End the Elephant Rides at the Renaissance Festival
Thanks to everyone who joined us in standing up for elephants at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on Saturday, August 24. We passed out tons of fliers, educated attendees about why elephant rides are no fun for the elephants, and got lots of supportive honks from passing motorists who saw our signs.
ARC has learned from Animal Defenders International that the supplier for the elephant rides is Trunks & Humps. During one of the most disturbing video clips in “No Fun for Elephants,” handler Mike Swain beats an elephant named Krissy, viciously drags her to the ground with a hook, and then kicks her in the face. Krissy is “owned” by Trunks & Humps, run by Bill Swain, Mike Swain’s father.
The Bristol Renaissance Fair in Wisconsin chose not to have elephant rides this year. Let’s get Minnesota to follow suit. Please send a polite message to the Ren Fest asking them to make it their policy not to have performing elephants.
ARC’s Summer Interns are the Best!
We’re thrilled to have Eli Robiner and Gwen Austin as our summer interns this year. Eli is a student at Carleton College and Gwen is at University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Eli is a senior sociology and anthropology major. He decided to intern with ARC this summer to begin learning the ropes of animal rights activism and immersing himself in the Twin Cities animal rights and vegan community. In addition to his work with ARC, he co-founded a vegan advocacy group, Carleton Vegans, Allies, and Questioning, on his campus this past year. He looks forward to a summer of events, delicious vegan food, and (hopefully) liberation for all!
Gwen is a junior seeking her bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality as well as a minor in Environment and Sustainability. She is the founder and president of the Animal Rights Club, a student group on her campus, and has been a dedicated supporter of animal rights all her life. Gwen first began volunteering at ARC when she was 17 and is now back as a summer intern. She hopes to strengthen her skills as an activist so that she can someday be a leader in the animal abolition movement.
Expanded Outreach Possible with New, Innovative Brochure
A recent study by the Humane Research Council looked at several of the most commonly used pieces of animal advocacy literature from large groups and discovered that they were all written at a level only accessible to people with a literacy rate of 11th grade or higher. But according to the U.S. Department of Education, only about 15% of our population reads and comprehends at that level.
ARC set out to create a brochure that would lay out the case for animal equality in very simple terms so that more people in our communities could receive our message in a way that works for them. We were able to get the brochure’s text down to a 7th grade reading level, creating a tool that will allow our message to be more accessible to more people. Going forward, we’re hoping to translate the brochure into Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.
Speaking Out Against Foie Gras
Foie gras is produced by plunging a feeding tube down the throats of ducks and geese. This force feeding causes a bird’s liver to swell up to 12X its normal size and leads to enormous suffering.
For more details, read our new “Face of Foie Gras” brochure
Annual Vegan Waffle Party a Big Success!
Thanks to Sarahjane and all her kitchen helpers for making the Fourth Annual Global Vegan Waffle Party on Saturday, May 25 at Fuller Park in Minneapolis a huge success. Each year, the waffle party allows us to begin conversations about where our food comes from and the effects of our food choices. This year, the theme of the event was connection: the connection between veganism and protecting animals and the environment, and the building of connections with other members of our community. Over 100 people participated and we were thrilled to see all the new people interested in learning more about veganism.
Thanks also to LUV NICE CREAM for sampling their new vegan ice cream and donating a percentage of the sales to ARC. The ice cream has no added sugar, and it’s also gluten free and soy free. See photos from the waffle party and vegan ice cream sampling.
Many people asked for the waffle recipe we used so here it is for your waffle enjoyment:
Easy, Basic Waffles
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat/pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups almond milk
1 cup applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil
Their Lives – Your Lunch Hour
WuXi AppTec has the dubious distinction of being considered the number one “Most Painful” research lab in the country in terms of the percentage of animals who are tested on at this facility without pain relief. The Mendota Heights location’s 2011 USDA Annual Report showed that the company tested on 5,290 rabbits and 23,778 guinea pigs. 20,769 of the guinea pigs and 7 of the rabbits were subjected to testing involving “accompanying pain or distress to the animals” without being given an appropriate anesthetic, pain reliever, or tranquilizer. In just one example, a rabbit was placed in a “rabbit stock” and a rectal probe was inserted into the rabbit, who was then injected with a test material to which the rabbit had a “severe reaction.” The rabbit was found dead the following morning, having experienced a “significant electrolyte imbalance” due to a “sample preparation error.”
With nine facilities in China and six in the U.S., this Chinese company tortures hundreds of thosands of dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other species of animal annually.
World Wide Vegan Bake Sale – Twin Cities Style
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Twin Cities version of the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale on Saturday, April 20 at Ethique Nouveau, 317 W. 48th St. in Minneapolis. The sale was a smashing success and we nearly doubled the amount raised for animal advocacy programs from the previous year. Special thanks go to Celeste, Betsy, and Troy for organizing the event and to Pizza Luce for donating several gift certificates as giveaways.
The World Wide Vegan Bake Sale was started in 2009 to raise awareness about the joys of vegan baking. It’s always a delicious and fun way to introduce the public to vegan baked goods and let them know that animal suffering doesn’t have to be part of the recipe. Inspired to learn more about vegan baking? Here’s links to lots of recipes.
ARC Digs Up the Dirt on Minnesota Petland Stores
As part of our Minnesotans Exposing Petland Campaign, we recently poured through hundreds of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) documents obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
We uncovered definitive evidence that contrary to Petland’s claims that they don’t buy from puppy mills, both the Shakopee and St. Paul Petland stores purchase puppies from large brokers and breeders (most recently, Heritage Puppies and David Horning in Iowa and Twin Lawn Kennel in Wisconsin). From Yorkies to Puggles to Shelties to Chihuahua’s, hundreds of animals were shipped from out of state to the Petland stores in Minnesota. The Humane Society of the United States calls Heritage “a huge puppy breeder-broker” and said that in a recent USDA inspection report, “the federal inspector noted 458 adult breeding dogs and 220 puppies on the property.”
The national Petland campaign is going strong and Minnesota is one of the most active groups. Let’s keep setting the standard for the rest of the country. Let Petland know you don’t support their inhumane business practices. Join our peaceful demonstrations at the Shakopee and St. Paul Petland stores. Find all the details on our website calendar and on the Minnesotans Exposing Petland Facebook page.
If you can’t make it, consider donating to help with Petland outreach. Just twenty $10 donors will pay for printing more Petland Brochures and six $25 donors will pay for more eye-catching signs. A huge thanks to the donors who helped us go to the Twin Cities Pet Expo with the Petland campaign!