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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…

Easy Beginner Vegan Cooking Class Recipes on Our Website

On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Angela Gilchrist taught a free cooking class and shared with us simple and tasty vegan recipes. Angela has been developing her vegan cooking skills for seventeen years, and has been experimenting with gluten free recipes for two and a half years.

The cooking class was a great hit. Here are the delicious recipes Angela shared with the class.

Try them out at home and let us know what you think!

Announcing Veg Week 2012!

Mark your Calendars for Veg Week 2012! Our ninth annual Veg Week pulls together a host of fun and educational events to encourage people to move towards a plant-based diet.

Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) started our celebration of all things veg back in 2004. Over the course of one week we celebrate vegetarian diets, educate the public about compassionate food choices, and inspire respect for farm animals. Events include a feed-in and film screening, a dine-out, a cooking class, and more. Check out our calendar below for a full list of events and times.

Pledge to be Veg!

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Participate in Veg Week by taking our Pledge to be Veg and choosing to eat vegetarian for the week! Already a vegetarian? We are encouraging vegetarians to try eating vegan.

Don't worry, we make it easy! When you Pledge, you receive a Pledge Card that gives discounts at local veg-friendly restaurants and businesses. We also help by sending email updates with recipes and nutrition advice and providing a supportive community of animal lovers who will be attending our events during the first week of October!

Encourage your friends to take the pledge too!

Calendar of Events

See the events below, and click on each link for more details!

  • Tuesday, September 11th, 10 am to 2 pm: Vegan Food Showcase, West Bank bridgehead, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Saturday, September 29th, 7 to 10 pm: Veg Week Kick-off Concert with Roe Family Singers and Sleepyhead in The Whole in Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Monday, October 1st, 6 pm to 10 pm: Spaghetti Feed-In and Vegucated movie showing in the Mississippi Room in Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Tuesday, October 2nd, 10 am to 2 pm: Bake Sale, in the basement of Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Tuesday, October 2nd, time TBA: Shop with a Vegan at the Seward Co-op
  • Wednesday, October 3rd, time TBA: Cooking Class, location TBA
  • Thursday, October 4th, 7 pm to 10 pm: Dine-Out at Krungthep Thai
  • Friday, October 5th, 8 pm – 11 pm: Vegan After Dark at Moto-I
  • Sunday, October 7th, 1 pm to 3 pm: Chicken Sanctuary Tour at a local sanctuary

Check back at our website at www.VegWeek.org for details and updates. We hope to see you there!

Plant-Based Nutrition Resource

Nutritionfacts.org scours the world of nutrition research to give you information that is easy to understand.

The brainchild of vegan physician Michael Greger, M.D., NutritionFacts.org is the first non-commercial, science-based website to provide free daily updates on the latest in nutrition research via short, easy to understand video segments. It has hundreds of videos on more than a thousand topics, and Dr. Greger uploads a new video every day.

Dr. Greger has spoken for Compassionate Action for Animals before, and we know him to be a knowledgeable source about nutrition.

You can also follow NutritionFacts.org on Facebook or Twitter.

Support the Veg Fest

Our first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest, held on July 14, was a tremendous success! Please support the future of this festival.

Thanks to the hard work of the exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers, the committee, we made the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest a huge success! Can you make a contribution so we can plan an even better festival next year?

With your support, we can:

  • Host the Veg Fest again in 2013!
  • Advertise the festival more widely to get more folks who are not aware of the cruelties of modern animal agriculture.
  • Add more programming, perhaps including music or exploding tofu.
  • Get more food samples and more food vendors!

Please make a generous donation of $50, $25, or $10 to support the Twin Cities Veg Fest!

Belief on the Right Side of History

Matt Ball of Vegan Outreach shares his story on how he became an animal advocate.

Wondering about his commitment to justice in his youth, Matt says:

…if all these millions could fully believe things that, today, are so obviously absurd and repulsive, well, how could I assume everything I currently believed was absolutely right? If so many would willingly support gruesome atrocities, how can I possibly think everything today is morally pure? Even if I'm not chaining up a slave, or leading my fellow citizens to the gas chambers, isn't it possible – even probable – that I am at least tacitly supporting another horror – one that future generations will also look upon with bewilderment?

Later in the essay, he reflects:

We each have to ask the question: what kind of person are we? Will we accept what our society dictates today, or will we write our own story? Will we rationalize the status quo or thoughtfully make our own decisions? Will we oppose cruelty or support slaughter?

Read the whole essay.

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