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Twin Cities Veg Fest 2012 Report

With our first-ever Twin Cities Veg Fest, we wanted to share with people where their food comes from, how to be a healthy vegetarian or vegan, and why being compassionate benefits everyone. We’re happy to report that it was an overwhelming success!

Note: If you attended Twin Cities Veg Fest, we want to hear your feedback! Please take a moment to complete our online survey.

About 1200 people attended Twin Cities Veg Fest throughout the day. Before the doors opened, there was lots of energy in the air as a huge line formed. The first two hundred guests were rewarded with treats from Alternative Baking Company, Bumblebar, and Mary’s Gone Crackers. In all, 1000 people got a swag bag filled with veg-friendly information and coupons.

Inside the exhibitor hall, guests had tons of tasty vegan food to sample; including Field Roast Frankfurters, Upton’s Naturals‘ sandwiches and wraps, Vegan Pockets‘ various products, Tofurky chorizo, and Primal Strips vegan jerky. Those with a sweet tooth found samples of

Thanks For Making The Veg Fest A Success

The first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest could only happen with the generous help of volunteers, exhibitors, and speakers!

We held our first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest on Saturday, July 14. It was a smashing success!

Thanks to the exhibitors for providing great vegan food and resources:

Thanks to the 50 volunteers that helped out on the day of, put up posters, stuffed bags, and told their friends about the festival!

We couldn't have done it without the generous support of our sponsors.

Thanks to Lisa Mabley, Heidi Prenevost, and Nicole Riner for designing our print and online materials.

Finally, thanks to the committee who planned this event:

  • Brita Bengtson – Advertising Guru
  • Amber Buening – Whip Cracker (Volunteers)
  • Jeff Johnson – The Rain Maker (Sponsorship)
  • Shannon Kimball – Exhibitor Logistician
  • Unny Nambudiripad – CAA Executive Director
  • EG Nelson – Jill of All Trades
  • David Rolsky – Extreme Delegator (Committee Chair)
  • Suzy Sorensen – Raffle Wrangler and Speaker to Speakers
  • Pat Tullo – Legal Eagle and Speaker to Speakers

Photo by A Frame Forward

Thanks to our Twin Cities Veg Fest Sponsors

We'd like to thank our Twin Cities Veg Fest sponsors once again for their support of the festival. This event wouldn't have been possible without their generous support.

Official Media Sponsor

City Pages is the largest, most-read weekly in the Twin Cities. It is available free to readers in over 1,700 locations throughout the metro area. 80,000 copies of the paper are distributed in stores, office buildings, clubs, restaurants, outdoor boxes, campuses and other high traffic locations.

Gold Sponsor


VegFund empowers vegan activists worldwide by funding outreach activities that inspire people to choose and maintain a vegan lifestyle. Since its inception in 2009, VegFund has supported more than 1,700 vegan outreach projects. Filling a much-needed niche in the vegan movement, VegFund embraces new ideas and continues to evolve in an effort to support effective outreach. Please be sure to visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

Silver Sponsors


AM950 is a locally-owned radio station airing progressive talk including national talkers Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz and Thom Hartmann. Local programming includes The Morning Grind with Matt McNeil; the Nancy Nelson Show and the Jack Rice Show. Weekend programming includes Food Freedom Radio; Wake Up Call; Make a Difference; Reflections of New Minnesotans and the Twin Cities Real Estate Show.

Compassion Over Killing

Working to end animal abuse since 1995, Compassion Over Killing (COK) exposes cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for us all.

A Frame Forward Photography

Jackson Tyler Eddy, owner of A Frame Forward Photography is a Photographic Artist based here in the Twin Cities. Jackson is the highest rated "green" photographer in Minnesota, creating and delivering ultra-premium, eco-friendly, pieces of art. Jackson and A Frame Forward specialize in Wedding & Lifestyle Portrait work, and love to travel. Jackson blends fine art & photojournalism, with a little bit of fun. Like a hand-picked organic apple, his images are crisp, clean, and fresh. Jackson gravitates towards bold colors, unique style, creativity, and offers a fresh perspective. On a personal level, Jackson is also a long time vegetarian and is honored to be a part of the first annual TC Veg Fest.

Mercy for Animals

Mercy For Animals is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals, and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

Bronze Sponsors

Action for Animals

Action for Animals is an educational organization that works to promote positive change in the ways people view and treat animals. Because every animal has the right to live his or her life free from oppression and exploitation, AFA promotes a vegan diet and lifestyle – not using animals for food, clothing, entertainment, research, trade, or any other objectifying purpose – and vegan activism as the best way to take action for animals.

Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange is the 100% employee owned company that pioneered working with small farmer coffee co-ops way back in 1986. We partner with farmer co-ops as we believe that growers who own their own land and work together can gain real leverage in the marketplace and have the best chance at creating sustainable communities. We model our own business as a co-op as well. Every worker-owner has 1 vote in electing our Board, we have a 4 to 1 pay ratio and if there are profits at the end of the year, we share them equally. We started with coffee and we continue to find new powerful ways to partner with small farmers in chocolate, tea, bananas and more.

Mary's Gone Crackers

Mary's Cookies are straight from the heart of a mother to a son who could not eat gluten. All Mary's Gone Crackers products – Cookies, Pretzels and Crackers began as healthy opportunities for gluten free food to be full of nutrition and flavor. All ingredients are Organic and Mary's products have always been Vegan. Feel good serving them to your entire family, with love from Mary. Conscious Eating: Mary's Gone Crackers.


Move2Veg provides nutrition counseling with a focus on plant-based eating and can help you to get started or fine tune your eating habits to optimize nutritional health!

Vegan Pockets

A new 100% Vegan Product line has been created to tantalize your taste buds. As Vegans, Vegetarians and health conscience consumers, you have a choice of four unique flavors; Back to Our Roots, Chipotle Fiesta, Orient Express and Taste of Italy. Each 100% recyclable package contains two 5-ounce pockets that are stuffed with flavorful vegetables and robust spices; providing a good source of fiber, Vitamin A, protein, iron and other key nutrients. We pre-baked and flash froze them to lock in each individual and distinctive flavor; which makes them a healthy, portable meal or snack for you and your family's busy lives.

Friends of Veg Fest

  • Susan Gretz and Michael Chutich
  • Pat Tullo

Twin Cities Veg Fest Is This Saturday!

Come to our first ever celebration of compassionate living.

The Twin Cities Veg Fest will include speakers, resources, a kids area, and of course, excellent vegan food! The first 200 to come to the festival will get extra goodies in their swag bags.

What will you see at the Twin Cities Veg Fest? Check out our preview to get a taste!

Please come with a friend, join the Facebook event, and Tweet about it.

When posting on Flickr or Twitter, please use the #TCVF12 tag.

For a better sense of what the Veg Fest is about, listen to radio shows featuring CAA Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad on AM950's Food Freedom Radio or on Animal Wise Radio.

Last Chance To Put Up Posters For The Veg Fest

Want an easy way to help animals, while sharing good food and reaching new audiences? Help us put up posters to get the word out about the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest

The July 14 Twin Cities Veg Fest is rapidly approaching, and we need your help to put posters and bookmarks all around town including at restaurants and businesses. We are postering during the following dates and times:

We'll be serving food at each of these events, so RSVP to so we know how much to provide! For the Thursday session, we will eat first and then put up posters and bookmarks, for the Saturday session, we'll have a barbecue at 4 pm after putting up posters and bookmarks.

If you can't attend any of these sessions but want to put up posters on your own schedule, email and we'll make arrangements to get you some posters!

Invite your friends to the Twin Cities Veg Fest!

We need your help to get the word out! The Veg Fest takes place on Saturday, July 14, from 10 am to 5 pm at Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

We've got food, speakers, and resources lined up for the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest, and now we need people! That's where you come in. Please invite your friends and family:

  • Join the Facebook event and invite others.
  • Send an email, tweet (and follow our Twitter feed), or post on your blog.
  • Call your friends and invite them.
  • Tell people in person and bring them to the festival that day!

The Twin Cities Veg Fest is entirely free and is a great event to spend several hours at or just one. The event is mostly indoors and has air conditioning. This event is a great chance to get your veg-curious friends to explore a compassionate diet!

Interview with Scott Heiser of the Animal Legal Defense Fund

This week we had a chance to interview Scott Heiser of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. He'll be speaking at this year's Veg Fest, and from the sound of it you won't want to miss his talk. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting for animal welfare through the legal system for over thirty years.

You'll be able to hear Scott at our July 14 Twin Cities Veg Fest. Get to know Scott by reading below and the entire interview on the Twin Cities Veg Fest website.

CAA: What will you be speaking about?

Scott: I'm speaking about animal law in the context of food production. I'll be laying out some of the common practices employed in factory farming and explaining how and why existing animal cruelty laws are decidedly inadequate to address this conduct. I'll also touch on the ag industry's fear of undercover work and the industry's reaction to the disclosure of these practices (i.e., ag-gag laws).

CAA: How did you get involved in animal advocacy?

Scott: As a prosecutor I have always considered animal cruelty cases to be a top priority for the justice system. When I decided to leave the DA's office back in 2007, I joined ALDF to help law enforcement and prosecutors get better results in animal cruelty cases-the move was just a perfect fit for me, my skill set and my personal values.

Read the full interview.

Twin Cities Veg Fest Kickstarter a success!

Thanks to everybody who contributed to make our Twin Cities Veg Fest challenge fundraiser.

Last month we asked you to support the July 14 Twin Cities Veg Fest, and you came through! Because you pitched in, we'll be able to make this event the big hit that we want it to be.

If you didn't get a chance to watch the video, please check it out at our successful Kickstarter campaign. If you can think of peaceful ways to include exploding tofu at the Veg Fest (i.e. no actual explosives), please let us know!

We also need more volunteers for the Veg Fest, so let us know if you can help out!

Select Subway Locations Carrying More Vegan Options

Partnering with Compassion Over Killing, we've asked Subway to carry more substantial vegan options. They've responded by adding options in several locations!

Several months ago we asked you to help out and get Subway to be more vegan-friendly. Compassion Over Killing just announced that they'll be offering the following vegan sandwiches:

  • Sweet Riblet
  • Malibu Greek
  • Italian Black Bean

These sandwiches will be offered at locations in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Baltimore. How about Minnesota? Please contact Subway by calling them at 203-877-4281 or provide a comment at and ask that they carry vegan options at a location near you!

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