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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!
Finding vegetarian-friendly restaurants on the go just got even easier!
On VegGuide.org, we've made the "Nearby" section of our homepage, which lists nearby vegetarian-friendly restaurants, even more precise by tapping into the power of the latest smart phones.
To find nearby vegetarian-friendly restaurants, simply go to VegGuide.org in your phone's web browser.
A message may pop up asking you if you wish to share your device's location with VegGuide.org.
For example, on an iPhone, it will look like this:
After tapping "OK" to share your location with VegGuide.org, a list of the closest vegetarian-friendly restaurants should appear in the "Nearby" section of the VegGuide.org homepage.
Make sure to put a link to VegGuide.org on your phone's desktop for easy access. You can do this on the iPhone by tapping the "+" button at the bottom of the screen, then tapping the "Add to Home Screen" button, and following the prompts.
Now you'll always be able to easily find the closest vegetarian-friendly restaurant wherever you are!
When Dee was just 15 years old she decided to stop eating meat and she became vegetarian. As she continued to educate herself more about vegetarianism and animal rights issues, it did not take long for her to transition into veganism. Dee has been active with animal rights and has volunteered at events such as the Thanks Living Festival in New York.
After Dee moved to Minnesota, she found CAA on Meetup. It was at Meetup events where Dee met fellow CAA volunteer Jin Dalsin. Today Dee and Jin coordinate the Vegan After Darks. When Dee is not working or volunteering she enjoys nature, reading, yoga, and indulging in great vegan food and wine.
Stop by a Vegan After Dark and introduce yourself to December's Volunteer of the Month Dee Hanson!
It was a full house at Matthews Recreation Center on Saturday. Most of those in attendance brought a dish to share and wow did we have a wide variety of dishes to choose from! From traditional Tofurky and Field Roast roasts to several stuffings; super soups to happenin' hot dishes; all the way down the line to the don't blink twice or they'll be gone desserts.
Before people made their trip for seconds, many stopped by to purchase raffle tickets. Tickets were being sold for $1 a piece and items raffled included: bodylish gift basket, "cheese" lovers gift basket, a years supply of Newman O's cookies, Esse reusable bags, Bright Sun candle, vegan smores gift basket, breakfast gift basket, Do It Green! catalogs, skin care products from Super Salve, apparel from Northern Sun, books from Vegetarian Resource Group, a years subscription to the Vegetarian Journal, a free nutrition consultation and a veg friendly lunch box!
Check out our Thanksgiving Recipe page for great recipes ideas this holiday season. Also, make sure to take a look at the pictures!
An extra special thanks goes out to all of the donors who contributed gifts to the Potluck: Tofurky, Field Roast, bodylish, Esse, Bright Sun Candles, Super Salve, Do It Green!, Northern Sun, Suzy Sorensen and the Vegetarian Resource Group. Also thanks to our graphic design volunteer Nicole Riner for creating the fliers, thanks to Sofia Huerter and Amanda Lewis for creating the beautiful decorations, thanks to Steven Palacios and Giovanna Nido for photographing the event and thank you to the dozens of other volunteers who contributed their time on Saturday to make the day a true success! A final big thanks to all of those who brought a dish, because after all what's a potluck without great food!?
CAA is looking for a volunteer Office Manager at our 2100 office. The Office Manager position is a volunteer staff position, so it is unpaid. There are perks including free parking, access to office refreshments (coffee, tea and snacks), a free CAA t-shirt and more! If you are interested in the position, please e-mail Danielle your cover letter and resume.
CAA also has a number of other Volunteer Staff positions open. We currently have several dedicated Volunteer Staff members, but we are always looking for more. If you are looking for something with less time commitment then take a look at our volunteer opportunities. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please fill out a volunteer form, and the Director of Volunteer Programs will get in touch with you.
Turkeys have been synonymous with Thanksgiving for many years. However, many people are unaware of the suffering that these beautiful birds go through on factory farms. In just one year over 250 million turkeys are raised for slaughter in the U.S., 46 million for Thanksgiving alone. These birds are often debeaked and detoed without any form of anesthesia. Turkeys that survive this inhumane treatment are crammed into spaces so tight they are unable to move freely and exercise their natural behaviors.
"Modern" turkeys have been bred to grow at an unnatural rate, leading to even more suffering. In 1965 the average farmed turkey weighed in at around 18 pounds. Today turkeys are reaching slaughter weights of between 28 and 33 pounds. This massive increase in body weight causes severe health problems such as heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
This holiday season, we encourage you to participate in Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-a-Turkey project. Adoptions start at $30 and you receive a certificate along with a picture and description about your turkey!
CAA will be holding our own Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck on Saturday, November 20th. If you've never prepared a vegan meal, don't fret, CAA is also hosting a Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Class on Thursday, November 18th.
Jin Dalsin has always considered herself as an advocate for those without a voice. While Jin had previously spent much time and passion in the field of animal rights, it was soon after her transition into veganism in which she wanted to find new connections. In her search to meet like minded individuals, Jin came across CAA several months ago when she was searching for groups using the Meet-Up social website. Here she became invovled with events such as the Summer Camping Trip and Vegan After Darks.
It was during CAA Meet-Up events when Jin met Dee Hanson. Jin and Dee soon became friends and were both interested in taking on some volunteer roles with CAA. Jin and Dee mutually decided that taking on a volunteer role would be much more enjoyable and much less stressful if they worked together.
Jin enjoys spending her free time with her pug, socializing at events, cooking, reading and is possibly considering taking up snowshoeing this winter!
Do you work in Minnesota for the federal government? We have a new way for you to donate! Federal government employees can donate using payroll deduction through the Combined Federal Campaign. The campaign is already underway, so enroll today!
Compassionate Action for Animals' charity code is 74755. You can enroll online or at your work place. The Combined Federal Campaign is a convenient way to donate and support our work to advocate for animals.
Help Compassionate Action for Animals advocate for animals by providing your financial support. Your support is what makes Veg Month, leafleting, our Thanksgiving Potluck, and everything we do possible!