Theresa has been an active volunteer with CAA for several years, volunteering at potlucks, Twin Cities Veg Fest, video outreach, the Chili Cook-Off, and more, and has been a member of the CAA Board of Directors since 2017. She believes that education is the key to changing the world. Read on to learn more about Theresa in this week’s Volunteer Shoutout!
What drew you personally to veganism?
My aha moment came when I became a vegetarian. I was in the Peace Corps and was walking to and from my activities past a market where the animals were alive when I went there in the morning and when I walked past on the way home their dead carcasses were hanging up with fleas on them. It brought home that the food that I used to eat which was sanitized for me in a cellophane package from the store was actually from an animal that lived and had feelings. This was supported by readings I did like Diet for a New America which had a huge impact in the new context.
What are three tips you share with folks who would like to go veg?
- I feel that it is important to find what works for you. Some people are not able to completely switch over at once and need to be incremental and some need to do it fully right away (I was that way). But there is no one approach that works.
- Find a support system—go to vegan meetups, etc.
- Educate yourself on how to get the proper nutrition and what products are out there to support you (and restaurants!)
How did you get involved with CAA?
I went to an tea and cookie event with discussions of vegan issues/support. Then I volunteered to do Pay Per view at Cinco de Mayo.
Do you have a favorite CAA event?
I like doing the Virtual Reality events as it can have such a strong impact on those who participate! And all the social events/potlucks!
Outside of volunteering with CAA and serving on our board, how do you spend your time/what are you doing?
I have a very demanding job that keeps me busy as the manager of adult programming for Anoka Hennepin schools. Outside of work I like to participate in the Svaroopa Yoga community and the social justice community at First Unitarian society. I like reading, walking, eating out with my husband and petting my cats!
When did you start practicing laughter yoga and how has it impacted your life?
When I turned 55 I decided to give myself a gift of learning a new skill that I could offer to other people as a benefit. I participated in a Laugter Yoga session and thought it was fun and healing and heard about a training to be a facilitator. That weekend seminar was my gift to myself and since then I only do it a few times a year as a benefit to various non profits to help them with fundraising auctions or just as a service to their members. I enjoying bringing joy to others. This spring I will be doing one of them for my Community Education department and one with our Adults with Disabilities program—outside! Looking forward to the new challenge.