Circuses: Traveling Torture for Animals

Carson & Barnes circus protestARC volunteers organized a demonstration against the Carson & Barnes circus in St. Michael on Tuesday, July 21 and reminded the public that wild animals are wild, not playthings for our amusement. Thank you to all for standing up for animals used in entertainment!

Carson & Barnes was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier in 2015 for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to Nina the elephant, who lost 500 pounds over just a few months. The circus has also been cited for using excessive force with a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end—and paid a penalty to the USDA after undercover video footage showed a trainer violently attacking elephants with a bullhook.

The USDA filed a formal complaint against Carson & Barnes in May 2015 for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the complaint and news reports, the circus allowed three elephants—Viola, Kelly, and Isa—to run amok for 45 minutes at a performance in St. Charles, Missouri last year. The animals reportedly became “stressed” after circus performers asked the approximately 8,000 audience members to create loud noises by, among other things, stomping on the metal bleachers. The circus’s actions put the public in danger and caused the animals to sustain abrasions and lacerations.

How can we put a stop to this traveling torture of animals? – refuse to attend circuses with animal acts and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Befriending Bugs: 4 Ways to be a Bug Buddy

Dandelions_BeesYou’d have to be living under a rock with the pillbugs not to have heard the buzz about the trouble with bees these days. And I hear even the pillbugs are starting to get a little antsy. Bees are important to most forms of life because they act as the primary pollinators for so many plants, including most of the fruits and vegetables that humans need to be healthy. While we as individuals aren’t the primary perpetrators when it comes to spraying the chemicals killing bees, there are things we can do to create a safe haven in the spaces we care for. And we can be kind to other bugs with whom we share the earth, too.

1. Take home a bee house, butterfly house, or insect hotel from our vegan boutique, Ethique Nouveau. These unique and fun structures provide a customized habitat for insects, encouraging them to move in and stay awhile.

2. When mosquitos land on you, instead of slapping and killing them, simply blow on them and they’ll fly away. To discourage them from hanging out on you, try one of the new, all natural, chemical-free Para Kito clips we carry at Ethique Nouveau.

3. Pass on the pesticides and chemicals for your lawn. Not only are these substances toxic to insects, but they can also harm companion, wild, and aquatic animals when they wash into streams and lakes.

4. Listen to your inner child and embrace dandelions! Remember when you were a kid and loved to pick those cheerful yellow flowers? Sometimes grownups get things wrong – and being crabby about dandelions is one of them. They, and clover, are wildflowers and provide important food for bees.

In U.S., More Say Animals Should Have Same Rights as People

Mama cow and babyAmericans increasingly think that animals should have the same rights as people when it comes to protection against harm and exploitation according to new Gallup polling on the issue. About a third of Americans, 32%, believe animals should be given the same rights as people. This strong animal rights view is up from 2008 when 25% thought animals’ rights should be on par with humans. Very few Americans, just 3%, now believe animals require little protection from harm and exploitation “since they are just animals.”

Two More Great Events in May

cowspiracyJoin ARC’s North Vegans for a free showing of Cowspiracy at Parkway United Church of Christ, 3120 Washburn Ave. N, Minneapolis on Thursday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. We’ll have a Q&A after with vegan snacks provided. Cowspiracy follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry on the planet today – and investigates why leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. RSVP on Facebook or Vegan Meetup.

waffle_partyOn Sunday, May 17 it’s time for the 7th Annual Global Vegan Waffle Party from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Fuller Park Building, 4800 Grand Ave., Minneapolis. Each year, the Waffle Party allows us to begin a conversation about where our food comes from and the effects of our food choices. Here’s how it works: We make a lot of vegan waffles. You come to the party with a plate to pile high with waffles and a vegan topping to share. (Topping suggestions: fruit, maple syrup, chocolate chips, peanut butter, fruit sauce, compote, Just Like Honey, coconut, nuts, vegan whipped topping.) It’s free and Fuller park has a playground and a field perfect for tossing a frisbee, so now that the sun is finally out, you can connect with nature too! RSVP on Facebook or Vegan Meetup.

Start May Off Right with Two Outreach Events

May DayARC will be at the Wellness Expo at Ames Arena in Lakeville, Minnesota on Saturday, May 2 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. doing food sampling. We’ll be giving away all vegan Beyond Chicken Strips and Just Mayo samples. We still have a couple openings for the 9-1 and 1 to 5 shifts; if you’re interested in joining us for this fun, easy food sampling event, just email Chelsea at


That same weekend we’ll be marching in the May Day Parade and hosting a table at the May Day Festival in Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis afterwards to spread the word about the Humane Farming Myth along with other issues related to animal agriculture. It all happens on Sunday, May 3 from noon – 8:00 p.m. Let Chelsea know if you’re interested in marching, tabling, leafleting, or all of the above. This is going to be an exciting and fun-filled day!

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale – Lucky Number 7!

Bake sale cupcakesThe Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale-Twin Cities Style is the biggest and best bake sale of the year and we’re excited to be putting on our seventh WWVBS this year. Come to Ethique Nouveau, 317 West 48th St. in Minneapolis from noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 26 and stock up on lots of vegan goodies. Sweets and savories, we’ll probably even have treats for dogs. Just remember to bring some kind of container to haul your loot home because we’ll be charging for boxes in an attempt to make the event as waste free as possible.

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.

Please email if you would like to donate baked goods. Make sure to write the ingredients down to display with your goodies so that allergy sufferers are well-informed and safe. We also request that items be donated pre-wrapped or cut so that they’re easier to divvy up. You can drop off baked good donations between 11:00-11:45 am on the day of the sale or between noon-5:00 pm the day before the sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Animal Rights Coalition’s programs to help animals.

Petland Sells Dogs from Puppy Mills: The Truth about Saint Paul’s Petland Store

13915_10152666316264297_123367606766909811_nThe Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) has evaluated hundreds of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection documents, obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. ARC uncovered definitive evidence that since the Fall of 2013, Saint Paul Petland (Sun Ray Shopping Center) purchased hundreds of puppies from Menning Enterprises (Edgerton, MN) a large-scale puppy breeder and broker, and also purchased puppies from Heritage Puppies (Lake Mills, IA), another breeder/broker. This, despite Petland’s vehement claims that they don’t buy from large breeders or puppy mills.

Menning’s USDA inspection report from July 22, 2014 shows 513 adult dogs and 289 puppies on the property. Since 2013, when the store was sold to the current owner Vanessa Rojas, hundreds of animals—from pomeranians to cocker spaniels, chihuahuas to miniature pinschers —were purchased from Menning and resold to the public by the Saint Paul Petland. Heritage Puppies’ USDA inspection report from September 4, 2014 shows 443 adult dogs and 101 puppies on site.

Menning doesn’t just breed puppies for profit, they also obtain puppies from other breeders and then resell them. For example, ARC uncovered a sale of dachshund puppies, just 8 weeks old when shipped, from Clearwater Kennels (Cushing, MN) to Menning on August 19, 2014. Clearwater is the largest puppy mill in Minnesota with over 1,000 dogs (738 adult dogs and 312 puppies) on the property as of September 9, 2014.

Dallas Rising, ARC Executive Director states, “The Petland corporation has been under national pressure for years to change their business practices to a more humane model. Over one third of their franchises have closed since this campaign began because when people learn the truth about where animals in pet stores come from, they’re appalled. More people are embracing the joy that comes from adopting an animal in need of a home and feel great that they’re saving a life instead of putting more money into the pet trade. A quick web search today found over 276,000 incredible, loving animals just waiting for someone to take a chance on them in shelters and rescues in our area.”

The national campaign against Petland is going strong, and Minnesota’s group (Minnesotans Exposing Petland) is active. ARC invites the public to tell Petland they don’t support the business of selling dogs from puppy mills. Join ARC’s next peaceful demonstration at the Saint Paul Petland store (Sun Ray Shopping Center, 2123 Old Hudson Rd., St Paul) on Sunday, March 15.

Third Annual Vegan Hotdish Cookoff a Big Success!

Judges Choice winner Mary Montoya and the judges

Last year’s winner and judge Mary Johnson Strand, this year’s Judges Choice winner Mary Montoya, and judges Kale and Aubry from The Herbivorous Butcher

A great time was had at the Third Annual Twin Cities Vegan Hotdish Cook-Off. Over 100 people thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the food was delicious, and we were thrilled to see so many new faces. Special thanks to our great judges Kale and Aubry of The Herbivorous Butcher and Mary Johnson Strand who was last year’s winner.

Audience Favorite winner Megan Duke and Dallas Rising, ARC Director

Audience Favorite winner Megan Duke and Dallas Rising, ARC Director

Congratulations to Mary Montoya, Judges Choice winner for her Creamy Chickn Enchilada Hotdish, and Megan Duke, Audience Favorite winner for her Stuffed Pasta Casserole with Garlic Toast.


Mary and Megan each received a custom glass casserole with their winning titles etched into the glass. Click for the winning recipes.

All the competitors brought serious game to the dining table: Christie Blood, Megan Duke, Caitlin Franko, Dawn Linnell, Jay Linnell, Mary Montoya, Sammy Samfield, Andrew Seffrood, Cody Youngquist and Aaron Zel. Thank you all for your yummy hotdishes.

Thanks to the donors of all the great door prizes: Peace Coffee, The Herbivorous Butcher, Meadowlands Chocolate, LUV, Comfort Candy, Sunshine Burgers, and Ethique Nouveau. And big thanks to Matt Mehlhoff for his great photos of the event.