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Maybe you saw the Star Tribune article. Or the Pioneer Press article. Or some other article that announced that an new vegan restaurant would be opening in the Twin Cities—and soon! And maybe you caught a glimpse of their vegan croissants in the photos and thought to yourself, “What?! Vegan croissants?!”
On Saturday, September 9, thousands of people will gather at Como Park to experience the joys of compassionate living. It’s the sixth annual Twin Cities Veg Fest, and this year’s will be extra special because for the first time ever it will be outside.
We need your help to make all this possible.
CAA strives to make going vegan as easy and accessible as possible so that we can help as many animals as possible. With that in mind, we started the Twin Cities Veggie Awards in 2016 to acknowledge the most outstanding vegan businesses in the Twin Cities area. (See last year’s winners here.)
Of course, we want you to know about each of these outstanding businesses so that you can benefit from what they have to offer. We also want to help these businesses thrive and to encourage other businesses to be more veg-friendly. Ultimately, we want to help create a community in which vegan options abound, where plant-based living is a more realistic option for everyone.
We’re excited to have another passionate animal advocate on the team helping to guide our organization.
Abraham Rowe has a long history of advocating for animals, starting from his childhood in New Mexico. At a young age, he tried vegetarian and vegan diets, and then he began advocating for animals in high school.
Abraham moved to Ohio for college, where he studied analytic philosophy and history. His main focus was environmental ethics and agriculture. His career path has taken him in a variety of directions, from a tea-taster for Google to fundraising for a traditional dog and cat shelter.
Currently, he has a full-time position with Mercy for Animals, working on their corporate campaigns to improve conditions for chickens on factory farms. While the focus is animal welfare, Abraham acknowledges, “Ending the exploitation of animals as soon as possible is a priority, but that’s not going to be tomorrow. And there are animals on factory farms whose lives can be improved.”
Abraham moved to Minneapolis in December of 2016 and soon after became active with CAA, helping with outreach and then joining the planning committee for the Annual Banquet. After demonstrating exemplary commitment to the work, he was invited to join the board of directors.
What does Abraham appreciate most about CAA?
Volunteering for CAA, I get to advocate directly for veganism. And CAA is special because it’s community-based. If you look at the national groups, you’ll see they’ve been doing similar work to CAA for the same period of time, but because they’re national organizations, they’re not as integrated with the communities they’re reaching. CAA is in a unique position to connect with its community in a way that really addresses the critical issue of recidivism in vegan diets. We can follow up with folks after giving them a leaflet and invite them to join community so they feel support and continue moving toward a plant-based diet.
And what are his hopes for the organization?
I haven’t been here long enough to have a grand vision for CAA, but one of the primary things to address is building community, especially reaching out to groups of people who have not been represented as much.
And being new to the Twin Cities, does he already have a few favorite places to find vegan food?
Definitely Reverie, J. Selby’s, and The Herbivorous Butcher. Also, On’s Kitchen Thai Cuisine in St. Paul is excellent. The servers are really good with pointing out vegan stuff on the menu. And Pizza Lucé!
We’re glad that Abraham is making the Twin Cities his home, finding lots of awesome vegan food here, and putting all his compassionate know-how to good use for the animals.
For those of us who’ve been vegan for a long time, it can be tempting to say “going vegan is easy,” suggesting that our passion for animal liberation should override all personal discomfort and that the choice should be obvious for everyone. But truly, transitioning to a plant-based diet is not simple for many, especially for those who don’t have access to wholesome plant-based foods.
CAA’s strategic planning is currently underway. So far, the process has had three components: an online survey, two town hall meetings, and a strategic planning meeting. Here’s more information about each segment.
The process began in March of 2017 with a survey sent via email to all of CAA’s contacts, including event participants, volunteers, and donors. We welcomed input, asking the primary question: What are the key problems that CAA should be addressing through its work?
Forty-five people responded to the survey and offered their individual perspectives. The results were reviewed, and the most common input was collected and categorized for future consideration as part of the strategic planning process.
Thanks to all who joined us last Saturday for the 2017 Annual Banquet! On this gorgeous spring evening at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul, we gathered with the compassionate community to celebrate CAA’s nineteen years of advocating for animals in the Twin Cities region.
With a sold-out crowd of nearly a hundred in attendance, we enjoyed a reception, silent auction, and gourmet vegan dinner. Throughout the evening, more than $9,000 was raised to support CAA programs that help to make the world a kinder place for animals. That’s the most money ever raised at a CAA banquet! We can’t thank you enough for your partnership.
The meal included meat-free meats and cheese-free cheeses generously provided by our event sponsor, The Herbivorous Butcher. Many CAA volunteers contributed to preparing and serving the delicious food, which had a Jewish and Middle Eastern theme. We are very grateful to them and also to the many volunteers who helped to plan and execute this big event. (We could not have done it without you!)
Mistress Ginger, emcee for the evening, added humor and heart to the festivities, while special presenters included Kara Breci of SoulSpace Farm Sanctuary as well as CAA volunteer Dyne Stephenson and Executive Director Laura Matanah. Their powerful stories reminded us of why we do what we do and inspired us to continue to embrace our compassion as we move forward and expand our reach.
We are very grateful to all of you who support CAA through your volunteerism, event participation, and donations. If you were unable to attend the banquet and would like to make a one-time donation, or sign up to be a recurring donor, please visit our donate page and give today.
We hope you enjoy this photo slideshow featuring moments from the banquet. Please visit our events page to see what we’ve got coming up in the near future and how you can be involved.
We know that convenience and accessibility are two of the major factors that play into whether people feel empowered to move toward a plant-based diet, and so nothing makes us happier than to see more vegan-friendly restaurants opening up. Then when you have an all-vegan spot opening up in an area where few other veg options exist, we’re just ecstatic.
We’ve been jumping for joy ever since Matt Clayton announced his plans to open J. Selby’s in St. Paul, near the corner of Victoria Street and Selby Avenue. And now, after months of preparation, they’re opening their doors on Monday, April 17, just in time for VegWeek.
How did J. Selby’s come to be?
CAA has a new outreach method. Using virtual reality technology, we’re giving people a more powerful experience of their own compassion.
Previously, our essential outreach techniques included leafleting, pay-per-view, and vegan food giveaways. Leafleting and pay-per-view have been effective ways of reaching lots of people and teaching them about the inherent cruelty involved in animal agriculture. The food giveaways give them a taste of the delicious plant-based food options that can replace the animal foods in their diets.
VegWeek begins April 17! We hope you’ll step up for the animals and take the VegPledge. Here’s how:
- If you’re omnivore, pledge to try eating vegetarian or vegan for the week of April 17.
- If you’re vegetarian, pledge to try eating vegan for the week of April 17.
- If you’re vegan, pledge to spread the word in one or more of these ways:
- Invite friends to take the VegPledge using the Facebook event page.
- Share information about the benefits of eating plant-based on your social media platforms.
- Bring a couple friends to one of our VegWeek activities (listed below!).
Click here to take the pledge!