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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!
Vic Sjodin and Adrian Lopez joined me at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California for the closure of the tour. Adrian did an amazing job [below, left] – he is a great animal rights activist, and he has leafleted before but it was his first time doing it for farmed animals. The three of us reached 2,800 people.
Alejandro [below, left] is a vegetarian; he thanked us for being there and asked for a bunch of booklets to share with his classmates. Alondra [below, center] decided to go veg after getting informed by the booklet she received. Janet [below, right] is a vegan who was very happy to see us there.
Many people were reading the booklet [one, above, right], and some showed interest in the topic. It’s nice to see how Tijuana, and Mexico in general, is changing. With a steadily increasing number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants all over the country, you can tell the culture is changing, and it’s nice to know we are taking part in that change.
Great time leafleting the last Chicago Bears game of the season! David Carter (who’s on the cover of the Compassionate Athlete booklets) was signed to the Bears earlier in 2015, so this was a really good opportunity to raise awareness of the fact that vegans can gain muscle too!
We had made some signs to hold while leafleting [below], which was a big hit – lots of people made encouraging remarks when they saw them. So all in all, signs plus the leaflets, thousands of people saw the compassionate message today! Big thanks to Lucy, Jamie, my mom, and John C. for coming out!
Solid day at Arizona State: lots of readers, friendly students, many conversations, and several thanking us for our work. Highlights include meeting Beth [above, left] and Payton [above, right], who now want to go veg!
I also ran into a woman who I had spoken with while she and her boyfriend were on vacation at Venice Beach this summer [below, with Kimberly Moffatt leafleting]. She recognized me and was freaked out and couldn’t believe it was me on her campus. Both she and her boyfriend are still veg!
Stephen F. Austin State University was one of my favorite schools of the tour – students were awesome, great leafleting all day, security was happy to see me, and I met a student [Trevon, below] who went vegetarian after getting a booklet last year!
We had a great time at the Portland VegFest! My volunteer Dima Tsvetkov from Vancouver, BC, came all the way down to help out on Saturday. We met a lot of really great people (ate tons of great food) and met quite a few people looking to get involved in outreach! A few stories stick out:
The parents of the Gerrett family began their five-year stretch of veganism after receiving an Even If You Like Meat on their college campus in Iowa.
A high school student from Reno, NV, came out with her mom and said she was in a vegan club at her school! I gave her two packs of literature to get started.
A woman picked up a pack of booklets for her vegan T-shirt company (she likes to send a booklet with her orders).
And countless people just thanked us for the work we do. Go, VO!
I talked to Monique again at Sonoma State. She went vegan after talking to me the past two semesters! She has been struggling with the non-vegan partner issue, but she seemed optimistic after I gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating!
Excellent take-rate and many positive interactions at the División de Ciencias Económico-Administrativas de la Universidad de Guanajuato.
Around five people told me they loved the booklet. Glenda [below, right] is going veg after reading it, and Ana [below, left] will reduce her consumption of animal products.
A great day of outreach.
I knew today was gonna be a good one when the second student I handed a booklet to, Elexis [below], happily said she was converted vegan from getting a Your Choice last semester – delivered by Mobile’s own Tracey Glover!
Joan, Roy, and Holise – friends from Alabama AR group ARC (Awakening Respect and Compassion for All Sentient Beings) – met John and me on campus early, ready to make a difference for the animals at the University of South Alabama. This group [below] got literature into the hands of nearly 20% of the student body – amazing outreach for 6 hours! Their enthusiasm was contagious as they connected with students, encouraging so many responding positively, and stopping with them to talk. Not hardly surprised with this group, we broke the previous record before noon and ended up passing the mark by over 700 students before we’d finished. Wish I had a crew this good at every outreach on the schedule!
The bitter cold morning at Southern Connecticut State University did not stop this dominating team of leafleters! Aleta Markham [below, left], Wendy Horowitz [below, right], Ryan Golden, and I were met with appreciation and enthusiasm as we handed out booklets as quickly as possible during the busy class changes. I would like to share three of the several positive interactions we had, as they pretty much sum up the success of our day.
First, there was a professor who stopped and had a lengthy conversation with Wendy. He told her that he taught an ethics course, and reported seeing an overall increase in his students’ interest in animal ethics.
Second, at one point we had retreated to the student center in between class changes, and we all noticed a group of big guys (we assumed football players) sitting at a table reading a Your Choice booklet and discussing the content [below]. When we started heading back outside, one guy who had been sitting at the table popped up and came running over to us. He asked if he could grab four or five more booklets to give to his friends.
Third, during the last class change we leafleted, Ryan and I handed booklets to a group of girls walking by. After they all received a booklet, one of the girls exclaimed, “Oh! Is this the book everyone has been talking about?!”
Needless to say, we all felt it was a very positive day at SCSU!
Today I leafleted West Bend East High School and officially broke the record for the most high schools leafleted in Vegan Outreach history!
A very special day! Yvonne LeGrice reached her 100,000th animal-saving VO booklet handed out to students today at Cal State Los Angeles! That is a whole lot of lives changed. That is many early mornings and long days. Truly a tremendous accomplishment for a volunteer. Thank you, Yvonne.
I still had some vestigial UK slang embedded in me. I kept saying “Cheers” after someone took a booklet. It was refreshing to have a 99% take-rate after the more difficult UK leafleting. I saw an astounding amount of people reading. So many were discussing the literature – it was awesome!
Emmy Jones is a high school student who helped me leaflet for 15 minutes when it was slower and wants to leaflet again. I also spoke to several interested students, including Jose, who was vegetarian and wants to go back to being veggie and try veganism. I spoke to another interested athlete who had read the Compassionate Athlete.
Phenomenal day, over 4,000 fertile minds reached, and Yvonne reaching 100K was truly special. We then celebrated with a fast-casual feast at Veggie Grill. Thank you, Yvonne, for getting up early and joining us today, and congratulations on reaching your goal. Just absolutely amazing! What an uplifting day!
Lastly, huge thanks as always to my partner Kim for joining out of the goodness and sincerity of her heart, getting up early and grinding it out for the cause, not for attention or remuneration. I’m very thankful for her efforts and assistance today and every day.
It was a really excellent day at both Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Bethel University today. The take rate was incredible, tons of students were really excited to get a booklet, I met a few vegans, and met one guy [Connor, below] at Anoka-Ramsey who had been considering going vegetarian, but was concerned about getting enough protein. I assured him there was nothing to worry about, gave him a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and my card, and let him know about our Vegan Mentor Program; and he left seeming really optimistic and at ease. I was also happy to set a new record at Bethel U!
I was very thankful for Julie being along this week, since my lingering cold finally caught up with me this morning. We turned out early anyway, and thankfully weren’t waiting long before the cavalry started showing. Thanks to our awesome host, Tom Aiello (the widely known “vegan professor” here at Valdosta State University), who put the word out, for the first time we got some solid help here with VSU students joining in the action. And thanks to his pulling some strings, we got permission to leave the usual spot at the public sidewalk to move onto center campus. This simple change of location put our visit here into overdrive!
Christian and his friend Sarah were great, having looked over Vic Sjodin’s How to Leaflet? video the night before. While Julie and I stayed at the campus center, the two of them visited the cafeteria building, working there through the lunch period. The best outcome we had from today was that while we were leafleting, Christian was also signing up any interested students for a soon-to-be-established VSU veg club. An awesome development, since none had existed here yet. New members Allie, Kellis, and Madison, who just signed up, even dropped their own plans today to join us, handing out booklets for a solid hour in the afternoon. Couldn’t have hoped for a better day on campus here with these developments!
Another highlight here was meeting Samantha [above], who stopped after getting her Your Choice to tell me she was already vegetarian. I gave her a thumbs up and, like usual, asked what had gotten her started. She said it was the Your Choice she’d gotten the semester before, and looking me over said, “I think it was even from you”! Yay!! She told me the booklet made her see the suffering the animals are subjected to and that she would be better off not supporting it, deciding from then after to give up eating animals for good!
Hard feeling sick much when great stuff like this is going down!
Highlight of the day was getting a message from the person in charge of PETA’s “I, Chicken” campaign (a virtual reality depiction of life as a chicken that’s touring across Aussie universities) saying that they had lots of students at the Brisbane universities telling them they hadn’t eaten any meat since they got a Vegan Outreach booklet the other week.
Today a group of us handed out booklets faster than ever before at Baruch College, so we will schedule a return visit again soon! Had a few good comments from people who stopped to talk. Grateful for the help of awesome volunteers: Stephanie Bustamante [above], Cassandra Callaghan [below], and Matt Ruscigno!
At the University of Maine at Farmington, I heard from a student, Olivia [below], who said she went vegetarian two years ago after receiving a booklet from me.
A young man was very happy to get the booklet and asked for 10 more to give out in his next class, which was some sort of environmental class. A philosophy professor (who described himself as 99% vegetarian) stopped to chat and thought the info was very interesting.
My day of leafleting at Eastern Connecticut State University was awesome. This was by far the most enthusiastic group of students I’ve interacted with. I had a lot of students stop and tell me that they were already vegetarian or vegan, and most of those same students expressed a desire to get involved in a student group that focused on raising awareness of farmed animals. Luckily, I had been in touch with a student who is already in the works of starting a group at Eastern, so I was able to exchange students’ information.
My favorite part of the day was when I was able to have a conversation with and give a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating to a student that made a harsh comment to me at the beginning of the day. He walked by four or five times after he initially made that rude comment, and I think he observed the enthusiasm other students were expressing when I handed them the Your Choice booklets. I could tell he was a little embarrassed, but he ended up approaching me again and proceeded to ask me how he could start reducing his meat intake. He hadn’t heard of any of the faux meat products, or of any of the different types of milk alternatives. We ended up having a great discussion, and he walked away saying that he wanted to try some of the meat and dairy alternatives.
It was very motivating to see such a large number of students express interest in these issues.
It felt so good to get back out in the field. And guess what? The record for any school in the state of Michigan is OURS!
The seven of us [Becki Markle, Karen Oberg, Natalie Sienicki, Mitch Rosen, Griselda Mucollari (above), Stephanie Lipari (below, left), and John Oberg] handed out over 4,000 booklets at Wayne State in downtown Detroit. It was the first day of classes, and this is one of my favorite schools in the country. Such a diverse and friendly crowd.
My mom [below] broke her personal record by 79 booklets! Natalie and Mitch’s first time leafleting was at Warped Tour a month or two ago, and they’re eager to join me on campuses this semester. Griselda is a person I met at VegFest, and she was a natural – even leafleting a dump-truck driver [above, right] who was driving through campus for some construction! Becki made the 90-minute drive like a boss. And Stephanie also made a lengthy drive and dealt with a parking nightmare to hold it down for a couple hours. Great day!
At Laney College, I met a professor who loves it when his students come to class with booklets. He says that between the booklets and the conversations they have in class, three to six of his students go vegan every semester!
I’m attaching a picture of Hannah [above, center], whose response to the offer of an Even If You Like Meat was, “YES! I love you!!!” followed by a couple of hugs and much chatting about doing vegan outreach. She was raised vegetarian and went vegan just two weeks ago, so was very excited to see us [at Ventura College]. Even better, she wants to leaflet with us. Her high school is adjacent to campus, so we’ll try to make that happen soon. Her enthusiasm made my day…seeing scores of students reading the leaflets also made my day. And kind Beate [Wolfe] and her dogs with their smiling faces made leafleting infinitely more enjoyable. Student receptivity was at an all-time high and I’m pretty sure I met more vegans on campus this semester than ever before.
This morning I woke up to more records being broken than I can even remember, including someone handing out their half-millionth VO booklet, the second biggest day ever for U.S. leafleting at a single school (8,200), someone doubling their previous best college leafleting day, someone breaking a very-hard-to-break record on their first day of the fall semester (in NEBRASKA!), and someone else increasing our social media engagement and following like WHOA. The point? I work with heroes. You all amaze me.
Mark Devries (director of Speciesism: The Movie, above), Dane Charbeneau (below), Kim Moffatt, Lori Stultz, and Vic Sjodin handed out 8,200 VO booklets at Cal State Northridge!
We had a good first day in Mexico this semester. Katia Rodriguez [below, left] joined me the whole day from 8 am to 6 pm at the Universidad de Monterrey. With help from Ana Paula Guajardo, Ilse Aguñaga, and Cindy Saenz, we reached 2,300 students with Fresco booklets.
We met Manuel [above, right], who’s been vegan for 4 years now and was very happy to see us there. Students were very receptive, and we saw many reading the information [a couple shown, below, right].
Almost at the end of the day, Karen [above, left] came to us on her way to buy a coffee; she said that she wasn’t able to eat the chicken in her salad after reading the booklet, and she is now trying veg eating. On her way back to the classroom, she proudly showed us her coffee and told us it had soy milk.
Dane Charbeneau, Josh Crosby, Elyssa Land, and I had a powerful night of leafleting with video playing at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. We had many conversations with interested folks and moved a lot of Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets. The promenade was packed. One gentleman said his girlfriend was vegetarian and now understood and wanted to go veg. I spoke in a microphone and a crowd of 25 to 30 stopped to listen. Great night!
I read a Why Vegan? pamphlet and could no longer ignore animals suffering for me. I will always be vegan. 16+ years, so far.
A leaflet I got [from VO at a Warped Tour concert in Kansas] was what made me further research veganism. Here I am 2 years into it… Never ever going back!
[Kristi Blazek, Tinya Duffey, Diane Freed, and I] handed out Compassionate Choices before [Bill Maher’s] show started and people were very receptive to the leaflets. A lot of people actually thought we were with Bill Maher; my favorite comment of the night was, “Oh, this is so Bill!”
It was Kristi’s very first time doing any kind of activism and she was awesome! And it was Diane’s first time leafleting – she was a natural too! Before the doors opened for the show, I saw people sitting down reading the literature. All in all, a very successful night!
Jennifer Pietrzycki [below] and I both work downtown so we met afterwards to leaflet near the cow sculpture in front of the Chicago Cultural Center. A few people stopped with questions including one of the leaders of the Green Party of Quebec who was visiting Chicago. He said they had translated Earthlings into French with a well-known hockey player narrating! One young man initially said no to the leaflet, then said he came back after seeing the cow sculpture.
John Jungenberg, Sandi Swiss, and I had an amazing time leafleting the Morrissey concert in Chicago – so many supportive folks and a lot who were interested in the information!
John also talked to some interested people and was recognized from one of our bike / leafleting trips.
This is Daniel [below, left] from Oklahoma City, OK, who we met at yesterday’s Warped date. He’s been veg for over two months from reading a booklet and loving it!
Joselyn Aguilar, Gabriela Sánchez, Oscar Ureña, Carlos Contreras, and I handed out 10,800 VO booklets at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria today!
Many people were interested in changing their habits after reading the booklet, like Verónica, who said she will go vegan. Nayeli [below, left] told us she is eating veg from now on. We talked a lot with Nelly [below, right], who used to eat fish and eggs, but after the talk and the booklet she won’t anymore; she also told us that our work was very good.
Arturo and Romina [below, left] are teachers of martial arts in a high school at the UNAM. They used to eat vegetarian but stopped awhile ago, though after reading the booklet they decided to do it again and promote it with their students. They asked for a bunch of booklets and our contact information to organize a talk for their students next semester.
Ramón and his girlfriend are vegans; he was very excited to see us and offered to make a donation right there. I told him to give to VO through our web page instead. Gustavo is giving a try to veg eating thanks to the literature; he told us that his classmates had a booklet that they passed around to each other. A single booklet reached out to a whole class!
In the afternoon, we met Leonel and Zulema who will try veg too. A group of girls and a guy were passing by us and we heard one of them say, “Thanks to that leaflet I’m seriously considering being vegetarian” and another girl celebrated that by raising her arms. After a while, the guy came back and asked for a bunch of booklets to share with friends. His name is Javier [above, right]; he told us that most of his friends are vegetarians and they were very happy because their friend was being serious.
We saw a lot of people shocked by the content of the booklet, even a couple of them crying, and countless were reading. Maybe I wrote too much, but I just couldn’t save this to myself!
This is Dennis [from Philadelphia, right] – he received a VO booklet and went vegetarian, and is now vegan! He’s looking forward to volunteering soon.
It was great to leaflet with Jane Jancys and Nicolas Tomas [below, center] – together we handed out 1,600 booklets at Cal Poly Pomona.
Highlights were speaking with Samira [above, left], who wants to go vegan after getting a booklet. And meeting Lilly [below, left], who went vegan from a booklet. We also met Elliot who had gone vegan from a booklet in the past. Bingo!
At right is one of the Shippensburg University students Kassy Ortega reached this semester who is interested in going veg!
Jenny Richards’ church had a series of three speakers talk about something health and holistic related, so I gave a talk to about 40 women. It was very well received; we couldn’t stop the conversation.
Fast forward a few weeks later, and I spoke to a woman who is now going vegetarian (one day wants to be vegan!). I sent her an email that included our Vegan Mentor Program.
I ran into a student [right, at Evergreen State] who was handed a Why Vegan? pamphlet in 2004. He has been vegan ever since! He said reading it changed his life and he expressed his appreciation for our work.
Today was a great day at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. John Jungenberg and I handed out 1,644 VO booklets and had so many good interactions, including overhearing one girl tell her friend these “changed her life.” We got a lot of new volunteers, too!
Awesome day of activism! Rachel Shippee and I handed out 1,612 Vegan Outreach leaflets to students at two high schools and one college [on 5/7/15]! We talked with a bunch of people who are now going veg!
Tonight I handed out my 100,000th VO leaflet at the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus! Over the time that I have handed those out, I have talked to hundreds of people interested in going veg from getting a leaflet – I feel very accomplished knowing that my actions have spared the lives of thousands of farmed animals. You can get that feeling too – get involved with Vegan Outreach so you too can help stop farmed animal suffering!
Amazing record-breaking day on our first stop in NY! John Sakars and I were once again joined by Ellie Donohue-Miller, an amazing activist we had on our previous record-breaking days at Guelph, Niagara, and Brock; and a new leafleter named Amy Garside, who works at SUNY Cortland! Amy very much enjoyed her first time leafleting and has plans to continue doing outreach herself!
I was received very well by teachers and students at Tompkins Cortland CC and was quickly informed there was going to be a Cowspiracy screening next week. The take rate was amazing and having the opportunity to inform students about the screening and the school’s upcoming Earth Week (partly organized by our amazing, angelic host and professor at Tompkins, Amber Gilewski!) was really great. I had a few nice, long positive interactions with students who had concerns about what to eat and how animals are treated and their impact on the environment, and they were really thankful and attentive.
At SUNY Cortland, John also encountered Audray [shown], who had gone vegetarian after receiving a VO booklet last year and is now vegan! Hooray!
David Zeller and I had a really good day here at the Australian National University – high take rate and receptive students. We more than doubled the previous one-day campus record of 650 booklets.
I had a conversation with a lady who said she ate meat but always felt bad about it and wanted to go vegan but didn’t know where to start, so I gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and she said she was going to give it a go.
David had plenty more conversations with people who were interested in changing their diet, including a pescetarian who now wants to go vegan.
We visited a small but very interesting private school, the Alva Edison University, which promotes vegetarianism and veganism in the halls of the buildings! We were shocked to see posters of famous vegetarians and vegans such as Aristotle, Einstein, Da Vinci, Paul McCartney, Gandhi and many others [below].
The cafeteria is vegetarian and almost completely vegan. These conditions are due to the principal: he is vegetarian and a very nice man that we had the chance to meet. We had the support of a very energetic local group called MEDA; they are helping a lot, guiding us about the universities and introduced us to the principal [below].
Despite the fact that the school promotes these values, not many students eat veg and the principal was so happy to have us there that he granted us the authorization to visit all of the classrooms and give a brief speech. So every leaflet that we handed out today was followed by an explanation of its content, the impact of factory farming and veg eating, with personal examples and local information. A lot of students reacted in a very positive way; an amazing experience.
Right: Quinton, a student who is on the football team at Benedict College, received our booklets and is now interested in going veg!
Another amazing day leafleting Gainesville with Lynda Cozart! Day two and for a second time a leafleting record goes down. This outreach was orchestrated nearly perfectly, with me and her splitting up and each taking excellent posts on near-opposite ends of the Santa Fe College campus. Doing this we did 400+ on the first two class changes and at least 300 together for the rest. Great results for just the two of us!
Lyn had a faculty member come up to her at one point, thanking us for raising awareness and saying vegetarians were becoming lots more common on campus. I found four vegans and even more vegetarians on my side – more than we met last semester, it felt like. With the meat eaters we talked to, every one of them responded very positively to hearing that changing their diet to help animals wasn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. At least three of them promised to do what the Even If You Like Meat asked and cut their meat consumption in half. One omnivore towards the end though did let me know she was so disturbed by the booklet, she was finished then and there eating meat; and even better, said she’d be interested in volunteering next visit! Excellent news there – she was the second of two signed up today to get active in the future for animals.
Super developments again coming out on another big day for us in central Florida!
Right: Damaris, a Rio Hondo College student who went pescatarian as a result of receiving a VO booklet in the past, now wants to go vegan and help her best friend make the switch!
Written to VO’s Senior Outreach & Strategy Coordinator, Vic Sjodin:
Once again, I would like to express my gratitude. I was deeply touched by your presentation and Q&A [at Cypress College]. I am excited to start my new diet and journey in life. I am done crying and will focus that energy to spread veganism. I want to be an example to my family and friends. I am excited to continue learning about veganism and to spread that knowledge.…
I read the three leaflets you provided from cover to cover. Shed a few tears for the pictures of Kevin and Emily. I am excited to go to Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Fresh n Easy, and Whole Foods. The Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating is a tremendous help!
Right: After reading the Your Choice she received at UCLA this semester, Leslie now wants to go vegan!
I leafleted for an hour today [at MiraCosta College]. The first person I gave a leaflet to had walked up to me with a plate of pepperoni pizza in his hand and, after receiving an Even If You Like Meat leaflet, said this pizza was the last meat he would ever eat. Another person said she is already a vegetarian but that she wants to reduce how much dairy she eats.… In one exchange, I handed a leaflet to a lady who then requested another to give to her coworker. A student later came up to me and told me that he supports the values of a vegan diet, that he is running for student government and that, if elected, he wants to work with me to propagate vegan philosophy on campus, after which statement he took five leaflets to distribute on his own. And on two separate occasions, students sought guidance as to how to volunteer with Vegan Outreach. I told them that they, too, could leaflet and referred them to our website to learn how to Adopt a College.
Right: After hearing Vic speak at Chaffey College, Casey said, “I’m going full vegan!”
I ran into Max at the University of Nevada. He credits his veganism to conversations he had with the great Victor Sjodin six years ago at Penn State!
Special thanks to my gracious hosts, who have kept me well-fed and sheltered from the cold drizzle I always seem to bring to Reno with me!
We had two volunteers today at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes: Alondra Sarmiento [right] and Israel Rodriguez.
Alondra had never met another vegan or vegetarian in person before; she also had never done activism at all. She told us she was very happy to meet us and that she felt very good helping animals by leafleting for the first time. She’s very shy and at the beginning she was having trouble doing it; but after some tips and jokes, she made it happen. She left with a smile knowing the positive impact she had on farmed animals, and decided to move from vegetarian to vegan.
Israel is not even vegetarian, but he has done activism for other causes before, such as screenings and a little bit of leafleting. He’s an energetic young man, he helped a lot and we talked about factory farming while doing it; he is trying veg now.
Besides the positive experiences with the volunteers, we had a lot of good ones with people receiving the leaflets. Three or four people asked for another leaflet to share. Two girls that help dogs and cats engaged in conversations about factory farming that turned out with them trying veg. And finally, a girl stood 20 meters away from us and read the leaflet from cover to cover [shown]. It was an energy-recharging day.
Today was the Ryerson Winter VegFest. I met someone who I remembered talking to during a previous leafleting session at Ryerson University. I was able to find my report from 4/26/13 – this is what I wrote back then:
I had several nice conversations today. One was with a young man who asked me if I was vegan and for how long. When I asked him the same back, he said he had been vegan for a month. I asked him what had prompted the change, and he said getting a Compassionate Choices and watching online videos. He is interested in learning how to eat better so was pleased to get a Guide, and I also gave him a Vegan button and took a photo. He also asked about volunteering, and I told him about Vegan Outreach as well as the Toronto Vegetarian Association.
He is still vegan! The photo [right] is the one from 2013.
I also met a man who initially refused a leaflet, saying that was no good, he needed to put on weight. I said I have the perfect one for you and whipped out The Compassionate Athlete. As he started flipping through it, he asked what it was about, and I said it was plant-based eating for athletes. He said he couldn’t go vegan or he would die! I told him I have been vegan for 25 years and I’m not dead yet; he and his friends all laughed with me, and he took the leaflet – win!
I also chatted with the Toronto Vegetarian Association volunteer at the VegFest. She wants to help leaflet and is a Ryerson student, so I took her information. I got to the table later in the day and by then they were all out of leaflets. She said the most popular was The Compassionate Athlete.
Such a good day! Phoenix College is the most interested and receptive campus I’ve ever leafleted. Dawn Ratcliffe and I must’ve had at least 20 productive conversations with students, as well as had a handful of students want to go veg on the spot.
Crystal [right, reading Your Choice] had no idea about factory farming and now wants to go veg. She text-message ordered a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and started telling her friends about what she learned!
We got some e-mail addresses and even some staff were interested in learning more. Energizing day.
My sister-in-law gave me an extra pair of ski pants, and today they totally saved me in the ~15°F weather! I was super warm but many students were clearly caught off guard by the -15°F windchill, so the take rate was a little lower than usual here at Queens College.
One student stopped after having received a leaflet earlier, and asked, “Is all of that true? Does that stuff really happen?” She was looking for reasons not to believe what was clearly shocking to her, and even pointed out that she didn’t see blood on the male chicks on the conveyor belt. I explained that they hadn’t gone through the machine yet. She asked a number of questions about the male chicks, about why they would do this, what their bodies are used for afterward, etc. After a long conversation (10 minutes is long in this weather) during a non-rush period, she left saying that she couldn’t go completely vegetarian yet, but would at least eat veg every other day.
She also said that she thought the use of attractive people in the leaflet was great marketing, and caught her attention enough to keep reading! She said she liked that the use of people making healthy choices throughout the leaflet seemed to have a more positive spin than how her veg roommate talks about the same issues.
The Compassionate Athlete booklet has been a total success for my four presentations, especially for the “Healthful Eating” one. I have never had so many students pick up booklets and read them from beginning to end during my Q&A session at the the end of the presentation.
Great to have John Sakars return to me from Vegas. He recruited one of his internet contacts, Chris Siegel [right], to join today. Chris was lovely and really took to leafleting. Together, we reached more than 2,000 students at Long Beach City College.
I met Denzel [right] – we spoke for a long time; he’s all about going vegan after reading the booklet. I also spoke to Gianpiero for over 20 minutes – he said it was a profound experience, talking with me and reading the booklet; he is well on his way and was telling me what he was going to say to his wife, and that he may join the VO mentor program. I had more than a half dozen other conversations – it’s so good to be able to speak to people in person – it’s one of the things I love most about Vegan Outreach on the pavement.
Another epic thing about this school is the long wait at the crosswalk where there are six lanes of traffic and a little island. I think the light changes every three minutes, so of course many read the booklets while waiting – many times I saw 10, 15, 18 reading. Bonus.
Really fantastic day that made me feel happy to be alive and thankful to be doing outreach. John is a real soldier and loves to leaflet.
We tabled and leafleted indoors at Southwestern Illinois College today. One student decided to go vegan after visiting at our table. Another student told me that she went vegetarian after interacting with me last semester. I Guided both of them. A couple other students said they had reduced their meat consumption since getting literature from me in the past.
Alex [Astarita, below] had gotten a booklet from me at Saint Louis University in the past and went veg. Today was her outreach debut, and she did great! Big thanks to Alex for taking a three-hour-round-trip, four-train ride to join me for a great day of outreach!
Today’s feedback from students at Berkeley City College was invigorating! First I heard from a student who went vegan after receiving a Your Choice booklet last year. Then a student named Mahsa [right] said she went vegan after receiving an Even If You Like Meat booklet last semester. Then another student said he went vegan a year ago because of a Your Choice booklet. And toward the end of the day, a fourth student said she went vegan after getting a booklet from me!
Truly amazing day at the University of New Orleans! I was joined by friend and vegucator extraordinaire Mark Meunier – it was his second time out here at his alma mater, and together we reached more than 1,500 students! We topped the school record by over 400; and even better, students were coming up left and right telling us how moved they were by the literature. We had about 12 to 15 solid discussions in total, an amazing 5 of these with students promising to start eating veg from now forward!
An extra bonus was meeting Alexis again [below], who last semester said she was giving veganism a go after getting a leaflet that day. She stopped today to let us know she was still going strong and had no plans on going back! Another VO success story!
Devonte [below, left] stopped as he got his leaflet, saying he’d been thinking of trying to stop eating animals. He got the lowdown on where to easily find substitutes locally and said he’d be looking for foods to try beginning today.
Matthew [below, center] got a leaflet and within 5 minutes came back to us saying how disturbed he felt learning the horrors of the intense confinement shown in the Your Choice. He got extra info and after talking with us said he was going veg!
The amazing string of conversations continued with a student named Sean, who said he’d be trying the alternatives on sale at the Winn-Dixie where he worked. Then another named Jenna, who Mark talked up, was likely going to be looking for substitutes and eliminating her animal consumption.
Another great conversation Mark had was with Emily [above, right], a vegetarian who got an Even If You Like Meat and said she was going the whole way from getting the info today.
Amazingly, all this happened before 11 am today! A super start to what was overall a truly unbelievable day.
Today was my first time leafleting officially as a VO Outreach Coordinator – it was very exciting; I got to UANL very early in the morning and left at night. There were a lot of volunteers and support; and there were thousands of people because it was the first day of school for many and the last day for registering.
People were super receptive for printed material, as usual in Mexico. First a father and son came to me to congratulate us for the work we do and asked for more info of the organization and veg eating; the son is very into it. Then Ana [right], a vegetarian interested in going vegan, offered to help. Later on, Katia Rodriguez met Israel, a 22-year-old guy who after receiving the leaflet decided to go vegetarian and help out in that very moment. A couple asked for substitute foods, two guys asked us to go out to eat so they can know veg restaurants, and a bunch of people asked what they could do for animals to help more. An amazing day.