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We had a super amazing time at the vegan pizza party at the University of Windsor last Friday. Twenty students came and joined for pizza and a chat about animal agriculture. Naina Otiv covered health, Ruby Phu covered social and cultural concerns, and I covered cruelty and environmental issues.
We had very awesome students. Some vegans, some meat eaters. But everyone was open-minded, and we had a great discussion and a fair bit of questions were asked. Afterwards, it was nice to hear that a few of the students were really interested in my presentation and wanted to chat more. And it was nice to see the progress a lot of these students wanted to make and to be there to help them any way we can. Awesome, awesome time! We finished with a selfie group shot with some of the students [below].
Today, I leafleted with volunteers Ariane Bobiash [below, left], Alex Wichert [below, right, with Jevranne Martel], and John, and we reached 1,700 students at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
I had a few really great conversations, two with students who received a booklet last time we were here. I got a video of Cassandra [below, right] and gave each of them a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, as they were interested in knowing more.
I also had an amazing conversation with a vegetarian who was making progressive changes but still had some worries about health and nutrients. I also gave him a Guide and explained a few different things that he admitted he hadn’t thought of or learned before. He and a fair bit of other students and teachers told me to keep it up and that what we were doing was working.
I had a smile on my face so much today, from student conversations, the sun, and from the support and changes I see happening. Another amazing day with absolutely AMAZING activists! Thanks a ton to them for bearing the cold with me today—so much appreciation for the help.
At Rochester Institute of Technology, volunteers Carol Hope and Katie Curtis joined me, and together we handed out 1,650 booklets. I met more vegans than I have at any other school this tour, many who were professors. One professor came back to tell us he had been thinking of making the switch and now he definitely will.
Today we visited two schools to start the week off. Volunteers Carol Hope, Mary Barletta, Stephanie Coco [above], Lyn Kalnitz, and I reached 1,250 students at Monroe Community College. First-time leafleters Lyn and Stephanie were amazing! Carol, who was with me at RIT, is a real treat to be around. Mary is the activist here in Rochester. All of us had a ton of great conversations with students.
Mary and Lyn joined me at the University of Rochester, where we handed out another 450 booklets and had many conversations with students, teachers, and various employees, including one who took Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets to give to his coworkers. The student group was holding a viewing of What the Health, so we made sure to tell interested students about it.
At both schools, there were many students stopping and reading the leaflets as soon as they were given one. Overall, a great day of leafleting.
At the College of Charleston, volunteer Lauren Walker and I handed out 1,645 Compassionate Choices booklets, and I spoke to a student named Andrew [below, left] who was very interested in helping animals and wanted to know more after reading the leaflet. You could tell he had a lot of compassion and a high potential to go veg. I gave him some info tapping into the ethical part of the lifestyle, and he said he would watch Earthlings as soon as he finished class.
Great feedback today at Appalachian State University. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of vegans attending the school. Alex Hobgood [below, right], a student who had just recently gone vegan, asked to join me and volunteered in between classes. We handed out 1,950 booklets, and I exchanged contact info with Angelo Monroe [below, second from right], a staff member who had taken a leaflet and came back asking questions and is very interested in making a transition.
Today was truly my most amazing day leafleting yet. The students at Queensborough Community College were so friendly and interested. I was stopped by multiple people who had received a leaflet and wanted more information; a few of them had been turned on to plant-based eating by their parents, which is really cool. I also met a bunch of vegetarians, most of whom were gravitating towards veganism and just needed that extra push!
I handed out 1,300 Compassionate Choices booklets today, splitting my time between Fresno State and Merced College. It made for a slightly rushed day, but it worked out well! Best of all, I ran into Taylor, who’s been vegetarian since I met her in September 2015!
Even though Thursday at Monash University’s Caulfield campus was my slowest day last week numbers-wise, it was by far the best for conversations. Within the first five minutes of leafleting, I talked to someone who said he had already been thinking about going vegan, but he liked the taste of meat too much. I told him I always loved the taste of meat too, but that there are lots of mock meats that taste really similar without contributing to animal cruelty. We talked for a while about the different brands and where to get them, and he left saying he was definitely going to give veganism a go! Had four other conversations with people very interested in making changes: one who’s going to start by cutting out chicken, another who’s going to start eating more vegan meals, and a couple of vegetarians wanting to take the next step to veganism.
Today at Deakin University’s Melbourne Burwood campus, I handed out 1,410 booklets and got a video of a guy I met named James [below], who got a leaflet from us here a couple of years ago and is now vegan!
From VO India Outreach Coordinator Siddharth Sharma:
Volunteer Sunil Joseph and I handed out 1,000 booklets on Tuesday at the BFIT Group of Institutions in Sudhowala, Uttarakhand. We got a very good response from the faculty—they appreciate our efforts and allowed us to leaflet inside the campus, as well as at the hostels.
Sumilita [below] is from Tripura and pursuing her computer science diploma from BFIT. Now that she knows the cruel reality of the farms, she’s ready to try a vegetarian diet.
Today at the Dev Bhoomi Group of Institutions in Dehradun, Sunil and I leafleted near the gate and handed out another 1,000 booklets. After reading the leaflet and speaking with me, Anand [below, right] is ready to cut all dairy products from his diet.
From VO Mexico Outreach Coordinator Emmanuel Marquez:
At the Universidad de Guanajuato Campus Celaya-Salvatierra, VO intern Joselyn Aguilar and I started leafleting early in the morning and then tabled with Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets. The take rate was superb and responses were so good.
Thanks to a leaflet Luis [below, left] will reduce his meat intake. Monica [below, right] ate vegan for about four years but stopped. After meeting us and clearing some doubts, she decided to go vegan again and will register for the Vegan Mentor Program (VMP). Angelica was eating veg for a year and went back to eating meat. After receiving a leaflet and watching the 360° footage, she decided to eat vegetarian again but this time with VO’s support. She received a vegetarian guide and signed up to receive our recipes by email.
Miss Veronica teaches sustainability studies. She congratulated us for our work and asked for a bunch of leaflets for her students, then gave one to her coworker and told him, “See I told you, you need to stop eating meat,” and pulled him over to get him in the picture [below]. She’s a vegetarian and will invite us to her class next time we’re here.
Another teacher in the same field was thrilled to see our work. She’s vegetarian too and told us about her siblings who are as well and her grandson who is vegan. I gave her a VMP card for her grandson, so he can register to help people go veg and remain that way. I also gave her my card, so she can contact me to visit her classes to give a humane ed presentation. I couldn’t take a picture of her or get her name and info, because the table was packed with people using the VR headsets and asking for guides and info. But this teacher was so happy that she thanked us and hugged me more than once. It was amazing.
I handed out 1,410 VO booklets at Ohio University and met Malia [below, left; watch video], a vegetarian student who’s working on going vegan. She said she’s switched from drinking cows’ milk to almond milk and is working on cutting out cheese and eggs, so I pointed out that our Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating shows Daiya cheese and Just Mayo mayonnaise; she hadn’t heard of either but was interested in trying them. Those simple changes can spare animals from a life of suffering; this is why it’s so important not just to teach people about the reasons for going vegan, but also to show them how to do it.
Today at Clarion University, I met a student [Shayna, below, right; watch video] who said she was going vegetarian and then hopefully vegan because of the Compassionate Choices leaflet I handed her. Such a good feeling.
Our day at the University of Texas at El Paso was great; we handed out over 2,400 VO booklets—a new campus record! So much positive feedback and many thank yous for being out there. We encountered many vegetarians who said they’d been considering going vegan, but with the leaflets, they again were getting inspired to head in the right direction to veganism. Best of all was hearing all the athletes telling us how they appreciated us being there and how they had given going vegan a second thought with our pamphlets. Many students were so eager to see what we were giving out. We can honestly say we did not have one negative experience!!
[My vegan mentor] is more than a huge help. He is so knowledgeable, and if he doesn’t know something, he contacts someone who can help.… There is not a question that I’ve had that wasn’t answered.
A great day today! The weather was chilly this morning but I started inside Langara College. I handed out 525 VO booklets and had an interesting conversation with a student who was religious and kept saying that God put animals on earth for us. I said some things that made him understand that animals feel pain and God wouldn’t cause his creatures to suffer. He agreed and we had a pleasant chat about living a happy and healthy life without harming others.
Then I headed to Douglas College and had a great little group of volunteers [Ashley Taite, and Vaeda and Rebecca Abbott, below]. Smiles all around for the mini activist and a good take rate handing out another 675 booklets. Being surrounded by children, we actually had a great conversation with a mother who wanted to make sure all her needs would be covered if she went vegan. We gave her some great information and she thanked us for the work we’re doing.
This booklet actually changed my eating habits. My vegetarian/[near-vegan] sister couldn’t believe it. Knowing how much I love my dog, I couldn’t bear the idea that I regularly ate animals that photograph with the same happy look my lab has when we take her picture.
This booklet is incredibly well thought out and I wanted to extend my appreciation for what you all do. I’m sure it’s not easy handing these out to a bunch of less-than-welcoming college students, but I wanted to let you all know you at least got to one of us.
The temperature was 20–30°F for most of the day so there were fewer students than I was used to on campus at the College of William & Mary. It was a great day of outreach regardless, since Ryan Phillips and his pig Charlotte (dressed for the cold) helped out. She’s pretty famous on campus already so there were crowds for most of the day, which worked out great. People interacted with her and then got a leaflet from me.
We met many vegans on campus and a few students interested in making the change. I overheard a few students commenting, “I can’t eat bacon anymore,” “I feel bad for eating pigs,” “I’m happy I don’t eat meat.” A lot of people had never seen a pig before today. Laura [below, right] was super excited to meet Charlotte and was ready to transition from vegetarian to vegan!
Roxanne Hill [VO’s Events & Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) Manager, below, left], Jack Norris [VO’s Executive Director, below, right], and I handed out 1,810 booklets at Cal State Dominguez Hills in two class changes. It was slightly blustery but a great quick day of outreach.
It was Roxanne’s first day of leafleting!!! She was a natural. The weather didn’t make people too chatty, mostly grab and go, but many still had their booklets on them later on and a few people were stoked we were on campus, including a vegan mentor of ours!! And it was actually the first time Jack and I had ever leafleted together. The chief can really move some lit!!!
It was another nice sunny day of leafleting in Southern California! John and I got Compassionate Choices into the hands of 4,350 students at Cal State Northridge, and…drumroll, please…John handed out his 200,000th booklet today!
One highlight from John: “One student said to me, ‘I received a leaflet last year—someone was handing them out—and I threw it straight into the garbage. Now I’m vegan. Can I have a few more leaflets to give to my friends?’”
I protested two Ringling shows in Orlando and then distributed 50 Compassionate Choices booklets downtown.
And then I woke up in the middle of the night to discover Ringling is closing. YAY!!!
I handed out 2,300 booklets at the Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles today. Tens of thousands of attendees set a fine example of PLUR—Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect—fulfilling Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, dream of the Beloved Community. Veganism is related because of the theme of nonviolence.
This might be my personal all-time best for the most vegan leaflets distributed in one day. I recommend everybody attend such parades.
From VO’s India Outreach Coordinator, Pooja Rathor:
Darshana Muzumdar and I handed out 1,607 booklets near Big Bazaar in Visharant Wadi, Pune. We leafleted and also showed the videos Glass Walls and Horrors in India’s Dairy Industry.
After receiving the leaflet, Nikhil Chaudry [below, left] said, “I’m glad to know all this information. I would like to be a volunteer and help you leaflet at my college.”
We met Shweta Kiran Uttekar [above, right]. She is a student from St. Mira’s College who has reduced consumption of dairy after receiving the leaflet on campus when we were there a few months back.
We met Rishu and Sanjay [below], who wanted to join as volunteers after watching the video and talking to us further.
It was a great day as we got four people who wanted to join the movement.
From a former mentee and current mentor in our Vegan Mentor Program:
I have been vegan for almost three years now and am so passionate about it! The more I learn—about the horrors for animals raised for food, the devastating impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for health—the more passionate and committed I become. I have always been a huge animal lover, and their welfare is first and foremost the driving force between my going and staying vegan. It is now the core of my identity, the central focus of my life, and I feel my purpose is to do as much as I can to help animals. It’s not always easy being vegan in a non-vegan world, and it was invaluable for me to get support as I was transitioning to veganism and as a new vegan. Now that I’m over the hump, I want to give back and help others who are trying to go vegan or are already vegan and struggling with it.
From VO’s India Outreach Coordinator, Pooja Rathor:
Inderpal Singh [below, left] and I had great conversations while vegucating a diverse crowd on Friday at the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi. The parents of a 14-year-old girl asked us to talk about vegan nutrition with their daughter; the mother [below, right] said, “We are already vegetarians, and we are ready to make changes but we want our kids to understand it too.”
We had a great time leafleting with Mauricio Herrera [below, left], an activist from DxE Chicago; together we handed out 1,890 booklets, and the volunteers of Mission Swasth Bharat [below, right] took 200 to give out along with their forms.
Today Inderpal [below, left] and I leafleted inside the fair and reached another 2,150 people. We met Ravi Kumar, a DAV school teacher who spotted us and said, “I got the same leaflet near my school. My family and I have reduced the consumption of dairy because of it.” We also met a group of teenagers who were really shocked after knowing the facts; Priya said, “The media should focus on this topic more than any other issues.” It was great to see so many people initiating conversations and discussing the booklets.
Tyler Giles is a student at Southwestern Illinois College. We tabled indoors and leafleted at the table. Two students pledged to go vegan after visiting with me; one’s photo is [below].
Today I met a student who went vegan after his girlfriend went vegan after she received a booklet from me last year! It’s the best kind of domino effect!
Beate Wolfe and I did some leafleting at Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara while helping out the FARM crew with the 10 Billion Lives pay-per-view (PPV) tour. Cristina Tangreti [above], who has worked with PETA in the past and is now doing the PPV tour, got a Compassionate Choices leaflet while vacationing in Chicago in 2009, went vegan, and is now a full-time activist. She wishes she knew who leafleted her so she could thank them.
The Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets for the most part went to people who watched the video and were interested in eating more compassionately. We had loads of good conversations while doing PPV, introduced veg*ns to the campuses’ vegan clubs for support, and got contact info from those who want to help leaflet in the future. The UCSB campus especially seemed to be teeming with vegans—makes me hopeful!
I am now officially vegan! [My mentor] has done a wonderful job answering all of my practical questions but has also given insight to her own moral position on certain issues that I had trouble with myself.… She always responds in a timely fashion to any questions and puts a lot of detail and effort into her answers. She also checks up on me every once in a while to see how I’m doing with the transition to veganism. I have now been vegan for 21 days!
Today I was joined at the University of Texas at El Paso by the Flores family [above, from left: Adriana, Marina, Jovana, Karla, and Victor], which was awesome since they traveled from so far! We had many conversations with interested students who wanted to try veg or vegan, so we hooked them up with Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets! Below are Brianna and Hector, who both want to try vegan after receiving a leaflet! Great end to my week.
When I was leafleting at Wright State University in Ohio, I met Antoin [below], an anthropology student who was tabling to encourage students to vote for candidates who are committed to promoting the use of clean energy. He approached me after receiving a leaflet to say he was really interested in the material. When I told him about how eating less meat can also help fight climate change, he was very surprised, and was also thinking about eating less of it for health reasons.
From VO’s Canada Outreach Coordinator, Jevranne Martel:
I had an interesting day at the University of Manitoba. With the teachers on strike since Tuesday, fewer students were at the school today, but I still managed to have some amazing chats.
I handed one student a booklet, and he returned after he read it to ask for more information. He approached me with another friend, and she asked for information also. Since they didn’t have a class to get to on time, they were engaged in a conversation with me for a fairly long time and were really taking in everything that was being said. They were both meat eaters who admitted to never being curious about this stuff before, but after reading the Your Choice booklet, they wanted to know more. By the end of our conversation, they both said that they want to go vegan. They were shocked at the cruelty and environmental and health issues and asked for more info. I gave them both a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and wrote down some more info for them. I truly believe these two [below] are going to be making changes in their lifestyle as soon as possible.
After we said goodbye, a few other students who were sitting on the benches nearby and overheard parts of the conversation came up to ask me for more info also. It was the perfect way to have a strike day, where students were able to engage in longer conversations and get more intrigued.
From VO’s Director of Outreach, Vic Sjodin:
Special day of outreach at Los Angeles Valley College. Katia Rodriguez, Emmanuel Marquez, and I spoke to several dozen students, and I can’t remember ever seeing so many students reading booklets cover-to-cover outside.
One class just had a student present on veganism. Another student [below, left] asked for more literature for her friends. A teacher invited me to speak to her class next week. Spoke for 20 minutes to Isaiah [below, right] and his friends during a lull. Isaiah is all about going vegan for animals and ethics and had many questions about vegan products. His friends also asked great questions with interest and read the whole booklet. All in all, a great day at this smallish community college.
First day back on the road and it was fantastic! I handed out 1,350 booklets at UW Oshkosh and had a good conversation with someone who is interested in our Vegan Mentor Program and checking out Plant Based on a Budget. Also met a vegan who was happy to have someone to talk with and eager to learn about VO.
It was a great day at East Los Angeles College—over 2,800 students reached! Priscila [below] has been vegetarian for a while and is working on going fully vegan! She even leafleted with me for a few minutes!
I LOVE my mentor. We met in person at Yard House and had vegan burgers. She is so sweet and helpful. We have a lot in common and I know that I can always rely on her for help. She was really knowledgeable and opened my eyes to new things/ideas about veganism. Thank you so much for pairing me up with her!
This was a GREAT experience and I would love to get more involved one day and would recommend this program to anyone!
From VO’s Southeast Outreach Coordinator, Yuri Mitzkewich:
Super productive visit to the friendly crowds at the University of South Alabama! It was fun to have local ARC (Awakening Respect and Compassion for All Sentient Beings) volunteer Roy Duvall [above, left] join in—his third semester in a row turning out here. He’s amazing when he’s on campus—reaching out to the students with his serenely peaceful and calm personality, he got lots of those we reached stopping to talk with him.
Jackie [below] was one of several he found who was super excited to get the info. She’d been wanting to go vegetarian for a while but was having trouble getting family to accept her choice. Roy gave her lots of reassuring ideas to think about, and she was very excited and super happy that she’d met him. Getting a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, and an extra Your Choice for her family, she left us pumped and ready to give it a go.
It was also super cool having Steve Rubey (volunteer David Rubey’s father) [above, right] join us for a little while. Was really awesome seeing him and Roy working the flows of students together. Steve, a recent convert, said he really enjoyed the leafleting and he’d be joining again next time we’re in town. Awesome day with lots of amazing interactions here! Always love visiting this school!
Kent State University had the friendliest students of any school I’ve been to so far; most people accepted a leaflet, and the majority of the remainder declined very politely. A lot of students would even go out of their way to get a leaflet, or they’d start reaching their hand out for a leaflet when they were still 10 feet away from me, as if to say, “You know I want that leaflet!”
I also talked to a girl who was reading Your Choice and said the page about chick culling made her sad, so she wants to go vegan now…it made my day.
Jennifer Kee, my sister Maya, and I handed out 700 booklets at Howard University today. It was my sister’s first time leafleting and I’m so proud! She was super comfortable and told people to “go vegan”! We met a vegetarian and a girl whose sister is vegan. Pretty cool conversations!
This [Vegan Mentor Program] helped me make my change to a vegan. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for my mentor. My mentor was really, really helpful. She responded to every question I had. She was also very quick to answer to my questions! I was aiming for the vegetarian lifestyle but wished to go for a vegan one. Thanks to my mentor, she opened up my eyes and helped me transition directly to a vegan lifestyle!
Thank you so much! This programme was that little help I needed!
It was so wonderful to have two new student volunteers and to have Salim Damerdji return to help us again this year! CJ Cuevas and Harri Ashby have formed the group HEAR (Health, Environment, Animal Rights) at UCSB, so we hope to collaborate with them for more leafleting, food outreach, etc.
And, of course, it was fantastic to have Beate Wolfe and three of her dogs there too! They made the day infinitely more fun. It was interesting to overhear students talk about animal issues and veganism while they were petting the dogs [below]. Then when they would say things such as “Vegan…how would you even survive?” we would jump in with Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets, vegan zucchini bread, piggy magnets, and let them know they can still eat tacos, pizza, burgers, etc. by just substituting with cruelty-free meat, egg, and dairy replacements.
From VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, Emmanuel Marquez:
Today we visited the main campus of the largest university (by enrollment) in Latin America, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Katia Rodriguez, Joselyn Aguilar, and I arrived at 6:00 am to cover the main entrances. Laura Rosales [above] joined a little bit later and did an amazing job leafleting at a school for the first time. Liliana Soto [below], Martha Mondragon, and Francisco Leon helped too. In total, we handed out 15,003 booklets—a new record for the campus!
We had people asking for more leaflets and more info, vegans and vegetarians thanking us for the activity we were doing, and countless students reading the leaflets. Katia met Renata, Deyanara, and Ana [below]. Deyanara came back to Katia and told her, with tears in her eyes, that she was shocked by the suffering of animals in farms. She and her friends asked for guides, and the three of them decided to start changing their diets to help animals.
It was a very sunny day and we have bad sunburns after spending hours under the sun; but when I see the power of leaflets making positive changes in people, it’s all worth it. I feel very thankful for all the people who make the Vegan Outreach programs possible.
Becoming vegan was not as hard as I thought, I still bought additional books for ideas, but I think I love it! And, my family, hard-core meat eaters, they sometimes cook a vegan meal or two. Surprising to me.
Thank you for the [Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating] booklet, it’s very accessible and I really thank you all for all that you do. 😃
Today I hit a major milestone—100K booklets!!!
Another hot day in New Jersey. My intern, Alexis Clark [below, left], and I handed out 1,224 booklets at Middlesex County College and Rutgers Douglass Campus. We had a few good conversations and saw many people reading the leaflets!
I cannot say enough about Alexis. She has no issue with walking right up to anyone to offer them a leaflet. I’m very happy she’s rocked it these past few days.
Anula Namshum, Koushik Raghavan, and I handed out 985 booklets at Marina Beach in Chennai. People were very receptive.
We met this man [below, with Anula (left) and Pooja] who acknowledged cruelty happening to animals but wasn’t aware of the dairy industry. He said, “You people are like a blessing as at such a young age you are having such good intentions, and I had no idea that I have been part of such cruelty and I would surely try dairy alternatives.”
I had a lot of support from great Vegan Outreach volunteers and our local intern in the Columbus area (Stephanie) this week. Ohio State was especially fun because I gave high fives to a bunch of runners and leafleted five skateboarders. At Columbus State Community College, one student asked me if chick culling is an actual practice in the egg industry and told us the leaflet was giving him a lot to think about before his upcoming lunch; it’s really surprising for many people when they learn about it. Below is a picture of VO intern Stephanie Sopczak at CSCC.
From VO’s Southeast Outreach Coordinator, Yuri Mitzkewich:
A very positive and encouraging visit to Tulane University today—Natalie Amstutz, Ellie Hellmers, Sara Beesley, and I [below] handed out over 2,400 booklets!
After the 3 pm rush, we switched gears and did some chalk activism, putting some thought-provoking text and graphics down along the main boulevard where the most student traffic passes. It was interesting to see how much attention gets paid to these when you see it in action like this. No doubt a great tactic to put to use to get greater impression reach and more attention the day of our events. Leafleting alongside the student activists while they were putting the chalk down was especially good here, increasing the take rate drastically and no doubt improving retention of the info, too. Always great trying new ways of getting our message spread!
Beccah Ellis [below, right] and I chalked the sidewalk at Confederation Park today and gave information to people who were reading and interested. We leafleted afterward—had some good chats and also recruited an activist!
Beate Wolfe and I have both been dealing with repetitive stress issues, but threw caution to the wind to leaflet the first day of classes at Ventura College. It was totally worth it, with many students talking about wanting to go veg, and a very receptive crowd overall.
I’m attaching two photos [below]. The first is of Kiowa, who was so excited to get the literature, recipes, vegan buttons and piggy magnet. Kiowa, his girlfriend, and his mom are all transitioning to a vegan diet. The other picture is of Edward, who asked, “Is that the one with Kevin in it?” I said, “Yes,” and asked him if he had stopped eating “Kevins.” He replied in the affirmative and posed with the picture of Kevin for me.
Happy new semester everyone! Thank you for all you do to make the world a more compassionate place!
From VO Outreach Coordinator Kimberly Moffatt:
The first day of classes went great! Sean Hennessy and I handed out 2,626 booklets yesterday at West Virginia University. There was good consistent traffic at the university’s monorail system and also right outside Mountainlair student union. We split up there to get students on either end. There was rain on and off throughout the day. We had a few conversations with students who were already vegetarian or vegan. Sean [below, left] handed a leaflet to Jocelyn [below, right], an education major who went vegan roughly six months ago and was super excited to see Vegan Outreach on campus.
Today at Fairmont State University, Sean and I [below, left] handed out 850 leaflets and set a new record despite the morning rain. I had a great conversation with a civil engineering student named Andrew [below, right], who said going vegan changed his life. He told me he had type 1 diabetes and by going vegan, he was able to drop his insulin doses and said he’s never felt better! He was super excited about the Compassionate Athlete booklet.
We went back to WVU for a second time due to yesterday’s weather. Sean and I stuck it out in the hot, humid sun and handed out another 2,050 booklets! We stuck around the monorail for a bit before spending the rest of the time by the Mountainlair. I found a great spot right across the street where large amounts of students went during class changes. In between classes I walked around where a student greeted me. He proceeded to give me a bottle of water saying, “This is from the dean because it looks way too hot outside.” I thought that was pretty cool!
Erin Lamparter [below, right] and I reached nearly 600 people today at the Beach to Beacon 10K race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This is such a great event to give out the Compassionate Athlete booklets. Lots of athletic people! Lots of young people!
It was wonderful to have Erin’s outstanding help. We leafleted to people lining up for shuttle buses leaving the festivities in the park after the race. We both heard from some happy vegetarians and vegans, and there seemed to be good interest in the pamphlets. And I got several compliments on my Team Vegan shirt!
Today I went to Warped Tour and was handed one of your Your Choice booklets. I have been a vegetarian for about two years but had recently started to consider eating meat again because I lost focus of why I was doing it. Your booklet helped me to remember why I am a vegetarian and convinced me to continue being one, so thanks!
From VO Outreach Coordinator Rachel Shippee:
John Deetjen, Kevin Cooney, and I had a great time leafleting the first night of the three-day Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago on Friday. We focused on people leaving the fest and had a sign encouraging people to ask us for information. There were a lot of inquiries, interest and support. I also talked with two people that wanted to give me donations for VO on the spot!
On Saturday, we reached 900 people at the 5 Seconds of Summer concert in Tinley Park. This was my first time leafleting here other than for Warped Tour, and it’s a great venue. The age range for this band is perfect for this information. John was thanked and hugged by one concertgoer who told him she wants to go vegan!
Leafleting at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Sunday was amazing! I heard from several vegans and met Courtney [below, right, with Rachel], who went vegan three years ago after receiving a booklet at Warped Tour! She now wants to get involved and do more to help animals.
For the last day of Lollapalooza, we changed spots to also get a lot of sightseers bustling around the city, and reached another 770 people. Big thanks to John and Kevin for making this possible. Hope to have more weekends like this!
I received the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating a few weeks ago. I’ve been vegan for 10 months now, and I love it. I leave the Guide around the house so my family can get inspired and consider going vegan, or at least make more vegan choices, and it’s been great. Thank you for the work you do!
This amazing crew [Kirstine Dalgaard, Brian Lutz, Becki Markle, John Oberg, John Deetjen, Rachel Shippee, Kevin Cooney, Sandi Swiss, Mary Deetjen, Clarké Snell, Mickey Kudia, Audrey Shircliff, Erik Davidson, and Katie Snow] just handed out *14,625* booklets, the most EVER in Chicago, most on this entire tour, AND second most in ALL of Warped Tour history (423 shows that have been leafleted over the course of the last 12 years)!!!!
And the cherry on the top was meeting Savannah [below, left], who got a booklet from us last year and went vegetarian as a result!
Met Emily [at the Milwaukee stop, below, center], who got this booklet four years ago and it made her go vegan! She even remembered that the booklets were red that year.
Also met Danni [in Kansas City, below, right], who got a booklet here last year and went vegetarian as a result!
I’m so excited to finally be getting connected with someone! I will be reaching out to [my mentee] right now! Thank you for the opportunity to make a difference not only in someone’s life, but for the beautiful animals and the planet as well!
VO’s Australia & New Zealand Outreach Coordinator, Sam Tucker (below, left), and volunteers Savannah Rain (below, right), Mei Wong, Kane Rogers, and Marc handed out 3,105 booklets at Deakin University’s Melbourne Burwood Campus:
First day back for the Australian semester and we smashed the old record of 2,120!
We met heaps of vegans and vegetarians, including one person who went vegetarian after getting a leaflet from us last semester and is working their way towards fully vegan!
I also talked to a few vegans who are keen to get involved with leafleting, as well as a few more vegetarians who wanted help with taking the next steps towards going fully vegan.
I met Kaitlin [below, left] while leafleting a concert at Cincinnati’s Washington Park last week. She recently became vegan and was very happy to receive leaflets to help her in her new lifestyle!
This week, I met Lord Michael [below, right], who said he’s interested in changing his eating both for his own health and to lessen the suffering of animals. He was glad to get a Compassionate Choices and a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating to help him transition.
My mentor is great, always there when I need her. I follow her on Facebook and she updates constantly with informative articles and posts. Seriously, my mentor is awesome. I’m vegetarian, but am making more and more strides into a vegan lifestyle.
This photo [of Ely, JM, and Beccah, below] is from our outreach at Hope Volleyball Summerfest, a yearly volleyball event that raises money for local charities. We had an amazingly receptive crowd and the perfect crowd to hand out Compassionate Athlete booklets to.
I am very satisfied with my mentor! We do not communicate often but I know she is there if I have any questions. It was exciting to find that there was a vegan in my area! She gave me helpful hints and recipes [and] is prompt to respond. I am currently vegan. Thank you for this program.
American Idol finalist Amy Jean Davis [below] went vegan after getting a booklet at Purdue University in 2002!
Glad I had the funds on hand to help [with Team Vegan]. I can’t thank you all enough for your vegan coaching program. Without it, I wouldn’t have “met” [my mentor]…her insight and enthusiasm is invaluable, as is her friendship!
From VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, Emmanuel Marquez:
Joselyn Aguilar [above], Cecilia Guerrero, and I got out 2,000 booklets at the Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria de Ingeniería y Ciencias Sociales y Administrativas del Instituto Politécnico Nacional.
This definitely was one of the best days of the whole semester for me. We were invited to a health fair and set up a table. We engaged in amazing conversations so many times that I lost count. An incredible number of people were interested in changing their diets.
Ana [below, left] will start eating veg thanks to a leaflet she received, and came back for more info.
Adrian [below, center] studies transport engineering and economy, and he came to us saying he was in total disagreement with vegans and vegetarians and asked us to justify our stand. We asked him to explain to us his points of disagreement instead, and we talked for a little bit from there. He ended up asking for recipes, advice on how to start changing his diet and to receive info to volunteer in the future.
Patricia [below, right] is almost a vegetarian for health reasons but will try going fully veg using the recipes and nutritional info on our Spanish web site.
After the event ended, the organizer allowed us to leaflet in the campus and invited us to participate in four events during the year and to leaflet the campus anytime we want to. It cost us a lot of time and persistence to get permission here but it is paying off. I get the feeling this is the beginning of a great alliance with this institution.
An amazing way to wrap up this semester tour.
LOVE YOU FOLKS!!!! I’m getting closer every day to being back on the vegan train 100% thanks to your outreach. Falling off of it hard a few years ago due to external factors was probably a major factor in me becoming very sick almost a year ago now and damn near death. Some health advocates try to convince everyone that we need animal products to heal from wasting and other diseases, but I just can’t 100% believe it’s true, even though I am an opened-minded person and respect many cultures and ways of living that are different than whatever I choose to practice. I’ll probably be in touch to find a mentor with you soon and order some graphic and informational media.… Keep up the great work…it’s so nice that you keep this awesome enewsletter running. THANK YOU!
There weren’t many people at Aurora GreenFest and I only had a little time at Remix Chicago, but both festivals had a really high take rate as well as a lot of positive responses. The first thing this one guy said once he realized it was a vegan leaflet was that if there’s some catastrophe like a natural disaster and we need to get our own food, it’s easier to hunt than to grow crops. To avoid a lengthy debate, I immediately worked to find common ground: he grows a bunch of fruits and veggies at home so he already eats a lot of vegan food. I gave him a fist bump and a few words of encouragement since he probably eats more produce than a lot of people, which I think made him feel way more comfortable to talk about veganism, and soon he was on his way. Shortly afterwards, I saw him excitedly show the leaflet to his daughter.
[G]oing vegan has been an absolute relief to my conscience and not difficult in the slightest. Once I became aware of the full extent of the situation of animal agriculture (rather than just parts for which I tried to justify more “humane” alternatives), there was really no going back in the name of such little things as taste or convenience. I’ve been a dietary vegan for over two months now, and have been actively eliminating animal ingredients from my personal care products, as well. Clothing will take a bit longer, however, due to cost.
Should I need any further guidance down the line, I will definitely look into your mentoring program. But for now, I’ve been doing very well following vegan YouTubers, reading books on veganism and joining vegan Facebook groups. And, thankfully, I have very supportive family and friends.
Joe Bunch [above, left] and I handed out 300 booklets at the Long Beach Vegan Food & Music Festival. It was Joe’s first time leafleting. He’ll be at it again. He went vegan after hearing a talk I gave last year at Chaffey College.
At the Taking Action for Animals conference, Cathryn [above, right, with Vic] let us know that getting a booklet at Valparaiso University changed her life.
Beccah Ellis [above] and I handed out 450 booklets at Parliament Hill Yoga. So many people go to this free event every Wednesday for the summer and it was the perfect crowd to reach—lots of very receptive health-conscious and open-minded younger adults. We’ll definitely be back.
I had a really great conversation with a gentleman [below], who originally passed by and didn’t take the information but then turned around and asked about what we were handing out. He had questions about health and was worried he’d be lacking protein and other nutrients, etc. I informed him on some general stuff that much of the public is not aware of and he was really interested in what I was saying. I’m positive he’ll be making changes in the near future.
My journey to veganism took far too many years. Once I declared myself a vegan, made the commitment, told my closest friends and family, I felt liberated. Looking back on the years, I see that I always was a vegan—since I was a young child. That is why I feel liberated now. People speak of “having the willpower” but if you embark on the educational journey, and you have the courage to learn it all—no willpower will be necessary—ever again.
Joselyn Aguilar [below, left] and I visited the main campus of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in Toluca de Lerdo, and at noon we visited a high school of the same university with excellent response.
We had a lot of positive conversations. I gave a leaflet to a couple of young folks passing by with their mom and grandmother [above]. They came back and their mother was very happy to meet us since her daughter is going vegan and needs information about it. She also told me that the entire family ate vegetarian for a whole month. We gave them the address of the Spanish section of our web site and some advice, and they are more confident now in their way toward changing to a full plant-based diet.
While leafleting I had a long conversation with a security guard who will start trying our recipes and will follow us on Facebook as well. Another guy listened to that conversation while he waited for the bus and asked for a leaflet. He told me he barely eats meat and wanted to try some of our recipes with loads of protein since he exercises. After some suggestions he left ready to lower his meat intake even more.
Finally, I met Gabriela [below, right]. She told me she was vegan for a year but went back to eating animals due to lack of support and pressure from friends and family. I told her that she could reach out to us through Facebook and check our web site for valuable info and advice. She’ll give vegan eating a try again and signed up to volunteer next time we’re in town.
My mentor has been absolutely fantastic! She has always responded promptly to any emails I have sent her and has always been great support. I have found her to be an inspiration to me and she has been brilliant in sending me recipes. I am very pleased that you put me in touch with her.
I could not recommend the mentor service enough for new vegans. It has helped me immensely. When I first began my journey transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, I wondered what on earth I would eat, but now I am happy to say that I am 100% vegan and my only regret is not choosing this lifestyle sooner.
It was great to team up with Bala Vadlamani [below, far left, next to Lana]. She’s a student at Dartmouth and does outreach for MFA. The day was beautiful and the students were very receptive to taking leaflets. In my first 15 minutes of outreach, I heard from three vegans and two vegetarians—nice way to start the day.
Later, a student named Alexa [below, right] said that reading our leaflet last year helped influence her to go vegetarian!
Many thanks to Bala for doing so much to help animals while being a busy student!
Just a hello and some great news! The last batch of leaflets VO sent me produced two vegans and three vegetarians—yay! I am mentoring all five and hopeful to transition them fully—they include a neighbor, a lady I met in the doctor’s office, and three college students I met in Pennsylvania.
I was invited to Animal Fest Xalapa, a dog and cat adoption event, and Karen Rosado and I leafleted with very good response. I always take the chance when an opportunity to leaflet or table this kind of event shows up, because the audiences are already sensitive to animal cruelty.
I met Lilia and her dog Susy [below, left]—Lilia had been thinking of eating veg but never knew where to start. After the leaflet and some advice she was ready to start changing her diet. She will use the info in the Spanish section of VO’s website to learn about basic nutrition and easy recipes.
Aldo [below, right] is vegan but he never met another vegan. He was very happy to meet me. He told me he felt encouraged to know there are more like-minded people, and will invite his family and friends to use the info on our web pages.
[Nettie:] Met a number of vegans and only a couple of vegetarians [at the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus]. Several people thanked me for leafleting and commented on what a good thing it is. One guy came over to say he read the booklet and wants to go vegan. Also had a good conversation with a guy who works in the meat department at Safeway. By the end of the conversation he said he’d preach this info to his customers, and we remarked that he needs to switch to the produce department.
[Cobie:] A woman who had just signed up as a mentee in the mentoring program was very excited and requested more booklets to share—she said that it’s important for us to tell people about this issue. Her boyfriend is going to sign up as a mentee too. Later, a woman who has been vegan 30 years thanked me for being there, and when I told her about the mentoring program she sounded interested. Another woman [below] had been vegetarian 5 years because of a booklet her mom brought home.
Thank you for following up with me. I did receive the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. This is my third week of eating 100% vegan, after being vegetarian for three months.
I also wanted to tell you my new vegan mentor is awesome! It really helps to share my feelings with her. In June we might meet up and go to the vegan beerfest in Pasadena together!
Thank you for all your help so far.
From helpful tips, recipes, additional resources and especially the mentor program…all helped make the transition easier than anticipated. My mentor kept in contact with me and also introduced me through email to someone who was more of a foodie like me who gave me some great suggestions on vegan cheeses to try. The road would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have such a great mentor.
I thought you would enjoy this photo [below] of the class clown of our monthly potlucks, Paul Erickson. Paul is a silly goof, and a retired police officer who went vegan last year after watching Forks Over Knives. This was his first time leafleting, and he really enjoyed it.
He is such a fun guy that everyone wanted a booklet from him! He handed them out by saying things like: “Pick a card, any card,” “I know you’re on your way to a boring class—here’s something to read so you don’t fall asleep,” “There’s going to be a quiz on this tomorrow, so you better study up!”
I’m hoping that Paul might consider “adopting” MSU Bozeman with me.
Solid AM visit to Louisiana State University in Shreveport, again dealing with the constant rain – three inches reported today! I was stoked to be joined by experienced DC leafleter Stephanie Huffman for this one – a real trooper braving the weather to make it out to join me.
At Bronson Hall, we not only got a good number taking booklets, but also a few responding very enthusiastically. I met Sherman [below], who got a Your Choice on his way in to class. He read it there, then stopped on his way out afterwards to tell me how much he was moved by the information. He told me his mother used to raise pigs at home, and when he was young, he never liked that they killed them for food. He said the leaflet made him realize this really wasn’t necessary, and he wanted to know how he could change his diet “so no one needed to die in order for him to eat.” After a quick talk with some good meal ideas for him to start off on, he got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating for some extra help and was ready to begin!
Stephanie, working over at the union, also got some solid interactions, with a few conversations she had working out really super. A true natural at spreading kindness, it was awesome having her come out to help for the day!
Thank you to Tarun Bishop, who helped us leaflet Portland State University even though he had a final exam the next day at his college!
Nettie Schwager met someone who expressed very much gratitude that we were there, and had some good conversations.
I met multiple people who approached me and asked for a booklet; a man who came back for a second Even If You Like Meat for his friend; multiple people who wanted to change their diets; a woman who used to be vegan but didn’t take B12 supplements, and has some other health issues, who’s moving slowly back toward a goal of being vegan again; and a 22-year-old lifelong-vegan man.
Our last day in Celaya, we visited the main high school of the city early in the morning, and the UNITESBA, a small private college, afterwards. At the high school, we had a great take rate. The mother of a student approached us – after taking a look at the leaflet her daughter received – and told us she was against animal cruelty and liked what we were doing.
At the UNITESBA, we were allowed to distribute leaflets, but also some conferences were taking place, and they asked us to explain what we were doing in the auditorium. I ended up giving a brief talk about eating veg to 50 students, and every one of them received a leaflet.
After the talk, Karla and Mariana [below] told us they are going veg. Karla explained that she had the idea in mind but didn’t know where to start. We gave them advice on how to start the process and directed them to our Spanish web site for tips and info on how to do it in a sustainable way.
A good way to say goodbye to Celaya.
Gaby Barbado, Sande Nosonowitz, and I handed out 871 booklets at Dutchess Community College today.
I arrived earlier than planned and spoke with three students, at different times, who said they were thinking about going veg and that this outreach motivates them. I told them about VO’s Vegan Mentor Program (VMP).
A man thanked me for a booklet, stating that he was determined to eat healthier. He got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Diamond told me that she was vegetarian in the past, but was getting headaches. We discussed some different health issues, I told her about the VMP, and she wants to try again.
Tianni took a Your Choice and asked for another one for her boyfriend. I gave her a Guide and VMP info; and Sande, who is a vegan coach, said she’d help her too.
Sande also had a great discussion with Lea [below], who felt very sad about what happens to the animals she read about in Your Choice. Lea could not believe the horror. She wants to make a change in her eating, but was worried about money and convenience. We told her about the VMP, and Sande offered to assist her directly, since they hit it off so well.
Great day – Yuri Mitzkewich and I handed out [a record] 1,550 booklets at the University of New Orleans, and had a lot of very good conversations with people. A student in a group walking past, with two of them taking leaflets, said to the others: “Check out on the second page what they do to these little chickens, you don’t even wanna know, it’s crazy!” One student told me that he chose a cheese sandwich instead of a chicken sandwich for lunch (he had gotten a brochure in the morning). I talked to Eric, a professor who approached me and asked some questions. We had a very good conversation, and he wanted to go vegan also because of ahimsa, the Buddhist ideal of nonviolence.
At Benjamin Franklin High School, I met a student named Darrell, who was really happy and so touched that he almost started to cry. He was thankful that we did some activism for the cause. He said that he wanted to go vegan, and we talked about healthy vegan nutrition. He gave me his email address and said, “Please send me all the important information!”
While the wind at the University of Northern Iowa may have had an impact on the quantity of booklets handed out, it did not affect the quality of the interactions.
The highlight of the day was talking with Karly, who stopped to ask about getting involved. As we talked, she mentioned she had been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and then she received a booklet last semester, which gave her the “push” she needed, and now she is vegan. This is the first time I could directly trace back from a vegan to a booklet I handed out – what an amazing feeling! We talked about the Vegan Mentor Program and potentially leafleting in the future, and we exchanged contact information.
What a great start to Alberta! I was joined by two veteran activists, Elena and Karin, and we broke the record for the University of Alberta!!
We each had a few great conversations with students and even faculty. During the slow moments, the resident hares, who still flaunted their winter coats, had no qualms hanging around us.
Still floating with happiness about this day.
From VO Outreach Coordinator Steven Litrov:
Yesterday at Buffalo State, I talked to one student who asked about options in his area (Queens, NY) and told me he didn’t realize what the egg industry was about until reading the booklet. Being joined by my friend Nate Hill and his friend Emma Kyte for the last class change made my day. They were both stoked to help and did an awesome job interacting with students. Towards the very end, we met a vegetarian who had recently gone vegan [above, with Nate]. Students were kind overall, the school had explicit vegan options, a Just Mayo dispenser, and several Hampton Creek signs in the dining hall. Awesome!
Today was a bit bumpy going to three campuses that either haven’t been leafleted in a long time or at all, but I had a moment at the third school to make it all worth it. At the University at Buffalo South Campus, I came across a student named John [above] who went vegetarian two years ago as a result of reading a leaflet he found on the ground at Niagara County Community College! He was very grateful for VO’s work and found it very impactful. He told me he still eats fish for omega-3, but seemed optimistic about ditching it after talking about supplements. At Medaille College, I interacted with several students who responded well to the booklet, including one vegetarian who is aspiring to go vegan.
It was my second year tabling at the Valley Vegfest in Northampton, MA. A woman told me she went from vegetarian to vegan because of a VO pamphlet she got somewhere. There were some good conversations, a bunch of people signed up for VO’s e-newsletter, and I got to meet Ginny Messina! Several people expressed gratitude for the CVA pamphlet because of previous frustrating conversations with religious folks.
Josie Moody and I had a great afternoon doing Pay Per View at Cosumnes River College during their health fair. A total of 42 people viewed the video, and 27 of them took a survey so we can follow up with them in a couple months to see if their diets have changed.
Kaylyn Rhoads and I were thrilled by the success of leafleting the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus! Thirteen activists leafleted March 4, 5, and 6, handing out a total of 3,800 booklets. We went through 2,500 Compassionate Athlete booklets almost after the first day, they were such a hit!
Katia Rodriguez and I visited the teacher’s college Escuela Normal Superior Moisés Sáenz Garza for the second time but different students attended; plus, a small congress for graduated and working teachers was taking place, and we handed them leaflets on their way in, early in the morning. Marcia Hernandez and Isaac Marquez [below] joined us, and we formed a wall that no one could pass through without taking a leaflet.
Afterwards, we headed to CEU Unidad Loma Larga, a small private university. The dean allowed us to leaflet in a format we have been using a lot lately. We visit all the classrooms and hand a leaflet to each student and teacher. We also give them a condensed talk about veg eating, addressing three main points: it is perfectly healthy and possible to stop eating animals, it is easier than it looks because they already eat veg meals without noticing, and that a lot of people are doing it. We complemented the talk with personal experiences and practical examples to reduce animal-product consumption on a daily basis at work or school.
We met Pablo [below, left], Jose [below, right], and Alfonso: all of them decided to drastically change their diets to help animals, and many more students were very receptive and interested in the topic.
The dean of this CEU unit is extremely interested in working with us; he is even transitioning to a vegan diet himself. We talked about future collaborations, including talks, consulting to have a vegan menu in the cafeteria, and a presentation Katia will do for the heads of the institution to expand these actions to other units of the university.
A very good day of outreach.
Today at the Keele Campus of York University, we handed out 6,278 booklets – this beats the previous Canadian record for a single day, which was 5,000 at McMaster University last September!
I had several conversations. One was with someone who thought he was pre-diabetic and was very convinced he needed to eat lots of meat, although seemed somewhat interested in the discussion; I eventually had to end the conversation but he took a leaflet and Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. Another was with someone who seemed to know the issues and was down to eating meat twice a week; I think he will progress further. I met several people who were new to veganism.
A group of Sikh students were in the vicinity doing outreach of their own; I took up their invitation to try wearing a turban and ate one of their veggie samosas that they were giving out. They were all lacto-vegetarians; I gave them leaflets and Guides, and I had a particularly good conversation with one of them who said that his religion was against harming animals, which was why they did not use meat or eggs, but then he wondered why milk was still used and wants to stop using that too.
Today at San Jose State University, Vanessa [below] stopped to tell me that she has been vegan since I handed her a booklet last year! I also met several members of the new veg club on campus – they seem to have a lot of great things in the works!
Such a fun day in sunny Jacksonville, spreading kindness at the Northeast Florida Veg Fest! The weather was beautiful and the crowds were heavy with vegans, vegetarians, and many transitioning who came here to find out more.
On hand representing for the animals today were Jake Wilson [below, left] and Jackie Glosson [below, right] from the University of North Florida AR club, UNF Vegetarians and Vegan Association. While Jake worked the table, spreading the message about the work Vegan Outreach does, Jackie was joined leafleting on the walkways by local leafleter Jyoti Chawla [below, center], getting out lots of info. Jyoti and Jackie were amazing to watch, very enthusiastic and inviting, getting many in the crowd to take Compassionate Choices and Your Choice booklets, and also encouraging them to stop by the table and find out more.
Many who came up to us were reporting they loved VO, and already were following our work via social media. Several dozen locals were inspired to join us for future leafleting here at the local universities next semester, as well as get connected with Jyoti, who runs regular leafleting in the downtown area.
All in all, it was a super fun day! So great to see more and more people interested in changing their lifestyle to help the animals!
Dilan Fernando, Jenny Li, Kieran Watkins, and I handed out 2,220 booklets at Monash University, setting a new one-day record for the Clayton campus. The highlight of the day was someone telling me they got a booklet from us last year and have been vegan ever since!
Today was an interesting day. A lot of people at Banaras Hindu University wanted to know about the cause. The local vendors and rickshaw-pullers came up to get the leaflets. A girl told me that 5 months ago she turned vegetarian, and she was thanking me for promoting it. Many guys came up to ask me about why I’m doing this, and how it will help in the long run. A few said they are already vegetarian, and they feel happy about it. The police were helpful. More than 6 students asked me how they can also join the movement. A guy took 10 leaflets with him because he wanted to show the content to his non-veg friends, and he told me that he was already telling his friends to turn vegetarian. A few groups were talking about being vegetarian with each other after I gave them the leaflets.
It was a good day. Thank you for reading my first report!
Pooja Rathor, Kimberly Moffatt, Saurabh Sonkar, our driver Mukesh Patel, and I handed out 3,400 booklets today at Banaras Hindu University, one of biggest campuses in Asia.
One professor asked us for 65 booklets to give to his class and said he supported what we are doing. We spoke to dozens of students that had questions, probably more than 50. Three times while explaining why we promote veg eating, little groups formed. Several students asked for a few more to show their friends. Super nice students again and 99.5% take rate. We saw innumerable readers and many reading cover to cover.
My favorite part of the day was when a massive bull helped funnel foot traffic to Kim [below] for 15 minutes or so. I like to think he was helping out on purpose.
There is a large amount of street animals in Varanasi, especially cows, who can be seen lounging or rummaging through trash regularly. In gridlock traffic, a bull just sits in the road as people weave around, and it’s no big deal. Sometimes 3 or 4 just sit in a traffic lane.
Truly epic day of outreach – feel we saved a lot of animals today and made many new friends.
Rainy day of leafleting at the College of Charleston to begin this week. Waves were coming through, but thankfully the heaviest of it was in shorter spurts. Braving the conditions, I was happy having Lauren Walker join me. Together we handed out 1,286 booklets, and both of us had interested students stopping to talk to us through the afternoon.
The best part was meeting Jade [below, left], who stopped to say she was already vegetarian 6 months now – from getting a Your Choice here on campus last semester! Very cool, and good to see she was very happy with the decision. She even said she may be wanting to go further from this now and try eating full vegan. Another success story for VO!
On Thursday, I had a fun and productive return visit to Benedict College, with almost 40% of the students getting a leaflet! I had some awesome conversations, a couple with students remembering me from last semester. I also got a few shout-outs, and students thanking me for the info, saying how interesting they found it. A few even saying they’d decided to get salads from the campus BK because of receiving one!
Towards the end of the day I met Tia [above, right], a student who got a Your Choice in the morning and kept passing by my spot on and off all day. When I was getting ready to wrap it up, I asked her if she’d read the leaflet and what she thought. She said it was very compelling, and was interested to try eating more vegetarian foods, only it was not easily doable for her, because of living with family who aren’t veg. We talked a while about all the options available close by, plus some of the resources available, and she opened up more and more to the idea. After giving her some good ideas to get started, she said she’d be giving it a go, reducing her animal consumption 50%. An encouraging end to the interaction, especially for a student coming from her family background.
Awesome day all in all, and great to find such a receptive audience here!
Met a young woman [at Oregon State University] who excitedly told me that receiving a pamphlet from me previously (determined it was a Compassionate Choices) had a big impact on her. She is not veg yet but making changes in this direction. Gave her two more booklets for further inspiration.…
Yesterday was a milestone of sorts. Cobie [deLespinasse] and I together have given out 100,000 booklets. We are regular leafleting partners, so combining our numbers seems fitting since it highlights the power of team work.
At the Universidad Emiliano Zapata, Katia Rodriguez and I visited 24 classrooms and handed a booklet to each and every one of the students and teachers in them, followed by a brief speech on the content of the brochure: how not eating animals is healthy, what sort of meals they already eat that are veg, and invited them to join the thousands of people who are changing their diets to help animals.
Students were interacting quite a lot, and were really curious and focused on what we were saying. While Katia was handing out the leaflets, there was a student telling her that he always wanted to be a vegetarian but didn’t know where to start; he thanked us for being there. We met around four students who were already vegetarian, and two students asked for a couple more leaflets to share with their families.
Later that day, we received a message on VO’s Spanish Facebook page from one of the students of this university, asking us to guide her because she wants to go vegetarian. We directed her to the new Spanish section of the VO web site. She then wrote a two-page-long Word document telling us about her experience studying agronomy, and how she dropped out as she couldn’t stand the idea of killing animals; she thanked us for attending, and she’s now trying to go vegetarian.
From an Arizona State University student, the same day Lori Stultz and Phoenix Huber handed out 900 VO booklets at the Downtown Phoenix campus:
I was walking on campus as a young woman handed me a pamphlet about making a difference through a vegan lifestyle. I’m currently a vegetarian with hopes of someday becoming fully vegan. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone involved in this organization. As a vegetarian, it can be really difficult sometimes explaining how I don’t want an animal on my plate. I also realize just the thought of a vegan/vegetarian diet gives people a fear of not knowing what to eat once they give up animal-based foods.… Thank you for allowing other students to visualize a compassionate diet by normalizing the absence of animal products.
Wow! Two great days of outreach at Arizona’s Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Glendale Community College! The take rate was phenomenal at both schools, and I had several conversations with students who were interested in going vegan. I also had a handful of students stop just to say thank you for being there, and a few athletic-looking guys stopped (at both schools) to talk about vegan nutrition and athletic performance.
I met a wonderful couple at Glendale CC [below], who said they received a booklet last year and went vegan as a result!
Vegan Outreach supporters Russell and Meredith had dinner with us recently, and Russell said he reads this e-newsletter every week, has for many years, and always finds something useful in it.
Hello, Russell and Meredith, and thank you for all you do for VO!
Awesome first day of my spring trudge with three of the MFA intern department’s finest! The traffic at Cerritos College was flowing and friendly all day, and all three interns did a pretty spectacular job with their first or second time leafleting.
Alix Pulido [above] was incredibly ambitious, making sure to get everyone who dared to cross her; Xiaoyu Lu [below, left] surprised me, going from a chill, soft-spoken demeanor to also getting everyone who crossed her with some of the biggest enthusiasm I’ve seen; and I felt like I was watching myself seeing David Pinski [below, right] leaflet! I personally had no interactions to write home about aside from a few students telling me they’re vegetarian, but David shared with me that a student asked him for a booklet, talked about it, and said he was going to do some research; and both Alix and Xiaoyu came across students interested in volunteering!