A feast of gratitude: Recapping the 2023 ThankLiving potluck at UMN

November 27, 2023

On November 18, 2023, the University of Minnesota St. Paul Student Union was filled with the tantalizing aroma of delicious vegan dishes as over 100 people gathered for our annual ThanksLiving potluck event. The diverse spread included an array of mouthwatering treats, from sides and drinks to hearty mains and decadent desserts. Among the culinary stars were the delectable vegan turkey and gluten-free meatloaf generously donated by The Herbivorous Butcher. These were cornerstones of the feast that left taste buds filled with appreciation. Check out this article in University of Minnesota daily online newspaper about the event!

The convivial atmosphere was enhanced by the lively “Human Bingo game,” where attendees had a blast getting to know each other. The lucky winners not only enjoyed the thrill of victory but also walked away with some cool swag, including farmed animal cookie cutters and cookbooks. Even the youngest attendees had their share of fun with dedicated coloring and activity tables, fostering a sense of community among peers.

The event took a thoughtful turn as the CAA Executive Director, Laura Matanah, shared with us the reason for renaming the traditional Thanksgiving event as “ThanksLiving”. She explained our reimagining of the traditional Thanksgiving holiday, with its often fraught imagery, as an opportunity to envision a brighter future for all animals — human and non-human. This includes respecting the land rights and treaties of indigenous peoples. She then presented a brief overview of the organization’s accomplishments over the past year and shared exciting plans for the future. We also took this opportunity to express our appreciation to the donors and volunteers whose dedicated support makes all CAA’s work possible.

This delightful gathering was made possible by the collaborative efforts of participants who whipped up fantastic dishes and the hardworking volunteers who meticulously planned and executed the event. From those who prepared the Herbivorous Butcher’s donated items to the greeters, table setters, and cleanup crew – every role played a crucial part. A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved; your contributions made the ThankLiving Potluck a truly memorable celebration of gratitude and community.

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