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CAA Executive Director Receives Animal Activist Award

At the Animal Rights 2013 conference last weekend, Compassionate Action for Animals co-founder and Executive Director was awarded the Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award.

Unny Nambudiripad has been involved in animal protection since 1997. In 1998, at age 21, he co-founded Compassionate Action for Animals, a Minnesota-based farmed animal advocacy organization. He currently serves as CAA's Executive Director. Here are a few of the Unny and CAA's accomplishments:

  • Unny and CAA have organized potlucks, food giveaways, dine-outs, and the 2012 Twin Cities Veg Fest. The 2012 Twin Cities Veg Fest was attended by more than 1,200 people and featured national speakers and exhibitors from leading vegan food producers.
  • From 2008 through 2010, Compassionate Action for Animals organized the national Their Lives, Our Voices conference, a three-day conference with speakers such as Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals, Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, and Carol Adams. In October, CAA will organize the second Twin Cities Veg Fest, which will be followed by a one day Their Lives, Our Voices conference.
  • CAA has handed out more than 190,000 Vegan Outreach leaflets at colleges, concerts, and events.
  • Compassionate Action for Animals has organized Veg Week for the last ten years. During Veg Week, several hundred people pledge to be vegetarian or vegan. CAA provides pledgers with a care pack and organizes a week-long series of events including a tour of a chicken sanctuary, a prominent national speaker, a concert, a film screening, and a potluck. CAA works with local veg-friendly restaurants and provides a discount card to pledgers.
  • CAA is the creator and operator of VegGuide.org, a worldwide guide to veg-friendly restaurants and businesses with more than 16,000 entries.
  • Unny has conducted investigations on factory farms, exposing cruelty to chickens raised for laying eggs.

Unny has trained and supervised hundreds of volunteers, raised funds, and has overseen every aspect of growing Compassionate Action for Animals into a powerful animal advocacy organization. He is most proud of keeping the organization focused on conducting its work with humility and respect, for being a persistent voice for animals, and empowering a new generation of effective animal advocates.

Panel Discussion on Non-Harming in the Buddhist Tradition

Join panelists Greta Gaard (UW-River Falls), Mark Berkson (Hamline University), Deane Curtin (Gustavus Adolphus), and Mark Nunberg (Common Ground Meditation Center) on Friday, June 27th at 7pm at Common Ground Meditation Center for a talk on humans, animals, and non-harming in the Buddhist tradition.

This panel and community discussion will focus on the ethics of our relationships with animals, issues surrounding animal advocacy, and what Buddhist texts and practices can tell us about our connection with other species.

The event will take place at Common Ground Meditation Center, 2700 E. 26th Street, Minneapolis from 7-9pm and is open to the public.

Contact Mark Berkson for more details or with questions.

What Came Before Ad Matching Campaign

We are excited to announce a new and informative way to help Compassionate Action for Animals and encourage people to move towards a plant-based diet! An anonymous donor has committed to contribute to us when you like or share the What Came Before video on Facebook.

What Came Before is a 10-minute video narrated by Steve-O. He introduces us to Nikki, Symphony, and Fanny – animals that have found refuge at Farm Sanctuary. He shows us what the lives of these animals was like when they were on factory farms, and encourages us to embrace our empathy for these animals.

We want to expose this video to thousands of people, and with your help we can make this happen. If you like this page, our donor will contribute $10. If you share this page on Facebook, our donor will contribute $25. Please like the video, share the video, and encourage your friends to do the same. The donor will contribute up to $15,000 to Compassionate Action for Animals based on how widely the video is distributed. With the donor's contribution, we will be able to continue our advocacy on behalf of animals.

As always, thank you so much for your support!

Their Lives, Our Voices Conference Returns

Their Lives, Our Voices is back after a two year hiatus. Join us for a day of workshops and presentations about farmed animal activism.

Join activists from around the country at the 2013 Their Lives, Our Voices animal advocacy conference! Hosted by Compassionate Action Animals, Their Lives, Our Voices aims to empower animal advocates in their efforts on behalf of farmed animals. TLOV features engaging and informative discussions led by leaders in the movement. This event will consist of two tracks of speakers focusing on activist strategy and skills development, with a kick-off keynote from Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals.

The day's schedule will include talks on grassroots organizing, effective lobbying and political action, educational outreach, event planning, tabling strategy, ecofeminism, nutrition, and more. Attendees are encouraged to actively participate. And of course, a conference like this is a great networking opportunity where you can meet like-minded people who share your passion for helping animals. Come make TLOV a success and register today!

The conference will be held on Sunday, October 27th at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. The event will run from 9:45am to 5:20pm. Registration is $20, with a $10 level for students and low-income individuals. Conference attendees are also encouraged to attend the second annual Twin Cities Veg Fest on Saturday, October 26th.

Compassionate Times: Summer, 2013

Dear friends of animals,

Every day, we speak out against animal suffering and needless death. A few months ago, I visited a local slaughterhouse to see first-hand how animals are killed for food. I want to be able to advocate for farmed animals with direct knowledge about how they are killed.

Along with several volunteers, the slaughterhouse I visited was just 30 miles from Minneapolis. They host tours to anybody upon request. I held back tears at the beginning, but for the most part I didn’t express the anguish that I felt at a deep level. I have seen many hours of video footage of animals being killed, and nothing I saw was new to me. Being there helped remind me that the animals we advocate for are not just abstractions, but individuals with feelings and personalities.

Unny Receives the Hinry Spira Award a the Animal Rights 2013 ConferenceIn June, I received the Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist award at the Animals Rights 2013 National Conference. This award was given to two activists that have shown the commitment and have contributed significantly to advocating for animals. Receiving the award was humbling and overwhelming. I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to advocate for animals for the last 16 years, including co-founding Compassionate Action for Animals 15 years ago. But my work has only been successful because of the contributions of thousands of volunteers, supporters, coalition partners, and donors like you!

Twin Cities Veg Fest LogoPlanning for our second Twin Cities Veg Fest is well underway! We’re holding it on October 26, 2013 in Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. This year we will include a concert during the Veg Fest and we are reviving Their Lives, Our Voices as a one-day conference the day after the festival! 

Thank you again for your consistent support!

Yours for the animals,

Unny Signature

Unny Nambudiripad

Winning the Ag-Gag War via Undercover Activists

City Pages recently ran a story about how undercover animal rights activists are winning the ag-gag battle, in which it tells of how giving people information they deserve is leading to a self-imploding ag-gag movement.

Though Minnesota did not pass the ag-gag bill that came through legislation several years ago, many other states are still attempting to pass laws that will outlaw the filming of cruelty on factory farms. Even though several states already have this law in place, the ag-gag movement seems to be losing steam and imploding to some extent.

One of the main reasons that activists are winning out over ag-gag bills is that people want access to information. Many people do not know where their food comes from, and seeing these undercover videos is a way for them to be exposed to what exactly they are eating.

Read the entire City Pages article on their website.

Teaching Compassion to Minnesota Students

Shannon Kimball, an educator with Bridges of Respect, has been offering humane education to classrooms across Minnesota for ages 6 and up. Bridges of Respect, a CAA project, has been teaching students about compassion, justice, and kindness since 1999.

In a recent article on the Examiner, Minnesota animal advocate Lisle Soukup profiled Compassionate Action for Animals' Bridges of Respect program. The profile focuses on Bridges humane educator Shannon Kimball.

Bridges of Respect has been offering humane education to classrooms across the state since 1999, teaching compassion, kindness, and justice to students 6th grade and up. This program uses a curriculum modeled after that of the International Institute for Humane Education, focusing on education as a set of tools and strategies to teach about human rights, animal protection, environmental stewardship, and culture issues.

Bridges of Respect offers topics that are a great fit for any class and they tailor each lesson to the specific age group they are teaching. Shannon Kimball states that their goal is to "offer character training and real lasting social change."

To learn more about Bridges of Respect, visit the program's website.

Recipes from AmyLeo’s Vegan Cooking Classes

Did you miss out on any of AmyLeo's amazing vegan cooking classes? No worries – we've got all of her delectable recipes here for you to try out at home!

Amazing vegan chef and caterer AmyLeo Barankovich has been at it again! She's whipping up delicious vegan recipes and sharing her knowledge of vegan cooking with vegan and veg-curious people across the Twin Cities and now we've got some of her stellar recipes to share with you all here!

Whether you want something to satisfy your sweet tooth or you want to impress your dinner guests, these recipes will get your vegan cooking endeavors started on the right foot!

Here are the recipes:

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AmyLeo is a passionate vegan chef. She began cooking for a family of ten at the age of 13 and has since been delighting family, friends, and colleagues with creative, delicious, beautiful, wholesome food since. She recently founded Vegan Affairs: A Place for Taste and Grace, offering private and public vegan cooking classes, personal chef services, vegan coaching, and restaurant consulting. Currently she is offering classes at Kitchen Window, The Wedge, Seward Co-op, Whole Foods, Linden Hills Co-op, Eastside Co-op and Mississippi Market.

If you are interested in more vegan cooking classes or are interested in any of AmyLeo's other services, send her an email!

Vegan Pancake Recipe from Our Feed-In

Our second annual Vegan Pancake Brunch Feed-In took place at Van Cleve Park on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

The warm weather allowed guests to bask in sunlight at Van Cleve’s outdoor pavilion while they enjoyed a delicious brunch of vegan pancakes and vegan sausage. This year we provided an additional gluten-free pancake option. Reports on both recipes were overwhelmingly positive.

Our pancake recipe, courtesy of Adam Marquardt (our resident pancake chef at the event) is below:

Vegan Pancakes

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (for gluten-free version, substitute with brown rice flour)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • dash of cinnamon

Wet ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ener-G egg replacer (equivalent to 1 egg)
  • 1 cup nondairy milk (unsweetened almond)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet together in small mixing bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until smooth (mixing as little as possible). The mixture should be just thin enough to pour easily. If it’s not, add a little more nondairy milk.

Heat a griddle to medium hot or heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. Flip the pancake after most of the bubbles it forms have popped and the edges are starting to dry (1-2 minutes). Cook for another 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with vegan buttery spread and pure maple syrup.

Minnesota College Leafleting Week Report

We handed out 5,962 leaflets at seven colleges last week.

Last week's blizzard did not stop 25 volunteers from educating college students about the cruel realities of modern animal farms. We passed out Vegan Outreach's Compassionate Choices and Even If You Like Meat brochures, empowering students to consider how their food choices impact animals.

We handed out many leaflets earlier this year, so this gave us the opportunity to ask students if they have already received a leaflet. Many students had, and reported that they were moved by what they read. We followed up and gave them a Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating, empowering them with nutrition information, recipes, and helpful tips to move towards a vegan diet. One student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, exclaimed "I totally agree!" when asked what he thought about the leaflet. Another said, "I don't know where I stand on this issue. But thank you for giving out this information and opening my eyes."Based on comments like this and other feedback we receive, we are confident that our efforts to educate the public about the cruelties of animal agriculture and the vegetarian alternative is making a big impact!

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped out! If you didn't get a chance to leaflet, please sign up with us and help grow the movement against animal cruelty.

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Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Twin Cities Veg Fest Data Entry Party!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Student Dine-Out: Wally’s Cafe

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Vegan Food Giveaway