Vegan Outreach co-founder Jack Norris attends the 1989 National Alliance for Animals conference in D.C. He discovers a black and white leaflet about animal liberation and obtains the remaining 100 copies. Jack hands them out at tabling events in Cincinnati and finds them effective especially with high school students.
Jack becomes Special Events Coordinator for the Animal Rights Community (ARC) of Greater Cincinnati. Jack and Vegan Outreach co-founder Matt Ball and Phil Murray (now co-owner of Pangea Vegan Products) meet through ARC and hold dozens of fur protests outside of cultural events during this time period.
Phil, Matt, and Jack are arrested with five others at Procter & Gamble’s annual shareholders’ meeting in an attempt to get media coverage for the campaign against P&G’s animal testing.
Funded by the Animal Rights Community of Cincinnati (ARC), Jack and Matt develop the first ever flyer with full-color photos promoting vegetarianism to prevent farmed animal suffering. They distribute 10,000 copies over the next year.
With ten other activists, Matt and Jack held a three-day Fast for Farm Animals in front of a Cincinnati slaughterhouse. The most effective part of the fast was holding a Stop Eating Animals banner in the university district.
The precursor to Vegan Outreach, Animal Liberation Action (ALA), is co-founded by Matt and Jack.
ALA develops a booklet called And Justice For All.
Vegan Outreach is born: ALA changes it name and finds that handing out booklets is the most effective use of their time.
Jack embarks on the first college leafleting tour, handing out booklets at 19 colleges in the eastern U.S. and Midwest.
Jack leaflets at 171 colleges during the year.
Jack has two main takeaways by interacting with all these students:
- Large numbers of young people are interested in doing what they can to prevent animal suffering.
- Many people have gone veg and gone back, often because they had felt unhealthy.
Jack starts a program to become a registered dietitian to address nutrition concerns. He eventually creates VeganHealth.org.
Vegan Outreach’s Why Vegan gets a professional graphic design and distribution expands. Other booklets, Vegan Starter Pack and Vegan Advocacy, are also produced.
330,000 booklets are distributed.
Vegan Outreach distributes over half a million booklets in one year for the first time.
Vegan Outreach launched Adopt a College program – the first systematic attempt to reach large numbers of students throughout the U.S. and Canada. By the end of the fall semester, Adopt a College leafleters had handed out 22,217 booklets at 63 schools.
Vegan Outreach hires Jon Camp to leaflet. He goes on to hand out one million booklets over the next ten years.
Matt Ball and Jack Norris are inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.
2006 and Beyond
Vegan Outreach hires more Outreach Coordinators to tour the U.S. and Canada, eventually leafleting over 1,000 schools and one million students per semester.
In 2014, Vegan Outreach launches a Vegan Mentor Program, now with hundreds of mentors and mentees.
In 2016, Vegan Outreach launches a Community Expansion Program.