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A Different Light

A guest blog by Chicken Run Rescue, August 2023

Last June I had to tell a friend that a famous CRR hen she had been
looking forward to meeting in person had passed unexpectedly.

“I wanted to let you know before you arrive here that we lost Zelda on May
5th, the day after International Respect for Chickens Day. It was a brief
illness and completely unexpected. I could tell you had developed a special
feeling for her so wanted to soften the blow before your first visit to our

As sanctuary caregivers, we live in a perpetual state of grief. We had lost 5
of our family since April. When multiple animals share a home, that’s how it
goes. There is always someone who will be next to leave us and next to
arrive. Hypervigilance is required to monitor many individuals on a daily
basis; intimate familiarity and knowing their personal habits is key to
recognizing subtle changes that might indicate a problem. Where and when
they sleep, how they move and breathe, posture, what and when they eat,
and social interactions are just a few of the things that can send a caregiver
into sleepless nights of fret. They all come to us from the most dire of
straits, sometimes alone, sometimes en masse. They bear the mental and
physical scars of their past lives. Wounded inside and out. That is the
nature of rescue/sanctuary work.

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Cruelty-Free Drugs are Coming!

July 25, 2023

Last year, President Biden signed an important law called the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 and the Reducing Animal Testing Act. These laws are important because they aim to make a big change in how we develop new drugs and test them. CAA was one of the diverse groups who signed on to help make sure these acts passed.Cruelty-Free Drugs are Coming! One important thing the new law does is remove a rule that said experimental drugs had to be tested on animals. Now, we are getting closer to finding better and kinder ways to develop drugs. The law also provides $5 million to support a program that will use new and better methods instead of testing on animals. This means we can find safe and effective drugs without hurting animals.

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Empathy in Action: Friends of the Flock at Chicken Run Rescue

July 22, 2023

A few weeks ago, a group of volunteers from Compassionate Action for Animals officially became Friends of the Flock at Chicken Run Rescue (CRA). These dedicated volunteers had an important goal: to get to know the residents of the sanctuary and help make their lives even better.

The day began with a brief meditation session – a self-care moment before the storm of activity. Hosted by the amazing Mary Britton Clouse and Bert Clouse (CRR co-founders), the volunteers were made to feel at home. They learned about the residents of the sanctuary and what it takes to provide them optimal care. Then, it was time to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

From cleaning the chicken living spaces to spreading mulch and doing yard work, it was a day of hard work and dedication. But it was worth it. The chickens expressed great interest in what they were doing and kept them company. And with tasty vegan treats from Mary, the volunteers had plenty of energy to get the job done.

As the day came to a close, the group relaxed around more scrumptious vegan food. CAA supplied a vegan pot pie, a dish that emphasized that pot pies can (and should) be made without our dear friends inside them. The participants all chipped in yummy vegan picnic fare they brought as well. It was a perfect end to the day, and a reminder that there are many ways to live a compassionate life.

Through their work at the sanctuary, the volunteers gained a better understanding of chickens as friends. They saw their sentience first hand, and it helped clarify the importance of leaving chickens off our plate. The potluck also showed how delicious vegan food can be.

If you’re inspired by the work of Chicken Run Rescue and would like to get involved, reach out to to see what opportunities they might have in future. CAA’s has some other sanctuary tours coming soon. Keep posted here and on our social media for more details.

Thank you to our photographers: J. M. Pierce Photography, Mary Britton Clouse and Theresa Zingery

Get to know Elicia Hay-Bailey, CAA Volunteer

July 20, 2023

Elicia with her new friend Detective Patty Lammers at Chicken Run Rescue during our recent Friends of the Flock work day

In March of 2023, Elicia was cleaning her inbox and stumbled across an email from Compassionate Action Animals. It was a promotion for the 25th Annual Banquet. She was motivated to attend to support CAA and promote vegan living.

After the banquet, Elicia helped with the Food Giveaway at the University of Minnesota campus. Perfect weather bolstered attendance, and many took the VegPledge! Introducing people to vegan food and motivating them to change brought her joy.

Soon afterwards, Elicia started volunteering with CAA on a regular basis. She assisted with leaflet stuffing and took part in a parade.  She also worked with restaurant outreach and on the social media committee for the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge. Elicia finds the variety of events CAA offers exciting and is glad she can volunteer often.

Having fun with like-minded people and the excellent support system CAA has built helps keep her engaged. And, she says, volunteering encourages her vegan lifestyle!

Elicia has been plant-based since the Spring of 2011. The April screening of Eating Our Way to Extinction motivated her to take a final step. She dropped the small amount of seafood she ate from her diet and is now 100% vegan. Understanding her dietary choices’ environmental impact makes the change much more effortless!

Volunteering is in her blood. She is active with the Carver Scott Humane Society, Can Do Canines, and Feed My Starving Children. Elicia says, “I have the support of my loving husband in my choice to be vegan and in all my volunteer activities!”

Hiking, biking, camping, and having a fire (in a legal fire pit) are all favorite activities. And when the weather is terrible, she enjoys movies with friends and family. She is especially drawn to those based on true stories.

When she has time, Elicia loves making fresh vegan gluten-free soups. And when she is in a hurry, she relishes Mikey’s plant-based E*G and CH**SE scramble pockets!

Meet Hank, lucky new resident at Spring Farm Sanctuary

July 11. 2023

Meet Hank, a brave turkey who recently had a change in luck. It all began when Hank was discovered wandering in a neighborhood in New Hope, MN. Thanks to the compassion of an animal rescuer, he now has a second chance at life at Spring Farm Sanctuary.

Upon hearing about Hank’s situation, Spring Farm felt compelled to help. They eagerly offered to provide Hank with a loving home where he would be safe and cherished. After a vet exam, this one year old turkey was given a clean bill of health, aside from being a bit on the husky side. In fact, he tipped the scales at an astonishing 54 pounds!

Determined to help Hank shed those extra pounds and lead a healthy life, they embarked on a carefully monitored feeding regimen. Hank is now enjoying a balanced diet of two cups of food per day, supplemented with a variety of fresh produce. And the results have been astounding! Hank recently weighed in at 47.9 pounds—a remarkable achievement. This places him within the healthy weight range for a male broad-breasted turkey.

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2023 4th of July Potluck Picnic reaches yummy new heights

Over 70 people joined together for a compassionate celebration of the 4th of July! People of all ages and backgrounds found common ground in our love for great vegan food. About half were new to CAA events and all had a great time getting to know each other while enjoying all the potluck items.

Participants really stepped up with an amazing variety of goodies, from main dishes to sides, drinks and deserts. Dave Feldmann and Kelly Prosen rocked it by bringing and grilling dozens of Field Roast frankfurters with buns and condiments! There was something for all tastebuds. The weather even cooperated with a big storm ending just in time!

Urgent Alert: Animal Welfare and State Rights under threat from EATS Act

June 21, 2023

We recently received a critical update from the Humane Society of the United States regarding a proposed law that could have far-reaching consequences. Not only for animal welfare here in Minnesota, but also for the entire nation. Find out more about the EATS act below and then click the link below to take action.

What does this proposed law entail? In essence, it aims to restrict states from establishing fundamental standards for the production and manufacturing of agricultural products within their own borders, including regulations related to animal welfare. The EATS Act seeks to prevent the regulation of any agricultural product, broadly defined, that moves across state lines.

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CAA at the LEAD Conference: A week of learning, networking, and growth

June 19, 2023

Participants in June’s LEAD for Farmed Animals conference, including CAA Executive Director, Laura Matanah (second row from the top toward the left, in light blue)

Executive Director Laura Matanah joined more than 100 other farmed animal advocates in June at the LEAD for Farmed Animals conference in Los Angeles in June. Experts trained attendees in Organizational Health and Movement Building. A scholarship from generous movement donors enabled Laura to attend. She found it to be valuable for our work due to insights, invaluable connections, and potential future partnerships she made.

Attendees delved into a myriad of topics. Laura’s course focused on fostering a healthy, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Her cohort spent time reflecting on current challenges, learning new techniques for meeting them, supporting each other in practicing how to implement the techniques.

Over the course of those transformative days, they delved into a myriad of topics, with a special emphasis on fostering a healthy, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Here are just a few highlights from the journey:

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Powering ahead toward our factory farm petition goal: Over 400 signatures and counting

June 16, 2023

We are making great strides in our mission to enact a moratorium on new factory farm construction and expansion in Minnesota. Our petition, aimed at gathering 1,000 signatures, has gained significant momentum with over 400 supporters on board. After promoting it at the Pride festival, we anticipate crossing the halfway mark! This will make a resounding statement. Our voices will be heard by our MN legislators.

Our approach to collecting petition signatures has shifted for the summer. We are incorporating petition gathering into outreach at summer festivals. As we raise awareness about the horrors of factory farming, we will also empower them to take action.

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Meet Blossom—Farmaste resident and jumping queen!

June 16, 2023

When Blossom arrived at Farmaste Animal Sanctuary in July 2020, she was extremely anxious and wary of humans. It took time and patience for her to build trust with her caregivers. Through consistent care, Blossom has made significant progress in overcoming her fear. She has become more comfortable with her caregivers.  She now allows them to give her occasional scratches and pets!

When Blossom arrived at Farmaste in July 2020, she was extremely anxious and wary of humans. It took time and patience for her to build trust with her caregivers. Through consistent care, Blossom has made significant progress in overcoming her fear. She has become more comfortable with her caregivers.  She now allows them to give her occasional scratches and pets!

One of Blossom’s greatest joys is being a part of her goat family. She has formed a strong bond with her herd and finds comfort in their presence. Recently, she was introduced to her stall-mate, Lilibet, and their friendship has blossomed. They enjoy playing together and have become inseparable.

Join our upcoming tour of Farmaste so that you can meet Blossom and her friends! CAA is organizing a tour on Saturday, July 8 from 3- 4 pm. The tour costs just $15 to help with support of the residents. We can take only 20 people so act now!

At Farmaste, Blossom has found safety, love, and companionship. She is now able to express her playful and energetic nature. Her favorite activities are jumping (up to 8 feet high!), high-stepping through the field, and basking in the sun. She also takes her role as a tester of the enclosure seriously, ensuring that her home remains secure.

Blossom is slowly  but surely embracing her new life. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and the resilience of animals.

There are also opportunities to volunteer with Farmaste. You can help with such things as barn cleaning like we did on our recent CAA/Farmaste Work Day. It’s very rewarding to sweat for the animals.

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