Compassionate Action for Animals

Newsletter Survey helps shape future issues

February 6, 2022

39 readers of our weekly CAA newsletter responded to our recent survey. We appreciate each of you who took the time to respond. We want to share the results and how we’re using them to shape newsletter content.

In general, readers were very positive. They especially appreciated the brief, positive, and welcoming content. Details are reported below. You will see that readers said that the newsletter helped increase their knowledge in targeted areas. We plan to adjust our content to improve on these metrics.

We also asked for readers’ general likes and suggestions. Readers are primarily interested in information on upcoming events. They also like profiles on individuals and of the sanctuary animals that motivate us. In addition, they like information on how to take action for animals. They appreciate gaining knowledge in key areas.

Some representative quotes:

  • I am reminded through the emails that there is a community of people advocating and spreading awareness
  • I like that it manages to update you on all the events and current actions but is still brief
  • I like hearing about vegan news and events that are local to me and different ways veganism are/can be incorporated in the community!

Continue reading

Various Plant-based recipes | February 2023 | Vegan Recipe Club

On February 21 the Vegan Recipe Club will meet on zoom from 6:30pm—7:30pm. The recipes this month come from the Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook. If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

About the cookbook this month the publisher says: 

“In The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, Victoria and JL, along with over a hundred certified vegan lifestyle coaches, join you in the kitchen as you discover more than 100 of their favorite plant-sourced recipes. Whether you’re new to the diet or a seasoned plant-based eater, vegan or just veg-curious, their tips, tricks, shortcuts, and strategies will transform your cooking, your eating, and your life. Inside, you’ll find wholesome, delectable, and accessible recipes.

Continue reading

Interview with the CAA Duluth Chapter founder

This past year saw the addition of a chapter in the Duluth area! Prior to the pandemic, there was a large vegan recipe group that met in the Duluth area. They had a plant-based food and cooking discussion. Sheri Olson, was interested in reviving something similar but with a more specific focus of partnering with CAA. She had recently moved from the Twin Cities where she had been a CAA volunteer. She reached out to CAA Executive Director Laura Matanah and got support for starting a new chapter. 

Read below for Sheri’s responses to some questions we sent her. Learn more about this exciting new chapter which is helping to serve the needs of the veg curious in the North Shore area:

Interview with Sheri Olson, CAA Duluth Chapter

Continue reading

History and Vision of the St. Cloud CAA Chapter

A guest blog by Michael Willemsen, CAA Chapter coordinator

The St. Cloud area has had a long history of environmental and animal rights advocacy. I met Zach Ewald many years ago at St. Cloud State University through a student group called Advocates for Animals and the Environment. We received guidance and materials from non-profit groups such as Compassionate Action for Animals and Vegan Outreach. Shannon Kimball came up to St. Cloud and gave some unforgettable presentations to both SCSU and SCTCC students through the Bridges of Respect program. We happily volunteered to help! Fast forward to 2014 when Zach started Food Not Bombs in St. Cloud and we formed the unofficial Central Minnesota Vegan Association (CMVA). We hosted film showings, did leafleting outreach, and participated in some tabling events. My personal favorite was when our group had a free food giveaway at St. Cloud Pride in the Park.

Michael Willemsen, St. Cloud CAA Chapter coordinator

In the Spring of 2021, I approached Zach with an idea of getting more involved for animal rights in our local community. The CMVA group had long since disbanded. We communicated online and reached out to Laura Matanah (CAA’s Executive Director). She was supportive of our idea to start a local chapter and provided us with logistical support. After meeting with Zach and others for some vegan grilling at a local park, our St. Cloud Chapter was officially recognized in June of 2021.

Continue reading

Meet Cornelius and Dennis—Herbivorous Acres residents


a guest blog by Herbivorous Acres, January 2023

National Bird Day is January 5th, and to celebrate this, we wanted to highlight some of our feathered friends. Roosters are highly exploited in the animal agriculture industry and we are proud to provide sanctuary to three roosters on the farm. Herbivorous Acres has two roosters under our “wing”, and the property owners of our sanctuary also have a rooster named Tony that we help care for. Dennis (Brahma Cross breed) is around 6 years old and is a handsome gentleman. Dennis rules the roost and has three ladies that he cares for. He dotes on his ladies constantly and is the best boyfriend to Nooch, Tempeh, and Seitan (our three hens).


Cornelius is a stunning and quirky 5 year old Welsummer rooster and lives with our duck family. Cornelius needs to be housed separately from other chickens due to some aggression issues. It keeps other chickens safe, although he still has some strong opinions about people from time to time. He doesn’t do very well when he has hens around and is much more calibrated with his duck friends. He has some “funky feet” that make him extra special. This deformity has been with him since birth and it causes some health issues from time to time. 

Continue reading

Keto | Vegan Recipe Club | January 2023

The Vegan Recipe Club for January will meet on January 17 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm on zoom. The cookbook selection for January is The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook. 

The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook offers readers delicious, inventive recipes that focus on proteins and fats while minimizing carbohydrates. 

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

You may download the recipes using the link below or pick them up at East Lake Library, 2727 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Printed recipe packets are available at the library’s Safe Pick-Up Station. Simply check in with the greeter and ask for the Vegan Recipe Club packet. If you would like contactless pick-up, please call the library during open hours and request curbside service.

In the recipe club this month we will discuss these recipes:

The Essential Vegan Keto Cookbook — 2018 — by the Editors of Rodale Books

  • Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup – p39
  • Veggie Sushi with Yum-Yum Sauce – p56 & Yum-Yum Sauce – p58
  • Carne Asada Marinated Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Salsa – p70 & Avocado Salsa – p71


  • Jackfruit Pulled Pork and Rice Bowl – p78
  • Buffalo-Roasted Radishes -p126

Other recipes of interest from the cookbook but not included in this packet: Everything Bagels and Tofu Scramble over Grilled Eggplant and Avocado.

Download January Recipes here.

Facilitated by Henry Patterson of Compassionate Action for Animals.

View additional information and previous recipes here.

Abbey Feola steps up to new role as CAA Program Manager

December 23, 2022

Thanks to generous donations by foundations and individual supporters we have recently been able to hire someone to support and expand our growth! Abbey Feola will be our new full-time Program Manager.

You may recall that Abbey was working for us 10 hours a week as a program assistant. She has been doing an outstanding job supporting other staff. The needs of our growth require more hours and an enhanced focus. We have created a new position that will organize and coordinate many of our initiatives this year.

Abbey (she/her) joined CAA as Program Assistant in February of 2022 after volunteering at several CAA events and loving the open, welcoming atmosphere she found there. As Program Assistant, she supported participants taking the Explore Veg Challenge and assisted with a variety of other CAA programming.

Continue reading

Free Special Virtual Documentary Night in January

We are invited to a free Special Virtual Documentary Night in January. This event is in collaboration with APEX Advocacy, the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, and the Afro Vegan Society.

The event, in honor of Veganuary, will be on Sunday, January 22nd  from 6 pm to 8 pm Central Time. You don’t have to stay the entire time. It is very flexible so people can come late or leave early if needed. 

The meeting is to talk about the documentary, The End of Medicine. This documentary explores the correlation between the treatment of animals and emerging health threats. You can watch it for free HERE

Continue reading

Meet Lydia Green – Newest CAA Board Member

CAA welcomes our newest board member Lydia Green, who comes to CAA with experience from several other animal advocacy organizations. She has served in Executive Assistant positions and is excited for her first opportunity to serve as a Board Member.  Her experience with other animal advocacy groups will be valuable to the board. 

Back in 2018, Lydia began working with CAA at Twin Cities VegFest as a sponsorship coordinator. She has also been a food demo coordinator and, most recently, helped at the CAA booth during the Pride Festival. There she helped spread awareness of the suffering of farmed animals. 

In addition to her work with CAA, she has volunteered with Mercy for Animals (community outreach and event planning), Agriculture Fairness Alliance (grant-writing), Animal Rights Coalition (protests and outreach events), and Farmaste Animal Sanctuary (Animal Care Provider).  As a result, she sees the value of collaborative work on behalf of animals. In addition, she brings some fresh ideas for community outreach and education.

Lydia shared why she wants to join our board: I believe in the mission of CAA and want to work towards moving people to a vegan/plant-based lifestyle to improve the lives of farmed animals and our planet.”  She is always looking for more ways to be involved in animal advocacy. Her personal goal is to have her own micro-sanctuary for rescued goats. 

Lydia answered a few questions to help us get to know her and what she brings to CAA:

What do you like about CAA? What would you like to see CAA change or improve upon?

“I like that CAA is dedicated to helping people go vegan and improving the lives of farmed animals. I would like to see CAA more involved with community outreach to reach a larger demographic, especially with youths. For example, I would love to see a program where children/young adults are educated about a plant-based lifestyle and take field trips to farm sanctuaries to build a personal relationships with farmed animals.  I would also love more collaboration between other animal advocacy groups in the Twin Cities.”

In your opinion, how should the animal advocacy movement go about achieving its goals?

“I think there has to be a good balance between education and resources. The public has to be educated about the impact of their actions but also be provided resources to change their habits and beliefs. In addition, many animal advocacy groups work in silos, which is very unfortunate because we are up against corporations and individuals with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. It will take a lot of teamwork and dedication to dismantle the current systems. Animal advocacy groups should work more collaboratively to achieve set goals and create a more impactful and effective movement.

What experience do you have with fundraising? As a CAA Board Member, how would you help CAA raise money?

“I think it would be a good idea to try to plan CAA fundraising events and other activities with some local businesses that are also passionate about animal advocacy. I would happily help and/or manage fundraising events or activities for CAA.”

Get Involved

Subscribe to our weekly update:



Veg Resources

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 1, 2024 - Friday, March 8, 2024

Celebrate National Pig Day: Act for MN Pigs

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Live Support Session: Call In for Pigs

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Twin Cities West Suburbs Vegan Potluck