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In the land of cheese curds, brats and Tater Tot hotdish, there is a new sheriff in town. The Minnesota State Fair is including in its annual cooking competition a Vegan Main Dish category. So put down those deep fried Twinkies on a stick and run over and get a glimpse at history in the making. Or better yet, enter a dish to win!
Florence Brammer helped campaign for the category to be added to the competition this year. For the several hundred thousand fair-goers, Brammer is hoping that this will raise awareness to the concept of vegan entrées and to the plight of factory farm raised animals. She is personally offering a prize to the winner- a copy of "The Vegan Table" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
The deadline for online registration is 4:30pm, August 9th. Registration is free! Go to state fair website to register. No late entries will be accepted, so skip, prance, or sashay your way down to the (virtual) registration booth.
When entering keep in mind that salads are not accepted since the goal is to provide a complete protein, just as non-vegan dishes do. The dishes will be judged based on four categories: Appearance, Ease of Preparation, Taste and Texture, with Taste being the most heavily weighted category and Ease of Preparation second.
Recipes should include 12 ingredients or fewer. This does not include cooking oil, garnish, salt, pepper and water.
Entries must be delivered to the fairgrounds on Sunday, August 21, in a disposable container.
To enter you must be 14 years or older, and a Minnesota resident. Professional chefs are not allowed. For complete rules download this PDF, then look for category #1111.
Please take this awesome opportunity to bring delicious vegan food to state fair-goers, as well as showing the fair administrators that there is a strong vegan community that will stand behind this new category!
Simple steps for requesting veg options at conferences and workshops
While finding veg food at events that aren't animal or diet conscious can take extra effort, we've found that a little bit of planning can make everything go smoothly. Unny Nambudiripad was attending a conference this spring, and wasn't sure what the food options would be. Two weeks before the conference, he sent this email to the coordinator of the conference:
I'm looking forward to the conference. I'm a vegan (I don't eat meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or other animal products) and I was wondering if you can accommodate my diet. If not, that's fine, I can bring my own lunch. Please let me know if you have questions. I had also indicated my dietary predilection on my registration.
Notice that the email keeps a very positive voice and doesn't demand that they provide vegan food, and he even offers to bring his own food if needed. Bringing your own food where there is no veg option can show others that while you are not demanding or hard to deal with you still stand up for your own beliefs as to what you eat.
The conference coordinator sent Unny's request to the caterer, who replied in an extremely positive way by giving several options for a vegan meal including salad, soups and a sandwich, even a vegan dessert. The caterer went so far as to ask Unny what he would like on his sandwich. He replied and gave many options for vegan sandwich fillings and also made clear that he was a flexible, non-picky, vegan eater and made sure to thank her for the accommodations.
CAA volunteer Bita writes about why our cooking classes are so great!
CAA's first spring leafleting week ended last Friday. In just four days, leafleting two hours a day, we handed out over 2300 leaflets! As promised, the individual who handed out the most leaflets would receive a year's worth of Newman O's. The winner for last week is Dylan Mulenburg. Dylan handed out an astonishing 1900 leaflets.
Think you can trump that? Well, there are plenty of CAA leafleting opportunities ahead, such as Music for Mother Earth
On April 7, Compassionate Action for Animals celebrated another year of advocating for animals at our 7th Annual Banquet. The fundraiser raised support for our outreach, education, and community building on behalf of farmed animals.
Over sixty five guests attended this year's event, which included a silent auction and reception, a gourmet four-course vegan meal, and a presentation about CAA's work.
The fantastic all-vegan, four-course meal prepared once again by Ciree Linsenman included Granny Tomatillo & White Balsamic Napoleon Skewers Sculpture, a choice of Hot Pink Beet Borscht with Fresh Dill or Tomato Saffron Burgundy Bisque for soup, and a choice of Sweet and Sour Meetballs with Garlic Almond Green Beans or Southern Greens and Leeks Quiche with Cranberry Lemon Sauce for the entree.
Following the meal, Shannon Kimball talked about CAA's Bridges of Respect program, as well as CAA's food giveaways and other outreach work. Sofia Huerter spoke about her passion for volunteering with the organization.
We'd like to thank those businesses and individuals who donated to the event:
- Ariel Abell
- At Sara's Table
- Betsy Born
- Boneshaker Books
- Paul Busch
- Laurel Clift
- Marly Cornell
- Evergreen Chinese Restaurant
- Ali Glad
- jobangles (Josie Hamlen)
- Rachel Keranen
- Shannon Kimball
- Laurel Street Flowers
- Justin Leaf
- Cali Mastny
- New French Bakery
- Savithry Nambudiripad
- Pangea Vegan Store
- Jared Rolsky
- Joan Rolsky
- Joel Schneider
- Seward Co-op
- Suzy Sorensen
- Chelsea Strate
- Mike Tavernier
- John Thompson
- Triple Rock Social Club
- Vegan Essentials
- Wedge Community Co-op
- Whole Foods Saint Paul
And last, but certainly not least, dozens of dedicated volunteers helped the event to progress smoothly by preparing food, setting up, serving guests, taking pictures, and cleaning. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year's banquet a huge success!
If you weren't able to attend but would still like to support CAA, you can donate online.
In order to make this banquet a success, we need your help! Please see below for available volunteer positions.
This is our largest fundraising event of the year, and we need plenty of volunteers. Below are the listed volunteer positions we need filled. Please read through and determine which position(s) you would like to and are able to help with.
3:00 – 5:00 5 people
Setup volunteers will assist the Auction Coordinator to set up the silent auction area, set the banquet tables, and help decorate the banquet space.
5:00 – 7:0 1 person
We need one volunteer to assist the Registration Leader with checking in volunteers and direct them to appropriate stations as well as registering attendees. Must dress semi-formally.
Food Preparation & Receiption Food/Drink Staff
5:00 – 7:00 5 people
These volunteers will work with Food Prep Leader to prepare food trays for the reception and make sure that food and beverages are ready and available for Reception Servers during the course of the reception. They will also do some food prep for the banquet itself. Some of these volunteers will need to dress semi-formally.
5:00 – 9:30 18 people
The servers will serve food and drink to guests. Must wear a white or black shirt with a collar and black pants or skirt.
7:30 – 11:00 6 people
These volunteers will work with the Kitchen Clean-up Leader to clean dishes from the reception and main banquet and make sure that clean dishes are organized packed for return to the CAA office.
9:30 – 11:00 4 people
These volunteers will work with the Room Clean-up Leader to ensure that banquet tables and rooms are clean and decorations and supplies are organized and packed in cars for return to CAA office. May assist with kitchen clean-up as well.
Food will be provided for volunteers, and there may also be leftovers, so all volunteers staying until 9 pm can bring a container for food if you would like to take some home. Please respond indicating what position(s) you can help out with. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions. If you’d like to volunteer, contact Nina Shimmin at email@example.com or 763-807-4811.
Please invite your parents, co-workers, or friends to the banquet. We are looking for more donors and attendees. Please direct them to the main banquet page.
Thanks in advance for your help and we look forward to hearing back from you and seeing you at the banquet.
Narrated by Oscar-nominee James Cromwell, this powerful 12-minute film takes you on an eye-opening exploration behind the closed doors of the nation's largest industrial poultry, pig, dairy and fish farms, hatcheries, and slaughter plants – revealing the often-unseen journey that animals make from Farm to Fridge.
Using arresting images covertly recorded on hidden camera, this provocative film puts into focus the harsh reality faced by farmed animals – creatures granted no federal protection from abuse during their lives on factory farms.
Challenging society's views and treatment of "food animals," Farm to Fridge elevates our moral and ethical discussion about where our food comes from, how it is produced, and who is left to pay the ultimate price for cheap meat, dairy and eggs.
This film is guaranteed to change the way you look at the power, and consequences, of your food choices.
You can watch this life-changing film for free online at MeatVideo. After viewing Farm to Fridge, we encourage you to share it with your friends on Facebook, order a free copy to screen in your community, and request a free Vegetarian Starter Kit.
We hope you find MFA's new film informative, motivational, and moving. Together we can protect farmed animals from abuse, and inspire others to explore cruelty-free food choices.
*Please note that this film contains graphic and violent images*
The vegan communitywas all abuzz last week when Oprah Winfrey and over 300 of herstaffers went vegan for a week. Oprah's vegan episode hit aired onTuesday, February 1st. Oprah welcomed guests MichaelPollan (author) and Kathy Freston (vegan author) to answer questionscentered around the food industry and growing movement to go vegan.At one point, viewers were led on a tour through a Cargill-run cattlefactory farm. Viewers witnessed just about everything, except for theexecution; at which point correspondent Lisa Ling was brought totears.
There was a widevariety of responses from the staffers who took the challenge. Somelost weight and felt great; others experienced "junk foodwithdrawal," and felt irritable. While personal experiencesdiffered from one to another, everyone seemed to be in agreement withone thing: the importance of having a closer relationship with theirfood. Oprah even commented that this lifestyle choice was not onewhich she would ever fully adopt, stating, "You have to decidewhat's right for you and for your family. Half the battle is justbeing aware of where your food comes from and how it makes you feel.As Kathy says, just leaning into better eating can make a majordifference in all areas of your life."
CAA encourages youto take your own week-long vegan challenge. For recipe ideas, check outour recipe page and other sites such as VegWeb.If you plan on going out for a bite during your challenge week, checkout VegGuide for localveg-friendly restaurants in your area. Attend CAA events for supportand encouragement, including our Valentine's Cooking Class (Thrs. 10th), Valentine's Potluck (Sat. 12th), or our Vegan After Dark at Hard Times (Sat. 19th).
After completingyour challenge, we would love to hear your story. Select stories willbe featured in our newsletter at the beginning of March. Celebrate your challenge with CAA at our 2nd Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off on February 26th!
We wanted to let people know that CAA is not organizing Their Lives, Our Voices conference in 2011.
We first hosted TLOV in 2008. It was a great event, and we were thrilled at the response from the community. Over the past three years, we've attracted activists from around the country, and hosted great speakers such as Gene Baur, Nathan Runkle, Zoe Weil, and Carol Adams. We've gotten lots of great feedback from attendees, and we hope that TLOV has inspired people to go back to their communities and advocate on behalf of animals.
However, this year, we've seen a shift in interest and priorities from the volunteers responsible for organizing our programs. Our volunteers have expressed less interest in organizing TLOV, instead choosing to focus on other programs.
We're not ruling out the possibility of hosting TLOV again in the future. If you'd like to help make TLOV happen in 2012, please consider volunteering. Of course, we have many other volunteer opportunities as well. There are many ways you can help animals. If you can't make time to volunteer, please consider making a donation.
Thanks again to all of the TLOV attendees, speakers, and sponsors from the past three years.
Thank you for your continued support of Compassionate Action for Animals. You've made our work possible and powerful. Can you continue your support and make a contribution of $50, $25, or $15?
Thanks to your help, we are able to advocate for farm animals. Here's a few of our accomplishments this year:
- Veg Month. Yes, you read that correctly. This year we expanded Veg Week to be Veg Month. We had a whole month's worth of events, including hosting renowned vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz, our pledge to be veg, cooking classes, a religious panel, a tour of a chicken sanctuary, and more. Through this month-long series of events, hundreds of participants learned about the cruelty of factory farming, tried new vegan foods, met like-minded animal advocates, and had a great time.
- Bridges of Respect. For over a decade, CAA's Bridges of Respect Humane Education program has been helping students gain the tools they need to successfully solve problems of animal abuse, environmental decline, and human rights through their individual choices, their work, and their activism for animals. But that's not all. We have been working to see Humane Education incorporated as a cornerstone in the school system. For example, at Coon Rapids High School, our presentations are included as a regular agenda item at administrative meetings when discussing curricular needs, such as text books. So far this year we have provided 65 presentations at over a dozen schools. We have reached nearly 2,000 students in grades 6-12 with literature, videos, and vegan food samples. With your help, we can increase our outreach to teachers and students and do our part to help make Humane Education a constant feature in our school system's curriculum.
- Their Lives, Our Voices. We hosted our third conference with prominent speakers from across the country. With an affordable price and great vegan food, animal activists congregated to learn about the latest strategies in fighting exploitation and to meet fellow activists.
These are just a few examples of the work we do. I'm thankful to work with talented, motivated, positive and fun volunteers, donors, and supporters that want to help animals.
Your support has made this possible, and your continued support will help us continue our crucial working going forward. Please make a contribution of $50, $25, or $15 today.
Yours for the animals,
P.S. Mark your calendar for our banquet on April 7, 2011!