CAA welcomes Gigi Abbadie to our Board of Directors. Learn more about Gigi, what motivated her to become involved with CAA’s board, and the many ways she shows up to help animals.
Why did you join the CAA board?
I am a huge fan of CAA and love how the organization extends a friendly hand to anyone interested in learning more about veganism, whether it is for their love of animals, a desire to be healthier or to reduce their environmental footprint.
What kinds of things do you like to do to advocate for animals?
I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of MN, working at intake and in the squirrel nursery. I am also a first responder for Red Rover, an organization that rescues animals in cases of disasters, neglect and other emergencies, and am certified by FEMA in disaster response. I helped with efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition, I have volunteered with Fur Free Minneapolis and I was a dog foster mom with Happy Tails Rescue and Midwest Animal Rescue and Services. I am now the proud mother of three rescue dogs.
What is your professional experience with advocacy?
Professionally, I created and ran Aveda’s signature fundraising program, Earth Month, which worked with and supported over 100 environmental organizations around the world. I have worked closely with PETA, being the cruelty-free liaison for Aveda. Also, in my role at Aveda I had a strong working relationship with the Wildlife Enterprise Network, Audubon MN, the National Wildlife Federation and Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Now as a Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategist with Two Trees Strategy, I help businesses incorporate advocacy into their organization. Not only is it what consumers are asking for, it’s what we all need to do as citizens of our community and the world.
How did you come to eat a plant-based diet?
I was vegetarian for over 30 years and never in a million years believed I would become vegan. Not because of cheese, but dessert! As I had hardcore vegan tendencies, it was coming to the realization of how cruel the dairy industry is that pushed me over the edge. Since then I have been happier and healthier and want to help others feel the same kind of pride and wellbeing that I do. My passion for plant-based food led me to earn a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell!