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Thanks to everyone who took part in the CAA 4th of July Vegan Potluck Picnic at North Mississippi Regional Park in Minneapolis. Approximately 50 guests attended this fun event and many brought fabulous vegan dishes for all to enjoy.
Check out these scenes from our holiday celebration — the first in-person potluck we had the opportunity to enjoy in over a year!
Did you know that Twin Cities Veg Fest is the Midwest’s largest veg festival, and we’re expecting about 10,000 guests in 2021? Did you also know that the festival is almost entirely run by volunteers? Meet one of our Twin Cities Veg Fest Volunteer Coordinators, Sheri Olson. Sheri will be providing amazing feats of organization, coordination, leadership and solid support for volunteers on the day of the festival. Find out what Sheri has to say about volunteering for this year’s big event.
What inspired you to get involved with the Twin Cities Veg Fest?
I have been vegan for almost 8 years. I wanted to use my skills and love of event-planning to help support CAA and veganism in my community.
What are you most looking forward to about the festival?
I can’t wait to see all the vegan vendors and all the people connecting with great food. It’s really great to see people having a positive experience with being veg.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for Twin Cities Veg Fest?
It is super fun and you get to know other people who are like-minded. It’s an easy way to support and promote veganism.
What, in your opinion, is the best thing about being a festival volunteer?
I really love meeting other people that think like me regarding animals. It’s a whole connecting thing — connecting with vendors, companies, food, and other veg-loving people. It really helps support your choices throughout the year. It makes you feel that you are not alone.
Alyssa Foggia is a CAA volunteer who’s currently helping plan and implement our summer schedule of vegan food giveaways in the community. Read on to discover what motivates Alyssa to work for the benefit of animals and to support plant-based eating in the Twin Cities.
What prompted you to get involved with CAA?
I volunteer with The Humane Society of the United States and our state director recommended I connect to CAA as a way to do more local advocacy work around plant-based eating. I’m always looking for ways to educate and advocate, and CAA seemed like a great org to join to do just that!
What volunteer work are you doing and what’s the benefit of volunteering?
Right now I’m helping to plan and coordinate some of our upcoming food giveaways — and I’ll be at most of them so I can interact with people in the community (my favorite part). As an animal lover and vegan activist, it often feels so overwhelming knowing all the ways animals are hurting — and not being able to stop the suffering. Volunteering with an organization like CAA makes me feel like I’m doing my part and actually making a difference for the animals.
When you are not helping out with CAA stuff, what do you do?
Outside of volunteering, I’m a freelance marketer and writer, part-time indoor cycling instructor, dog mom and plant-based at-home cook.
What inspires you to eat plant-based and take action for animals?
After learning about animal agriculture and how the industry treats animals, and seeing almost impossible-to-watch video footage, I can’t stand the thought of my dollar going to support those industries ever again. So when I eat/wear/use vegan, I’m actively choosing not to support animal agriculture or any industry that mistreats animals for profit.
It takes a village to get the word out about the Twin Cities Veg Fest. And Katelyn Maddox is just the person to help do it. Katelyn is one of our social media volunteers for the festival and has been promoting all things Twin Cities Veg Fest (with a side of vegan general interest) on Twitter. Read on to find out what motivates Katelyn to share her passion for plant-based foods.
CAA Community Organizer Tamuno Imbu has just built a new partnership to serve youth of color with The Link. The Link was founded in 1991 by two local Black leaders and former Minnesota Vikings players, Jim Marshall and Oscar Reed. The organization was established to help youth on the Northside of Minneapolis who were struggling with poverty, homelessness, getting victimized by crime or recruited into criminal activity. Grounded in community, The Link’s driving philosophy was to do “whatever it took” to help young people on the Northside.
Volunteering can be a family affair! Meet CAA volunteers and mother-son duo, Beth and Erik Sawyer. They’ve been helping with CAA activities for years — embracing everything from handing out pamphlets at Grand Old Days to writing Postcards for Animals. Read below for Beth’s account of what inspires her and her son, Erik, to maintain a plant-based lifestyle and pitch in to spread the word.
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:
Meet CAA Volunteer, Lauren Robinson. Lauren recently helped us distribute Twin Cities Veg Living magazines to businesses throughout the Twin Cities. She’s been vegan for more than seven years, driven by her compassion for fellow beings. Read on to find out what inspires Lauren to pitch in and to maintain her commitment to a plant-based lifestyle.
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.