Oakland High School 4/5/12

CFFF had a wonderful high school debut in a 9th grade English class at Oakland High School. We were presenting in conjunction with Oakland V...

CFFF had a wonderful high school debut in a 9th grade English class at Oakland High School. We were presenting in conjunction with Oakland Veg Week, happening April 15-21.  We began with a game in which I asked a question and students stood up if their answer was yes and sat down if their answer was no. This allowed students to get some energy out and directly engage, and it allowed me to assess the attitudes and knowledge of my audience before I started the presentation. I began by asking students whether they think about where their food comes from before they eat it. Almost every student indicated that they do not think about where their food comes from, and they seemed surprised by the question. Good thing we were there to get them thinking. Then I asked if they thought that animals had feelings. Every single person answered yes, animals have feelings, and many people talked about their dogs and cats. Last I asked whether students get stomach aches after they eat, and about 2/3 of the class said that they sometimes get stomach aches. After the game, students helped pass out the free food samples provided by donations from VegFund and Safeway. I made chocolate chip cookies and an enchilada casserole, and brought chocolate and vanilla almond milk. Many students were surprised by how good the almond milk tasted, and several students said the food was "hecka good."

cfff-at-ohs-1024x768.jpg Then I gave a modified version of our presentation. I discussed animals, workers, and the environment, and also addressed health issues. The audience was predominantly African American, so I talked about how African American communities have high rates of diabetes (1 in 4 African Americans will have diabetes by age 55) and heart disease, and how people can reclaim their health from the fast food companies that target their communities by eating a healthier, more plant-based diet. Students had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the presentation. Many students said that they want to start eating less meat, one student took the Oakland Veg Week Pledge, and other students were enthusiastic about trying the new, healthier recipes that I distributed.


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