Say Hello to the 10 Billion Lives National Tour Crew for Spring 2015!

We’re excited to announce the crew aboard the 10 Billion Lives National Tour for Spring 2015!

NationalTourSpring2015

 

 

Jillian Lowry is from the Cleveland area of Ohio and has been vegan for nearly 9 years. She graduated with a MSC in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development from the University College Dublin in Ireland in 2013 and a BA in Communications from John Carroll University from Cleveland in 2011. After years of animal rights activism in Ohio and Ireland, she’s happy to take her passion on the road for the National Tour!

Joining us from Brooklyn NY, Tara recently went vegan as of January 1st after being vegetarian for 2 and a half years. Tara was working in the entertainment industry and volunteering at farm sanctuaries on the weekends. Combining her passion for animal rights and being on the road, Tara is thrilled to be joining the 10 Billion Lives tour!

Welcome to the FARMily, Jillian & Tara! The animals are lucky to have you advocating for them!

Please leave a note of thanks and encouragement for Jillian and Tara, as well as the other crew members of our other tours, whom you met earlier this spring! You can follow the adventures of all these dedicated activists on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like to volunteer with our 10 Billion Lives tour when it stops in your city, please send an email to VOLUNTEER@10BILLIONTOUR.ORG

 

Read More

FARM Joins Enviro Orgs to Demand More Sustainable Vegan Food with My Plate My Planet

myplatemyplanet

 

Earlier this week, more than a hundred environmental and health organizations took out full-page color ads in the New York Times and Washington Post, demanding that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee include sustainability of the food supply as a major factor in their recommendations. Their primary goal? To strengthen the Committee’s call for “less meat and more plants” in our diet!

This advertisement is of huge historic importance! It represents the very first time that environment and health advocacy organizations have come out publicly in support of reducing meat consumption, which our movement has been advocating for 40 years. This of course has the potential also to save many millions of animals from being used and killed for food, and we must do our best to nurture and strengthen this alliance.

FARM has signed on as a partner with the My Plate, My Planet coalition, and we need your help! Click here to submit your supportive comments directly on the government’s website no later than May 8th.

Read More

Update from the Road: Southwest Tour, Spring 2015

We’re halfway through the spring semester, which means it’s time to check in with our fearless activists on the road with our 10 Billion Lives campaign! The first crew you’ll hear from are Todd & Erica with the  Southwest Tour, who have been educating college students all over southern California. 

IMG_5450

     Greetings from a very sunny southern California! We can hardly believe the tour is already half way though and we wanted to give our friends and supporters an update from the road. We’ve met so many passionate people at the many schools we’ve visited, eaten at a plethora of amazing vegan restaurants and connected with other passionate activists doing awesome things for animals!

10940518_10103678636125547_6720984241848001949_n

Our first weekend happened to line up with a celebration of former 10 Billion Lives Alum Stephanie Frankle’s first year anniversary of the Humane League’s San Francisco office. It was such a fun event full of celebrating the many wins for the animals they have achieved. Attending this event gave us an opportunity to bond with FARM’s 10 Billion Lives Program Manager, Ryan, who’s based in the Bay area. His family was beyond hospitable in accommodating us that weekend. We headed south with many baked goods from the Frazier family for the road! Valentine’s Day brought another fun opportunity to meet fellow activists and meet some farmed animal friends! We jumped at the chance to volunteer at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres event, where the public could visit the sanctuary and meet some of their rescues! There are so many great people and groups out there, and we both feel lucky to be able to play our part with FARM!

IMG_5312

Southern California is home to so many wonderful vegan restaurants (60 at last count) and we’ve made it our mission to eat our way through them as time and our stomachs allow! Some of our favorite places have been Sage Café, Real Food Daily and Native Foods Cafe. The Native Foods nachos are not to be missed, nor is brunch at Real Food Daily! Erica still finds herself daydreaming about the spinach basil ravioli she had at Sage.  We’re already salivating at the thought of 9 more weeks of delicious food and supporting vegan businesses!

IMG_5670

It hasn’t all been good times and gluttony, though. We’ve been putting in long hours each day and have reached over 5,500 students in the last 8 weeks! Interacting with so many students has lead to meaningful connections for them and us. Being on tour and living in a van is hectic and stressful, but every day we talk to students who are ready or interested in going vegan and that makes all the late nights and headaches worth it.  We’re both loving the Southwest Tour, for Todd it’s a chance to see the progress on campuses he’s visited in the past, and Erica is loving the opportunity to see all the beauty that Southern California has to offer! There have been some standout student run groups at the campuses too! The Bronco Animal Rights Network (BARN) at Cal Poly Pomona and Vikings for Animals at Long Beach City College really stand out in our minds. We both see that good things are to come from the awesome people that organize these groups! FARM’s new Southwest Outreach Coordinator and 3-time Tour operator, Angie Fitzgerald, is helping us reach out to students interested in starting new clubs. She’s a great resource for assisting sometimes-overwhelmed students to get clubs going on their campuses. Thanks Angie!

IMG_5604

Last and anything but least, we must give huge shout outs to both Beau Broughton, our Tour Coordinator and Ryan Frazier.  Thank you both for everything you do, being so selfless to your operators and always being available 24/7!

THANK YOU to Todd & Erica for this great update and for all their hard work on the road. Please leave a comment with some words of praise & encouragement for them & our other 10 Billion Lives activists (whom you’ll hear from soon). Also be sure to follow along their adventures on Twitter and Instagram

Read More

A Parade of Podcasts for Meatout

It’s Meatout Madness (in a good way!) at the FARM offices! March 20th, a day in which thousands of people will be trying a vegan diet, is fast approaching. While FARM staffers are busy gathering pledges, organizing events, and rounding up some fun surprises for Meatout participants (more on that soon!), our Executive Director, Michael Webermann, has been getting the Meatout word out in interviews. We hope you’ll tune in to the following podcasts to hear all about Meatout, a grassroots campaign celebrating its 30th year!

ourhenhouselogoOur Hen House – Episode 269

sexyveganradio

Sexy Vegan Radio

whichside

Which Side

Coming soon: An interview on Main Street Vegan and a fun Q&A session on Vegan Food Chat on Twitter, both happening on Wednesday, March 18th!

Read More

Meet the Spring 2015 10 Billion Lives Tour Crew!

While it’s still a winter wonderland in many parts of the country, two of our 10 Billion Lives tours are already hard at work thawing the hearts of young people. Thankfully, both of these tours have kicked off in warmer climates!

Todd and Erica, Southwest tour
Todd and Erica, Southwest tour

The Southwest tour is educating college students around California. Joining us again for his fifth tour is Todd Lee. Todd previously led 3 Southwest tours, helped out the National tour last semester, and is back in Cali for round 5! Todd has also interned with Farm Sanctuary and volunteered with Vegan Outreach. Last summer he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. We’re excited to have you back, Todd!

Erica O’Neill is extremely proud to be joining Todd for the next four months as associate operator. She comes from Indiana to California for the first time and is very excited to take her activism to the next level.  She has previously volunteered with the Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and worked as a relationship specialist for Hampton Creek.  Even though she will miss her dear cat Henry, she knows he is in good hands and can’t wait to impact Southern California with her compassion for all animals.

Blake & Amanda, East Coast tour
Blake & Amanda, East Coast tour

The East Coast tour kicked off in sunny Florida this week! Joining us again as lead operator is Blake Underwood. Blake is from Baltimore, Maryland. He is the co-founder and worker-owner of Just Walk Collective, a worker-owned and operated pet care cooperative. Blake has also written for the Baltimore Indypendent Reader and Counter-Conduct. Blake has been vegan for almost 15 years. We’re glad to have you back, Blake!

The associate operator of the East Coast tour is Amanda Nooter. Amanda is a native of Washington, D.C. and has been a lifelong vegetarian and seven year vegan. Recently graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Anthropology, Amanda is excited to get involved with the world of animal activism. She just wrapped up a two month long internship with Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY in the fall, and is looking forward to a great spring on the road!

Please give a warm welcome to the Spring 2015 touring crews and join us in expressing our gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment to creating a kinder future for animals!

Want to volunteer with the 10 Billion Lives campaign when they’re in your city? Send an email to VOLUNTEER@10BILLIONTOUR.ORG.

Follow the 10 Billion Lives journey on Twitter & Instagram!

 

Read More

2014: A Triumphant Year for Farmed Animals!

2014 has been a year of tremendous success in the animal rights movement and FARM is proud to have played a significant role! We invite you to look back on the year and celebrate with us, and also look forward to another amazing year in 2015.

Our annual FARM Report is here and available online. Read all about the Great American Meatout, our biggest Animal Rights National Conference yet, the launch of our third 10 Billion Lives tour, and our hugely successful World Day for Farmed Animals, and more.

Read the 2014 FARM Report here!
CVRReport14New_sm

Also check out our year-end video below, starring many of our FARM staffers sharing highlights from the year, as well as our deepest gratitude for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

If you are able to fuel our lifesaving work in the new year, all donations made in December will be triple matched by a generous donor! This means a donation of $25 becomes $75 toward the freedom of farmed animals. Your tax-deductible donations can be made HERE.

Thank you again for supporting Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM)! 

Read More

Updates from the Road: East Coast

The fall semester is coming to a close and it’s already been a smashing success for our 10 Billion Lives tours! This year we launched our new third tour, covering the East Coast of the United States. Today on the blog, we’re going to hear from the East Coast crew, Blake & Allison. Please cheer them on in the comments and thank them for all of their hard work!

EastCoast_Blake

It’s hard to believe we have just one month left on FARM’s inaugural East Coast 10 Billion Lives tour! It’s now been about 11 weeks since Alison (tour associate) and I (Blake, tour operator) trekked out to Portland, Oregon to make sure Bessie, otherwise known as “the van,” had made a safe journey to our starting point in Columbia, Maryland. I don’t think either of us could have imagined that the time would pass by so quickly. From the outside, a four month working road trip will usually seem like either an exciting adventure, or a daunting undertaking. In reality, it’s a little bit of both. But, what some of the those on the outside won’t see is that FARM’s tour comes with the incredible reward of knowing that each day spent on the road is going directly towards saving the billions of animals we lose every single year to animal agribusiness. And the effort that the two of us have put in has been met tenfold by all the wonderful volunteers, hosts, local activists, and FARM staff that have made our lives so much easier while we move from city to city, campus to campus.

Being that this is 10 Billion Lives’s first full East Coast tour, we’ve been venturing into a lot of unknown territory. With so many untested campuses and student bodies, we were hoping for the best, but always preparing for the worst. Thankfully, we have yet to feel as if even a single day has been wasted. At larger campuses like the University of Maryland and the University of Georgia, we have been able to spend several days reaching students, sometimes doing as many as 300 students in a single day, and 700 over a three day stint. At the smaller colleges like Baltimore City Community College and the University of North Georgia, we have found ways to maximize a day in order to make sure we reach as many students as possible. With student populations  often less than 1/4 the size of the larger state schools, we try to have longer, more probing conversations with the students. With less pressure to keep the kiosks full and the line moving, we use the extra time to really engage with and challenge each viewer to consider the ramifications of everything they see in the video, and to think long and hard about how their own behavior plays into the cycle of violence and death.

EastCoast_viewers

While in Georgia, we’ve also learned and been able to shine quite a bit of light on the state’s own role in global animal slaughter. UGA’s student group Speak Out for Species informed us that Georgia’s chicken slaughter industry is so large that it would qualify as the sixth largest poultry production country in the world, right behind China and Brazil. More than 1.2 billion chickens are killed in this state every year. It’s hard to miss all the slaughter transport trucks while we’re on Georgia’s highways, so we are bombarded with constant reminders of why we do this work for the animals.

EastCoast_chickentruck

The longer discussions also give us an opportunity to really unpack the question we get the most. “So what do you guys eat?” Sometimes it’s not enough to point out how short the list of things that we don’t eat is compared to the list of things that we do eat. Thankfully, we’ve been in lots of cities where there is amazing food to be had. Even those cities that we’ve only passed through on our way to events have provided plenty of opportunities to indulge in the local vegan fare. From Fern in Charlotte to Sunflower in Atlanta, we have been treated to some of the best vegan dining in the country. And it would be hard to count the number of amazing meals we’ve had in the homes of our hosts and volunteers.

EastCoast_breakfast

We are spending our last week here in Georgia, heading a bit further south towards Macon and Valdosta, before we finish our last month of tour in Florida. Though the the general makeup of our day will be consistent, we’ve learned that no two conversations are ever the same. We’ll keep making the best of every opportunity we’re given, and hoping that the impact we have continues to grow.

Read More

Updates from the Road: 10 Billion Lives Southwest Tour Saves Animals in California

Our 10 Billion Lives campaign is halfway through its fall tours and the crews are changing lives everywhere they go. We recently heard from the National Tour about their experience following Riot Fest. In today’s blog post, we’ll hear from Radish and Lauren, the crew for the Southwest Tour, about their outreach in California. Please leave them a note of encouragement and gratitude in the comments for their sacrifice and hard work! 

Greetings from sunny Southern California! Lauren and I (Radish) have been spreading awareness about the negative impact of animal agriculture and what we can all do to stop it for the last month throughout the Southwestern United States with FARM’s powerful 4-minute documentary.

We started our tour at Ventura College, where we broke the previous record for viewers there on day one! Part of our success there and at other schools comes from our wonderful, dedicated, and knowledgeable volunteers, like Barbara Bear. She helped us draw in viewers and articulate our vegan message for 7 entire event days! Barbara and her husband, Matt, also hosted us in their lovely home the entire time we were in Ventura County. Ventura College would be the first out of nine schools that we’ve spread our message of compassion. For the last three weeks we’ve been visiting community colleges and universities throughout Orange County, and we’ve been met with overwhelmingly positive receptions! I talked to someone just yesterday who had “never been able to make it through one of these videos,” but was more than eager to learn what she could do to help animals. “I’m definitely going vegan after finding out about all that stuff. I just didn’t think our individual actions could make a difference, and I didn’t know what to eat on a vegan diet.” She said that she felt much better equipped to go vegan after sticking around to talk to us for at least half an hour and getting a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating.

SWTourvolunteer

We try to prepare a lot of our own food on tour, but the temptation of all the amazing vegan dining out options is too much to resist in California! One of our favorite spots that we’ve found is Healthy Junk in Anaheim, an all vegan restaurant serving up delicious food. I got the Fish Burger and Lauren got the Stak & Kale Taco the first time we went there. Another reason we love Healthy Junk is because of all the outreach and community events they host and support! We found out about a Cowspiracy screening through their event board. They even gave us free desserts when they found out what we are doing on tour!

SWTourblogfood

We’re almost half way through the fall semester, and we’ve already managed to reach nearly 3,000 people not just with our powerful video, 10 Billion Lives, but also with moving conversations. As more and more people become exposed to information and images of animals abused for food production, it becomes even more important for tours like these to be able to talk to people face-to-face. There are many misconceptions about veganism out there, and it is such a great feeling to be able to address those and any concerns people may have about changing their lifestyles to be more in line with their values.

We have one more week here in SoCal before heading to campuses in Arizona and Nevada. We’ll keep you all updated on our adventures from the road! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who have taken time out of their lives to help us in our mission of making the world a better place and our donors that make this all possible! Shout outs to our fellow road warriors making positive changes on the East Coast and National tours! And major props to all the amazing behind-the-scenes people at FARM that keep us all going, especially our Program Coordinator, Beau!

-Radish and Lauren

SWTourblog

Keep up with all three of our 10 Billion Lives tour crews on Twitter and Instagram

Read More

World Day for Farmed Animals 2014 A Worldwide Success

WDFALogo

This year’s World Day for Farmed Animals can be called a smashing success by numbers alone. Over 12,000 people spanning 95 countries participated in a one-day Fast Against Slaughter. Over 1,700 activists distributed our informative “Have We Been Lied To?” booklet for the 200 Brochure Challenge. 17 slaughterhouse protests occurred in the United States and Canada alone.

As empowering as those numbers are, WDFA 2014 was also a smashing success in the unity it created around the world. On October 2nd, 2014, activists passionate for animal rights from small, remote towns to large, buzzing cities felt connected to farmed animals and their suffering, and connected to compassionate human beings in a one-day Fast Against Slaughter. Through pledging to abstain from food for one day, in solidarity and remembrance of farmed animals starved en route to slaughter, thousands of people around the world were connected in this peaceful, awareness-raising act. FARM’s social media pages were abuzz with participants proudly pledging to fast, sharing links and pictures, and forming bonds with and supporting other people. When the fight for farmed animals rights can at times feel so isolating, the Fast Against Slaughter reminded people of why we fight, and gave them hope to push on.

leilanimunterpledge

Here are just some of the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve received from participants of the Fast Against Slaughter:

“It was a humbling experience having felt what animals go through before slaughter. I now have a deeper understanding of the cruelty they go through in order to fulfill our appetites.”

This was my first time fasting and it was an extremely eye-opening experience. You truly share in the solidarity. I am proud to have participated.

“I am now going completely vegan instead of just cutting out eggs and milk.”

It not only helped raise awareness but for people who are already vegan it is a good time to reflect on what we are doing and reinforce the reasons we chose this lifestyle.

“It was the easiest fast I’ve ever undertaken I think because this fast was not for me personally, but rather for a bigger cause. Seeing the unity across the globe and the great number [of people] who participated gave me strength and hope that animal activists are making a difference and increased my will to continue.”

Really emotional and moving day. Feel closer and more connected than ever to the animals.

“It helped me gain confidence in my willpower and compassion!”

Vegetarian before the Fast Against Slaughter. Vegan after.

To see some of the thousands of fantastic pledge pictures, visit our Facebook photo album, or search with the hashtag #FastAgainstSlaughter on Twitter and Instagram. Also check out pictures from FARM’s protests at the Perdue chicken plant and the USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Toronto Pig Save’s WDFA demonstration in Canada.

To get the full scoop on all the WDFA 2014 activity, read the full report here.

Feeling inspired and ready to do more for animals? Join our Compassionate Activist Network and earn rewards for helping animals!

Read More

10 Billion Lives Tour Rocks Riot Fest!

Our 10 Billion Lives National Tour, led by Angie and Loren, had an amazing time doing outreach at Riot Fest in Toronto, Chicago, and Denver! In this blog post, the crew tell us about their experience.

Greetings from the road! The National Tour Crew has had an amazing start to our fall touring adventure. We kicked off early September with three weeks of traveling from Toronto, Canada to Denver, Colorado with the music festival, Riot Fest!

 Toronto

Riot Fest brings in tens of thousands of music lovers to each of their 3 festival locations (Toronto, Chicago, and Denver) and our crew and dedicated volunteers were ready and waiting at each one to educate the masses on the realities of life for animals in the meat, egg, and dairy industries. One of the greatest things about touring with Riot Fest is that many of the bands playing the festival have outspoken vegan musicians and lyrics about animal rights, like Rise Against and Bring Me The Horizon. This sets the scene for having great conversations with viewers about the ways in which veganism is becoming mainstream in society and is already present in their own lives. Not only that, but all three Riot Fest locations offered lots of delicious vegan food options! Highlights of our time at Toronto Riot Fest included: enlightening over 1000 viewers in 2 days, chatting with viewers while Death Cab For Cutie played live in the background, and being hosted each night by a fantastic local animal rescue, All Creatures Rescue!

 Chicago

From Toronto we travelled to beautiful (yet much colder!) Chicago, Illinois for three more awesome days of outreach. Highlights of our time at Chicago Riot Fest included: getting insanely delicious vegan food delivered (via bicycle!) from Upton’s Breakroom every day for lunch, hearing the words “I’m ready to go vegan” again and again and again, and hanging out with dedicated volunteers day after day like Alex, pictured above, who spent all three days volunteering with us and on top of that spent one evening leafletting festival goers when we’d finished up pay-per-view! Now THAT’S dedication to the animals! (Check out the FARM leaflet Alex was handing out here: http://farmusa.org/LiedToInfo.html)

 Chicago2

From Chicago we traveled to our final Riot Fest destination: Denver, Colorado! We were absolutely blown away by the number of people in Denver who came up to the truck thanking us for being there, and explaining that they were already vegan or vegetarian. Not surprising in an area with so much animal activism and so many incredible vegan restaurants! Highlights of our time in Denver included: Meeting Liz, pictured below, who told us she credits our video with helping inspire her to go vegan a year ago and who then came back to our truck the following day in-between band sets to volunteer with us, the truly phenomenal activist scene we received so much help from, and visiting Nooch, the Denver all-vegan grocery store!

Denver2

With the festivals over we’ve headed back to the Midwest to begin our campus tour and are currently in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thanks for catching up with us! More on our adventures on college campuses next time!

– Angie & Loren

Cheer on all THREE of our 10 Billion Lives crews on Instagram

Read More