Thank You Vegan Outreach Activists!

>>  Saturday, April 21, 2012

I thought I'd give a shout out to a few remarkable activists that I've had the privilege of leafleting with:

The amazing Lana Smithson:

How long have you been involved in animal rights and how did you get interested? 

In January of 2002, I watched a short video of a cow being dragged to slaughter and I stopped eating meat that day. I went vegan about a month later. I don’t know why it took so long in my life to reach that point. I had always claimed to love animals but didn’t think about the animals in agriculture. Even in college, when my minor was animal science, my mind didn’t really open to the “food animals.” For some reason, seeing that video years later just clicked for me and I had to align my ethics with my food choices. I also felt compelled to get active to raise awareness about the suffering. I believe the images and information in the VO booklets are doing the same for many people as that video did for me. 

The dynamo Nikki Benoit:

What was your most positive leafleting experience and why?

At St. Pete College – Gibbs campus, I leafleted a group of students and kept walking. Fifteen feet away I overheard, “That’s IT! I CAN’T do this anymore, damn it! I can’t contribute to this abuse! I’m DONE!” She went veg on the spot! Her friends were moaning that their lunch plans would have to change, so I told them about local veggie options. After lunch the new veg and a friend walked past me, and the non-veg said, “She’ll have me changed by the end of the day…guaranteed.” BONUS ROUND, WOOT WOOT!

The incredible Vic Sjodin:

Who has been a major influence in your life and why?

I am inspired by anyone who has the courage to follow their heart, especially people who go veg. People who feel uncomfortable sitting in their car but overcome the inertia and go out and leaflet. People who sacrifice for others. Ideas are not enough, we have to sweat to make things happen. Everyone who sacrifices for the movement is a friend of mine.

And just last week the very kind and gently persuasive Jeff Boghosian:

What made you decide to start leafleting, and, if you were nervous the first time, how did you get over it?

I decided to start leafleting because I was searching for new ways to reach people in an effective and direct way, but not through the media. To me, promoting veganism is about getting people to make different choices – but first they need to hear our message. So instead of protesting or going through the media, both of which have their places, I decided the best thing to do is to distribute flyers – asking people directly if they'll learn about the issue and consider a change.

More activist profiles for Vegan Outreach can be found here and here. Hat's off to these phenomenal, inspirational advocates who put their dedicated time and energy into making the world a better place!

“The Vegan Outreach team serve as a vital cog in the rapidly expanding vegan movement. Smart, smiling, happy, healthy and fit people on university campuses handing out a colorful booklet carefully designed to inform but not offend – it’s a winning formula. The sky’s the limit. Their ultimate success will come when there will no longer be any demand for their booklets, because everyone has already read it and changed their lives.”

Jonathan Balcombe
author of The Exultant Ark


veganelder April 22, 2012 at 2:08 AM  

Good for all you folks...including you Ms. Bea!! Your efforts are appreciated and admired.

CQ April 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM  

Ditto to V.E.

I love that Bea combines her at-home duties of caring for rescued chicks of all sizes and ages and individualities (mother hen that she is!) with stepping out before the public and kindly steering sheep in the Florida fold to green pastures (good shepherd that she is!).

Bea Elliott April 26, 2012 at 5:31 AM  

Same back at you veganelder... With your nest box painting, deer guarding, bunny rescues AND most importantly your kind regard and respect to every living being. YOU are an inspiration! <3

Bea Elliott April 26, 2012 at 5:35 AM  

Thank you CQ - But like everyone else who feels the urgency... It just never seems like enough. :/

I appreciate all your thoughtful comments here and throughout the blog-o-sphere. I really have learned a lot from you! <3