Introducing our new Board Member—Dyne Stephenson

Dyne with his friend Tiger

Dyne Stephenson has been an educator, animal advocate, and vegan, for over 25 years.  Since 2016, he has been a volunteer in many different CAA roles, including coordinator positions for the CAA Banquet and Twin Cities Veg Fest.  Additionally, he has attended and volunteered at Vegan Chili Cook Offs, Dine-Outs, potlucks, film screenings, and other events. We welcome him into his new role as our latest board member.

We asked Dyne some questions so that we can get to know him better:

What motivated you to get involved with animal advocacy?

In 1992, I went to see Alex Pacheco, the co-founder of PETA, speak at CU-Boulder. He was a great speaker, but the video he showed of animal torture and killing shocked me deeply. I became vegetarian that night, and a vegan after reading and watching more. Soon after, I became a volunteer for Rocky Mountain Animal Defense and the leader of the CU-Boulder Animal Rights Group.

What about CAA appeals to you?

I applaud the gentle, non-confrontational, educational, community and youth oriented approach of CAA to move people towards a more kind, thoughtful and sustainable diet and world.  All the offerings are organized and enacted on a small budget, a few staff members and an enormous number of volunteers. CAA is an organization that takes the plight of oppressed farm animals very seriously.  Through its public efforts to end animal product consumption, it creates events and opportunities for the public and volunteers to see how their individual decisions can either create harm or peace. 

In addition, CAA’s growing focus on the intersectionality of oppression is important, relevant and inspiring.  Speciesism, racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, etc. intersect in society and in the individual. Increasing awareness of what happens to one, happens to all.  CAA helps teach that we are all connected. 

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

I would like to see CAA continue its current programs and events as well as expand its efforts to show people the benefits of a plant-based diet for the animals, human health and the planet. Additionally, I hope we continue to grow our voice in the community in the fight against injustices mentioned above (without detracting from our primary mission).    

In my younger days, I was not very subtle, and it was not very effective.  When I first arrived at CAA, I was very happy with its educational and event/activity based approach.  There is space for different approaches for other animal advocacy organizations.  Each movement will have a variety of approaches along a spectrum.  

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

Any dish with curry and coconut milk.

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

For my full time job, I enjoy teaching Social Studies at an alternative high school. In my free time, I like to road bike, play guitar, sing poorly, do yoga, hang with my wife, kayak, play ping pong , pool, disc golf, and chess, cook, walk, explore Minneapolis, and take too many pictures and videos of our three cat companions.

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