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In Memory of Lauren Hanson

A dedicated animal advocate and Compassionate Action for Animals volunteer died last month.

Long time Compassionate Action for Animals volunteer Lauren Hanson died in September. We remember Lauren's passion and upbeat attitude.

Lauren started volunteering in 2008. She planned the Thanksgiving Potluck that year, and the event was a favorite of hers. We are hosting this year's potluck in her honor.

She also planned and volunteered at many other events and projects, including our Banquet, Community Office Open House, staffing our table at Taking Action for Animals, helping out at our conference, Their Lives, Our Voices and volunteering at the Twin Cities Veg Fest. She was planning the Veg Week Feed-In and screening of Vegucated when she died.

She was an energetic volunteer, was consistently positive, and inspired many people to make changes to help animals in their own lives. We will miss her deeply. We will keep her spirit alive by continuing to advocate animals.

From Danielle Smith, CAA Board of Directors:

Hey Lauren,

I've been thinking about you a lot lately, so I decided to write you a little note. I was remembering the Valentine's potluck from a few years back and laughing about some of our conversations. Chatting with you at events was always a highlight. And I was excited to see how involved you were getting with CAA. In fact, I was hoping you'd soon be sitting next to me at board meetings.

I'm sad that we can't get that beer at Triple Rock. I still haven't gone yet and it will feel weird going without you there. And I miss being able to share my new veg adventures with you. My blog is doing well. I held my first contest, I would have loved for you to see it.

As my heart wells up with each line I write, I strongly believe you are with each of us who you've touched. Whenever a memory crosses my mind or if I ever feel a longing for conversation, I know that in some way you are still here, with me, with us all.

I love you very much and wish you eternal peace.

Danielle

From Jon Camp of Vegan Outreach:

I met Lauren just less than three months ago. She was flying into Baltimore to attend the Taking Action For Animals conference in the DC-region. Per the request of CAA's Unny, I agreed to let Lauren stay at my place while she was in town. During the brief time that I spent with her, it didn't take long to realize that she was an especially warm and authentic person, and a lot of fun, to boot!. After the conference, I drove Lauren to the airport, and asked what she thought about the weekend. She raved about how she had met some of the best people she'd ever met — individuals who were not only fun to hang out with, but who shared her deep concern for animals, as well. So I was incredibly saddened to hear that Lauren was no longer with us, as she turning her genuine empathy for animals into concrete action for them. I'm so grateful that I got the chance to meet her this summer, and I'll continue to cherish my car rides and conversations with her. My heart goes out to Lauren, her family, and her loved ones. She is deeply missed.

From Unny Nambudiripad, CAA Executive Director:

I had the pleasure of working with Lauren since she started volunteering and I'm glad I go the chance to know her. We had so much fun and her energy and enthusiasm were an inspiration to me. We shared a similar joy in being animal advocates, and her loss has touched me deeply.

Vegan Food Showcase Contributors

Generous donations from the following companies made the September 11 Food Showcase a success. Please support them buy purchasing their tasty vegan products!

Do you want to find tasty alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs? Look no further! The following companies have a wide variety of products free of animal products:

Thanks to the generosity of VegFund, we served additional Gardein products as well as Silk soymilk.

Each of these companies donated generously to our Vegan Food Showcase, which we reported on a couple weeks ago. Thanks!

Veg Week 2012 continues!

Four more Veg Week events are coming up, and we hope to see you there.

This weekend we kicked off Veg Week with a concert featuring the Roe Family Singers. Quillan Roe told us why he's a vegetarian and raising his kids vegetarian, and we heard their upbeat bluegrass tunes. We've also hosted our first ever Feed-In and Vegucated film screening, our second Vegan Bake Sale, and Shop With a Vegan. But there's more! Here are the final Veg Week events:

We hope to see you there!

Veg Week Kick-Off This Saturday!

Bring a friend and join us on Saturday, September 29 at the Whole Music Club in Coffman Memorial Union.

We are hosting a Veg Week concert to celebrate the beginning of Veg Week. At this concert, we will enjoy fun, free music. We will give a short presentation about Veg Week and Compassionate Action for Animals. Attendees can pledge to be vegetarian or vegan for a week, and get a care pack with free vegan food samples, coupons, and literature. We will serve a light dinner at the end of the evening.

  • What: Veg Week Kick-Off Concert
  • When: Saturday, September 29, 7 to 10 pm
  • Where: The Whole Music Club, Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Who: Everybody is welcome and it's free!

Please join our Facebook event and invite your friends!

We're thrilled to have the Roe Family Singers as our lineup for the evening.

  • The Roe Family Singers' music blends traditional bluegrass sounds with contemporary rock. Headed up by Kim and Quillan Roe, this nine-member band is one of the premier folk-rock bands in the Twin Cities. They've opened for Doc Watson, Del McCoury, and the Grascals, and were awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians in 2011.

The opening act will be Conjuring Trick.

This kick-off event is part of our annual Veg Week kick-off series of events. Veg Week is a celebration of all things vegetarian, where we give folks the resources they need to include more plant-based foods into their diets. We also work with local restaurants to give discounts to pledgers and we host a series of events including a chicken sanctuary tour, a feed-in and film screening, and a vegan potluck.

We are hosting a Veg Week concert to celebrate the beginning of Veg Week. At this concert, we will enjoy fun, free music. We will give a short presentation about Veg Week and Compassionate Action for Animals. Attendees can pledge to be vegetarian or vegan for a week, and get a care pack with free vegan food samples, coupons, and literature. We will serve a light dinner at the end of the evening.

  • What: Veg Week Kick-Off Concert
  • When: Saturday, September 29, 7 to 10 pm
  • Where: The Whole Music Club, Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Who: Everybody is welcome and it's free!

Please join our Facebook event and invite your friends!

We're thrilled to have the Roe Family Singers as our lineup for the evening.

  • The Roe Family Singers' music blends traditional bluegrass sounds with contemporary rock. Headed up by Kim and Quillan Roe, this nine-member band is one of the premier folk-rock bands in the Twin Cities. They've opened for Doc Watson, Del McCoury, and the Grascals, and were awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians in 2011.

The opening act will be Conjuring Trick.

This kick-off event is part of our annual Veg Week kick-off series of events. Veg Week is a celebration of all things vegetarian, where we give folks the resources they need to include more plant-based foods into their diets. We also work with local restaurants to give discounts to pledgers and we host a series of events including a chicken sanctuary tour, a feed-in and film screening, and a vegan potluck.

The Bond Book Signing

Join Wayne Pacelle at Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley on October 9.

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, wrote "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them." In the book, he discuss what drives the human-animal bond and how it exists within all of us. But he also takes an honest look at where the bond has been broken, and why we as a society have such a contradictory relationship with animals. We say we love them, and object to cruelty, but there's still so much abuse in the form of puppy mills, animal fighting rings, and factory farms, to name just a few examples.

Please come to the book signing on Tuesday, October 9, at the Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Lane North, Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Vegan Food Showcase 2012 Report

Our annual food giveaway was a success! Compassionate Action for Animals' favorite way of introducing people to new vegan foods is to provide free samples to the public.

We hosted our annual Vegan Food Showcase on September 11 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Minneapolis. The event was a smash hit. The table was constantly swamped with students trying out the food during the passing time between classes. Many students remembered Veg Week from last year and were very excited to take the Pledge to be Veg once again, promising to change their eating habits from September 29 through October 7. They warmly remembered their favorite foods and restaurants that they enjoyed during that time. Some of the foods that students got to try were chocolate Silk soy milk and Coconut Bliss ice cream. The Gardein 7-Grain meat, which is made with grain, mimics real meat in both its taste and texture. The mock chicken crispy tenders and "beefless tips" were a big revelation for many students that veganism isn't just about salads. During the lower traffic moments, passers-by were excited to hold an in-depth conversation with the volunteers. Once students had a little more information and asked some questions of a practicing vegetarian or a passionate vegan, they were much more likely to sign up.

The main selling point in convincing people to sign the pledge was to tell them about the support system the CAA offers for the week. The students who seemed wary about pledging initially warmed up to the idea once volunteers mentioned the available coupons, Vegetarian Starter Kit, and the supporting events held throughout Veg Week so that novices and experts alike can come together with questions and struggles. In total, 289 people pledged to join us in celebrating and participating in Veg Week!

In addition to signing up people to Pledge to Be Veg, we passed out 843 leaflets about factory farming and vegetarianism, educating them about the horrors of modern animal agriculture and compassionate alternatives.

CAA is proud to host Veg Week's exciting events, including a free concert on Saturday, September 29 and a Feed In and film screening on Monday, October 1. See you there!

Postering Parties for Veg Week

Help us get the word out about Veg Week! We need your help to spread the word about compassionate eating.

With your help, we can educate the public about factory farming and vegetarian options. We're hosting our annual Veg Week from September 29 to October 7, and we'd like you come and put up posters with us on the following dates:

Please RSVP to jennifer.prokuski@exploreveg.org or 612-276-2242. Can't help us poster on those days? You can still help out! Please:

Eating Vegan Food is Fun!

Amazing discount card. Cool prizes. Free food. Help animals. Take the Pledge to be Veg!

All you have to do is pledge to eat vegetarian or vegan from Saturday, September 29, to Sunday, October 7.

Participants will get a special care pack and discount card, which will get you deals at many local restaurants, such as Seward Cafe, Galactic Pizza, Evergreen, and many more! We'll provide recipes, tips, and raffle prizes. Come to any of our Veg Week events for more resources and good times!

Take the Pledge to be Veg online today!

Have friends who might want to take the Pledge to be Veg? Tell them about it!

Peanut Butter BBQ Tofu Recipe

On August 21, we held a celebration to thank our donors for supporting our efforts to advocate for animals. Volunteers provided delicious food including vegan lasagna, BBQ tofu, carrot cake, and cupcakes. Here's the recipe for the Peanut Butter BBQ Tofu that we enjoyed!

This is a simple but very tasty recipe. It's heavy, so eat it in moderation. It goes great with a rice pilaf and greens.

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs firm tofu, frozen overnight then thawed
  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably crunchy
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 12 oz. of BBQ sauce

You can substitute some real minced garlic for the garlic powder. A low-sodium soy sauce works well with this recipe, since the goal is flavor, not more saltiness. For BBQ sauce, Annie's brand works great, and the bottles are the right size, but pick your favorite. Don't dump in all of a bigger bottle or it'll be overpowering!

Instructions

Mix all of ingredients except the tofu and BBQ sauce. Squeeze the water out of the tofu, either by hand or by pressing it in a bowl.

Chop the tofu into small cubes, maybe 1 inch square and then cover it with the sauce. Let this sit for an hour or two.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking pan or casserole dish. Put the tofu (and all the sauce) into the dish, spreading it as evenly as possible.

Bake this for 20 minutes, take it out of the oven and flip it over, then bake for another 20 minutes.

Take it out again and pour the bottle of BBQ sauce over the tofu and mix it together. Bake for another 10-15 minutes and you're all set.

For more recipes, please check out http://exploreveg.org/recipes.

How Vegan? Ingredients vs. Results

by Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach

When I first got involved in animal rights around 1990, "How vegan?" had a simple answer – either something is vegan or it isn't. The way to tell was to compare all of the ingredients on every product against lists of all animal products. This list eventually became a book, Animal Ingredients A to Z, which for years was the best-selling book at Vegan.com.

This simple means of defining "good" and "bad" attracted many of us because it was so straightforward. But even before the list began to grow into an encyclopedia, it was inconsistent. The production of honey kills some insects, but so does driving (and sometimes even walking). Many soaps contain stearates, but the tires on cars and bicycles contain similar animal products. Some sugar is processed with bone char, but so is much municipal water. And adding "not tested on animals" to the definition of vegan added a whole new level of complexity.

Continue reading the essay…

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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

Saturday, October 20, 2018

October Dine Out: Eureka Compass Vegan Food