Protest Animal Rides at MN Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is offering elephant, camel, pony, and llama rides yet again this year. While many people jump at the opportunity to get close to animals by buying exotic animal rides at fairs and fests, they probably wouldn’t if they knew about the suffering the animals endure being treated as amusement park attractions.

These animals are trucked around the country to different venues in small trailers and chained for hours each day. If they were allowed to live in the wild, they would have extensive social networks and travel miles upon miles every day. But when they’re sentenced to being “rides,” they’re forced to walk in circles day after day with hundreds of pounds on their backs for long hours, bored and uncomfortable.

There are huge public safety concerns, as well. These are wild animals who are forced to comply with their handlers’ demands by force, and sometimes they will reach a limit, resist their captors and revolt. 

Elephants also carry the human strain of tuberculosis (TB) and can easily transmit it. Most companies fail to have valid TB tests performed on their elephants due to the cost and difficulty of administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledges that this disease is highly transferable from elephants to humans. Yet, despite their knowledge of the inherent cruelty and danger, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival continues to feature exotic animal rides.

Join our protest to help raise awareness about these unethical attractions at the Renaissance Festival and encourage people attending to skip the animal exploitation and instead enjoy the activities that don’t hurt animals. RSVP here: 


MN Animal Rights Meetup: 

Photo taken by Brooke Reynolds (Captured by Brooke Photography):…/Features/Ren-Fest-2017/

Cow’s Milk Hurts… Your Health, The Animals, Our Planet

The Minnesota State Fair’s primary purpose (like that of most state and county fairs) is to encourage and promote farming, specifically animal agriculture, and in doing so it also encourages and promotes the consumption of meat and dairy products. Maximizing profit is the driving force behind raising animals for humans to eat. The animals’ natural needs for space, movement, fresh air and sunshine, and social interactions are disregarded. The MN State Fair claims to bring transparency to animal agricultural practices but instead presents a highly sanitized version of the lives of farmed animals. Most of the farmed animals you see on display at the MN State Fair are living out the last days of their lives in crowded, stressful environments. 

ARC’s newest campaign, MN Fair Watch, kicks off this month highlighting the animal exploitation that happens at the MN State Fair. Last year we gathered information and documentation. Based on that research, our primary focus this year is the victims of the dairy industry, using the slogan “Cow’s Milk Hurts…Your Health, The Animals, and Our Planet.” We plan to advocate for cows used for their milk in a variety of ways during the two week fair. 

The Animal Rights Coalition invites you to advocate along with us at one or more outreach events: 

State Fair Sidewalk Chalk: Wednesday, August 24th, 7:00-8:30 pm 

State Fair TV Outreach: Thursday, August 25th, 1:00-3:00 pm 

State Fair Outreach: Saturday, August 27th, 1:00-3:00 pm 

State Fair TV Outreach: Sunday, August 28th, 1:00-3:00 pm 

State Fair Banner Drop: Tuesday, August 30th, 3:00-5:00 pm 

State Fair Outreach: Monday, September 5th, 1:00-3:00 pm

If you’re interested in volunteering at one of these events, email ARC’s Outreach Manager at

End Canterbury Park’s “Extreme” Race Days

Each year Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN adds “extreme” races to its usual lineup of horse racing, proclaiming “It’s a real zoo! Camel, Ostrich, and Zebra races!” The camel, ostrich, and zebra races are being marketed as “Extreme Race Day,” but what is more extreme is that while at least 13 horses died in 2021 at Canterbury Park, now the track has planned to subject other species to abuse and risks. Join ARC in reaching out to Canterbury Park to let them know using animals for entertainment is something you don’t support and request that they stop this unethical activity. 


  1. Protest this ridiculous and exploitative event in person on Sunday, July 17th, from 12:00-2:00 pm with ARC. Use your voice to peacefully show Canterbury and its patrons that you don’t believe animals should be used as entertainment, exotic or otherwise.
  2. Consider posting a comment on the Canterbury Park Facebook page and contact Randy Sampson, President of Canterbury Park, at and ask him to cancel this event. Please be polite as rude comments will not help the animals. We’ve provided some thoughtful wording to help you format what you could say here.
  3. Post an image of yourself and friends holding pieces of paper saying something like, “Say No to Canterbury’s Extreme Race Day.” Make sure you share it on social media platforms and tag Canterbury Park
  4. Follow Animal Rights Coalition for more events and action alerts. 

ARC’s June Volunteer Meeting & POTLUCK!

Join us for ARC’s June volunteer meeting & potluck! Bring a vegan snack or treat to share with the group for the beginning of the meeting while we discuss upcoming events – social and activism opportunities. We’ll finish the meeting by putting ARC contact stickers on the literature we’ll be distributing at upcoming outreach events.

You may want to bring your calendars as we’ll have a lot of Summer events to share! Vegan snacks and beverages will be provided, but please bring something for the whole group to enjoy if you’re able.

All are welcome! You do not need to be vegan or vegetarian to attend ARC events.

RSVP Here:



Farmers Market Season is Here!

Vegan University is eager to return to local farmers markets this season and share the benefits of plant-based eating with the community. Farmers markets are the perfect venue to promote eating plant-based because people are there to buy plants! There’s no better place to talk to individuals about a plant-based diet than at a market where there’s already an understanding of the immense power of plants. It’s a great opportunity for people to ask questions, squash common myths and stereotypes, and give individuals the confidence they need to eliminate animal products from their diet. In addition to providing recipes and information, we encourage people to sign up for Vegan University’s free online workshops, cooking classes, and grocery shopping tours, and offer a free vegan mentor for those who are interested. We’re here to help people at each step in their journey toward a plant-based diet. 

This season, Vegan University will be at the Linden Hills, Mill City, Bloomington, Minnetonka and Riverwalk markets. If you’re interested in volunteering at a market, email the Outreach Manager at Join us in kicking off farmers market season in Northfield at Riverwalk Market on Saturday, May 21st, from 9:00-1:00 pm!

Bringing TV Outreach Back for the Season

With the weather getting warmer, ARC is eager to head to the streets with TV Outreach at local community events! 

The screens highlight what happens to animals when they’re exploited for human use and allows us to engage in conversations with people about animal-free alternatives. 

You will see ARC offering TV Outreach at the 2022 MayDay Festival, Open Streets Franklin and Open Streets Minnehaha. RSVP on Facebook and join us to educate our community about the truth behind animal exploitation. This is a great opportunity for those who aren’t familiar with, or interested in, talking to the public. Volunteers are invited to hold signs or screens provided by ARC while ARC representatives help onlookers process the footage on display.

More TV Outreach events will be scheduled as opportunities arise. If you know of an event that would be a good fit for this form of activism, email the Outreach Manager at

CALL TO ACTION: World Hunting Expo

The Safari Club International is returning to Brooklyn Park this Saturday, the 26th, for the Annual World Hunting Expo held at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest and we need your help in taking action. Here’s how you can do so: 

1. Join ARC to protest the expo on Saturday, the 26th, from 10:00-12:00 pm outside the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. RSVP here! 

2. Tell the expo’s local MN sponsors, Rapid Graphics and the Grazzini Brothers & Company, to stop supporting the cruel and horrific practice of trophy hunting. 


Grazzini Brothers & Company: 

Rapid Graphics:  

Create a post, tweet or add to your story to express your concerns to the sponsors (make sure to tag them!). Here is an example message: 

“I was really upset to see Rapid Graphics and the Grazzini Brothers & Company as sponsors of the Safari Club International’s World Hunting Expo held at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest on Saturday, February 26th. The expo exhibits one of the largest taxidermy displays in the Midwest and includes a long list of exploitative vendors, gun raffles and live auctions offering extravagant hunting trips to places all over the world, such as South Africa and Mexico. The Safari Club International claims their role in conservation of certain animals while celebrating the murder of others. It’s a shame Rapid Graphics and the Grazzini Brothers & Company have chosen to sponsor this event that promotes the horrific practice of trophy hunting.”

You can read more information about the expo here:  

*Please be polite, civil and diplomatic in your comments* 

A Bittersweet Update

Amy Leinen, ARC’s New Campaign Manager

As we come to the close of another productive year for ARC, we have bittersweet news to share with our supporters: Our effervescent and intrepid Campaign Manager, Ashley Riddle, will be leaving her position as of December 24th. Ashley’s passion for animal rights activism has served ARC well over the last four years. From her tireless work on our Go Humane, Blaine puppy mill campaign to initiating and developing ARC’s newest campaign against animal abuse at the Minnesota State Fair to everything in between, Ashley has been commendably representing ARC at the forefront of the most pressing animal issues in Minnesota. We are very sad to say farewell to this fierce animal activist, but fear not! Ashley will still be doing online workshops and volunteering for ARC as often as possible.

Now the sweet: We have hired Amy Leinen as ARC’s new Campaign Manager! Many of you in the animal rights community already know Amy but for those who don’t, Amy has been an active volunteer with ARC for almost 10 years. She is currently an ARC vegan mentor and one of our dine-out leaders, and she volunteers regularly for Pay Per View and various ARC special events. Outside of ARC, Amy volunteers for several local sanctuaries, runs the Chicken Rescuers in Minnesota Facebook group, and runs a small chicken microsanctuary. Amy has leadership experience as the previous president of the Minnesota Homeschooler’s Alliance and the coordinator for their annual conference. Like Ashley, Amy is well known and well liked in our local community. We’re excited to have someone with such relevant experience and networking skills on board.

Au revoir, Ashley; we love you and miss you already! And welcome, Amy! Great to have you on the ARC team!