Support Our Cause: Give Cows a Voice at the MN State Fair

As many of you are aware, the Animal Rights Coalition has an ongoing campaign against the inhumane treatment of cows at the Minnesota State Fair. To make a lasting impact and raise awareness, we are planning a powerful protest in the form of a mobile billboard during the 2024 Minnesota State Fair. This billboard will display eye-catching visuals and thought-provoking messages that shed light on the treatment of cows and encourage fairgoers to consider the ethical implications of their choices. But we can’t do this without your help. The cost of renting a mobile billboard is substantial, and that’s where your support comes in. Your generous contribution will directly contribute to our ability to make a difference and spark conversations that matter.

An anonymous donor has pledged to match the first $500 in donations. Our goal is $10,000. Your financial support will go directly toward funding the mobile billboard campaign. Every dollar brings us closer to our goal. Your donation will not only support the cows but also contribute to a more compassionate world where all animals are treated with kindness and dignity. Together we can make a difference for cows and raise awareness about their treatment at the Minnesota State Fair.

To donate click here and in the dedication box, type ‘billboard.’

Click here to see how many people we impacted in 2023.

Oppose the EATS Act Now!

A proposed bill, known as the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act (H.R. 4417/ S. 2019), could strip states and localities of their right to impose standards or conditions on the production or manufacturing of agricultural products sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce when those standards differ from federal law or the laws of other states.

The EATS Act would effectively strip states of any power to regulate the kind of agricultural products that enter their borders, imperiling progressive legislation that targets puppy mills, animal testing, farmed animals, the wildlife trade, pesticide use, chemicals in baby food, pollution, and many other laws designed to protect public health and safety. 

Read more about the EATS Act at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, then contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose the EATS Act (H.R. 4417 / S. 2019) now!

Abuse is Not Entertainment

Mike Swain of Trunks and Humps, the elephant and camel supplier for rides at the MN Renaissance Festival, has been filmed by Animal Defenders International beating elephants during training.

ADI previously released a video about the suffering behind the rides, ‘No Fun for Elephants’, with award-winning TV legend Bob Barker, who observed: “To many, it looks like harmless fun, but elephants pay a heavy price for the few minutes of entertainment they provide when giving rides. Isn’t it especially tragic when animals are suffering and being abused simply to entertain us?” The video includes shocking scenes of violence during training and handling of elephants supplied by Trunks and Humps of Conroe, TX, and Have Trunk Will Travel (previously of Perris, CA, and now operating as The Preserve in Fredericksburg, TX).

The Animal Rights Coalition urge Scott County Commissioners and the MN Renaissance Festival to no longer allow elephant and camel rides at this year’s festival and all future events. Elephant rides have been abandoned by organizers of several events after boards viewed the evidence, including Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the city of Fountain Valley, CA, Santa Ana Zoo, and Orange County, Kern County, San Diego County, Nevada County, and Los Angeles County Fairs. We are confident that if the public are given the facts and understand the cost to the animals, they will say “no” to the suffering.

You can help by writing a polite message to the festival owner asking him to make it their policy not to have performing elephants or other animals.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival:
Contact: Jim Peterson, Owner of Mid-America Festivals
Address: 1244 South Canterbury Road, Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: 612-332-5600

Film – No Fun For Elephants:

Sign the petition to end the use of elephants as entertainment at the MN Renaissance Festival:

ARC Joins Coalition Against Farmed Animal Exhibitions at Fairs

More than 15 sanctuaries and advocacy organizations for farmed animals across the country are joining a coalition to oppose the exhibition and use of animals at state and county fairs this summer.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary started the coalition in 2022 after representatives attended local and state fairs in New York to witness and report on what happened to animals on display. The coalition seeks to educate the public about the treatment of farmed animals at agricultural fairs and offer advocacy opportunities that supporters can implement in their own communities.

The Animal Rights Coalition joined the coalition in 2022, announcing the launch of our website. We protested in front of the MN fairgrounds with TV outreach, handed out plant-based Babybel cheese and literature about the dairy industry to fairgoers, and displayed a banner showing why “Cow’s Milk Hurts.” 

Join ARC to advocate for animals at the MN State Fair this year! 

View and sign up for volunteer opportunities on ARC’s Volunteer Network

We also encourage supporters to contact their local fair sponsors to tell them why they won’t be attending the fair and write letters to local newspapers to shed light on the realities for farmed animals at state and county fairs.

Dairy Desperation: Farmers Forced to Dump Cow’s Milk

Dairy farmers are spilling cow’s milk, literally, on the ground.

A few factors contribute to this dumping. Dairy farmers say that older processing plants haven’t been able to keep up with the amount of milk being produced by cows. In addition, consumption of dairy milk is down. There has been a massive loss of markets; some of this loss can be attributed to Covid affecting schools and businesses. But as consumers become increasingly aware of the negative effect dairy has on health, the environment, and animals, more of them are ditching dairy.

According to the USDA, Economic Research Service’s (ERS) food availability data, Americans have been drinking less and less fluid cow’s milk on a per person basis since the mid-1940s. The rate of decline, however, has increased recently. Between 1995 and 2009, ERS data show that the per-person U.S. supply of cow’s milk available for consumption fell at an average annual rate of 1.0 percent. From 2010 to 2017, per capita availability fell at an average rate of almost 2.5 percent a year.

Plant-based milk alternatives do play a small role in the decline. Grocery store shelves and refrigerated cases offer a variety of plant-based milks. Industry statistics show almond-based products are the most popular, but cashew, soy, oat, and rice options, among others, are also available.

Help us advocate for the dairy cows and bring the demand for cow’s milk down further by joining ARC activists at the Minnesota State Fair for our mnfairwatch campaign.

Image: Thompson Dairy near Lewiston Minnesota dumping their supply. Image by WCCO.

Is Proposition 12 Really a Victory for the Animals?

Earlier this month you may have heard about the passage of Proposition 12 (aka the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative), a California law that makes it illegal for hens, sows (mother pigs), and veal calves to be confined in what the state calls “a cruel manner.” It also prohibits the in-state sale of products from caged animals raised out-of-state.

But is the passage of Prop 12 really the victory it’s being touted as? When we examine that question, we must do so from the victim’s perspective. Does having a few more inches of room before being sent to slaughter sound like a win? When you view it from the animals’ point of view, Prop 12 is a loss.


Because countless hours of activist time spent gathering ballot signatures could have been spent advocating for animal rights and vegan outreach, implementing in meaningful long-lasting ways the concept of abolition. The $16 million spent on lobbying to change laws which are nearly impossible to enforce could have been spent persuading those who eat animals to see them as individuals who shouldn’t be used to begin with. This is simply a diversion from the only goal that matters to the animals: abolition. (See PETA’s investigation into a Prop 12 compliant egg farm)

Laws like Prop 12 are welfare-based. They do not confront consumers with the truth that gestation crate-free pork and cage-free eggs are not humane in any sense of the word. Animal welfare reforms keep compassionate people comfortable as they buy animal-based products. This is exactly what the meat, dairy, and egg industries want. They need people to feel good about using animals.

When well-meaning activists spend their limited time and resources on lobbying for a right way to do the wrong thing, it’s asking for less than what the animals want, need, and deserve. Welfare reforms have not ended animal use, but rather, has slowed the progress of animal rights.

The Animal Rights Coalition is an abolitionist organization. Protesting the use of animals, sharing alternatives to using animals, and educating the public about the myths surrounding so-called humane farming is our goal. We invite activists to join us in making meaningful strides towards animal liberation. This isn’t about changing a habit. It’s about re-setting a moral baseline: animals are not ours to use. There is no right way to do the wrong thing.

View ARC’s Humane Farming Myth brochure here.

Join ARC at a Farmers Market!

It’s that time of year to enjoy fresh, local produce from your neighborhood farmers market! ARC visits many different markets throughout the season to promote Vegan University, ARC’s program to help you go – and stay – vegan. Vegan University offers free mentors, cooking classes, and online workshops to learn about Vegan Nutrition, Meal Planning, Eating Vegan on a Budget and more! We’ll show people the numerous benefits of going vegan by handing out free plant-based recipes to go with the fresh produce offered at markets. Stop by our table to say hello or sign up to volunteer with us! Click the date you’re interested in for more information and to access the volunteer form: 

Saturday, May 20th, 9:00-1:00 pm: Riverwalk Market Fair 

Saturday, June 3rd, 8:00-1:00 pm: Midtown Farmers Market 

Saturday, June 17th, 8:00-1:00 pm: Bloomington Farmers Market 

Sunday, July 9th, 8:30-1:00 pm: Kingfield Farmers Market

Saturday, July 15th, 8:00-1:00 pm: Bloomington Farmers Market

Saturday, July 29th, 8:00-1:00 pm: Midtown Farmers Market

Saturday, August 5th, 9:00-1:00 pm: Mill City Farmers Market

Saturday, October 7th, 9:00-1:00 pm: Riverwalk Market Fair 

Saturday, October 14th, 8:00-1:00 pm: Bloomington Farmers Market

Sunday, October 22nd, 8:30-1:00 pm: Kingfield Farmers Market

Free Screening of Coffee Wars

Join ARC for a free screening of the new vegan comedy feature film, Coffee Wars! The plot follows Jo, a vegan coffee shop owner and barista who navigates running her business in a dairy-dominated industry. The very successful vegan singer-songwriter and actress, Kate Nash, portrays Jo, the protagonist of the film. View the trailer here:

We’ll gather at the Minnehaha Masonic Lodge #165 on Saturday, May 20th, at 2:30 pm. Coffee and snacks will be complimentary!

Unfortunately, dairy isn’t the only social justice issue associated with coffee. Read more about “The Stirring Reality of Coffee” in Food Empowerment Project’s article.