Why Adopt a College?
Spreading animal-friendly eating is a numbers game. Don’t dwell on the people you know who won’t change. Instead, go out and leaflet at a college! You’ll do more good in an hour than spending years on many of the people you know.
Even if you have a weekday job, don’t discount taking a long lunch or leafleting in the evening (many colleges still have significant pedestrian traffic in the evening). It can take as little as 30 minutes on the campus to do measurable good. Local community colleges count, too. In fact, they may be even more effective, per pamphlet given out, than larger universities, as they are more untapped.
Or consider donating to sponsor the literature for someone else to do it for you.
Aren’t Pamphlets Outdated?
With all the fancy new technological ways to reach people, isn’t it outdated and inefficient to hand out pieces of paper? Here is why the old-fashioned pamphlet is still a very useful tool:
- There are a lot of people who are not reached through any other means than leafleting. They do not consume much mainstream media and do not know other vegetarians. Getting a booklet is often, even in this day and age, the first time they really hear about the issue.
- Once someone has accepted a booklet from another person, they are somewhat invested in it. We think that it is generally harder for people to discard a booklet than to ignore a web link or turn channels when they see a commercial about vegetarianism.
- You can get more information to people in a booklet. What we are asking of people is a pretty big step (although getting smaller every year), and our experience has been that sound bites and short pieces often don’t have the weight to start overcoming people’s habits, taste preferences, and peer pressure. We’re not trying to get people to switch from Coke to Pepsi, so standard marketing tactics don’t necessarily apply. We’re asking people to make real, significant change, and that can very often require more information.
- Giving someone a booklet allows them to have something to take away. Many people do, and it sits around their home where they can see it and think about it many times. Many people pass it on to someone else. We often hear from people who say that one booklet changed their own habits as well as a number of their friends.
- College campuses, concerts, and other venues are very accessible and easy to take advantage of.
A Systematic Plan for Animal Liberation
When Vegan Outreach started the Adopt a College (AAC) program, the animal protection movement sorely needed a systematic plan for spreading vegetarianism and achieving animal liberation. Since it started in 2003, the AAC program has expanded to the point that we are now reaching nearly two million students a year.
We know that, on average, students are considerably more open to becoming vegetarian than are non-students. And while many colleges have animal groups, many do not, and some groups are not very active. We cannot afford to let the great opportunity to reach college students pass simply because we are no longer in college. Non-students in the animal protection movement must make it our responsibility to ensure that these young, open minds are reached while the opportunity exists. If every college in the country were leafleted for one hour tomorrow, there would be thousands of new vegetarians overnight!
On almost every day during the school year, multiple leafleters report coming across students who tell them that they are now vegetarian or vegan because they got a booklet from us during a previous visit at their school.
By convincing just a few people every semester, you will be preventing the suffering of thousands of animals over their lifetimes. You will be creating a pocket of change that will likely extend out from those people. As the numbers grow, people who have given up eating animals will be much more likely to be sympathetic towards other animal issues and this will increase political pressure in favor of animal liberation.
To adopt a college, click here.