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A fond farewell to Emily Nyberg—CAA’s Design Director

We are sad to be saying goodbye to CAA’s Design Director, Emily Nyberg (she/they), at the end of June 2022. Emily has brought her considerable talents to benefit CAA since September 2018. Her outstanding contributions have moved the organization forward and helped in its growth. In addition, she will be remembered for her insights, skills, positivity and team spirit. She will be greatly missed.

She started as our full time Communication Coordinator. In that role she directed the full range of our communication efforts—from Social Media to newsletters and magazines.

Emily connected with CAA’s mission at the Twin Cities Veg Fest and other events around Minneapolis before becoming communications coordinator. She has a background in music non-profit work and marketing. She brought to the CAA team her experience in graphic design, video production, music event planning and organization, social media management, website management, and more.

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Meet Kristen Klemann—Twin Cities Veg Fest Volunteer

Kristen (she/her) has joined us a first time volunteer this year. She plunged right in with taking on the role of handling the Twitter social media for the Twin Cities Veg Fest.

As with so many of our Festival volunteers, Kristen got attracted to this role because of a past positive experience at the Twin Cities Veg Fest! She first came to the festival in 2018 and had so much fun she wanted to volunteer to make sure that this continues to be a great event.

She also appreciates the mission of the festival and wants to do what she can to support it. While she hasn’t been very active with Twitter before she is excited to be learning this new skill and to be putting it to use for a great cause she believes in!

Kristen loves animals, and in particular her dog. Her boyfriend is a “great vegan chef” and she really enjoys his meals and learning about great new vegan food.

She also loves meeting people who share her interests and values—especially in helping the community.

Her hobbies are spending time with her dog and “the awesome human folks in my life.” She also loves reading, knitting and spending time outside in nature.

Meet Stefanie Amundsen—New CAA Design Director

Stef loves to lounge around with Ted the cat

Stefanie Amundsen (Stef) (she/her) has recently been hired as our new Design Director. Stef is no stranger to CAA! She has been part of the UMN CAA student group group for a few years, and has helped out with graphics for some of our projects.

Stef just graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a Bachelor’s in Art with minors in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling and Sustainability. This summer, in addition to starting with us, she will begin a graduate program to work toward a Master’s in Education and a K-12 Arts Teaching License.

She loves being able to use her design/art skills and talents as an activist and as a way to work toward a future that’s more just, equitable, and compassionate for all — especially those whose voices aren’t often amplified, including the animals. For the past few years, she has spent a great amount of time in activism on climate justice and women’s sexual and reproductive health.

She is very motivated to the work of helping build people’s compassion for farmed animals. Stef cites the impact of several films on animal advocacy for sparking her move to veganism.

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Volunteer and Donor Appreciation Party 2022

On June 11, 2022 we gathered for our annual Volunteer and Donor Appreciation Party. Yunuén and Sanchez Brown were once again our gracious and generous hosts! Their lovely yard and party room were a perfect setting. As is traditional, Sanchez grilled up his famous (and super yummy! )vegan chorizo tacos.

Over 30 volunteers and donors enjoyed the food and drink, got caught up with old friends and met new ones. There were also brief speakers who highlighted their reasons for volunteering and donating to Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA).

In addition to their generosity in hosting this event annually, Yunuén and Sanchez are Circle of Care members and major donors. We got to hear why they support CAA and the reason they love to host this event each year. Yunuén shared her path to veganism and how encountering CAA gave her a sense of community and support. They want to give back for what this community has meant to them and to help support its effective work on behalf of the animals.

CAA co-founder Dave Rolsky also spoke to these same themes and how they drive his continued support. Executive Director, Laura Matanah, thanked our hosts, the speakers and all who attended while giving highlights of some upcoming opportunities.

Volunteers and donors are essential to the work of CAA. This is one opportunity to help them see how much their support means to the organization and how it helps move forward our work on behalf of the animals.

If you participated in this event we would appreciate your feedback here.

CAA’s First Bags Tournament—a great source of FUNding!

Compassionate Action for Animals hosted its first bags/cornhole tournament on June 4. 2022.  $1,222 was raised to help save the lives of farmed animals.  And lots of fun occurred in the process!

This fundraising event exceeded expectations with the full 16 teams participating plus a dozen others signing up to cheer them on.  Pups came to help cheer their people on too!  All participants got a  Sociable Cider Werks drink along with a CAA tee shirt.  Food was available from all-vegan Francis Burger Joint.

While the fabulous drinks, food and socializing with like-minded folks were certainly highlights, focus remained on the competition. Four winners were announced:

1st place – Gamecocks (the father-son duo of Martin Krage & Adam Krage)
2nd place – Budz (Ryan McGrath & Joey Heuring)
3rd place – I Paid for These Bags (Justin Wiggins & Sarah McAllister)
Consolation Bracket champs – MildCats (Joshua Truong & Mike Boevers)

Winning teams received a medal as well as a basket of swag that included gift cards to Sociable Cider Werks and Francis Burgers and a cupcake from Vegan East. And bragging rights, of course!

Ryan McGrath won the cash raffle. He won half the $120 we raised.  He was also a member of the second place team Budz (His lucky day!).

Thank you to all who supported our work for animals by participating or volunteering. Your generosity helps increase the number of individuals and institutions choosing plant-based foods, strengthens food justice in our community, and spreads compassion for animals.

This event was coordinated by the Compassionate Action for Animals Board of Directors. In particular we would like to thank those that formed the planning committee: Board members: Alyssa Foggia, Nathan Gaut, Chris Homsey, Julie Knopp and Henry Patterson and development committee member Mitch Bermel.

If you participated in this event we would love your feedback here.

May 2022 Tour of SoulSpace Inspires Visitors

As part of Veg Month 2022, CAA sponsored a tour of SoulSpace Animal Sanctuary on Saturday, May 21.

SoulSpace is home to over 70 animals, including rescued sheep, hens, chicks, pigs, and goats. Each of them has a special story, and that story of struggle and survival reveals an inspiring, sentient individual. SoulSpace gives each animal the individual attention and freedom necessary not only to recover but also to thrive. The Sanctuary is located in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

Around a dozen people attended the tour. There was a short introduction to Compassionate Action for Animals and presentation about the sanctuary before the tour began. Visitors then had an opportunity to visit with the residents and get to know them personally.

Thanks to Amy Molina and Cathy Johnson for their lovely photos to capture this special event.

If you participated in this event we would appreciate your feedback here.

Meet Buffy—Farmaste Animal Sanctuary Resident

 Buffy, the Nubian Cross Goat, enjoying her life at Farm

Buffy is a well loved resident of Farmaste Animal Sanctuary in Lindstrom.  Farmaste rescues abused, neglected and unwanted farm animals and brings them to their 30-acre farm. There they are allowed to roam in the pastures, and live out their days free from cruelty.

Buffy is a 5 year old Nubian Cross Goat.  Her most adorable traits are being mischievous and feisty. She is also a caretaker and consoled Eva the sheep the day she got temporarily separated from her herd. 

Her best friends are fellow goats Kristen and Iggy. She most enjoys scratching her head on the brush, playing with herd members, and “bugging” Iggy.

Buffy came to Farmaste on April 25, 2019.  She was found near a live market in St. Paul. A traumatic environment for farmed animals. Given her fighting spirit it is not surprising that she fought for her life and escaped.

We asked Farmaste for some information about Buffy and they shared the following:

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Quick, easy, low calorie | May 2022 | Vegan Recipe Club

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

You may download the recipes using the link below or pick them up at East Lake Library, 2727 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Printed recipe packets are available at the library’s Safe Pick-Up Station. Simply check in with the greeter and ask for the Vegan Recipe Club packet. If you would like contactless pick-up, please call the library during open hours and request curbside service.

The cookbook selection for May is Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food, 2012 by Alicia C. Simpson.

The publisher describes the book:

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Basics of international comfort food | June 2022 | Vegan Recipe Club

This Zoom gathering is on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

This month’s selection is: Happy Herbivore Abroad, 2012 by Lindsay S. Nixon

The publisher describes the book:

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Wholesome Minnesota presented to the Minnesota Public Health Association

Wholesome Minnesota (WM) Director, Jodi Gruhn presented at the Minnesota Public Health Association’s state conference in May 2022. The theme was, “Together, for Planet and Community.” This opportunity allowed her to highlight WM’s vision with an influential audience. The audience included representatives from state, county and city public health departments, the health plans, University of Minnesota and other colleges’ students, instructors and administrators, elected officials, and stakeholders from the fields of nutrition, economics, environmental health, to name a few.

Jodi’s talk focused on eating plant-based as an environmental justice strategy. She shared how diet choices impact the most vulnerable. Her point was that a shift toward a plant-rich diet can support environmental justice.

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