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Interview With Volunteer Liz Sias

Meet Liz Sias, one of our newest volunteer planners for the Twin Cities Veg Fest. Liz has been a great volunteer with Compassionate Action for Animals so we asked to her take the lead on volunteer coordination for the festival.

TCVF: What is your role on the Veg Fest team?

Liz: I'm the volunteer coordinator, which means it's my job to recruit people and train them to help with anything and everything that needs to happen in order to make a fun and successful Veg Fest. From postering before the event to staffing booths and everything in between, Veg Fest relies on the great work of volunteers and it wouldn't be successful without them.

TCVF: How did you get involved in planning the Veg Fest?

Liz: I've been volunteering with CAA for about a year, leafletting, helping out at events and planning the 2013 vegan chili cook-off. When offered the opportunity to help plan CAA's biggest event, I couldn't turn it down.

TCVF: What have you enjoyed most so far?

Liz: I've really enjoyed getting to know other CAA volunteers on the planning committee. Oh, and I got to visit Madison for Mad City Vegan Fest in June to help get the word out about Twin Cities Veg Fest, and that trip was a lot of fun. It's been fun to see everything come together for this event as time passes.

TCVF: What are you most looking forward to?

Liz: I'm not going to lie, I'm most looking forward to all the free food samples! And, OK, meeting and working with all the amazing volunteers who help make Veg Fest happen.

TCVF: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Liz: I enjoy biking, especially on the Greenway and on the beautiful trails around Minneapolis. I also really like cooking and reading. And, of course, my biggest passion is advocating for animals with groups like CAA 🙂

TCVF: Who or what species is your favorite animal?

Liz: Isn't this question speciesist? Just kidding. It's hard to pick just one species. I love orcas (killer whales) because they're so beautiful and I find their social lives and family groups interesting. I also love wolves. And lions, and all other species of cats. And goats are adorable. I can't pick just one!

TCVF: Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?

Liz: Swiss Chard Frittata from the Post Punk Kitchen

TCVF: What's rockin' your world this month?

Liz: I'm excited that the weather has finally been cooperating, so I've been enjoying the outdoors with all sorts of festivals all summer, from Stone Arch Bridge Fest, to Open Streets, Twin Cities Pride and so many more.

Stay in Touch with CAA

Want to stay up-to-date with all of the Compassionate Action for Animals happenings? Or maybe you just want to reach out to us? There are many ways to get in touch with us so don’t hesitate to reach out!

At Compassionate Action for Animals we want you to know your voice is being heard! Whether you want to volunteer, attend an event, or just have comments or questions about the organization, we’d love to hear from you. There are many ways you can reach out to us, and we would be happy to hear from you in whatever way you find most convenient.

You can find out what we’re up to via:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Farm Bill Action Alert for Senator Klobuchar‏

Please help us take action to prevent setbacks to animals welfare laws across the country, including MN, by calling Senator Amy Klobuchar and letting her know that provisions in the new Farm Bill are unacceptable.

There perhaps has never been a more urgent need to call Senator Klobuchar. Right now, the House farm bill contains language that could nullify state laws protecting millions of animals from animal cruelty among other things. Written by Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, it would put our laws banning puppy mills, horse slaughter, shark finning, dog meat sale, and gestation crates (and dozens more) all in jeopardy.

The House and Senate versions of the farm bill are about to be combined via a Congressional conference committee. While the House version has the King language, the Senate version does not. It's key that we make sure the King segment is dropped prior to the final bill being approved. Please call Senator Klobuchar's office (she is on the conference committee) and leave a message urging her to strip the King provision from the farm bill. Her office number is 202-224-3244.

Farmer’s Market Feast Cooking Class Roundup

If you missed Raechel's Farmer's Market Feast cooking class at the beginning of July you can hear all about it as well as get the recipes to make at home. Even if you made it out to the event, be sure to snag the recipes!

The Farmer's Market Feast cooking class was centered on preparing local summer vegetables in an easy and affordable way. We had a wonderful evening of food and fun talking about our favorite warm-weather plant-based dishes.

For the class we made four items: Jicama and Radish Salad, Basil Walnut Pesto, Roasted Farm Fresh Carrots, and Raw Strawberry Crumble!

If you'd like to get the recipes for each of these dishes, head on over to Rebel Grrl Kitchen and get inspired to make dinner tonight with fresh summer vegetables!

2013 Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals

Join the Minneapolis Walk for Farm Animals on Saturday, September 7. You can support Farm Sanctuary's life-saving work by participating in the Minneapolis Walk for Farm Animals.

On Saturday, September 7, you can support Farm Sanctuary's life-saving work by participating in the Minneapolis Walk for Farm Animals. The event will take place at Boom Island Park. Check-in starts at 10 am. The walk will feature free vegan food, raffle prizes, a warm-up yoga stretch, live music, children's activities and more!

Registration is just $15 in advance; $25 on event day. Kids and teens under 18 register for free and get a free t-shirt!

Dave Rolsky, one of CAA's founders and board members, will be speaking at the event about our work and our partnership with Farm Sanctuary. Throughout the year, CAA works with Farm Sanctuary to continuously improve VegGuide.org. Farm Sanctuary also created the video for our current matching campaign, What Came Before. Nick Cooney of Farm Sanctuary will be speaking at Twin Cities Veg Fest and Their Lives, Our Voices this year.

Learn more about the event and register online.

3rd Annual Vegan Main Dish Competition at the State Fair

For the third year, the Minnesota State Fair will host a vegan main dish competition. Register online by August 6th to participate and see your dish in the Creative Activities Building!

It's the third year for the Minnesota State Fair's vegan main dish competition! Don't forget to enter — Aug. 6 is the registration deadline . No need to be vegan to enter! It's free, it's easy, and it's fun to participate in the State Fair and see your entry displayed in the Creative Activities Building! Who knows, you could even win a ribbon, a small cash prize, and an awesome vegan cookbook. All the scoop can be obtained on the Minnesota State Fair website, but here's some info to get you started:

Lot #1108 VEGAN MAIN DISH COMPETITION

We are seeking the most tasty and easy to prepare main dish that supplies a complete protein. Salads are excluded. For your vegan main dish simply use ingredients without animal products.

SCORECARD FOR VEGAN MAIN DISH COMPETITION

  • Appearance 20
  • Ease of preparation 25
  • Taste 45
  • Texture 10

Contest Rules:

Registration is required. Entries in this lot must be registered by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Entries in this lot must be delivered on the west side of the Creative Activities building between 8-11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18. Entries should arrive in a disposable container, containers will not be returned. Entries should be delivered cold, we will re-heat before judging. One entry per person.

Recipes should include 12 or fewer ingredients. Salt, pepper, cooking oil, water and garnishes do NOT count as ingredients. A packaged food or product counts as one ingredient, i.e. box mix or bag of mixed vegetables. Fruit may be used.

Entries must be submitted with 1) the recipe typed on one side of an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper, typed on the reverse side 2) contestant's name, 3) street address, and 4) telephone number . DO NOT send in this sheet of paper with your registration. Bring it in with your item.

Florence I. Brammer will award a vegan cookbook to the winner of Vegan Main Dish.

We hope to see you there!

CAA Is Hiring! Outreach And Event Coordination Positions

Compassionate Action for Animals is looking for an Outreach Coordinator and an Event Coordinator to oversee major initiatives in our campaign for the reduction of farmed animal suffering. Duties commence in early September and continue for 35 weeks, through the academic year. Each position pays $10 per hour. We encourage and prefer vegan applicants. Candidates interested in either opening or both must submit a resume and cover letter to application-2013@exploreveg.org by August 2. We will hold interviews on August 16, 17, and 20.

Compassionate Action for Animals is looking for an Event Coordinator and an Outreach Coordinator to oversee major initiatives in our campaign for the reduction of farmed animal suffering. Duties commence in early September and continue for 35 weeks, through the academic year.

Responsibilities of the Event Coordinator will include managing important CAA events, such as Veg Week, our Thanksgiving Potluck, food giveaways, and a chili cook-off. The Event Coordinator will be in charge of organizing engaging, informative events that contribute to our mission of spreading awareness and interest in the vegetarian diet. These could pertain to factory farming, sharing knowledge and samples of plant-based food, or building a community with compassion for animals in the Twin Cities. The Coordinator will offer CAA volunteers the chance to improve the condition of animals by providing event supervision, managing volunteer schedules and duties, and directing the volunteer team in carrying out logistics, advertising, cooking, setup, and cleanup for events. The position requires a commitment of 10 hours per week and pays $10 per hour. For more information about this opening, see the full job posting.

The Outreach Coordinator position consists of supervising CAA's leafleting and tabling programs, through which we distribute pamphlets about factory farming and vegetarianism or put up educational tables and interact with the public, respectively. The Coordinator is expected to connect with the masses, especially our target audience of young adults, at local events by effectively supplying information about factory farming and plant-based eating. He or she will help volunteers make a positive impact on animal lives by directing volunteer participation at outreach events. This job requires a commitment of 15 hours per week and pays $10 per hour. For further details on this opening, see the full job posting.

Candidates interested in either opening or both must submit a resume and cover letter to application-2013@exploreveg.org by the end of Friday, August 2; we will hold interviews on August 16, 17, and 20. Please send your resume as an attached PDF or plain text file, or as a link to a webpage or PDF. Place your cover letter into the email's text, explaining your interest in the position(s) and animal advocacy. We encourage and prefer vegan applicants. CAA thanks you for your interest in helping animals and looks forward to receiving your applications.

Event Coordinator Staff Position

CAA is hiring a part time Event Coordinator to plan CAA events. CAA organized a number of events throughout the year including our Veg Week events, a vegan Thanksgiving Potluck, food giveaways, and more.

The Event Coordinator will oversee several key CAA events. The first is Veg Week, a week-long series of events including potlucks, dineouts, a feed-in, film screenings, and more. Other events may include our annual vegan Thanksgiving Potluck, food giveaways, a chili cook-off, and other events as time and volunteer support allows.

Event planning typically involves working a committee of volunteers to coordinate logistics (supplies and transportation), advertising, cooking, setup, cleanup, and volunteer schedules during the event. The Event Coordinator will:

  • Plan and execute fun, informative events that highlight various aspects of our work. Events may focus on factory farming and animals, education about plant-based eating, sharing vegan food, or creating a animal-friendly community in the Twin Cities.
  • Work with volunteers at events to make sure they know what their jobs are, and provide supervision for the whole event.
  • Provide volunteers with the opportunity to make a big difference for animals and foster an animal-friendly community in the Twin Cities.

Benefits of Position

  • Reach new people who are interested in learning about animal agriculture and plant-based eating.
  • Help foster a community of animal-friendly people in the Twin Cities.
  • Gain skills in interpersonal communication, campaign coordination, and logistics.
  • Contribute to a successful organization and movement.

Responsibilities

  • Securing locations for events.
  • Creating lists of supplies, volunteer schedules, and checklists for events.
  • Arranging for transportation, purchase of supplies, and equipment rental.
  • Keeping detailed records of volunteer participation at events.
  • Recruiting and training volunteers to help with events.
  • Supervising events as a whole to make sure they are on schedule and going smoothly.

Qualifications

  • A strong desire to educate the public about animal cruelty and compassionate eating choices.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to work work with volunteers to plan events, as well as the ability to given clear directions to volunteers at events.
  • Strong organization skills and a keen eye for details. You must be able to walk through all aspects of an event in your head in advance in order to properly plan for an event.
  • Excellent time management skills. You will need to plan events well in advance, and may be required to split your time between several events at the same time
  • Occasional evening and weekend availability as most of our events do not take place during standard work hours.

The ideal candidate will have experience organizing events and managing volunteers. You will need to be self-motivated and self-sufficient.

This position requires computer work with our databases, planning software, and email lists. You should be comfortable spending a significant portion of your time using a computer. You should also be comfortable following up with volunteers on a regular basis through phone calls, text messaging, email, social media, and other forms of online communication.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to application-2013@exploreveg.org. Submit your resume as an attached PDF or plain text file. Alternately, you can provide a link to a web page or PDF. Please include your cover letter in the body of the email. Your cover letter should explain why you are interested in this position, and why you are passionate about working in animal advocacy.

Vegan candidates are encouraged to apply and will be given preference.

Applications are due by the end of Friday, August 2. We plan to do interviews between August 16, 17, and 20.

Compensation and Hours

This position is for 10 hours/week and pays $10 per hour. We do not offer group health insurance coverage. There is no paid sick or vacation time.

The new hire will start in early September. This position will be staffed for 35 weeks (during the academic school year).

Outreach Coordinator Staff Position

CAA is hiring a part time Outreach Coordinator to oversee leafleting and tabling. CAA passes out leaflets and sets up informational tables at colleges, concerts, and festivals. The Outreach Coordinator finds appropriate venues to conduct outreach, schedules outreach, recruits volunteers, and conducts outreach with volunteers.

The Outreach Coordinator will oversee all of CAA's tabling and leafleting programs. Leafleting involves handing out brochures about factory farming and plant-based eating to the public. Tabling involves setting up informational tables and speaking with the public. At many of our tabling events, we pay people $1 to watch a five minute video about factory farming. The Outreach Coordinator will:

  • Efficiently provide information about factory farming and vegetarianism to large numbers of people.
  • Make information about factory farming and vegetarianism available at local events that are attended by our target demographic – young adults.
  • Provide volunteers with the opportunity to make a big difference for animals in a short amount of time.

Benefits of Position

  • Reach new people who are interested in learning about animal agriculture and plant-based eating.
  • Gain skills in interpersonal communication, campaign coordination, and logistics.
  • Contribute to a successful organization and movement.

Responsibilities

  • Securing locations for outreach.
  • Communicating with venues and events about regulations, event ending times, etc.
  • Keeping a supply of outreach materials at the CAA office and ordering more when necessary.
  • Arranging for transportation of materials to outreach locations.
  • Keeping detailed records of the outreach conducted and reporting results to volunteers, your supervisor, and allied groups.
  • Planning occasional larger outreach events with a committee of volunteers.
  • Recruiting and training volunteers to help with outreach.

Qualifications

  • A strong desire to educate the public about animal cruelty and compassionate eating choices.
  • Friendly and outgoing, strong communication skills, and the ability to interact positively with a wide variety of people.
  • Availability late in the evening for concerts and during school hours for colleges.

The ideal candidate will have experience organizing events and managing volunteers. You will need to be self-motivated and self-sufficient.

This position requires computer work with our databases, planning software, and email lists. You should be comfortable spending a significant portion of your time using a computer. You should also be comfortable following up with volunteers on a regular basis through phone calls, text messaging, email, social media, and other forms of online communication.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to application-2013@exploreveg.org. Submit your resume as an attached PDF or plain text file. Alternately, you can provide a link to a web page or PDF. Please include your cover letter in the body of the email. Your cover letter should explain why you are interested in this position, and why you are passionate about working in animal advocacy.

Vegan candidates are encouraged to apply and will be given preference.

Applications are due by the end of Friday, August 2. We plan to do interviews between August 16, 17, and 20.

Compensation and Hours

This position is for 15 hours/week and pays $10 per hour. We do not offer group health insurance coverage. There is no paid sick or vacation time.

The new hire will start in early September. This position will be staffed for 35 weeks (during the academic school year).

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.

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