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COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret

Cowspiracy_cowThe Animal Rights Coalition is proud to bring COWSPIRACY to Minnesota.

COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. As eye-opening as the film Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact factory farming has on our planet.

Order your tickets now as they will sell quickly! You can also see a clip from the movie when you order your tickets. Truly, this event is not to be missed. It’s the environmental film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see.

When/Where: Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis

Day of Action at Whole Foods

rabbit_whole_foodsJoin animal advocates on Sunday, August 17 in asking Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit flesh, and asking Whole Foods customers to join us!

While the organizers of this event do not support the slaughter of any animal, this event is focused on Whole Foods’ new pilot program to sell rabbit flesh. It has been confirmed that Whole Foods is now selling rabbit flesh in every Minnesota location. Whole Foods is attempting to create demand for rabbit flesh and is sourcing from states that have passed Ag-Gag laws making it illegal to document abuses behind farm walls. Rabbits have almost no protections under the law as the USDA considers them exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

Together we will send a peaceful message to Whole Foods that introducing new flesh foods is not okay. We will have signs and flyers and ask shoppers to sign a petition and to fill out comment cards politely asking Whole Foods to stop the sale of rabbit flesh.

Location: St. Paul Whole Foods Market, 30 Fairview Ave. S, St. Paul, Minnesota from 11 am to 2 pm. We will meet at the Dunn Bros, 1569 Grand Ave., St. Paul at 10:30 am and walk to Whole Foods together, but feel free to show up any time you are able. Please do not park in the Whole Foods parking lot.

RSVP on Facebook or call or email Alex at 612-718-5093 or alex@animalrightscoalition.com. Find more info about the National Day of Action here.

An Exceptional Life

Vonnie at the 1990 March for Animals in Washington, D.C.

Vonnie at the 1990 March for Animals in Washington, D.C.

We’re sad to report that Animal Rights Coalition Founder Vonnie Thomasberg passed away on Sunday, July 13. Vonnie founded ARC in 1980 and for over 30 years defended the rights of nonhuman animals and provided leadership and inspiration to others in this effort.

A memorial celebration open house and vegan potluck will be held on Sunday, August 24, noon-6:00 pm, 2832 30th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55406. Vegan food and beverage donations welcome.

Jim Mason, author of Animal Factories and The Ethics of What We Eat with Peter Singer, An Unnatural Order, and co-founder of The Animals’ Agenda magazine sent this tribute to Vonnie: “We ‘old timers’ who knew and worked with Vonnie Thomasberg over the years will miss her greatly, for she was a great soul and fun to be with. All of us benefit from her work, for she was a pioneer and leader in the building of the American Animal Rights movement.”

 
 
 
“Sensing the rising awareness and restlessness catalyzed by Peter Singer’s 1975 book, Animal Liberation, she founded Animal Rights Coalition to put that into action for animals in the Twin Cities. With ARC, she organized some of the very first conferences to bring together speakers and activists from all over the country to talk about issues, strategies, tactics, and actions for animals.”

“Some of the then-young activists who attended her conferences went back home to Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, and many other major U.S. cities to start ARC-like organizations. Other attendees founded or formed the first staff of national organizations such as Farm Sanctuary and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Her leadership and activism in the Twin Cities was both a model and a motivator for animal activism across the U.S. when the American Animal Rights Movement was newly born. Vonnie, you made an awful/wonderful lot happen for animals; may the rest of us keep it going.”

Growth. Possibility. Inspiration

Growth_Possibiliy_InspirationGrowth. Possibility. Inspiration. These are the words that most aptly describe ARC’s journey in 2013. As the oldest grass-roots animal rights group in the country, we’ve seen our cultural relationship to our treatment of animals shift and go through many stages and we’ve been there, helping to shape and move this process forward.

Please check out our colorful Annual Report to see how 2013 was an outstanding year in terms of reaching a record number of people with the message that animals matter for their own reasons.

Making Justice for Animals Even More Accessible

HFM_brochure_SPANISH_Page_1Our popular brochure “Have You Ever Stopped to Think About Them?” was designed to make our message of justice for animals accessible to as many people as possible. An excerpt reads: “There is a way to live that seeks to do no harm; it’s called veganism (vee-gun-ism). Vegan choices don’t contribute to the suffering and death of other animals, are much better for the planet, and help you stay healthy and happy.”

A recent study by the Humane Research Council looked at several pieces of literature from large animal advocacy groups and discovered that they were all written at a literacy rate of 11th grade or higher. But according to the U.S. Department of Education, only about 15% of the population reads at that level. So ARC set out to create a brochure at the 7th grade reading level that made the case for animal equality in simple terms so more people could receive our message in a way that works for them. We’re excited to announce that the brochure is now available for download in Spanish and French versions, with more versions in the works.

World Wide Vegan Waffle Party

2014waffle partyThanks so much to all of our amazing volunteers and the 100+ guests who came and ate amazing vegan waffles and toppings at the Fifth Annual Global Vegan Waffle Party on Saturday, May 24 at Fuller Park in Minneapolis. Special thanks to Matt Mehlhoff for taking great photos of the event.

This wasn’t just any waffle party. This was a VEGAN waffle party. Again this year, this event allowed us to begin many new conversations about where our food comes from and the effects of our food choices.Showing people that eating vegan food can be easy and delicious helps remove barriers that folks may otherwise have about going vegan. If what helps people consider that step is showing them that a vegan future can still have amazing brunches in it, we’re happy to help.

Meet Ashley Piediscalzi, ARC’s New Volunteer Coodinator

AshleyAshley Piediscalzi is ARC’s new Volunteer Coordinator. Ashley maintains a strong relationship with volunteers through regular communication and helps new volunteers get involved in a way that works for them. Ashley is a passionate activist and vegan with a long history in animal rescue and a background in graphic design. If you’d like to learn about volunteering with ARC, Ashley will be happy to help you discover how you can best use your talents to help animals. You can email Ashley at ashley@animalrightscoalition.

And we’d like to send a shout out to Jenna Cameron, our former Volunteer Coordinator. We were sad to see Jenna go and will miss her, but we’re excited for her new position at Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco where she’ll be working to get affordable, great tasting vegan foods into mainstream grocers and food service industries. We wish her the best and Hampton Creek is lucky to have her.

Help Educate the Public about Live Animal Sales

Emaciated boxer from the now closed Shakopee Petland

Emaciated boxer from the now closed Shakopee Petland

Petland is a chain of retail stores that sells live animals. These animals are sourced from breeders and/or brokers, where they may be subject to abuse and neglect.

The Animal Rights Coalition’s Minnesotans Exposing Petland campaign demonstrates outside Petland stores to educate the public about Petland’s selling of animals for profit. We staunchly oppose animal mills and breeding operations, no matter the scale, and advocate adoption and rescue as humane alternatives. Selling animals for profit perpetuates the belief that animals are commodities with price tags.
 
Minnesotans Exposing Petland’s goal is to persuade Petland to change their business model of selling live animals. Petland Canada has already adopted this measure, and we are asking Petland USA to follow suit; stores would stay in business and employees would keep their jobs, without the need to sell animals and make a dollar on an animal’s life – a win/win solution for all.

With the Shakopee Petland outlet closed down, the only remaining Petland store in Minnesota is in St. Paul. Minnesotans Exposing Petland will continue to hold demonstrations and work to educate the public about Petland and urge the company to change the way it conducts its business. We are always looking for more volunteers to engage in conversations with the public, and demonstrations are an easy, positive way to get involved in this important issue.