5 Activists Bringing Veganism to the Masses

Community Events collage

From Los Angeles to Brooklyn and in between, Vegan Outreach has connected with a multitude of curious non-vegans—sharing vegan food and providing informative, fun, and welcoming ways for folks to explore veganism.

We’ve hosted vegan food tasting events, shown iAnimal virtual reality videos at local festivals, and given presentations to groups of all sizes—and the positive feedback we get is very uplifting!

Today, we’d like to share a few of those inspiring moments with you and recognize our hard-working Community Events Coordinators. Below, each Coordinator recounts a particularly impactful moment they had over the past few months.

1. Gwenna Hunter

gwenna hunter

“This week, I had the extreme pleasure of having Dr. Ietef Cavem Vita and Genesis Butler of A Vegan Child’s Journey speak in front of 150 male youth from Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles. We served delicious vegan tacos by Nays Tacos.

“Honestly, the kids were very judgmental at first because they wanted to see meat—but once they started eating the tacos, they loved them! They couldn’t believe tacos could be so delicious without having meat!”

—Gwenna Hunter
Greater Los Angeles Community Events Coordinator
April 13, 2018

2. Jackie Va

jackie va

“On Sunday, I hosted the Taste Vegan Meats and Cheese Potluck in Stockton, CA. The event was capped at 40 RSVPs and it sold out in one day! Almost all of the attendees were non-vegan.

“I put literature out for people on the dining tables and set up an information table. Most people took more than one booklet, flipped through the pages, and asked questions as they ate. People stayed for 2 plus hours to talk to each other.”

—Jackie Va
Central Valley Community Events Coordinator
February 20, 2018

3. Nzinga Young

nzinga young

“Today, I did humane education presentations for the staff at Animal Care Centers (ACC) Brooklyn and Manhattan locations. Forty non-vegan employees spent their lunch break discussing how their love for animals could extend to animals raised for food.

“Attendees received a bagged lunch, two VO booklets, and a Tofurky coupon so they could recreate the vegan chicken salad they had for lunch. Both ACCs said the events were a hit and conversations on veganism lingered long after I left!”

—Nzinga Young
Greater NYC Community Events Coordinator
April 5, 2018

4. Victor Flores

vic flores

“Vegan Outreach had the opportunity to attend the Bees and Seeds Festival in Albuquerque, NM last weekend. We gave out samples of sopaipillas from La Salita and served them with Bee Free Honee.

“So many people stopped by our booth that we ran out of samples! We gave out a lot of information on veganism and several folks committed to giving it a try.”

—Victor Flores
Greater New Mexico Community Events Coordinator
May 20, 2018

5. Roopashree Rao

roopashree rao

“VO tabled for the first time at the Holi Mela in Woodley Park, Los Angeles. The crowd was in a festive mood since it is the Festival of Colours! Quite a few kids and adults tried the vegan milks and cookies.

“A handful of people watched the iAnimal Virtual Reality video, and it clearly made a huge impact. When people have a strong reaction, my response to them is, “I didn’t know either—but once we do see the cruelty, we can decide if we want to make changes.”

—Roopashree Rao
Indian American Community Events Coordinator
March 4, 2018


Let’s give a big round of applause for this hardworking group of activists who are truly making a difference through community outreach. Stay tuned because this won’t be the last you hear of their work!

Do you want to get active for animals? Sign up now for our Action Alerts or join our Vegan Mentor Program!

11 Names You Should Know

Summer is around the corner, and VO’s Outreach Coordinators are wrapping up their Spring leafleting tours!

We’d like to acknowledge the following eleven individuals who went above and beyond for the animals this semester.

1. Steve Erlsten

Steve Erlsten

Steve is VO’s Senior Outreach Coordinator. He’s handed leaflets to 98,289 individuals at 151 schools so far this semester.

“Traffic at schools is getting lighter as the semester comes to a close, but I’m still meeting great students everyday! Last month, I met a student at Contra Costa College who said she’d been trying to go vegan and talking to her mother about all the benefits. She was excited to put a Guide to Animal-Free Eating to use!”

2. Perla Anerol

Perla Anerol

Perla Anerol, VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, has given out 54,009 leaflets at 56 schools in the Spring semester.

“I spoke with four groups of friends, about 25 students altogether. Several of them said they were willing to reduce their consumption of animal products.

“One student said she is willing to eliminate animal foods. Another student said he’d already tried to eliminate animal foods, but the doctor discouraged him from doing so. Now he wants more information to try again.”

3. Sarah Weldon

Sarah Weldon

Outreach Coordinator Sarah Weldon gave out 30,365 leaflets this semester at 54 schools.

“One of the coolest things happened at Tarrant County College-Northwest Campus in Fort Worth! I met two men who are former military members—like me—and both were interested in veganism!

“They both came back to talk with me after receiving a leaflet. The three of us talked for 15 minutes about all things vegan. They didn’t even know each other before this!”

4. Miguel Marrón

Miguel Marrón
Outreach Coordinator Miguel Marron has handed leaflets to 55,638 students at 75 schools this semester.

“It was cold today, but I was able to spend some time leafleting inside. I heard from a couple jokers, but I wasn’t discouraged. The vast majority of students were receptive. One student told me he’d received a booklet last term and that he’s been eating less meat ever since.

“Another student approached me later in the day, after receiving a booklet from me in the morning, and said she read the booklet and ‘had no idea’ this cruelty was happening to animals. Now she’s planning to go vegan!”

5. Sam Tucker

Sam Tucker

Sam Tucker, VO’s Australia and New Zealand Outreach Coordinator, has handed vegan leaflets to 40,955 people at 40 schools—and he showed iAnimal virtual reality videos to 467 people, too!

“One of my favorite days of outreach was the day of combined iAnimal virtual veality (VR) outreach and leafleting at Macquarie University in Sydney.

“A few volunteers and I handed out 2,600 leaflets, mostly our brand new Australian What is Speciesism? leaflet, which has been hugely successful. We showed 46 students VR footage of factory farms and slaughterhouses in exchange for a free vegan cupcake, brownie, or other vegan treat.”

6. Jevranne Martel

Jevranne Martel

VO’s Canada Outreach Coordinator, Jevranne Martel, handed leaflets to 33,720 people at 72 schools.

“Overall, this semester has been absolutely amazing. The interest is truly going up everywhere. I have met so many incredible students around Canada who are interested in going vegan. I am always very grateful for the time they give me and their receptiveness.”

7. Brian Chavez

Brian Chavez

Outreach Coordinator Brian Chavez gave out 33,915 leaflets to students at 37 schools.

“At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, I came back to my car after handing out 1,400 leaflets and this is what I found. That was on the 18th of April!

“At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I met a student who’d been vegetarian, but found it hard to deal with social pressure when going out to eat. She thanked me for the information and is going to try again. I’ve handed out 33,448 leaflets this spring. Traveling and leafleting in the Midwest has been great!”

8. Emmanuel Márquez

Emmanuel Márquez

Mexico Outreach Manager, Emmanuel Marquez, gave leaflets to 30,579 students at 80 schools. He also showed iAnimal virtual reality footage to 1,863 people!

“One of my favorite days of outreach this semester was at Ciudad Juárez Tech Institute. We presented two Humane Education presentations—46 students total, showed iAnimal virtual reality videos to 81 students, and handed out 1,300 leaflets.

“We had amazing interactions and responses. We met a vegan student who signed up to volunteer. At least five people were moved to tears, four vegetarians decided to stop eating dairy, and one decided to go vegan after seeing the VR footage.”

9. Kimberly Moffatt

Kimberly Moffatt

Outreach Coordinator Kimberly Moffatt handed leaflets to 28,348 students at 59 schools this semester.

“I have to say my favorite day of outreach was at University of Maryland. Students, members of the local Save chapter, and a passionate group of activists from Frederick braved the cold to advocate for animals. Many were first time leafleters. We met other students who were interested in making more compassionate food choices.

“It was a fun, long day getting to know everyone better. Everyone enjoyed themselves and they want to get involved with leafleting and Vegan Outreach in the future.”

10 and 11. Yuri Mitzkewich and Carlos Yanez

Yuri Mitzkewich, Carlos Yanez

On VO’s first-ever virtual reality tour, Southeast Outreach Coordinator Yuri Mitzkewich showed iAnimal virtual reality videos to 1,943 students! He also gave out 2,031 leaflets, covering 45 schools.

VO’s intern Carlos Yanez accompanied Yuri on the tour. He showed iAnimal to 1,923 students and handed leaflets to 2,012!

“During week 12 of our VR tour, we visited Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, MA. I’m happy to report we got some of our best results at these two schools! At MIT, we showed 56 students VR footage, and at Harvard we showed VR to 90 students. We returned to Harvard the next day and set a tour record—123 VR views!

“There was a group of students who were particularly moved by the footage and pledged to never eat meat again. It’s so inspiring to see what caring and open minded students will do when simply given the opportunity to learn and take action to be living and doing better.” — Yuri

Keep Vegan Outreach Going Strong!

The No-Overhead Challenge Needs You! Donate Today!

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Every time a student is handed a Vegan Outreach leaflet, it’s because someone like you made a donation in response to a request like this.

All the work Vegan Outreach does for animals is fueled by donations. We’ve done a lot of good together—this Spring semester we’ve handed leaflets to 822,916 students and showed 7,924 students virtual reality slaughterhouse footage.

But there’s so much more to do, and we need your help!

Without you, this work for animals is at risk of slowing—or even stopping.

A generous donor has pledged to cover all our overhead costs for the fall, so 100% of your donations by May 31 will go directly to fund outreach that makes people vegan!

Please donate now to keep our work for animals going! With overhead costs covered, your donation will go directly to spreading veganism.

button please donate now

Success—Piola Adds Vegan Cheese to 10 Locations!

Piola adds vegan cheese

Vegan Outreach is thrilled to announce that we worked with international pizza chain—Piola—to add Follow Your Heart’s Mozzarella Cheese to the menu at ten of their US locations.

With Piola’s large global presence, we hope this change will send an important message to other chain restaurants—cheeseless pizza is a thing of the past for dairy-free diners. The demand for vegan options is booming, and thankfully Piola was in full agreement when we approached their corporate team.

We know their vegan and dairy-free customers are excited for this change, and we’re confident the option will be successful.

The vegan cheese is available at the following locations:

Florida Texas
Piola Weston
Piola Brickell
Piola Hallandale
Piola South Beach
Piola Doral
Piola Pinecrest
Piola Memorial
Piola Midtown
Virginia North Carolina
Piola Arlington Piola Raleigh

Our Future Success Depends on You!

The No-Overhead Challenge Needs You! Donate Today!

All the work Vegan Outreach does for animals is thanks to the generosity of the donors who fund it—from our successful campaign to get vegan cheese in Piola, to the grassroots outreach we do on college campuses worldwide!

We’re ready to do even more to spread veganism, but we need your help to do it!

A generous donor has pledged to cover all our overhead costs for the fall, so 100% of your donations in May will go directly to fund outreach that makes people vegan!

With overhead costs covered, 100% of your donation will go directly to:

  • Pay for booklets that inspire students to become vegan
  • Feed delicious vegan food to non-vegans, changing their perceptions and opening their minds to veganism
  • Put vegan options on restaurant menus, making vegan eating easier for everyone
  • Connect people struggling to go vegan with mentors, so they don’t fall back into eating animals

Several donors have already stepped up, but reaching our goal by May 31 is not a guarantee.

You could be the reason we meet our goal. You could be the reason more people go vegan!

Please donate today to keep our work for animals going! With overhead costs covered, your donation will go directly to spreading veganism.

button please donate now

Thank you!

Tell Morningstar Consumer Affairs to Ditch the Egg and Dairy

Have you ever been frustrated that Morningstar Farms’ products are vegetarian, but not vegan?

You can help change that in less than a minute with the click of a button!

We’ve pre-written an email to Morningstar’s Consumer Affairs department. All you need to do is sign the email and boom—Morningstar Farms will hear from yet another customer wanting them to ditch the eggs and dairy in their Garden Veggie Burger—and hopefully their other products!

Thousands of people have already signed the petition, calling on them to make this burger vegan. Sending this email will make sure they continue to hear important feedback from their customers.

Take less than a minute to help get Morningstar Farms to ditch the small amount of eggs and dairy in their Garden Veggie Burger!


Tell Morningstar to make their Garden Veggie Burger vegan!

Tell Morningstar to make their veggie burger vegan
Tell Morningstar

Take less than a minute to ask Morningstar Farms to make their Garden Patty vegan!

Morningstar Farms has been known for making delicious vegetarian alternatives to animal proteins. However, many people are disappointed that most of their products contain eggs and dairy—including the Garden Veggie Burger sold in stores and at Burger King.

Thousands of vegans around the US would love to purchase more Morningstar Farms products, including supporting the hearty veggie burger at Burger King that’s so widely available.

Please ask Morningstar Farms to ditch the egg and dairy to make their Garden Veggie Burger vegan!

Sign the Petition

Order This New Leaflet for Earth Day Outreach!

Fight Climate Change with Diet Change Booklet Cover

With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, and more attention being paid to climate change, Vegan Outreach teamed up with the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition to create a booklet about the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.

The new booklet, Fight Climate Change with Diet Change, answers questions about one person making a difference and addresses deforestation, water usage and pollution, and more.

If you have Earth Day events coming up in your area, you have a great opportunity to make animal agriculture part of the conversation.

Order these leaflets today to hand out in your area!


4 Reasons to Join VO’s Vegan Mentor Program

By John Deetjen, Outreach Coordinator

Have you been wanting to go vegan, but you’re not sure where to start? I was in the exact same boat back in 2009 when I saw undercover investigation videos about cruelty on factory farms. It was at that moment I knew I could no longer support this horror.

But I had absolutely no idea how to go vegan! I’d tried a few times before, but each time I’d end up right back where I was originally—eating animal products.

Luckily, I got help from my sister who’d been vegan for a few months. She gave me tips on how to make vegan meals and where to look for vegan products in the grocery store. Only then was I prepared to go fully vegan! And having a mentor made my transition not only easier, but fun.

Maybe you’re like me and need a little assistance? Or maybe you’re the only vegan or vegetarian you know and would like a friend to share recipes with? Guess what? We’ve got good news for you!

Vegan Outreach’s Vegan Mentor Program (VMP)—Programa Mentor Vegano en Espanol—was launched in September 2014 and has matched over 4,000 mentees with vegan mentors. We’ve got mentors in approximately 60 countries and 1,100 cities! The program is free—making it accessible to anyone who’s interested in animal-free eating.

Still not sure the program is for you? Well, here are four reasons why joining the VMP may be a good idea for your veg goals!

It’s Customized

When a mentee signs up, we’ll check to see if there’s a mentor in your area.

I try to match by location so our mentors and mentees can have real-life relationships! Most mentors and mentees want to meet in person after the initial email introduction and always seem thrilled and surprised when they find out they live close to one another, very often in the same city. -Jean Bettanny, Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator

The way mentors and mentees are matched is tailored to the participants’ wants and needs! For example, if a mentee really enjoys cooking, we’ll try to find a mentor that also likes to cook and may want to cook a meal together! Matching is also based on age and lifestyle.

We keep in touch! Every now and then our Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator will check in to make sure participants are getting what they want out of the program.

Meaningful Connections

Natalie and Kristine 1

Since we match mentors and mentees based on compatibility, you’ll likely build a great relationship with your mentor. Our mentors and mentees have connected on social media, gone grocery shopping together, met up at restaurants, and even traveled across several states to spend the holidays with each other!

Check out these recent quotes from mentees and prepare to be inspired!

[My mentor] has been really supportive in sending me encouragement and ideas. She has been supportive without me feeling like she’s judging me for not being all the way there yet. She’s connected with me on Instagram and sends me recipes and meal planning ideas. -E.B.

[My mentor] is AMAZING! She is always there when I need her. We text constantly, she’s so supportive and she puts veganism into a real life perspective. She never thinks my questions are too small. She does her very best to help me, and she’s an amazing friend. Thank you!!! -S.C.

Delicious Food Tips

Red Bean Veggie Burger
Photo Credit: Kate Lewis

Mentors are usually up to speed on vegan food! Whether it’s sharing recipes or suggesting the latest products, helping to navigate grocery store aisles, or recommending local vegan-friendly restaurants, mentors are ready to help.

We hear all of the time from our mentees about the wonderful food their mentors have helped them find!

I have been doing so well with my new eating habits, healthy lifestyle, and new outlook on life. There are endless possibilities for what I can eat, and even quite a few restaurants that have vegan options! Who knew?! It’s wonderful! -K.V.

Living in Line With Your Values

Cat and Chicken
Photo Credit: Archant CM Ltd.

Choosing to eat more vegan food is all about living your values! And joining the VMP means you’ll form a connection with someone who shares the same values—reducing animal suffering—along with getting one-on-one support to live a compassionate lifestyle.

Running the Vegan Mentor Program is such a fulfilling part of my life. It’s been so wonderful welcoming and introducing thousands of mentees to more humane and compassionate lifestyles, and seeing them flourish! -Jean Bettanny, Vegan Mentor Program Coordinator

Ready to sign up? Get started here!

Email CPK to Request Vegan Cheese Pizza

Ask CPK for vegan cheese pizza

Thousands of people have told California Pizza Kitchen they want a vegan cheese pizza.

We need your help to keep the momentum going!

We’ve pre-written an email to CPK’s Customer Feedback Department. All you need to do is sign the email and boom—CPK knows yet another person wants a vegan cheese option on their menu.

By catering to the millions of vegan, dairy-intolerant, and health-conscious consumers, CPK would become the largest pizza company in the US to offer a vegan version of one of America’s favorite foods.

Take less than a minute to help get California Pizza Kitchen to add vegan cheese!

Button - Email CPK Now