The 10 Billion Lives Tour has been on the road for just over two weeks now, and as a result, over 2,000 individuals in Oregon and California have seen the horrors inflicted upon animals on farms. The vehicle took off from Portland after several events at Portland State University and a fantastic launch party at the vegan mini-mall. The warmth and support from the Portland community was encouraging and inspiring as we set off to make some waves.
Our first event, after hitting the road (at University of Oregon in Eugene), reached 282 viewers in one day! Many students had never been exposed to the reality of animal suffering that is so inherent to animal products that are so commonly ingested, and most pledged to eat fewer animal products. The sun beat down and made for a gorgeous day as we recruited students to get informed (and get paid) by watching “Farm to Fridge.”
After a long drive, we landed in Sacramento, California. Events at Sierra College in nearby Rocklin opened many eyes and attracted media attention from ABC 10 television station and the Sacramento Bee newspaper that featured the 10 Billion Lives Tour on the front page of Friday’s paper! At our event at Sacramento’s Artwalk on Saturday evening, four TV stations came out to cover the buzz. Countless conversations about the suffering of animals in our food system were sparked by FARM’s presence, and they transcended the streets of Sacramento. Television sets and newspapers brought these vital conversations to the living rooms of families and friends to encourage dialogue about our relationships with animals.
After leaving Sacramento with some serious food for thought, the 10 Billion Lives Tour headed southbound for San Luis Obispo to take a much-needed day off. We were greeted with open arms by FARM staffer Matt Bear and his wonderful partner Barbara. A replenishing walk through the sand dunes, homemade gingersnaps, a delicious dinner, and hot showers sent us forth feeling clean and ready to take the tour to Santa Barbara. We spent four days in the crowded college beach town, with nearly 700 students watching the video!
We then traveled further south to the Escondido Street Fair yesterday, where we tolerated the disturbing smoke from nearby BBQs long enough to reach 329 people for the day. I’m left here sunburned and inspired, by the conversations we’ve had and grateful for all the incredible support we’ve been given along the way. These first two weeks of the tour has been wildly successful, and I can only dream about what gardens will grow from all these seeds being planted. This is just the beginning.