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 Meet Monti and Zelda—Chicken Run Rescue residents and best buds

A guest blog from Chicken Run Rescue

Monti (left) and Zelda: Happy together

People are often surprised to learn that chickens have rich emotional lives and enduring relationships and even more amazed that they can still have those needs satisfied despite physical limitations. CRR residents and caregivers live under the same roof and allow for those intimate insights. 

Chickens are flock animals and psychologically evolved to live with others for their world to make sense. When a bond develops between birds with physical challenges, there is no thrill and satisfaction like seeing them nurture each other.

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Food Safety is also important for plant-based meals!

All your life you have probably heard tips to keep your food safe—especially when cooking for others. Maybe you thought that the need for that all went out the window for plant-based meals. Not true! Vegan meals do avoid many of the dangers that can come through preparing meat and dairy products. However, there are still some steps you need to take to ensure it is safe to eat vegan food as well.

We have a lot of special potlucks and other opportunities to share meals. So it becomes especially important to make sure we are up-to-speed on keeping food safe.

When looking around for food safety manuals, we realized there weren’t any specific to plant-based food safety. Now there is!

Volunteer Yosan Worota, along with staff members Emily Nyberg and Stef Amundsen worked on adapting the USDA’s food safety handbook to make it more useful and relevant to you. Now it is ready. Perfect information for potlucks!

For more information and a link to the food safety guide: exploreveg.org/foodsafety

Meet our newest staff member—Muniratu Shaibu

This summer CAA was thrilled to have Muniratu Shaibu as one of our two summer interns from South High School. She did such a great job she is now a part time staff member at CAA!

While an intern, she worked with our Community Organizer, Tamuno Imbu to assist with various projects over the two month internship. She helped out at the booths at both V-Fests and did presentations at South and Northside High Schools. Now she will be helping out as a program assistant in a variety of capacities!

Muniratu tells us that “I’ve definitely gained lots of useful insight on veganism and CAA over the summer. One of them is the various alternatives to meat and how creative you can get with your cooking as a vegan.”

2022 ThanksLiving celebration— vegan food and supportive community attracts large crowd

Our 20th Annual Vegan ThanksLiving Potluck attracted over 100 people to celebrate! It was our first in-person ThanksLiving in three years. We held it at the St. Paul Student Center at the University of Minnesota. The large space ensured that there was plenty of room for all who were interested!

We called the event ThanksLiving to help us remember why our community gathers to celebrate. Read more about our choice of ThanksLiving here.

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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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Upcoming Events

Sunday, January 1, 2023 - Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Postcards for Animals — Volunteer from Home

Saturday, February 11, 2023

12th Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Postcard-Writing Party: Postcards for Animals

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Duluth Vegan Cooking Group — February

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Vegan Recipe Club (Zoom)