Did you know that in addition to the Twin Cities Veg Fest, we’re also hosting an animal advocacy conference, Their Lives, Our Voices, the day after the festival? On Sunday, October 27, Their Lives, Our Voices will bring together activists and the activism-curious with a great group of knowledgeable and empowering speakers.

The conference will feature two tracks of great speakers including nationally recognized leaders in the animal advocacy movement, including Nathan Runkle from Mercy for Animals and Nick Cooney from Farm Sanctuary. We also have a great lineup of locals including speakers from Compassionate Action for Animals, Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection, and experienced organizers from the Sierra Club, along with many others. See our schedule for more details.

This conference is a great way to learn more about animal issues and how to be an effective activist. If you’ve been looking for a way to help animals then this conference is a great way to get started. Registration is just $20 and we offer a student/low-income discount rate of just $10. Registration includes morning coffee & tea as well as lunch. If you volunteer at the conference attendance is free. So what are you waiting for? Buy your ticket today!

TCVF: What is your role on the Veg Fest team?
Jake: My role is the entertainment coordinator, which is finding musical acts to perform at this year’s Veg Fest.

TCVF: How did you get involved in planning the Veg Fest?
Jake: I was a late bloomer after the original Veg Fest team was formed. After the committee decided they wanted to include a concert, they asked me to be the coordinator for it.

TCVF: What have you enjoyed most so far?
Jake: The thing I have enjoyed the most is finding a lot of great music that I probably would have never stumbled onto on my own.

TCVF: What are you most looking forward to?
Jake: I am most looking forward to seeing both people enjoying bands they have never heard of before and people who came for a band but are then exposed to all of the great exhibitors and food!

TCVF: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Jake: In my free time, I enjoy cooking (less so when it’s beautiful outside), rock climbing, going to shows, and running (less so when it’s cold outside).

TCVF: Who or what species is your favorite animal?
Jake: If I could be another species, it would be a squirrel. I’m not sure if that makes the squirrel my favorite species or not.

TCVF: Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?
Jake: Perfect Cinammon Buns from veganyumyum.com.

TCVF: What’s rockin’ your world this month?
Jake: Random Minneapolis festivals and the Mad City Vegan Fest was rockin’ my (and hopefully everyone’s) world this month!

If you’d like go above and beyond to help make the Twin Cities Veg Fest a success, please consider volunteering at the festival this year. We have all sorts of opportunities for all sorts of people. If you like talking to people, consider being a greeter or staffing one our tables. If you like hard work, you can help with transportation or setup. If you like garbage (hello Oscar) you can be on our maintenance team!

We also have opportunities to help out before the festival with bag stuffing and postering or after the festival with data entry and office cleanup. Whatever your schedule or temperament, we probably have something that will suit you.

Volunteering is a great way to meet fun people and contribute to a great cause. Your work in making the festival a success has a direct impact on animal suffering. When people come to the festival and have a great time they’re much more likely to make a positive step towards a plant-based lifestyle. As we convince people to reduce their consumption of animal products, fewer animals will be bred for a life of suffering. It’s a win for you and for the animals!

Check out our volunteer opportunities page for all the available volunteer slots.

Meet Liz Sias, one of our newest volunteer planners for the Twin Cities Veg Fest. Liz has been a great volunteer with Compassionate Action for Animals so we asked to her take the lead on volunteer coordination for the festival.

TCVF: What is your role on the Veg Fest team?
Liz: I’m the volunteer coordinator, which means it’s my job to recruit people and train them to help with anything and everything that needs to happen in order to make a fun and successful Veg Fest. From postering before the event to staffing booths and everything in between, Veg Fest relies on the great work of volunteers and it wouldn’t be successful without them.

TCVF: How did you get involved in planning the Veg Fest?
Liz: I’ve been volunteering with CAA for about a year, leafletting, helping out at events and planning the 2013 vegan chili cook-off. When offered the opportunity to help plan CAA’s biggest event, I couldn’t turn it down.

TCVF: What have you enjoyed most so far?
Liz: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know other CAA volunteers on the planning committee. Oh, and I got to visit Madison for Mad City Vegan Fest in June to help get the word out about Twin Cities Veg Fest, and that trip was a lot of fun. It’s been fun to see everything come together for this event as time passes.

TCVF: What are you most looking forward to?
Liz: I’m not going to lie, I’m most looking forward to all the free food samples! And, OK, meeting and working with all the amazing volunteers who help make Veg Fest happen.

TCVF: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Liz: I enjoy biking, especially on the Greenway and on the beautiful trails around Minneapolis. I also really like cooking and reading. And, of course, my biggest passion is advocating for animals with groups like CAA 🙂

TCVF:Who or what species is your favorite animal?
Liz: Isn’t this question speciesist? Just kidding. It’s hard to pick just one species. I love orcas (killer whales) because they’re so beautiful and I find their social lives and family groups interesting. I also love wolves. And lions, and all other species of cats. And goats are adorable. I can’t pick just one!

TCVF: Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?
Liz: Swiss Chard Frittata from the Post Punk Kitchen

TCVF: What’s rockin’ your world this month?
Liz: I’m excited that the weather has finally been cooperating, so I’ve been enjoying the outdoors with all sorts of festivals all summer, from Stone Arch Bridge Fest, to Open Streets, Twin Cities Pride and so many more.

If you’d like to help promote the Twin Cities Veg Fest on your own website, here are some great banner images you can use.



Smooth Animation


Two Frame Animation


Twin Cities Veg Fest LogoWe’ve just created the Facebook Event for this year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest. You can help promote the festival by liking this event, RSVPing as an attendee, and most importantly, inviting your friends and family to the event. We’ll have delicious free vegan food samples, great speakers, and awesome music. Please help us spread the word about this year’s great event!

We’ve just received our advertising posters and they look great! If you’d like to help us put them up, stay tuned to this blog, Facebook page, or Twitter stream for announcements of our postering parties. If you’d prefer to just come to the office and take some to put up on your own time, that’s great too. For example, why not take one and put it up at your workplace? Email us at info@tcvegfest.com to arrange to pick some up. We also have small flyers you can put out either with a poster or in places where a poster doesn’t work.



SpeakersWe’ve finalized our speaker schedules for both the Twin Cities Veg Fest on Saturday, October 26 and the Their Lives, Our Voices conference on Sunday, October 27.

We’re thrilled to have such a great collection of speakers joining us for both events. Our speakers include leaders of the national animal protection movement as well as a number of local activists and experts. At the Twin Cities Veg Fest, we’ll be covering topics such as the realities of animal agriculture, political action for animals, the lives of farm animals, the ethics of eating animals, and vegan nutrition. At Their Lives, Our Voices, we’ll go more in depth on many topics, along with a number of sessions on practical activism such as event organization, managing volunteers, long-term strategy, and more.

Mark your calendars now for the Twin Cities Veg Fest and register today for Their Lives, Our Voices. TLOV is only $20 (or $10 for students/low-income individuals)! We look forward to seeing you at both of these great events.

Meet Andrew Rockway, our rockin’ volunteer from the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN. He’s been incredibly helpful with Compassionate Action for Animals this past year so we asked him to assist in planning the post-Twin Cities Veg Fest animal advocacy conference, Their Lives, Our Voices (TLOV). Andrew was kind enough to break away from his busy day to answer a few questions for us.

TCVF: What have you enjoyed most about volunteering with Twin Cities Veg Fest so far?
Andrew: I enjoy interacting with all the people on the planning committee who are really awesome. Also the tasty food.

TCVF: What are you most looking forward to?
Andew: Can’t wait for the Veg Fest and TLOV. They’re bound to be informative and fun, which is the best combination.

TCVF: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Andrew: I enjoy reading, biking, and cooking.

TCVF: Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?
Andrew: Yes! Jackfruit Tacos from the Midwest Vaygun blog! Check it out.

TCVF: Who or what species is your favorite animal?
Andrew: I don’t have a favorite species of animal. All are equally worthy of life free from human exploitation, but cotton-top tamarins are pretty cool.

TCVF: Andrew, what’s rockin’ your world this month?
Andrew: What’s rockin my world? The Supreme Court? NSA revelations? Or if this is a music question, my good friends in the band Cousins. Have a listen.

TCVF: That is indeed rockin’, Andrew. Thanks a bunch!

We’ve confirmed our five speakers for this year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest, and we’re quite excited to share our line up with you.

This year we’re bringing in two great speakers from out of town, Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy for Animals, and  Nick Cooney, Compassionate Communities Campaign Manager at Farm Sanctuary. Nathan and Nick are both wonderful speakers with a lot share about farmed animals.

We’re also thrilled to have Christine Coughlin of Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection. Christine will tell you about her work on behalf of farm animals through lobbying efforts and political action in the Minnesota legislature. Jeff Johnson is an Assistant Professor of  Philosophy at St. Catherine University and a Compassionate Action for Animals board member. Jeff will discuss the ethical issues inherent to eating animals. Finally, registered dietitian Suzy Sorensen will talk about how to stay health on a plant-based diet.

Over the next few months we’ll have more details to share about each speaker’s talk as well as interviews with each speaker. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or by subscribing to our news feed.