We did some live-blogging at AR 2009.
(For details about the event, please take a look at arconference.org.)
These are Elaine’s notes from the presentation about “Engaging Youth” by Camp, Corbett Matejeka.
Speaker 1 - Rick Corbett
- Stay truthful: the advertisers are lying, we shouldn’t
- Be respectful: give kids info and let them make decisions
- Why should we do outreach to youth? Because they’re open to new information, they’re the future, they’re everywhere, it’s easy
- The Rebel Effect – young people rebel against the wrong, they’re looking for answers, attempt the impossible and thereby
become better able to achieve something closer to the impossible
- Have an activism bag. It can be a purse or tote with booklets, stickers, DVDs, buttons… ready to hand out when needed.
- Around age 10-12 kids have decided their foundational beliefs in life, we can’t wait till they’re adults!
- Where should we go to reach the kids? Schools, bus stops, trick-or-treat, concerts, use creativity, celebrations, parades, etc….
- Mentoring: let them just ‘find out’ you’re vegan, but be careful about controlling parents
- Humane education programs: neutral presentation about animal rights for elementary school students and up
Speaker 2 – Jon Camp, Vegan Outreach
- Jon drives across the country and hand out vegan pamphlets at college campuses
- We have limited time. Choosing to do one thing is choosing not to do another
- It’s not dramatic: we can all go vegan and encourage others to go vegan without forming a group, without protests or demonstrations, without too much effort
- Anyone can hand out hundreds of booklets in just a few hours. The result is a dramatic change for animals
- Focus on college students b/c they’re willing to question the status-quo, ready and willing to consider serious issues, looking for form their own morality, many years of purchasing power ahead of them
- Can feel like intangible work, but it is tangible. They track pamphlets handed out, requests for starter kits, etc.
- Some of the top leafleters for VO do it in their spare time! Just an hour a week adds up to a lot over the course of a year or two
- Sincerity matters: regardless of own age, we can all make a difference for the younger generations!
- How to do it: be friendly, gets easier the more you do it, 99% of people are polite
- Legal issues – public campus is usually completely legal, private campus you may have a little trouble so target public campuses
- Donate! money makes pamphlets. If you can’t or won’t leaflet, donate!
- Change is often slow and tedius but if enough people work for it, change is inevitable (MLK paraphrase)
Speker 3 – George Matejka, Ursuline College
- Does humane education at college level
- Using science about animal sensation and emotion to teach students about animal suffering
- “Feminist care tradition” incorporated
- Personal project about animal ethics – research, paper, and presenation
- Example topics for project: declaw cats, veg woman w/ omni man, cooking for family
- Q: How to leaflet in places like rollerskating rinks and schools?
A: Find the public sidewalk nearest the entrance or exit and stand there. Public sidewalks are general “free speech zones” where you can hand out leaflets without legal worries. Do not go onto high school (and younger age) cammpuses; try bus stops, too
- Q: Are there non-English translations of vegan outreach pamphlets?
A: Yes, available through special request
- Q: Are there VO chapters in other countries?
A: Thought about it but not ready to do it yet, focus on home because need is so great in US
- Q: More information about VO?
A: VO makes pamphlets that provide straighforward information about factory farming, they focus on farm animals.
- Q: What about getting people to adopt needy animals or boycott circuses and animal testing?
A: If you work on veganism, you’ll produce people who also just happen to adopt needy animals, oppose circuses and zoos, etc. It all goes hand-in-hand.
- Q: What about getting vegetarians to go vegan?
A: You can give them the guide to cruelty-free eating, but don’t waste too much time on it because they’re already more than half-way there. (My response: when I leaflet and someone says, “I’m already vegetarian.” I tell them to keep the pamphlet and pass it on!)
- Q: How to respond to people who say they eat organic beef, etc.
A: Remind them of actual cruelty involved in “happy meat” and/or thank them for making a change and encourage them to change more. (I say, “sounds like you’re getting there. Let me know when you’re ready to go vegan”)
Because these posts are simply published notes, please overlook any grammar or spelling mistakes. We hope to clean this all up later when there is more time. Thanks for your patience.