Meet our newest Board Member – Alyssa Foggia-Hamm

Our board of directors has recently added a new member. Alyssa (she/her) has been an animal advocate with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for about three years and now she’s adding CAA to that list. As a professional writer and marketer, Alyssa brings a creative lens to our work.

Alyssa is a Minnesota native, born and raised. She works for herself at Fabacts, LLC as a freelance writer and creative marketing specialist. She’s also a part-time indoor cycling instructor at the family-owned boutique spin studio, Surge Cycling.

Alyssa’s plant-based journey started almost immediately after she watched the documentary What the Health in 2017. That film inspired her to cut red meat cold turkey. As she educated herself on the dairy and fishing industries, it didn’t take much time to cut all animals products from her diet.

Since her transition to the vegan life, she’s taken an interest in agriculture, food politics, animal welfare and public health. As a fitness junkie and long-time health enthusiast, Alyssa is passionate about getting people to not only live a plant-based lifestyle, but one that’s intentional, compassionate, balanced and good for overall health. Alyssa’s approach to advocacy in her personal life is a little unconventional, often using sarcasm and humor to connect with an audience and get her message across.

Alyssa got involved with CAA in 2020 through her work with HSUS – just in time for Twin Cities Veg Fest planning! She jumped in to help plan our CAA food giveaway booth, and spent her first Veg Fest handing out samples of plant-based hot dogs and engaging with attendees. With the desire to make a big impact in her local community, she wasted no time joining the board of directors in 2021. She’s looking forward to supporting the organization through events and community outreach. She’s already taken on a role in CAA’s Wholesome Minnesota initiative, which brings together two of her passion areas – food and health.

She’s honored to be a part of our amazing board of directors and hopes to bring some of her writing and marketing talents to the table as needed.

She answered some of our questions below to help us get to know her better.

What motivated you to get involved with animal advocacy?

I think at some point after everything I had learned about the way we use animals for our benefit, no matter how awful the circumstances, I just got really mad. And instead of complaining about things, I decided to take action and do whatever I can to open people’s eyes and help protect animals.

What about CAA appeals to you?

The overall mission of CAA and its approach of meeting people where they’re at is refreshing. I’ve had conversations with other vegans who view a plant-based lifestyle as being black and white. That perspective can seem judgmental and turn people off to the idea completely – where CAA welcomes everyone who’s interested in trying a plant-based lifestyle, no matter where they’re at in their journey. That’s how I want people to think of our plant-based community – encouraging, positive and supportive.

What are your hopes for CAA and for the animal protection movement?

My hope for CAA is that it expands into our surrounding suburbs outside the Twin Cities. Our Wholesome Minnesota initiative is already working with local institutions in surrounding cities, but I’d love to see CAA have a presence at some of the town festivals around the state.

My biggest hope for the animal protection movement is that people take it seriously. That’s still an obstacle that drives me nuts when I talk to friends and family. They just don’t seem to care. I’ve also heard people say they don’t want to know where their food comes from because it would make them sad. (Which also makes my head explode.) Part of why I advocate is to encourage people to do their research on what they’re putting in their body, and how their decisions affect living beings who feel fear and pain just like us.

Speaking of compassionate living, what are your favorite vegan foods?

Oh, man. If I’m splurging on a good vegan meal, it likely isn’t something healthy…I’d say my top three are a good vegan burger, vegan pizza and vegan mac and cheese.

How do you spend your time when you’re not advocating for animals?

When I’m not working, at the studio, or snuggling my dog, I step back into my role as CHO (chief house operator). I enjoy taking care of my home and cooking all sorts of vegan food for my meat-eating husband. I also volunteer with The Humane Society of the United States through lobbying efforts and other legislative action items to help get animal protection laws passed.

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