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Fun, food and friendship highlight 25th Annual Banquet!

March 28, 2023

Over 80 people came together for the animals at Cultivating Compassion: CAA’s 25th Annual Banquet. Donors, matched by the Stray Dog Institute and an anonymous donor raised over $5,000 to move our work for animals forward. On top of it, the annual auction, which had its culmination at the banquet, reached 135% of its goal bringing $4,999! This support is critical as we work to bring plant-based food to schools and get 3,000 people to sign our petition for a factory farming moratorium in Minnesota.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to get spruced up and meet new like-minded friends! Highlights include the fantastic multi-course meal by Root to Rise Kitchen. Participants also enjoyed cakewalk and ring-toss games. Whether or not they won, participants had fun and raised extra money for the animals.

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Join Call for Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Accurately Reflect the Benefits of Eating Plants

The U.S. Government Dietary Guidelines for Americans are about to be revised. Join us in asking that they reflect current knowledge on nutrition, free of influence from the meat and dairy industries, by signing this petition.

Key requests of the petition are for the government to:

  • Focus on science and end the exaggerated promotion of meat and dairy products
  • Use clear language in describing the relationship between foods and risk
  • Replace the MyPlate icon’s “protein group” with a “legumes” group and remove the “dairy” icon all together.

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Ethiopian food | April 2023 | Vegan Recipe Club

March 20, 2023

The April meeting of the Vegan Recipe Club will be on Tuesday, April 18 from 6:30-730pm. The cookbook selection is: Teff Love (2015) by Kittee Berns

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.

Are you a fan of Ethiopian cuisine but aren’t quite sure how to capture that particular taste? If so, this month’s recipe club is for you. Teff Love recipes we have chosen will help you demystify the cuisine so that you can savor authentic Ethiopian food without leaving home.

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Get to know Darren Schweiger, Volunteer Coordinator for the Annual Banquet Committee.

Darren and his fiancée PaFoua Hang attended last year’s CAA Veg Fest fundraising event. They heard Laura Matanah speak about the organization and its mission. Because of her passion, they explored more of what CAA offers. 

Laura connected them to other CAA-sponsored events. They enjoyed the tour to Farmaste Animal Sanctuary. Interacting with rescued animals and meeting other people with similar interests was exciting. After that trip, they decided to get more involved.

In 2022 they volunteered at Twin Cities Veg Fest and, more recently, at the 2023 Chili Cookoff. Darren’s role with the Annual Banquet committee includes volunteer registration and contacting potential corporate sponsors.

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Meet two recent rescues at Farmaste Animal Sanctuary: Stewie and Dewey

After a cross-country rescue, Stewie and Dewey have a new home at Farmaste Animal Sanctuary.  Farmaste heard about these two mini donkeys from Farm Sanctuary’s adoption program. Their main caretaker had started to have health problems, and wasn’t able to care for them any longer.  

Farmaste picked them up in New York in November, 2022 for the long drive back. They have since settled into their new home with the big cows for neighbors.

These two sweet (and cute!) boys have very different personalities. Stewie is shy and has taken on the role of Dewey’s protector.  Dewey is calm and loves to be petted. As the protector, Stewie loves to stand guard and zoom around the paths in his pasture. Dewey gravitates to the people, hoping he can snag some treats!  The two are best buddies.

They are both fortunate to have escaped their past life. Dewey was rescued from a kill pen. Stewie had been raised by an overcrowded breeder. They are now living their best lives at Farmaste’s wonderful sanctuary.

Vegan Pressure Cooking | March 2023 | Vegan Recipe Club

March 2, 2023

On March 21 the Vegan Recipe Club will meet on zoom from 6:30pm—7:30pm. The recipes this month come from the cookbook Vegan Pressure Cooking, 2018 by J. L .Fields

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. Links for the recipes and the zoom meeting are below.

Pressure cookers offer lots of conveniences but can be tricky—you’ll get more comfortable with them after this club meeting!

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

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Annual CAA Auction up and running! Bid now! Support animals and snag cool stuff

March 1, 2023
Some of the fantastic and tasty Items from this year’s Auction

There is something for everyone in CAA’s Auction this year! You can bid to take home one of the over 50 donated items. You get something you really want and CAA gets funds to help spare more animals from lives of suffering.

Log into the auction website to see photos, read descriptions and place your bids. Once you bid you will get notices if someone outbids you. Looking at the great choices, it seems we may get some fun bidding wars going on! So bid early and often.

Here is just a taste of the tantalizing items on offer:

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Over 200 high school students explore the “power of the plate” with Wholesome Minnesota

by Jodi Miller Gruhn, Wholesome Minnesota Director, February 22, 2023

Armstrong High School Students cooking vegan food at their FACS class with Jodi Gruhn

My visit to Armstrong High school was one of my favorite days working for Wholesome Minnesota. The FACS (Family and Consumer Science) teachers had promoted my “vegan” visit and the students in the seven classes I visited were incredibly curious. Some because they are interested in plant-based eating, others because they thought it was unbelievable that someone would choose a plant-based lifestyle. These two curiosities made for interesting conversations and a real dialogue between myself and the students.

I shared a short presentation about  the power of our plates in terms of health, the environment, animals and inclusivity. The most powerful moment of the day occurred when a Muslim student approached me upset that they couldn’t make or eat the sausage I’d brought because of their religion. After I explained the sausage was entirely made from plants, and that I would never bring food that one cultural group couldn’t eat, a larger conversation including the entire class occurred. We talked about the power of inclusivity and what it feels like to be excluded due to dietary reasons. The student who’d raised the issue left the class beaming.

We made pancakes with oat and chickpea flour focused on the importance of fiber and easy ways to up the protein in almost any recipe. I shared substitutes for eggs like aquafaba, applesauce, and flax and chia seeds. 

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Get to know Kelso Anderson, Vegan Chili Cook-Off Volunteer

Kelso Anderson was introduced to CAA in the summer of 2022 at a video outreach event. He wasn’t planning to alter his “health-motivated” vegetarian diet. Still, his view of animals changed significantly after seeing the video. That summer, he read Dominion by Matthew Scully. Shortly after, he attended his first Veg Fest and joined the University of Minnesota’s CAA student group. He went vegan to mark the occasion of his 21st birthday.

Kelso reveled in the community support he found at CAA and the Veg Fest. Spending time with like-minded people accelerated his dietary changes and made transitioning to a plant-based diet feel effortless. Because of the support he received, he was inspired to start volunteering and help others discover that living in alignment with their principles is achievable. 

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2023 Vegan Chili Cook-off a tasty success

After a pandemic break we came back with a bang for the 12th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off! 170 people joined us to sample and rate great vegan chili. The constant refrain from taste-testers was, “I’m so glad I came, all of the chilis were great and so different!”

Much thanks to our talented, professional contestants: The Howe Daily Kitchen, Vegan Byy Nature, The Herbivorous Butcher/J. Selby’s and H.E.A.L. Minneapolis. Each of the contestants showed their passion and skills through their delicious chilis.

After the ratings were tabulated, first time competitor The Howe Daily Kitchen won first place and the coveted Chicken Statue! The animals were the true winners though as many people were exposed to how tasty vegan food can be! 

Participants went home with a new appreciation for vegan food and our vibrant community. Comments included: “I liked the chili and everyone was super-friendly,”  “It was fun to learn about new restaurants,”  and “This was my first CAA event and I liked seeing different ways to eat vegan.”

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Veg Resources

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 14, 2023

UMN Student Group Vegan Food Giveaway

Monday, April 17, 2023 - Monday, April 24, 2023

Cooking Class: Vegetable Irish Stew with Tamuno Imbu

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Vegan Recipe Club (Zoom)