Monday, June 26, 2006

Veggie Hero: Jon Camp

This week's Veggie Hero is Jon Camp, the hard working outreach coordinator for Vegan Outreach. He has been actively leafleting for Vegan Outreach for four years and has been an employee for about two years. Jon has handed out an amazing 160,000 copies of "Why Vegan" and "Even If You Like Meat" booklets in that time -- mostly at colleges across the nation. He has also distributed more than 80,000 pro-veg booklets for other groups. Jon lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Vegetarian or vegan?
Vegan

How long have you been veg*n?
I've been vegetarian for a little over 11 years, vegan for a little over eight years.

What inspired you to go veg?
In the spring of 1995, I took an ethics course at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. My professor spent one day explaining what animals endure on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. Moreover, he gave some convincing arguments as to why this should possibly be of moral concern to us. As I'd considered the issue before and always had a sense of empathy for animals, I was convinced and went vegetarian that day. After reading about the issue more, I eventually went vegan.

What's your best story of trying to find veg food?
While I try to be one who dwells on the positive, I've found it quite easy to get vegetarian food about anywhere. During the last two schooI years I've driven around pretty much most of the eastern half of the United States as well as the south, handing out booklets at colleges. I can't remember going hungry once. The amount of vegetarian and vegan food available at mainstream supermarkets and restaurants continues to increase daily.

How do you handle family holiday dinners?
I live far away from most of my family so holiday dinners tend to be by myself or with some fellow vegans. That said, members of my family (some of them veg, some not) are quite respectful of my veganism and I've always found that treating others with a sense of courtesy and kindness is in the animals' best interests.

What's your favorite veg food?
Ethiopian

Do you have a favorite veg book?
As self-promoting as it may sound, I like simplicity and think that Vegan Outreach's "Why Vegan?" and "Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating" make a convincing, succinct case as to why one should adopt a vegetarian diet and how one would go about doing so in a healthy, sustainable manner. If individuals would like a free copy, they can order one here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/starterpack/free-vsp.html

Tofu or tempeh?
I'm a man of frugality and tofu tends to be cheaper.

What did you have for breakfast today?
I started off the morning with a banana and some orange juice, worked out and then throughout the morning, while at my computer, filled my belly up with two bagels (one blueberry with soy margarine, one multigrain with apple butter).

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