his lunch plans, and he wanted to know what he could eat with a clean conscience. Diane talked to him about veggie burgers and other options. He got a Guide and is well on his way!
—Steve Erlsten, 11/5/13
|A student is engrossed in reading Even If You Like Meat at East Los Angeles College.|
Shanti joined me at
Mercy College, where we met 9 students who want a
club on campus. One student was interested
but concerned about B12. Gave him a Guide, and he
said that this “pushed
him over the edge” and he was going to get the
supplement and start his journey as a vegetarian now!
Lots of conversations and positive feedback at Housatonic Community College. For example: “I got one of those last semester at another college, Norwalk. It was so sad. I was eating a BLT and could not finish it. I cut back on eating animals.” “Thank you so much for spreading the word about this important issue!” “I will stop eating meat.” Christina wants to go vegan, but her parents are not supporting her decision. We talked a while, gave her a Guide and my card. She was very interested in trying this, and asked me to be her surrogate parent to guide her through the steps to being a vegan! Joseph read the Compassionate Choices and came back and said he now wants to go vegetarian; gave him a Guide. Best was when I was handing Shaquana a leaflet and she said, “You’re the reason I turned vegetarian last year!”
—Karen James, 11/6/13
Short but great time
at Miami Dade College’s Medical Campus.
A younger Latino was in the middle of a group who
all took booklets – all except him. He told
me he didn’t need it, because he got one several weeks earlier and had been veg ever since! Pointing
to the Compassionate Choices in my hand,
he said that that had been enough for him to make
the decision. It was obvious to everyone around
him that this had been a
joyous decision for him. So great to see –
yet another example of what a small amount of time
committed to leafleting can accomplish!
—Yuri Mitzkewich, 11/7/13
Rainy day at my Alma Mater,
CUNY Queens College. I didn’t even think that leafleting today would work at all,
and Giannina [Gonzalez’s, right] positive
attitude proved me wrong. Great take rate
and genuinely interested people. One girl
said that she had thought about going vegetarian
for a long time because she felt horrible
about the way animals were treated. She
said she had no idea how, and so I gave
her a Guide and said the best way is to
just try new foods and you can gradually
replace animal products with the new ones.
She was happy to get this information.
Another woman said she read the booklet
and it will make her stop eating meat for a day,
but seeing others eat meat around her will
make her go back. I told her to try cutting
out meat one day of the week for now,
and she said, “OK, I will start today!”
Giannina had a great conversation with an interested student. She explained to him that taking steps to change your diet, like finding foods you like and phasing out the old for the new can be a good way of transitioning. We gave him a Guide to help. He was happy we were there!
—Lisa Drapkin, 11/7/13
reached 63 students in less than 10 minutes
at William Fremd High School, which was pretty
awesome. I offered a booklet to one student
and said, “Info
to help animals?” She took it, and another
student heard me and said, “I love animals!” and
took one as well. Other students put their
bus windows down to get booklets.
—John and Mary Jungenberg, 11/6/13
|Kathleen Taylor hands out Compassionate Choices at Old Dominion University.|
MFA planted 654 seeds of compassion today
at Amundsen High School. Take rate was great!
—Jen, Brian, Jovan, Heather, Alan, and Madeleine, 11/7/13
|Above: A student stops to read one of the 800 booklets that Kassy Ortega handed out at the College of William & Mary. Below: Michelle Johnson hands out Compassionate Choices at James Madison University.|
over 1,000 students at the University of Washington
and North Seattle Community College.
Met Eva, who is vegan and wanted to know about
VO and get involved! I will be putting her in
touch with other Seattle activists. Also ran into
someone now going vegan; she was thrilled to get a
Horrible weather but awesome students at the University of Washington, Bothell! One vegan was thrilled I was there. Then there was this really funny guy who wanted to help by taking a booklet and going up to people and saying, “Take this and read it.” It worked!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/7/13
a great mini-tour! Met Christina [right],
a student at NOVA Woodbridge. She now wants
to try vegan and help me leaflet the next
time I come to these stomping grounds.
At the College of William & Mary, Riley had found VO’s booklet online and has started doing research about going vegan! Consider her “Guided.” Heard from one student on the way to class after grabbing a booklet: “Last time I got one it really made me go vegetarian for two weeks!” I asked him why he started eating animals again and we chatted. He promised to read the booklet again, and I gave him a Guide.
Old Dominion University is a blast to leaflet! These folks had their hands ready to take a booklet. All 2,300 of them! I was joined for the last 3 hours by the amazing Kathleen Taylor [above]. I caught her having multiple conversations with students! She said the conversations went well, and it was a thrill seeing their lightbulbs go on. For instance: George [right], after opening the booklet, came to Kathleen asking about what he can do to help animals on factory farms. She said he was very concerned and it won’t be long until he is vegetarian.
Michelle Johnson [below] joined me at James Madison University, where we reached over 2,000 students. A few great moments from today: Two students walked by me having a conversation with booklets in their hands. I overheard one of the students say: “I mean, either way, if it’s an open field or a pen, you are still killing them.” Peter [right] stopped to chat, and now wants to go veg! After a conversation and a Guide, another student said to me, “I’m totally doing this.”
—Kassy Ortega, 11/8/13
reached 3,200 students at
George Mason. We met a student who went
vegetarian for a year, and vegan for four
months as a result of getting a leaflet
last semester; and he asked us about plant-based
nutrition. There were students all over
campus reading and discussing the booklets,
including inside the cafeteria. We also met a few
vegetarians and vegans on campus who want
to get involved in activism. What a great day!
—Aaron Ross and Kate St. John, 11/6/13
Bucks County Community College went well
– met vegetarians and vegans,
and so many people came out and talked to me about
reading the booklet! Awesome day! One student came
back 45 minutes after getting one,
and said the booklet had changed his life,
that he could never eat meat again. WOW!
So amazing, we had such a great time!
Two of us reached 800 students at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Some folks stopped and read the booklet right in front of us. We also met some vegans who gave us a ton of praise.
Dang, leafleting is just so fun! Thank you Vegan Outreach for all you do, and for introducing me to leafleting!
—Rachel Atcheson, 11/6/13
Jovan and I are both working late shifts today so we
leafleted Northeastern Illinois University, despite the
rain and cold. Two security guards stopped and read the booklets
and had questions about veg eating.
One faculty person said we should be working for a
classless society. I said sure but in the meantime
we can prevent a lot of suffering just through our
—Leslie Patterson, 11/11/13
gave a talk sponsored by the Penn State
Veg Club and the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic
Association. Reception was great, attention
was super-high, and Q&A was at least
as long as my actual talk. One guy said
he couldn’t accept that animals feel pain;
I asked if he would be OK if we took a
dog into the center of the room and applied
a hot branding iron to her. He came up
after the talk to say that I really made
him think. A Christian asked how he could
best reduce animal suffering through his
diet on a limited budget. Someone asked
if by bringing animals up, we brought humans
down. I mentioned that women getting the
right to vote didn’t bring men down, and
that showing that we’re a caring, empathetic
species elevates us. I saw a lot of heads
nod in agreement to these points. Another
person asked if farm animals have actually
thrived due to our use of them, since there
are so many of them. I told him that if
I woke up one day in a battery cage, I
wouldn’t proclaim “Victory!”
I would say that someone screwed me. The
crowd laughed. It was exhilarating so many
people were really hearing me out.
—Jon Camp, 11/5/13
Epic day at Imperial Valley College, which had never been leafleted before. Had a long conversation with four students [below]. They wanted to know what they could do and had great questions.
Saw so many reading, as the majority of booklets
went to students sitting outside in between
classes or on benches outside the cafeteria. A
math professor [below, left] asked for copies for her
coworkers. When I told one student the booklet
was about helping animals, he replied, “[Bleep] yeah!” Another
student thanked me for being there. In the
cafeteria, I also made friends who had
questions. And as I was leaving, I saw a student
and couldn’t resist doing the rarely captured on camera,
drive-by leaflet [below, right].
—Vic Sjodin, 10/31/13
have to say that I am in love with Mississippi State – reached over 2,100 students for another
record day! A number of fun interactions. Heard
from a student who went vegetarian after receiving
an Even If You Like Meat from me last semester.
I also talked to two students who are trying
to transition from vegetarian to vegan. One
of my best days ever!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/30/13
1,050 Rockets at the University of Toledo.
Heard from a number of vegetarians and vegans,
two of whom let me know that the booklet was the
reason for them changing their eating behavior.
It was 21 years ago yesterday that I stopped eating animals,
thanks in large part to Matt Ball.
—Joe Espinosa, 10/31/13
|Vic Sjodin sends this pic of students reading Even If You Like Meat in the cafeteria at Imperial Valley College.|
Halloween spirit helped take
rate for me and Diane at Skyline College –
we set a new record! Diane gave a Guide to
a student who now wants to go vegan.
—Steve Erlsten, 10/31/13
loved today at Prince George’s Community College! After
leafleting, I spoke to the environmental
club. The students were very receptive and
had many questions at the end of the presentation!
Fern, the organizer of the club, told me
that after Jon presented last year, she dropped
chicken, cow, and pig! She still consumes
fish, but maybe my presentation will inspire her to drop aquatic life as
well. She reiterated with the group about
how delicious plant-based meat alternatives
can be, and how her family even mistakenly
calls her out on eating animals because the
alternatives taste so delicious! Most
of the group expressed how grateful they
were for Vegan Outreach’s work (even if they
aren’t yet vegetarian), and how
they were going to try to eat fewer animals!
Everyone took a Guide, and
Fern wants me to come back every semester!
—Kassy Ortega, 11/1/13
It was wonderful to leaflet with Shanti at Westchester Community College. We had seven students interested in a group, and many told me they were vegan or vegetarian. A student looked at the booklet and asked me for more, so he could hand them out to his friends and his church! Shanti said that a student took the booklet, read some of it and returned to her, smacking the booklet into his hand saying, “This…This is what I have been thinking about for weeks! I will take this as a sign that it is time for me to make the change to eating vegan!” She helped him by giving him a Guide. Another student said he wanted to go vegan, but his parents will not support it. I gave him a Guide, and suggested they read it together. He was very excited! Johanna said that after receiving a booklet from me last semester, she has reduced her consumption of meat and dairy down to two days, trying for more!
Met many vegetarians and vegans at Central Connecticut
State, and had productive conversations. Ishmael
did a report about factory farming in high school,
and learning the truth made him cut back a lot
on eating meat. I gave him a Guide. Shane is
an aspiring vegetarian. He said that he gets
sick and has nightmares when he eats meat. Gave
him a Guide. Shane was interested in a group
on campus. Joe said he received a booklet last
year from me, and he thought the animals were
treated horrible. He has changed his food to
almost no animal products, and wants to join
a club on campus.
Cold, but a productive, record-setting day at SUNY New Paltz. Met five people interested in the AR group on campus; got their emails and gave them my card. At the end of the day, I met the new president of the club [Jayne, left]! Got her email, too. She asked for extra booklets for their meeting. I talked with her about leafleting the campus, and she said she would like to, and will speak with the group. Jeremy [left] was the first person I met, and he said he was an aspiring vegan! He was so happy that I was there. We talked and I gave him a Guide. He wants to join the group. Ryan [above] said that he is almost vegan, and is happy to see me on campus. He always eats vegan when he cooks, but has some difficulty when he goes out, so then he sometimes eats vegetarian. I gave him some tips about eating out, my card, and a Guide. He was real excited!
I got to Southern Connecticut State early, walked up and down between student foot traffic, and handed out 520 booklets in the first half hour! I kid you not. Wendy joined me, and we reached a record 2,057 students. Met six students interested in a group, got emails. Amanda wants to leaflet! She turned vegan four years ago when I handed her a booklet. Brooke came back after reading a booklet and said she wants to help animals. We talked about cutting back on animal products, and she said she would do that. Gave her a Guide.
—Karen James, 11/4/13
Reached 94 students with Compassionate
Choices at Waukegan High School in less
than 15 minutes. I heard many say “Awww” as
they saw the cover, which was good. I didn’t
get everyone, so I’ll be back.
—John Jungenberg, 11/1/13
Whatcom Community College, the
students were great and I had really good
interactions. One girl said the booklet made
her sad, so I gave her a Guide and
encouraged her to try Meatless Mondays. Her
friend replied, “Yeah! Let’s do that!” Also
had a lady who was walking away reading the
booklet yell back, “This
is great, I will be contacting you!”
Rachel joined me for a class change at Olympic College. Highlight was running into a girl who said she went vegan from getting a VO booklet previously, and that she knew two other people who also went vegan because of a VO booklet!!
—Rachel Shippee, 11/1/13
Take rate greatly improved over
the course of the day for me and James [DeAlto, above] at the
University of North Carolina. James talked to
a student who told him she knew she should be
vegan but just hadn’t made the change yet. He
told her how he didn’t change overnight either;
he thinks she’ll be going vegan soon. A few students
turned down the booklet but then looked closer and quickly changed their minds, saying something like, “Oh
yeah, I want that!” Also some students who turned
down a booklet earlier in the day accepted one later in the day.
—Brandon Becker (below, leafleting UNC), 10/31/13
We had great days at Portland Community College and Western Oregon University, reaching over 2,400 students. Met so many vegans – more vegans than vegetarians, actually, and didn’t have nearly enough AMLs. A guy came over to tell me that he read the booklet over the weekend and was shocked by what he learned. One guy who now wants to go vegan gave Nettie a hug.
|Above is one of the students reached with Even If You Like Meat at the University of Tennessee; more of Lauren Walker’s UT Knoxville photos below.|
Met multiple people who asked for more
booklets to share with others. Also met multiple people who still had a booklet they had received
previously – one, when getting a Guide, said it was what
she’s been looking for. Met a vegan who said, “You converted me last time you were
here.” She said that being vegan is going great.
A guy came by and said he went to a meeting,
an open forum, and that everyone was sitting around reading the booklets. Met other people who
had gone vegetarian because of getting a booklet
in the past. One of them said she is showing
the booklet to other people she knows. Another
woman received a booklet from friends and went
Nettie also had a conversation with a guy who eats Paleo. The booklet prompted him to come over to talk. He started by asking if she was vegan. She answered yes, and he said then she probably couldn’t help him. Nettie said, “Try me.” They had a long conversation that covered many topics – such as labels, eating larger animals vs. smaller animals, Whole Foods 1 to 5 rating system, hidden cruelties, etc. The fact that she didn’t dismiss him, and instead talked about ways to reduce suffering, probably made an impression on him. Also had a long conversation with a guy whose father is a rancher. He said that he thinks it’s wrong to be cruel to animals but it’s okay to eat them because they are here for us to eat. And he said, “You don’t agree with that do you? What do you think?” Nettie told him that she doesn’t believe that. If their purpose was for us to eat / use, why would they have feelings, emotions, want to live like we do? They don’t want to be caged or mutilated or have their babies taken from them, etc. He seemed to like her answer, said that makes sense.
—Nettie Schwager and Cobie deLespinasse, 10/30/13
Lauren and I reached over 2,000 students at Auburn University, in one of my most intense days of leafleting ever. I was approached by a woman sporting a shirt that read, “Crazy Heifer.” We had such an in-depth conversation that she missed her first class. It is important for us to hear from the other side, as it’s easy to just associate ourselves with like-minded individuals. At one point, I did see the crazy heifer side when she asserted that farm animals suffering during any stage of their existence was a rare exception to the norm. As Lauren and I started packing up, we were stopped by a sweet young woman who was interested in veganism; she heard we were giving out information and wanted what we had to offer.
David [Shaffer, above, right], Riki [Higgins, below], Madeline [McKeen, above, left],
and several friends joined me and Lauren at the University
of Tennessee, where we reached 2,550 students. As it
was Halloween, many students were dressed up. My favorite
was a guy dressed up as Abe Lincoln. He took the booklet
and said, “I agree in freeing all slaves.” It
was pretty classic.
—Jon Camp, 10/31/13
Yvonne was great at East Los Angeles College! She put on an absolute show, like watching a human Tetris game unfold, spinning and bouncing to get everybody as they came from several directions over a wide area. It was really more akin to dancing than anything else. I love everyone who leaflets and volunteers and is part of VO, but Yvonne is my number 1.
Saw so many reading the booklet, it was just exhilarating. Met Freddy [above, right], who now wants to go veg. Also met Melissa [above, left], an honors student, who wants to go veg and had numerous questions. After getting a booklet from Yvonne, I overheard a student say, “I got one of these last year and was vegan for 8 months.” I encouraged her to get back on the wagon and gave some culinary pointers. Another woman was just beginning to transition to a veg diet and was stoked to get a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Epic day at Mesa College! Berenice [Weber, below] and Krystin [Elize, above] are new leafleters but pumped to leaflet more. Saw many reading as they walked. Jonathan [below, right] though stopped and came back and said he wants to go veg after reading the booklet. He got a Guide, and I wished him well.
Also met a farmer
who started in on gestation crates. I
finished his sentence for him: all the
piglets will be killed if we don’t confine
the pigs. That let him in that this was not my first time. Then
asked him that if the practice was not cruel,
why are countries and states banning the practice?
And the public supporting these bans? And
a few other choice questions. Silence. We
then had a bro down about his military service,
and left fair friends and hopefully he had some
food for thought, and saw that not all animal
people are fundamentalists.
Congrats to Steve Erlsten for all his new records! This movement, and particularly leafleting, seems to attract some of the best and brightest. Glad I am on the team with all these selfless and bright folks.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/30/13
Monday’s highlight was
overhearing one vegan student use the booklet
as a conversation starter with a friend,
talking about a restaurant that serves a
variety of vegan meats.
It was great to have Diane with me at Stanford yesterday! The students who accepted a booklet seemed genuinely interested. I had a memorable exchange with a woman who appreciated the reminder of why she is vegan.
Diane helped make up for time lost in traffic today at San Francisco State! Miles [right] came back after class to say that if I’m trying to make him go vegetarian, it’s working. We talked about animal cruelty and vegan options, and he was excited to look through his new Guide. Another Guide went to a student who thought bodybuilders couldn’t be vegan; he said he would look at VeganBodybuilding.com.
—Steve Erlsten, 10/30/13
Amazing day of outreach at Western Washington
University today – I reached over 1,800 students!
I heard from several vegetarians and vegans.
I ran into Lauren [right], who is vegan and wants to get active. I gave her the
A Meaningful Life booklet
and my email address. I also exchanged
emails with two other people who want to
get active; one who was doing a project
on animal activism and another woman who
writes children’s books about having compassion
—Rachel Shippee, 10/30/13
Sarah, Jen, and I quickly reached 370 people
at Barktober Fest. Very high acceptance rate, positive energy, and quite
a few younger people.
—Vlad Konstantinov, 10/26/13
|Phil Letten (above) and John Oberg (below) leaflet EMU.|
Phil and I reached over 2,100 students at
Eastern Michigan University – students were very
receptive! One student said, “This is
why I’m vegetarian!” Another told us
how awesome it was that we were out there;
another said it’s terrible what we’re doing
—John Oberg (below, left), 10/30/13
Record day at Tulane
– reached over 1,000 students. Had a very constructive conversation
with a pregnant woman who had previously
been vegetarian. Met an awesome vegan professor
who teaches philosophy and political
theory regarding food systems. He is also
the faculty advisor for the veggie group
on campus and he is happy to see a greater
number of vegans and vegetarians at Tulane.
Fantastic day at the University of Southern Mississippi, where I reached more than 1,800 students (a new record by 600+). Talked to a student who was anemic and I told her all about taking iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods in order to boost absorption rates. Would have reached even more, but had to head to Jackson State. Highlight there was a police officer who said he had tried going vegetarian before and failed. But after talking with me, he was going to give it a try again. He now felt like he would stay vegetarian if he did it incrementally.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/29/13
I reached 1,100 students at SUNY Oswego. I spoke with a professor there at the library, who told me that he’s appalled by factory farms and has significantly reduced his meat consumption. He’d grown up on a farm, and can’t stand to see the conditions animals endure on today’s giant factory farms. Met veg and vegan students who thanked me for my work, even had requests for an extra leaflet for friends and roommates!
|Above is one of the 1,300 students who received a Compassionate Choices from Chris Guinn and John Sakars at the University of Waterloo in October.|
At the University
of Rochester, I spoke to two different professors. The first initially
didn’t take a booklet, but I saw her a little
bit later and she’d changed her mind. She asked
me if it was “propaganda.” I explained
to her that the booklet simply presented information
about conditions on factory farms, and all
the information presented therein was firmly
rooted in fact, and the photos were all
real photos from farms in the U.S. The other
professor was really cool. She was incredibly enthused – talking to her was
definitely my day-maker. She was happy
to have the booklet as a reference, she said
it was good timing that she saw me because
she wanted to talk to her family about their
meat consumption with Thanksgiving coming up soon.
At Rochester Institute of Technology, I met a professor who was really happy to see me leafleting. She’s vegan and requested extra Even If You Like Meat booklets and Guides for her students. I’ve had this happen at a number of schools this semester, always awesome!
Had a pretty good day at Syracuse today despite some really crummy weather. It was pouring all morning and I had only reached about 250 students after close to 3 hours and was feeling discouraged. Fortunately things picked up and we were able to reach more than a thousand students. Nice to have help from local activists Amber and Miles, the veg club here is great! I had a great conversation with a student who was curious what I ate and how I got substantial protein in my diet. I told him about sources of plant protein, and we chatted about pro athletes who are vegan. I gave him a Guide. He asked if I missed meat, and I told him that I don’t anymore – now, the idea just grosses me out. I told him about all the awesome foods I eat now that I’d never even known about prior to being vegan. It was a nice positive interaction on a cold rainy day!
—Chris Guinn, 10/31/13
|Katie Jarl hands out Compassionate Choices at the University of Houston.|
In just 3 hours
we were able to beat the record for Muhlenberg College! A ton of folks said that
they loved animals – I love when folks say that!
Then we headed over to Moravian College, and we beat
that record too! The students here were so receptive,
I didn’t get a single decline. I was smiling
so much because I was just so happy!
At Rowan University, the three of us were joined by a student who remembered us from last semester. After reading the entire booklet in class, one student came back. She was shocked by what she had learned, and Claire pointed out how to get more information. We reached 1,625 students in just 2.5 hours!
—Rachel Atcheson, 10/31/13
A costumed Mercy For
Animals team took to
Columbia College for our Halloween leafleting
event. The students greeted us enthusiastically, many
exclaiming their support when learning of our
message. Spoke with a young student who had
expressed an interest in going veg after his
athlete brother went vegan a year prior and
had his performance greatly benefit as a result.
He left with the knowledge and determination
to make the transition. The Disco King
and the Caped Crusader [Mikael Nielsen and Brian Pietrzycki, above] were interviewed
by Carlie, a vegan student at Columbia who
is doing a project – we were delighted to
help her out.
—Mikael, Madeleine, Cat, Jennifer, and Brian, 10/30/13
Excited to be back leafleting. The kids
at the Paramore concert who took the booklets hung on to them;
we saw almost no waste. Heard from over a dozen
people already veg, which was encouraging.
A very worthwhile event.
—Jon and Darina Bockman, 10/23/13
|Kassy Ortega and student leafleter Joe provide a voice for the animals at Montgomery College.|
At Campbell University, one student thanked me
for leafleting. She had stopped being vegetarian
due to iron deficiency and was told by her
doctor to eat meat to get enough iron. I explained
that studies show that iron deficiency is no
more likely for vegetarians and vegans than
for meat eaters. I gave her a Guide and
told her about consuming vitamin C with iron-rich
foods to maximize absorption. She wanted to
try going vegetarian again. A staff member
said that she has worked at a hog farm and
chicken farm owned by Tyson, and that the horrible
pictures in the booklet were accurate.
Another student asked me what the best reason to go vegan is. I said that, for me, it’s about not causing unnecessary suffering and death to animals. I explained that since we can be healthy without eating animal products, we can prevent needless harm to animals by choosing plant foods. He was silent for a few seconds thinking about it and said, “That’s a good answer. Probably the best answer I’ve ever heard.”
—Brandon Becker, 10/28/13
|Kassy sends this photo of UVA student Katya: “She will be going all-the-way vegan very soon!”|
Long, beautiful, and
effective day at the University of Virginia.
Rebecca joined me around 12:45, and I am so glad she
came! She is so charming, hilarious – and
most of all passionate. Students seemed to
She is part of a study at UVA where she comes every couple of months to be tested by grad students. One of the tests required her to write a complete sentence. Her sentence: “Veganism rocks!” That sentence sparked a conversation with one of the grad students. Turns out, last spring that grad student been handed a Vegan Outreach booklet on campus, went home, read it, cried, and has been vegetarian ever since! And now her sister is also vegetarian! Insane. Rebecca said the student asked her in disbelief: “How can people know this and not change?” More lives changed by Vegan Outreach!
—Kassy Ortega, 10/29/13
Amazing interactions at Riverside City College – I spoke with around 20 people! Met Raymond [below, right], who read the booklet and got a bean burrito for lunch, and now wants to be vegan! Was a breakthrough interaction with much gratitude for VO.
Valerie [right] said she was gonna “have to go back
to being vegan” after reading the booklet and got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. Her friends supported her and said they would
eat vegan meals with her and consider eating
fewer animals. They walked off together discussing
Yasin [above, left, with Vic Sjodin], a student from Turkey, ran up and gave me a hug and a drink he bought for us, and said he was so happy to see us speaking up for the animals, asked how to get involved, and said that he wanted to donate once he has a job. He was so full of enthusiasm it really got to me. Had a long talk with Juan and Amber [below, left] during a slow period, and both are interested in going veg. Juan had already cut out pork and beef but “loved chickens.” I said with a smile, “If you love them, you don’t harm or eat them.” His face changed when he realized by eating chicken he was consigning far more lives to death and suffering. I applauded his cutting out some animals products, and encouraged him to try other foods. I also told him of my favorite analogs and where to find them – he was very receptive.
My absolute favorite interaction
of the semester was with Luis [above, right]. He
was sitting on a bench when I offered him a booklet,
and before you know it we have a 15-minute conversation
(while Andy [MacKenzie, below] leafleted the trickle of students). Luis
had so many penetrating questions – on animal ethics,
treatment, fast food, etc. He was very inquisitive
and was super interested in going veg, then he floored
me and asked to help leaflet for a 1/2 hour. He also
took booklets “to give to the girls in his class.”
—Vic Sjodin, 10/22/13
|While leafleting Riverside City College, Vic also met Elsa, another student who is considering veganism!|
leafleting at George Brown College
today, I chatted with a student who had tried
being vegan for a couple of months but found
it too difficult. I asked her what was the
issue, and she said things like bread ingredients,
cake, chocolate. I told her not to stress
out too much over very small ingredients
such as in bread. She hadn’t thought
of dark chocolate! She took a Guide and
is going to give it another go!
—Alex Greenwood, 10/24/13
Plant Strong Ramapo represented
the veggie movement with a table at Ramapo College’s Food Day celebration! I met a
lot of vegans and vegetarians on campus,
and others who are veggie-curious! Today,
our club started a petition to start a
Meatless Monday. After the event, I
stopped by to talk to dining services.
Turns out, they’ve already been secretly
serving Meatless Mondays! They weren’t
sure of how the students would react, but
now we’re planning to make Mondays a known
celebration of compassion here at Ramapo!
Win for the farmed animals!
—Heather Darley, 10/24/13
out as quite the windy and cold
day at Rutgers, but quickly became SUCH a sunny
day (in the metaphorical sense). THL volunteers
and I reached 2,200 students, and met about
a dozen vegetarians and vegans. I got all their emails, and am now sending
them emails to get them involved with the veg club on campus. So happy!
—Rachel Atcheson, 10/24/13
|Above: Angel Castillo leaflets Louisiana State, where she, Lauren Walker, and Jon Camp reached 3,143 students on 10/23/13. Below: Students are engrossed in one of the 3,100 booklets Lauren and Jon handed out at UL Lafayette on 10/21/13.|
couple of days in Louisiana,
with great feedback; e.g., “Thrilled
that you’re here. I’m vegan.” “Oh
my God, I wanna be a vegetarian.” “I’m
trying to be more of a vegetarian.” A
young woman told me that when driving recently,
she saw feathers flying up on her dashboard.
She then drove by a truck full of chickens,
bound for slaughter. She said that it was horrible.
She was glad to receive info from us. Another
student let us know that they talked about
the issue in class, all due to us being there.
Pretty much every single day of this tour,
I’ve exchanged info with someone who wants
to get involved – I have a big backlog of people
to contact when I get home.
Lest I haven’t stressed this enough: A lot of people are reading our booklets, a lot of people are mentioning how moving the booklets are, and our spirits are very high about all of this. Thank you so much to everyone who supports this work!
—Jon Camp (below, leafleting Ole Miss), 10/24/13
Reached over 1,000 students at Florida A&M, despite the steady rain. Talked with a number of people and got positive feedback. Also met up with the president of the local student group afterwards and gave her some booklets for a food giveaway the next day.
|While leafleting Ole Miss, Lauren Walker snapped this student riveted to Even If You Like Meat: “I literally watched him read the whole booklet. It was very encouraging.”|
The University of New Orleans has lots of vegans – I gave 46 people a Guide – and is one of my favorites. Also love Southern University at New Orleans – great response! Talked to a student who had been vegan for a bit but felt sluggish and went back to eating meat.
Great conversation with her; at the end, she said
she probably was not getting enough calories,
and will work her way back to veganism incrementally.
Then met a sweetheart of a student whose goal is to
be a vet, so he was thrilled to read about how he
can change his diet because he loves animals. Also
met a vegan student who proudly told me that his sister
is vegan as well.
Offered a booklet to a woman, and she told me that I had previously leafleted her daughter, and they talked about the Compassionate Choices in the car. Her daughter said that she is now going vegetarian. Mom is interested as well, so she got another CC and a Guide – she thanked me profusely. It sounds like she will be going on the vegetarian journey with her daughter.
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/24/13
At Georgia State, one student told me she
had gotten a Compassionate Choices in 2009
and had been vegetarian ever since. Another
student was really excited to see me on campus
and wants to leaflet with me next time.
—Mukang Pederson, 10/22/13
a chilly afternoon here in Chicago,
but Team MFA warmed up DePaul University. We
handed 900 Compassionate Choices to
appreciative students, many of whom expressed
a great deal of enthusiasm upon receiving the
booklet – lots of high fives and thumbs up.
Heard from one gentleman who has been vegetarian since
getting one of these booklets three years ago.
—Madeleine, Alan, & Brian, 10/24/13
|Gill Gillono, Mark Gillono, C.J., John Jungenberg, Alan McGhee, Tiff Bohn (above, from left), Jamie Jungenberg (below, left), and Mary Jungenberg (below, right) speak out for the animals at the Chicagoween celebration.|
fun day of outreach at the Chicagoween festival! We all dressed up in costumes which
added some extra fun to leafleting! I
had a really good conversation with this guy
who was horrified to find out what happens
to animals in the food industry. I gave him
a Guide. Fantastic day!
—John Jungenberg, 10/26/13
City College was already busy at 7:30 – I reached 2,100 students before 2:00! I had a great conversation with a bodybuilder who wants to go vegan because he doesn’t want to
support animal cruelty. Others were
excited to receive Guides and shift
toward a vegan diet!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/23/13
|A student at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle studies a Compassionate Choices from Rachel Shippee.|
take rate at South Seattle Community College!
Talked with several students, and one woman came to get a booklet and seemed very grateful
that someone was doing this work. Decent
take rate in the afternoon at Seattle Pacific University, too. A good day!
—Rachel Shippee, 10/24/13
an awesome day of outreach
at Carleton University today! Ali Pester
and I were able to reach 2,413 students in
just 3 hours! Ali met Genevieve, a student
who was already vegan but looking to get
more engaged in activism! Later, Ali met
another student who, along with her boyfriend,
is now veg after getting a VO leaflet last semester!
I had an awesome conversation with Amy. She asked me if it were still possible to find meat that comes from small family farms. I explained that while those farms are still out there, they are few and far between, as factory farms have virtually driven them out of existence. I told her I didn’t think eating meat is justifiable when we can sustain ourselves on a healthy plant-based diet. She didn’t know anything about factory farms and was appalled to learn that there is no legislation in place to regulate the treatment of farmed animals. I explained that this means horrible things for animals on factory farms, and we spoke about things like gestation crates, tail docking, and castration without anesthesia. She told me she was admittedly in the dark about what she could be eating instead of meat, so I gave her a Guide and showed her a few of my favorite veg-friendly meat alternatives to try. I also suggested she ween herself into veg-eating by starting Meatless Mondays or eating veg a couple days a week to get into the swing of things. Definitely the highlight of my day.
All in all, an awesome day of leafleting. It was nice to get out there and leaflet with Ali once again, she’s one of the most effective and passionate activists I know, and an amazing friend.
—Chris Guinn, 10/22/13
special day with Yvonne. She was amazed at
all the readers we saw at Long Beach City College. It was great – so encouraging! “I always
see people reading but today was unreal!” she
said. Got a good pic of Yvonne [LeGrice, above] leafleting right next to a student engrossed in his booklet. He read it cover-to-cover, then I spoke to him and he got a Guide. We also met Eric [right], who was deeply moved
by reading the booklet and had a lot of questions;
he was Guided and encouraged. Met and Guided a number of other interested students.
At Cypress College, a student got a booklet from Yvonne and stopped in his tracks and read for over 10 minutes. Numerous conversations and interactions, really special day, I’m sure many many people changed their eating habits. As usual, heard friends discussing the treatment of animals because of the booklet as they walked.
Picked up Yvonne super early and got to Glendale Community College for the 7:30 am class change. As always, great results! Watched students reading the booklet cover-to-cover.
Lisa [right] got a booklet and came back after class – she was really upset, got a Guide and some encouragement. Another student came back to Yvonne with a similar story, had read the booklet in class and got Guided. Met Melissa [below, right], who has been eating veg for a month and was stoked to get a Guide. Lastly met Crystal, who has been contemplating going veg. Reading the booklet today made her commit to not harm animals; she was stoked to meet us and get a Guide.
So great to leaflet with Yvonne, can’t say it enough, she is a pro and we are a good team together.
—Vic Sjodin, 10/21/13
a really good Friday at the University of Idaho,
Moscow, where I reached 1,000 students. Met
Maggie, a vegan who was happy to meet me
and see me out there! Heard from other vegetarians
and one guy who was very interested.
Kevin and I had a great day at Central Washington University! People stopped to show their support and thank us for being out there. Really good take rate and friendly students. Early in the day a student stopped to tell us he went vegetarian from getting a booklet last semester, and he now wants to go vegan!!
—Rachel Shippee, 10/21/13
Five hours leafleting St. Clair College and the University of Windsor, and 8 hours driving – all worth it for the animals! John tells me he had his best conversation so far this semester with a young woman who told him she’d been thinking about ditching meat, and our presence was a sign to make it happen! Another student said, “Thanks, you just helped me with a project for my Society and the Environment class!” We also met students at the University of Windsor who had just recently started a veg club on campus; I guess it was our day for good timing!
|At Glendale Community College, Vic Sjodin also met Ivana, who’s been vegan for two years!|
Solid day out here at the
University of Ottawa. It started raining as soon as
I arrived, but I found a good spot inside the doors
at the library and managed to reach 1,011 students
in 4 hours. I met a professor here who said he really
liked our lit, in particular our Even If You
Like Meat headline. He told me he thought it was
a refreshing approach. We talked veg eating for
a few and I gave him a Guide.
—Chris Guinn, 10/21/13
and I had a great day tabling at the Pet Fest! We gave out 400 Compassionate
Choices and 100 Guides!
—Elaine Vigneault, 10/19/13
Jessie, Alan, and I had a great day, reaching 500 people at DePaul.
I talked to a young man for quite a while about compassionate
eating, how we as a society treat our animals, and
what he can do to help. While he insisted that
he would never be able to give up meat, he did say
he was planning on raising his children on a vegetarian
diet. I asked him to try just one day a week without
meat, if that’s what he feels he can do for now. I
gave him a Guide to help. He also wanted to
discuss the social pressure of his male, meat-eating
friends, and how vegan and vegetarian diets are considered
—Madeleine Brown, 10/23/13
|Two of the many students that Yvonne and Vic saw engrossed in reading Compassionate Choices at LBCC.|
of conversations kept me busy nonstop at the
Tampa Bay Veg Fest. Gave out lots of advice on everything from going vegetarian
and transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism to
dispelling myths about soy, wheat, and certain processed
foods. Met a few potential leafleters and current
leafleter, Nick. Met an awesome vegan mom who had raised her three
kids as vegans and they are thriving. Two of them entered college before the age of 15! Met other
people who told me their lives were changed
by being handed a VO booklet, including someone
who went vegetarian from a booklet they received at the 2010
Warped Tour in Columbia, MD. Brittany, who leafleted with me at USF,
stopped by the table to let me know that she looks
forward to leafleting with me again in the future;
she pointed to the Why Vegan? and said it’s the
leaflet that made her go vegetarian in 2006.
Also met someone who was on a double date in Miami
on a Saturday night when someone handed her a Compassionate
Choices. She went vegan overnight and is forever grateful
for the booklet that changed her life. Super day!
—Dawn Ratcliffe, 10/19/13
had a great time at
Arcadia College! Super receptive and fun! One
woman said she really liked us being there
and agreed we need to substantially cut back!
It was a great conversation.
Great day at Princeton – many wonderful conversations, and made connections so that I can come back to this school and present about factory farming to Princeton students!
—Rachel Atcheson, 10/23/13
and I met up with first-time leafleter Leo at IUPUI.
These students are so open and receptive to our literature
– many thank yous for being there. Leo
showed so much enthusiasm, and with his great
smile had a high take rate, he wants to do
more outreach with us on his days off from
work as a full-time pharmacist. The highlight was meeting nursing student
Megan [right], a long-time vegetarian who is now transitioning to an all-vegan diet.
She was excited to get a Guide and wants
to get involved in leafleting with us. Great day in Indy!
—Tonja Robertson, 10/21/13
At Cal State Stanislaus, I had quite a few people excitedly tell me they were vegan or vegetarian, and I saw several people stop in their tracks
to read the first couple of pages of the booklets.
At Merced College, I talked to Kaley, who has been trying to take her husband and children vegan. She was excited to try some of the recipes in the Guide, was also excited to get to talk to a vegan! Then at UC Merced, I hit a perfect storm of school tour groups, luck, and the lunch rush to crush the old record (675) by reaching 1,500 students!
—Steve Erlsten, 10/22/13
I leafleted Foothill
College in Los Altos,
and reached 400+ students. I met a woman
who recently went vegetarian with her boyfriend,
and they’re hoping to go vegan next. I enjoyed
answering her questions about making the
—Diane Gandee Sorbi, 10/15/13
|Lauren Walker sends this pic of the Finrymple Bunch (Deke, Anna, Alissa, Fin, and Sen) at the University of Oklahoma in Norman; along with Jon Camp, they handed out 3,000 booklets and set a new one-day record for the campus!|
Another great day at
the College of Lake County! The take rate
was amazing as usual, and I also got into
some great conversations with people. One
woman said she had been vegan and was thinking
about getting back into it. She asked for
some tips and more info about veganism (got
a Guide). I gave extra booklets to two people who said
that they were going to give them to their
friends. I also met some other people
who read the booklet and were interested
in helping animals! Awesome day!!!
—John Jungenberg, 10/24/13
|A woman studies Compassionate Choices – one of 2,600+ booklets that Alex Greenwood, Chris Guinn, and John Sakars handed out together at the University of Toronto.|
Cleveland Community College in Shelby, NC
had never been leafleted before – what a friendly campus! Reached 500 students,
only 8 people refused booklets and I didn’t see a
single throw down. Four professors thanked me
for being there, and three students and one professor said
they were going vegetarian after reading the booklet! Really
incredible for a school in a tiny rural town!
—Andrea Gunn, 10/22/13
and I reached 900 students today at Ryerson University. A student told me she found a
booklet on a table in the library, and she
decided to go meat-free for 30 days. Another
student told me he thinks people need to
eat meat to be healthy, and so I flipped
through the leaflet and pointed at the picture
of Robert Cheeke. I said, “Look
at that guy. I know him. He’s vegan.” The
student said, “He’s jacked, too.” Kudos
to Robert for being jacked to help the animals!
And kudos to everyone else who is working
hard to help make the world a vegan paradise!
—John Sakars, 10/22/13
Delaware State, I overheard a student invite another student to Buffalo
Wild Wings, and one of the students replied: “That would be cool, but she’s vegetarian.” I gave everyone
a Compassionate Choices, and the vegetarian a Guide. I also let her know that Buffalo Wild Wings has a
black bean burger, so she can join her friends in ordering food.
—Kassy Ortega, 10/22/13
It was a good day at St. Francis College. Got
comments like, “I support what you’re doing!” “Thank
you very much for doing this!” “I’m really glad you’re here today” I met
a woman from France who wished me luck in
taking on this extremely important cause.
Two girls walked past without taking a booklet and
then walked right back when they realized
what it was. I met a guy who was very interested
in reducing his meat consumption but had
always thought it was hard to do, so I gave
him a Guide. I also met a girl that had been
vegan for 10 years, a guy who was vegan for
20 years, and a girl who was vegetarian for 5 years.
Today at Brooklyn College, I met 2 vegans and 2 vegetarians, including one who screamed, “Yea!” as she saw what I was handing out. I talked to a religious Jewish student, telling him that I, too, was raised Kosher, and now realize that if we are supposed to treat animals with compassion, not eating them is the only way to do it. Also met a girl who had been vegetarian for a while but reverted back to eating meat. She said that she wants to try being veg again and was happy to get a booklet.
—Lisa Drapkin (above, leafleting at Stony Brook University), 10/23/13
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