Theresa Zingery and Nathan Gaut recently joined our board of directors. Learn more about these two dedicated animal advocates here.
Theresa Zingery has lived on and off in Minneapolis for more than thirty years. She is currently the director of the Adult Academic Program of Robbinsdale Area Schools, a school for adults who want to learn English or get a High School Credential.
Nathan Gaut was born and raised in San Diego. He moved to the Twin Cities in 2016 to pursue a PhD in biochemistry and is currently a graduate student researching biotechnology and synthetic biology.
What motivated you to get involved with animal advocacy?
Theresa: In 2015, I heard more about what happens to animals on factory farms, and I went vegan after thirty years as a vegetarian. I was motivated to get involved in animal advocacy because it’s important to me to live my values and to share them with others. I think education is key to changing the world and believe that if people know the truth about factory farming they would change how they eat.
Nathan: I never liked the taste of meat, so I was raised vegetarian almost my whole life. In college, I started thinking more about my diet’s impact on animals and three years ago decided to make the switch to being vegan. After moving to the Twin Cities, I felt comfortable with my new diet and wanted to get more involved in animal advocacy, which was when I got involved with the CAA student group at the University of Minnesota. I attended a few of their weekly meetings and from there joined the Twin Cities Veg Fest planning committee as Exhibitor Logistics Coordinator.
What about CAA appeals to you?
Theresa: I feel that the mission and vision of CAA are in keeping with my values. I very much value our pay-per-view and virtual reality outreach programs and have focused a lot of my volunteering with CAA in those areas.
Nathan: I’m always excited to see how CAA creates a sense of community and supports people moving toward plant-based eating. The organization also maintains a positive and encouraging tone with all of its outreach. The fact that the CAA community has been growing in the past few years shows that this welcoming approach is really working.
What are your hopes for CAA and for the animal protection movement?
Theresa: The time is ripe for people to embrace compassion. The world is open to the vegan message, and I think the tide has turned. Through my work at CAA, I want to help this momentum to accelerate, growing the compassionate community right here in the Twin Cites.
Nathan: My hope for CAA is that it to continue to grow and reach more people. It is astounding how far the animal advocacy movement has come in the past few years; there are fully vegan restaurants, plentiful vegan options at most other restaurants, and the word “vegan” is part of everyone’s vocabulary. As it becomes easier and more socially acceptable to be vegan, I think that CAA will be instrumental in helping more and more people make that shift to a compassionate lifestyle.
Speaking of compassionate living, what are your favorite vegan foods?
Theresa: My favorite vegan foods are usually Indian, Middle Eastern, or Asian food, but vegan pizza is a favorite too. (Pizza Luce!)
Nathan: I’m always choosing new favorite recipes, but right now, my favorite is a simple tofu and veggie stir-fry over rice.
How do you spend your time when you’re not advocating for animals?
Theresa: I’m active in the Svaroopa Yoga community and am a social activist on various causes, including immigrant rights, equity for all, ending racism, death with dignity, and the environment. I live with my husband, David Breeden, and two furry kids of the cat variety.
Nathan: I enjoy exploring nature, reading, motorcycling, and checking out local breweries.
We’re honored to have Theresa and Nathan join the board and look forward to working with them to end the exploitation of animals.
Board meetings are open to the public. If you’d like to attend a board meeting or would like more information about the board member selection process, contact Laura Matanah at firstname.lastname@example.org.