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Wholesome Minnesota and Support + Feed partner to support and empower student groups

Support+Feed (supportandfeed.org) is partnering with CAA’s Wholesome Minnesota to educate youth groups on the importance of plant-based eating. The issue is being presented related to the benefits for both personal health and the environment. 

Support+Feed is an intersectional nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an equitable, plant-based food system and combating food insecurity and the climate crisis. Founded in Los Angeles by Maggie Baird, Support+Feed has expanded to ten US cities, worked with over 80 community organizations and supported local economies across the country.

Last Thursday, Support+Feed and Wholesome Minnesota met with the students of the two Bloomington High Schools: Jefferson and Kennedy’s Green Team and Voices of Unity. Support+Feed donated 40 meals from J. Selby’s for the meeting!

We had a lively discussion with students about the environment and inclusivity. Participants also explored the possible ways our organizations can support them. The students expressed interest in learning more about plant-based nutrition and cooking and how to spread the word about these issues. In future, Support+Feed will be sending meals/snacks to the weekly student meetings (how awesome is that?).

The students loved the food and many were shocked to find that the meals were plant-based! They said that they would be telling their friends about it. What do you want to bet that there will be more students at the next meeting? 🙂 

We also talked a lot about issues surrounding school lunch and how they might help encourage food services to include more plant-based and inclusive options. The principal and three teachers are supportive of the students’ activism around plant-based eating. 

As part of this effort, the students have developed their “ask” for inclusive school food and will be sending it to administration in the near future. This effort is completely student-led.

Korean Food | Vegan Recipe Club | November 2022

The cookbook selection for November was The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro. Those who attended the zoom Vegan Recipe Club had a great time sharing their experience with the selected recipes. To find out more about the cookbook and the recipes we shared, read below. 

The Vegan Recipe Club takes a break in December. We will see you in January!

The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro

This New York Times bestselling cookbook has received lots of rave reviews. It’s a James Beard Award winner that was named one of the best cookbooks of the year. The author, Joanne Lee Molinaro includes her favorite Korean dishes, some traditional and some reimagined.  

We selected five dishes/sauces for our discussion. Download the recipes below. 

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Fall 2022 Donor and Volunteer Event—building community and showing appreciation with fantastic food!

On November 13, CAA held an event to show appreciation for our donors and volunteers. Their support is crucial to all we do!

Yunuén and Sanchez Brown (donors, volunteers and Development Committee members) once again generously hosted the party. They fed us with Sanchez’s famous tasty Vegan Chorizo Tacos! There were also scrumptious drinks and desserts. Yummy Mexican Wedding Cookies by Sarah Matanah were one of the options. With the event so close to Halloween we kept that vibe going with a Stranger Things decor and costumes.

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CAA Board revises Core Values Statement

Ethical values are the cornerstone of Compassionate Action for Animals. A Core Values statement was originally created in 1998 and revised in 2017. The CAA Board of Directors revised it again in June 2022. As the organization has grown and evolved, it was important to review and update the value statement.

This new document outlines the values that guide Compassionate Action for Animals in all of its efforts. They fall into three categories: Ethical, Organizational and Strategic.

Ethical Values
We prioritize moral conduct in every step towards achieving our goals. Our mission, programs, and work style should always reflect the ethical values listed below.

  • Compassion for Animals
  • Ending Oppression
  • Nonviolence
  • Integrity

Organizational
Our organizational values deal with those values which we believe are important to building a strong and cohesive organization capable of growing over time.

  • Egalitarianism
  • Approachability
  • Efficiency

Strategic
Our strategic values are directives that help us decide what types of activism to pursue. Unlike the other two categories, we embrace these values because we believe that they make us more effective, and are willing to change them if we find that this is not the case.

  • Provide role models for change
  • Focus on factory farming
  • Focus on reducing consumption
  • Geographic Focus
  • Collaborative
  • Consider long-term as well as short-term goals

See the full of CAA’s Core values statement here.

We appreciate how you help us put these values into practice.

Meet Hoggle—newest resident at Herbivorous Acres!

A guest blog from Marie DuCharme, Executive Director, Herbivorous Acres

Hoggle is a 5 year old pot-bellied pig that found his forever home at Herbivorous Acres on September 22nd, 2022. His previous caretakers ran into zoning issues with animal control in the cities and had to move him off their property. He was being boarded temporarily at a farm before coming to us, and gained a lot of weight during his stay, unfortunately. He needed a new setting with new friends to improve his overall health and wellbeing before the end of September 2022, and we are very glad that he was able to join our rescue family in time.

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Introducing the 2022 Twin Cities Veg Fest Chairs: Breanna Knutson and Katelyn Maddox 

Breanna and Katelyn were terrific chairs for Twin Cities Veg Fest this year! They, along with a big team of fellow volunteers, led us to another successful festival. This highly rated event saw the growth of participation—both overall from last year and in diversity in participants and vendors. We can attribute much of the smooth operation to this team’s dedication and planning skills.

Both Breanna and Katelyn are fairly new volunteers. They started their work with us at last year’s festival. Breanna was assistant to last year’s chairs. Katelyn handled our Twitter outreach for the festival.

They both went on to volunteer for other CAA programs as well. Breanna took the lead on Postcards for Animals. Katelyn helped plan the 2021 ThanksLiving celebration. And then they plunged in and volunteered for the huge task of chairing this year’s festival!

Breanna and Katelyn both cite the CAA community as motivations for their work. It helped them find support among like-minded people.

The festival has had a big impact on them personally. Breanna went from vegetarian to vegan after learning more about the dairy and egg industry at the festival. And Katelyn may have found a secondary career as an event planner. 🙂

Read on to find out more about the motivation and interests of each of them. These are their responses to our questions:

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Remembering Nemo–former Chicken Run Rescue resident

Nemo one month after rescue, jubilant in the sun with Nicky and Pa Zsa Zsa

A guest blog by Chicken Run Rescue

We were delighted when CAA invited us to feature members of our sanctuary family for the Compassionate Action for Animals Weekly Update. The last Update featured our newest arrival, Chiquita. This time we introduce Nemo who came to Chicken Run Rescue (CRR) 17 years ago as our 100th of 1,209 individuals have who found their way to CRR to date.

His story illustrates the evolution in critical thought about who is food and who is friend through rescue, rehabilitation, sanctuary and education. Most remarkable is the legacy he left behind. Yes, a rooster with a legacy. And why not?

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Mexican food | Vegan Recipe Club | October 2022

The cookbook selection for October is Provecho by Edgar Castrjón. We will discuss it at the October Vegan Recipe Club via Zoom on October 18 from 6:30-7:30 pm.

At the culmination of Hispanic Heritage month we will be using recipes from what has been called “the definitive plant-based Mexican cookbook.”

Provecho features Edgar’s ingenious vegan recipes that honor the traditional, often meat-heavy classics of Mexican and Latin American culture while cooking with compassion. Many take thirty minutes or less, rely on readily accessible ingredients, and feature Salvadoran and Colombian influences. It has been called “one of the best cookbooks of the year.” 

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.

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Get to know Mike Odell, Co-coordinator of Volunteers for this year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest

Mike Odell is was co-coordinator of volunteers, along with Jared Rolsky (see previous blog post from August) for the 2022 Twin Cities Veg Fest. Mike and Jared did a great job this year this year shepherding a large number of volunteers (we even had more volunteers than needed!). Together they all helped us to serve over 5,000 visitors and receive a 99% positive response to the festival. We couldn’t have done it without the volunteers and to their tireless team leads!

Last year was Mike’s first year volunteering and he liked it so much he stepped up to help other volunteers! He volunteered the day of the festival for set up and tear down and saw how much work was needed and how lean CAA staffing is. He was also attracted to the positive energy of the festival and how excited they are to be there. 

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Twin Cities Veg Fest attendees, volunteers and vendors praise the 2022 festival

Twin Cities Veg Fest organizers love to hear from participants! It helps them prepare for future year festivals by knowing what worked and what could be tweaked. To maximize input there were several types of outreach. One was the attendee survey sponsored and incentivized by VegFund. We also had a volunteer and vendor survey and a Kudoboard sent out by social media.

Given that we had over 5,000 participants we wanted input from as many people as possible. And we got it thanks to your responses! We thought you would enjoy highlights from the surveys:

When asked their reason for attending, three quarters stated they wanted to learn about or try new vegan products. Almost half of respondents said that socializing and/or entertainment were key factors. This shows that we need to keep the event both informative and fun.

And the results show we have been successful with that. Almost all reported satisfaction with the festival—with 70% very satisfied. And over 99% plan to attend next time. This indicates that we met their desires.

We reached new people and helped make a change. Half of attendees were not vegan but around one third plan to go more plant-based in future! Interestingly, 66% report that sampling vegan products was what influenced that decision. Closely followed by visiting booths and talking to vendors and workers/volunteers. And almost half will share what they learned with family and friends.

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Monday, December 5, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting

Monday, December 12, 2022

UMN Student Group Meeting