Thank You for Your Generosity on Give to the Max Day!

Your support on Thursday, November 13, Give to the Max Day, meant ARC was able to raise $6,871 from 158 unique donors during that 24 hours. That placed us #25 on the Small Nonprofit Leaderboard for raising funds. And due to the generosity of an anonymous and enthusiastic donor who pledged to match all those donations to ARC, the total for the day will reach almost $14,000, an unprecedented amount raised. These funds will allow us to expand our efforts to help animals more than ever.

ARC wants to extend a heartfelt and public thank you to the volunteers who came in and spent time in the office working to raise funds for Give to the Max Day. It was a long day and we would not have had the success we did without: Joe Beane, Angie Chesney-Mattison, Megan Kathleen, Amy Leinen, Kelly Newport, Emily Jane Rinke, Sadie Schrader, and Barbara Stasz.

EdMN_Barb_and_DallasARC has grown by leaps and bounds this year.
Our Cuddle Coats program has had to increase prep sessions to once a week to keep up with the donations of furs coming in to us, and the increasing demand for those furs at the 36 wildlife rehabs we now supply with furs to help rehabilitate and comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. That’s more than double the number of rehabs we were supplying last year.

Our Minnesotans Exposing Petland campaign has seen the close of one of the two Petland stores in the state and is turning up the heat on the remaining store, as well as educating the public about the cruelties of the pet trade.

Outreach at Farmers Market

Our increased presence on campuses in the form of Pay Per View, classroom speaking engagements, food sampling events, and offering service learning opportunities for students continues to hold strong and we saw a surge of interest from teachers at the Education Minnesota conference this year.

We’ve continued to think outside the box and branch out in our outreach efforts. Our debut at the American Diabetes Association Expo this year was a smashing success, and in January we’ll have a first ever booth at the Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention.

ARC VegKins tour of Chicken Run RescueWe held three large-screen documentary screenings of the films Speciesism and Cowspiracy at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis, all with sold out audiences.

And ARC volunteers alerted through our Activist Network even saved the lives of two stray chickens in Minneapolis, several months apart! Coyote and Kitty could have been eaten by birds of prey or frozen to death, but they’re safe and warm instead. We’re proud to partner with Chicken Run Rescue not only in these rescues, but also for tours and educational opportunities as well.

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered and donated. And if you missed Give to the Max Day, you can still make a donation to the Animal Rights Coalition. We promise we’ll make every penny count to help animals.

ARC in the Schools

Photo of ARC Executive Director Dallas Rising speaking at Magnet School

ARC Executive Director Dallas Rising speaking at Magnet School

Did you know that ARC speaks to many classes and student groups? We regularly talk to young adults and college students about subjects such as speciesism, animals and food ethics, our treatment of animals and relationship to animals, sustainability and environmental issues related to food, and food justice at places like Fridley Middle School, Southwest High School, Augsburg College, Hamline University, Mankato State University, Metropolitan Community & Technical College (MCTC), and Normandale College.


We’ll be reaching out to educators at the Education Minnesota Professional Conference on Thursday, 10/16 and the Twin Cities Social Justice Education Fair on Friday, 10/17, and we’ll be speaking at the St. Cloud State Global Social Responsibility Conference on 10/20 and North Hennepin Community College on 10/27.

If you would like someone from ARC to speak at your school, civic organization, Girl Scout troop, or church group, email Dallas Rising at and we’ll set something up. You can also download and print a copy of our new brochure Ethical Values and Our Relationship with Animals to give to educators and group leaders about our presentations.

Food Justice and Veganism

North Vegans logoNorth Vegans is a new ARC program based in North Minneapolis which is focused on food justice, ending food deserts, and making veganism accessible to all.

North Vegans is led by Northsiders who want to provide a positive way for the community to meet and greet fellow locals interested in plant-based eating, work on improving affordable access to healthy plant-based meals, and make our local vegan community more inclusive.

Open StreetsWe launched North Vegans on Saturday, September 20 at the Open Streets/Harvest Festival on Lowry Avenue where we gave out info on plant-based eating, recipe booklets designed for going vegan on a budget, and goodies for the whole family including stickers and comic books.

North Vegans will be tabling next at the West Broadway Farmer’s Market on Friday, October 3 and October 10 from 3:00-7:00 pm. Stop by and say hello!

Second Screening of COWSPIRACY Added

Cowspiracy_cowAre you sad because you couldn’t make the September screening of COWSPIRACY? Wipe those tears because tickets just went on sale for a second screening on Thursday, October 16, 7:30- 9:21 p.m. at the Landmark Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave. in Minneapolis!

You can buy tickets for the second screening here. There’s lots of buzz about this film; make sure you don’t miss it!

Bake for Their Sake Vegan Bake Sale Fundraiser for Cuddle Coats

Cuddle Coats bunniesWould you like to warm the hearts of injured wildlife? Join us for our Bake for Their Sake vegan bake sale on Sunday, September 14 from noon-4 p.m. at Ethique Nouveau, 317 W 48th St. in Minneapolis. Indulge in all of your favorite vegan goodies for a great cause. Proceeds from the bake sale will benefit ARC’s Cuddle Coats program which accepts donated furs and accessories and ships them to our partner wildlife rehabilitation centers for orphaned and injured wildlife to cuddle with during the rehabilitation process. We have a huge stack of donated furs piled up and we would like to get them shipped as soon as possible! To volunteer at the bake sale or bake vegan goodies for this event, please contact Alex Beane at Volunteer bakers are asked to bring a copy of the recipe.

COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret

Cowspiracy_cowThe Animal Rights Coalition is proud to bring COWSPIRACY to Minnesota on Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis.

COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. As eye-opening as the film Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact factory farming has on our planet.

This screening has sold out. Stay tuned; we’re working on booking a second one.

Day of Action at Whole Foods

rabbit_whole_foodsJoin animal advocates on Sunday, August 17 in asking Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit flesh, and asking Whole Foods customers to join us at the St. Paul Whole Foods Market, 30 Fairview Ave. S, St. Paul, Minnesota from 11 am to 2 pm!

While the organizers of this event do not support the slaughter of any animal, this event is focused on Whole Foods’ new pilot program to sell rabbit flesh. It has been confirmed that Whole Foods is now selling rabbit flesh in every Minnesota location. Whole Foods is attempting to create demand for rabbit flesh and is sourcing from states that have passed Ag-Gag laws making it illegal to document abuses behind farm walls. Rabbits have almost no protections under the law as the USDA considers them exempt from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

Together we will send a peaceful message to Whole Foods that introducing new flesh foods is not okay. We will have signs and flyers and ask shoppers to sign a petition and to fill out comment cards politely asking Whole Foods to stop the sale of rabbit flesh.

An Exceptional Life

Vonnie at the 1990 March for Animals in Washington, D.C.

Vonnie at the 1990 March for Animals in Washington, D.C.

We’re sad to report that Animal Rights Coalition Founder Vonnie Thomasberg passed away on July 13. Vonnie founded ARC in 1980 and for over 30 years defended the rights of nonhuman animals and provided leadership and inspiration.

Jim Mason, author of Animal Factories and The Ethics of What We Eat with Peter Singer, An Unnatural Order, and co-founder of The Animals’ Agenda magazine sent this tribute to Vonnie: “We ‘old timers’ who knew and worked with Vonnie over the years will miss her greatly, for she was a great soul and fun to be with. All of us benefit from her work, for she was a pioneer and leader in the building of the American Animal Rights movement.”

“Sensing the rising awareness and restlessness catalyzed by Peter Singer’s 1975 book, Animal Liberation, she founded Animal Rights Coalition to put that into action for animals in the Twin Cities. With ARC, she organized some of the very first conferences to bring together speakers and activists from all over the country to talk about issues, strategies, tactics, and actions for animals.”

“Some of the then-young activists who attended her conferences went back home to Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, and many other major U.S. cities to start ARC-like organizations. Other attendees founded or formed the first staff of national organizations such as Farm Sanctuary and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Her leadership and activism in the Twin Cities was both a model and a motivator for animal activism across the U.S. when the American Animal Rights Movement was newly born. Vonnie, you made an awful/wonderful lot happen for animals; may the rest of us keep it going.”

Gary Francione, author with Anna Charlton, of Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals; Animals as Persons; Introduction to Animal Rights, and other books sent this tribute to Vonnie: “Vonnie was a great person. She not only embraced veganism and abolition fairly early on, but she also saw the connections between human rights and animal rights. She was a major force in animal rights even beyond Minnesota. She will be missed.”

To learn more about this exceptional woman and her fascinating life, read Vonnie’s article “Look How Far We’ve Come!” in the Winter 2011 30th Anniversary issue of ARC News and “History of an Activist.” Both articles are guaranteed to give you an appreciation for Vonnie’s groundwork that went into making ARC the strong activist organization it is today.