An Oldie But Goodie
Cookies were flying at the annual Vegan Holiday Cookie Exchange on Saturday, December 14 at Ethique Nouveau. Each person brought 4 dozen vegan cookies and then shared and swapped with others who had done the same. Check out recipes from last year’s cookie exchange and links to recipes from this year’s exchange.
It was great seeing so many members and friends at ARC’s Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 8. We enjoyed chatting with all of you about everything ARC has accomplished for animals this year and our plans for an even bigger and better 2014. Helping animals is hard work, but we have serious fun too – so enjoy this oldie but goodie “Animal Rights Coalition Rap” dreamed up by ARC volunteers and performed by Dallas, Ryan, and Aaron.
New Shakopee Pet Store Ordinance: Victory or Loss for Animals?
Minnesotans may remember the attention given to Shakopee’s Eagle Pet Center pet store when they were featured on the news because their animals were living in deplorable, yet supposedly legal conditions. The media attention sparked an outcry from the community and many local animal advocates who urged the Shakopee City council to adopt a new law that would prevent such rampant animal abuse by pet stores that sell live animals.
ARC has been protesting the Petland store in Shakopee for three years through our Minnesotans Exposing Petland campaign. We offered to provide ordinance language used by other cities which would have prevented these types of abuses. But the committee working on the ordinance wasn’t interested. Instead, they chose to include the owners of Petland in their discussions and allow them to help draft the new law, which allows them to continue with business as usual. Keith Streff, cruelty investigator for the Animal Humane Society (AHS) was also in on drafting the new law.
Fall + Football + Food at Gopher Tailgating
ARC volunteers gave away over 500 samples of vegan burgers, everyone’s game-favorite fare, at two University of Minnesota Gopher football home games in September . For the third year running, Gardein burgers with all the fixin’s flew off the trays as fast as we could grill them.
Between the two events, 19 ARC volunteers gave away hundreds of samples plus literature about veganism. The best part is that the game-goers we reached were not likely to have tried vegan food without the encouragement we provided; and they weren’t sorry–we heard many comments about how yummy the burgers tasted. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with grilling, passing out samples, and answering questions about a plant-based diet.
Help,I’m Going Vegan! at Southwest Community Education
We’re excited to announce another new avenue for our expanding outreach programs – Minneapolis Community Education has accepted ARC’s Help, I’m Going Vegan! workshop into its community education catalog. The workshop will be held in four sessions starting Monday, October 7 through Monday October 28 from 6:30-8:00pm at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Many thanks to ARC volunteer Melissa Maaske for persevering through the application and interview process to get the workshop approved.
Workshop description: “You know you want to go vegan, but you have all these questions. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a knowledgeable and caring vegan give straight-forward answers? Join Melissa Maaske, mentor through Vegan University, for an in-depth veganism workshop. We will discuss the health, environmental, and ethical reasons to choose veganism. You will learn tips on grocery shopping, eating out, and how to talk to others about your choices. After this class, you can make empowered choices about what you eat!”
Rock for Animal Rights!
Come to a fun, family-friendly show featuring live music, vegan food, outdoor activities, and more at the Wood Lake Nature Center Amphitheater at 6710 Lake Shore Drive in Richfield from 5-8pm on Saturday, August 31. Music starts at 6. This is a fundraiser to help animals by supporting the life-saving campaigns of the Animal Rights Coalition. Donations will be accepted at entry.
In case of rain, we have a back-up room inside.
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.