Optimistic Vegan

Folklife Volunteering

In Seattle this weekend is Folklife-a kind of showcase of Seattle itself. After wandering around a bit (and eating a delicious vegan cheesesteak sandwich!) I volunteered to pass out pamphlets for a local animal rights group, NARN (Northwest Animal Rights Network).

In the past when I think about an animal rights group handing out pamphlets (mostly thinking of PETA) or other public displays, I think crazy people harassing passersby in attempts to inform them about their meals.

This was nothing like that. It was great! There were two lovely people handing out pamphlets with me, and we just had a fabulous time handing out vegan restaurant guides. Most people were really sweet, and even if they didn’t take them they were polite about refusing. For myself, it was important that I experience the true, grassroots informing that truly propels the vegetarian movement.

At the beginning I wasn’t outgoing enough to ask anyone—I just sat back and watched my fellow tablemates ask any and all people walking by. I regrettably fell back on prejudice and offered them to the people that I thought looked least threatening and most friendly. However, not only were there not many of that sort walking around in downtown Seattle, but not even all of them would accept my information. I’m proud to say that I threw all of that prejudice out the window and was able to confidently talk to any person walking by. Not only was I able to experience actively putting the key to a more compassionate life into someone’s hand, but I was able to step out of my comfort zone, and for that I am really excited!

PETA makes this fun stickers that have little animal characters and little sayings like, “Meat’s no treat for those you eat!” that are just a thrill to pass out. People any age will stop in their tracks if there’s a sticker involved 🙂

If you’re interested in helping animals (more than by just not eating them!) this is a wonderful experience, and every bit helps. All you can do is inform, and in my opinion, offering this information in a positive, constructive manner is the only way to do it.


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