Dave Rolsky

Dave is a co-founder of Compassionate Action for Animals. Please see his bio for more details.

Fall 2012 Matching Campaign Report

We would like to thank everyone for helping us meet our goal of $15,000 in donations over the holiday season! Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, your donations were matched dollar-for-dollar. We are very grateful for your support!

With the start of a new year our conviction is renewed. Our volunteers are preparing for leafleting, tabling, and handing out free vegan food samples. The 4th annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off is right around the corner, and our humane education program has already scheduled presentations for local schools. We also plan to significantly increase the participation and visibility of Veg Fest 2013 as well as ramp up our screenings of the gripping, short documentary Farm to Fridge.

Our efforts and the overall progress of our movement wouldn't be possible without the generous support of donors like you. Thank you!

2012 Isn’t Over – Donate Before the Year Ends!

It's not too late to donate for the 2012 tax year. We've had a great a 2012 and we look forward to even more successes for animals 2013. Can you make a donation to help us achieve our goals?

With your support, 2012 was a very successful year of advocating for animals! Compassionate Action for Animals held our first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest, a ground-breaking event where attendees sampled tasty vegan food, learned about ethics and nutrition, and, most importantly, saw that there is a large, positive movement that cares about animals. I want to continue that success in 2013. Can you make a contribution of $100, $50, or $10 to help make this happen? Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, your donation will be matched dollar-to-dollar for up to $15,000.

I'm planning our second Twin Cities Veg Fest, and we want to make it even more effective. Our plan is to significantly increase the targeted participation and visibility of Veg Fest 2013. Our goals include attracting two hundred more attendees, bringing in entertainment that will attract a new crowd, and holding it during the school year in the fall of 2013 to attract more students and have more food. We want move beyond simply gathering a large crowd. We want to attract those who are interested in making real changes to their diet. And my goal isn't simply to have exhibitors and speakers that are veg-friendly, but to bring the most engaging local and national exhibitors, speakers that communicate our compassionate message, nutrition information that is accurate and reliable, and food that is tasty, healthy, and affordable. With your help, we can make this happen.

The 2012 Twin Cities Veg Fest is one of the biggest events we have ever put on, with 1,200 attendees, 40 exhibitors, and 6 speakers – and extensive media coverage. But it's not just size that counts – it's quality. Our event communicated the gentle, compassionate message that helps people to take steps to reduce animal suffering. This event was overwhelmingly positive and our speakers and exhibitors brought a thought-provoking, respectful message to our audience.

Compassionate Action for Animals had many more accomplishments in 2012:

  • We screened Farm To Fridge, a new documentary that shows the brutal realities of factory farming, to 368 people.
  • We hosted our first ever Veg Week Kick-Off Concert.
  • We distributed 10,800 leaflets.
  • The Bridges of Respect Humane Education Program conducted 35 presentations on animal protection issues, reaching more than 1,000 students in local schools.
  • We hosted our 3rd Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off, bringing in hundreds of people to sample vegan chili.
  • We added three national partners to VegGuide.org, Compassion Over Killing, Farm Sanctuary, and Vegan Outreach. This will greatly increase the exposure of VegGuide.org, giving everybody a useful tool to find veg options when eating out.

We did this and so much more. I'm grateful to all of the donors, volunteers, and businesses that contributed their time, energy, and passion to help animals.

Most of our funding comes from people like you – people who care about animals, and want to make a difference. Can you make a contribution of $100, $50, or $10? Your donation will be matched up to $15,000. You can make your donation online.

Thank you again for your generous support. We're making a difference for farm animals, and I appreciate the trust you've given to me.

Yours for the animals,

Unny Signature

Unny Nambudiripad

A Little Vegan Humility

It's tempting to think that living a vegan lifestyle is the ultimate moral choice we can make on behalf of animals. Once we're vegan, we're done. We've done everything that we need to do in order to be good people.

From the high (mock?) horse we're riding on, it can be easy to look down at others. They're just eating less meat, or they're only vegetarian. Clearly they're not as morally refined as us wonderful vegans.

This sort of attitude is quite problematic. If we come across as self-congratulatory and arrogant, it makes it easier for others to dismiss us. How many times have you heard someone complain that they can't stand those "obnoxious vegans"? We've heard that many times at Compassionate Action for Animals, despite our best attempts to fight that stereotype through our words and actions.

But isn't veganism the end-all be-all? Shouldn't we be praised for our excellent ethical decisions?

At Compassionate Action for Animals, we want to praise everyone who has made an effort to help animals. Every time someone chooses to eat fewer animal products, this reduces the amount of animal suffering in the world. We want to support people who care about animals, regardless of what stage they're at on their journey to a fully plant-based diet and lifestyle.

It's important to remember that our goal is to help animals, not to be vegan. If twenty people cut their animal production consumption in half, that's better for animals than one person going vegan. If one vegetarian becomes an activist who spends ten hours a week educating others about factory farming, that does far more for animals than one vegan who does no activism at all.

We also must remind ourselves that veganism is not the best possible world for animals. Plant foods that come to us from industrial farms still come with suffering. Farming equipment like tractors kills animals, especially ground-dwelling animals like mice and rabbits. Transportation of food kills animals and damages the environment.

We could reduce suffering even further if we all did things like grow our own food (without machinery), dumpster dive, and eat road kill. Maybe the dumpster diver with a back yard garden should be looking down at those of us who are vegans.

It's really not possible to live in modern society without contributing to at least some suffering. The best we can do is look for ways to reduce our contribution. We all must find a place where we are comfortable with our choices.

At Compassionate Action for Animals, we advocate for people to move towards a plant-based diet because we think that veganism greatly reduces suffering and is practical for everyone. We advocate veganism with the open recognition that there is always more that can be done to reduce suffering, and we hope that this recognition keeps us humble in our work. When we acknowledge that there is no suffering-free choice, it makes us more approachable and more effective as advocates for animals.

Easy Beginner Vegan Cooking Class Recipes on Our Website

On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Angela Gilchrist taught a free cooking class and shared with us simple and tasty vegan recipes. Angela has been developing her vegan cooking skills for seventeen years, and has been experimenting with gluten free recipes for two and a half years.

The cooking class was a great hit. Here are the delicious recipes Angela shared with the class.

Try them out at home and let us know what you think!

Keep Up With The Latest Veg Fest News and Help Promote Twin Cities Veg Fest 2012

Don't forget Twin Cities Veg Fest 2012 is fast approaching and is happening at Coffman Memorial Union (300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN) on July 14, 2012 from 10am – 5pm.

Want to keep up with the latest news and help promote Twin Cities Veg Fest? We post news items to the website. You can subscribe to our news feed by clicking the orange RSS icon on our website.

You can find our Facebook page and Take a moment to like us on Facebook and share our page with your Facebook friends.

You can find us on Twitter, soo. Follow us, tweet us and use the hashtag #TCVegFest when tweeting about how excited you are about Twin Cities Veg Fest.

Do you still have questions? If you want to know about volunteering for Twin Cities Veg Fest, email volunteer@tcvegfest.com. If you are an organization interested in sponsorship or exhibiting, there is still time to get on board! Email sponsorship@tcvegfest.com. If you have any other questions email info@tcvegfest.com or call 612-276-2242.

See you at Twin Cities Veg Fest!

P.S. Don't forget to pledge to our Kickstarter by June 15!

Make Your Donation Before the Year Ends

Please take your last chance before the year ends to make a generous donation to Compassionate Action for Animals. Your financial support will enable us to reach thousands with the message of compassion.

What will your New Year's resolution be? Ours is the same as always. We will do everything we can to help animals. When we contemplate the future, we see a world where factory farms no longer exist; animals are treated with kindness, compassion, and respect, rather than as tools or machines. But we can't reach this future without your help.

At Compassionate Action for Animals, your donations support our efforts to reach out to the public and educate them about the horrors of modern factory farming. Your support lets us continue our leaflet distribution, video showings, and food giveaways, as well as our many other outreach, education, and community-building activities.

Please consider signing up for a recurring donation. If just a small fraction of the people on this list signed up to give a mere $10 per month, we could give out free vegan samples to tens of thousands of people! If you can't give on a recurring basis, please consider a one time gift of $50 or $25 today.

Make a resolution to reduce suffering in 2012, and help make a difference!

Yours for the animals,

Unny Signature

Unny Nambudiripad
Executive Director

Compassionate Times Fall 2011

Dear friends of animals,

I'm excited to update you on Compassionate Action for Animals' successes this fall. I am happy to say that I have not been overwhelmed with hearing about animal suffering but rather the positive response that I have received from people who have attended our events – and I'm elated to meet excited new volunteers!

Our obstacle to creating more change for animals has not been the supposed apathy of the public to animal suffering, but rather our limited capacity to engage with everybody who is interested in hearing our message and getting the resources that we want to provide. For every person that we gave a free vegan food sample at the Vegan Food Showcase, I know there are several more who would like to try a new animal-free food. For every person who came to the Veg Week dine-out at Everest on Grand, I know there are a dozen who would love to try new options at a great veg-friendly restaurant. And for everyone who came to our chicken sanctuary tour, there are many more that would benefit from getting to know the personalities of individual farm animals.

Nonetheless, I am happy to report that we had extensive success in reaching a new audience to welcome our message of compassion and to further engage those who want to help animals. Here's a few of the things we accomplished this fall:

  • Handed out well over 1,000 vegan food samples at our annual Vegan Food Showcase. Read more about the Vegan Food Showcase here.
  • Hosted Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society to kick off Veg Week. Read more about Veg Week.
  • "It was surprisingly easy to not eat meat! I also got to be creative when cooking and tried a few really good recipes. I also realized how many vegetarian options there really are in restaurants." – Pledge to Be Veg participant

    Held two new Veg Week events: A Vegan Bake Sale and "Shop With a Vegan." The Vegan Bake Sale was phenomenally successful! We sold out of all the baked goods about half way through and met numerous people who were interested in learning more about factory farming, donating, and volunteering.

  • Launched Where Your Food Comes From website to let people know about the cruelties of modern factory farming and started running advertisements. We received a generous donation to sponsor the advertisements
  • Continued to hold regular Vegan After Dark events at night spots, free Cooking Classes, and Dine-outs at veg-friendly restaurants

Thank you for your generous financial support, for volunteering, and for helping us further the animals' cause.

We have our biggest potluck coming up! Please join me at our annual Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck on November 19. This year, we are offering a free entry into the raffle if you bring a written recipe with your vegan dish.

Please feel free to contact me any time with feedback, and I hope to see you at an event soon!

Yours for the animals,

Unny Signature

Unny Nambudiripad

Seventh Annual Banquet a Success

Enjoying our Annual Banquet

On April 7, Compassionate Action for Animals celebrated another year of advocating for animals at our 7th Annual Banquet. The fundraiser raised support for our outreach, education, and community building on behalf of farmed animals.

Over sixty five guests attended this year's event, which included a silent auction and reception, a gourmet four-course vegan meal, and a presentation about CAA's work.

The fantastic all-vegan, four-course meal prepared once again by Ciree Linsenman included Granny Tomatillo & White Balsamic Napoleon Skewers Sculpture, a choice of Hot Pink Beet Borscht with Fresh Dill or Tomato Saffron Burgundy Bisque for soup, and a choice of Sweet and Sour Meetballs with Garlic Almond Green Beans or Southern Greens and Leeks Quiche with Cranberry Lemon Sauce for the entree.

Following the meal, Shannon Kimball talked about CAA's Bridges of Respect program, as well as CAA's food giveaways and other outreach work. Sofia Huerter spoke about her passion for volunteering with the organization.

We'd like to thank those businesses and individuals who donated to the event:

And last, but certainly not least, dozens of dedicated volunteers helped the event to progress smoothly by preparing food, setting up, serving guests, taking pictures, and cleaning. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year's banquet a huge success!

If you weren't able to attend but would still like to support CAA, you can donate online.

Volunteer at CAA’s Seventh Annual Banquet

In order to make this banquet a success, we need your help! Please see below for available volunteer positions.

This is our largest fundraising event of the year, and we need plenty of volunteers. Below are the listed volunteer positions we need filled. Please read through and determine which position(s) you would like to and are able to help with.


3:00 – 5:00 5 people

Setup volunteers will assist the Auction Coordinator to set up the silent auction area, set the banquet tables, and help decorate the banquet space.

Registration Table

5:00 – 7:0 1 person

We need one volunteer to assist the Registration Leader with checking in volunteers and direct them to appropriate stations as well as registering attendees. Must dress semi-formally.

Food Preparation & Receiption Food/Drink Staff

5:00 – 7:00 5 people

These volunteers will work with Food Prep Leader to prepare food trays for the reception and make sure that food and beverages are ready and available for Reception Servers during the course of the reception. They will also do some food prep for the banquet itself. Some of these volunteers will need to dress semi-formally.

Banquet Servers

5:00 – 9:30 18 people

The servers will serve food and drink to guests. Must wear a white or black shirt with a collar and black pants or skirt.

Kitchen Clean-Up

7:30 – 11:00 6 people

These volunteers will work with the Kitchen Clean-up Leader to clean dishes from the reception and main banquet and make sure that clean dishes are organized packed for return to the CAA office.

Room Clean-Up

9:30 – 11:00 4 people

These volunteers will work with the Room Clean-up Leader to ensure that banquet tables and rooms are clean and decorations and supplies are organized and packed in cars for return to CAA office. May assist with kitchen clean-up as well.

Please Volunteer!

Food will be provided for volunteers, and there may also be leftovers, so all volunteers staying until 9 pm can bring a container for food if you would like to take some home. Please respond indicating what position(s) you can help out with. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions. If you’d like to volunteer, contact Nina Shimmin at nina.shimmin@exploreveg.org or 763-807-4811.

Please invite your parents, co-workers, or friends to the banquet. We are looking for more donors and attendees. Please direct them to the main banquet page.

Thanks in advance for your help and we look forward to hearing back from you and seeing you at the banquet.

Mercy For Animals’ Meat Video

Narrated by Oscar-nominee James Cromwell, this powerful 12-minute film takes you on an eye-opening exploration behind the closed doors of the nation's largest industrial poultry, pig, dairy and fish farms, hatcheries, and slaughter plants – revealing the often-unseen journey that animals make from Farm to Fridge.

Using arresting images covertly recorded on hidden camera, this provocative film puts into focus the harsh reality faced by farmed animals – creatures granted no federal protection from abuse during their lives on factory farms.

Challenging society's views and treatment of "food animals," Farm to Fridge elevates our moral and ethical discussion about where our food comes from, how it is produced, and who is left to pay the ultimate price for cheap meat, dairy and eggs.

This film is guaranteed to change the way you look at the power, and consequences, of your food choices.

You can watch this life-changing film for free online at MeatVideo. After viewing Farm to Fridge, we encourage you to share it with your friends on Facebook, order a free copy to screen in your community, and request a free Vegetarian Starter Kit.

We hope you find MFA's new film informative, motivational, and moving. Together we can protect farmed animals from abuse, and inspire others to explore cruelty-free food choices.

*Please note that this film contains graphic and violent images*

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Upcoming Events

Friday, March 30, 2018

Pay-Per-View Outreach

Saturday, March 31, 2018

2018 Annual Banquet

Friday, April 6, 2018

Pay-Per-View Outreach

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Vegan Pancake Brunch Feed-In