The Flaming Vegan

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Adventures in Leafleting
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Adventures in Leafleting

Recently, I started leafleting for Vegan Outreach with someone who has been leafleting at colleges for years.  I thought I would share a few stories of my leafleting experiences.

The other day, I leafleted at a small college in rural Missouri.  The leafleting at this school was both enjoyable and educational.  Most of the students were friendly and accepted a booklet.

One guy came up to me and started asking me questions.  He told me that he was a farmer, and that some animal rights activists don't understand the reasons behind certain farming practices, like dehorning and castration.  I asked him if he uses anesthesia when he castrates his bulls.  He said no, but the pain is over quickly, and it's not that bad.  I asked him if he would mind being castrated without anesthesia.  He said he wouldn't really mind, and would do it if necessary.  I told him I imagine that most guys would disagree.  If someone tells me he wouldn't mind having his testicles ripped off with nothing to ease the pain, there's really nothing else I can say to him.

Another guy came up to me and asked me if we were the animal rights activists that are trying to ban hunting.  I told him no.  Our literature is about factory farming.  He said, "Good, 'cause I had a whole spiel ready if you were."  He proceeded to talk to me about precision shooting, conservationism and population control, and how hunters care about the animals.  I asked questions and agreed with him on what points I could.  Of course, in my mind, if they really cared about the animals, they wouldn't kill them, but I understand that they believe otherwise.  I told him honestly that if people are going to eat meat, I'd rather them eat hunted meat than the meat from factory farms.  Because I listened to him and agreed with a lot of what he said, I was able to make an ally of him in opposing factory farming, and he actually thanked us for what we were doing.

One woman told me she hadn't been eating much meat for a couple of months, and asked me what kinds of vegetarian options there are for a student in that town.  I'm not familiar with the town, and I know it's more difficult in rural areas, but I told her about some of the veg-friendly restaurant chains I'd seen there, and my leafleting partner told her about some others.  I asked her if she cooks at all; she said she does, so I gave her a vegan cookbook recommendation.  Hopefully, we gave her enough info to encourage her to adopt a veggie diet over the long term.  It sounded as though she was already thinking about it.  She said she is a nutrition and dietetics major, and we talked some about veggie nutrition.  Unfortunately, nutrition science (and science in general) in the U.S. is colored by financial interests.  I mentioned that much of what is taught in dietetics classes comes straight from the USDA, which is not the best source of science-based nutrition information.  She told me that a lot of dietitions don't follow the USDA's guidelines.  It was an interesting and refreshing conversation.

I look forward to more experiences like the other day's as I learn more about leafleting.  If you have your own leafleting stories to share, feel free to do so in the comments.

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Great post. I loved the individual exchanges, especially the hunter! Welcome to flaming vegan. Voted! Check out my falafel post and vote if you like.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Luella Berg
      Luella Berg
      Thank you! Voted. Your falafel sounds delicious. The exchange with the hunter was my favorite, too. :-)
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  2. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Welcome to The Flaming Vegan Luella! I loved your post. I myself do some voluntary leafleting and could relate to you. It is always fun meeting new people and knowing their views.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      I would love to have your views on my blog posts!
      Log in to reply.
    2. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      I would love to have your views on my blog posts!
      Log in to reply.
    3. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      I would love to have your views on my blog posts!
      Log in to reply.
  3. Whitney Metz
    Whitney Metz
    This is excellent Luella! Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds like have been doing a great job! Voted.
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  4. Anita Vegana
    I don't have leafleting experience, but I heard that Greenpeace volunteers receive quite a lot of crap from passersby. I'm sure you may have had a bit of that, too. But the good compensates for the bad parts, for sure. I voted. Please come read my article, Vegan and Organic Materials, and let me know what you think. You can vote too.
    Log in to reply.
  5. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. This is a well-written and very interesting blog. It does sound like you are doing an awesome job, you seem to know the right sort of things to say to people! I can't believe farmers think it's perfectly acceptable to castrate animals with no anaesthetic, but I know it happens all the time, over here in the UK too. When you take your dog or cat to the vet to be "done" they never do it with no anaesthetic, do they??! So why is it acceptable to do that to farm animals? Maybe you could make that point to them, if you speak to any farmers about it again. Animals are just commodities to them, that is the whole problem, not creatures with feelings. You might be interested in my latest recipe for Ravishing Ribbon Pasta, and if you like it, please vote, thanks! :-)
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  6. SnakeWitch
    Interesting article. Let us know more about what people say. Voted! Have you had a chance to read my article, Tips for Advocating? You may be interested! Vote if you like it!
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  7. Roopam
    Good read...well written thoughts and exchanges...voted!
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  8. BuddhasDelight
    BuddhasDelight
    thank you for posting this. i love vegan outreach, they were a great support and wealth of info when i was first going veggie! voted. please check out my new vegan BLT stuffed tomatoes recipe and vote if you enjoy it. thanks!
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