Abolitionist Vegans for Peace

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Loving-Hut-is-OPEN Meetup!!

We cannot be sure exactly why, but Loving Hut decided to reopen as a restaurant with seating, with an expanded menu, and with some self-service additions.  Seeing that flashing OPEN sign on the window was a wonderful contrast to the dismal CLOSED sign we saw at our prior LH Meetup.  This Meetup was a record for ARRNT, with seventeen people attending (though only five were members).  Everyone was encouraged to join us on Meetup dot com and thanked for attending. These events not only help to galvanize the community to support our efforts, to support other animal advocates, but also help a struggling vegan business stay healthy and survive. We expect to be hosting monthly LH meet ups in addition to our other Meetups, too.

We also dropped off a dozen of our new ARRNT brochures, which delineate our commitments, reasons for going vegan, and online links for further information. We will check back to see if anyone picks up our flyers and note if anyone joins us because of them.

If you missed this great gathering, check our Facebook page for the next Loving Hut Meetup in August! And, have a wonderful summer.

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Interview with On Human Nonhuman Relations

by Barbara DeGrande

I was recently interviewed on OHNR by Dr. Roger Yates of Dublin. Dr. Yates has been one of the vegan pioneers and a mentor to me, helping me learn many things about animal rights. I felt honored to be on an OHNR podcast and was pleased to be able to highlight ARRNT and our work in educating others to respect and understand all animals.

Here is the podcast.

Dr. Yates is the former Press Officer for an animal liberation organization and brought up the important point of promoting our group. Dr. Yates is a true vegan pioneer and has much to teach us all about avoiding burnout and staying in the game.

Green Day at Irving Business Park

ARRNT was recently invited to participate in an employee Green Day festival which took place June 28, 2012.  The event was indoors, with all tables, setup and supplies provided for us.  We were even provided with two bottles of water and a coupon for lunch (although there was nothing available for vegans at this facility). The hosts were very hospitable and helped us take our outreach materials to our car at day’s end. While the number of participants was light, they informed us that their next festival, in Fort Worth in July, will be much better attended.

What We Heard

This was not only a great networking opportunity, it also afforded us a glimpse into Texas thinking. Some of the statements we heard:

“But we need to get calcium for our bones, don’t we?”

“I heard the mother cows crying for their calves all night; I never forgot that. Then I became a mother and it really hit me.”

“I am not going vegan. What else ya got?”

“So, are you for animals or are you vegans?” 

“I have a rescued cat.”

“I wouldn’t know what to cook”

Do you know of any classes on how to transition to veganism?”

As in past tabling events, we gave out many informational sheets and found a new home for a vegan cookbook, My Sweet Vegan. Two women were excited to see the possibilities and begin thinking of new ways to get their families on board plant-based eating.

Englarging the Tent

Many folks seem to realize that companion animals like cats and dogs are individuals with distinct personalities. Most struggled to consider that other animals, ones with which they are unfamiliar, may be similarly individualistic. But most listened, asked questions, and picked up brochures such as Respecting Animals by Boston Vegan Association.

Some were shocked to hear about the decimation of marine life, the pollution caused by animal agriculture, or the sensitivity of other animals. Because the facility was indoors, there was no problem with wind, temperature, or sound. This allowed us to really concentrate of answering questions. Nearly everyone that came by took at least a few brochures.

Premiering, and possibly the most popular information sheet taken was our new promotional flyer for our own group.  It includes our commitments, reasons for going vegan, suggestions of action anyone can take, and links for further information as well as ARRNT contact information.

Setting the Stage for Change

We will be allowed to bring vegan goodies to the July event, which always seems to draw a crowd and change attitudes about vegan food. Anyone willing to donate vegan brownies, vegan cookies, of volunteer at the event, please sign up on our Meetup page.

This year’s business fairs are only prelude for what is to follow. Establishing these important, positive connections will allow us to be more effective in changing things for other animals. Don’t miss it – join our efforts!

One Lucky Elephant at One Lovely Potluck

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At the request of those who have attended past film viewings, we held another one in close succession. If you recall, our last film was My Life As A Turkey, the amazing tale of a man who raised a rafter of wild turkeys without any human contact for over a year. This time, we focused on the life of a captive elephant who was raised as one man’s daughter — albeit a working daughter — in One Lucky Elephant. The man used the elephant, Flora, in his circus and realized after her adolescence, that he needed to let her become an elephant among other elephants.  This documentary exposes the tragedy that occurs when other animals are used for human entertainment or comfort without knowledge of the emotional and physical needs of the elephant.  There are over 600 elephants in North America, and all of them have experienced devastating trauma, physical discomfort and torment, and emotional distress and devastation. We learned that these majestic elephants require about 450 pounds per day of food, and need many, many miles to traverse. They are also herd animals and as such belong with their own herd. But reintroducing an only child into a group of elephants may become challenging and even deadly. Since an elephant I know from the past and her former female caregiver were both in the film, it was doubly meaningful to me.

ARRNT News Updates

The potluck was, as always, a way to taste many new plant-based dishes among good company.  We discussed briefly some news for the group:

  • We have been invited to participate in a tabling event that is an employee health fair
  • We have signed up to be on a site for in-kind donations
  • We were awarded a $100 grant and received a $100 donation in exchange for a week of dogsitting

We also need to plan for the following upcoming events:

  • An inreach – we will be leaving brochures at selected sites and monitoring which leaflets are being picked up
  • The Texas State Veggie Fair in October
  • World Vegan Day in November

Ongoing ARRNT Business

We continue to need to promote the group to find people willing to work to educate others about the significance of other animals, and to find ways of receiving financial support.

Our next meeting will be at the Dallas Spiral Diner on July 21st at 2:00 pm.  See you there!

Last Chance for Loving Hut

On Saturday, 26 May 2012, ARRNT members planned to meet at the Arlington Loving Hut for the final time. Sadly, the restaurant was unable to continue as a full service restaurant and will be converting to a take-out only service to be called Vegan Express. Vegan Express will service local business people and residents only between 11 and 3 pm, M-F, making it impossible as a venue for future meet ups. They are reportedly taking out all seating, just to seal the deal, and with no weekend service, it means we will not be able to visit the new Vegan Express en masse.

Loving Loving Hut!

Despite being reassured that the restaurant would be open and functioning on Saturday, May 26, 2012; despite them being closed due to an alleged broken AC  on Tuesday night; despite them planning to close between 3 pm and 5 pm on Saturday; despite all the changes we made so we could patronize their restaurant one last time –when we arrived, we found them to be closed – forever. A kind member of Vegan101 had noticed our meetup plans and tried to contact us when they went for an early lunch and had noticed our plans for the meetup that same day. (Thank you John!) However, it was too late to catch everyone but one person, who agreed to meet there anyway and wait til our members showed up.

Freebirds (We Like the Sound of THAT!)

We waited til about 1:20 and then headed over to try to find Freebirds, a restaurant known to have vegan beans, rice and tortillas, and plenty of vegan fillings.  Not only that, but Freebirds is also known to be an enterprise that donates time to animal adoptions and other civic events.  After driving around the Arlington Highlands searching for a non-existent PeiWei, we finally found Freebirds and a late-arriving new member, who caught up with us out front of the build-your-own-burrito establishment.  By then, we were so hungry we were ready to eat chips, salsa, whatever they  had, but were surprised at the generous portions and choices for vegans. (Beware: even the smallest burritos are pretty hefty!)

Seeing Red for Animals

While most of the time was spent getting to know one of our new members, we also signed letters for the Red Letter Day for Dolphins. Some members even took extra copies home to try to gain more signatures —  it all helps. The idea is to help the officials See Red, not turn the Sea Red for the annual dolphin slaughter. This horrific event results in a few captured dolphins, separated from their families, while the rest are slaughtered in brutal fashion. All letters were respectful and will be mailed out before June 6th so that, hopefully, the officials will receive a million red envelopes and respect the lives of these amazing sentient animals.

Our next events will be a college leafleting event June 12th and the film viewing on June 17th of One Lucky Elephant, along with a potluck and planning for future events. Please consider joining us and bringing along a friend or family member. The film is a heart-tugging, thoughtful examination of the human-nonhuman alliance and how our limited awareness impacts others. Don’t miss it!

Cinco de Mayo Mexican Vegan Potluck and Film Viewing Party

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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.

Oak Cliff Earth Day and ARRNT’s Tabling Premier

Char helped with absolutely everything!

Barb spreading the word on Earth Day

On a hot, blue-sky day, Animal Rights & Rescue unveiled our new gold canopy, logo banner, and table coverings at the Oak Cliff Earth Day. The organizers of the event were welcoming, helpful, and created a well-run event that resulted in neighbors joining with neighbors in sharing space, time and work. The spirit of cooperation led ARRNT to combine forces with many other groups including rescues, vegan advocacy groups, environmental groups, health groups, and educators.  We are hoping that this one festival will create many new networking opportunities for our group as well.

While our space overlooking the lake was not as high volume as some, it was by far the loveliest. We did have many people stop by and take literature, talk with us, procure a reusable shopping bag (courtesy of Oak Cliff Shell) and a few lucky shoppers were given a free book if they expressed interest in the topic. The Kid’s Table, all of two feet tall, had its own custom covering to match the larger table, and it was a hit with the younger set. Free necklace with animal photos were given to many children, as were facts about the chosen animals.

If you missed it, consider the upcoming Texas State Veggie Fair in October. With an increasing number of vendors, this should be the best By then we will know how to set up and take down the tent and have a better idea what works to get the public interested in our booth.

Beautiful Lake Cliff Park on a gorgeous Spring Day!

Claire, Adam and Ellie man the booth