But who we are extends far beyond the plate.
The average American consumes about thirty land animals every year. By choosing to be a vegetarian, you will accomplish a great deal over the course of your life – you will spare many hundreds of animals from the malicious maws of modern agribusiness.
But get this: In just one hour, you could accomplish much, much more!
This may sound like an informercial scam, but it’s true – for every person you convince to go vegetarian, you double the impact of your life’s choices. It’s simple math!
Close your eyes and think about everything you will do, every day, every year for the rest of your life, so to make sure you don’t support factory farms. Every label you’ll read, every special shopping trip you’ll take, every dish you’ll bring to a gathering – everything you’ll do to avoid causing animals to suffer.
Now, if you hand out 60 booklets to new people, and just one decides to go vegetarian, you will have saved, in only one hour, just as many animals as you will save with every single choice you make over the rest of your life.
In other words – and this is the most important point – if we agree that being a vegetarian is important, then we must also recognize that being an effective advocate for the animals is many times more important. Effective, efficient outreach has truly enormous potential, and can change the world far, far more than our personal food choices.
In his book, Meat Market, Erik Marcus writes:
When I was a teenager, my greatest ambition was to one day be a millionaire. [Later] I adapted the millionaire concept for purposes of activism.… I wanted to [keep] a million animals out of slaughterhouses.... But is it realistic to think that a typical person could keep a million animals from slaughter? Absolutely! At two thousand [land] animals saved per new vegetarian, this means that during your life, if you convince five hundred young people to become vegetarian, a million animals will be saved.
With a reasonable level of investment, each one of us can do this. You don’t need to start a group. You don’t need to pass a law. You just need to make the choice to join with the all the others who are dedicated to making a real difference. We can provide you with lessons from decades of experience and all the tools you need. Vegan Outreach exists to help everyone and anyone, in every situation, be the most effective advocate possible – for a world not just a bit less bad, but for a fundamentally better world.
Ahhh – but leaflets don’t print themselves. Vegan Outreach is dependent upon the financial support of those who recognize the central importance of effective advocacy. There are many demands on our limited time and money, and we must choose to invest our scarce resources to do the most good. Working to expose and end the hidden horrors of factory farms is the best possible investment. Every new vegetarian pays huge dividends every year, in terms of their food choices and the example they set.
This isn’t just a pitch. For all the activists involved, distribution of booklets is directly tied to donations. As donations go up or down, so do the number of new people we reach. This means that every donation you make really does make a real difference, and writing a simple check or making an online donation can multiply your life’s impact many times over! A donation today leads to more booklets to more people tomorrow, which leads to more new vegetarians and more animals spared this year – and every year!
In the end, in our hearts, we know that, regardless of what we think of ourselves, our actions reveal the kind of person we really are. We each determine our life’s narrative. We can, like most, mindlessly accept the current default, follow the crowd, and take whatever we can.
Or we can determine for ourselves what is important. We can live with a larger purpose, dedicated to a better world for all. We can join with all the great people who have bent the arc of history toward justice.
This is our choice today. I hope you join us!