By: Nick Cooney
October 28, 2013
If you are a student, you can order one or more copies by emailing us
at email@example.com .
You Can End Her Misery
the course of your time at college, you have the power to save the lives and end
the misery of literally thousands of individuals.
We're talking, of course, about helping animals. Rosa (shown at right) spent her
entire life packed into a crate so small that she couldn't even turn around.
Every time you choose a meat-free meal, you're helping animals like her. If
you're vegetarian or vegan, you're helping more than 31 farm animals (and many
more fish) each year.
Want to know how you can have the biggest impact of all? By inspiring others to
make the same change. Persuading just one of your classmates to stop eating meat
will spare 31 individuals each year from a life of misery. Even convincing your
peers to eat more meat-free meals will spare many animals. There are few other
issues – even other animal issues – where we have the ability to do so much
And guess what: It's easy! There are thousands of students around you. Some of
them will decide to change their habits if they learn about the cruelties of
factory farming and as vegetarian food becomes more available. All you need to
do is put the information in front of them.
That's what this guide is all about. We know you're busy. And, we also know that
you care. This guide can help you use your time, even if it's limited, to do the
greatest amount of good you can and to reduce the greatest amount of suffering.
If you're associated with a student group that you can work with, great! If not,
no problem - all of the tried-and-true programs on the following pages are
things you can do by yourself. As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that
nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Being The Best You Can Be
order to present your message effectively, you should pay attention to how you
present yourself. Here are some tips on being the best advocate for animals you
1. ABK (Always Be Kind). Be warm, friendly, and considerate. You're not trying
to prove other people wrong; you're trying to inspire them to join you. You'll
be most successful if they like you - and, if they know that you like them.
2. Hearing about the concrete benefits of a change makes people more likely to
adopt it, so let your peers know that each of them can spare 31 animals every
year by ditching meat. At the same time, validate gradual changes. Most people
change their diets incrementally. Cutting out chicken and fish is the best place
to start because doing so will spare the largest number of animals from misery.
3. Try to dress and speak like the majority of your peers on campus. Research
covered in the book Change
Of Heart indicates that the more
similar we are to our audience, the more likely we are to persuade them to
change. That means more lives saved. Wearing a school T-shirt or sweatshirt may
be one way to do this.
4. Tell stories about individual farm animals and what life is like for them
every day on factory farms. (Visit farmsanctuary.org/learn/factoryfarming for
story ideas.) Emotional appeals are more persuasive than statistics or
5. Remember to show people how to find or make delicious vegan food. Many people
are willing to make changes if they know how easy it can be.
6. When you're deciding how to spend your limited amount of time, money, and
energy, always think about what will help the greatest number of animals.
Vegetarian Starter Guide Stands
every campus, there are many students who have considered becoming vegetarian
but don't really know how to do it. Want to make it easier for them and give
them the push they need to get started? Consider setting up stands that offer
free vegetarian starter guides to anyone who wants them.
Most Student Union or Campus Center buildings already have stands like these
that offer newspapers and magazines. Get permission from your school
administration to put up a stand of your own. Just tell them that you'd like to
set up a guide about healthy vegetarian eating so that students who become
vegetarian are well-informed.
In addition to the Student Union, other good spots for these stands are dining
halls, libraries, and gyms. Be sure to pick spots that will catch people's
attention. It's not only the students who pick up guides who will think about
choosing more meat-free meals but also people who simply see the information as
they pass by it every day.
Once you have permission, all you need to do is to set up the stands and
re-stock them with guides about once a month. The stands are cheap; you can get
them on sites such as www.Display2Go.com for
$30. If you're not part of a group with a budget, VegFund might be willing to
help buy the stands for you. Apply at www.VegFund.org .
The vegetarian starter guides are free; just email us at
It takes only an hour or two to get permission and order the stands and about 10
minutes to set them up - then you're all set! Over the course of the semester,
everyone on campus will see the stands and hundreds will pick up a guide and
move closer to a cruelty-free diet!
Guinn, Emerson College
“We put a vegetarian starter guide stand up in the Student Center, and it works
great! It's right in the front lobby, so people will see it every time they're
leaving; it's constantly reminding people about the idea of eating vegetarian.
We give out probably 300 vegetarian starter guides every semester, and it's no
work for us at all - all we have to do is re-stock it once or twice."
Campus Veg Dining Guide
addition to the vegetarian starter guide stands, there's another simple way to
show students on your campus how easy it is to eat meat-free meals: create a
campus veg dining guide.
Research covered in Change
Of Heart indicates that the biggest predictor of whether or not people will
make a change is whether they think it's easy and convenient for them to do so.
A campus veg dining guide shows how easy veg eating can be by listing all the
options available in the dining halls, campus stores, area restaurants, and
grocery stores. Be sure to include all the “regular" vegan options - things like
pasta, fries, salads, rice and beans, vegetable stir-fry, and granola bars that
typically are already part of people's diets.
A simple, photocopied booklet will do the trick, and we even have a spiffy
Photoshop template we're happy to send you - just email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Many schools will give student groups free
photocopies. If you want to make your booklet extra nice, you can get several
thousand full-color, glossy copies for a few hundred bucks at sites like
Once you've printed the campus veg dining guides, the key is getting them into
people's hands. If you've set up vegetarian starter kit stands, you can simply
put the guides next to the kits. You can also insert them into any leaflets or
vegetarian starter guides you distribute, pass them out to freshmen, leave them
in mailboxes at the dorms, and offer them at outreach tables. If your school has
a weekly email blast, post them online and include a weekly link.
Just like that, you've made becoming or staying vegetarian much easier - and
Glassman, Drexel University
“When I was a freshman, I was worried about finding good vegan and vegetarian
options on campus. I know a lot of my meat-eating classmates have the same
concerns; they don't know that there are so many delicious vegan things to eat
here. That's why vegetarian dining guides are really popular - and not just
Vegan Options in the Dining Halls
more delicious vegan options are available, the easier it'll be for people to
cut out meat. Some campus dining halls do a great job of providing vegan
options. Others still have room to grow.
If your school falls into the latter category, you can meet with your campus
dining director and encourage him or her to add more (or better) vegan options.
Sometimes, all it takes is a few friendly visits, emails, and suggestions to get
them excited about trying something new. Be warm and cheerful, and pitch this as
a positive change that a broad range of students, not just vegans and
vegetarians, will appreciate.
Ask for crowd-pleasing vegan dishes like veggie burgers and bean burritos -
things that everyone will enjoy, even people who don't know the dishes are
vegan. Dairy-free macaroni and cheese may be mouthwatering to vegans, but it
could be a turn-off for others.
Does your school already have tons of great vegan options? Consider meeting with
your dining director to encourage participation in the Meatless Monday campaign.
Hundreds of college dining halls already take part in the program. These dining
services don't go entirely meatless on Mondays, but they do offer additional
vegan options and put up signs touting the benefits of meat-free eating.
Ready to get started? You can download a free Meatless Monday toolkit and get
help on your campus by visiting http://tiny.cc/MMToolkit .
Berger, University of North Carolina
“We worked with our Dining Services department to get them to start a Meatless
Monday program on campus, where they offer additional vegetarian options every
Monday and put up signs promoting meatless eating. Once we were able to show the
dining director how many students are interested in having vegan food available,
he was willing to make the switch!"
out booklets about factory farming and vegan eating is an easy and powerful way
to help animals. The findings of a 2012 study conducted at the University of
Maryland and the University of Delaware, paired with additional statistics,
indicate that, on average, every two booklets handed out on a college campus
will lead to dietary changes that spare one animal from a life of misery. Talk
about having an impact!
And it's super easy. All you have to do is find a narrow walkway on campus with
a lot of foot traffic, put a big smile on your face, and reach out your hand to
everyone passing by to offer them “info to help animals!" In just an hour or
two, you can reach hundreds of other students with this powerful information. On
most campuses, you don't even need to get permission first.
Keep in mind that not everyone will care about this issue. Nine out of 10 people
will flip quickly through the booklet and then go on with their lives. That's
okay. As long as you're friendly and don't force leaflets on people, they won't
mind you offering them. What matters is that one out of 10 people will be
inspired to make some sort of change, and that will spare a huge number of
animals from misery.
Ready to get started? The website www.AdoptACollege.org provides
free leaflets. You can also get free leaflets from Farm Sanctuary by emailing
email@example.com. For more detailed tips and strategies on how to
leaflet, visit http://tiny.cc/HowToLeaflet .
Singh, Boston University
“Leafleting is one of the most effective things our group does. We're able to
reach several thousand people every semester, and a number of other students
have told me they went vegetarian because of getting a booklet from us. One of
the things I like most about it is how easy it is - I can do it whenever I am
free, even if it's just for an hour around lunchtime."
Dining Hall Tabling
covered in the book Change
Of Heartindicates that the main reason people resist change is that they've
settled into a routine. You can help your peers out of their meat-every-meal rut
by setting up a table outside your dining hall every Monday during lunch and/or
dinner to promote Meatless Monday.
The Meatless Monday campaign is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health. This nonprofit initiative provides excellent promotional
materials that focus on health, environmental, and animal welfare reasons to cut
out meat on Mondays.
Simply set up the table with Meatless Monday literature and posters (order a
starter supply at http://tiny.cc/MMToolkit ),
pass out vegetarian starter guides, and make sure you have a sheet that lists
the meatless options that are available in the dining hall that day.
If you're out there every Monday and your school has a weekly email blast, be
sure to add a weekly blurb encouraging students to stop by your table. That will
keep the idea of meatless eating in front of the entire campus every single
If you want to really do it right, work with your dining hall to supply you with
free samples of a few of the items that they're spotlighting on Meatless
Mondays, so you can pass these out at your table to students who are about to
enter the cafeteria.
Remember, every meatless meal is a victory for farm animals.
Li, Rutgers University
“We table every Monday to let students know about the vegan options inside. We
also stock the table with things like free vegetarian starter guides and that
might help people change their diets. Of course, we talk to the people who come
up to the table, but I also like to stand next to the table and leaflet to reach
people who don't stop by."
Pay Per View
not add a video to your tabling outreach?
Footage of the cruelty inflicted on farm animals is one of the most powerful
tools we have for persuading people to change their diets. At Farm Sanctuary, we
hear from thousands of people each year who have become vegetarian or cut back
on their meat consumption after seeing these videos.
How can you get students at your school to watch these high-impact videos?
Pay Per View is a program where you set up a table in your Student Center (or
other high-traffic spot) and offer people $1 to watch a four-minute video. The
viewings not only have a profound impact on their own but they also give you the
opportunity to hand out vegetarian starter guides and other materials for
viewers to take with them afterward. One of the other great aspects of Pay Per
View is that it provokes questions about vegan eating and factory farming - and
you'll be right there to provide information and resources to anyone who wants
to know more.
Setting up Pay Per View is as easy as having a table with a few laptops,
headphones, a sign, and some vegetarian literature. And the organization VegFund
is likely to give you grant money to provide the $1 to each viewer, as well as
signs, literature, and funds for supplies.
To learn more and apply for a grant, visit http://tiny.cc/PayPerView.
Kearney, Boston University
“I didn't know how much of an impact Pay Per View would have until I started
doing it, and I saw the looks on the faces of other students as they watched the
video. Some of them were in tears. Pretty much all of them were shocked by how
animals are treated, and many of them asked about how to go vegetarian or at
least start eating less meat. Pay Per View is really powerful."
Getting Campus Press
covered in the book Change
Of Heart show that the more
popular or widespread a practice appears to an audience, the more likely that
audience is to adopt the practice. Campus newspapers are a great way to reach
students with a stream of articles, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor
about vegetarian eating. As long as they're written in an upbeat, welcoming way,
published pieces can go a long way toward showing that veg eating is now
Your college paper is almost certainly hungry for news stories, opinion pieces,
and letters. Any article about the environment, food, health, or animals gives
you the opportunity to draft a short, positive letter or opinion piece about why
cutting out meat is a great thing to do.
It's extremely easy to publish letters to the editor. Most college papers also
welcome longer opinion pieces. Visit your paper's website or reach out to the
editor or opinion editor via email to find out the process for submitting
opinion pieces or stories.
When possible, try to tie an opinion piece about veg eating to something going
on in the world. This could be a social or political issue (such as the Farm
Bill or climate change), or it could be an on-campus event (such as an Earth Day
celebration). Consider trying to become a frequent contributor so that you can
present information on veg issues regularly.
Also, be sure to let the paper know about any work for animals you're doing on
campus. Whether it's putting up vegetarian starter guide stands, hosting a
speaker, or pushing for more vegan options, keep the paper updated in case its
staff is interested in writing a story about it.
Sylvester, Drexel University
“Over the past year, we've been able to get several stories published in our
campus paper about speakers and events we've hosted. We've also gotten a few
good opinion pieces in there on the reasons to go vegetarian and the impact of
factory farming. I spend so much time writing papers for class that it's nice to
be able to write something in an hour that the entire school will see!"
Filming Screenings and Speakers
our experience, most film screening and speaker events are high cost and have a
fairly low return with regard to their impact on animals. First, they take a lot
of time and energy. Second, with rare exceptions, attendance tends to be low and
dominated by people who already agree with the message being presented.
If you're going to sponsor speakers and films, try to: 1) find speakers and
films that will appeal to a specific segment of the campus population (for
example, bring in a feminist or faith-based speaker and ask the appropriate
campus groups to co-sponsor); then 2) secure co-sponsorships from other
interested groups and work with those groups to promote the event; and 3) have
the event listed in the campus paper and on the campus “happening today" agenda
of your college's website.
Also, be absolutely sure to: 1) pass out literature to everyone who attends the
event and 2) assign someone in your group to submit an article to your campus
paper about the event afterward. The latter will ensure that the message of your
event reaches the entire campus, not just the individuals who made time to
Some campuses require attendance at six to 10 on-campus events annually. If you
can work with the appropriate committee to get your speaker or film included as
one of the approved events, you'll increase both your numbers and the proportion
of your attendees who don't already agree with you.
Atcheson, Boston University
“We teamed up with the Philosophy Department at our school to bring in a
well-known philosopher who talks about factory farming and vegan eating. It was
a great way to get dozens of philosophy students - who didn't necessarily care
about animals before coming - to be exposed to this information and the ethical
reasons to stop eating meat."
We're Here To Help
always here to provide advice, support, and materials such as leaflets and
vegetarian starter guides. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be
Want to continue learning online? Browse the Compassionate Communities website
for the most important essays, books, and videos on how to be an effective
advocate for animals.
On behalf of all of the residents here at Farm Sanctuary, thank you! You have
the power to spare thousands of individuals from misery.
Photo Credits: piglet, © Mercy For Animals; meatless mondays dining, © Mark
Makela / for the HSUS; pay per view, © Mercy For Animals; goat, © Jo-Anne