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Big Vegan Book Signing

Author Robin Asbell will conduct a book signing at the Seward Co-op on Thursday, January 26 from 4 to 6 pm.

Big Vegan includes 350 recipes covering every meal and focusing on natural foods. Cookbooks are available for purchase with a personalized autograph by author, Robin Asbell, with every book sold. Sample a recipe from the book at the event, too. Join Robin Asbell at the Seward Co-op, 2823 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Make Your Donation Before the Year Ends

Please take your last chance before the year ends to make a generous donation to Compassionate Action for Animals. Your financial support will enable us to reach thousands with the message of compassion.

What will your New Year's resolution be? Ours is the same as always. We will do everything we can to help animals. When we contemplate the future, we see a world where factory farms no longer exist; animals are treated with kindness, compassion, and respect, rather than as tools or machines. But we can't reach this future without your help.

At Compassionate Action for Animals, your donations support our efforts to reach out to the public and educate them about the horrors of modern factory farming. Your support lets us continue our leaflet distribution, video showings, and food giveaways, as well as our many other outreach, education, and community-building activities.

Please consider signing up for a recurring donation. If just a small fraction of the people on this list signed up to give a mere $10 per month, we could give out free vegan samples to tens of thousands of people! If you can't give on a recurring basis, please consider a one time gift of $50 or $25 today.

Make a resolution to reduce suffering in 2012, and help make a difference!

Yours for the animals,

Unny Signature

Unny Nambudiripad
Executive Director

Make a gift to help animals!

Please consider making a gift in 2011 to Compassionate Action for Animals. Your support will enable us to develop and implement effective methods to get the word out about the horrors of animal agriculture and plant-based alternatives.

They are well-organized, and they employ an extensive array of grassroots activities to promote veganism and respect for animals. CAA says that they strive 'to use the most accurate and reliable information available in our efforts to educate people about animals.' As a result, their website is a wealth of good, dependable information for activists. I think they serve as a model for other city- or regional-based vegan activist groups." – Ginny Messina, vegan dietician and co-author of Vegan for Life

Thanks to your support, we've had numerous victories this year, including:

  • Our second Vegan Chili Cook-off
  • Thousands of leaflets about factory farming distributed
  • Multiple screenings of Farm to Fridge
  • An all-vegetarian meal once per week at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Many presentations to teenagers by Bridges of Respect, our humane education program
  • And much more!

And we want your support to make 2012 even better. Please consider making a donation of $50, $25, or $15. With your help, next year we will:

  • Host our first ever Veg Fest on July 14, 2012
  • Ensure that the new vegetarian meal at the University of Minnesota is a success
  • Distribute free vegan food, literature, and documentaries to young adults
  • Host potlucks, dineouts, and other social events to connect animal-friendly people together
  • And again, much more!

But we need your help to make it happen. Please make a donation today to help animals!

Our Hen House Interview with Unny Nambudiripad

Our Hen House, a premier media source for animal activism, interviews Compassionate Action for Animals’ Executive Director, Unny Nambudiripad, about food activism.

In the first of the two part series, Unny talks about the ins and outs of food giveaways. Drawing on CAA’s long and extensive efforts to feed vegan food and get the word out about plant-based options, Unny talks about how to conduct them and why they’re effective.

In the second part, Unny talks about CAA’s successes reaching out to restaurants, food service providers, and cooking classes.

These interviews were conducted by Our Hen House, an excellent resource for animal activists. Its blog and podcast have helpful tips and resources to empower every animal activist.

Veg Fest progresses

Our first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest is making progress! We've found some sponsors and speakers, and we've got a website with great resources.

We're hosting a day-long celebration of all things veg on July 14, 2012 in Coffman Memorial Union. We're looking forward to great food, speakers, and fun! This will be a great opportunity to learn more about animal ethics and vegan eating, and share time with like-minded folks.


  • Mark your calendar for July 14.
  • Check out our website and our nice new logo.
  • Let us know if you're interested in sponsoring, or know of somebody who would like to sponsor us.
  • Follow us on Facebook or Twitter and refer us to your friends!
  • Check back later for a list of sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers. We're also going to want your help to advertise the event!

Review of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones

Are you vegan living on a budget? Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or just flirting with the idea of trying a plant-based diet, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones will help penny-pinching veggie enthusiasts try new recipes without breaking the bank. Eating on $4 a day may be laughable, but once you dive into this vegan cookbook, you'll realize how reasonable and sensible this minimal chunk of change can be.

Review by Amber Buening

Before getting into the money-saving recipes, her introduction covers a wide array of cost-effective techniques and ethical positions around veganism. She gives several helpful tips to cut grocery store costs, some obvious like buying store brand items (even store brand organic!), some insightful like only bringing cash (which causes you to limit your purchase to necessities), and some time-consuming like tracking and comparing prices from different stores. However, if you are pressed for time, she has a few helpful tips to condense time-consuming food preparation and price-comparison shopping, explaining the benefits of cooking from scratch and comparing prices.

Jones further explains the damaging health effects of hormones, pesticides and mercury found in many animals and why plant-based diets can save on health care costs, preventing many diseases associated with chemicals found in meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. She states that, "paying for illness is expensive whether the money comes out of your pocket or the government's." She clarifies the complexities behind health research, advertising and policy dollars, marketing and why agencies are not promoting a healthy, plant-based diet when it can solve many of the health problems facing our society today.

Additional health benefits can also be achieved buying organic, local produce. Jones advocates for seasonal food, which can be the cheapest and freshest. Try a local farmer's market, CSA, or Co-op! Can't afford to buy entirely organic produce? Then just make sure to avoid the "Dirty Dozen" most pesticide and chemically covered food, which Jones identifies. By spending a bit more on these twelve organic items, you'll drastically decrease the amount of chemicals ingested and save money in the long run on medical bills.

If you're looking for helpful information on nutrition and how to eat healthy as a vegan, Jones has a great section explaining what different types of food we need and how much of each. She even goes further to explain how to cook these different foods from scratch (ratio of water to legumes/grains and length of cooking time). Struggling to stay on track or make the switch to vegetarianism or veganism? Jones also has some basic advice on how to overcome temptations left by roommates or family members who buy and eat foods that are not included in a vegan diet.

After this lengthy, but helpful, introduction, Jones dishes out recipes (sans pictures) for almost any occasion, noting the price per serving of each meal, which is helpful for the near future, but may become inaccurate as inflation occurs and produce prices increase. Many of these dishes are inexpensive, but some, like certain $3 salad servings, are costly and would be difficult to include in any "$4 a day" budget. For some recipes (but not all), she also lists expiration dates, and unfortunately, some salad dressings only last 4 days. In other words, be aware of price fluctuation and inconsistencies when perusing Eat Vegan on $4 a Day! If you're not sure where to start, try her menu plan – 7 days of meals all costing under $4 a day ($28 for the entire week)!

A Meaningful Life

Making a Real Difference in Today's World by Matt Ball

Everyone who wants to make the world a better place faces the same challenge: opening people's hearts and minds to new ideas.

Everyone who wants to make the world a better place faces the same challenge: opening people's hearts and minds to new ideas.

Those who are successful in making the world a better place are students of human nature. They understand that each of us is born with a certain intrinsic nature, raised to follow specific beliefs, and taught to hold particular prejudices. Over time, we discover new "truths" and abandon others, altering our attitudes, principles, and values.

Even though we can recognize that our belief system changes over time, at any given point, most of us believe our current opinions are "right" – our convictions well founded, our actions justified. We each want to think we are, at heart, a good person. Even when, years later, we find ourselves reflecting on previously held beliefs with a sense of bemusement (or worse), it rarely occurs to us that we may someday feel the same way toward the attitudes we now hold.

Read the entire essay.

University of Minnesota to Start Meatless Mondays!

We worked hard this semester to encourage the University of Minnesota to incorporate more vegetarian and vegan options in their residential hall food service, and we won! Starting in the spring semester of 2012, Pioneer Hall will offer an all-vegetarian lunch on Mondays.

Compassionate Action for Animals collected 300 petition signatures asking to implement an all-vegetarian meal once per week. We then met with University Dining Services (UDS) and presented the petitions — they agreed! See Fox9's article about Meatless Monday.

We're pleased that UDS has taken this bold step. It will help thousands of animals that will not be exploited and killed for food, and it will also raise awareness about vegetarian dining options.

What you can do:

  • If you are a University student and have a meal plan, eat lunch on Monday at Pioneers and try their vegetarian meal!
  • Please give UDS positive feedback so that they will continue to offer Meatless Monday. We know that critics will be contacting UDS, so UDS needs to hear from you, too! You can call them at 612-626-7626, email them at, or thank them on their Facebook page.
  • If you are not a student, you can contact your favorite restaurant, your company's food service provider, or your school's dining services and ask them to participate in Meatless Monday.

Thanks to UDS for making this happen! We will be working next semester to let students know about this new option.

Ask Subway to add hearty vegan options to their menu

Do you enjoy Subway's Veggie Delight sandwich but wish you could feast on a "meatier" animal-friendly meal? Our allies at Compassion Over Killing have successfully lobbied Subway, and now select Subway restaurants throughout Canada are starting to dish out an all-vegan patty, promoted as the "Totally Vegged" vegetable patty!

What about restaurants in the US? While the vegan patty is currently only available in select locations in Canada, with enough positive feedback from consumers eager to see this option available everywhere, the company may decide to expand all of its menus. (Note: while some US locations may offer a veggie patty, it's unfortunately made with egg). That's why we need your help today:

Visit and call Subway at 203-877-4281 to add your voice to the thousands of others who are urging the company to add hearty vegan options to all of its menus.

VegGuide.Org: Our online guide to veg-friendly places

Looking for veg-friendly restaurants? Then check out VegGuide, our online guide to veg-friendly restaurants and shopping! VegGuide has over 16,000 entries world-wide, and there are all sorts of features to help you find them. You can search for entries near a specific address, look for only vegan-friendly places, and much more. When you visit the front page, it automatically finds the restaurants nearest to you. Whether you are at home or on the road, VegGuide has everything you need to make your dining experience a pleasure.

VegGuide is a community-driven website, and anyone can rate an entry, write a review, or add a new entry. If you've visited a restaurant recently that you loved or hated, share that with us. To rate a place you've visited, just go that place's entry on the guide and use the stars to the right of the entry's name. Every entry also has a "Write your review" button below those stars. We love new reviews!

You can also upload photos like building exteriors or dishes you've eaten. Every entry has a button on right labeled "Add/edit images". Click on that button for the image uploading form.

To add a new entry, just find the region it's located in and click on the "Add Entry" button near the top of the page. You'll be prompted to fill out a form describing the restaurant (or bakery, etc.) that you want to add. Once you've added the entry, please rate it and write a review.

VegGuide is a project run in partnership between Compassionate Action for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, The Humane League, Mercy for Animals, and Vegan Outreach

Visit VegGuide now or go straight to the Twin Cities area listings.

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