Campus Outreach at UTA Yields Results
Due to inclement weather, spread-out population and a dominant car culture, DFW is a difficult area in which to table. So it was with great delight that we participated in a collaborative effort with The Vegan Club at the University of Texas at Arlington. The Vegan Club also invited Mercy for Animals to join us, making it a three-pronged approach. Our own Char Duncan jumped at the opportunity and requested free samples from vendor supporting the March Meatout events across the globe. We found ourself with So Delicious ice cream sandwiches, Almond Breeze plant milks, Primal Strips, Parma, Field Roast Sausages, Vegan turkey slices, and about three hundred Vega protein bars to distribute. We had free samples, nutritional information, and coupons for even more vegan products. Not too many hungry college students turned down the offer of free food! When classes were in session and the table grew temporarily quiet, our busy activists went out in search of students to get to sample vegan food and read our literature.
Collaboration for Animals….and Kids!
Next to the ARRNT table was a group of students requesting donations to facilitate clean water for third world children through UNICEF. Since The Vegan Club had arranged for a $1 Pay Per View event, some students earned the $1 and went next table over to donate it to the UNICEF table — clean water for kids, peaceful palates for animals. Now THAT is a collaborative effort! We brought vegan samples to everyone working in the area, too. Giving away free food along with information is a great, winning combination for helping to dispel myths and open minds to animal rights.
One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity to discuss the challenges of outreach in the DFW area. Nora Kramer, Texas Campaign Coordinator for Mercy for Animals, shared her expertise and offered many helpful hints for our less experienced activists. She also offered further support and trainings and agreed to attend one of our upcoming meetings, too. Increasing understanding between groups with slightly different emphasis often helps both become stronger and forges increased understanding betweens allies.
Thanks, Vegan Club!
The Vegan Club had nearly twenty students sign up to join them, vegan pledges were signed, and several students watched a film about the plight of animals, a number decreased due to technical difficulties. ARRNT provided the tables and chairs, VC provided the venue and Pay Per View, the vendors and VegFund provide the food samples, and the students…..well, the students made the whole event worthwhile! Many wonderful conversations took place and many students were given food for thought along with their samples. Mercy for Animals activists Nora and Jeff gave out many vegan information fliers and, if one includes their effort, we estimate we reached about a thousand students in all. Not bad for our first tabling event!