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Get to know Dexter Thomas, CAA Volunteer

October 19, 2023

In 2005, Dexter read ‘Strategic Nonviolence for Animal Liberation’ by Freeman Wicklund. This book introduced him to CAA and the philosophy of strategic nonviolence which was our focus at that time. 

This approach inspired his activism in Utah, where he lived. Implementing CAA’s approach helped  bring about  tangible transformations and measurable progress for animal rights there. He is proud of the changes he helped facilitate and attributes much of that to the principles he learned from CAA.

In April 2021, Dexter moved to Minnesota from Utah with his partner and their four adopted cats. They have embraced the vibrant local culture and are exploring all the Twin Cities has to offer.  Contributing to CAA’s mission is high on his list of priorities. Most recently, he volunteered on the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge Committee.  He enjoyed supporting its work to promote vegan cuisine and bring it into the mainstream.

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Meet Hot Wheels: The joyful Jersey cow of Herbivorous Acres

October 17, 2023

We want to introduce you to a lovable, curious, and spirited five-month-old Jersey cow. Hot Wheels is one of the most recent residents at Herbivorous Acres.

Hot Wheels’ journey to the sanctuary started in May 2023 when he was rescued from a dairy farm. Hot Wheels was deemed too small to be sold for cheap veal, and as a male, not profitable to the dairy industry. Herbivorous Acres rescued him from certain death and gave him a forever home.

Hot Wheels arrived at the sanctuary with his twin brother, Stretch, and they weren’t in the best shape. Both were very sick with pneumonia and extremely high temperatures. The dedicated team at Herbivorous Acres worked tirelessly to nurse them back to health. Unfortunately, Stretch didn’t make it and died of cardiomyopathy last June.

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Vegan Boards | November 2023 | Vegan Recipe Club

October 13, 2023

The cookbook selection for November is Vegan Boards (2021) by Kate Kasbee. Join us on November 21 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

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 in an online meeting. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

The publisher of this month’s featured cookbook says: “Finally, a book of beautiful food board ideas for snacks, parties, and family meals that fit your plant-based diet. Serving artfully arranged foods on boards or platters is extremely popular, but until now, all the books on the subject have been full of meats, cheeses, and other animal products. Vegan Boards is the first book to make this trend accessible to people who follow a plant-based diet. The results are delectable—and gorgeous to behold.

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Get to know Hannah Milos: one of CAA’s newest Board members

September 28, 2023

Hannah Milos started volunteering with CAA in 2022, helping with events like Twin Cities VegFest, the Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off, and the Twin Cities Plant-Based Bike Crawl. In the summer of 2023, she attended the Animal and Vegan Advocacy Summit with CAA, where she learned valuable skills and resources for being a better activist. This inspired her to join the board in August 2023.

Hannah appreciated her year of volunteering with CAA, finding events like VegFest, the Vegan Chili Cookoff, and the Plant-Based Bike Crawl both creative and fun. She enjoyed meeting fellow vegans, volunteers, and CAA staff. Her participation in the Animal and Vegan Advocacy Summit exposed her to passionate activists and organizations, fueling her desire to be a more active activist.

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Welcome New CAA Board Member: Andrew Hamilton

September 28, 2023

Andrew Hamilton joins the board of CAA with a big heart for animals. He’s been a dedicated volunteer and board member at the Animal Rights Coalition for over fifteen years, where he’s led vegan cooking classes, hosted waffle parties, and organized nearly one hundred Meetups at all-vegan restaurants. 

By day, Andrew is a public school teacher in the city, and during his winter, spring, and summer breaks, he loves exploring museums, visiting gay bars, and trying out all-vegan eateries. He shares his home with a happy senior rescue dog and lives in Minnetonka.

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Meet Mitch Bermel, a new CAA board member

September 28, 2023

Meet Mitch Bermel, a new CAA board member who’s passionate about our mission to promote empathy for animals and encourage plant-based diets. Mitch, a dedicated volunteer and donor, believes CAA holds untapped potential and is eager to shape its future, especially through strategic planning.

Mitch brings nonprofit experience from his work at Legal Assistance of Dakota County. He began volunteering with CAA in January 2021 and was active on the Development Committee. He appreciates CAA’s community focus and aims to help expand its outreach efforts, such as we did with the cornhole tournament in Summer 2022, which he helped organize.

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Relive the fun of Twin Cities Veg Fest 2023—or see what you missed!

September 21, 2023

The reviews are pouring in, and they are filled with positivity! With over 5,000 attendees, Twin Cities Veg Fest 2023 was a huge hit. Survey responses are overflowing with praise for the wide array of activities and booths. People loved everything – from the fantastic vendors with delicious food to the fun activities, tasty food demonstrations, and exciting giveaways. The music and speakers were a hit too, making sure there was something enjoyable for everyone. And who could forget the excitement of our surprise celebrity guest, Ms. Tabitha Brown, who generously took time to visit with vendors and attendees and even posted a reel about it on her Instagram account!

But it’s not just about the fun; the event also made a significant impact for the animals. Over 50% of attendees were not yet vegan. We were excited to see that the vast majority of them expressed their commitment to taking steps toward a more compassionate lifestyle. Many said they would cut down on dairy and/or eggs, while others pledged to reduce their purchases of products made from animals. Almost everyone indicated their intention to share this newfound information with others.

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 Meet Jesse Johnson—CAA volunteer extraordinaire 

September 21, 2023

Jesse has been a dedicated Twin Cities Veg Fest volunteer for over four years. This year, his role was coordinator of our Zero Waste efforts. He also helped plan the first Twin Cities Plant-Based Bike Crawl on August 12th. At the event he was a lead biker to guide folks on the route! In addition, he helps the Tech Team maintain CAA’s websites.

Twin Cities Veg Fest started in 2012 and was held at the University of Minnesota. This is when Jesse discovered and started attending Veg Fest. He enjoys volunteering and wants to continue inspiring folks to try plant-based eating. He views it as a great way to benefit the planet, animals, and our health.

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And the winner is: Results of the 2023 Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge

September 20, 2023

Grand Prize winner: Tori Ramen’s delicious Vegan Birria Ramen

This August, as part of the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge, nineteen local restaurants competed to make the best new vegan dish in the Cities. For a month, they added a new vegan dish to their menus, and diners at the restaurant tried it and cast their votes. Over a thousand diners, of varying diets, participated in trying and giving feedback on new dishes. 

Social media posts about the dishes, including both restaurant offerings and facts about the benefits of vegan eating, reached over 20k Minnesotans, and media coverage further extended the challenge’s reach. 

Restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, and ranging from vegan restaurants to those with no vegan entrees, experimented with new dishes and benefited from new publicity and detailed diner feedback. Winners were determined based on restaurant ratings as well as other diner feedback on the dishes.

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Various dishes | October 2023 | Vegan Recipe Club

The cookbook selection for October is Plants Only Kitchen (2020) by Gaz Oakley. Join us for the Vegan Recipe Club online meeting Tuesday, October 17 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

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.

The publisher of this month’s featured cookbook says: “Plants-Only Kitchen offers an explosion of flavour, with more than 70 vegan recipes that work around your lifestyle. With symbols flagging whether recipes are high-protein, take less than 15 minutes, are gluten-free, one-pot or are suitable for meal prep, Plants-Only Kitchen explains how best to make a vegan diet work for you. No fuss, no fancy ingredients – just fantastic food using plants, only. Gaz Oakley (aka @avantgardevegan) has amassed well over a million followers on social media with his exciting vegan dishes, which emphasize that a plant-based diet doesn’t mean missing out on taste. In Plants-Only Kitchen, Gaz’s recipes are easier than ever before – following his step-by-step instructions, tips and advice, anyone can cook great vegan food.”

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