Adrienne has been a volunteer for CAA in various roles in recent years. She has as passion for our cause and brings that to her dedicated work. She was first motivated to a plant-based diet by her compassion for animals. Now she also sees the connection to improved health and protecting the environment.
She loves that she can live her values through her diet and her volunteer work. CAA appeals to her through it variety of approaches to reach people where they are and move them forward.
She appreciates that her volunteer work brings her in contact with like-minded people. That and the easy options for participation have made it fun. You can meet her at future events or on committees as she plans to continue volunteering.
We posed some questions to her below so that you can find out more.
How did you discover Compassionate Action for Animals and what made you decide to get involved?
I was looking online for a way to get involved in animal activism in Minnesota and have some fun with like-minded people. CAA has always made it easy to participate.
What have you done for CAA as a volunteer?
I’ve had fun volunteering at the TC VegFest, greeting guests at the yearly banquet, writing postcards, and assisting with sending thank you letters to CAA’s generous donors.
What do you love most about volunteering?
I love the good feeling I get about supporting a great cause. CAA offers a variety of volunteer opportunities and makes it easy to participate. CAA is creative in its variety of approaches to reaching people where they are and is extremely welcoming to everyone.
What inspires you to eat plant-based and/or take action for animals?
I was initially inspired by the animals to make the switch to eating only plant-based food. At that time, I was 40 years old with a husband and two young children. The dietary change was a little challenging, but it just gets easier and better over time. I’ve never enjoyed cooking and eating as much as I do now. The many rewarding things about being vegan include living in alignment with my values of compassion towards humans and animals, my interest in protecting our environment, and my passion for excellent health and well-being.
When you are not volunteering with CAA, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not at work, I enjoy walking everywhere with Nala (see photo), bicycling, kayaking, traveling, outdoor music, gardening, reading, cooking, dancing, and organizing.
April Selection: Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pound by Del Stroufe
Have you struggled with weight even after adopting a plant-based diet? Or are you worried you will start putting on weight? Going vegan can be a tremendous benefit to your health. Yet it’s not without weight gain challenges (think french fries and vegan ice cream!) This book engages the reader with personal stories of struggle and success. More than 100 recipes show the path to weight loss success — all while maintaining a plant-based diet!
From the publisher:
Eating healthy just got a whole lot easier.
The science is very clear. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest possible way to eat—but veganism itself doesn’t mean health, as Chef Del Sroufe, author of the New York Times bestseller Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, knows better than anyone. Sroufe managed to reach 475 pounds while eating a vegan diet rich in pastries, peanut butter, and potato chips. After converting to a vegan diet with minimal processed foods, sugars and added oils, he lost more than 240 pounds without giving up great food.
Ever wondered how we pull together the Banquet? Behind the scenes a talented team is working hard on Veg Out!: CAA’s Annual Banquet 2022. Both experienced and brand new volunteers are busy making it an inspiring and fun event.
Their work includes: photographing the venue, developing the slideshow, coordinating volunteers, and soliciting donations to upload them to our Auction app. It’s amazing how much goes into planning such a major event. Staff couldn’t manage it without this talented and dedicated group of volunteers.
Brita has volunteered to develop the quiz for our Auction contest. Quizzes have been integral to several of our recent events so we decided to add them to the Annual Banquet as well. Brita stepped up to help come up with a clever, challenging animal-based theme and research the answer for us. She worked with our Slide developer to get the questions included and developed a spreadsheet to capture and score the answers.
To get to know her better, Brita answered some questions:
What inspired you to get involved with planning the CAA Banquet?
Did you know that you can help farmed animals with a tweet?
We have an opportunity to make a long-term impact on issues related to animal protection and the environmental damage caused by industrial agriculture. You can help by tweeting our message.
CAA is working with 30 groups, led by Mercy for Animals, to change the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI). Help reach Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack with our nominations for new members. We need your voice.
Theresa (she/her) has been a long time volunteer and now joins us as staff! She is the new Communications Coordinator.
As a board member she worked on strategic planning, fundraising and communications. She also loved greeting at in-person events (when those were possible!). Most recently, she helped organize the Annual Banquet and coordinated the auction.
She recently retired from her role as Community Education Manager for Anoka-Hennepin schools. Rather than a life of leisure, she wanted to focus on her favorite part of past jobs – communications. Working with us allows her to do that. All while still working to make an impact on behalf of farmed animals.
Our board of directors has recently added a new member. Alyssa (she/her) has been an animal advocate with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for about three years and now she’s adding CAA to that list. As a professional writer and marketer, Alyssa brings a creative lens to our work.
Alyssa is a Minnesota native, born and raised. She works for herself at Fabacts, LLC as a freelance writer and creative marketing specialist. She’s also a part-time indoor cycling instructor at the family-owned boutique spin studio, Surge Cycling.
Alyssa’s plant-based journey started almost immediately after she watched the documentary What the Health in 2017. That film inspired her to cut red meat cold turkey. As she educated herself on the dairy and fishing industries, it didn’t take much time to cut all animals products from her diet.
Since her transition to the vegan life, she’s taken an interest in agriculture, food politics, animal welfare and public health. As a fitness junkie and long-time health enthusiast, Alyssa is passionate about getting people to not only live a plant-based lifestyle, but one that’s intentional, compassionate, balanced and good for overall health. Alyssa’s approach to advocacy in her personal life is a little unconventional, often using sarcasm and humor to connect with an audience and get her message across.
We are pleased to welcome a new Program Assistant—Abbey Feola! Below we share a brief bio of her along with questions she answered so that we could get to know her a little better. She hopes to meet you soon at a CAA event so that she can get to know you too!
Abbey Feola, Program Assistant
Abbey (she/her) joined CAA as Program Assistant after volunteering at several CAA events and loving the open, welcoming atmosphere she found there. As Program Assistant, she supports participants taking the Explore Veg challenge and assists with a variety of other CAA programming. In her previous years at Macalester College and Habitat for Humanity, she created outreach programs and worked with volunteers around topics relating to sustainability and housing. She currently spends her time outside of CAA working in the financial industry, volunteering at pet rescues, getting involved in new sports, spending time with her friends and family, and taking care of her pets.
She answered some of our questions below so that we could get to know her better:
One of my favorite parts of my role as the Wholesome Minnesota Director is connecting with students. It has been a great pleasure to visit local high schools to help students connect the dots between human and planetary health and our food system. The majority of the students I have met have had no idea that animal agriculture had a role in climate change and hadn’t thought about how it contributes to the health crisis that plagues us. One student said, “How come no one tells us this stuff.” The good news? These students are now armed with information and some are activated to make change.
At CAA, some of the work we do for animals and people requires a lot of administrative details. That’s why we’re grateful for volunteers like Debra Johnson who have a keen eye for the particulars. Debra’s been helping us with data entry and other clerical duties, keeping our efforts humming along. Find out more about Debra and what inspires her to live plant-based.