Twin Cities Vegan Hot Dish Cook-off

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Twin Cities’ Vegan Hotdish Cook-Off on February 9! We stopped counting after 110 people (too distracted by all the yummy food), and were thrilled to see all the new faces, many of whom remarked that they saw the story about the cook-off in the Star Tribune’s Taste section and came because they were curious to learn more about veganism.

Our winner was Katelynn Brown in both the Audience Favorite and Judge’s Pick Categories. All our contestants showed great creativity and cooking skills – Katelynn, AmyLeo Barankovich, Kari Bergman, Genevieve Gamlin, Allyson Holdahl and William Eiden, Betsy Born, Alexandra Glad, Jenni Swope, Paula Parker, and Lindy Venustus and Tom Schweich.

Thanks to our judges – Robin Asbell, author of Big Vegan and Sweet & Easy Vegan, and Florence Brammer, who helped introduce a vegan main dish category to the Minnesota State Fair cooking competition. And thanks to prize donors Adam Turman, Kitchen Window, Peace Coffee, Robin Asbell, and The Elixery.

Check out the winning recipe and some of the other recipes from the cook-off. More cook-off pictures can be found on the ARC Facebook page.

If you’d like to be notified when registration opens for next year’s cook-off, email Dallas at or call her at 612 822-616 with your contact info.

One Issue: Animal Liberation

We are occasionally asked why the Animal Rights Coalition is a “multi-issue” organization, instead of working solely on improving the lives of farmed animals.

Our mission states that ARC is “dedicated to ending the suffering, abuse, and exploitation of non-human animals through information, education, and advocacy.” One of the most important things about ARC is the consistency of our message and actions. ARC started out as, and has firmly remained, an abolitionist animal rights organization – which means that we challenge the dominant conversation that humans have about our relationships with other species. Most people view other animals as commodities for humans to use and own, and we view other animals as persons who are here for their own reasons and deserving of personal and bodily integrity.

So, while some may consider us a multi-issue organization, the reality is that there is only one issue – animal liberation – and no matter what subject we’re talking about, we’re having essentially the same conversation again and again – emphasizing that animals matter in their own right, outside of what they can provide for humans, and that it is not justifiable for us to exploit or abuse them for any reason.

As one facet of the conversations we have with people, we encourage them to adopt a plant-based (vegan) diet. However, we believe that veganism is about more than what one does and doesn’t eat. Veganism rejects the commodity status of animals, and with animals as commodities in more than just the food production system, we have a moral imperative to protest the use of animals in labs, circuses, the clothing industry, etc.

A Flurry of Activity With 100% Chance of Helping Animals

Dallas and Max the beagleThank you to all of you who made donations to ARC in 2012. If you meant to make a contribution before the end of the year, but time got away from you, no worries. Make your donation to ARC now and feel good about starting the New Year off right!

The start of a new year is often a time for reflection. I was thinking about what makes the Animal Rights Coalition so unique and why the work we do for animals continues to inspire me daily. Here are five things that make me proud to be part of an organization like ARC:

  • We made a significant dent in the culture of violence that is animal research by working to ban pound seizure in Minnesota (signed into law and banned in April 2012!), by exposing Marilyn Carroll’s primate addiction experiments at the U of M, and by bringing unwanted attention to the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science’s national convention with a demonstration attended by over 100 people.

ARC Holiday Open House, Vegan Cookie Exchange, and Extended Holiday Hours

It was great seeing so many members and friends at ARC’s annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 8 at Ethique Nouveau. We enjoyed chatting with all of you about everything ARC has accomplished this year and our plans for an even bigger and better 2013. Many thanks to Kaylyn Knopp for the scrumptious vegan appetizers.

We had lots of fun and cookies were flying at the annual vegan holiday cookie exchange on Saturday, December 15 at Ethique Nouveau. Everyone went home with 4 dozen vegan cookies to nosh or share with holiday guests. Recipes from the cookie exhange are posted at Minneapolis Vegan Meetup.

Note that Ethique Nouveau will be open during the holidays on Sunday December 16 and December 23 from noon to 4:00pm in addition to the regular posted store hours.

Seeing is Believing at Mankato State University

PPV at MSU in MankatoARC volunteers Troy, Derek, and Jenna, along with ARC Program Director Dallas Rising traveled to Minnesota State University in Mankato on 11/27 to do Pay Per View outreach. They had 68 powerful conversations about animal liberation and plant-based eating in one day – a great success!

Our Pay Per View program offers people one dollar to view a short video on practices in the animal agriculture industry, which includes footage taken in slaughterhouses and on farms. Then our trained volunteers have debrief conversations with viewers and provide them with info about how changing their eating habits can make a huge difference for animals, the earth, and themselves.

Join Us on Fur Free Friday

Join us in protesting Ribnick Fur and Leather, 224 N 1st Street in Minneapolis, on Fur Free Friday, November 23 from 11am to 1pm. If you agree that the fur industry is cruel and unnecessary, we want you there!

New this year will be anti-fur caroling, with a short, on-the-street rehearsal for those who want to sing during the event. Lyrics will be provided on site, so come ready to sing. You can make a personalized sign if you’d like, but we’ll also have signs and literature available, so feel free to just show up.

If you’re still wearing fur coats and fur-lined hats and gloves, did you know that through our Cuddle Coats program those fashion faux pas can be donated to ARC for a tax deduction? Donated furs offer comfort to orphaned, injured, and abused wild animals and aid them in their recovery at our 14 partner wildlife rehabilitation organizations.

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.