Photo by: The Chronicle
It didn’t matter if whether you dressed for leafleting in kale leaves or rainbow socks, or merely let your compassion compel you into action, SF Pride was again a landmark event to reach open-minded, progressive individuals with our vegan message.
I have organized BAVeg outreach at the San Francisco Pride celebration since 2003. First it was an information booth, then we added leafleting, then we added Parade leafleting. Every year we’ve refined our approach approach, with increasing numbers of volunteers as our outreach progressed–we had 30 people in 2007. This year, we made a deliberate and strategic decision to focus all of our efforts on getting veg info into the hands of the public by leafleting. So, we returned with a smaller crew of 15 people for our Pride outreach. We focused on outreach during the festival on Saturday and Sunday, and the Parade on Sunday morning.
For festival leafleting, returning volunteers Alvaro, Andrew, Ron, and Nora and newcomers Damien and Rachel responded to my request to ‘Have a Heart, Go Veg Leafleting’. I collaborated with Miranda at Vegan Outreach; she was our on site point person for both days of leafleting the festival, managed all the literature for it, and also recruited her friend Katie for her leafleting prowess too.
2007 was first time we had tried parade leafleting — an amazing 2000 veg booklets were distributed in 45 minutes by Alex, Ari and Chris. Thus inspired, Alex, Ari, Jack, Miranda, Sarah, Shani, Victor and myself teamed up to distribute over 5,600 veg booklets at this year’s Parade.
While I missed the interaction of having a table at the festival, from the perspective of distributing literature, we had half the number of people and far less the number of people hours to distribute roughly the same amount of literature (10,289 booklets). See Victor’s math below, this is truly an incredible number! Every single person we can reach with vegan information means an opportunity to save animal lives. I am happy to be part of a community that cares about animals, and acts upon their compassion. Please keep watch on the BAVeg event calendar for our next Have a Heart, Go Veg Leafleting activity or email me if you’d like to host one in your area.
— Tammy, BAVeg
San Francisco Pride Parade was awesome. Packed with people who were excited to get veggie information. We actually had people chasing after us to get leaflets! We reached thousands of people with the information about intense animal suffering, and an easy way to stop it (going veg). Many of these people had never seen images from a slaughterhouse. If we hadn’t been there, they would still be oblivious. We’re not just changing society by creating lots of new vegans, we’re changing individual lives. I know my life changed forever the moment I learned how animals are raised and killed for food. I wasn’t happy, but I’m sure grateful that somebody spent the time and money and energy to get that info into my hands.
The only downside to Sunday leafleting was seeing all the people we didn’t reach. If we had just a few more volunteers we could have made thousands more vegetarians! Please consider joining an upcoming leafleting. Because for animals whose lives are worse than we can ever imagine, our activism truly is the difference between unmitigated horror and liberation. We’re all they’ve got!
Thank you Bay Area Vegetarians and PETA and Vegan Outreach for organizing an incredibly effective event; for creating, printing and shipping the leaflets; and for being such fun and positive people. You keep us all inspired and it’s wonderful to see the world changing!
Over the past weekend, 15 people distributed 10,289 pieces of literature (Why Vegan, Even If You Like Meat, Vegetarian Starter Kits, and Compassionate Choices) to people at the San Francisco Pride festival. Assuming that 1% of recipients go vegan as a result, this translates to well over 100,000 animals being kept out of the oppressive system of animal agriculture. This is a really great accomplishment; I can’t think of any other form of activism that yields such large results with so small an effort.
I love doing vegan outreach, its a simple yet important way to truly help prevent farm animals suffering, even whilst wearing a lettuce bikini at San Francisco’s Gay Pride. Its a thrilling experience to meet so many loving and accepting people; its the best venue to educate everyone about compassionate choices in their daily lives.”
One older man stopped after taking my brochure, looked at it for maybe 15 seconds, and said, “Wow. Thanks for ruining my day!” I started to reply, saying, “I’m sorry to ruin your day–I know this is upsetting–but thanks for caring so much about animals that it ruined your day to know how they are suffering.”
He said, “Actually, though it does kind of ruin my day to see this, I was being serious in thanking you. We need people like you out doing the dirty work of making people aware of this issue. Thank you for being here.”
This is what we are providing when we leaflet. Aren’t you glad you know about how the animals are treated so that you can choose to do something about it? Give others that opportunity to make a difference, as well! And give the animals an opportunity for people to consider their plight.