Does Leafleting Make You Uncomfortable?

Does the idea of vegan leafleting make you uncomfortable? Hate telling people what to do? Don’t want to be an inconvenient vegan? You aren’t some zealot after all. But what if you knew that just an hour of leafleting would save 12 animals from the horror of factory farming? That is twelve individuals who would be spared a short lifetime of torture, fear, neglect, and death. Twelve. For 60 minutes of your time.(1)

We know that people need to see/hear something on average of seven times before noticing it and we may need to hear something many different ways before understanding how it fits in with our lives. We also know that many, many, many people still don’t know what animals go through to become food and likely never think about the suffering and death behind their food choices. Add to this that people need to be in the right mind-set to take in counter-couture information, and it makes saving animals through adopting a vegan diet seem daunting.

LeafletingPhoto

Photos from Vegan Out Reach (http://www.veganoutreach.org/)

But. Do you remember why you became vegan? Whether you were influenced by someone in your life, something you read, or even something you discovered on your own, you likely came into contact with pro-vegan or pro-animal information many times before that moment without totally registering it. And having these memories probably helped build your overall education of animal exploitation and your response to that knowledge. Literature, websites, posters, videos, social media posts, essays, classes, leaflets and conversations with peers typically all help people discover, adopt, and maintain a more compassionate lifestyle. But that doesn’t happen magically. Caring, dedicated, and hopeful people have to create and distribute that information.

This is where you and leafleting come in. As Matt Ball, founder of Vegan Outreach explains, “For example, of you provide booklets to sixty new people tomorrow and just one decides to go vegetarian, you will have changed that person’s life forever. More importantly, you’ll have saved, with just a small investment of time or money, as many animals as you’ll save with every food choice you make during the rest of your life!” That is doubling your life impact in one day. Every person who adopts a vegetarian or vegan diet will save about one hundred animals each year(2).

Although it is difficult measure just how many people will reduce their meat consumption or go veg from one hour of leafleting, there are recent studies done on vegan leafleting on college campuses that can give us a hint. In a study by the Humane League and Compassionate Communities, they found:

  • About 1 out of every 50 students who received a leaflet indicated they became vegetarian or pescatarian as a result.
  • 7% of students (1 in 14) said they now eat “a lot less” chicken, a lot fewer eggs, and a lot less dairy as a result of getting the leaflet.
  • 6% eat a lot less fish.
  • 12% eat a lot less red meat.

And about 1 in 5 students said they shared the leaflet with someone else who then began to eat less meat.(3) The average audience may not be as receptive as college students, but even if they were half as receptive, leafleting still has a huge bang for its buck and for your time. Check out this great pamphlet by Mall Ball, “A Meaningful Life” for some additional inspiration.

You don’t have to do it alone. Join NARN on Saturday July 13, 2013 at 11:00 am for a quick introduction to leafleting best practices and then head out with a few other people to the West Seattle Summer Fest. RSVP on Facebook or email rachel [at] narn.org for more information. And if you are reading this post after July 13, just be sure to follow the NARN Facebook Page or subscribe to our newsletter to find out about future leafleting outings. And of course, you don’t have to wait for us – the power of leafleting is that it can be done by one person, anytime, anywhere.

Doing vegan outreach is not like religious proselytizing. You aren’t trying to convert anyone to any belief. You only giving them factual information that they might not otherwise have. Free information. Free recipes. Some inspiration. You don’t have to argue, convince, or cajole. Be open to conversation and remember to be compassionate towards human animals too.

More Resources for You!

References:
(1) Farm Sanctuary, Leaflet, http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/promote-veg-eating/leaflet/ (2012).
(2) Mark Hawthorne, Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (O-Books, 2008), 23.
(3) Nick Cooney, The Powerful Impact of College Leafleting (Part 1), http://ccc.farmsanctuary.org/the-powerful-impact-of-college-leafleting-part-1/ (Jan, 2012).

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Outreach with 10 Billion Lives Tour at the UW

We all know this: right now, millions of animals are in pain, scared, hurt, and abused. They will endure this for few weeks or many years before their lives are ended early and violently. They don’t have the luxury of slow moving change, and egads, are we humans slow to catch on. Just like other major social movements throughout history, animals need people to take their voices and feet into the streets to teach, inform, and be advocates. That is what NARN is all about. They need us to stand up, speak out, and get involved. The animals are counting on us. By helping just one person go vegan, you can cancel out the suffering of as many as another 100 fish and fauna each year. If you could help 5 people, that would be 500+ earthlings!

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We at NARN are so happy that  Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) is bringing their North American Tour to Seattle. Their 10 Billion Lives van tours colleges and music festivals paying folks $1 to watch a 4 minute movie that highlights the inherently inhumane nature of animal agriculture and encourages viewers to start on a path toward a vegan diet.  Well 80% of viewers commit to eating less animal products. 

After folks watch the video they need other great vegans around to talk to, to answer questions. You can also give them some follow up literature to read. You can be the support network or the role model that they need to stop hurting animals.

“Every volunteer makes a HUGE difference in the success of the events. You can encourage more viewers by simply holding a sign or talk to people after they’ve watched the video and inspire them to put their compassion into action. For many viewers it’s a life changing experience.”

According to FARM, through video outreach they inspire young people to reflect deeply on their food choices and take action to create a more compassionate future for animals. They also talk about the health benefits of eliminating animal products as well as the environmental connections between factory farming and pollution, fossil fuel use, deforestation, water use, greenhouse gas emissions etc. But they need our help at the University of Washington June 3rd – 6th from 9:30am-3:30pm. They will also be at the Warped Tour music festival June 15th from 11:30am-5:30pm. You can volunteer to help. Just email Scheduling [at] 10billiontour.org or visit www.10billiontour.org.

If you aren’t sure how, go to the NARN Animal Activism 201: Psychology of Change the day before, Sunday June 2, 2013. We’ll get brave together.

flapdown

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Criminalize Ag-Gag Laws – petition needs 93,000 more signatures by May 1st!

Criminalize Ag-Gag Laws

Pigs, chickens, cows and turkeys are being stomped, electroshocked, kicked, pitchforked, punched, skinned, burned…and a lot more….as you are reading this. It happens while you sleep, eat, drive to work, watch movies, relax. It happens unceasingly. Not everyone thinks it’s OK, and the videos/photos/proof brought out of those factory farms have won some significant victories. Ag-gag laws criminalize undercover work. Let’s be really clear: these laws, that are now in place in FIVE STATES and pending in many others, do nothing to improve conditions for the animals — on the contrary. They free farmers to commit the most atrocious acts of cruelty on a regular basis because no one will ever see them. This is also a food safety issue, not that I care ONE DUST MOTE about that. Under these Ag-gag laws, it is not the crime that is illegal, but bringing the crime to light.
This petition goes to the White House and must be answered.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/criminalize-ag-gag-laws/KQWSvsKr

Signing takes less than 10 seconds. Even if your house is on fire you have 10 seconds.

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Animal Activism 101 April 21 2013

NARN’s Animal Activism 101 is just around the corner and we are really excited. We hope that we can make the most of the two hours that you’ll spend with us!

First, for those of you who have never done activism before, we will share some ideas on how to pick the right activities for your skills, strengths, and interests and how to actually get started. For those of you who have done some activism, but are new to scene, we’ll share some tips, tricks, and best practices not only from NARN, but from other activists around the world.

Image for Animal Activism 101 April 21, 2013

Get ready to talk about the mechanics of: tabling, leafleting, demonstrations, writing, online activism, corporate campaigning, and using your unique talents and interests in making the world a better place for animals and spreading veganism far and wide.

We’ll also talk about dealing with stress, dabble in the psychology of change, and how to be strategic in planning your activism. We’ll even chat about dealing with people on a personal level.

 

We want to build the community of NW vegan and animal activists to be strong and connected. We can learn from each other, share what we know, support each other, and most importantly be as effective as possible for the animals. The animals can’t wait. They need us now. Their future depends on our work!

Sunday, April 21, 2013
12 – 2 pm
Cascade People’s Center
309 Pontius Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109

Please RSVP on Facebook (or email info@narn.org) so we know how much snacks to bring. If you want to bring something to share, please let us know.

Stand up. Speak out. Get involved.

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Activist Willing to Learn

We’ve been planning some great content for the upcoming Animal Activism 101 session April 21, and thought now would be a great time to share some recommended reading. If you are interested in the whys and hows of getting active for animals, or are looking to augment your activism or animal rights knowledge, we recommend three books:

Striking at the Roots CoverStriking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism by by Mark Hawthorne (Dec 20, 2007). This book is perfect for getting a handle on exactly WHAT one can do to spread veganism or fight animal exploitation in ways that truly can work. It covers the basics from leafleting, letter writing, tabling, protests, and outreach all the way through corporate campaigning, multimedia, and direct action.  Mark also offers a great chapter on legal issues and another on caring for yourself as an activist. Each area he provides a success story of the practice in action and solid “how to” information. Make this your first stop from your couch to world changer.

Change of Heart CoverChange of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change by Nick Cooney (Dec 1, 2010). This book answers the questions that so many activists and non-profit folks ask: what is the MOST effective action to take or way to behave to make the most impact. Nick synthesizes research from Behavioral Economics and Psychological disciplines to explain how humans act (both rationally and irrationally) to information and other people. If you really want help animals today and into the future and want to make your demonstrations, letters, outreach, leafleting, fundraising, or blogging more effective and meaningful, pick up this book.

Lifelong Activist Book CoverThe Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way by Hillary Rettig (Nov 15, 2006). This book is for those of you who are getting worn down or discouraged AND for those of you just getting started. Be proactive about your own psychological and emotional health and learn about managing your mission, your fears, and your relationships with others. Don’t let burn out end your efforts to change the world. The world needs you. The animals need you. We need you!

And some even better news: if you life in the Seattle area, can you check out the first two books, for free, from the Vegan Haven lending library (call ahead to see if they are available, they are popular titles). All three are available through the Seattle Public Library system, but are often checked out, so reserve a copy soon! If you want to have your very own copy, so you can write notes and keep them handy, have Left Bank Books, Elliot Bay Book Co, or Vegan Haven order you a copy.

Already read these three? Here are some other titles to consider for your bedside table. Tell us what you think of them or recommend some others for us on Facebook!

  • The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World (2009)
  • For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States (2006)
  • Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism (2010)
  • Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat (2013)
  • Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation (2008)
  • How to Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warrior’s Guide to Animal Advocacy Online (2013)

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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You Are An Agent of History

The Bad News:

We humans systematically breed, torture, and brutally kill billions of animals each year for pleasure. We do unspeakable things to our fellow earthlings – creatures with physical and emotional needs similar to ours. Most people’s eyes, hearts, and minds are closed to these horrors. Most of us are complicit and literally pay others to do these atrocious deeds to animals. It is happening right now as you read this. Millions are in pain, suffering, dying without hope in crates, shackles, cages, and boxes all over the world. 98% of human society finds this is acceptable.

The Good News:

Things change. Just in the past 5 years the blinders have started to fall, people from all backgrounds around the world have been moving in droves to a more compassionate and reasonable lifestyle. People have taken to the streets in Italy, Cork, Syracuse, Turkey, and of course, Seattle to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. Almost every week you hear of a new influential person who is trying veganism. There are more positive sentiments online around veganism than there are negative. The tide is very slowly turning.

 

What Matters:

Things don’t change without us. We are the problem and the solution. The animals in cages today, and their offspring for generations to come, are counting on YOU AND ME to help them, to do something. There is no magical group working working for their rights and freedom except us. You, me, your mom, you weird cousin, that guy holding a sign by himself in the rain outside the UW Primate Testing Facility. We are their hope. If we don’t tell people what is happening to animals, hearts will remain hard and closed. If we don’t work to change things, they won’t change. The suffering will continue unabated. If we chose being popular over fighting injustice, then we should all despair.

|| OBSERVE || PUBLIC OPINIONS || Animal Rights Protest March || Dame Street || Dublin || Republic of Ireland ||

So What? You matter. Right now, decide to use your talents, energy, and love to work to evolve the human race. Join the groups that will push society into a saner, kinder, and more sustainable future. By helping to open others’ hearts and minds, you’ll open cages. Every animal counts. Every cage matters. The way we are in the world is the root of evil, and we must strike at the roots.

Being vegan means you’ll be on the right side of history. But being an activist means you are an agent of history.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, come to the next NARN open meeting January 13.

 

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

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Action Alerts

 

Urge NPR and Its Member Stations to Promote a Compassionate Holiday Season

Contact NPR and urge them to ENCOURAGE and PROMOTE compassionate holiday dining AND respectful attitudes toward turkeys!

Gary E. Knell, President & CEO
National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

National Public Radio is excellently positioned to encourage compassionate holiday dining and respectful attitudes toward turkeys if its corporate staff hears from listeners. In addition to contacting NPR’s President & CEO Gary E. Knell, please send an email to your local NPR station with your request for compassionate holiday programming. You can find your local station by entering in your zip code on this website:
http://www.npr.org/templates/stations/stations/

Click here to see a sample letter to NPR

 

 

Ask Congress to Investigate Wildlife Services Now!

Wildlife Services’ agent Jamie P. Olson sic’d his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps. Wildlife belong to all Americans; they must not be brutalized by federal employees. Tell Congress to investigate Wildlife Services and rogue agents like Jamie P. Olson who photographed himself siccing his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):
https://secure3.convio.net/wg/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=547

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Find and contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/

TALKING POINTS

Wildlife Services is a costly, outdated, rogue agency that has no purpose in modern times. This week revealed more heinous acts committed by a Wildlife Services’ agent upon our wildlife. Wildlife Services’ agent Jamie P. Olson photographed himself siccing his dogs on live coyotes that were captured in steel-jawed traps.

The news exposed the horrible, unethical behavior by Mr. Olson on November 2, 2012. But this is not an isolated incident. As former Wildlife Services’ agent Gary Strader told the Sacramento Bee, killing trapped animals with dogs “‘is very common . . . It has never been addressed by the higher-ups. They know it happens on a regular basis.’”

As the Bee also documented earlier this year, Wildlife Services kills tens of thousands of animals annually without accountability or oversight. The agency’s war on wildlife endangers the public, their pets, and even its own agents. The death toll on our wildlife populations is unconscionable.

The agency’s killing programs are inhumane, unscientific, expensive, ineffective and occasionally illegal. They are certainly unnecessarily cruel. Congress must immediately investigate this rogue agency. No federal agency needs oversight more than Wildlife Services.

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Where is your veganism headed?

We’ve noticed that there are many phases or “faces” of veganism. They aren’t in the same order for everyone, but maybe you recognize yourself in some of these. They can last for 10  days or for 10 years. Sometimes all at once.

  1. I’m vegan! I’m my family thinks I am a freak and I want to be loved so I pretty much never mention it to my grandma, and I downplay any inconveniences and never talk about how others hurt animals around people who aren’t vegan. I don’t use the world vegan often and nobody at my work probably even knows. Veganism is a personal, private choice.
  2. I’m vegan and I want some comfort food! I try to make or eat everything that is labeled vegan. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t eaten a real vegetable in weeks. And I go out to eat with my friends many times a week just to be with like minded people and eat vegan waffles and gravy and cake. Why isn’t everyone vegan? The food is so amazing!
    Redwood Vegan Biscuits and Gravy
    Vegan biscuit, potatoes, sausage from Redwood Sunday brunch. 

  3. I’m vegan and I want omnivores to know that vegans aren’t freaks, and I’m normal, so everyone should know that I am vegan. I’ve got vegan pride. So I talk about how good vegan food is to anyone who will listen. And I tell my co-workers how good it feels to be vegan. And I make vegan food for my family, friends, and anyone who will eat my food and let sing vegan praises. I invite others out to dinner. I eat healthy so that I can be a good vegan role model. I rarely mention the animals at all. Just food. And I do everything else normal so vegans aren’t so scary.
  4. I’m vegan but all of the animal suffering around me still makes me incredibly sad. I want others to discover how easy it is to be vegan. Someone influenced me once, so maybe I can influence others? How can I be supportive and encouraging while also telling the hard truth about how animals suffer in factory farms, laboratories, fur farms, zoos, circuses, and beyond?  I’ll do some vegan outreach at the Fremont Fair. I want a vegan world! Veganism is political!
    Seattle Tilth Fair Sept 8, 2012 - Rachel and Anika
    NARN Board Members doing vegan outreach at the Tilth Festival this summer. 

  5. I’m vegan and I want to help animals right now. I don’t need to fit in anymore. Animals are suffering this very moment and I can’t turn away. I can’t forget them. I want to make a difference. When history is on our side, I want to say that I spoke out. That I made a fuss. That I didn’t let let suffering and tyranny run rampant on my watch. That I tried to do something with my time and talents.

Recognize any of this? Board member Pete is fond of the  slogan: “Silent = Consent.” We don’t consent to the horrors that are perpetrated in the name of human desires. We won’t be silent. Board member Anika’s favorite quote is “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” -  Elie Wiesel. She likes it because it admits that she sometimes feel powerless – but that even if that is the case, she should still speak out against injustice.

If you are feeling more and more inclined to speak out against the ways we torture and needlessly kill animals, NARN is here to support you. We can help you follow your passions, join with others, and make a difference in the lives of animals today. Just email us at info@narn.org.

 

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