Speakers for Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014!

Taylor Radig

This year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest offers a number of moving presentations by both local figures in the movement and visiting speakers from out of town. These presentations cover the gamut from informative seminars on plant-based nutrition to eye-opening discourse on the treatment of animals in religion to moving firsthand accounts of what happens on factory farms.

The speakers include:

  • Mark Berkson, Ph.D., Professor and Chair in the Department of Religion at Hamline University
  • Kristina DeMuth, registered dietician
  • Erica Meier, Executive Director, Compassion Over Killing
  • Taylor Radig, former undercover investigator
  • Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection, Humane Society of the United States

Here’s a bit more about what you can expect from a few of them:

For a glimpse of Paul Shapiro’s talk, listen to our recent podcast interview and learn why he thinks the animal protection movement is winning, what led him to going vegan, and what was the most influential presentation on the subject of farm animal protection that he ever heard.

Paul Shapiro
Paul Shapiro

Professor Mark Berkson, a local leader in the animal advocacy community, will be exploring the attitudes toward and treatment of non-human animals in a number of the world’s major religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

Former undercover investigator Taylor Radig was the most recent addition to the schedule. Those of us who attended the Animal Rights National Conference last month got to hear Taylor Radig speak about her experience as an undercover investigator filming animal abuse on factory farms. We were profoundly moved by Taylor’s firsthand account of the cruelty she witnessed and thought her powerful story should be shared with our Twin Cities community.

Stayed tuned for blog posts previewing what Kristina DuMuth and Erica Meier will present at the festival.

We are excited to bring these five amazing speakers to Twin Cities Veg Fest this year. Since we expect well over 2,000 people to attend the festival, these presentations will reach many new people with a message of compassion.

The festival is free to attend and will take place on Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

To hear more speakers, register for Their Lives, Our Voices, an animal advocacy conference happening on Saturday, September 27, the day before the festival.

Chickens Buried Alive on North Carolina Factory Farm

COK image

In late June, Compassion Over Killing (COK) released undercover footage showing birds being buried alive at chicken factory farm in North Carolina. Just recently, COK learned that the local authorities have decided not to file charges.

Read the COK update and see the video.

In response this update from authorities, Curt Albright, a resident in North Carolina, started a Change.org petition seeking justice for these birds. It went live on August 6th and has so far received over 140,000 signatures!

Do something today to let the authorities know that this treatment of chickens is unacceptable and that these factory farms should be held accountable for this egregious cruelty.

Sign the petition!

Share the COK Facebook post!


Each of us has the power to be a voice for the animals.

Exploring Twin Cities Veg Fest – Part 3

Paul Shapiro

In this third podcast of a four-part series devoted to Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014, Compassionate Action for Animals’ Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad interviews visiting speaker Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection for the Humane Society of the United States.

In addition to offering a preview of his talk for the festival, Paul reveals why he thinks the animal protection movement is winning, what led him to going vegan, and what was the most influential presentation on the subject of farm animal protection that he ever heard.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 will be held at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, September 28th, 2014. The festival is free to attend and, in addition to presentations from visiting speakers, includes delicious food samples, a variety of exhibitors, and cooking demos. Join us and celebrate compassion!

Veggie Options for a Balmy Backyard Barbeque

Here in Minnesota, we’re having unprecedented summer weather: not so hot and not so humid. Perfect for a backyard barbeque! And how convenient that Compassionate Action for Animals is hosting a barbeque potluck on Friday, August 22nd at the home of Suzy Sorensen, 1099 Lombard Ave in St. Paul from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

If the thought of a barbeque conjures an unappetizing image of charred animal flesh (aka hot dogs and hamburgers), we’ve got good news for you. At our potluck, we’re taking animals off the menu and replacing them with a variety of colorful, flavorful plant-based options. Bring on the Tofurky!

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Seward Cafe: A Vegan’s Dream Come True

tacos and torta

In case you haven’t heard, Seward Cafe may be deemed a vegan’s dream come true. And lucky you, Compassionate Action for Animals is hosting a dine out at this veg-friendly haven on Wednesday, August 13th, 6:30 – 8:30pm.

Choosing from their menu, a person eating a plant-based diet won’t be at a loss for tantalizing dinner options. Their selection of comfort-food classics like burgers, brats, and nachos can all be made vegan. (And let’s not forget about the baked goods. Please, more chocolate chip banana bread!)

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Help Promote Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014!

Twin Cities Veg Fest flyer

Can you believe that our Twin Cities Veg Fest is happening in just less than two months? It’s true. Our third annual festival celebrating compassion is happening on Sunday, September 28th, and we hope to make this year’s the best and biggest one yet. Of course, we want as many people to attend this event as possible. Here are some ways that you can help get them there:

  • Talk to your friends in person! The best way to get new people to the festival, to have them learn about wonderful plant-based foods, is direct person-to-person conversation.
  • Use social media! Follow and share our Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest pages. Also, invite your friends to Twin Cities Veg Fest using our Facebook event. Use the the hashtags #TCVegFest2014 and #CelebrateCompassion whenever posting about the festival.
  • Put up posters! We have four sessions planned. Let us know if you can come. We will provide food.
    • Saturday, August 16th and Saturday, September 6th from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. We will meet at the CAA office, 2100 1st Ave S, Suite 200, Minneapolis.
    • Monday, September 8th and Thursday, September 11th from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. We will meet on the 2nd floor of Coffman Union, University of Minnesota, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis.
    • If you want to put up posters but are not available on those days, email your mailing address to unny@exploreveg.org, and he will send you a handful of posters and flyers. Alternatively, make an appointment to pick them up at the CAA office.
  • Hand out leaflets at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, September 2nd and Thursday, September 25th.
  • Subscribe to the our e-newsletter, the Weekly Update, which will include lots of exciting news about the festival in the weeks to come. Forward the emails to your friends, and encourage them to attend.

For University of Minnesota students, in addition to the two on-campus postering sessions listed above, you may also:

  • Announce the festival at the beginning of class with your professor’s permission. Many professors will let you make a brief plug, but this announcement would be especially suitable for philosophy, nutrition, or environmental classes. Contact us for flyers to give your classmates or if you are not sure about what information to include with the announcement.
  • Flyer in the dorms on the university campus on Tuesday, September 23rd.

Can you think of another way to get the word out? Let us know!


Hath not a rabbit the capacity to feel?

"I am not meat."

Whole Foods Market recently began a pilot program to sell rabbit flesh in its stores. Rabbit flesh is being sold in 5 out of 12 geographic regions, including our Midwest region. Rabbit protection groups from around the country have been in dialogue with Whole Foods Corporate about this issue, but at this point they have been unsuccessful in their efforts to get Whole Foods to reconsider rabbit flesh sales.

You may be wondering how the sale of rabbit flesh warrants protest when so many other equally-sentient animals are tortured, killed, and sold as food everyday. Here are the key points that the House Rabbit Society would like you to consider:

  • Whole Foods is artificially creating the demand for rabbit flesh by awarding large financial grants to rabbit farmers.
  • They are sourcing from rabbit farms in Iowa and Missouri, the two states that have passed Ag-gag laws that make it illegal for undercover investigators to document abuse behind factory farm walls.
  • Rabbits (like poultry) have almost no protections under the law. Farmed rabbits suffer horribly from birth to slaughter.
  • None of us wants to see an entirely new animal flesh successfully marketed and consumed.
  • In comparison to some other farmed animals, rabbits are very small in size. As they are so small, many more individuals will die to satisfy a manufactured interest in eating rabbit flesh.
  • Rabbits are the third most popular companion mammal in the United States and are regularly rescued and sheltered alongside cats and dogs. By creating a culture of violence against rabbits, Whole Foods will make every aspect of helping rabbits in rescues and shelters harder.
  • Whole Foods is trying to normalize the idea of eating a popular companion animal.

The Rabbit Advocacy Network is organizing a Day of Action for Sunday, August 17th at the Whole Foods Market in St. Paul, 30 Fairview Avenue South, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. You are welcome to attend this peaceful demonstration with the goal of 1) informing customers of this pilot program and 2) urging shoppers to speak up to Whole Foods by filling out comment cards, speaking to management, sending emails, or writing letters. You are also welcome to sign the petition.

This cause presents an opportunity to show rabbit-lovers and Whole Foods shoppers that we don’t draw distinctions between how we treat one species and another, whether they be dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, fishes, cows, pigs, turkeys, or any other sentient being. Widening our circle of compassion beyond those animals that we know, we begin to understand how all are deserving of our kindness.

For more information about the upcoming demonstration at Whole Foods Market, contact Amy Ramnaraine, the local contact for the Rabbit Advocacy Network, at oneshanti@visi.com.

Their Lives, Our Voices 2014

Compassionate Action for Animals is hosting Their Lives, Our Voices 2014, our fifth animal advocacy conference on Saturday, September 27th on the University of Minnesota campus at Hanson Memorial Hall.

This inclusive, hands-on conference empowers activists in their efforts to help farm animals. Two tracks of informative lectures and facilitated discussions showcase diverse topics and perspectives within our movement. In addition, the conference offers attendees the opportunity to network with other activists from both the local and national scene. Visiting speakers include Erica Meier from Compassion Over Killing and Paul Shapiro from The Humane Society of the United States.

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Exploring Twin Cities Veg Fest – Part 2

Twin Cities Veg Fest wants you!

In this second podcast of a four-part series devoted to Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014, Compassionate Action for Animals’ executive director Unny Nambudiripad interviews volunteer Chris Homsey about a brand new feature of the upcoming festival: cooking demos.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 will be held at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, September 28th, 2014. The festival is free to attend and, in addition to offering cooking demos, includes free food samples, a variety of exhibitors, and inspiring speakers. Join us and celebrate compassion!

Cooking Class with AmyLeo: Very Vital, Versatile Veggies


CAA volunteer and vegan powerhouse AmyLeo Barankovich is leading a cooking class at Valley Natural Foods on Tuesday, August 19th at 6:00 pm. AmyLeo will show you why veggies need not be gulped down as a boring side dish. These amazing gifts from nature offer up everything from B vitamins to protein. Yes, protein is plentiful in vegetables! Be prepared to experience something new and delightful. You will even get to eat veggies for dessert. Samples will be served, and you won’t leave hungry!

Very Vital, Versatile Veggies

Tuesday, August 19th

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Valley Natural Foods

13750 County Road 11

Burnsville, MN 55337


$10 (co-op member-owners) and for $15 (for non-members)

Register in advance!

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Veg Resources

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