19th Annual Healthy Harvest Turkey-free Thanksgiving Potluck and Silent Auction

Over 150 people attended the 19th Annual Healthy Harvest Turkey-free Thanksgiving Potluck and Silent Auction sponsored by ARC, EarthSave Twin Cities, and the Alliance for Sustainability on Sunday, November 18 at Lake Harriet United Methodist Church in Minneapolis. The buffet tables were overflowing with delicious, cruelty-free dishes and we almost ran out of tables. We were thrilled to see so many new faces! For other Thanksgiving events you may be attending, check out Episode 2, the Thanksgiving episode of Rhymes With Vegan for recipe ideas.

Protest Animal Testers and Vivisectors

BeagleThank you everyone who participated in the STOP AALAS Protest on Sunday, November 4 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We had an amazing turnout of about 100 people and we made the news! Kim Socha, Jenna Cameron, Ali Lillehei, and many others, thanks for helping organize.

This year, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences (AALAS) is holding their annual convention at the Minneapolis Convention Center from November 4-8. This is the largest animal research organization in the country and the largest animal research convention in North America.

Demosntration pictureIt isn’t every day that this many animal tormentors all congregate in one place, and right in our back yard, so thanks to those who came out to represent compassion in the face of institutionalized animal cruelty. The peaceful protest included a post-Halloween costume component to represent the many nonhuman animals who have died in experiments: mice, pigs, primates, dogs, cats, and other animals.

Animal Rights Coalition Day at Tao Natural Foods

Thanks to Tao Natural Foods and everyone who came out to support their fundraiser for the Animal Rights Coalition on Thursday, November 1. Tao is donating 10% of all vegan sales from the day, including both the restaurant and the wellness store, to ARC’s animal advocacy programs. Please continue to visit Tao Natural Foods to enjoy their delicious, 100% organic, healthy, vegan cuisine.

Twin Cities Vegan Iron Chef

Congratulations to this year’s Vegan Iron Chef winner, Kaylyn Knopp and the other contestants: AmyLeo Barankovich of Vegan Affairs, Megan Duke, Caitlin Rudeen of Caitlin’s Healthy Homemade, Rachel Smith, and Melissa Swanson who made the third annual Vegan Iron Chef competition on October 20th such a success. The event raised over $500 for ARC’s animal advocacy programs. Butler Soy Curls was the common ingredient for the recipe competition. Check out the winning Vegan Iron Chef 2012 Recipes. Want some soy curls after reading all the yummy recipes? Just stop by Ethique Nouveau, 317 W 48th St. in Minneapolis.

Spreading the Word at Mexican Independence Day

On Sunday, September 16, the ARC Outreach Team passed out literature at the Mexican Independence Day Celebration held along Lake Street in Minneapolis. The event attracted a large crowd from the Hispanic community and neighbors in the Phillips/ Powderhorn area to watch the parade and browse the many booths during the six hours of festivities. Team members learned a few quick Spanish phrases from an ARC volunteer beforehand to help relay the message and then passed out over 700 leaflets. The literature included anti-circus leaflets (in Spanish), comic books about being a friend to chickens for the children, and spay and neuter information. The response from the crowd was overwhelmingly positive.

The outreach team also passed out literature this summer in downtown Minneapolis, in Uptown, at events like the Warped Tour, after concerts like Coldplay, Gotye, and Jason Mraz, and at the Minnesota State Fair. At the University of Minnesota the ARC team helped contribute to a national record for most pieces of literature handed out in one day on a campus. These are just a few highlights of all the events visited this summer by our hard-working outreach team. Many thanks to this dedicated group of activists!

Fall+Football+Food Vegan Style!

On Saturday, September 8, ARC volunteers gave away hundreds of samples of vegan brats and veggie burgers, everyone’s game-favorite fare, at the University of Minnesota Gopher football team’s first home game of the season. For the second year running, theTofurky Beer Brats with all the fixin’s (ketchup, mustard, relish, and sauerkraut) were delicious and the samples of Gardein burgers flew off the trays as fast as we could grill them. The best part is that the folks we reached were unlikely to have tried vegan food without the encouragement we provided; and they weren’t sorry–we heard many comments about how great everything tasted.

We’ll be back to grill and give away more samples on Saturday, October 13. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped on the 8th, and if you’d like to help out on October 13th by volunteering to grill, pass out food samples, or help answer peoples’ questions about a plant-based diet, contact Dallas. We’d love to have your help!

Educating Consumers about Product Testing

On Saturday, July 28, six members of ARC’s Outreach Team stood outside of the M.A.C store on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown Minneapolis and passed out cruelty-free cosmetic samples to passersby. Along with the cruelty-free samples, they also passed out “Dirty Dozen” cards, which listed the top twelve companies guilty of testing their products on animals. M.A.C, along with its parent company, Estee Lauder, shocked its customers by recently changing from not testing on animals, to testing on animals. This sad fact makes no sense, given the irrelevance of testing cosmetics on species who would never wear cosmetics and the many cruelty-free alternatives to testing on animals.

To protest the company’s change in ethics, team members explained to passersby why they were standing in front of the store, what they were handing out, and what people could do to help. They asked passersby to boycott companies such as M.A.C. and suggested where to go to buy cruelty-free products. After all 275 Dirty Dozen cards and samples were passed out within 20 minutes, the team passed out stickers about animal testing and leaflets about animals abused in entertainment and Premarin. The traffic in the area was heavy and the team passed out more than 500 pieces of literature overall, and had many conversations with women who were shocked and angry about M.A.C.’s decision and promised not to go back to M.A.C. as long as they were testing on animals. This outreach event was a huge success and we plan to do another soon!

Animal Rights Coalition Day at Ecopolitan

Ecopolitan FlyerHuge thanks to Ecopolitan restaurant and everyone who came out to support their fundraiser for the Animal Rights Coalition’s many animal advocacy programs on Thursday, August 9. So many people enjoyed Ecopolitan’s delicious organic raw cuisine that the kitchen actually ran out of food! Please continue to visit Ecopolitan, Minnesota’s only 100% organic vegan raw restaurant, bar, and natural home and body goods shop.