These pamphlets focus on the pain farm animals endure and give those who will take the time to open them the “bottom line” on animal suffering. The pamphlets explain that 99 of every 100 animals killed annually in the United States are killed for human consumption, and that billions of these animals suffer to death.
However, the men handing out these pamphlets may not have been your stereotypical animal activist radicals. Though all employees of vegan outreach eat a vegan diet, they are neither angry nor fanatical.
Jon Camp was the man you may have seen briefly last week asking “Want to help animals?” and handing you a flier. A volunteer for Vegan Outreach since the late 90s and a vegan for 11 years, Camp has distributed over 517,157 pamphlets. As a leafleteer, he spends five to six months out of the year on the road, traveling to colleges and universities.
“I do this because I believe in the work,” said Camp. “I believe it needs to be done.”
Vegan Outreach began its Adopt a College program because the staff feels that college students are most receptive to their message. Since students are away from their parents, they are able to buy and cook their own food. As students discover that they can make their own choices — and not just in food — they often begin to question the status quo and form their own morality.
“If you look around the trash cans today, you will see many of our pamphlets in the garbage and recycling bins. We are aware that many people do not read our message, but it is a numbers game. Many people are reading and considering.”
The Adopt a College program distributes many booklets including ones titled WHY VEGAN?, COMPASSIONATE CHOICES and EVEN IF YOU LIKE MEAT. These booklets not only explain what farm animals endure, but they advocate reduction of meat consumption in stages, an idea that readers are more prepared to adopt.
From cutting your meat consumption in half to going fully vegetarian, Vegan Outreach wants to help everyone feel like there is something they can do to reduce suffering. “Most people want to do good and we are here to help them make steps today to change their diet,” Camp said.
Vegan outreach does feel that veganism is the best way to help animals, but knows that it all has to start somewhere. Camp explained that “[Vegan Outreach doesn’t] see veganism as about being perfect or pure, but about reducing suffering.”
To learn more about what you can do to reduce farm animal suffering, get a free vegetarian or vegan starter pack or meal suggestions visit www.veganoutreach.org