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Making Minneapolis the Next Fur-Free City: An Interview with Matt Johnson

I met with Matt Johnson, the campaign director for Fur Free Minneapolis, which is an initiative to ban the sale of new fur within city limits, to talk about the campaign.

Following in the footsteps of LA and San Francisco, Matt believes Minneapolis will be the next fur-free city. The campaign has gathered more than 2,000 letters to City Council Members and the Mayor and more than 13,000 signatures on their online petition. Read on to learn more about this groundbreaking campaign, Matt, and what you can do to help.

How did you get involved in animal advocacy?

As a boy, I was lucky enough to be able to spend most of my time outside in the north woods of Minnesota. I grew up in the sticks, in a part of the state that is abundant in small farms and nature. I knew where the beavers in the area had their lodges and regularly saw other animal neighbors like raccoons, foxes, and even a wolf pack once.

I was fortunate because my father did not hunt and he did not teach me to hunt nor condone it. I mention this because so many of my neighbors and the other boys I knew did not have that experience, most hunted and trapped, and even though they were interested in wild animals it was with exploitative designs that they engaged with them.

As a young person, I felt a connection to animals and would speak up for them regularly. On one occasion my dad took me to O.C. Mangold’s, a local farmer and entrepreneur, wild animal auction to see the strange animals carted into northern Minnesota: crocodiles, peacocks, bison, zebra… you name it. I became fixated on an arctic fox and while I was standing by their cage another boy came up and let me know his dad would be buying that fox, that they intended to skin them for their beautiful white fur. I was shocked and explained the situation to my dad! He told me I could buy the fox, and I did for a mere $6. We built them an enclosure under a stand of white pines but within a week they had escaped, foxes are excellent at climbing fencing! For years we would see this arctic fox running in the wild around our home.

I didn’t become vegan until I was in my early thirties and, like so many people have stated, it’s been the best decision. It really has allowed my animal advocacy to come into power in a deep and meaningful way.

Why did you decide to run this campaign?

I had three reasons for starting the Fur Free Minneapolis Campaign.

  • This is a winnable campaign for animals. Since there are hundreds of issues we can invest time in we need to be selective, even if that means saying “no” to some important problems. We owe it to animals to pick campaigns that we can actually win. Minneapolis is a progressive city with a City Council that wants to take action on import issues: justice and equity issues related to humans, environmental issues and animal issues. Let’s give them the chance to do something great and historic for animals!
  • This campaign will make a measurable difference for animals. When Minneapolis passes their fur ban 5,000-10,000 animals will not be sold within our city fur their fur. I believe it’s very important that the animal rights movement start to seriously focus on winning measurable victories for animals, without them how can we know if we’re truly making progress?
  • We are part of a larger movement and keeping that momentum going is crucial. We have been working closely with some of the activists and groups that banned fur in California. We know that right now there is a lot of pressure on the fur industry and we want to use that momentum to pass our ban, help NYC and Portland pass their bans, and assist other cities and states that also want to ban fur in their area. If you’re reading this and want to ban fur in your city, reach out to us and we’ll help!

Many of CAA’s supporters have a big heart for animals farmed for food. Why do you think they should care about the fur-free movement?

Supporting our fur-free ban undoubtedly helps animals used for food, although it’s not immediately obvious how.

Rabbits are the most highly killed fur-bearing animal, it’s estimated that over a billion are killed annually. Rabbits are often overlooked because they are used for both their fur and their flesh. Additionally, because raising them is not as environmentally damaging as raising cows, pigs, chickens, etc, humans have not talked about their plight nearly as often as some other animals raised for food.

Bringing an end to the fur industry will greatly reduce the number of rabbits raised for food production since the profits from raising them will be sharply reduced. By supporting our Minneapolis fur ban you can be sure that fewer rabbits will be sold for their fur in our city and therefore fewer rabbits will also be raised at all.

Launching a political campaign for animals as a volunteer sounds intimidating and time-consuming. What steps did you take to make this happen?

First of all, I have by no means done all of the work myself. This is a completely unfunded and volunteer-run operation. Without support from amazing and dedicated volunteers, we could not have completed what we have so far. Before starting this work I spoke to the people closest to me and confirmed that we would form a core group to get the work done. That is crucial, you must have at least a small group of people that are dedicated to working on this with you, committed for the long haul.

I went to a political grassroots lobbying course in 2018 that inspired me to do the work that would be necessary to succeed in a campaign like this. I highly recommend checking out Midwest Academy for anyone that wants to train in political organizing. The animal rights movement has a lot to learn from other movements (black liberation, environmental protection, gender equality, women’s rights, etc) that have been organizing longer than we have. Train with them and learn from their expertise.

What’s next for the campaign? When can we expect to see a fur-free city?

At this point, we have the votes to pass a fur ban in our city! We now need to work creatively and collaboratively with key City Council Members to get it introduced. Without that introduction it will never be debated or voted on, i.e. it will never pass.

When the time comes we need supporters to show up in mass for rallies, hearing dates, chances to testify and other events. Most of the City Council Members want to do the right thing but they are going to have to be pressured into it, that’s all of our responsibility to make sure we show up and apply pressure and support.

What can readers do to help make Minneapolis the next fur-free city?

I can’t emphasize enough how important each of these steps are. City Council Members would love to hear from you on making Minneapolis a fur-free city.

At the city level politics are very different than the state or national and each one of you can use your voice to make a big impact. Please take the time to do each of the things described below.

  1. If you live in Minneapolis, look up your ward and which City Council Member represents you, you can do this on Fur Free Minneapolis. There are also talking points and a script for calling/emailing your City Council Member:
    • Call your City Council Member.
    • Email your City Council Member.
    • Work with us to schedule a meeting to talk to your City Council Member about this issue, we will support you and attend these meetings with you if you need. This is the single most important thing you can do and it’s a great way to learn more about the legislative process.
    • Fill out a postcard at one of our kiosks: The Herbivorous Butcher, Vegan East, Ethique Nouveau, The Cafe Meow. Signed postcards/letters to Council Members from Minneapolis residents are a powerful way for us to show local support for this ordinance.
    • Call/Email the Mayor’s office.
    • Sign up on our website to stay informed.
    • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and Like and Share our posts.
    • Sign the online petition
    • Get as many people as you can to do all of the steps above.
    • Plan to come out to future events that we hold, the most crucially important being the hearings at City Hall.
  2. If you don’t live in Minneapolis:
    • Sign up on our website to stay informed.
    • Call/Email the Mayor’s office.
    • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and Like and Share our posts.
    • Sign the online petition.
    • Get as many people as you can to do all of the steps above.
    • Plan to come out to future events that we hold, the most crucially important being the hearings at City Hall.

To learn more about Fur Free Minneapolis and get involved, visit their website and reach out to them at furfreeminneapolis@gmail.com to ask how you can help. They need volunteer help on a variety of issues and would love to have your expertise and effort in passing this ordinance.

November Eats | Vegan Recipe Club

From carrot dogs to seasonal stews, we hope you’ve enjoyed trying out new vegan recipes that push the boundaries of what plants can do. We hope you’ll join us for the last Vegan Recipe Club meeting of the year! Recipe selections for November include:

  • Pure Vegan (Joseph Shuldiner, 2012)
    • Hummus w/ Tahini
    • Basmati Rice Pudding
  • Vegan Soul Kitchen (Bryant Terry, 2009)
    • Open-Faced BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Carrot Cayenne Coleslaw
  • The Wicked Healthy Cookbook (Chad Sarno, et al., 2018)
    • Banh Mi w/ Lemongrass Tofu and Ginger Aioli
    • Corn Dumplings in Coconut Corn Broth
  • The Easy Vegan Cookbook (Kathy Hester, 2015)
    • Indian Style Potato and Peas (Aloo Matter)

You can download this month’s recipes here.

What’s ThanksLiving?

The traditional Thanksgiving holiday has many potentially positive elements: thankfulness, food, family, and tradition. It also encourages denial about the real experiences of turkeys and Native people.

We’ve decided to change the name of Compassionate Action for Animals’ traditional celebration from “A Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck” to “A Vegan ThanksLiving Potluck” as a way to refocus our celebration on the lived experiences, and resistance to oppression, of both human and non-human animals. Our goal is to retain many of the positive elements of the traditional holiday while expanding its meaningfulness with greater knowledge and action.

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Volunteer Shout-out: Shannon Lasnetske!

Meet Shannon, a member of the University of Minnesota CAA Student Group and one of the volunteer coordinators for Twin Cities Veg Fest 2019. Read on to learn who encouraged her to go vegan, her involvement with the animal rights movement, and what she’s working toward while in school.

Who (or what) inspired you to go vegan? 
When I was 16 years old I was scouted by a modeling agency in New York and they told me that if I could lose weight they wanted to sign me to work with them. On my way home at the airport my grandma, who was with me, bought me a book called Skinny Bitch to help me lose weight. It wasn’t a big book and I finished it on the plane before I was home. I had no idea it was actually a book about veganism, but it is what ultimately introduced me to the plant-based diet. I didn’t think I could do it, but I tried it for a day which turned into a week, and before I knew it I had been on the diet for months.

Was it a linear process? 
For me, it definitely was not a linear process. When I first read the book that I previously mentioned, my main concern was all about weight-loss. After about a year of plant-based eating and trying to lose weight for a modeling career, I gave up on all of it, even being vegan. At that time I forgot about the animals who were also mentioned in the book. About a year after that I met someone who helped reintroduce me to veganism (it wasn’t hard). After that, I was plant-based for a couple of years. About three years ago I learned more about the animals and what they go through for animal-tested products and for products like leather and wool, and that’s when I really embraced the vegan lifestyle, cruelty-free toothpaste and all. My process was a mess, but at this point, I know I’ll be 100% vegan for the rest of my life.

What is your favorite way to advocate for the animals? 
Outreach! I really love talking with people about veganism. I’ve had so many good conversations with people and I’ve learned so much since I’ve started advocating for the animals. I also like protesting and working with the AV Cube.

How did you get involved with CAA? 
If I remember correctly, I think what happened was I googled vegan groups in the Twin Cities and found the CAA website. One of the events listed on there was video outreach on the UMN campus, so I showed up on the date and time listed on the website and met a really cool group of people doing some amazing stuff.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
There aren’t any animal rights groups that I am officially apart of, but I love meeting new people and going to activist events whenever I find them online. When I’m not volunteering I’m studying. I’m a full-time student, and I have a part-time job working as a medical scribe as well. When I’m not studying for my classes, my favorite hobby is studying languages.

What are you studying in school? 
I’m now majoring in Chemistry, French, and Arabic and minoring in Biochemistry. I really love being a student.

How does your major tie into what you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about learning and about languages, in which case what I’m studying is directly related to my passions. But I’m also a premedical student. I hope that once I’ve finished all my schooling, I can advocate for animals and champion a plant-based diet for health from a well-respected platform as a medical doctor.

What would you tell a new vegan to help them on their journey? 
I think the best advice I received when I first went vegan was to not be too hard on myself for mistakes and to take it one day at a time. For new vegans, mistakes can happen! Mistakes are a good opportunity to learn, don’t give up and don’t be beat yourself up. And even if you were vegan before and you did give up on it, you can always go vegan again!

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Are you a University of Minnesota student? Get involved with the UMN CAA Chapter! Visit our student group page to learn more about meeting times or our volunteer page to get involved.

October Eats | Vegan Recipe Club

If this month’s recipes are any indication (aside from the changing weather), we’re heading into fall. Selections for October include:

You can download this month’s recipes here.

Explore the Fall Flavors of the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge

If you’ve already gone to try some of the dishes as a part of the challenge, you know that they are gooooooood but if you haven’t, a picture is worth 1,000 words (and definitely the prelude to heading in for a taste). Check out these delicious, vegan specials available until October 20—and make sure to share your experience when you vote AND share photos from your visit on social with #tcveganchef to be entered into a weekly drawing!

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Local Heroes: Farm Sanctuaries

Hilda was so sick she couldn’t even stand. And the shadows swirling around her didn’t seem to care. She blacked out, and it’s lucky she did because where she was about to end up would almost surely have sealed her fate: on a pile of her dead friends. She wasn’t known as Hilda, then. But the soft bed of hay she found herself resting on when she came to was her start down a path to healing and love.

The farm sanctuary movement was born when Gene Baur rescued Hilda behind a Lancaster, Pennsylvania stockyard 1986. He sold vegan hotdogs out of his VW van in Grateful Dead concert parking lots to raise funds for his aptly-named Farm Sanctuary, where Hilda lived 10 long years. Today, there are about 100 sanctuaries across the United States with six in Minnesota and one in western Wisconsin. Let’s take a look at how our local sanctuaries are contributing to the movement.

Meet some of the sanctuaries around the Twin Cities

ANNA LAKE ANIMAL SANCTUARY IN UNDERWOOD SINCE 2017
Anna Lake is a microsanctuary that is home to 20 chickens, five ducks, and three cows. They provide rescue, education, and adoption. The microsanctuary movement believes that rescue can be just as effective on a small scale. annalakeanimalsanctuary.com

CHICKEN RUN RESCUE IN MINNEAPOLIS SINCE 2001
Chicken Run provides shelter, vet care, love, and adoptive homes to rescued chickens. They’re the only urban chicken rescue of its kind. They educate the public about how adopting animals impacts their lives and encourage all to help further positively impacting the lives of chickens by adopting a vegan diet. chickenrunrescue.org

FARMASTE IN LINDSTROM SINCE 2016
Farmaste offers rescue, a safe haven, and rehabilitation to unwanted, injured and abused farm animals. They offer many community outreach programs and camps to promote compassionate and mindful living that inspire folks to rethink what they can do to impact the lives of farmed animals. farmaste.org

LITTLE ACORN SANCTUARY IN CASTLE ROCK SINCE 2018
Little Acorn is Minnesota’s newest sanctuary and has big dreams about the role they will play in the lives of farm animals that have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Their current residents include goats and chickens. They offer private tours, as well as volunteer opportunities. They work hard to educate the public about the harmful effects of factory farming. littleacornsanctuary.org

ROOSTER REDEMPTION IN CENTER CITY SINCE 2016
Rooster Redemption currently provides sanctuary for 23 abandoned, exploited, and mistreated roosters. They choose to refrain from giving regular public tours but can make special arrangements for visitors. roosterredemption.org

SPRING FARM SANCTUARY IN LONG LAKE SINCE 2016
Spring Farm was one of the first farm animal sanctuaries in Minnesota and is “committed to ending farm animal cruelty and promoting vegan living through our rescue, rehabilitation and education efforts.” Owner Robin cares for 20+ residents while educating the local community through events and tours about the environmental effects of industrial animal agriculture and the conditions animals endure. springfarmsanctuary.org

SOULSPACE FARM SANCTUARY IN NEW RICHMOND, WISCONSIN SINCE 2015
SoulSpace opened in 2015, has 40+ residents, and “works to inspire change in the way society views farm animals and support people in their quest to live a more compassionate lifestyle.” People of all ages can volunteer or take a tour. They host one- and four-day education programs. And in 2017, owner Kara opened a vegan Airbnb (guests are asked not to consume animal products on sanctuary grounds during their stay) on her farmhouse’s upper level to further fund and fulfill their mission. soulspacesanctuary.org

Meet Pancake (left) and Martin, friends, and residents of Little Acorn Sanctuary. Pancake wears a bell so Martin, who is blind, can find him.

More than just a home

Minnesota and Wisconsin are fortunate to be home to so many of these important allies in the animal rights movement. Their residents experience healing and the chance to be themselves. Visitors learn how advocating for changes to factory farming and adopting a plant-based diet can make an impact. Volunteers put their passion for animal rights into action through direct care and education.

At their heart, farm sanctuaries are safe spaces of change and healing for both their residents and surrounding communities. We are so grateful for the work these sanctuaries and their residents do! Each year, CAA organizes group visits to some of our local sanctuaries. To pre-register for one of these life-changing trips, visit exploreveg.org/events or email info@exploreveg.org to learn more and get involved.

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This article was originally published in the 2019 issue of Twin Cities Veg Living.

Emily Kampa is a writer, animal lover, and foodie. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her wife Laura and their American Staffordshire Terrier, Pip.

A Leader in Calling for Pollinator Rights | Bee Free Honee

This summer, local-based Bee Free Honee announced that they would be shutting down their operations. We met with founder and creator, Katie Sanchez, to talk about her honee’s start, the journey it took her on, and facts about these often misunderstood and abused animals.

A sweet start

Katie created the project by chance during her days of working as pastry chef for Whole Foods when trying to make apple jelly for the first time. Katie explains, “I didn’t want to make jelly with gelatin and I didn’t want it to be so sweet.” After it didn’t turn out the way she had planned, she canned the jelly and left it overnight to find a honey-like substance in the morning.

“At the time, when I thought about the vegan pastries we were making for Whole Foods, we didn’t have a lot of options for sweeteners. I had always wished we could use something like honey that was light and would let lemon or vanilla bean come through, and so I thought this could be a really cool gift for my fellow vegan bakers,” recalls Katie.

Her cousin asking, “why not make it a business of your own?” prompted Katie to turn her researching and consideration of the honey into a reality and work toward bringing it to market.

Flower Pollen Infused Bee Free Honee has all the nutrition you’d hope to find in raw bee honey but is vegan, from pollen sourced straight from the flower. (Photo from Bee Free Honee)

A honey ahead of its time

The honey was not only a great alternative for vegans, but for all human children and folks who are allergic to honey. (Children are advised not to eat honey due to their young age).

In a time where an increasing number of analogs are being developed for eggs, dairy, and fish and land animal flesh there weren’t direct analogs out there for honey.

Growth and time on Shark Tank

Katie and her business partner made an appearance on Shark Tank as well, where they learned how to explain their product and the importance of protecting pollinator rights when appearing in front of the sharks.

“When I started I didn’t realize the depth of the honey controversy,” recalls Katie. “My dad and his retired beekeeping buddies were all excited about it. I thought that this product can only do good. I was not in any way prepared for the level of disruption that was ready to ensue upon me.”

Katie started out with the original, and then came out with Slippery Elm, which aimed to help soothe throats and calm upset stomachs, before she learned how to make flower pollen infused bee free honee, which had flower pollen extracts custom blended to create a full profile of all the nutrients in the measurement that would equal raw bee honey. “We were the only honey on the market that had a nutrition panel that listed all of the nutrients inside in every tablespoon. No other honey could do that because every pollen profile has a different nutrient profile and it would be too expensive to test every individual honey.”

Katie realized the criticism and slow reception to the honee wasn’t about nutrition, but perhaps something deeper. “Today, I think people are a little more ready to hear the message. I’m hoping that we were at least able to break through and pave the way for the next person,” reflects Katie. “I’m not going to stop trying to help our pollinators and putting information out there, and hopefully the ripple effect will help our pollinators.”

“Starting a business with a mission is really challenging. You have to learn as you go and be accepting. We’re all trying to be the best we can in the world. If we’re really going to save lives, the world, and our humanity, then we have to meet anger with love and acceptance.”

We need to stop undermining our pollinators and work to support them, which starts with not eating their honey or taking any of their other secretions.

Honey is a health food—for bees

Roughly one third of honey being sold in the United States is produced domestically, while the rest is imported from around the world. What’s more—over three-fourths of what is sold in the US is ultra-filtered to remove the pollen.

“Producers call it honey because it comes from a bee, but because there’s no real definition, they can call it honey and get away with it,” explained Katie.

Filtering helps exporters and importers disguise where their honey is from (as pollen is the only way to identify where honey is from) and import honey potentially contaminated with heavy metals and illegal antibiotics. Learn more about honey laundering here.

The most alarming of this all is that during a time with climate change, disease, and other factors wreaking havoc on pollinator populations, we are taking the “surplus” honey from bees, which isn’t actually surplus, but stores of honey each hive sets aside for consumption in hard times (including winter) to sustain their population. Producing honey is no small feat—during a bee’s lifetime, he will only make approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey and to make one pound of honey, a colony will have to visit over two million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles, at up to 15 miles per hour according to the Utah County Beekeepers Association.

It’s difficult to determine what is a “surplus” in honey from hive to hive and large-scale beekeepers often remove all or most of it and replace it with a sugar or corn syrup substitute, which is nutritionally deficient and eventually makes bee populations sick. Farming also often limits bees’ diet to monoculture crops and introduces large amounts of pesticides into their systems and can lead to farmed hives crowding out wild pollinators.

“How is this a positive thing for this insect that’s being trucked around the United States, being exposed to every climate in an unnatural manner? Every orchard and grove uses a different pesticide, so they’re being exposed to every pesticide. It’s not just one truck coming in, it’s multiple trucks from all over the US. If one hive is contaminated with mites and another is healthy, by morning, the mites will have moved over to the healthy hive so that it’s contaminated as well,” explains Katie. “Bees are being exposed to everything simultaneously, their food is being taken, queens are being swapped out of hives unnaturally and regularly so that the queen is productive, and we ask ourselves, ‘What’s happening? Why are the bees in decline?’ It’s not a mystery. We’re doing everything we can to kill them.”

“Bees are being exposed to everything simultaneously, their food is being taken, queens are being swapped out of hives unnaturally and regularly so that the queen is productive, and we ask ourselves, ‘What’s happening? Why are the bees in decline?’ It’s not a mystery. We’re doing everything we can to kill them.”

Another bee “ingredient” to watch out for is bee venom, which is collected by randomly shocking bees as they try to enter their hive. It can be found in face masks and other personal care products.

Pollinators in peril

Pollution, chemicals, disease, and climate change are all contributing to shrinking and shifting pollinator populations.

With over 35% of the world’s food supply relying on pollinators to some degree, it’s impossible to imagine a well-fed future without pollinators. In addition to facilitating the creation of the food we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.

How to support pollinators

You may be reading and wondering, “But what can I do?!” Luckily, there are some excellent ways to support bees and other pollinators.

If you have access to land, start by planting a pollinator garden! Did you know Washington state has a pollinator path running through it? It started with a woman getting permission from the city to plant a pollinator-friendly garden between the sidewalk and the street near her house and grew when her neighbor saw it and decided to replicate it in their yard. It took years to grow as neighbors joined in and created more and more of the pollinator path.

  • Stop buying into the monoagricultural system. Buying and planting the same types of plants from large stores (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s, etc.) leads to nondiversified nutrition for pollinators, plus the plants that are purchased from these stores often have seeds that are impregnated with pesticides so they last longer and people won’t return them (but consequently make pollinators sick!)
  • You can look for plants that are indigenous to your area that are pollinator friendly (including Beebalm, Pale Purple Coneflower, Sunflower, Joe-Pye Weed, and Yarrow) that you can plant in your neighborhood that don’t come from big box stores.
  • Don’t destroy your dandelions—they are the first food sources for pollinators.
  • Get involved with your city—Check out what they’re already doing and ask them to plant pollinator-friendly plants and allow them to grow wild without intervention.
  • Stop buying honey, beeswax, and other products carrying bee secretions and share why you’re not buying them with others.

Thank you Katie and Bee Free Honee for being a voice for pollinators and calling for their protection. You have inspired many across the country to join you, and your honee will be missed.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2019

We welcomed an estimated 10,000 people to Twin Cities Veg Fest in Harriet Island Park on September 15, 2019!

We ate, learned, and celebrated compassion under beautiful blue skies beside the Mississippi River.

Here are just a few of our favorite quotes from the 10K attendees, over 150 volunteers, and over 120 exhibitors who joined us:

  • Most valuable was being around like-minded people and people who are doing truly great things in animal rescue or welfare and learning more about plant-based/vegan eating. I’m moving to this diet.
  • I loved that there was an ask a dietitian booth—amazing.
  • I enjoyed: trying out new-to-me restaurants and learning about new-to-me vendors; learning about/connecting with different organizations working locally and beyond; and connecting with other people around food and compassion.
  • We really enjoyed the event and the crowd. Beautiful location! Great people to work with!
  • Thanks for all your great work preparing for, implementing, and now following up after such an outstanding event. This was my first Twin Cities Veg Fest and I was so impressed by the scale, the variety and diversity among presenters and vendors, and how kind people were in handling challenges that arose while I was volunteering.

We want to express extra appreciation to all who joined us later than planned due to the shuttle mishap, and apologize for the issues with transportation that arose at this year’s festival. Our statement on accessibility and transportation provides additional information and ways to contact us, and also outlines plans for improvement in these areas next year. 

What will next year bring? Be sure to subscribe to our email list to stay in the loop.

Many thanks to the donors, sponsors, volunteer committee members, day-of volunteers, exhibitors, presenters, musicians, and attendees who were part of Twin Cities Veg Fest 2019. Together we broke attendance records, helping a growing community to take action on their empathy for animals and to move towards a plant-based diet.

If you have any photos from the festival, be sure to @tcvegfest and #tcvegfest on social! We’d love to hear what you thought about this year’s festival (and take a peek at any of the foods you tried)!

Twin Cities Veg Fest Food Guide

One of the most exciting parts of the festival is THE FOOD! Each year, the festival keeps growing and so do the flavors! And from food trucks, to bakeries, to sauce companies, and more, there are a lot of flavors to experience at the festival.

Before their big reveal on Sunday, take a peek at the list of the businesses bringing Instagram-worthy treats and meals for you to enjoy at Twin Cities Veg Fest between attending cooking demos, inspiring speakers, listening to the awesome music lineup, and visiting with the 100+ non-food exhibitors that include sanctuaries, other animal rights organizations, local and national businesses, and more!

We’ve included just a few of the posts we caught on social of food that will be at the festival—there will be SO MUCH MORE and we can’t wait to see your pics! Be sure to #tcvegfest — where will you visit first?

Reverie is bringing jackfruit bulgogi, watermelon poke, and other summer favorites along with some exciting news!!

The Herbivorous Butcher is bringing a trio of sliders and other veg classics—YUM!

The J. Mobile will be bringing Jamabalaya and Tinga Tamales (exclusive menu items) along with their Dirty Secret sliders—can you believe??

Read on to search for new and familiar names on the food list and check out the entire 2019 festival map here. See you Sunday!

A10-A11 Miss Garrett’s Vegan Soul
A12-A13 Foxy Falafel
A20-A21 The J. Mobile
A4 These Wingz?
A8 Fig + Farro
A9 Simplistic Project
B11-B13 Free Indeed Food
B14 Justveggiez
B16 Tiny Footprint Coffee
B22-B23 Reverie Mobile Kitchen
B4 Saint Pops
B6 Pizza Luce
B7 Soul Bowl
B8 Root to Rise Kitchen
C1-C2 Peace Coffee
C11 Vixed Baking Company
C12 Keiko’s Kitchen
C17 Vegetables Are Cool
C19-C20 Tori 44
C28-C29 K Town Street Foods
C30 PLNT BSD
C41 Atlas Provisions
C42 Sanitas Foods
C45-C46 VB & J’s
C49 Superior Small Batch
C7 Tibet Momo
C8 North Coast Organics
C9-C10 Crofter’s Organic
D1-D2 The Herbivorous Butcher Food Truck
D10 Superior Switchel
D12 RachCakes
D13 Koru Kombucha
D14 Kakookies
D15-D16 Borealis Bowls Food Truck
D17 Hope’s Vegan Kitchen
D18 Prairie Vegan Pies
D19 Rouge Smoked Foods
D20 Totally Baked Donuts
D21 Daisy’s Cafe II
D22 Follow Your Heart
D29 Vegan Mama’s Bakery
D31 Grlk
D33-D34 Sweet Gypsy Waffle
D35 Choosy Cookie Co.
D38-D39 Fresh Sugarcane Juice
D42 Mod Kitsch
D44 Innate Foods
D45-D46 Sssdude-Nutz
D47-D48 Fro Yo Soul
D5 Coconut Whisk Baking Co.
D6 Rawr Organics
D7 Jajja Wellness
D8-D9 KCM EggRolls
E11 Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant
E12 Wholly Veggie!
E13 Radical Eats
E14 K-Mama Sauce
E15 Maazah Chutney
E16 Beyond Better Cashew Sauce & Dip Mixes
E17 Sara’s Tipsy Pies
E18-E19 Evan’s Organic Eatery
E21 Jasmine Deli
E24 Green Garden Bakery
E25-E26 Rooted Green Wellness
E3 Trio Plant-Based
E5 Seed Cafe
E6 Ruth’s Vegetarian Gourmet
E7 EcuaFry
E8 Sünabloom
E9 Muddy Tiger – Indian Street Food
F1 – F3 So Good So You

Speaking of food, make sure to get your ticket for Veg Island Jam so you can stick around after the festival and try the awesome Jasmine Deli is creating to go with the sweet local lineup of up and coming Twin Cities based bands. Tickets are $20 before the festival and go to $25 at the door.

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