Compassionate Action for Animals

Your Body In Balance Event a resounding success!

On Wednesday May 4 CAA celebrated a major event: Your Body in Balance.

Your Body in Balance event was a big success!

Over 50 people attended this information packed event. For many it was their first event with CAA.  100% of survey respondents said they “learned a lot”!  When asked what they liked about the event most replied “everything!”

The event focused on the health/diet connection. New York Times bestselling author Neal Barnard, MD shared the science behind how common hormone-related conditions can be improved by simple diet changes. Other experts provided inspirational stories of transforming their health through nutrition.

A big shout out to the participants: 

 J. Selby’s for their donation of yummy nachos with whole foods plant-based cheese dip and chocolate chip cookies

 Dr. Neal Barnard for his inspirational and informative talk and Q&A afterwards

Terrell Woods (AKA [Carnage The Executioner) for providing musical entertainment and sharing his health and dietary journey

Rooted Green Wellness for their cooking demo, presentation and desserts

Suzanne Sorensen for her dietician consultations

Phillip Prospers of Plant Bar Cafe for the delicious drinks

Plant Pure Communities and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine for their informational booths and support

This event was part of the Twin Cities Veg Month series of events in May. Sign up now to try 21 days of veg living and get 15% off at local businesses during Veg Month:

Rooster Redemption’s upcoming move

Recently Rooster Redemption announced that they will be moving from Minnesota soon. CAA has been happy to partner with them on several initiatives over the years and their presence will be missed. In particular it has been wonderful to tour Rooster Redemption to help the community know about their wonderful sanctuary.

Rooster Redemption is a rooster rescue facility. Why a special sanctuary for roosters? They cite:

  • Roosters (male chickens) are the most abandoned, unwanted, exploited, and stigmatized land animal on the planet.
  • Due to their need for specialized care and accommodations, they are extremely difficult to find homes for.
  • We devote our time, energy, and patience toward these birds who are the underdogs in the rescue world.
  • ​We strive to amplify their voices.
  • We celebrate roosters as colorful companions with misunderstood personalities.

We interviewed them to find out more about their move:

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Twin Cities Veg Living magazine issue 8 is here!

The new issue of Twin Cities Veg Living is chock full of useful information and inspiration! Donors receive it in the mail. It’s available for pickup at The Herbivorous Butcher, Coconut Whisk, and at every event during Veg Month!   Or check it out here:

Read TCVL Issue 8!

Exploring Plant-Based Eating: Vegan Myth Busters by Suzy Sorensen RDN, LD. CDCES

Suzy takes on seven common myths about veganism. She shares the best evidence-based, scientifically sound information to refute them.

Creating Change for Animals and People in the Twin Cities.

Meet 12 people taking the lead on creating a sustainable, equitable, plant-based future.

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St. Paul Mayor issues Plant-Based Proclamation for Earth day

Mayor Carter declares April 22 Plant-Based Wellness Day

On Earth Day, April 22, Mayor Melvin Carter issued St. Paul’s First Plant-Based Proclamation.  In it he encourages residents to consider increasing consumption of plant-based foods. 

Mayor Carter cites plant-based eating as tied to better environmental and health outcomes. He connects this dietary change to the future well-being of the community. St. Paul’s Climate Action and Resilience plan also encourages increased plant-based eating.

The proclamation was the result of a team effort. CAA Board members Henry Patterson and Julie Knopp partnered with Phillip Prospers, CEO of Living Naturally Abundant. They were inspired by successful efforts in other cities and states. Over the last few months they worked to educate and inspire Mayor Carter and his staff about this issue.

The proclamation raises the visibility of the connection between a plant-based diet and improved health and environmental outcomes.  Tying these vital issues together is key. It provides more reasons for people to consider a more compassionate diet. Informing and inspiring change that benefits both animals and the planet.

CAA is here to help! Take the Explore Veg Challenge. Get 15% Off at Local Restaurants During May’s Veg Month + Free Recipe and Shopping Guide! Sign up now!

Meet Sabrina Beres—TCVF Social Media coordinator

Sabrina Beres

Sabrina Beres is on the Twin Cities Veg Fest Committee as one of the Social Media Coordinators. We are lucky to have her bring her professional expertise in this area to our team!

She found out about CAA through her exposure to our social media campaigns. What she read fit with her long term passion for animal rights and veganism.

One of her favorite activities with CAA has been bringing her friends to the Twin Cities Veg Fest. She enjoys helping them find that vegan foods can be tasty and fun.

Why she volunteers: “I love that I can really have a chance to make an impact on something I care about! And social media platforms offer a fun way to interact with your audience and get personal about these objectives” .

We wanted to get to know her better so had her answer some questions:

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A taste of the 2022 Annual Banquet

Jodi Gruhn speaking at CAA’s Annual Banquet

At Veg Out!: CAA’s Annual Casual Banquet 2022 we had several speakers. Some were volunteers and some were staff. Jodi Gruhn has been both. She is now the Wholesome Minnesota Coordinator and has been a Twin Cities Veg Fest volunteer as well.

In addition to sharing a brief update on recent Wholesome Minnesota accomplishments she shared her personal journey. She had been looking for more in life. An encounter with a Twin Cities Veg Fest ad led her on a journey. First to attend the festival. Then to volunteer. And now to helping increase the amount of plant-based food being offered in Twin Cities institutions.

If you missed her inspiring talk at the banquet or want to relive it we have shared the text below:

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Banquet raises over $4,000 for animals and our community

Veg Out!: CAA’s Annual Casual Banquet 2022 was held March 20. Fun, food and friends made this a memorable experience. Over 55 fellow CAA supporters gathered in person with another 15 joining

remotely. We feasted on black bean and sweet potato tacos, with great drink selections from La Dona Cerveceria. All while hearing the latest inspirational accomplishments of CAA from staff and volunteers. Topped off by yummy Rach Cakes desserts!

Celeste Knoff won a $100 Reverie card for her outstanding performance on the quiz. Over thirty happy people picked up the items they won at the auction. Between auction bids and donations we raised over $4,000 to support our work! Thanks to all who gave generously and the six people who joined our Circle of Care with a monthly gift.

Everyone walked out with great memories to recharge our batteries for continued work on behalf of the animals!

Introducing our new Board Member—Dyne Stephenson

Dyne with his friend Tiger

Dyne Stephenson has been an educator, animal advocate, and vegan, for over 25 years.  Since 2016, he has been a volunteer in many different CAA roles, including coordinator positions for the CAA Banquet and Twin Cities Veg Fest.  Additionally, he has attended and volunteered at Vegan Chili Cook Offs, Dine-Outs, potlucks, film screenings, and other events. We welcome him into his new role as our latest board member.

We asked Dyne some questions so that we can get to know him better:

What motivated you to get involved with animal advocacy?

In 1992, I went to see Alex Pacheco, the co-founder of PETA, speak at CU-Boulder. He was a great speaker, but the video he showed of animal torture and killing shocked me deeply. I became vegetarian that night, and a vegan after reading and watching more. Soon after, I became a volunteer for Rocky Mountain Animal Defense and the leader of the CU-Boulder Animal Rights Group.

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Inspiration from the Banquet speakers: Yunuén Brown

Yunuén Estér Brown shared her story at the recent Veg Out!: CAA’s Casual Banquet 2022. She has a strong love for farmed animals and devotes herself to their wellbeing. She sees her support of CAA as an essential way to put her passion for animals into action.

One way has been through volunteering at events like the Cinco de Mayo outreach. The Development Committee is another passion of hers. She and her husband, Sanchez, also generously provide a vegan taco meal each year to thank other volunteers. Their financial support includes being founding members of our Circle of Care sustaining donors’ group.

In the seven years she has been with CAA she has seen that our work gets results.  She and Sanchez, view their contribution as essential to our success. Yunuén shared: “I see donating as an act of activism to this movement and as long as there’s animals on this planet that rely on my compassionate empathy, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.”

That is why she agreed to be a featured speaker at the banquet. Read on for the text of her talk:

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Get to Know Adrienne Marquette

Adrienne and Nala

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.

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