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In their own words: Middle school students share thoughts on Bridges of Respect

Bridges of Respect provides free humane education presentations for middle schools, high schools, after-school programs, colleges, and community groups. While presentations have mostly been offered in the Twin Cities metro area, the recent increase in online learning has opened the door for Bridges of Respect to connect with students in other cities and states.

Recently, Shannon Kimball and Suzy Sorenson teamed up to share a Bridges of Respect presentation via Zoom with a 7th and 8th grade Health class in Pocatello, Idaho. Several students shared their feedback after the experience:

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Why visit a farm sanctuary?

An in-person tour of a farm sanctuary can be a fun way to have personal encounters with animals otherwise farmed for food. These up-close experiences can tap into our compassion and help us understand our shared sentience. Tours also provide insight into the dedication, ingenuity and resources it takes to ensure farmed animals enjoy a full and peaceful existence.

Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) coordinates with local farm sanctuaries within driving distance of the Twin Cities to offer tours. We do this to give you the chance to make personal connections with animals and learn their stories. When we begin to deeply understand how farmed animals experience the world, our motivation to protect the quality of their lives and embrace a plant-based lifestyle increases.

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Volunteer on the 2021 Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge Committee

We need YOU to volunteer make 2021 the biggest and best Twin Cities Chef Challenge yet! Volunteers will help add vegan options to Twin Cities restaurants and build excitement around vegan dining. Past volunteers have found the experience to be highly rewarding.

What is the challenge?

The Twin Cities Chef Challenge brings new vegan options to Twin Cities restaurants, which diners then rate. It’s a win-win-win as diners get new options, restaurants increase their business, and animals are spared through the addition and promotion of vegan options at restaurants.

The 2021 Challenge will take place in August. We hope to have all committee members recruited by mid-May and to start meeting by the end of May.

How can I get involved?

We will form a committee that meets every one to two weeks. Volunteers will spend 2 to 5 hours a week on the project. We’ll share the following responsibilities:

Restaurant outreach –Go to restaurants between 2 and 4 pm to invite chefs and managers to participate and/or reach out via email, phone and social media. We provide you with materials to bring. You’ll also drop off promotional materials at the restaurants prior to the challenge, and invite chefs to the final celebration.

Restaurant follow-up Make sure restaurants have submitted necessary materials (name of dishes, food photos, etc.) to prepare for our website and promotion. This position begins in June.

Ratings Create the Google form diners fill out to rate the dishes they eat and calculates the results of the votes using a spreadsheet to determine the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge Champion. Help determine awards, which are given to all restaurants who participate. Begins in June.

Please fill out our new volunteer form or email Laura Matanah at  laura@exploreveg.org and let us know what interests you!

Macalester CAA’s first quarter progress

By Brody Fuller, vice chair, Macalester College CAA branch

The Macalester College branch of CAA has been active for just over three months, and is focused on taking steps to promote plant-based options in the college cafeteria as well as organizing events while working towards short- and long-term goals. The group conducts bi-weekly meetings with members, and meeting topics have included guest speakers, consultation with plant-based professionals, and discussions about action to be taken to move the Macalester cafeteria towards more plant-based food options.

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Twin Cities Veg Living Issue 7 is Here!

You’re going to love this year’s issue of Twin Cities Veg Living! It’s packed with great recipes from local chefs, a guide to veg-friendly Black-owned businesses, the lowdown on where to grab a top-notch brunch, nutritional tips, animal sanctuary updates, thoughts on building a humane society from Christine Coughlin, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, and so much more. Check it out!

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Take Action for Animals and Climate by March 31

Minnesota’s Environmental Quality Review Board is seeking public input on changes to how it measures the greenhouse gas impact of new and expanded feedlots (aka factory farms).

It’s critical that the board hear from the public the full weight of environmental impacts caused by factory farming. Your input could help to entirely prevent the introduction of new or expanded factory farming operations in our state, and assist in the transition to a more humane and climate-friendly economy.

Fill out this form to take action now. More information and further ways to take action are discussed below.

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