Exploring Veg Podcast

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Announcing… the Explore Veg Mentor Program!

Are you thinking of stepping into plant-based eating? Or are you already plant-based and want to provide support to someone looking to make a similar change?

Look no further, because CAA just launched a brand new program geared toward supporting veg and veg-curious individuals on their plant-based journey. Meet the Explore Veg Mentor Program!

The Explore Veg Mentor Program was designed to help individuals reach their plant-based goals, whether it be adding a few more veg meals into their week or going full-on veg. We all know it’s easier to reach your goal with someone rooting for you in your corner!

How does it work?

We pair mentees looking to make a plant-based change in their life with a mentor who has already gone through the process of learning about and living the lifestyle choices they’re contemplating.

Each pairing lasts three months, during which time the mentor and mentee team aim to be in touch with each other at least every two weeks and participate in at least one CAA event (this could be a potluck, dine-out, or another event). We encourage teams to do things such as share recipes, eat together, go grocery shopping together, and share blogs, videos, or books with each other.

Get involved!

For more information on the Explore Veg Mentor Program, visit our program page. To start your application, we’ll ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire and will be in touch with you about further steps within two weeks. We’re currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees.

You can also attend our January Potluck: Starting Out Plant-Based, where we’ll share tasty vegan food and meet volunteer program coordinators Yunuén Ávila and Sanchez Brown on Saturday, January 12 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm.

Christianity and Advocating for Animals

What does the Bible teach about compassion? Why aren’t more Christians vegan or vegetarian? But didn’t Jesus eat fish? And what about the idea that God gave us dominion over the animals, according to the Bible?

These controversial questions are addressed in the most recent episode of Exploring Veg. Our Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad speaks with two Christian animal advocates: Kathy Dunn, an animal activist and blogger, and Ruth Soresnson-Prokosch, a pastor at a Lutheran church. They share how they speak up for animals using the Christian teachings. We hope this podcast will be inspiring not only to those who are Christian, but also to those who want to learn more about how to respond when others use their understanding of their faith as justification for eating animals.

Interview with a Vegan Bodybuilder

Our executive director Unny Nambudiripad recently sat down with vegan bodybuilder Ryan Nelson to talk about how he succeeds as an athlete on a vegan diet. Ryan answers the burning question of where he gets his protein and also shares why he went vegan and how he trains as a bodybuilder.

This interview provides good inspiration not only for athletes curious about how to thrive on a plant-based diet but also for anyone who is thinking of making the shift to more compassionate eating.

To learn more about Ryan and his fitness plan, visit his Facebook page and his profile at veganbodybuilding.com.

Vegan Dating in 2015

I sat down with a few CAA volunteers recently, and we talked candidly about our experiences dating as vegans or vegetarians. Our diverse crew included E.G. Nelson, Lynne McMullen, Laura Van Zandt, and Chris Luhman. The conversation covered some of the common questions that come up for someone who lives as vegan or vegetarian and is trying to date in a world that is not always so veg-friendly.

  • Do you only date other vegans or vegetarians?
  • What are the challenges that can arise when dating omnivores and how can you handle those challenges?
  • How important is it to be able to share not only food but also a vegan ethic with your partner?

Our conversation included some funny stories about past dating situations, and we were ultimately in agreement on what makes a relationship (or even just a first date!) work, regardless of the dietary preferences.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, romance might be on your mind. If it is, we hope that this podcast provides you with a feeling that you are not alone and gives you ideas for how to approach dating in 2015 with renewed hope and inspiration.

Tips for Going Vegan in the New Year

Thinking about moving towards a plant-based diet as a New Year’s resolution? Take these tips from vegan registered dietician Kristina DeMuth on how to make the transition in a healthy, lasting way.

In conversation with CAA executive director Unny Nambudiripad, Kristina answers your key questions:

  • How do I go vegan and meet all of my nutrient needs?
  • What are some resources, both online and local, that can help me stay on this path?
  • What are some challenges that I might encounter and how can I overcome them?

Along with basic information on healthy plant-based eating, this podcast offers inspiring insights on how to move forward with your resolution to go vegan in the new year.

Council Member Cam Gordon on Meatless Monday

Cam Gordon

Compassionate Action for Animals has launched a campaign to bring Meatless Monday program to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Since Minneapolis Council Member Cam Gordon recently made a Meatless Monday proclamation for the city of Minneapolis, we thought he would be a great person to talk to about why Meatless Monday is important. Listen to the podcast to learn how this local politician is promoting plant-based eating in our community.

For more updates on our Meatless Monday campaign, visit the Facebook page, I Need Meatless Monday at University of Minnesota TC.

How to Do the Holiday Thing as a Vegan

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, the holidays can be a challenging time. From the probing questions at the dinner table to the snarky quips about why you won’t eat the turkey, we find ourselves facing a number of uncomfortable situations. We want to enjoy the holiday with our friends and family, but how can we relax when the centerpiece on the table is the bodily remains of a once living, vibrant animal? What do we say? How do we respond? And, perhaps most importantly, what can we eat?

These questions are addressed on this month’s episode of Exploring Veg. For this discussion, CAA Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad is joined by CAA Outreach Coordinator Grace Van Susteren and two CAA volunteers and students at the University of Minnesota, Priyanka Ketkar and Tyler Tracy.

Exploring Twin Cities Veg Fest – Part 4

Mel Schneider

In this final podcast of a four-part series devoted to Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014, Compassionate Action for Animals’ Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad interviews Mel Schneider, a Minneapolis resident who attended the festival last year. We welcome everyone at the festival, vegan, vegetarians, and omnivores. Mel is an omnivore. Listen to the podcast to learn more about her experience and why this celebration of compassion is truly for everyone.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 will be held at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, September 28th, 2014. The festival is free to attend and presentations from visiting speakers, delicious food samples, a variety of exhibitors, and cooking demos. Join us and celebrate compassion!

Exploring Twin Cities Veg Fest – Part 3

Paul Shapiro

In this third podcast of a four-part series devoted to Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014, Compassionate Action for Animals’ Executive Director Unny Nambudiripad interviews visiting speaker Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection for the Humane Society of the United States.

In addition to offering a preview of his talk for the festival, Paul reveals why he thinks the animal protection movement is winning, what led him to going vegan, and what was the most influential presentation on the subject of farm animal protection that he ever heard.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 will be held at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, September 28th, 2014. The festival is free to attend and, in addition to presentations from visiting speakers, includes delicious food samples, a variety of exhibitors, and cooking demos. Join us and celebrate compassion!

Exploring Twin Cities Veg Fest – Part 2

Twin Cities Veg Fest wants you!

In this second podcast of a four-part series devoted to Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014, Compassionate Action for Animals’ executive director Unny Nambudiripad interviews volunteer Chris Homsey about a brand new feature of the upcoming festival: cooking demos.

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2014 will be held at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, September 28th, 2014. The festival is free to attend and, in addition to offering cooking demos, includes free food samples, a variety of exhibitors, and inspiring speakers. Join us and celebrate compassion!

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