by Barbara DeGrande
It has been two years since the idea for Animal Rights & Rescue originated. It was my 63rd birthday when I decided to see if there were any other vegan activists out there that might want to leaflet with me. Six months seemed like a reasonable amount of time to test the waters, so I began a Meetup group, paid the first six months of fees, and waited to see what might happen. I was fully prepared to close it down if no one joined but decided it was worth the effort to see who might come aboard.
To my surprise, a dozen people signed up for our very first meetup – and then not a single person showed up due a light snow in the morning. But it at least indicated there might be others who shared a concern for animals in the north Texas area, so we tried again. That first meeting had only four people, but three of them are still aboard. We recently passed 100 members on our Meetup site and plan to expand over the coming years.
Here is what we have done so far:
Calendar Year 2012
12/29/12 Planned, Vegan Cooking Class and Lasagna Dinner
November: Planned, Serenity Springs work party/potluck
11/6/2012 Second Anniversary ARRNT
11/3/2012 2nd Anniversary / World Vegan Month celebration Loving Hut
11/1/2012 World Vegan Day at UTA
10/21/2012 Texas State Veggie Fair
10/2/2012 World Day for Farm Animals at UTA
9/2/2012 Papaya Garden Vegan Buffet
8/19/2012 Peaceable Kingdom and Ice Cream Social
8/4/2012 Loving Hut 4 pm
7/21/2012 Meetup at Spiral Diner in Dallas
7/11/2012 Employee Health Fair / Medco
7/7/2012 Meetup at Loving Hut, reopened
6/28/2012 Green Day Employee Health Fair / Medco
6/17/2012 Potluck and One Lucky Elephant Film Viewing and Outreach
6/12/2012 Leafleting Compassionate Choices at El Centro College cancelled by MFA
6/2/2012 Last Chance for Loving Hut Meetup and Red Letter Day for Dolphins
5/5/2012 Cinco de Mayo Mexican Potluck and My Life As A Turkey Film Viewing
4/22/2012 Earth Day in Oak Cliff
3/20/2012 Meatout with Vegan Club at UTA
3/3/2012 Garage Sale Benefit
2/26/2012 Vegan Support for Occupy House (cancelled by Occupy House)
2/3/2012 Loving Hut Kick Off Meeting
Calendar Year 2011
12/10/11 Loving Hut meetup
11/5/2011 Film Viewing and Discussion
10/29/2011 Disaster Training, Red Rover, North Richland Hills
10/23/2011 Veggie State Fair
10/01/2011 Leafleting at Krogers in Arlington
9/10/2011 Garage Sale Benefit
8/21/2011 Loving Hut Meetup
7/23/2011 Leafleting at Central Market
6/5/2011 Potluck and Planning Meeting
5/15/2011 Vegan Luncheon and Will Tuttle Workshop
5/7/2011 Garage Sale Benefit
4/3/2011 Loving Hut Meetup
3/13/2011 Metroplex Animal Coalition Adoption Event
2/20/2011 Kick Off Meeting, Take Two
1/09/2011 Kick Off Meeting
11/6/2010 Opened Meetup group – Animal Rights & Rescue of North Texas
At the two year mark, we have not only survived — we are growing stronger. In the past month alone, we participated in three tabling events. We have collaborated with many other groups including: Vegan Club UTA, Metroplex Animal Coalition, Occupy Dallas, Mercy for Animals, Farm Animal Reform Movement. We recently connected with several other groups and plan to work with Animal Connection of Texas and Animal Rescue Corps over the next year.
The impact we may have in the north Texas area and beyond is limited only by the energy of those who care enough to step forward. If you are an ARRNT member, thank you for joining forces with us. If you follow us, thank you for your interest. We would not have made it without you!
With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Saturday, it seemed the perfect opportunity to celebrate vegan Mexican cuisine and hoist our Margaritas to the delicious flavors of our South of the Border neighbors. While our piñata seemed to have a lining made of lead, it nonetheless finally gave up its vegan contents when some real muscle arrived on the scene. We enjoyed burritos (the best ever!), tamales, mostly raw salad (hard to stop eating), salad, chips, salsa, and an accidentally Lemon Upside Down Tart. Despite the tart landing facedown on the oven door, not a scrap was left and no one went hungry. Next time we need to ask our friends to come, too, so we won’t have so many leftovers!
Documentary Film Viewing To Understand Other Animals
Best of all, we watched the touching film, My Life As A Turkey. This film is the journal of a man who spent over a year with a rafter of Wild Turkeys, from egg to adulthood. Alone, he became their pseudo mother and gained a deep affection and appreciation for these amazing animals. Like many other species, turkeys are often misunderstood and maligned, but this film helped educate us about their individuality, intelligence and ability to experience joy, fear, grief and anger. An excellent film to inspire debate, this film helped us to decide to make film viewing a regular part of our self-education and use them as potential for outreach to non-vegan friends and family as well.
If you missed this film, there will be another film viewing potluck in July. We will be showing One Lucky Elephant, the story of one man’s struggle to understand another animal and his determination to make right an earlier wrong.
On November 6, 2010, Animal Rights & Rescue took to the Meetup Pages in search of members. While it another few months before there were enough members for a meeting, it was exactly one year ago today that ARRNT was born. After one year, ARRNT tee shirts can be found in such faraway places as Invercargill, New Zealand and San Antonio Texas (thank you Jordan Wyatt and Cyndi Rook). With only a few months of meetups under our belt, we have done leafleting, had disaster training, formed an executive committee, trekked to the State Veggie Fair, held a film viewing, and shared many a vegan meal with like minded vegans. We have supported animal rescue groups and began to network with the wonderful rescue community.
We now have this website, a Twitter account (@ARRNorthTexas), a busy Facebook page, and a few dollars in the bank. We are registered as a DBA – ARRNT and Animal Rights & Rescue of North Texas. We have received support from such established groups as Animal Connection of Texas, DFW Wildlife, Invercargill Vegan Society, and St. Louis Animal Rights Team.
With such a busy year behind us, it is with great excitement that we ARRNTers look forward to what we will be thinking this time next year. Vegan cake, anyone?