The feeling that hearts and minds are changing is palpable. We can win this fight if we keep getting out there.
Day 57 of my Ongoing Protest For Animals
Leafleting, Conversation with the Police and Protesting
So Paul Crapol suggested we take a break from the corner to do some leafleting in Colonial Williamsburg and on William and Mary's campus. There was definitely an adjustment period. I don't know why, but I find it easier to walk up and talk to people in a grocery store about how animals suffer to make the food they are buying than I do to hand them a pamphlet. I would make a horrible vegan Santa... But we gave out a lot of pamphlets and had the best luck on campus at William and Mary. To get people to take them we tried saying "Happy Veterans Day", or if they had a dog - "You look like an animal lover" or on campus we used "Can we give you a pamphlet about social justice." All seemed to work well under different circumstances.
The delightful person in the picture with me was a girl on campus who was super nice and even apologized for having an ice cream cone. I told her I'd bring her some vegan ice cream for her friends and her to try if she wanted and she seemed like she just might take me up on it. (Lola - this was not my version of a pick up line, I swear) So, I gave her my Art from a Vegan Heart card with my info. It won't be the first time I've bought strangers food to show them that compassion is the way to go.
We also had a nice conversation with a police officer who said he could never go vegan. I said those are the exact words every vegan said before going vegan. He said he was just raised that way growing up around cattle and dairy farms and he couldn't imagine life any other way. I said, "I realize you have a gun, so I'm not trying to piss you off. But you realize that was exactly what slaveholders said about slavery in 1860. He agreed and by the end of the convo he admitted that he knew he should go vegan even if he couldn't. Again, a super nice guy.
After about 2 hours of this, Paul had to attend a conference on campus and I walked to my car and ended up in a conversation with a woman sitting on a bench. (Can't imagine how I ended talking to a stranger about animals - so not me ;) ) Anyway, from our conversation it became clear she was poor. And I know so often I'm told that people in poorer circumstances are just trying to survive. Well, this woman was immediately interested and horrified at what was happening to animals. She vowed to never eat them again. We talked about affordable vegan options (rice, beans, oatmeal, raisins, peas, carrots, etc) and she was so excited and grateful to think she could help animals and also feel better in terms of her health. She was so genuine and friendly. And I as pleased with how easy it was to show that being vegan isn't hard or expensive. People walking by would have thought we were best friends. And she asked me to come to her place of work in a month so she could show me just how much better she was feeling.It was one of those encounters that makes you wish you could have that same type of experience over and over again.
And then I headed over to my corner to get in some time holding my signs for the animals. And I've been trying my best to just smile and ignore the idiots yelling stupid things at me. My friend Chase and I had been messaging about how unproductive it can be to let anger get in the way of advocacy. Plus, I'm sure it will boost the chances that I survive the day if I'm not telling hunters to go f*ck themselves. So, when someone yelled, "You are killing plants." I wanted to yell, "Thank you for sell identifying as a dipshit." But instead I just smiled and waved. And it actually felt good to just ignore their stupidity.