Volunteering can be a family affair! Meet CAA volunteers and mother-son duo, Beth and Erik Sawyer. They’ve been helping with CAA activities for years — embracing everything from handing out pamphlets at Grand Old Days to writing Postcards for Animals. Read below for Beth’s account of what inspires her and her son, Erik, to maintain a plant-based lifestyle and pitch in to spread the word.
“I discovered CAA shortly after moving back to the Twin Cities from Red Wing, Minn. At that point my family had been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years. I was excited to find a group of people who held the same values as we held. The first event we attended was a potluck at Matthews Park Community Center where we met Laura.
My son Erik and I are always looking for ways to be of service, and CAA offered opportunities in which we could volunteer together. The summer after we learned of CAA, Erik and I handed out pamphlets at Grand Old Days and assisted people who stopped by our booth to watch a video about factory farming. Back in 2018 our family’s motivation for eating a plant-based diet was health-driven. After many years of eschewing animal products, however, Erik, my husband Mike and I have developed a sense of obligation to protect the animals with whom we share space on this earth.
Erik will tell you that writing postcards for CAA was a tedious but satisfying experience. No doubt he would prefer to work at a booth at a street festival. We had a few positive responses from the mailings including one of Erik’s former teachers and a friend from Red Wing. It felt good to introduce people in our circle of friends to the broader community of CAA.
In our spare time, of which we had an overabundance recently, Erik and I cook vegan meals for our family and try out new vegan dessert recipes we find on the internet. We make up new games for our dog Piña and bike around the Twin Cities. We have developed a long list of new vegan restaurants to bike to once the weather is a little warmer. When it is safe again, you will definitely see both Erik and me and maybe even Piña at a CAA table at a street festival this summer.”