On the road with Compassionate Communities

By Nick Cooney

October 2, 2012

Two months. Eleven cities. Tens of thousands of people educated about the cruelties of factory farming and the benefits of vegan eating. Hundreds of volunteers taught how to become more effective advocates for animals.

That was the goal of the Compassionate Communities national tour as it kicked off on a sunny San Francisco afternoon last week. Compassionate Communities Manager Nick Cooney led a workshop on effective advocacy for farm animals. Touching on research covered in his book Change Of Heart, Nick explained how animal advocates can become more persuasive when speaking to family, friends and the public about farm animal issues. Volunteers shared their personal experiences and networked with one another to make plans for carrying out Compassionate Communities programs together.

Immediately after the workshop, volunteers headed to a festival to distribute vegan food samples and pass out hundreds of Farm Sanctuary’s new “Something Better” veg advocacy leaflet. Others headed downtown to leaflet hundreds of tourists and locals shopping in San Francisco’s bustling downtown area. The next day, the advocacy work continued at the University of California at Berkeley where we distributed information to 1,800 students on the reality of factory farms and the benefits of veg eating. One student even doubled back to mention that she changed her life and her diet two years ago as a result of receiving a similar booklet.

The tour then headed north to Portland, Oregon, and from there on to Seattle, for three more workshops and a half dozen additional outreach events. All told, over 150 Compassionate Communities volunteers joined us for workshops in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, and over 9,000 members of the public were reached with information about factory farming and vegan eating.

As the tour rolls on to other key cities –  Boston, New York, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Phoenix, and Los Angeles – the groundswell of local advocacy for farm animals will continue. We are building compassionate communities one city at a time – and we hope you’ll join us in our work!


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