Leafleting: Extending a Helping Hand to Farmed Animals
Farmed animals now account for nearly 99% (and chickens alone for over 90%) of all the animals killed in U.S. by humans. Over nine billion cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys are killed for our nation’s dinner tables each year. In more personal terms, one person’s lifetime of meat-eating subsidizes the abuse and butchering of over 2,400 animals. The vast majority of these animals live short, miserable lives of deprivation, intensive confinement, painful mutilations, stressful transport, cruel handling and violent slaughter.
Because our diets are, far and away, the leading cause of animal exploitation, our diets can also serve as the single most important tool to prevent and end farmed animal abuse.
Few consumers give meaningful thought to what, or who, they are eating each day – let alone the suffering they fund with their meat, dairy and egg purchases.
During a time when an ever-increasing majority of Americans proclaim empathy toward all animals – including farmed animals – it is crucial that conscientious consumers be presented with honest information about the consequences of their food choices on animals. Surely, as more individuals awaken to the reality that the hidden cost of burgers, hotdogs and omelets is egregious animal cruelty, more and more will begin transitioning to a violence-free, plant-based diet. Reducing and eliminating consumer demand for cruel animal products is the best way to address farmed animal abuse at its root cause.
Though a seemingly simple approach, leafleting – distributing free literature detailing the plight of farmed animals and encouraging readers to boycott cruelty by going vegan – holds incredible power in building a kinder future for all creatures.
The Power of a Leaflet
Throughout the country, Mercy For Animals advocates distribute free brochures highlighting cruelty-free food choices.
Putting free information directly into the hands of the public embodies MFA's core philosophy and strategies: promoting humane eating, cost-effective grassroots activism, volunteerism and dedication to putting a friendly face on animal advocacy.
Leafleting campaigns for numerous causes have frequently yielded impressive results, such as boosting voter turnout and influencing the outcome of ballot initiatives. Similarly, MFA has found that vegan outreach leafleting can have a dramatic influence and create positive changes for animals.
In one year alone, MFA volunteers frequently distribute over half a million pieces of pro-vegetarian literature during over 400 events. With your help, we can reach even more people with our message of compassion in this and upcoming years.
The power of leafleting and its benefits for animals cannot be overestimated. Leafleting is effective on a number of fronts, making it one of MFA's core strategies for promoting cruelty-free food choices:
Advocacy made easy. An individual can often hand out anywhere from 200 to 300 leaflets in an hour. Leafleting is great because you don’t need a large group of people or extensive advance planning. It’s non-confrontational, and you can reach a large number of people in a short period of time.
Reducing the greatest amount of suffering. If you spend only two or three hours a month on leafleting, you can easily hand out as many as 500 or more leaflets. If you conservatively estimate that one in every 100 people you leaflet is eventually compelled to go vegetarian, you've inspired five new vegetarians or vegans in that month alone.
Over the course of the year, one dedicated leafleter can motivate a total of more than 50 people to transition toward vegetarianism and spare more than 10,000 animals from a lifetime of suffering! In addition to those who actually transition to vegetarian lifestyles, you will also have encouraged countless others to reduce their consumption of meat and other animal products. Simply put, the more leaflets you hand out, the more you will be helping to reduce animal suffering.
Real change, funded by spare change: Leafleting is a cost-effective form of advocacy – positively impacting lives and creating real societal change for mere pennies per person reached. By leafleting, MFA advocates take our core message and place it directly into the hands of potential vegetarians. Leafleting is a key component of our outreach efforts because it's effective and expenses are primarily limited to printing costs. Leafleting is a grassroots outreach activity that has unlimited potential as long as new activists join in participation.
Raising awareness, propelled by positive interactions: Through professional and positive leafleting events, our interactions with the public, as brief as they may be, put a friendly face on animal advocacy, while building a deeper and broader understanding and awareness of the problems of factory farming. As mentioned above, even those who do not go vegetarian as a result of reviewing our literature are, at the very least, exposed to the violent and cruel reality of modern meat, dairy and egg production.
Many literature recipients continue to reconsider their food choices and work to decrease the animal foods in their diets. Others will inevitably pass along the literature to friends, family, co-workers and roommates. The lifetime and influence of a pamphlet often extends well beyond the initial person receiving it.
Opening the hearts of the open-minded: Much of MFA’s pro-vegetarian leafleting events take place on college campuses, outside high schools, at humane society functions, Earth Day events and other community venues where young, or otherwise open-minded, individuals converge. With limited time and resources, it’s vital that we focus our efforts on reaching those individuals most receptive to vegetarianism’s core message and values, as well as those most ready and able to make the transition.
Get Active: How You Can Help
Leaflet in your community: Consider planning your own leafleting activities based on your schedule and familiarity with your own home territory. Click here to read the complete guide to organizing your own leafleting event – outlining how to find an ideal location, ordering literature and encouraging friends and fellow activists in your area to join you. Many MFA volunteers regularly leaflet independently, but others prefer to contact others to make it a group event that is more effective and enjoyable. The possibilities are limitless: concerts, parks, parades, train and bus stations, street fairs, festivals - virtually any place that attracts large flows of passersby has the potential to be a successful leafleting location.
Intern with MFA: Put your compassion into action with an MFA internship. Internship opportunities are available year-round at our offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas. Click here for additional information and an internship application.
Sponsor a Leafleter: Each year, MFA activists in various states coordinate hundreds of leafleting events – distributing hundreds of thousands of leaflets filled with important information to students and other open-minded individuals. Such vital outreach efforts spare countless animals the horrors of factory farms and slaughterhouses. Please consider sponsoring an MFA leafleter by making a tax-deductible contribution. Your donation will help cover literature and travel expenses for a member of our leafleting crew.
Donate now! Make a tax-deductible contribution to support Mercy For Animals' life-saving work on behalf of the most abused and neglected creatures on earth: farmed animals. Click here for information on joining MFA's monthly giving club, and click here for information on joining The Hope Society.