I leafleted R2-D2

Go Veg!
During leafleting at the 2008 Maker Faire in San Mateo., 749 people and one astromech received information about delicious vegan recipes, plant-based nutrition, and the revealing truth of the modern day animal factory farms.

Hundreds more stopped by our booth to say hello, ask questions about vegan protein sources, egg and dairy substitutes, get vegan recipes, learn the truth about “humane” meat, eggs & dairy, and simply learn more about a compassionate and cruelty-free lifestyle.

And then there were those who looked from a distance at our model of battery caged hens, read our sign about WHY VEGAN, but didn’t approach. As one blogger frankly posted in a reference to Bay Area Vegetarians “various ‘activist’ vendors pushing everything from a vegan lifestyle (been avoiding that booth)”.

Thank you to our star volunteers who staffed the info table during this two day event, Julie, Dyanna, Rennie, Drew, Jeff, and Ravi, to Tammy for organizing & leafleting, & to Rennie for bringing the delicious chocolate pie (vegan, of course).

And a big welcome to our newest members from the Maker Faire 2008 San Mateo!



  1. bbum says:

    That particular quote is just ever so slightly out of context; beyond the “avoid” part, it was meant as a compliment to the organizers of the Faire in that they opened up what had been a cheesy vendor area to a group of people that were passionate to selling their causes in such a venue.

    But let me take a moment to explain the “avoiding that booth” part.

    You might not be surprised to find that the image of the chickens in cages offended me, but you might find it interesting why.

    I find industrialized meat production to be an extreme offense to nature and to the health of the human race. It is unnatural. It is poisoning our land and us.

    Of that, I think we all agree. You might be surprised to learn that I also shun the “organic” products of the likes of Whole Foods, many of which are flown in from far away places (thus consuming mass quantities of fossil fuels) or have been made with such oddities as “organic high fructose corn syrup”. No thanks, if I’m gonna be “green” like all the hipsters, I know that asparagus in August is unnatural.

    My avoidance of the booth was more because my initial impression was that your stance is fundamentalist. That Bay Area Vegans were there to sway opinion and gain supporters through sensationalist headlines and viscerally unpleasant imagery.

    I have little patience for fundamentalism, regardless of form, and I had no energy or interest in confronting fundamentalism in the otherwise open forum of ideas that is the Maker Faire.

    With that said, I am the first to admit that I have no experience with this organization and am looking forward to learning more. In particular, I would like to understand how an entirely animal free method of food production is compatible with the various species of commonly eaten domesticated vegetables that have been selected to best survive in conjunction with domesticated animals as their source of fertilizer.

    Thousands of years of symbiotic, human perpetuated, evolution is awfully hard to overcome. The industrialized meat and vegetable complexes made a hell of a success at such denial in the last 50 years. I would like to see us not make a similar set of mistakes in the next 50.

    The pendulum swings wide and the answer to sustainable perpetuation of species typically lies somewhere in the middle.

  2. […] the years before, replaced with various “activist” vendors pushing everything from a vegan lifestyle (been avoiding that booth) to awesome chocolates to composting toilets to amazing […]

  3. […] The Bay Area Vegetarians linked to my Maker Faire 2008 post in their summary of their presence at the Maker Faire. […]

  4. John C. Randolph says:

    If you’re wondering why people didn’t approach your booth, let me spell it out for you: what *other* people eat is their own business, and they have little interest in talking to someone who wants to guilt-trip them over it. I’d avoid you, too.


  5. Thea Langsam says:

    I’d like to respond to bbum’s comments about the BAV booth at Maker Faire. He says his initial impression of BAV was of fundamentalism. I’m interested to know what he means by fundamentalism. I think of it as a belief in the literal truth of the bible. That surely isn’t what he means. I imagine it’s that BAV seems too “extreme” to him? It seems to me a sad day in America if living up to and sharing one’s views can simply be dismissed as “fundamentalist” or “extreme.” bbum also seems to consider himself an activist and someone who cares and is thoughtful about the world around him. That so, it suprises me he would consider BAV’s TRUTHFUL depiction of the life of battery cage hens as problematic because it is “unpleasant.” Yes, it is unpleasant. Much more to the hens whose whole lives are spent so confined, than to you who are only asked to view it. You do not want to see the truth because it is unpleasant? I imagine that is not really what you believe. At least I hope so.

  6. bbum says:


    Did you read my response above? I ask because I answer a number of the questions within. In any case and because I want to be utterly clear on this:

    – I didn’t approach the booth because I honestly didn’t have time, nor was in a frame of mind, to argue with anyone about anything during Maker Faire. Wrong venue for such things for me. If there hadn’t had been a couple of hundred other booths simply trying to teach without confronting, I would have approached and explored with enthusiasm. As it was, I was in “absorb all knowledge” mode.

    – The chickens in cages image is powerful and misleading. Powerful in that it is completely correct for the vast majority of the commercial chicken production in the united states. Misleading in that it is not a universal truth; there are many many ways of raising chickens for use as meat and the best tasting chicken is a chicken that was allowed the freedom to pursue all things chicken in its life — to roam freely eating bugs, grains, seeds, and whatever else might have crossed its path. If you had read my words above, you would have already understood that I am, in fact, painfully aware of how entirely wrong, unnatural, and unhealthy the industrialized meat production complex truly is, whether it be McDonald’s or Whole Foods (the truth of Whole Foods being rather unpleasant in and of itself).

    – Fundamentalism, in the broader sense and in this context, has nothing to do with religion or the bible. Fundamentalism has everything to do with how ideas are presented and how new ideas are received. The image of the chickens in the cage combined with the sensationalist headlines indicated a group that was potentially — key word here — not at all interested in actually having a discussion and simply much more focused on swaying opinion, facts be damned.


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