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The Avian Influenza Epidemic and Chicken Run Rescue

Avian Flu threatens Simon and Theo and other residents at Chicken Run Rescue. Here they are in their “lockdown lounge” to help protect them.

Chicken Run Rescue is one of our local animal sanctuaries. Their goal is to “foster an evolution in critical thought about who is food and who is friend through rescue, rehabilitation, sanctuary and education.” Recently their work has been severely impacted by the Avian Influenza (AI) outbreak.

This disease has no cure and kills between 90-100% of the infected birds. The AI Death Toll so far in Minnesota is 2,895,350 —nationwide it is 37.87M birds. It has affected wild, farmed, sanctuary and backyard birds.  It has also spread in isolated instances to other animals, including humans.

The deaths are mostly due to government decree, not the virus itself. Mass killings are mandated as an attempt to stop the spread of the disease and to protect factory farms. The killings are often done in cruel and inhumane ways.

Many experts believe that the conditions of factory farms encourage the spread and mutation of such viruses.

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Meet Ibtisam Brown–Twin Cities Veg Fest Volunteer

Ibtisam Brown (she/her) is volunteering as Food Vendor Coordinator for this year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest. She enjoyed working with the vendors last year and signed up again.

When she was new to the Twin Cities six years ago she attended the Festival and got hooked! “I was looking for ways to connect to the local vegan community and loved how inclusive and empathetic the members of CAA were,” she shared.

We asked her some questions so that we can get to know her better:

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Spring Farm Sanctuary in Transition

Spring Farm Sanctuary Moving to Tennessee

We have some bittersweet news from Spring Farm Sanctuary. They are moving and merging with Odd Man Inn sanctuary in Tennessee (see the details below).

Spring Farm Sanctuary (SFS) in Long Lake, MN was founded in 2016 by Robin Johnson. SFS has been committed to ending farmed animal cruelty and promoting vegan living through their rescue, rehabilitation, and education efforts. They have provided a loving home for abused and neglected farm animals. In addition, they have encouraged the community to connect with animals and realize how sensitive, emotional, and caring they are. Over these years they have rescued and provided a home for over 25 chickens, cows, steer, turkeys, sheep and goats. 

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Your Body In Balance Event a resounding success!

On Wednesday May 4 CAA celebrated a major event: Your Body in Balance.

Your Body in Balance event was a big success!

Over 50 people attended this information packed event. For many it was their first event with CAA.  100% of survey respondents said they “learned a lot”!  When asked what they liked about the event most replied “everything!”

The event focused on the health/diet connection. New York Times bestselling author Neal Barnard, MD shared the science behind how common hormone-related conditions can be improved by simple diet changes. Other experts provided inspirational stories of transforming their health through nutrition.

A big shout out to the participants: 

 J. Selby’s for their donation of yummy nachos with whole foods plant-based cheese dip and chocolate chip cookies

 Dr. Neal Barnard for his inspirational and informative talk and Q&A afterwards

Terrell Woods (AKA [Carnage The Executioner) for providing musical entertainment and sharing his health and dietary journey

Rooted Green Wellness for their cooking demo, presentation and desserts

Suzanne Sorensen for her dietician consultations

Phillip Prospers of Plant Bar Cafe for the delicious drinks

Plant Pure Communities and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine for their informational booths and support

This event was part of the Twin Cities Veg Month series of events in May. Sign up now to try 21 days of veg living and get 15% off at local businesses during Veg Month: exploreveg.org/challenge

Rooster Redemption’s upcoming move

Recently Rooster Redemption announced that they will be moving from Minnesota soon. CAA has been happy to partner with them on several initiatives over the years and their presence will be missed. In particular it has been wonderful to tour Rooster Redemption to help the community know about their wonderful sanctuary.

Rooster Redemption is a rooster rescue facility. Why a special sanctuary for roosters? They cite:

  • Roosters (male chickens) are the most abandoned, unwanted, exploited, and stigmatized land animal on the planet.
  • Due to their need for specialized care and accommodations, they are extremely difficult to find homes for.
  • We devote our time, energy, and patience toward these birds who are the underdogs in the rescue world.
  • ​We strive to amplify their voices.
  • We celebrate roosters as colorful companions with misunderstood personalities.

We interviewed them to find out more about their move:

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Twin Cities Veg Living magazine issue 8 is here!

The new issue of Twin Cities Veg Living is chock full of useful information and inspiration! Donors receive it in the mail. It’s available for pickup at The Herbivorous Butcher, Coconut Whisk, and at every event during Veg Month!   Or check it out here:

Read TCVL Issue 8!

Exploring Plant-Based Eating: Vegan Myth Busters by Suzy Sorensen RDN, LD. CDCES

Suzy takes on seven common myths about veganism. She shares the best evidence-based, scientifically sound information to refute them.

Creating Change for Animals and People in the Twin Cities.

Meet 12 people taking the lead on creating a sustainable, equitable, plant-based future.

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St. Paul Mayor issues Plant-Based Proclamation for Earth day

Mayor Carter declares April 22 Plant-Based Wellness Day

On Earth Day, April 22, Mayor Melvin Carter issued St. Paul’s First Plant-Based Proclamation.  In it he encourages residents to consider increasing consumption of plant-based foods. 

Mayor Carter cites plant-based eating as tied to better environmental and health outcomes. He connects this dietary change to the future well-being of the community. St. Paul’s Climate Action and Resilience plan also encourages increased plant-based eating.

The proclamation was the result of a team effort. CAA Board members Henry Patterson and Julie Knopp partnered with Phillip Prospers, CEO of Living Naturally Abundant. They were inspired by successful efforts in other cities and states. Over the last few months they worked to educate and inspire Mayor Carter and his staff about this issue.

The proclamation raises the visibility of the connection between a plant-based diet and improved health and environmental outcomes.  Tying these vital issues together is key. It provides more reasons for people to consider a more compassionate diet. Informing and inspiring change that benefits both animals and the planet.

CAA is here to help! Take the Explore Veg Challenge. Get 15% Off at Local Restaurants During May’s Veg Month + Free Recipe and Shopping Guide! Sign up now!

Meet Sabrina Beres—TCVF Social Media coordinator

Sabrina Beres

Sabrina Beres is on the Twin Cities Veg Fest Committee as one of the Social Media Coordinators. We are lucky to have her bring her professional expertise in this area to our team!

She found out about CAA through her exposure to our social media campaigns. What she read fit with her long term passion for animal rights and veganism.

One of her favorite activities with CAA has been bringing her friends to the Twin Cities Veg Fest. She enjoys helping them find that vegan foods can be tasty and fun.

Why she volunteers: “I love that I can really have a chance to make an impact on something I care about! And social media platforms offer a fun way to interact with your audience and get personal about these objectives” .

We wanted to get to know her better so had her answer some questions:

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A taste of the 2022 Annual Banquet

Jodi Gruhn speaking at CAA’s Annual Banquet

At Veg Out!: CAA’s Annual Casual Banquet 2022 we had several speakers. Some were volunteers and some were staff. Jodi Gruhn has been both. She is now the Wholesome Minnesota Coordinator and has been a Twin Cities Veg Fest volunteer as well.

In addition to sharing a brief update on recent Wholesome Minnesota accomplishments she shared her personal journey. She had been looking for more in life. An encounter with a Twin Cities Veg Fest ad led her on a journey. First to attend the festival. Then to volunteer. And now to helping increase the amount of plant-based food being offered in Twin Cities institutions.

If you missed her inspiring talk at the banquet or want to relive it we have shared the text below:

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