We are pleased to welcome Julie Reiter to the CAA Board of Directors. Julie (she/her) has been involved in education and nonprofit work for over 15 years. She currently serves as the director of a program focused on nonprofits and volunteerism for students at the University of St. Thomas.
For her own activism, she was drawn to CAA because of its positive and inclusive approach to supporting folks on their journey toward plant-based eating. She started volunteering with CAA through the Vegan Chef Challenge, and joined the board in 2022.
We asked her some questions so that we can get to know her better. Below are her replies.
What about CAA appeals to you?
I’m excited to be involved in a grassroots nonprofit working in positive ways to reduce harmful factory farming practices. The Twin Cities Veg Fest is such a good example of that – it’s a fun celebration of delicious food where everyone is welcome, where the ultimate benefactors are the animals. (The focus on food is definitely a plus, since I really love to eat!)
I really appreciate that CAA supports people wherever they are in their plant-based journey, and doesn’t take an “all or nothing” approach to veganism. I think that approach is so productive and uplifting. I also especially appreciate the anti-racist stance the organization has taken.
What are your hopes for CAA and for the animal protection movement?
CAA has so many great programs that all support its ultimate goal of increasing empathy towards animals and moving people towards a plant-based lifestyle. I hope that the organization can continue to grow so it can reach more people through these programs, and create new innovative ways to meet its mission. I’m excited that it seems more and more people are being inspired to give up animal products. As it becomes more accessible and acceptable to be vegan, CAA is in a great position to help folks make the change.
Speaking of compassionate living, what are your favorite vegan foods?
It’s so amazing to me how many delicious vegan food options there are! I love the challenge of finding healthy plant-based food while traveling. At home, nothing is better than a big buddha bowl thrown together with some veggies, quinoa, air-fried tofu, roasted potatoes and a creamy vegan sauce.
How do you spend your time when you’re not advocating for animals?
I’ve got a really active family with two teenagers and two rescue pups, and they keep me busy!