Volunteers in San Francisco passed out 2,900 cones for Free Vegan Cone Day.

Ben & Jerry’s has held their marketing event Free Cone Day every spring since 1979—this year it fell on Tuesday, April 12. At nearly every store location, they attracted the usual lines down the block and served thousands of people free ice cream cones. Unfortunately, what is a fun day for many people is just another day of torment for the animals in the dairy and egg industries.

We know three things about those people in line for Free Cone Day: they consume dairy, they want something for free, and they like ice cream. Armed with several gallons of vegan ice cream, FARM staff and volunteers were able to distribute over 4,000 cones along with thousands of handouts explaining the horror that farmed animals endure for products like ice cream to be made.

A dozen of these new billboards go up today in San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles!

If you’re already vegan (and we hope you are!), you’ve probably noticed that most billboards aren’t targeted toward you. We see lots of ads for meaty fast food chains—or sometimes a nearby zoo or marine park—and while these billboards certainly don’t dictate our purchasing habits, they are hard to ignore.

Farm Animal Rights Movement has long tried to take back some of this ad space on buses, television, and billboards and use it instead to promote compassionate choices.

In the past year alone, FARM has run a dozen billboards in different major cities in the United States. In anticipation of Earth Day later this month, today we posted 12 new billboards in San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles to encourage drivers to offset their car’s carbon footprint when it comes to mealtime.

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Feed lots are responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmentalists are often hesitant to address the ecological problems with animal agriculture—some people will happily drive a hybrid and change their light bulbs, but then plug their ears when told about the impact of their cheeseburgers. In fact, Al Gore has claimed that asking people to give up meat would make his arguments too difficult for the public to swallow.

But when experts have concluded that raising animals for food is a top cause for nearly every ecological problem on the planet, the argument is not difficult at all. For Earth Day, remind your omnivorous friends of what their meat habit is doing to the earth:

As I (Cindi Saadi) finish up my last week working with FARM and my last official post for the FARM Blog, I decided to share a few thoughts about a topic not often specifically discussed: the importance of vegan outreach for seniors in our communities.  On the heels of a very successful Meatout campaign packed with so much passionate vegan outreach, I want to highlight some of the significant benefits of including seniors as part of the vegan outreach audience. And for purposes of this post, “seniors” are people age 60 and over.

Vegan outreach activities are frequently focused on the younger crowd and for reasons that make good sense. After all, young people are forming and refining their life beliefs and tend to be more open to considering new concepts and challenging traditional models. The younger years are an ideal time to become aware of the impact of diet on our health, the animals, and our global environment, and to make beneficial changes. And of course, young people have a lifetime ahead of them to affect change for future generations.

This factory-farmed pig wants people of all ages to hear the vegan message!

Although many outreach efforts do not set out to exclude any group of people, one concern is the risk of limiting vegan outreach for seniors because of assumptions that they are less open to new ideas and less willing to change. Although this may be true in certain cases, it is not true across the board. Seniors may have well-established beliefs, but everyone is capable of change. When presented with real, compelling information, most seniors will consider it thoughtfully. And as far as a senior having less time ahead of them than a younger individual, see the section below about people with incredible accomplishments after age 60. Plus, each moment we have is precious, no matter what age.

So seniors might be a more challenging audience, but the benefits of including them, in my opinion, are well worth it and can have significant positive outcomes for the vegan/animal rights cause.

And one thing is certain…. the animals want EVERYONE to hear the vegan message, no matter how young or old we are!

Here are a few of the benefits to / reasons for including seniors in vegan outreach:

WISDOM: Seniors have a wealth of invaluable life wisdom to offer. I often wonder how my father keeps such a library of information in his head, from important facts to solutions to your everyday household emergency. I can often skip the Internet and simply call Dad. People in other countries (perhaps more so than in the U.S.) revere, protect, and respect their elderly community members and place great value on their contributions and wisdom. Thus, given the many significant health-related benefits of a plant-based diet, introducing senior folks to a vegan lifestyle would likely increase the amount of time we have our wise ones with us. And having them with us, fortifies us. Continue reading »

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