Unny Nambudiripad

Unny is a co-founder and the Executive Director of Compassionate Action for Animals. Please see his biography.

Minnesota College Leafleting Week

Have you signed up to leaflet during CAA's biggest leafleting event this season? We hope you can join us!

College leafleting involves standing outside of common areas and handing out brochures to students passing by. Leafleting is a great way to help animals. In just an hour, it is possible to distribute over a hundred Compassionate Choices pamphlets on a college campus, getting the message of compassion out to hundreds of open-minded college students!

Minnesota College Leafleting Week is an opportunity for you to join dozens of other local volunteers in the biggest leafleting week of the year! We will have several volunteers at each college (see list below). If you are interested in helping all day, we need on-site-coordinators at each college to manage leaflets. If you would like to help leaflet for a portion of the day, we can arrange transportation (if needed) to and from a local college.

If you can help with this event, please email Ashely with your name, time(s) that you can help, and if you need transportation. Let us know if there is a specific college you would like to leaflet at. Please also RSVP on Facebook an invite your friends!

College Leafleting Week

We will be leafleting at the following schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area:

  • University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campuses
  • Saint Thomas University, St. Paul
  • Augsburg College, Minneapolis (near West Bank U of M)
  • Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids
  • Hamline University, St. Paul
  • Macalester College
  • Saint Kate's University, St. Paul
  • Century College, White Bear Lake

If you live in Greater Minnesota, we'd be happy to have your help leafleting at a college near you!

Here are some great resources for leafleting:

Register to Compete at the 4th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off

We still have 9 spots left!

Like cooking chili? Have a secret family recipe? Then you might have what it takes to win 1st place at CAA's 4th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off! Registration costs $20. Awesome animal-friendly prizes will be awarded to the top three recipes as determined by popular vote. Contestants must bring 24 cups of prepared vegan (no animal products) chili, a list of ingredients, and a crock pot (or something without an open flame to keep your chili warm).

The 4th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off takes place on Saturday, March 2 at the First Unitarian Church, 900 Mount Curve Drive, Minneapolis. Beverages will be provided for washing down some spicy chili. Over 150 people attended last year's cook-off, and we expect a similar crowd again this year!

Check out the Facebook event and invite your friends.

Help Animals This Holiday Season

As the year comes to a close and we look back on a wildly successful 2012 for Compassionate Action for Animals, we also look forward to great things to come in 2013. Can you make a donation to help us achieve our goals?

Thank you for making 2012 a very successful year! 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

The Humane League is Joining VegGuide.org

The Humane League, a group whose mission is to save the lives of as many animals as possible and to reduce as much animal cruelty as possible, is joining VegGuide.org to help bring more compassionate dining information your way.

Compassionate Action for Animals is happy to announce that The Humane League is joining VegGuide.org as a partner.

The Humane League was founded by Nick Cooney in 2005 and he still plays an integral part in the organization's efforts towards reducing animal suffering. Nick was a speaker at CAA's Their Lives, Our Voices conference in 2010 and wrote the book Change of Heart, an important piece of advocacy literature.

We are thrilled to be working with The Humane League on VegGuide.org. We will work with them to continue bringing you information on compassionate dining options no matter where you live, work, or travel.

Holiday Fundraising Drive

2012 was a banner year for Compassionate Action for Animals in many ways, including a successful first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest. Can you make a donation to help us have an even better Veg Fest in 2013?

Thank you for making 2012 a very successful year! 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.

We're 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. To make this happen we need help from people like you – people who care about animals, and want to make a difference.

You can make your tax deductible donation online. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Help Bring Vegan Comfort Food to Minneapolis!

Volunteers are currently working to help bring a vegan comfort food restaurant to Minneapolis and if you'd like to help be a part of the efforts we have information for you!

Are you interested in volunteering to help bring a 100% vegan "comfort food" restaurant to Minneapolis? Would you like to be part of the co-creation process and help find the location, set the menu, and write the business plan? Talking to folks in the local vegan community, there is always a lot of interest in having a comfort food vegan restaurant, so let's harness all that energy and make it happen!

Michael Maddox is currently working with a core group of 5-6 people working to bring a comfort food vegan restaurant to Minneapolis. They are still early in the process, recruiting volunteers, writing the business plan, and coming up with potential names for the restaurant. Meetings are held every other Sunday evening from 6:30-8pm and their next meeting is 12/09. You don't need any particular skills to help.

To find out more, check out their blog. You can also sign up for their mailing list for notifications about events related to the co-creation of the restaurant.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Michael at Michael.P.Maddox@gmail.com!

Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck Recipes

Compassionate Action for Animals celebrated Thanksgiving this year with the Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck, held on Saturday, November 17th. About 150 people attended the event and were well-fed with delicious vegan food.

Along with Tofurky roast and gravy donations from Turtle Island Foods, people brought dishes to share and some of the recipes are listed below. We are thankful for the company of the people who attended the event, the food they shared, and the impact they have on advocating for animals.

This community-building event brought together people interested in reducing animal suffering from all walks of life, and was a great opportunity to meet others with similar values and ideals. Although it was not a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, the potluck helped to create new social norms and give people a place to find support in their beliefs and actions helping animals.

The potluck was held in memory of Lauren Hanson, an avid CAA volunteer who passed away in September. CAA Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad gave a short speech about her contributions to animal advocacy and about our loss. We remember her as we celebrate this holiday season.

Thank you to Turtle Island Foods for the generous donation of Tofurky roasts and gravy, to the volunteers who planned and executed the event, and to the generous donors who support our work.

Please answer our three question survey to let us know what you thought of the potluck!

Here are the recipes from the potluck:

Unny N. and John C.

Butternut squash bisque

Adrianne P.

Sweet Apple Crisp

David S.

Wild Rice

Mike C.

Wild Rice Salad With Curry Mustard Vinaigrette

Kathy D.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Cassandra H.

Cranberry Salsa

Freeman W.

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

Allison L.

Quinoa Salad

Adam W. and Sam K.

Fudgy Fudge

Karin A.

Rice Crispy Treats

Kristine V.

Spring Rolls

Michelle R.

Three Green Gratin

Submit Your Recipe for the Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck

We're hosting our 10th annual Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck on Saturday, November 17th at noon. Please let us know the recipe that you'll be bringing, and we'll share it with everybody

This potluck will be held at Matthews Park Recreation Center in Minneapolis. Please submit your recipe so we can share it with attendees and subscribers to our email list.

This event is open to all Compassionate Action for Animals supporters, donors, volunteers, family, friends, and people interested in getting involved! This is a vegan event, so please do not bring any food items with animal ingredients (i.e., no meat, dairy, eggs, butter or cheese). We are aiming for a combination of appetizers, fruit/veggie salads, side dishes, main courses, desserts, and non-alcoholic beverages.

In consideration for those with allergies and sensitivities, please bring an ingredient list to place next to your dish on the serving table.

We are requesting that people bring their own plates and utensils to reduce waste. We're trying to make this event as green as possible and we will be composting at this event.

Please invite your friends on Facebook and Meetup, and let us know what you plan on bringing when you RSVP on those sites. We also need volunteers!

This year's potluck will be held in memory of Lauren Hanson, who passed away in September. She was a passionate animal advocate, and had volunteered with Compassionate Action for Animals for the last four years. The Thanksgiving Potluck was a favorite event of hers.

We all hope to see you there!

Map of the event location.

Good Science on Vegan Nutrition

Following a plant-based diet is an important tool for reducing animal suffering. But what about human health? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a vegan diet? Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad science out there about nutrition in general and vegan nutrition in specific.

One of our core values at Compassionate Action for Animals is integrity. We want to present the most accurate information available on vegan diets. We need to look at all of the science on the topic, not just those studies that say what we want to hear. By presenting the full picture about veganism we can demonstrate our trustworthiness on this topic and others. When animal advocates are not credible on one topic, people will start to doubt everything they say. After all, if we weren't forthright about nutrition, maybe we're shading the truth about what goes on in factory farms.

With that all said, what do we look for when evaluating information on nutrition? Realistically, very few of us will ever get an advanced degree in biology or dietetics, and even fewer of us will go on to conduct research on vegan diets. We have to rely on experts to do that for us. But lots of people claim to be experts! Who can we trust?

We look for experts who evaluate all of the scientific information on the topic. They don't cherry pick just the studies that support a plant-based diet, they don't exaggerate health claims for plant-based diets, and they don't shy away from the potential problems that come with this diet. A trustworthy expert is never afraid to change their mind in the face of compelling new evidence, and they're willing to call out bad science, even when it comes from within the animal advocacy movement.

Two of our favorite writers working in this area are Jack Norris of Vegan Outreach and Ginny Messina. Both Jack and Ginny take the scientific process seriously and are interested in providing the best facts available about vegan diets.

Together they co-wrote the best contemporary book on vegan nutrition, Vegan for Life. If you're interested in becoming and staying healthy on a plant-based diet, this is a must-read book. We also recommend their blogs, JackNorrisRD.com and TheVeganRD.com. They regularly look at the latest scientific developments in vegan nutrition, answer questions from readers, and provide good recommendations on staying healthy. We also recommend VeganHealth.org, a site Jack Norris maintains. It contains a wealth of articles on a variety of topics related to vegan health.

Because we care about animals, we also need to care for ourselves. When we are living examples of how to be a healthy vegan, our appeals to others for diet change are more effective. We will be much more effective animal advocates when we are prepared to answer basic nutrition questions. The more we know about all of the issues related animals and plant-based diets, the more effective we are as animal advocates.

Matching Donation Opportunity

CAA has received a generous offer from an anonymous donor to contribute $15,000 if we can to match this amount. We are asking you, as donors and volunteers, to help us reach this goal. How can you help? 1. Donate, 2. Refer, 3. Ask, or 4. Share

  1. Donate: If you are able to, please make a donation. Your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar.
  2. Refer: Please provide names & contact info of your friends and family members who may be interested in donating to our cause. We promise to only contact these new people once unless they become donors. By simply referring us to new potential donors, we receive $50! If the person you refer us to donates $15 or more, we receive a $100 match! Fill out the form right now!
  3. If you prefer not to provide CAA with another's contact info, we will just ask that you send an email on our behalf (we will provide the template for you). Please email unny@exploreveg.org if you are interested in participating in this way.
  4. Raise awareness about animal cruelty by encouraging people to watch Mercy for Animals' powerful documentary, Farm to Fridge. This documentary shows the brutal realities of modern animal agriculture. You can get us free advertising by 'liking' the video and sharing it with your friends.

This past summer we hosted the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest. This fantastic event attracted over 1,200 attendees from around the Twin Cities and beyond. Attendees sampled delicious vegan food, heard from inspiring speakers, and learned more about how they can help animals by moving toward a plant-based diet. We received extremely positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors. We're already starting to plan the 2013 event, and we're looking forward to making it even more effective.

This is just one of many exciting activities that your donations help make possible. Help us expand our donor base so we can do even more for animals in 2013.

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pride Festival Video Outreach

Monday, June 25, 2018

June Dine-Out: moto-i

Thursday, June 28, 2018

June Potluck: Summer Salads at Suzy’s