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What’s the point of being friendly?

Volunteers enjoying food

Some of us are naturally friendly, and some of us need to work at it. With this idea in mind, we have included a new page on our site: How to Be Friendly: A Guide for Animal Advocates. This resource for activists offers tips on how to be more friendly as a volunteer, as a host, in conversation, and especially with newcomers.

You might be wondering what’s the point of being friendly.

At Compassionate Action for Animals, we strive to encourage others to cultivate empathy for animals and move towards a plant-based diet. To support this mission, the quality of our communication is vital. We aim to be confident, positive, and welcoming in our interactions with all people. When each of us embraces the intention to be friendly, we are able to connect to a larger community and be a more powerful voice for the animals. We are also living our mission and treating others as we would want to be treated.

Read the guide and consider how you might grow to be a more effective advocate for animals.


Become a supporter of Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014!

Compassionate Action for Animals is hosting our third Twin Cities Veg Fest on Sunday, September 28th, 2014, 10am – 4pm at Coffman Memorial Union on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. An attendee at last year’s festival proclaimed it “fun and enlightening.” Now, you can help make this event even more fun and enlightening.

Become a supporter of Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 with a donation to our Indiegogo campaign. Contribute today! The campaign expires on Tuesday, July 1st. Your support will help us reach new audiences, provide more tasty vegan food, and bring cooking demos to the festival.

Twin Cities Veg Fest is for anyone and everyone – from vegetarians and vegans to omnivores. Attendees learn where their food comes from, how they can be healthy on a plant-based diet, and why living compassionately benefits everyone. The festival offers free food, insightful speakers, great music, delicious meals, and the opportunity to mingle in a thriving community.

Twin Cities Veg Fest is free to attend. Your generous support is what makes this event possible.

Visit our Indiegogo campaign page, and check out the range of perks for different levels of contribution, everything from a cute CAA button to a homemade vegan cake. Who can resist cake? Please consider backing this project today.

“It was fun and enlightening. I enjoyed being exposed to the different products and info.” – Twin Cities Veg Fest Attendee

June Cooking Class: Simple Vegan Mexican Food

Join us as we learn to transform plant-based pantry staples like tofu, lentils, and tempeh into tasty taco fillings. This cooking class taught by Jeff Johnson will be held at Van Cleve Community Center on Thursday, June 19th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. This event is FREE and open to the public.

To make Tofu Rancheros, we’ll combine peppers and onions to make an easy tofu scramble that we’ll top with a tasty tomato and chili sauce. To make Ancho Lentil Taco Filling, we’ll season lentils with smoked chili peppers and spices. And to make Tempeh Asada, we’ll marinate tempeh pieces in lime juice, cumin, and other spices and then sear them in a cast iron pan.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how to make easy, delicious, and vegan Mexican food. Please note that any of these dishes would be the perfect thing to bring to our June Potluck and Bonfire, which has a Latin American food theme. How convenient!

Class instructor Jeff Johnson is an assistant professor of philosophy at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, where he regularly teaches courses on animal ethics and on the ethics of eating animals in particular. In his spare time, Jeff volunteers for Compassionate Action for Animals and serves on the board of directors. He loves cooking and eating all kinds of delicious plant-based foods.

Would you like to volunteer for this event? If interested, contact event coordinator Justin Leaf.

Volunteer Opportunities in June


Volunteer for the June cooking class at Van Cleve Community Center on Thursday, June 19 at 7:00pm. The theme is simple vegan Mexican food. Volunteer positions include the transporting of supplies to and from the CAA office, setup, welcome team, assistance for the instructor during the class, and cleanup.

Volunteer for the June Potluck and Bonfire at the home of Jennifer Swick in Roseville on Friday, June 27 at 6:30pm. The theme is “Fiesta!” Attendees will bring Latin American dishes. Volunteer positions include setup, maintenance during the event, washing dishes, and general cleanup.

If you’re interested in offering your time to help make either of these upcoming events a success, contact



Outreach volunteer work involves talking to members of the general public about animal agriculture and the work of Compassionate Action for Animals. Volunteers should be friendly, knowledgeable about the issues and our mission, and comfortable interacting with strangers. Leafleting and tabling are both very effective forms of outreach.

Leaflet at Rock the Garden, a summer music festival at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22.

Table at the Minneapolis Pride Festival, a celebration of the LGBT community at Loring Park on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29. At this event, volunteers will offer festival attendees one dollar to watch a five-minute segment of Mercy for Animals’ hard-hitting documentary “Farm to Fridge”.

If interested in volunteering at either of these outreach opportunities, contact

It’s a fiesta!

Join us for a festive potluck and bonfire at the home of Jennifer Swick in Roseville on Friday, June 27 at 6:30pm. The theme for this event is “Fiesta!” Get inspired by the fresh and flavorful world of Latin American cuisine, and bring a vegan dish to share. These monthly potlucks are an excellent way to sample new vegan foods and to connect with a community of like-minded individuals.

We’ll gather around a blazing bonfire in Jennifer’s backyard. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll have a game night instead. In that case, bring your favorite games to play.

Looking for recipe ideas? Consider a maize-based dish, such as tamales, tacos, or enchiladas, along with a complementary condiment, like salsa, guacamole, or mole. Or how about a beverage? Mate, hibiscus tea, and horchata are all great options. And don’t forget dessert! Who wouldn’t love to try a vegan version of tres leches cake, flan, or ride pudding?

Now are you wondering where to find a vegan version of these delectable dishes? Simply google it! You may also visit International Vegetarian Union’s website for a large selection of tantalizing options. Options abound on the internet, and our Facebook event page will be updated with recipe ideas so that you’ll be sure to have plenty of inspiration if you need it.

Please RSVP on the Facebook event page or via email. If you prefer to RSVP by phone, call 612-276-2242.

Mistress Ginger Cooks!

Were you unable to come to the release party on Sunday? No problem! The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Here’s a description:

This is not the typical culinary compilation! Foodies of every persuasion will be enticed by Mistress Ginger and her follies in the kitchen. Here is a saucy showgirl who knows that anyone can make and enjoy fabulous vegan food whether it’s a longtime vegan who wears a bunch of kale as a badge of honor or a self-described carnivore who doesn’t know a radish from a rutabaga.

Filled with practical tips for eating better amid a hustle-and-bustle life with recipes that will please anyone, Mistress Ginger Cooks! presents a veritable plant-based paradise for busy people who want to be healthier. Guided by the irrepressible and irresistible Mistress Ginger, readers will learn simple, everyday dishes bursting with flavor as well as a few more elaborate recipes for extra-special occasions. From tips on planning balanced meals to putting together knock-out themed menus, the kitchen has never been so much fun.

Recipes include Par-tay Pate, French Kissed Toast, Blueberry Stud Muffins, Bodacious Tortellonni, Flaming Stir-Fry, and Titillating Tapenade. Best of all, the book features Ginger’s bawdy, good-natured humor, as well as gorgeous color photos of the Mistress herself, throughout.

And if you like what you read, follow Compassionate Action for Animals to hear more from Mistress Ginger (aka Justin Leaf). Soon, Justin will be our new Communications and Events Coordinator.

A New Vegan Option at Subway: Hummus!

Subway Offers Hummus

Over the past few years, Subway has worked to offer more options for health-conscious patrons. In 2012, Subway tested a variety of veggie meats in the D.C. areas and received raving reviews from customers, and in 2013 they rolled out falafel in more than three dozen stores in and around the D.C. area.

Now, Subway announced that they will offer roasted red pepper hummus in 1,000 stores across the country. Currently it is offered at an extra cost, but if the demand is high enough, they will consider putting in stores nationwide.

According to the Associated Press, Tony Pace, Subway’s chief marketing officer said: “It’s something we’ve been talking about for the last three or four years,” saying it has “tremendous potential.” As further noted in the article, Pace suggests that since many customers already order vegetarian subs, offering hummus would expand the meatless choices available to them.

If you’d like to see more veg-friendly options at more Subway restaurants across the country, be sure to add your voice to the conversation and let them know what you’d like to see! More than 13,000 consumers have already let them know they’d like to see more compassionate choices on their menus, so be sure to make your voice heard!

We heard about this awesome news from our friends at Compassion Over Killing

CANCELED: Vegan Treats from Salty to Sweet at Whole Foods


Update: this class has been canceled.

Join AmyLeo of Vegan Affairs on Tuesday, May 13th for a vegan treats cooking class at the Lake Calhoun Whole Foods store! The class will run from 6-8pm and the cost is $30 per person. Pre-registration is required for this class and you can either register onlinein the store at the customer service desk, or by calling 612-927-8141. Learn more about the class below!

Whether you have a few sweet teeth or steer more towards the savory, everyone loves a treat from time to time to enjoy and share. In this class, you’ll learn how to satisfy your cravings for treats using entirely plant-based ingredients like nuts, dried fruits and natural sweeteners. AmyLeo will guide you through whipping up some fresh-baked desserts to sweeten up your day and savory nibbles to keep you company when you desire a wholesome treat that blends crunch, nutty flavor and a little spice.

This class is vegan friendly, with hands on opportunities as desired. On the menu:

  • Garlic and Cracked Pepper Cheesy Popcorn
  • Chedda-Cheese Delights
  • Fig Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cream Cheese icing
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Be sure to sign up for the class to learn some new tasty vegan recipes and meet some new friends!

Compassionate Times: April, 2014

Student Holding Soy Milk

Bridges of Respect (Bridges) is Compassionate Action for Animals’ humane education program. Bridges serves the Twin Cities and surrounding area by providing presentations on animal protection issues for classrooms and community organizations free of charge. We spoke with the Program Coordinator, Mr. Shannon Kimball, about some details of the program:

1. Tell us about how Bridges of Respect and CAA work together.

Bridges of Respect is an outreac and education program that reaches hundreds of people with a large amount of information. At the same time, we have other activities, such as leafleting, that reach thousands more with a smaller amount of information. Both are vital. I wish the general public sought out information on animal protection and veganism more often, but for the most part, we have to make a platform for our advocacy. In other words, we often create the opportunity to share our message and we do it well through a variety of community building events, food giveaways, the TC Veg Fest, and a lot more. In the schools, the administration seeks us out on a professional level, putting CAA in a position of authority. In a well-established institution of learning, the Bridges program has the undivided attention of the audience, who are in an environment where they expect to learn.

Continue reading

Community Conversation About Animals at Common Ground

Common Ground Meditation Center is having the following discussion. Our long time friend, Mark Berkson will be speaking at this event.

Community Conversation:  Humans, Animals, and Non-harming

Please join us for our second annual community discussion examining the ethics of our relationships with animals. Last year, while reviewing various Buddhist traditions and their perspectives on the issue, we discussed large-scale examples of animal cruelty in our culture and our impact on them. This year, we will reflect on the supporting causes of both cruelty and beauty in our personal relationships with the animals in our lives, and on how these tendencies impact our decisions in daily life. We are fortunate to have three community members who have been reflecting on the ethical treatment of animals for many years share their insights with us as we reflect on this delicate, significant issue with compassion and forgiveness. Facilitated by Nicole Taras and Tyler Frank.

Date: Sunday, June 1, 12:30 – 3:30 pm.

Location: 2700 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406.

Phone: 612-722-8260

Get Involved

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Veg Resources

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Twin Cities Veg Fest Leaflet Stuffing

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Bridges of Respect: Vegan Food Giveaway

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pride Festival Video Outreach

Monday, June 25, 2018

June Dine-Out: moto-i