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There are a lot of late classes at CSU San Marcos, so I was able to set a new record for the campus by staying for a long time. The take rate was high and the students were all super polite.
Raquel [below] received a VO leaflet six years ago at UC San Diego and is now vegetarian.
VO Executive Director Jack Norris [above], Organizational Development Consultant Alex Bury [below], and I leafleted at the University of California, Davis, today. With the help of two volunteers from the student group PEACE, we handed out 1,090 booklets. Jack noted, “I’ve never run into so many vegans at UC Davis before—I met six in the 90 minutes I was leafleting.”
Today I handed out 1,776 booklets at Riverside City College. I saw lots of people reading the literature, and many students wanted to engage in conversation with me. I met several vegans, including some that want to volunteer in our Vegan Mentor Program, and a student named Manny who said he wants to be mentored.
I also met Mya [below, right], who’s been vegan ever since she received a VO leaflet one year ago!!!
Today at East Los Angeles College, I handed out 2,550 booklets—a new personal best for me. There was a really great take rate and a lot of students. I gave a leaflet to Aaron [below] and he later came back and told me, “I’m going vegan.” He said he’d already been thinking about it, but our leaflet helped make up his mind.
There were a lot of interested students at Union County College today. Alex [below] said he eats seven to eight eggs at one meal. We had a long conversation discussing ethics and alternatives, and he plans to try out veganism! He even helped me hand out a few leaflets.
On Monday at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, I was joined by volunteers Carolina Loy and Sergio Navarrete [below], who run a local vegan restaurant. Together we handed out 1,066 booklets.
Today at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes, I met Martha Esqueda [below], a member of the students’ association who also collaborates with some animal protection and ecological groups. She told me the association made an agreement with the principal to change the way the school treats stray dogs. Previously they were sent to the pound, but now the institute lets them stay, acting like a foster home while the students find them permanent homes. Martha’s really interested in organizing an activity with VO at the institute.
I also had a short conversation with a security guard who asked for a brochure early in the morning. At the end of the day, he told me the work I was doing was really necessary because meat is harming a lot of people, and the animals suffer immensely in the slaughterhouses. It was motivating to witness how people start to change the way they see the animals.
How I love being a VO mentor. What follows is [an excerpt from] a happy note from a mentee:
M. is really enjoying the vegetarian lifestyle, which I am so glad for.
Leafleting in Telangana was awesome. The University of Hyderabad is a huge campus, and I was able to hand out 3,000 booklets. I met Yogendra Yadav [above], a vegetarian who appreciated VO’s work and told me he’ll go vegan soon. I also met Shayna, Binni, Archana, and Kaushal [below], who were unaware of the term “vegan” and saddened that they never gave thought to the brutality done to animals.
In the late evening, I went to the Charminar, a famous monument. It was really beautiful. I handed out another 1,000 booklets in the area, which was mostly filled with non-vegetarian people. Sadiq Iqbal [below, right] was impressed and said he’ll positively think about becoming vegetarian. I also met Yasir Khan [below, left], a local resident who took 100 leaflets to distribute in his circle.
Volunteer Amit and I [above] handed out 500 booklets today at Connaught Place in New Delhi. I had a small discussion with Manoj Kumar, Rohit Kumar, and Chris Antony [below]. Chris had plenty of questions about protein deficiency and the food chain but was open to the knowledge, and all three of them pledged to go vegan and asked for articles and videos for more information.
In all, six people pledged to go vegan. It was a great day!
Hector and Loretta [above] joined me at the Universidad Pedagógica del Estado de Sinaloa today. It was the first time visiting this campus. We had 29 views of Animal Equality’s iAnimal and very good interactions. Many people—like Alejandra [below]—decided to stop eating animals.
People were very open to the info—even school administrators visited our table. They were very happy to find out what we were doing and asked us to visit again. While we were preparing the table, I was invited to do an interview for the campus radio station [below]. It went very well and hopefully it’ll reach thousands of listeners all over the state of Sinaloa.
New record at Stanislaus State on Tuesday, and I met a student who went vegan after getting a booklet from me last year! Yesterday in Fresno, I had my 999th and 1,000th school outings—I think that makes me the fourth person to go leafleting at schools 1,000 times. The day was full of great conversations, including two with students who had been vegetarian for a while and were ready to go vegan! And today at College of the Sequoias and Redwood High School, another student said she went vegan because of our booklets, and several students are ready to go vegan!
Today at Winston-Salem State University, I spoke with students [below] who said they had been considering going vegan but just didn’t know where to start. They said I should do a presentation at the school for people wanting to know about a vegan lifestyle. I referred them to our free mentor program.
Great volunteers today at Utah Valley University—philosophy professor Chris Foster and Niamh O’Sullivan [above]! Together we handed VO booklets to more than 1,500 students. We met about seven to eight vegans, and we’re helping them get in touch with each other to revive the Animal Allies club.
Mackenzie [above, left] has been eating less meat since reading a VO booklet, and Marian [above, right] has been vegetarian since finding a Compassionate Choices left behind on a seat in her classroom a month ago!
[My mentor] is great! She is very understanding, helpful, and kind. Never pushy or condescending. [She] checks in often with new tips and resources. Her most recent correspondence provided lots of great options to enjoy a vegan Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for offering this [Vegan Mentor Program]. It has been most helpful!
Solid day to finish this incredible week for Team Yuki / Yuri! Even with the rain, students at the University of Texas at Arlington gave us a great reception. Both of us had many good conversations, with a half-dozen saying they’ll be transitioning to vegan after today. It was a great way to wrap up this unbelievable tour we’ve been on since starting in Orlando five short weeks ago.
It’s been an amazing run for us since Yuki joined VO as an intern on August 25. The numbers we’ve been able to reach have been truly incredible—21,000 this last week alone. Overall Yuki has reached a mind-boggling 38,000 in 25 days, helping us reach a total of 84,000-plus as a team in that short time. Going from Florida to Alabama, Mississippi to Louisiana to Texas, we broke all-time state records in four of these five states—and put together an amazing run of 21 straight days breaking campus records! It’s truly hard for me to put into words what an incredible experience this has been. It goes to show what wonderful things individuals can accomplish when we put ourselves out there in a position where we’re able to make change for the better for our animal friends!
Massive day of outreach on Monday! Vegan Outreach teamed up with Animal Activist Collective and Truth Riders to help launch the new Victoria University Vegans club. In addition to the leaflets and Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality outreach, we fed students lots of free delicious vegan food, played footage of factory farms and slaughterhouses on TV screens to hundreds of students, plastered the campus in posters, chalked some pro-animal messages, and got nearly 100 people to sign up to the club! (Our initial aim was to just get over 10 so the club could be officially registered with the university, and we well and truly smashed that goal!) And with 1,150 booklets distributed, we set a new record for the Footscray Park campus!
Today at the University of Melbourne in Parkville, volunteers David Radunz, Annie Campbell, AJ Bond, and I handed out 4,050 booklets—a new all-time Aussie record!
Awesome day at Long Island University on Wednesday. Volunteers Kiersten Plut, Howard Jimmy, Megan Deckelmann, and I [above] had great conversations with students and handed out 960 booklets—a new campus record for CW Post.
Today at Stony Brook University, volunteer Keri Esposito-Michel and I [below, with student] handed out 767 leaflets and talked to three people who were interested in going vegan.
A wonderful day at the University of Vermont last Tuesday! Caitlin Morales [above] is new to Vermont and new to leafleting. She saw a Facebook post about my outreach and decided to join me. She did great! Alex Bonfiglio, who runs the school club Green Mountain Veggies, joined us between classes and together we handed out 1,458 booklets!
The following day, I leafleted SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University, handing out 1,005 booklets. A student [Amber, above] came over to tell me she got a pamphlet last year and went pescatarian because of it. She said she has to take baby steps toward her goal of going vegetarian then ultimately vegan. I said words of support and encouragement and told her she made my day! I got a video of her.
Today, first-time leafleter Sarah Iandoli [above] and I handed out 530 booklets at Saint Michael’s College. Sarah is a student there and also an intern with a non-student group called Green Mountain Animal Defenders. With her terrific help, more leaflets were given out than on any previous visits to this campus!
My volunteer [Karina, above] at Nova Southeastern University on Friday was amazing. She has cerebral palsy and was handing out leaflets five at a time, since that’s all she could do. This was her first time leafleting. Even though the number of leaflets handed out was low, the number of people she interacted with to create awareness was effective, and the students were very receptive to her message. Very inspirational indeed. Her disability doesn’t hold her back from helping animals.
Today at Valencia College East Campus was absolutely amazing. I ran into a student I knew and she got me a table right in front of their bookstore.
A student named Rochelle came up and tried Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets and we spoke about how to go vegan. I told her about the starter guide and Vegan Mentor Program, and she said she was starting right now.
D’andre tried the headsets and we spoke about the horrors of the dairy industry and environmental racism. He said he was going vegan right now and that he was going to encourage his vegetarian girlfriend to go vegan as well.
Amani had no idea what veganism meant and tried the headsets. He was horrified and said he’ll never eat meat again, and made other students come to the table.
Another girl ripped the headsets off and walked away, saying she’ll never eat pigs ever again. I ran after her with a leaflet, and she thanked me for being there today. I also overheard one of the students who tried the headsets earlier tell other students to stop eating animals. Epic day!!
Excellent first day of school in Iowa on Monday! Teamed up with Patti Rogers-Engelby and Lynn Gallagher, along with their new volunteer Emmy. The three of them also leafleted freshman orientation on Sunday, reaching 1,000 students—so all together, that’s over 5,000 University of Iowa students reached in two days! We even pulled out Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets later in the day and had some more productive conversations. I also met Breanna [above], who went vegan after getting a booklet last year.
Patti and I handed out 1,910 booklets at the University of Northern Iowa on Tuesday. And today at Iowa State, we teamed with volunteers Tali Arnold and Fonda Pollpeter, handing out another 4,600 booklets. We heard from at least a dozen vegetarians and vegans. I talked with one student who has been vegan for a year and remembers getting a booklet last year that motivated her to finally commit. I’m noticing that more students are stopping to tell us they are veg, asking how to get involved, or just want to talk about the new leaflet. I’m really enjoying using the new What Is Speciesism? booklets—they’re really getting the conversation started!
So thankful to Patti for getting to all three Iowa schools with me (for the umpteenth time) and coordinating her volunteers! Iowa has wonderful and dedicated activists that are really making waves out there. Thank you for all you do, Patti and Team!
Awesome day at Marist College! One student—Samantha [below]—came back to tell me that, because of the leaflet she’d received earlier in the day, she’ll no longer be eating meat!
Such an absolutely amazing—ahh-maze-ing!!!—day today with volunteers Amy Duquette and Hiruni Erantha at the Ottawa Pride parade! We got so much support—so many smiles and receptive people. I was running up ahead and handing out leaflets to every person waiting on the sides. And even though it’s harder to have chats in these crowds, I did have a few really great ones—not only with people wanting to know more about veganism, but also with eleven interested in becoming activists. My face was lit up all day, and I’m already in contact with a few of them about starting up soon. Such a perfect, perfect day!
On Monday, volunteer Danny Vega and I handed out 1,800 leaflets at the College of Lake County. What a great tour opener that resulted in three new records for CLC: new individual record, new overall campus record, and my own personal record! The reception was great—lots of good conversations with students on the first day of school!
Wow! Another day, another new record! I was lucky enough to team up with One Step for Animals cofounder Joe Espinosa at Illinois State on Tuesday, and together we reached well over 3,000 students! My favorite moment was when I offered a student a booklet and he said, “I’m already vegetarian!” A student behind him heard this and said, “Hey! I’ve been wanting to go veg, too!” It was a cool moment with high fives and encouragement all around!
Absolutely crushed the old record at Purdue University on Wednesday! The reception was fantastic—numerous people asked me if I had more information on how to go vegan, and I was giving out Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets like candy! Big, big changes happening at Purdue! Thanks to volunteer Nicole Griffin, who runs the animal rights club on campus, for helping leaflet in between her classes!
Today was another big day in Indiana! I handed out more than 2,900 booklets at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and had lots of good conversations with students. My favorite of the day was when I met Luis [below], who said that, thanks to the booklet he got, he enjoyed a vegan lunch! He then signed up for our email list on the spot and happily took a Guide. I also overheard many students talking about speciesism, which is super cool to hear!
From VO India Outreach Coordinator Siddharth Sharma:
Last Wednesday, I handed out 800 booklets at Shastri Circle in Jodhpur. Rakesh Rajpurohit [above, left, with his friends] is a nutritionist and vegetarian. After becoming aware of the facts about veganism and what’s happening with animals in the meat and dairy industries, he promised to go vegan and find some more sources of vitamins and proteins through the internet.
A very good number of people come to Shree Pal Balaji Mandir on Saturday, so volunteer Mayank Aggarwal and I decided to do outreach there. We met Rakesh—the same guy I met at Shastri Circle—and he joined us for the outreach [above, right]. Together we handed out 1,100 booklets. Neeraj Rana [above, left] is vegetarian, but after knowing the health benefits of veganism, he promised us he’ll go vegan soon.
Today at the College of Engineering & Technology, Bikaner, volunteer Apoorva Dixit and I handed out 1,200 booklets. Professor Alka Swami [above, second from left] is vegetarian and had heard about veganism before. After we discussed vegan alternatives and nutrition, she promised me she’ll go vegan. Professor Singh [above, right, with Siddharth] told us he appreciates Vegan Outreach’s efforts. He’s also vegetarian and promised to become vegan.
From a mentee in our Vegan Mentor Program:
I found my way here in a strange way. But I was horrified when I saw what happens in the commercial farming industry. Long story short, I was writing a stock pitch at work on [one of the largest poultry producers in the United States], because, let’s face it, they had an attractive business model—everybody loves chicken and cash flows. But seeing what goes on inside made me disgusted. I want to make the change for myself. So I’ve been hoping this could be a better alternative to just sifting through articles online. After all, sifting the internet alone after work is not fun or encouraging.
Today I handed out 1,900 Compassionate Choices booklets at Chabot College. It was another amazing day with more vegans than I could count and more aspiring vegans than I could count! Delilah [below, left] went vegan after watching What the Health and Forks Over Knives. She said, “[I]t was the best decision I ever made in my life so far. I’m sticking with it forever.”
Meeting Gisella [below, right] was one of the many highlights yesterday at Contra Costa College. She’s been vegetarian for about 18 months, and now she’s ready to go vegan!
Tabling at the Charleston Farmers Market with Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets, we got great responses and even had a productive conversation with a dairy farmer. We talked to a lot of people who were curious about veganism, and we gave out Field Roast samples and a lot of literature.
From a mentee in our Vegan Mentor Program:
My goal is no longer to become vegan or even stay vegan, it is simply to thrive on a vegan lifestyle!
[My mentor] has been wonderful! I’ve enjoyed talking to her about the transition process, and she has been very understanding and helpful, answering all of my questions. She takes the time to respond with long, thoughtful emails, which is exactly what I needed from a mentor.
Vegan for life!!! Thanks for checking in and for such a wonderful program!
Vegetarianos en Monterrey is a local group that has been promoting a plant-based diet for the past nine years. For the anniversary, they organized a small fest with vendors and speakers. I gave a talk to 30 people about the power of our food choices, and we had 21 people use Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets at our table.
Volunteers Erica Perrault [below, left], Hiruni Erantha [below, right], Brent Huang, Kevin Ulug, Beccah Ellis, and I handed out more than 2,000 VO booklets at the Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street. We made an appearance every single day of this five-day event, which was Ottawa’s second ribfest so far this year, with a couple more to come.
We had some really amazing interactions and were also very pleasantly surprised at how many vegans and vegetarians approached us asking how to get more involved. On the first day, we recruited five new activists. So excited to see the growth in the movement—it never fails to put the biggest smile on my face.
We did have a few people approach us trying to get a reaction from us, but by engaging calmly and being respectful, the dynamic changed and a few of the conversations ended with them giving us support and telling us our tactic really works and to keep it up.
Today one gentleman and his two friends and three other family members came back to us after he read the Compassionate Choices booklet. He told us that we really made him think and that even though they came to the festival for the ribs, they were no longer going to be getting any.
Busy, busy for a relatively slow Friday in Miami! Orientation was happening at the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, plus the large number of tours coming by helped volunteer Carlos Yanez and me with our outreach here big time. Of the 28 who watched Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality video, 26 were visibly moved during the experience and had productive conversations with us afterwards. Several of them, 10 by my count, said they’d be eating vegan starting today!
Solid results for a few hours spent spreading the truth!
The Vegan Mentor Program has been a great experience so far—I’m really glad I found out about it and signed up. [My mentor] has been able to answer all of my questions regarding veganism, and also has shared a ton of great information about vegan-friendly dining and shopping in the greater Seattle area. She’s been quick to respond to all of my questions, is always friendly, and always happy to help.
We did leafleting and video outreach in Kothrud today. It was near a famous grocery store (Big Bazaar), which helped us meet more people who were open to a healthier lifestyle.
I met 56-year-old Shoba Desh Pande [below, left], who turned vegan a year ago as her health was getting worse and her doctor suggested a plant-based diet. Later I came to know that she is fond of animals and now feels far better—not just health-wise but also by not contributing to the meat or dairy industry.
I met Hir, who is an athlete at her college—after a small discussion, she decided to go home and research more about the vegan lifestyle.
Payal Mutha and her husband [above, right] are huge animal lovers and were in complete shock when they came to know about the realities of the dairy industry. They took our contact information to get more details, and Payal said she’d never consume dairy again.
It was an amazing day!
The Chicago Pride Parade was my first event using Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets! It was really helpful to have Jamie [Deetjen] there because she toured for a semester for Animal Equality using iAnimal. We had lots of good conversations with people who watched the video. Many people were very moved and pledged to reduce their meat consumption!
I was invited by Carolina, a vegan student of nanotechnology from the Universidad Tecnológica General Mariano Escobedo, to give a humane ed presentation about the environmental impact of animal agriculture. Thirty people attended the talk and it went very well. The coordinator of the nanotechnology course was very thankful to us and insisted on having us back soon. After the Q&A, I invited everyone to visit our table and use Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets.
Some students—like Andres, Aaron, Joselyn, and Eduardo [below]—attended the talk and were very interested in the topic. And after they watched the 360° footage of Mexican chicken farms, they asked for a guide to start eating veg meals.
It was a good day of outreach with 71 VR users, great interactions, a lot of people reading the leaflets, and different groups of people talking a lot about the topic.
Today at the University of South Carolina, volunteers and I [above] set up a table in the free-speech zone. It was a slow day, but we still managed to get 22 views of Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality footage. Two students pledged to go vegan on the spot!
At the Asheville VeganFest on Sunday, volunteers Leisha Heathcote, Regina Cherine, and I had a great time showing iAnimal to people [below]. The majority of the 87 viewers were not vegan. There were many vegetarians, pescatarians, and veg-curious people, and we had great conversations.
Volunteers Ellen Sweeney, Lisa Wade, Belle Stafford, Estelle, and I handed out 2,025 Compassionate Choices booklets at De Anza College today. This was probably my last 1,000-leaflet day for the semester!
We had a really busy day at Florida International University today. It was great having this team [above] on hand dedicated to reaching as many students as we could in our time on campus. Thanks to large groups of high school tours, we reached many more students than I expected. The take rate was super high, and many stopped by our table to see the info we had to share. And thanks to the experienced volunteers running the table, we were able to have great conversations with student after student, and Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets were kept busy the whole day.
It was a great afternoon with so many solid interactions. One that was especially good was with a student named Sel, who watched the VR footage and said he didn’t have time to talk but would return. Although he originally refused to sign our seven-day vegan pledge, we talked when he came back, and he changed his mind. Smiling and shaking hands before leaving, he said he’d be giving it serious thought and would definitely change his consumption of animal products.
Yesterday I started the morning off leafleting with volunteer Hiruni Erantha at the Great Glebe Garage Sale in Ottawa. There was a huge crowd, and I was able to engage in a lot of conversations.
I then headed to the Kanata Ribfest with volunteers Mich Shepard and Darlene Levecque. We had a TV playing footage of farming practices—the sounds drew in more people who then tried Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets. We also politely approached people and let them know we had VR technology showing the life of a pig in a gestation crate. We had some amazing conversations—some booth vendors even went out of their way to tell us to keep it up.
There were so many amazing experiences, my heart was shining. My favorite was with a mother and her three children. They all watched the VR and were shocked by it. We engaged in a really great conversation and the children listened intently. The mom was vegetarian and thanked me for helping to educate her children. She knew it was going to help them make the switch. I discussed the issues in the dairy and egg industries with them as well. All were once again shocked and left saying they were going to be making active changes toward going vegan.
Today at the Kanata Ribfest, Mich and I were joined by volunteer Shawna Harrison. We had a great conversation with a gentleman who was shocked by the information we gave him, even before watching the VR. Once he did, he let us know that he thought it was horrible what the animals go through and that he wanted to go vegan.
We also had a great conversation with a dad who thanked us for the booklet. When we asked him if he was interested in going vegan, he said, “Yes, actually, but I need to do it right.” We discussed what that meant, and he was intrigued and said he would check it out. Never a wasted day!
My friends [volunteers Koushik Raghavan (below, far right), Amit, and Shabir] and I leafleted and did video outreach at Connaught Place in New Delhi today. It was one of the most effective outreach events I’ve ever done.
I met Aakash and his friend [above]. Aakash is a vegetarian and wanted to go vegan. After having a small discussion he said, “I didn’t know that we have vegan options available. I rarely take cows’ milk and now I’ll switch to other alternatives.”
Nitu read the leaflet and wanted to know more about the vegan lifestyle. She watched the video and was really shocked [above]. She said, “I will try to reduce my consumption of dairy—I had no idea that the dairy industry treats cows in such a terrible way.”
I also met Payal, a vegetarian who took the pledge to go vegan after having a small discussion.
In total, we reached out to more than 55 people with the videos and handed out 1,120 booklets. More than 30 people pledged to go vegan or vegetarian. It was an amazing experience!
From a mentee in our Vegan Mentor Program:
[My mentor] has been vegan for a very long time and was an inspiration to me because of how much it has gotten integrated into her life socially, ethically, etc. She was easy to talk with and also referred me to several events and resources, including a conference which I attended. I am currently vegan.
Today at San Francisco State University, volunteer Dany Petelle and I got booklets into the hands of 2,050 people. Dany met one student who went vegan eight years ago after getting one of our booklets!
Last week at the University of Maine, a student [below, right] came over to tell me that she and her mother decided to try to go veg after reading the pamphlet; I got a video of her. Today at Southern Maine Community College, a student [below, left] came back to tell me the leaflet convinced him to take steps toward going vegan.
Huge day at the University of the Sunshine Coast with volunteers Brooke Chandler and Vickie Breckenridge. We smashed the Sippy Downs campus record and had countless conversations. There were lots of vegos and vegans, and many more interested in taking steps towards veganism.
I hopped on over to the University of Northern Colorado for a few hours and was well received! For anyone familiar with this area, Greeley is well known for its cattle farms, slaughterhouse, and meat-packing plants. I was thrilled that I had such positive conversations and overall was met with a lot of enthusiasm.
I was joined again by volunteer Nick Huss, who enthusiastically helped me reach more than 2,000 students at Montclair State University today. We spoke to multiple students about how attainable it is to gain and maintain muscle on a plant-based diet, and many were willing to give it a shot!
Below is a photo of Nick chatting it up with a student about vegan nutrition for athletes.
Beautiful day out for VO and the Knights BARC team [Yuri Mitzkewich, above, left, with Body of Animal Rights Campaign volunteers] making a difference at the University of Central Florida yesterday! From the get-go, it was obvious the students were in great spirits: the take rate was way up for this campus; and many students, over and over again, stopped to talk wanting to know more about what they could do to avoid contributing to animal suffering.
For the first three hours, we had the free speech zone to ourselves and got out big numbers early. In the afternoon, the BARC team helped set up a virtual reality booth. It was incredible to see the curiosity the students showed in approaching us to experience the VR. Nearby festivities and live music helped, and one of the bands promoted Vegan Outreach, telling the crowd to “help save the animals” and check out our booth.
Together, we handed out more than 2,200 booklets and had nearly 50 students use Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets. It was a wonderful day reaching so many here on campus at this fun event!
Slower day on campus at St. Thomas University today because it’s what the students call “April 6th Day.” There’s a big party going on all day, where students are allowed to drink, and food and games are supplied.
The best conversation I had started with three students who were very interested in what I had to hand out. They grabbed one of their friends who is going vegan and is, from what I can see, going to be an amazing activist one day. Then the rest of their friends started to come out and join in the discussion. Some of them said they knew it was wrong to eat meat but they loved their bacon and steak. I mentioned some great meat alternatives and showed them some pictures.
A beef farmer also joined the conversation. We had a very open-minded discussion, as I mentioned that I was raised on a pig farm and could relate. We had some great things to say, and she was interested in more health information to make her see it from a different perspective. I did have some intoxicated students who were just saying ignorant things and not listening, but I just didn’t engage with them. I continued to focus on the students who were interested. At one point, I had 15 people around listening to what was being said. When some of those separated, I noticed they went to another area and were still discussing veganism.
I exchanged information with a few of the girls who really wanted me to come back next semester and line up a talk for their environmental class, as well as their animal ethics class. So glad I made it to this school today! The students also gave me a little group shot [below].
VO Greater Los Angeles Community Engagement and Events Coordinator Gwenna Hunter and I handed out 926 booklets at North Carolina Central University. We met lots of vegans, vegetarians, and veg-curious folks. I spoke with one student [below, left] who said she went vegan from getting a VO pamphlet last year, and another student [below, right] who was an omnivore but her mother got a pamphlet last year and went vegetarian.
Today I leafleted three campuses in Stockton—San Joaquin Delta College, the University of the Pacific, and Stagg High School—and handed out 1,300 booklets. One SJDC student told me that he stopped eating meat seven months ago after I handed him a booklet!
Leafleting the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California this past weekend, I handed out 1,500 booklets on Saturday (a personal record for a campus event!) and another 1,300 on Sunday.
Got a wonderful picture [below] with characters related to the story The Handmaid’s Tale, walking two by two, dressed spectacularly in humble robes and beautiful, bonny white bonnets. Lovely ladies who included in their meek, quiet mission to pronounce softly to any ears interested to listen, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”—a great motto for vegan leafleters, and others, to live by!
On Monday volunteer Saurabh Sonkar [above, left] and I handed out 900 booklets in Lal Kothi, Jaipur, where there are many coaching institutes. And yesterday we reached another 1,500 people at Gaurav Tower shopping mall [VO India Outreach Coordinator Pooja Rathor, above, right].
Today we leafleted the Rajasthan Festival at Sawai Mansingh Stadium and were able to hand out 2,600 booklets. Sahil [below, in violet shirt] and his friends were shocked after knowing the reality about milk and meat, and told us they’d like to spread the word at their campus and hostel. We also met a police officer [inset] who told us he hates to wear the leather belt and shoes that are part of his uniform, and he’d be happy if this gets changed.
Awesome day at Lane Community College! Had several conversations with people who seemed very interested, including the man in the photo [below], who said, “What a coincidence that I should see you here! I was just thinking about this issue the other day!” He was very interested in the Vegan Mentor Program.
Another man wanted to be mentored and wanted to help us with future leafleting. I mentioned the mentoring program to a lot of other people who wanted to move away from animal products, as well as to some vegans who might like to become mentors. There were also at least two vegetarians who wanted to go vegan.
Yay! At St. Lawrence University, a student [Katie, below] was happy to tell me she went vegan after getting a pamphlet from me last semester! I got a video of her.
I reached 670 students today at East Tennessee State University. Gia [below, right] took a Compassionate Choices and went to study in the cafeteria. Instead of studying, she researched the entire leaflet and accidentally found Earthlings on Google. She was physically sick to her stomach when she found me later and asked me how to go vegan. I gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, social media of fellow vegans for support, online recipes, etc. She thanked me for being there and took some leaflets to hand out to her class.
Yesterday I handed out 600 Compassionate Choices booklets at Cabrillo College. One student, who was in a hurry, stopped to say she’s been wanting to go vegan, and this was the prompt she needed to make it happen!
Today I leafleted Hartnell College and two high schools, reaching another 1,250 students. I spoke with Pablo, who remembered talking to me last semester. He took some booklets to share with people in his community. I also talked to Christopher [below], who said our booklets were a major factor in his decision to go vegan! We made a quick video.
Yesterday at Savannah State, VO Greater Los Angeles Community Engagement and Events Coordinator Gwenna Hunter and I handed out 769 booklets and met four vegetarians and one vegan. Gwenna heard there’s such demand for plant-based options at the school, they’re considering creating a vegan/vegetarian dining area. We also met a young woman [below, left] who’s going to request a vegan mentor. She wants to eliminate meat but is tempted by campus food.
We reached more than 530 students today at South Carolina State and Claflin University. I met a sophomore [below, right] who’s trying to go vegetarian but doesn’t know how. I encouraged her to join the Vegan Mentor Program and gave her a card.
Yesterday I handed out 300 booklets at the Institute of Technology & Management in Dehradun. After I reached home, I received a message from a student named Ridhi saying the leaflet contains good knowledge everyone should read at least once.
I reached another 300 students today at Pt. Lalit Mohan Sharma Government Post Graduate College in Rishikesh and had a conversation with Arun Singh [below], who’s now ready to try a vegetarian diet!
From VO Mexico Outreach Coordinator Emmanuel Marquez:
At the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México on Tuesday, Mexico Campaigns and Spanish Media Coordinator Katia Rodriguez, VO intern Joselyn Aguilar, and I had support from new and very inspired volunteers. Citlali Sanchez [above, left] joined us for the second time and her nervousness started to fade away—I bet next time she’ll do great. Valdemar Leal and Areli Sanchez [below] didn’t know each other until leafleting with VO brought them together. Both were nervous at the beginning too, but they did amazingly well.
We reached more than 7,000 students and had some very positive interactions. Many students came back when they heard it was info to help animals. A teacher asked for a bunch of leaflets to share with her students. We met a couple who thanked us for our effort: one of them is vegan and the other is vegetarian. They had some doubts about vitamin B12 that I gladly cleared, and I directed them to the nutrition section of our website in Spanish for further info about doses. Finally, I met Bernardo [above, right], who wants to stop eating animals now because of pigs. I had a great conversation with him and gave him a vegetarian guide plus our contact info so he can make a sustainable transition to a veg diet.
Katia, Joselyn, and I [below] handed out 2,450 booklets today at the Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades Plantel Azcapotzalco. It was our last day in Mexico City and the last day of Joselyn’s internship with me this semester. She joined me for eight weeks, visiting schools in 10 cities, enduring cold weather, sunburns, sleeping on couches and not the most comfortable places, to help animals. When we said goodbye, she told me she was extremely grateful to VO’s donors for giving her the opportunity to do this life-changing work reaching thousands of people.
I had a GREAT day at Union County College today. One girl stopped me after having received a leaflet earlier in the day and told me that she thought the writers of the leaflet did a great job—saying that she has been trying to go vegan for a while but always felt really pressured to go all-or-nothing, and ended up failing multiple times. She said the fact that the leaflet emphasized making a gradual transition made her feel less pressured and more confident about ultimately making the full transition.
A girl I met named Valentina got really excited when I gave her a leaflet, saying she’s been wanting to transition to vegan for a while but has had a really tough time with budgeting and knowing what to eat. I gave her a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and told her about the Vegan Mentor Program; she was so grateful and even let me take her picture [below]! There were many others that stopped to talk today, including two curious security guards who ended up being really interested in the information in the leaflet.
Steady rain and snow all day at the University of Vermont didn’t stop a great group of volunteers from giving a voice to animals. Alex Bonfiglio is starting a veg group on campus and today she heard from a bunch of students interested in joining. Margaret Arzon is a grad student who helped for the second time (first time was last semester). Sharon MacNair has been active for years with a group called Green Mountain Animal Defenders. Olivia Marelic [below, right] and Emma Schoeppner [below, left] came by between their classes to give leafleting a try.
Sharon told me her group has had volunteers in the past who mentioned they went veg after getting a leaflet on campus. Alex heard from someone who said he still has his leaflet from years ago and it’s helped him be vegan ever since.
I’m so thankful for these volunteers making it a really great day!
Today I met DyJahashon [below], who is studying theater at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. After I gave him a Compassionate Athlete leaflet, he came back to tell me he’s going to start eating vegan. The leaflet from Vegan Outreach was the final push after he had seen a lot of people on Instagram who looked healthier by going vegan.
We had a super amazing time at the vegan pizza party at the University of Windsor last Friday. Twenty students came and joined for pizza and a chat about animal agriculture. Naina Otiv covered health, Ruby Phu covered social and cultural concerns, and I covered cruelty and environmental issues.
We had very awesome students. Some vegans, some meat eaters. But everyone was open-minded, and we had a great discussion and a fair bit of questions were asked. Afterwards, it was nice to hear that a few of the students were really interested in my presentation and wanted to chat more. And it was nice to see the progress a lot of these students wanted to make and to be there to help them any way we can. Awesome, awesome time! We finished with a selfie group shot with some of the students [below].
Today, I leafleted with volunteers Ariane Bobiash [below, left], Alex Wichert [below, right, with Jevranne Martel], and John, and we reached 1,700 students at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University.
I had a few really great conversations, two with students who received a booklet last time we were here. I got a video of Cassandra [below, right] and gave each of them a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, as they were interested in knowing more.
I also had an amazing conversation with a vegetarian who was making progressive changes but still had some worries about health and nutrients. I also gave him a Guide and explained a few different things that he admitted he hadn’t thought of or learned before. He and a fair bit of other students and teachers told me to keep it up and that what we were doing was working.
I had a smile on my face so much today, from student conversations, the sun, and from the support and changes I see happening. Another amazing day with absolutely AMAZING activists! Thanks a ton to them for bearing the cold with me today—so much appreciation for the help.
At Rochester Institute of Technology, volunteers Carol Hope and Katie Curtis joined me, and together we handed out 1,650 booklets. I met more vegans than I have at any other school this tour, many who were professors. One professor came back to tell us he had been thinking of making the switch and now he definitely will.
Today we visited two schools to start the week off. Volunteers Carol Hope, Mary Barletta, Stephanie Coco [above], Lyn Kalnitz, and I reached 1,250 students at Monroe Community College. First-time leafleters Lyn and Stephanie were amazing! Carol, who was with me at RIT, is a real treat to be around. Mary is the activist here in Rochester. All of us had a ton of great conversations with students.
Mary and Lyn joined me at the University of Rochester, where we handed out another 450 booklets and had many conversations with students, teachers, and various employees, including one who took Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets to give to his coworkers. The student group was holding a viewing of What the Health, so we made sure to tell interested students about it.
At both schools, there were many students stopping and reading the leaflets as soon as they were given one. Overall, a great day of leafleting.
At the College of Charleston, volunteer Lauren Walker and I handed out 1,645 Compassionate Choices booklets, and I spoke to a student named Andrew [below, left] who was very interested in helping animals and wanted to know more after reading the leaflet. You could tell he had a lot of compassion and a high potential to go veg. I gave him some info tapping into the ethical part of the lifestyle, and he said he would watch Earthlings as soon as he finished class.
Great feedback today at Appalachian State University. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of vegans attending the school. Alex Hobgood [below, right], a student who had just recently gone vegan, asked to join me and volunteered in between classes. We handed out 1,950 booklets, and I exchanged contact info with Angelo Monroe [below, second from right], a staff member who had taken a leaflet and came back asking questions and is very interested in making a transition.
Today was truly my most amazing day leafleting yet. The students at Queensborough Community College were so friendly and interested. I was stopped by multiple people who had received a leaflet and wanted more information; a few of them had been turned on to plant-based eating by their parents, which is really cool. I also met a bunch of vegetarians, most of whom were gravitating towards veganism and just needed that extra push!
I handed out 1,300 Compassionate Choices booklets today, splitting my time between Fresno State and Merced College. It made for a slightly rushed day, but it worked out well! Best of all, I ran into Taylor, who’s been vegetarian since I met her in September 2015!
Even though Thursday at Monash University’s Caulfield campus was my slowest day last week numbers-wise, it was by far the best for conversations. Within the first five minutes of leafleting, I talked to someone who said he had already been thinking about going vegan, but he liked the taste of meat too much. I told him I always loved the taste of meat too, but that there are lots of mock meats that taste really similar without contributing to animal cruelty. We talked for a while about the different brands and where to get them, and he left saying he was definitely going to give veganism a go! Had four other conversations with people very interested in making changes: one who’s going to start by cutting out chicken, another who’s going to start eating more vegan meals, and a couple of vegetarians wanting to take the next step to veganism.
Today at Deakin University’s Melbourne Burwood campus, I handed out 1,410 booklets and got a video of a guy I met named James [below], who got a leaflet from us here a couple of years ago and is now vegan!
From VO India Outreach Coordinator Siddharth Sharma:
Volunteer Sunil Joseph and I handed out 1,000 booklets on Tuesday at the BFIT Group of Institutions in Sudhowala, Uttarakhand. We got a very good response from the faculty—they appreciate our efforts and allowed us to leaflet inside the campus, as well as at the hostels.
Sumilita [below] is from Tripura and pursuing her computer science diploma from BFIT. Now that she knows the cruel reality of the farms, she’s ready to try a vegetarian diet.
Today at the Dev Bhoomi Group of Institutions in Dehradun, Sunil and I leafleted near the gate and handed out another 1,000 booklets. After reading the leaflet and speaking with me, Anand [below, right] is ready to cut all dairy products from his diet.
From VO Mexico Outreach Coordinator Emmanuel Marquez:
At the Universidad de Guanajuato Campus Celaya-Salvatierra, VO intern Joselyn Aguilar and I started leafleting early in the morning and then tabled with Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality headsets. The take rate was superb and responses were so good.
Thanks to a leaflet Luis [below, left] will reduce his meat intake. Monica [below, right] ate vegan for about four years but stopped. After meeting us and clearing some doubts, she decided to go vegan again and will register for the Vegan Mentor Program (VMP). Angelica was eating veg for a year and went back to eating meat. After receiving a leaflet and watching the 360° footage, she decided to eat vegetarian again but this time with VO’s support. She received a vegetarian guide and signed up to receive our recipes by email.
Miss Veronica teaches sustainability studies. She congratulated us for our work and asked for a bunch of leaflets for her students, then gave one to her coworker and told him, “See I told you, you need to stop eating meat,” and pulled him over to get him in the picture [below]. She’s a vegetarian and will invite us to her class next time we’re here.
Another teacher in the same field was thrilled to see our work. She’s vegetarian too and told us about her siblings who are as well and her grandson who is vegan. I gave her a VMP card for her grandson, so he can register to help people go veg and remain that way. I also gave her my card, so she can contact me to visit her classes to give a humane ed presentation. I couldn’t take a picture of her or get her name and info, because the table was packed with people using the VR headsets and asking for guides and info. But this teacher was so happy that she thanked us and hugged me more than once. It was amazing.
I handed out 1,410 VO booklets at Ohio University and met Malia [below, left; watch video], a vegetarian student who’s working on going vegan. She said she’s switched from drinking cows’ milk to almond milk and is working on cutting out cheese and eggs, so I pointed out that our Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating shows Daiya cheese and Just Mayo mayonnaise; she hadn’t heard of either but was interested in trying them. Those simple changes can spare animals from a life of suffering; this is why it’s so important not just to teach people about the reasons for going vegan, but also to show them how to do it.
Today at Clarion University, I met a student [Shayna, below, right; watch video] who said she was going vegetarian and then hopefully vegan because of the Compassionate Choices leaflet I handed her. Such a good feeling.
Our day at the University of Texas at El Paso was great; we handed out over 2,400 VO booklets—a new campus record! So much positive feedback and many thank yous for being out there. We encountered many vegetarians who said they’d been considering going vegan, but with the leaflets, they again were getting inspired to head in the right direction to veganism. Best of all was hearing all the athletes telling us how they appreciated us being there and how they had given going vegan a second thought with our pamphlets. Many students were so eager to see what we were giving out. We can honestly say we did not have one negative experience!!
[My vegan mentor] is more than a huge help. He is so knowledgeable, and if he doesn’t know something, he contacts someone who can help.… There is not a question that I’ve had that wasn’t answered.
A great day today! The weather was chilly this morning but I started inside Langara College. I handed out 525 VO booklets and had an interesting conversation with a student who was religious and kept saying that God put animals on earth for us. I said some things that made him understand that animals feel pain and God wouldn’t cause his creatures to suffer. He agreed and we had a pleasant chat about living a happy and healthy life without harming others.
Then I headed to Douglas College and had a great little group of volunteers [Ashley Taite, and Vaeda and Rebecca Abbott, below]. Smiles all around for the mini activist and a good take rate handing out another 675 booklets. Being surrounded by children, we actually had a great conversation with a mother who wanted to make sure all her needs would be covered if she went vegan. We gave her some great information and she thanked us for the work we’re doing.
This booklet actually changed my eating habits. My vegetarian/[near-vegan] sister couldn’t believe it. Knowing how much I love my dog, I couldn’t bear the idea that I regularly ate animals that photograph with the same happy look my lab has when we take her picture.
This booklet is incredibly well thought out and I wanted to extend my appreciation for what you all do. I’m sure it’s not easy handing these out to a bunch of less-than-welcoming college students, but I wanted to let you all know you at least got to one of us.
The temperature was 20–30°F for most of the day so there were fewer students than I was used to on campus at the College of William & Mary. It was a great day of outreach regardless, since Ryan Phillips and his pig Charlotte (dressed for the cold) helped out. She’s pretty famous on campus already so there were crowds for most of the day, which worked out great. People interacted with her and then got a leaflet from me.
We met many vegans on campus and a few students interested in making the change. I overheard a few students commenting, “I can’t eat bacon anymore,” “I feel bad for eating pigs,” “I’m happy I don’t eat meat.” A lot of people had never seen a pig before today. Laura [below, right] was super excited to meet Charlotte and was ready to transition from vegetarian to vegan!
Roxanne Hill [VO’s Events & Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) Manager, below, left], Jack Norris [VO’s Executive Director, below, right], and I handed out 1,810 booklets at Cal State Dominguez Hills in two class changes. It was slightly blustery but a great quick day of outreach.
It was Roxanne’s first day of leafleting!!! She was a natural. The weather didn’t make people too chatty, mostly grab and go, but many still had their booklets on them later on and a few people were stoked we were on campus, including a vegan mentor of ours!! And it was actually the first time Jack and I had ever leafleted together. The chief can really move some lit!!!
It was another nice sunny day of leafleting in Southern California! John and I got Compassionate Choices into the hands of 4,350 students at Cal State Northridge, and…drumroll, please…John handed out his 200,000th booklet today!
One highlight from John: “One student said to me, ‘I received a leaflet last year—someone was handing them out—and I threw it straight into the garbage. Now I’m vegan. Can I have a few more leaflets to give to my friends?’”
I protested two Ringling shows in Orlando and then distributed 50 Compassionate Choices booklets downtown.
And then I woke up in the middle of the night to discover Ringling is closing. YAY!!!
I handed out 2,300 booklets at the Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles today. Tens of thousands of attendees set a fine example of PLUR—Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect—fulfilling Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, dream of the Beloved Community. Veganism is related because of the theme of nonviolence.
This might be my personal all-time best for the most vegan leaflets distributed in one day. I recommend everybody attend such parades.
From VO’s India Outreach Coordinator, Pooja Rathor:
Darshana Muzumdar and I handed out 1,607 booklets near Big Bazaar in Visharant Wadi, Pune. We leafleted and also showed the videos Glass Walls and Horrors in India’s Dairy Industry.
After receiving the leaflet, Nikhil Chaudry [below, left] said, “I’m glad to know all this information. I would like to be a volunteer and help you leaflet at my college.”
We met Shweta Kiran Uttekar [above, right]. She is a student from St. Mira’s College who has reduced consumption of dairy after receiving the leaflet on campus when we were there a few months back.
We met Rishu and Sanjay [below], who wanted to join as volunteers after watching the video and talking to us further.
It was a great day as we got four people who wanted to join the movement.
From a former mentee and current mentor in our Vegan Mentor Program:
I have been vegan for almost three years now and am so passionate about it! The more I learn—about the horrors for animals raised for food, the devastating impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and the benefits of a plant-based diet for health—the more passionate and committed I become. I have always been a huge animal lover, and their welfare is first and foremost the driving force between my going and staying vegan. It is now the core of my identity, the central focus of my life, and I feel my purpose is to do as much as I can to help animals. It’s not always easy being vegan in a non-vegan world, and it was invaluable for me to get support as I was transitioning to veganism and as a new vegan. Now that I’m over the hump, I want to give back and help others who are trying to go vegan or are already vegan and struggling with it.
From VO’s India Outreach Coordinator, Pooja Rathor:
Inderpal Singh [below, left] and I had great conversations while vegucating a diverse crowd on Friday at the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi. The parents of a 14-year-old girl asked us to talk about vegan nutrition with their daughter; the mother [below, right] said, “We are already vegetarians, and we are ready to make changes but we want our kids to understand it too.”
We had a great time leafleting with Mauricio Herrera [below, left], an activist from DxE Chicago; together we handed out 1,890 booklets, and the volunteers of Mission Swasth Bharat [below, right] took 200 to give out along with their forms.
Today Inderpal [below, left] and I leafleted inside the fair and reached another 2,150 people. We met Ravi Kumar, a DAV school teacher who spotted us and said, “I got the same leaflet near my school. My family and I have reduced the consumption of dairy because of it.” We also met a group of teenagers who were really shocked after knowing the facts; Priya said, “The media should focus on this topic more than any other issues.” It was great to see so many people initiating conversations and discussing the booklets.
Tyler Giles is a student at Southwestern Illinois College. We tabled indoors and leafleted at the table. Two students pledged to go vegan after visiting with me; one’s photo is [below].
Today I met a student who went vegan after his girlfriend went vegan after she received a booklet from me last year! It’s the best kind of domino effect!
Beate Wolfe and I did some leafleting at Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara while helping out the FARM crew with the 10 Billion Lives pay-per-view (PPV) tour. Cristina Tangreti [above], who has worked with PETA in the past and is now doing the PPV tour, got a Compassionate Choices leaflet while vacationing in Chicago in 2009, went vegan, and is now a full-time activist. She wishes she knew who leafleted her so she could thank them.
The Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets for the most part went to people who watched the video and were interested in eating more compassionately. We had loads of good conversations while doing PPV, introduced veg*ns to the campuses’ vegan clubs for support, and got contact info from those who want to help leaflet in the future. The UCSB campus especially seemed to be teeming with vegans—makes me hopeful!
I am now officially vegan! [My mentor] has done a wonderful job answering all of my practical questions but has also given insight to her own moral position on certain issues that I had trouble with myself.… She always responds in a timely fashion to any questions and puts a lot of detail and effort into her answers. She also checks up on me every once in a while to see how I’m doing with the transition to veganism. I have now been vegan for 21 days!
Today I was joined at the University of Texas at El Paso by the Flores family [above, from left: Adriana, Marina, Jovana, Karla, and Victor], which was awesome since they traveled from so far! We had many conversations with interested students who wanted to try veg or vegan, so we hooked them up with Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets! Below are Brianna and Hector, who both want to try vegan after receiving a leaflet! Great end to my week.
When I was leafleting at Wright State University in Ohio, I met Antoin [below], an anthropology student who was tabling to encourage students to vote for candidates who are committed to promoting the use of clean energy. He approached me after receiving a leaflet to say he was really interested in the material. When I told him about how eating less meat can also help fight climate change, he was very surprised, and was also thinking about eating less of it for health reasons.
From VO’s Canada Outreach Coordinator, Jevranne Martel:
I had an interesting day at the University of Manitoba. With the teachers on strike since Tuesday, fewer students were at the school today, but I still managed to have some amazing chats.
I handed one student a booklet, and he returned after he read it to ask for more information. He approached me with another friend, and she asked for information also. Since they didn’t have a class to get to on time, they were engaged in a conversation with me for a fairly long time and were really taking in everything that was being said. They were both meat eaters who admitted to never being curious about this stuff before, but after reading the Your Choice booklet, they wanted to know more. By the end of our conversation, they both said that they want to go vegan. They were shocked at the cruelty and environmental and health issues and asked for more info. I gave them both a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and wrote down some more info for them. I truly believe these two [below] are going to be making changes in their lifestyle as soon as possible.
After we said goodbye, a few other students who were sitting on the benches nearby and overheard parts of the conversation came up to ask me for more info also. It was the perfect way to have a strike day, where students were able to engage in longer conversations and get more intrigued.
From VO’s Director of Outreach, Vic Sjodin:
Special day of outreach at Los Angeles Valley College. Katia Rodriguez, Emmanuel Marquez, and I spoke to several dozen students, and I can’t remember ever seeing so many students reading booklets cover-to-cover outside.
One class just had a student present on veganism. Another student [below, left] asked for more literature for her friends. A teacher invited me to speak to her class next week. Spoke for 20 minutes to Isaiah [below, right] and his friends during a lull. Isaiah is all about going vegan for animals and ethics and had many questions about vegan products. His friends also asked great questions with interest and read the whole booklet. All in all, a great day at this smallish community college.
First day back on the road and it was fantastic! I handed out 1,350 booklets at UW Oshkosh and had a good conversation with someone who is interested in our Vegan Mentor Program and checking out Plant Based on a Budget. Also met a vegan who was happy to have someone to talk with and eager to learn about VO.
It was a great day at East Los Angeles College—over 2,800 students reached! Priscila [below] has been vegetarian for a while and is working on going fully vegan! She even leafleted with me for a few minutes!
I LOVE my mentor. We met in person at Yard House and had vegan burgers. She is so sweet and helpful. We have a lot in common and I know that I can always rely on her for help. She was really knowledgeable and opened my eyes to new things/ideas about veganism. Thank you so much for pairing me up with her!
This was a GREAT experience and I would love to get more involved one day and would recommend this program to anyone!
From VO’s Southeast Outreach Coordinator, Yuri Mitzkewich:
Super productive visit to the friendly crowds at the University of South Alabama! It was fun to have local ARC (Awakening Respect and Compassion for All Sentient Beings) volunteer Roy Duvall [above, left] join in—his third semester in a row turning out here. He’s amazing when he’s on campus—reaching out to the students with his serenely peaceful and calm personality, he got lots of those we reached stopping to talk with him.
Jackie [below] was one of several he found who was super excited to get the info. She’d been wanting to go vegetarian for a while but was having trouble getting family to accept her choice. Roy gave her lots of reassuring ideas to think about, and she was very excited and super happy that she’d met him. Getting a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, and an extra Your Choice for her family, she left us pumped and ready to give it a go.
It was also super cool having Steve Rubey (volunteer David Rubey’s father) [above, right] join us for a little while. Was really awesome seeing him and Roy working the flows of students together. Steve, a recent convert, said he really enjoyed the leafleting and he’d be joining again next time we’re in town. Awesome day with lots of amazing interactions here! Always love visiting this school!
Kent State University had the friendliest students of any school I’ve been to so far; most people accepted a leaflet, and the majority of the remainder declined very politely. A lot of students would even go out of their way to get a leaflet, or they’d start reaching their hand out for a leaflet when they were still 10 feet away from me, as if to say, “You know I want that leaflet!”
I also talked to a girl who was reading Your Choice and said the page about chick culling made her sad, so she wants to go vegan now…it made my day.
Jennifer Kee, my sister Maya, and I handed out 700 booklets at Howard University today. It was my sister’s first time leafleting and I’m so proud! She was super comfortable and told people to “go vegan”! We met a vegetarian and a girl whose sister is vegan. Pretty cool conversations!
This [Vegan Mentor Program] helped me make my change to a vegan. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for my mentor. My mentor was really, really helpful. She responded to every question I had. She was also very quick to answer to my questions! I was aiming for the vegetarian lifestyle but wished to go for a vegan one. Thanks to my mentor, she opened up my eyes and helped me transition directly to a vegan lifestyle!
Thank you so much! This programme was that little help I needed!
It was so wonderful to have two new student volunteers and to have Salim Damerdji return to help us again this year! CJ Cuevas and Harri Ashby have formed the group HEAR (Health, Environment, Animal Rights) at UCSB, so we hope to collaborate with them for more leafleting, food outreach, etc.
And, of course, it was fantastic to have Beate Wolfe and three of her dogs there too! They made the day infinitely more fun. It was interesting to overhear students talk about animal issues and veganism while they were petting the dogs [below]. Then when they would say things such as “Vegan…how would you even survive?” we would jump in with Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating booklets, vegan zucchini bread, piggy magnets, and let them know they can still eat tacos, pizza, burgers, etc. by just substituting with cruelty-free meat, egg, and dairy replacements.
From VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, Emmanuel Marquez:
Today we visited the main campus of the largest university (by enrollment) in Latin America, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Katia Rodriguez, Joselyn Aguilar, and I arrived at 6:00 am to cover the main entrances. Laura Rosales [above] joined a little bit later and did an amazing job leafleting at a school for the first time. Liliana Soto [below], Martha Mondragon, and Francisco Leon helped too. In total, we handed out 15,003 booklets—a new record for the campus!
We had people asking for more leaflets and more info, vegans and vegetarians thanking us for the activity we were doing, and countless students reading the leaflets. Katia met Renata, Deyanara, and Ana [below]. Deyanara came back to Katia and told her, with tears in her eyes, that she was shocked by the suffering of animals in farms. She and her friends asked for guides, and the three of them decided to start changing their diets to help animals.
It was a very sunny day and we have bad sunburns after spending hours under the sun; but when I see the power of leaflets making positive changes in people, it’s all worth it. I feel very thankful for all the people who make the Vegan Outreach programs possible.
Becoming vegan was not as hard as I thought, I still bought additional books for ideas, but I think I love it! And, my family, hard-core meat eaters, they sometimes cook a vegan meal or two. Surprising to me.
Thank you for the [Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating] booklet, it’s very accessible and I really thank you all for all that you do. 😃
Today I hit a major milestone—100K booklets!!!
Another hot day in New Jersey. My intern, Alexis Clark [below, left], and I handed out 1,224 booklets at Middlesex County College and Rutgers Douglass Campus. We had a few good conversations and saw many people reading the leaflets!
I cannot say enough about Alexis. She has no issue with walking right up to anyone to offer them a leaflet. I’m very happy she’s rocked it these past few days.
Anula Namshum, Koushik Raghavan, and I handed out 985 booklets at Marina Beach in Chennai. People were very receptive.
We met this man [below, with Anula (left) and Pooja] who acknowledged cruelty happening to animals but wasn’t aware of the dairy industry. He said, “You people are like a blessing as at such a young age you are having such good intentions, and I had no idea that I have been part of such cruelty and I would surely try dairy alternatives.”
I had a lot of support from great Vegan Outreach volunteers and our local intern in the Columbus area (Stephanie) this week. Ohio State was especially fun because I gave high fives to a bunch of runners and leafleted five skateboarders. At Columbus State Community College, one student asked me if chick culling is an actual practice in the egg industry and told us the leaflet was giving him a lot to think about before his upcoming lunch; it’s really surprising for many people when they learn about it. Below is a picture of VO intern Stephanie Sopczak at CSCC.
From VO’s Southeast Outreach Coordinator, Yuri Mitzkewich:
A very positive and encouraging visit to Tulane University today—Natalie Amstutz, Ellie Hellmers, Sara Beesley, and I [below] handed out over 2,400 booklets!
After the 3 pm rush, we switched gears and did some chalk activism, putting some thought-provoking text and graphics down along the main boulevard where the most student traffic passes. It was interesting to see how much attention gets paid to these when you see it in action like this. No doubt a great tactic to put to use to get greater impression reach and more attention the day of our events. Leafleting alongside the student activists while they were putting the chalk down was especially good here, increasing the take rate drastically and no doubt improving retention of the info, too. Always great trying new ways of getting our message spread!
Beccah Ellis [below, right] and I chalked the sidewalk at Confederation Park today and gave information to people who were reading and interested. We leafleted afterward—had some good chats and also recruited an activist!
Beate Wolfe and I have both been dealing with repetitive stress issues, but threw caution to the wind to leaflet the first day of classes at Ventura College. It was totally worth it, with many students talking about wanting to go veg, and a very receptive crowd overall.
I’m attaching two photos [below]. The first is of Kiowa, who was so excited to get the literature, recipes, vegan buttons and piggy magnet. Kiowa, his girlfriend, and his mom are all transitioning to a vegan diet. The other picture is of Edward, who asked, “Is that the one with Kevin in it?” I said, “Yes,” and asked him if he had stopped eating “Kevins.” He replied in the affirmative and posed with the picture of Kevin for me.
Happy new semester everyone! Thank you for all you do to make the world a more compassionate place!
From VO Outreach Coordinator Kimberly Moffatt:
The first day of classes went great! Sean Hennessy and I handed out 2,626 booklets yesterday at West Virginia University. There was good consistent traffic at the university’s monorail system and also right outside Mountainlair student union. We split up there to get students on either end. There was rain on and off throughout the day. We had a few conversations with students who were already vegetarian or vegan. Sean [below, left] handed a leaflet to Jocelyn [below, right], an education major who went vegan roughly six months ago and was super excited to see Vegan Outreach on campus.
Today at Fairmont State University, Sean and I [below, left] handed out 850 leaflets and set a new record despite the morning rain. I had a great conversation with a civil engineering student named Andrew [below, right], who said going vegan changed his life. He told me he had type 1 diabetes and by going vegan, he was able to drop his insulin doses and said he’s never felt better! He was super excited about the Compassionate Athlete booklet.
We went back to WVU for a second time due to yesterday’s weather. Sean and I stuck it out in the hot, humid sun and handed out another 2,050 booklets! We stuck around the monorail for a bit before spending the rest of the time by the Mountainlair. I found a great spot right across the street where large amounts of students went during class changes. In between classes I walked around where a student greeted me. He proceeded to give me a bottle of water saying, “This is from the dean because it looks way too hot outside.” I thought that was pretty cool!
Erin Lamparter [below, right] and I reached nearly 600 people today at the Beach to Beacon 10K race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This is such a great event to give out the Compassionate Athlete booklets. Lots of athletic people! Lots of young people!
It was wonderful to have Erin’s outstanding help. We leafleted to people lining up for shuttle buses leaving the festivities in the park after the race. We both heard from some happy vegetarians and vegans, and there seemed to be good interest in the pamphlets. And I got several compliments on my Team Vegan shirt!
Today I went to Warped Tour and was handed one of your Your Choice booklets. I have been a vegetarian for about two years but had recently started to consider eating meat again because I lost focus of why I was doing it. Your booklet helped me to remember why I am a vegetarian and convinced me to continue being one, so thanks!
From VO Outreach Coordinator Rachel Shippee:
John Deetjen, Kevin Cooney, and I had a great time leafleting the first night of the three-day Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago on Friday. We focused on people leaving the fest and had a sign encouraging people to ask us for information. There were a lot of inquiries, interest and support. I also talked with two people that wanted to give me donations for VO on the spot!
On Saturday, we reached 900 people at the 5 Seconds of Summer concert in Tinley Park. This was my first time leafleting here other than for Warped Tour, and it’s a great venue. The age range for this band is perfect for this information. John was thanked and hugged by one concertgoer who told him she wants to go vegan!
Leafleting at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Sunday was amazing! I heard from several vegans and met Courtney [below, right, with Rachel], who went vegan three years ago after receiving a booklet at Warped Tour! She now wants to get involved and do more to help animals.
For the last day of Lollapalooza, we changed spots to also get a lot of sightseers bustling around the city, and reached another 770 people. Big thanks to John and Kevin for making this possible. Hope to have more weekends like this!
I received the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating a few weeks ago. I’ve been vegan for 10 months now, and I love it. I leave the Guide around the house so my family can get inspired and consider going vegan, or at least make more vegan choices, and it’s been great. Thank you for the work you do!
This amazing crew [Kirstine Dalgaard, Brian Lutz, Becki Markle, John Oberg, John Deetjen, Rachel Shippee, Kevin Cooney, Sandi Swiss, Mary Deetjen, Clarké Snell, Mickey Kudia, Audrey Shircliff, Erik Davidson, and Katie Snow] just handed out *14,625* booklets, the most EVER in Chicago, most on this entire tour, AND second most in ALL of Warped Tour history (423 shows that have been leafleted over the course of the last 12 years)!!!!
And the cherry on the top was meeting Savannah [below, left], who got a booklet from us last year and went vegetarian as a result!
Met Emily [at the Milwaukee stop, below, center], who got this booklet four years ago and it made her go vegan! She even remembered that the booklets were red that year.
Also met Danni [in Kansas City, below, right], who got a booklet here last year and went vegetarian as a result!
I’m so excited to finally be getting connected with someone! I will be reaching out to [my mentee] right now! Thank you for the opportunity to make a difference not only in someone’s life, but for the beautiful animals and the planet as well!
VO’s Australia & New Zealand Outreach Coordinator, Sam Tucker (below, left), and volunteers Savannah Rain (below, right), Mei Wong, Kane Rogers, and Marc handed out 3,105 booklets at Deakin University’s Melbourne Burwood Campus:
First day back for the Australian semester and we smashed the old record of 2,120!
We met heaps of vegans and vegetarians, including one person who went vegetarian after getting a leaflet from us last semester and is working their way towards fully vegan!
I also talked to a few vegans who are keen to get involved with leafleting, as well as a few more vegetarians who wanted help with taking the next steps towards going fully vegan.
I met Kaitlin [below, left] while leafleting a concert at Cincinnati’s Washington Park last week. She recently became vegan and was very happy to receive leaflets to help her in her new lifestyle!
This week, I met Lord Michael [below, right], who said he’s interested in changing his eating both for his own health and to lessen the suffering of animals. He was glad to get a Compassionate Choices and a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating to help him transition.
My mentor is great, always there when I need her. I follow her on Facebook and she updates constantly with informative articles and posts. Seriously, my mentor is awesome. I’m vegetarian, but am making more and more strides into a vegan lifestyle.
This photo [of Ely, JM, and Beccah, below] is from our outreach at Hope Volleyball Summerfest, a yearly volleyball event that raises money for local charities. We had an amazingly receptive crowd and the perfect crowd to hand out Compassionate Athlete booklets to.
I am very satisfied with my mentor! We do not communicate often but I know she is there if I have any questions. It was exciting to find that there was a vegan in my area! She gave me helpful hints and recipes [and] is prompt to respond. I am currently vegan. Thank you for this program.
American Idol finalist Amy Jean Davis [below] went vegan after getting a booklet at Purdue University in 2002!
Glad I had the funds on hand to help [with Team Vegan]. I can’t thank you all enough for your vegan coaching program. Without it, I wouldn’t have “met” [my mentor]…her insight and enthusiasm is invaluable, as is her friendship!
From VO’s Mexico Outreach Coordinator, Emmanuel Marquez:
Joselyn Aguilar [above], Cecilia Guerrero, and I got out 2,000 booklets at the Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria de Ingeniería y Ciencias Sociales y Administrativas del Instituto Politécnico Nacional.
This definitely was one of the best days of the whole semester for me. We were invited to a health fair and set up a table. We engaged in amazing conversations so many times that I lost count. An incredible number of people were interested in changing their diets.
Ana [below, left] will start eating veg thanks to a leaflet she received, and came back for more info.
Adrian [below, center] studies transport engineering and economy, and he came to us saying he was in total disagreement with vegans and vegetarians and asked us to justify our stand. We asked him to explain to us his points of disagreement instead, and we talked for a little bit from there. He ended up asking for recipes, advice on how to start changing his diet and to receive info to volunteer in the future.
Patricia [below, right] is almost a vegetarian for health reasons but will try going fully veg using the recipes and nutritional info on our Spanish web site.
After the event ended, the organizer allowed us to leaflet in the campus and invited us to participate in four events during the year and to leaflet the campus anytime we want to. It cost us a lot of time and persistence to get permission here but it is paying off. I get the feeling this is the beginning of a great alliance with this institution.
An amazing way to wrap up this semester tour.
LOVE YOU FOLKS!!!! I’m getting closer every day to being back on the vegan train 100% thanks to your outreach. Falling off of it hard a few years ago due to external factors was probably a major factor in me becoming very sick almost a year ago now and damn near death. Some health advocates try to convince everyone that we need animal products to heal from wasting and other diseases, but I just can’t 100% believe it’s true, even though I am an opened-minded person and respect many cultures and ways of living that are different than whatever I choose to practice. I’ll probably be in touch to find a mentor with you soon and order some graphic and informational media.… Keep up the great work…it’s so nice that you keep this awesome enewsletter running. THANK YOU!
There weren’t many people at Aurora GreenFest and I only had a little time at Remix Chicago, but both festivals had a really high take rate as well as a lot of positive responses. The first thing this one guy said once he realized it was a vegan leaflet was that if there’s some catastrophe like a natural disaster and we need to get our own food, it’s easier to hunt than to grow crops. To avoid a lengthy debate, I immediately worked to find common ground: he grows a bunch of fruits and veggies at home so he already eats a lot of vegan food. I gave him a fist bump and a few words of encouragement since he probably eats more produce than a lot of people, which I think made him feel way more comfortable to talk about veganism, and soon he was on his way. Shortly afterwards, I saw him excitedly show the leaflet to his daughter.
[G]oing vegan has been an absolute relief to my conscience and not difficult in the slightest. Once I became aware of the full extent of the situation of animal agriculture (rather than just parts for which I tried to justify more “humane” alternatives), there was really no going back in the name of such little things as taste or convenience. I’ve been a dietary vegan for over two months now, and have been actively eliminating animal ingredients from my personal care products, as well. Clothing will take a bit longer, however, due to cost.
Should I need any further guidance down the line, I will definitely look into your mentoring program. But for now, I’ve been doing very well following vegan YouTubers, reading books on veganism and joining vegan Facebook groups. And, thankfully, I have very supportive family and friends.
Joe Bunch [above, left] and I handed out 300 booklets at the Long Beach Vegan Food & Music Festival. It was Joe’s first time leafleting. He’ll be at it again. He went vegan after hearing a talk I gave last year at Chaffey College.
At the Taking Action for Animals conference, Cathryn [above, right, with Vic] let us know that getting a booklet at Valparaiso University changed her life.
Beccah Ellis [above] and I handed out 450 booklets at Parliament Hill Yoga. So many people go to this free event every Wednesday for the summer and it was the perfect crowd to reach—lots of very receptive health-conscious and open-minded younger adults. We’ll definitely be back.
I had a really great conversation with a gentleman [below], who originally passed by and didn’t take the information but then turned around and asked about what we were handing out. He had questions about health and was worried he’d be lacking protein and other nutrients, etc. I informed him on some general stuff that much of the public is not aware of and he was really interested in what I was saying. I’m positive he’ll be making changes in the near future.
My journey to veganism took far too many years. Once I declared myself a vegan, made the commitment, told my closest friends and family, I felt liberated. Looking back on the years, I see that I always was a vegan—since I was a young child. That is why I feel liberated now. People speak of “having the willpower” but if you embark on the educational journey, and you have the courage to learn it all—no willpower will be necessary—ever again.
Joselyn Aguilar [below, left] and I visited the main campus of the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in Toluca de Lerdo, and at noon we visited a high school of the same university with excellent response.
We had a lot of positive conversations. I gave a leaflet to a couple of young folks passing by with their mom and grandmother [above]. They came back and their mother was very happy to meet us since her daughter is going vegan and needs information about it. She also told me that the entire family ate vegetarian for a whole month. We gave them the address of the Spanish section of our web site and some advice, and they are more confident now in their way toward changing to a full plant-based diet.
While leafleting I had a long conversation with a security guard who will start trying our recipes and will follow us on Facebook as well. Another guy listened to that conversation while he waited for the bus and asked for a leaflet. He told me he barely eats meat and wanted to try some of our recipes with loads of protein since he exercises. After some suggestions he left ready to lower his meat intake even more.
Finally, I met Gabriela [below, right]. She told me she was vegan for a year but went back to eating animals due to lack of support and pressure from friends and family. I told her that she could reach out to us through Facebook and check our web site for valuable info and advice. She’ll give vegan eating a try again and signed up to volunteer next time we’re in town.
My mentor has been absolutely fantastic! She has always responded promptly to any emails I have sent her and has always been great support. I have found her to be an inspiration to me and she has been brilliant in sending me recipes. I am very pleased that you put me in touch with her.
I could not recommend the mentor service enough for new vegans. It has helped me immensely. When I first began my journey transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, I wondered what on earth I would eat, but now I am happy to say that I am 100% vegan and my only regret is not choosing this lifestyle sooner.
It was great to team up with Bala Vadlamani [below, far left, next to Lana]. She’s a student at Dartmouth and does outreach for MFA. The day was beautiful and the students were very receptive to taking leaflets. In my first 15 minutes of outreach, I heard from three vegans and two vegetarians—nice way to start the day.
Later, a student named Alexa [below, right] said that reading our leaflet last year helped influence her to go vegetarian!
Many thanks to Bala for doing so much to help animals while being a busy student!
Just a hello and some great news! The last batch of leaflets VO sent me produced two vegans and three vegetarians—yay! I am mentoring all five and hopeful to transition them fully—they include a neighbor, a lady I met in the doctor’s office, and three college students I met in Pennsylvania.
I was invited to Animal Fest Xalapa, a dog and cat adoption event, and Karen Rosado and I leafleted with very good response. I always take the chance when an opportunity to leaflet or table this kind of event shows up, because the audiences are already sensitive to animal cruelty.
I met Lilia and her dog Susy [below, left]—Lilia had been thinking of eating veg but never knew where to start. After the leaflet and some advice she was ready to start changing her diet. She will use the info in the Spanish section of VO’s website to learn about basic nutrition and easy recipes.
Aldo [below, right] is vegan but he never met another vegan. He was very happy to meet me. He told me he felt encouraged to know there are more like-minded people, and will invite his family and friends to use the info on our web pages.
[Nettie:] Met a number of vegans and only a couple of vegetarians [at the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus]. Several people thanked me for leafleting and commented on what a good thing it is. One guy came over to say he read the booklet and wants to go vegan. Also had a good conversation with a guy who works in the meat department at Safeway. By the end of the conversation he said he’d preach this info to his customers, and we remarked that he needs to switch to the produce department.
[Cobie:] A woman who had just signed up as a mentee in the mentoring program was very excited and requested more booklets to share—she said that it’s important for us to tell people about this issue. Her boyfriend is going to sign up as a mentee too. Later, a woman who has been vegan 30 years thanked me for being there, and when I told her about the mentoring program she sounded interested. Another woman [below] had been vegetarian 5 years because of a booklet her mom brought home.
Thank you for following up with me. I did receive the Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. This is my third week of eating 100% vegan, after being vegetarian for three months.
I also wanted to tell you my new vegan mentor is awesome! It really helps to share my feelings with her. In June we might meet up and go to the vegan beerfest in Pasadena together!
Thank you for all your help so far.
From helpful tips, recipes, additional resources and especially the mentor program…all helped make the transition easier than anticipated. My mentor kept in contact with me and also introduced me through email to someone who was more of a foodie like me who gave me some great suggestions on vegan cheeses to try. The road would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have such a great mentor.
I thought you would enjoy this photo [below] of the class clown of our monthly potlucks, Paul Erickson. Paul is a silly goof, and a retired police officer who went vegan last year after watching Forks Over Knives. This was his first time leafleting, and he really enjoyed it.
He is such a fun guy that everyone wanted a booklet from him! He handed them out by saying things like: “Pick a card, any card,” “I know you’re on your way to a boring class—here’s something to read so you don’t fall asleep,” “There’s going to be a quiz on this tomorrow, so you better study up!”
I’m hoping that Paul might consider “adopting” MSU Bozeman with me.
Solid AM visit to Louisiana State University in Shreveport, again dealing with the constant rain – three inches reported today! I was stoked to be joined by experienced DC leafleter Stephanie Huffman for this one – a real trooper braving the weather to make it out to join me.
At Bronson Hall, we not only got a good number taking booklets, but also a few responding very enthusiastically. I met Sherman [below], who got a Your Choice on his way in to class. He read it there, then stopped on his way out afterwards to tell me how much he was moved by the information. He told me his mother used to raise pigs at home, and when he was young, he never liked that they killed them for food. He said the leaflet made him realize this really wasn’t necessary, and he wanted to know how he could change his diet “so no one needed to die in order for him to eat.” After a quick talk with some good meal ideas for him to start off on, he got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating for some extra help and was ready to begin!
Stephanie, working over at the union, also got some solid interactions, with a few conversations she had working out really super. A true natural at spreading kindness, it was awesome having her come out to help for the day!
Thank you to Tarun Bishop, who helped us leaflet Portland State University even though he had a final exam the next day at his college!
Nettie Schwager met someone who expressed very much gratitude that we were there, and had some good conversations.
I met multiple people who approached me and asked for a booklet; a man who came back for a second Even If You Like Meat for his friend; multiple people who wanted to change their diets; a woman who used to be vegan but didn’t take B12 supplements, and has some other health issues, who’s moving slowly back toward a goal of being vegan again; and a 22-year-old lifelong-vegan man.
Our last day in Celaya, we visited the main high school of the city early in the morning, and the UNITESBA, a small private college, afterwards. At the high school, we had a great take rate. The mother of a student approached us – after taking a look at the leaflet her daughter received – and told us she was against animal cruelty and liked what we were doing.
At the UNITESBA, we were allowed to distribute leaflets, but also some conferences were taking place, and they asked us to explain what we were doing in the auditorium. I ended up giving a brief talk about eating veg to 50 students, and every one of them received a leaflet.
After the talk, Karla and Mariana [below] told us they are going veg. Karla explained that she had the idea in mind but didn’t know where to start. We gave them advice on how to start the process and directed them to our Spanish web site for tips and info on how to do it in a sustainable way.
A good way to say goodbye to Celaya.
Gaby Barbado, Sande Nosonowitz, and I handed out 871 booklets at Dutchess Community College today.
I arrived earlier than planned and spoke with three students, at different times, who said they were thinking about going veg and that this outreach motivates them. I told them about VO’s Vegan Mentor Program (VMP).
A man thanked me for a booklet, stating that he was determined to eat healthier. He got a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.
Diamond told me that she was vegetarian in the past, but was getting headaches. We discussed some different health issues, I told her about the VMP, and she wants to try again.
Tianni took a Your Choice and asked for another one for her boyfriend. I gave her a Guide and VMP info; and Sande, who is a vegan coach, said she’d help her too.
Sande also had a great discussion with Lea [below], who felt very sad about what happens to the animals she read about in Your Choice. Lea could not believe the horror. She wants to make a change in her eating, but was worried about money and convenience. We told her about the VMP, and Sande offered to assist her directly, since they hit it off so well.
Great day – Yuri Mitzkewich and I handed out [a record] 1,550 booklets at the University of New Orleans, and had a lot of very good conversations with people. A student in a group walking past, with two of them taking leaflets, said to the others: “Check out on the second page what they do to these little chickens, you don’t even wanna know, it’s crazy!” One student told me that he chose a cheese sandwich instead of a chicken sandwich for lunch (he had gotten a brochure in the morning). I talked to Eric, a professor who approached me and asked some questions. We had a very good conversation, and he wanted to go vegan also because of ahimsa, the Buddhist ideal of nonviolence.
At Benjamin Franklin High School, I met a student named Darrell, who was really happy and so touched that he almost started to cry. He was thankful that we did some activism for the cause. He said that he wanted to go vegan, and we talked about healthy vegan nutrition. He gave me his email address and said, “Please send me all the important information!”
While the wind at the University of Northern Iowa may have had an impact on the quantity of booklets handed out, it did not affect the quality of the interactions.
The highlight of the day was talking with Karly, who stopped to ask about getting involved. As we talked, she mentioned she had been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and then she received a booklet last semester, which gave her the “push” she needed, and now she is vegan. This is the first time I could directly trace back from a vegan to a booklet I handed out – what an amazing feeling! We talked about the Vegan Mentor Program and potentially leafleting in the future, and we exchanged contact information.
What a great start to Alberta! I was joined by two veteran activists, Elena and Karin, and we broke the record for the University of Alberta!!
We each had a few great conversations with students and even faculty. During the slow moments, the resident hares, who still flaunted their winter coats, had no qualms hanging around us.
Still floating with happiness about this day.
From VO Outreach Coordinator Steven Litrov:
Yesterday at Buffalo State, I talked to one student who asked about options in his area (Queens, NY) and told me he didn’t realize what the egg industry was about until reading the booklet. Being joined by my friend Nate Hill and his friend Emma Kyte for the last class change made my day. They were both stoked to help and did an awesome job interacting with students. Towards the very end, we met a vegetarian who had recently gone vegan [above, with Nate]. Students were kind overall, the school had explicit vegan options, a Just Mayo dispenser, and several Hampton Creek signs in the dining hall. Awesome!
Today was a bit bumpy going to three campuses that either haven’t been leafleted in a long time or at all, but I had a moment at the third school to make it all worth it. At the University at Buffalo South Campus, I came across a student named John [above] who went vegetarian two years ago as a result of reading a leaflet he found on the ground at Niagara County Community College! He was very grateful for VO’s work and found it very impactful. He told me he still eats fish for omega-3, but seemed optimistic about ditching it after talking about supplements. At Medaille College, I interacted with several students who responded well to the booklet, including one vegetarian who is aspiring to go vegan.
It was my second year tabling at the Valley Vegfest in Northampton, MA. A woman told me she went from vegetarian to vegan because of a VO pamphlet she got somewhere. There were some good conversations, a bunch of people signed up for VO’s e-newsletter, and I got to meet Ginny Messina! Several people expressed gratitude for the CVA pamphlet because of previous frustrating conversations with religious folks.
Josie Moody and I had a great afternoon doing Pay Per View at Cosumnes River College during their health fair. A total of 42 people viewed the video, and 27 of them took a survey so we can follow up with them in a couple months to see if their diets have changed.
Kaylyn Rhoads and I were thrilled by the success of leafleting the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus! Thirteen activists leafleted March 4, 5, and 6, handing out a total of 3,800 booklets. We went through 2,500 Compassionate Athlete booklets almost after the first day, they were such a hit!
Katia Rodriguez and I visited the teacher’s college Escuela Normal Superior Moisés Sáenz Garza for the second time but different students attended; plus, a small congress for graduated and working teachers was taking place, and we handed them leaflets on their way in, early in the morning. Marcia Hernandez and Isaac Marquez [below] joined us, and we formed a wall that no one could pass through without taking a leaflet.
Afterwards, we headed to CEU Unidad Loma Larga, a small private university. The dean allowed us to leaflet in a format we have been using a lot lately. We visit all the classrooms and hand a leaflet to each student and teacher. We also give them a condensed talk about veg eating, addressing three main points: it is perfectly healthy and possible to stop eating animals, it is easier than it looks because they already eat veg meals without noticing, and that a lot of people are doing it. We complemented the talk with personal experiences and practical examples to reduce animal-product consumption on a daily basis at work or school.
We met Pablo [below, left], Jose [below, right], and Alfonso: all of them decided to drastically change their diets to help animals, and many more students were very receptive and interested in the topic.
The dean of this CEU unit is extremely interested in working with us; he is even transitioning to a vegan diet himself. We talked about future collaborations, including talks, consulting to have a vegan menu in the cafeteria, and a presentation Katia will do for the heads of the institution to expand these actions to other units of the university.
A very good day of outreach.
Today at the Keele Campus of York University, we handed out 6,278 booklets – this beats the previous Canadian record for a single day, which was 5,000 at McMaster University last September!
I had several conversations. One was with someone who thought he was pre-diabetic and was very convinced he needed to eat lots of meat, although seemed somewhat interested in the discussion; I eventually had to end the conversation but he took a leaflet and Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating. Another was with someone who seemed to know the issues and was down to eating meat twice a week; I think he will progress further. I met several people who were new to veganism.
A group of Sikh students were in the vicinity doing outreach of their own; I took up their invitation to try wearing a turban and ate one of their veggie samosas that they were giving out. They were all lacto-vegetarians; I gave them leaflets and Guides, and I had a particularly good conversation with one of them who said that his religion was against harming animals, which was why they did not use meat or eggs, but then he wondered why milk was still used and wants to stop using that too.
Today at San Jose State University, Vanessa [below] stopped to tell me that she has been vegan since I handed her a booklet last year! I also met several members of the new veg club on campus – they seem to have a lot of great things in the works!
Such a fun day in sunny Jacksonville, spreading kindness at the Northeast Florida Veg Fest! The weather was beautiful and the crowds were heavy with vegans, vegetarians, and many transitioning who came here to find out more.
On hand representing for the animals today were Jake Wilson [below, left] and Jackie Glosson [below, right] from the University of North Florida AR club, UNF Vegetarians and Vegan Association. While Jake worked the table, spreading the message about the work Vegan Outreach does, Jackie was joined leafleting on the walkways by local leafleter Jyoti Chawla [below, center], getting out lots of info. Jyoti and Jackie were amazing to watch, very enthusiastic and inviting, getting many in the crowd to take Compassionate Choices and Your Choice booklets, and also encouraging them to stop by the table and find out more.
Many who came up to us were reporting they loved VO, and already were following our work via social media. Several dozen locals were inspired to join us for future leafleting here at the local universities next semester, as well as get connected with Jyoti, who runs regular leafleting in the downtown area.
All in all, it was a super fun day! So great to see more and more people interested in changing their lifestyle to help the animals!
Dilan Fernando, Jenny Li, Kieran Watkins, and I handed out 2,220 booklets at Monash University, setting a new one-day record for the Clayton campus. The highlight of the day was someone telling me they got a booklet from us last year and have been vegan ever since!
Today was an interesting day. A lot of people at Banaras Hindu University wanted to know about the cause. The local vendors and rickshaw-pullers came up to get the leaflets. A girl told me that 5 months ago she turned vegetarian, and she was thanking me for promoting it. Many guys came up to ask me about why I’m doing this, and how it will help in the long run. A few said they are already vegetarian, and they feel happy about it. The police were helpful. More than 6 students asked me how they can also join the movement. A guy took 10 leaflets with him because he wanted to show the content to his non-veg friends, and he told me that he was already telling his friends to turn vegetarian. A few groups were talking about being vegetarian with each other after I gave them the leaflets.
It was a good day. Thank you for reading my first report!
Pooja Rathor, Kimberly Moffatt, Saurabh Sonkar, our driver Mukesh Patel, and I handed out 3,400 booklets today at Banaras Hindu University, one of biggest campuses in Asia.
One professor asked us for 65 booklets to give to his class and said he supported what we are doing. We spoke to dozens of students that had questions, probably more than 50. Three times while explaining why we promote veg eating, little groups formed. Several students asked for a few more to show their friends. Super nice students again and 99.5% take rate. We saw innumerable readers and many reading cover to cover.
My favorite part of the day was when a massive bull helped funnel foot traffic to Kim [below] for 15 minutes or so. I like to think he was helping out on purpose.
There is a large amount of street animals in Varanasi, especially cows, who can be seen lounging or rummaging through trash regularly. In gridlock traffic, a bull just sits in the road as people weave around, and it’s no big deal. Sometimes 3 or 4 just sit in a traffic lane.
Truly epic day of outreach – feel we saved a lot of animals today and made many new friends.
Rainy day of leafleting at the College of Charleston to begin this week. Waves were coming through, but thankfully the heaviest of it was in shorter spurts. Braving the conditions, I was happy having Lauren Walker join me. Together we handed out 1,286 booklets, and both of us had interested students stopping to talk to us through the afternoon.
The best part was meeting Jade [below, left], who stopped to say she was already vegetarian 6 months now – from getting a Your Choice here on campus last semester! Very cool, and good to see she was very happy with the decision. She even said she may be wanting to go further from this now and try eating full vegan. Another success story for VO!
On Thursday, I had a fun and productive return visit to Benedict College, with almost 40% of the students getting a leaflet! I had some awesome conversations, a couple with students remembering me from last semester. I also got a few shout-outs, and students thanking me for the info, saying how interesting they found it. A few even saying they’d decided to get salads from the campus BK because of receiving one!
Towards the end of the day I met Tia [above, right], a student who got a Your Choice in the morning and kept passing by my spot on and off all day. When I was getting ready to wrap it up, I asked her if she’d read the leaflet and what she thought. She said it was very compelling, and was interested to try eating more vegetarian foods, only it was not easily doable for her, because of living with family who aren’t veg. We talked a while about all the options available close by, plus some of the resources available, and she opened up more and more to the idea. After giving her some good ideas to get started, she said she’d be giving it a go, reducing her animal consumption 50%. An encouraging end to the interaction, especially for a student coming from her family background.
Awesome day all in all, and great to find such a receptive audience here!
Met a young woman [at Oregon State University] who excitedly told me that receiving a pamphlet from me previously (determined it was a Compassionate Choices) had a big impact on her. She is not veg yet but making changes in this direction. Gave her two more booklets for further inspiration.…
Yesterday was a milestone of sorts. Cobie [deLespinasse] and I together have given out 100,000 booklets. We are regular leafleting partners, so combining our numbers seems fitting since it highlights the power of team work.
At the Universidad Emiliano Zapata, Katia Rodriguez and I visited 24 classrooms and handed a booklet to each and every one of the students and teachers in them, followed by a brief speech on the content of the brochure: how not eating animals is healthy, what sort of meals they already eat that are veg, and invited them to join the thousands of people who are changing their diets to help animals.
Students were interacting quite a lot, and were really curious and focused on what we were saying. While Katia was handing out the leaflets, there was a student telling her that he always wanted to be a vegetarian but didn’t know where to start; he thanked us for being there. We met around four students who were already vegetarian, and two students asked for a couple more leaflets to share with their families.
Later that day, we received a message on VO’s Spanish Facebook page from one of the students of this university, asking us to guide her because she wants to go vegetarian. We directed her to the new Spanish section of the VO web site. She then wrote a two-page-long Word document telling us about her experience studying agronomy, and how she dropped out as she couldn’t stand the idea of killing animals; she thanked us for attending, and she’s now trying to go vegetarian.
From an Arizona State University student, the same day Lori Stultz and Phoenix Huber handed out 900 VO booklets at the Downtown Phoenix campus:
I was walking on campus as a young woman handed me a pamphlet about making a difference through a vegan lifestyle. I’m currently a vegetarian with hopes of someday becoming fully vegan. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone involved in this organization. As a vegetarian, it can be really difficult sometimes explaining how I don’t want an animal on my plate. I also realize just the thought of a vegan/vegetarian diet gives people a fear of not knowing what to eat once they give up animal-based foods.… Thank you for allowing other students to visualize a compassionate diet by normalizing the absence of animal products.
Wow! Two great days of outreach at Arizona’s Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Glendale Community College! The take rate was phenomenal at both schools, and I had several conversations with students who were interested in going vegan. I also had a handful of students stop just to say thank you for being there, and a few athletic-looking guys stopped (at both schools) to talk about vegan nutrition and athletic performance.
I met a wonderful couple at Glendale CC [below], who said they received a booklet last year and went vegan as a result!
Vegan Outreach supporters Russell and Meredith had dinner with us recently, and Russell said he reads this e-newsletter every week, has for many years, and always finds something useful in it.
Hello, Russell and Meredith, and thank you for all you do for VO!
Awesome first day of my spring trudge with three of the MFA intern department’s finest! The traffic at Cerritos College was flowing and friendly all day, and all three interns did a pretty spectacular job with their first or second time leafleting.
Alix Pulido [above] was incredibly ambitious, making sure to get everyone who dared to cross her; Xiaoyu Lu [below, left] surprised me, going from a chill, soft-spoken demeanor to also getting everyone who crossed her with some of the biggest enthusiasm I’ve seen; and I felt like I was watching myself seeing David Pinski [below, right] leaflet! I personally had no interactions to write home about aside from a few students telling me they’re vegetarian, but David shared with me that a student asked him for a booklet, talked about it, and said he was going to do some research; and both Alix and Xiaoyu came across students interested in volunteering!