Friday, February 21, 2014

Best Vegan & Animal Rights Literature & Outreach Material

As a longtime critic of popular vegan outreach literature, I am often asked what alternatives I would recommend. Many presume that the single-issue, reduction-based vegetarian literature plastered with donation requests produced by large professionalized welfare organizations like PETA, Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, etc. are "better than nothing." Yeah, it stinks they won't say "go vegan," it stinks they don't acknowledge structural racism, but, they're cheap, glossy, and "better than nothing."

Well, that certainly isn't the case. We do have a choice. Some groups are making some pretty excellent outreach material.  I am a fan of the Boston Vegan Association's booklet (which is color, high quality, and free to abolitionists who fill out a contact form). Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary hosts lots of excellent printable flyers.  More recently, the Food Empowerment Project has released some astounding activist resources. In addition to their bilingual mini booklets and flyers, they have just launched a series of mailed newsletters (Food Chain) designed to retain new vegans.

Lauren Ornelas was kind enough to send me the entire set, and I have to say they are rather amazing. While these are not intended for handing out to random people on the street (they are better suited to persons who have had some contact with vegan activists or are otherwise already interested in learning more), they offer an important longterm outreach plan to those who are interested in changing their relationship with food. Each issue introduces different topics on food ethics, making the complexity of vegan politics more digestible. The newsletters are glossy with beautiful illustrations. It's not just depressing stuff; they also cover happy endings at sanctuaries, nutritional information, and excellent vegan recipes.

What I love most about the series: They are intersectional and they are vegan. Veganism is presented within an anti-oppression framework in a welcoming way. Importantly, these newsletters are designed to reach beyond the middle-class white demographic by specifically acknowledging human oppression.

So, please, skip the "Vegan" Outreach compromise flyers/donation requests. We can definitely do better!