Meet Haley Hastings, the president of the Compassionate Action for Animals student group at Augsburg University (also known as CAA Augsburg Vegan Club). Haley is a Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies major from New York state working towards graduate school in social work. When she’s not advocating for animals, you might find her gardening or playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Haley found out about CAA through the Augsburg chapter last summer. After being vegan for seven years, she was drawn to joining the group by more opportunities to be a vegan activist. “I’d never really done any activism besides telling my friends and family about what happens in farms, so it seemed like a really good way to make a difference in something that really mattered to me,” said Haley.
Her favorite volunteering memories are from working pay-per-view and hearing people say that they planned to go vegan that day after viewing the video. “It’s incredible to me to be able to affect the life of that person in just a few minutes, and to help all of the animals they would’ve eaten otherwise.”
As president of the new chapter, Haley is focused on growing the group this year and increasing awareness and recognition of the club. The group plans to focus on a few key events this semester in addition to an ongoing discussion about adhering to a vegan lifestyle, including food giveaways around Halloween and finals week. They also are looking to organize a fall farm sanctuary trip.
One of her favorite things about the Augsburg group is the community space it provides for new and established vegans alike. “One member of my group has felt very isolated because she didn’t know any other vegans before coming to the club,” said Haley. “It’s good to have a sense of community.”
The Augsburg group was formed spring 2018. Its tight-knit group ties their veganism back to the animals and invites all (vegan and non-vegan alike) who are curious about plant-based living and animal rights.
This spring, they plan to become involved with the Augsburg Environmental Fair and increase their presence at other campus events. Haley looks for opportunities to connect the Augsburg group with other CAA events and volunteer opportunities outside their chapter.
She is proud of her group and looks forward to its future possibilities. “I’m really grateful for both Augsburg and CAA. They’ve both been incredibly helpful and supportive in setting up this new club and I’m really excited to see where it leads.”
If you’re a college student in the Twin Cities looking to become involved with one of our CAA student groups, visit our campus page to learn more. (High school students are welcome, too!) Weekly meetings have started up for this fall semester, and we have other upcoming volunteer opportunities listed here.