Category Archives: Outreach

My vegan story!

This is my silly intro post. I hate writing about myself but I always love reading about how people came to animal rights and veganism. So here’s my story…

I just celebrated a silly milestone of a birthday which made me think about life and about veganism. I was brought to this amazing movement through a strong love for animals and the environment. I never really fully enjoyed eating animal “products” as a child and mostly kept to eating super processed meats like hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets. I drank cow’s milk once in awhile but only when it was super cold. I absolutely loved cheese. I preferred food that didn’t really resemble an animal. Looking back I can understand why I didn’t want to eat animals. I always had this relationship with animals. I respected them and always felt that human’s relationship with them was strange but I didn’t really know why or what could be done about it.

I was always crusading for animals and the environment. When I was 8 years old I wrote a letter to Carefree gum denouncing them for testing their sugar alternative, aspartame, on animals. I told them it was mean and I would not be buying their gum anymore. It was my first lesson in corporate cluelessness and greed…they sent me coupons for free gum. I remember opening the letter and reading their lame attempt at a response about how animal testing keeps people safe and then being completely confused as to why they would send me coupons. I stopped trusting giant corporations that day and I also threw the coupons away.

It wasn’t until college that I heard the term vegetarian. It just seemed to fit into my own beliefs about animals and I instantly became one. I started researching factory farms, veal crates, animal testing, etc and found that I was completely disgusted with all of it. I couldn’t support it any longer. I bought veggie burgers and veggie cookbooks. I taught myself how to cook awesome vegetarian food and never felt like I was missing out.

It wasn’t until I transferred to SUNY Oswego that I met a vegan. I had never heard the term before and never really connected that dairy and eggs were a part of the system I abhorred. He lent me Sarah Kramer’s How it All Vegan cookbook and I fell in love! I loved the writing, the style and the recipes. He answered some questions I had, but I mostly took it upon myself to research what was cruel about the dairy and egg industries. I didn’t like anything I saw or read. I felt like a hypocrite for saying I loved animals but continuing to take part in their misery. I couldn’t believe the way that humans manipulate animals natural biology for the sake of a “product”. I had no idea that cows only made milk after being “impregnated” (raped) or that egg laying hens were kept in extremely tight cages while overhead lights manipulated the frequency of how often they laid an egg. It sickened me to think that they had to go through that over and over until their bodies were literally “spent”. I knew I couldn’t take part in it anymore. I remember the horrible feeling of knowing about the atrocities and being scared as to what I needed to do.

It was very scary for me to take that step into veganism for some reason. I totally admit it. I stopped consuming dairy and eggs at home but would still eat it when out. I was too scared to just do it because it was so different than what society had told me to do. This went on for a couple of weeks until I realized I was getting sick a lot and was advised by my doctor to stop eating dairy because I was lactose intolerant. It was the push I needed and I became vegan that day. I bought some vegan cookbooks and started reading books about animal rights. My fears were soon alleviated because I realized that being vegan was pretty easy and tasty! Some things were challenging like eating out in a rural area but there were some options if you looked hard enough. I cooked a lot and learned about vegan baking. I baked all the time and ate so many delicious things. I’ve progressed a lot throughout my almost ten years as a vegan, both in my cooking/baking/eating and in my views of animal rights.

I’m hoping to put myself out there a little more by writing blog posts about cooking and baking, but I am also interested in activist repression and how veganism connects to other social movements. I’m sure these topics, as well as others will make it into my writings. I’m looking forward to sharing what I know with all of you.

For the animals,

<3 Sarah

Weekly Action Alert: Write a Letter to the Editor about Circus Cruelty

We still have time to share the truth about circus cruelty with people before they buy tickets to Ringling Bros. at the Times Union Center.  An easy way to reach a lot of people is to send a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. The opinion page is the second most read section of a newspaper, so you will have a very large audience!

Circus Training Methods

In Defense of Animals gives these key points for writing LTE’s on their website (check out their circus facts, too):

Be timely – Capitalize on recent news and events, respond within 24 hours of a story if possible.  Be sure to refer to the article or event you are responding to in the first sentence of the letter.

Keep it short and simple – Under 250 words ideally, even less if you can. Research the paper or magazine you are writing to see if they have a specific word limit. Keep your points clear and stick to one subject. Look at the editorial page of the publication you’re writing to and copy the format they normally print.

Think locally – Demonstrate how this issue effects you locally, and – if possible – mention lawmakers or news makers by name to ensure you get their attention.
Sign your letter. Include your name, address and telephone number. Papers may need to contact you if they are considering printing your letter. Don’t worry—they won’t print your phone or street address.

Follow-up. If the newspaper doesn’t call you, call them!  Speak to the person in charge of letters to the editor (You should know who this is before writing your letter). Ask if they plan on printing your letter, and if not, ask if they have any feedback for you.  Thank them for their time and feedback.

Here are some area newspapers with links to their LTE submission page:

The Post Star
The Times Union: Email letters to tuletters@timesunion.com.
The Saratogian: Email letters to letters@saratogian.com
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Schenectady Gazette
Troy Record: Email letters to letters@troyrecord.com

If your letter gets published, be sure to send us the link so we can post it here!

Volunteers and College Students Needed

We need your help to gather more supporters and effectively share our message in the area.

Any big event such as a concert or sporting event, college campuses and busy areas of town are great opportunities for leafletting.  Handing out literature is really easy, especially if you enjoy interacting with others, and can make a big impact.  It’s true that some people will not even consider the information you’re giving them, however others will take that information home and really think about it and even make changes in their own lives.  The moral of the story is that you never know just how big of an impact you’re making.

If you’re interested in leafletting at local events/areas, email us at adkanimalrights@gmail.com.  We’ll provide literature if we can.  Contact us with any events and locations you think need our attention as well.

We’d also like to build up a base of volunteers at local college campuses to recruit supporters and publicize our events.  If you’re interested email us with your contact information and the name of the college you attend.

Animal Abusers are Not Welcome in our Area

Ringling Bros. Circus will be returning to Albany this May.

Please continue to leave comments on these Facebook pages:
http://www.facebook.com/TUCenter
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155432937845138
Email them: info@timesunioncenter-albany.com
Call them: 518.487.2000

Let them know that circuses are no place for animals.

For more information:

http://www.ringlingbeatsanimals.com/
http://www.idausa.org/facts/circusfacts.html
http://www.helpelephants.com/circus_elephants.html

This year we want to focus on educating the public before they even purchase tickets. We’re going to collect literature (contact us for some or download here: http://www.idausa.org/shop-ida/lit6.html).

Join us for a leafletting event (to be scheduled) or go out on your own! Any busy location will work!

Showtimes:
Thursday, May 5: 7:00PM
Friday, May 6: 10:30AM & 7:00PM
Saturday, May 7: 11:00AM, 3:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday, May 8: 1:00PM & 5:00PM

NOTE: Protests will be held one hour before each showtime above (two hours before Thursday’s showtime), however Saturday is the Northeast Animal Liberation Festival and Bold Native screening at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. If you were not planning on attending this event, we encourage you to attend the Ringling protests in our absence. Thank you for your understanding and please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.