I don’t like words that hide the truth
George Carlin once famously said, “I don’t like words that hide the truth. I don’t like words that conceal reality. I don’t like euphemisms or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth. So they invent the kind of soft language to protect themselves from it.”
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the terminology used by animal exploitation industries for the products they promote to “conscious consumers” to get them to spend more money on the same suffering and death. Terms like “cage free”, “free range”, and “grass-fed” sound great and look even better on a carton of eggs or the wrapping of a steak. They evoke images of rolling green pastures on a small, family-owned farm and the romanticized agricultural practices of earlier rural society where all the milk came from your next door neighbor, several miles down the dirt road.
5th Annual Vegan Hotdish Cookoff: Mac N Cheese Edition
Have a delicious time at the 5th Annual Twin Cities Vegan Hotdish Cookoff on Saturday, April 1 from noon-2:00 p.m. at Fuller Park Recreation Center, 48 St. and Grand Ave. in Minneapolis. By popular request, this year’s cookoff have a Mac N Cheese theme! Original and creative recipes from area cooks will compete in two prize categories: Audience Favorite and Judge’s Choice.
Our judge’s panel includes Laura VanZandt, social media director at the Herbivorous Butcher and local blogger at One Girl, Two Cities; Laura Matanah, Executive Director of Compassionate Action for Animals; and Mary Montoya, two-time cookoff winner.
Support ARC’s animal advocacy work while tasting a variety of Mac N Cheeses for only $1 a sample. Free beverages will be provided and there will be lots of great door prizes. Your best Church Lady attire is welcome, but not required.
Please RSVP on Vegan Meetup or the Facebook event page so we know about how many people to expect. We have a few contestant spots left (a $10 deposit reserves your spot and you’ll get the deposit back at the contest). All contestants will receive a participation prize. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your contestant spot now!
Remember the Animals on Valentine’s Day
On February 14th, we take a day to celebrate love and romance and affection for those special people in our lives. But what about the animals in our lives? Here are some suggestions of ways to show animals some extra love for Valentine’s Day.
Grooming: Just like humans, animals can get a lot of joy from some proper pampering. Even if it’s not in your budget to send Rufus T. Barkington to the spa, there are simple things you can do at home to keep him looking and feeling great. Trimming nails, brushing teeth, and combing fur keeps your cats and dogs happy and healthy, and can be a great bonding experience. Remember to be gentle and take your time. No one wants a rushed pedicure!
Gifts: Companion animals love new toys—and cats love the boxes they come in—so think about picking up a couple additions to their toy chest. Sometimes a fresh squeak from a ball or the jingle of a bell can bring out the puppy in our old friends. Search reviews online or journey to your local pet supply store and ask the experts what they recommend. They usually have great suggestions on what will entice and delight your companion.
Veganuary is Almost Over: Now What?
We’re almost one month into the new year! We hope everyone who made the Veganuary commitment has started to fall in love with their new healthy and compassionate approach to life. We also hope we can provide you with more resources to maintain your momentum and keep growing in your veganism! Here at the Animal Rights Coalition, a major focus of our outreach is helping newer vegans and the veg-curious feel supported in their community, and we take care of you with classes and events year-round. Below are some program highlights available to anyone looking for some extra help.
This is ARC’s mentorship program, which is offered as a free service to our community. Anyone looking for personalized help on their vegan journey can browse our mentor profiles and request to be taken under the wing of one of our experienced, knowledgeable, and personable members. Mentors are available to answer questions and provide moral support and an understanding ear. Many new vegans go through a period of strong emotions once they realize the world is a very different place when viewed through vegan eyes, and having someone with whom to speak about these feelings can make the transition more comfortable.
Ringling Bros. Circus to Close
The curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced that the show will close forever in May. Thanks to animal activists all over the country who helped make this happen! It took a village and here in Minnesota, ARC has been chipping away at this archaic institution since the 80’s with billboards, letters to the editor, demonstrations, and handing out thousands of brochures, stickers, and circus coloring books for kids. Read the AP story.
Veganuary: Make the Change for 2017
With the new year quickly coming into view, people everywhere are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on creating a better life, becoming a better version of themselves—yes indeed, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Recent developments in nutrition science and environmental concerns are bringing more and more people to embrace a shift toward vegetarianism and veganism, yet this change can seem daunting and even those with the best intentions may become discouraged from making the leap.
There is a program that makes going vegan not only easier, but truly welcoming: Veganuary. Veganuary Limited is a UK-based organization promoting a comprehensive month long trial run of veganism, giving those interested in the reasons for and logistics of a vegan lifestyle the support and encouragement to embrace a life of eating plants and thinking about their consumer choices. Veganuary aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January. The hope is that by providing a foundation for positive change and helping new vegans and the veg-curious begin their journey on the right foot, people will be able to avoid the common speed bumps and deterrents on the road to a lifetime of positive change for the animals, the planet, and individual well-being. Recidivism rates are highest within the first year of making any change in habit, and the Veganuary program sets out to make it easy to go vegan and, more importantly, stay vegan.
Pack Plant Based Meals at Feed My Starving Children
Join us on Tuesday, January 3 as we pack nutritious plant-based meals, specifically designed to reverse malnutrition, at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), 990 Lone Oak Road, Suite 136 in Eagan, Minnesota from 8:00-9:30 p.m. Every month or two, ARC organizes a group to volunteer at a non-profit organization such as a homeless shelter or Ronald McDonald House or FMSC because we believe in helping both human and non-human animals!
You’ll hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables, and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed and shipped to FMSC partners working to reach the neediest children around the world. You’ll get the chance to impact hundreds of kids and experience what it’s like to make a tangible difference.This is always a fun time, and the 90 minutes go by quickly. To reserve your spot, please email email@example.com, and she will register you for the event.
Free Screening of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home
Join Ashley and Makai for a free screening (with popcorn!) of Peaceable Kingdom. Location is Walker Library, 2880 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 17. Get more info on the film and RSVP at Vegan Meetup.
This film explores the struggle of conscience experienced by several people from traditional farming backgrounds who come to question the basic assumptions of their way of life. A riveting story of transformation and healing, the documentary portrays the farmers’ sometimes amazing connections with the animals under their care, while also providing insight into the complex web of social, psychological, and economic forces that have led to their inner conflict.
Interwoven with the farmers’ stories is the dramatic animal rescue work of a newly-trained humane police officer whose sense of justice puts her at odds with the law she is charged to uphold. With strikingly honest interviews and rare footage demonstrating the emotional lives and intense family bonds of animals most often viewed as living commodities, this groundbreaking documentary shatters stereotypical notions of farmers, farm life, and perhaps most surprisingly, farm animals themselves.