Because we have a number of members in the greater Dallas area, we decided to try a Meetup in Dallas for a change. Where else would we begin exploring Dallas vegan eateries than the wonderful Spiral Diner? Our Earth Day event took place right down the street and some of us managed to sneak in for a quick ice cream treat to make the day even more glorious. Since that had been months ago, it was time to visit Spiral again. Not only does Spiral offer a wide variety of veganized comfort foods, but they have some terrific salads and inspiring desserts.
One of the best reasons for participating in our Meetups is meeting wonderful people. This event was no exception, with a new person joining us for the first time — welcome, Mary! We also had members that drove down from Denton — we appreciate the effort and hope they will join us at the Veggie State Fair in October, too. We hope our vegan hugs made the drive tolerable!
While there is nothing better than a Spiral meal, the acoustics make it very difficult to converse. Written updates were given out, but little business took place. We took in $20 in donations (thank you, thank you) which really helps, and looked at our upcoming events calendar. We also reviewed some potential projects for World Vegan Day and the State Veggie Fair in November and October respectively. We are waiting for quotes on a memorial tree planting plaque (WVD) and colored ARRNT tee shirts (SVF), as well as the cost of placing animal advocacy ads on the DART system. We are also needing to save up for our 501(c)3, so another garage sale may be in our future. Meanwhile, we are working to get a PayPal account for online donations – just a few more details to get it completed.
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.
On November 5th, just one day before our first ARRNT birthday, we met to watch Forks Over Knives and Bold Native films. Forks Over Knives is a documentary filled with good nutritional information that emphasizes the health benefits of a plant based diet. Bold Native is a fictional account of a troubled father-son relationship that allows the audience to learn about the plight of animals as a young man educates his own father about his reasons for risking it all to liberate all animals. This one brought tears to our eyes, but we all agreed that the brief but graphic slides of actual animal exploitation would be good for educating those who might view the film and are unaware of how most animals on this planet are abused. It is horrific, but it is also embedded in an interesting film that is a good vehicle for discussing methodology of outreach and education when it comes to increasing respect for animals. If you have not seen these films, you can find clips and even the full film online – check out YouTube for starters.
It was wonderful to share these intense films with other people who recognize the rights of animals to be free of our callous use of them.
The newly formed Executive Committee (Barb and Adam) met to set goals for the coming months and to establish a process for future growth. Meetings will continue on a quarterly or semi-annual basis as time permits. Our goal is to include more people into the Committee over the next year.
Outstanding issues included:
- Set up meetup at Serenity Springs Farm Animal Sanctuary
- Determine ARRNT’s role with Veggie State Fair in October
- Make Forks Over Knives and Bold Native films available to ARRNT members and friends
New business included:
- Division of tasks –
- Increase number of sites for posting ARRNT information
- Attend a UTA vegan club meeting
- Move towards 501(c)3 nonprofit status
- Hold a meetup in Fort Worth or Dallas (Spiral Diner)
- Table at a local event (Earth Day?)
- Add another assistant organizer to Executive Committee
- Leafleting at Kroger in Arlington
- Carpool to Veggie State Fair
- Viewing and vegan snacks: Forks Over Knives / Bold Native (possibly MFA’s Farm to Fridge)
- Trip to Serenity Springs Farm Animal Sanctuary in Forestburg
We have our Twitter account, are on Facebook and the Meetup page, and now on the web. Our business cards, outreach literature and promotional material will soon be seen in various locations around the Mid-Cities area and beyond. We now have 50 registered members and many, many more folks that follow us and support what we are doing. We are a registered DBA with Tarrant County as both Animal Rights & Rescue of North Texas and ARRNT. We have started doing outreach, have participated in a luncheon and workshop with Dr. Will Tuttle of The World Peace Diet, and have received assistance in the form of a merit award (thanks, VegFund!) and outreach literature (thank you, Boston Vegan Association!). We have a federal ID# and a bank account. We have a PayPal account where people may leave donations. We have our banners, are waiting to purchase our popup canopies for tabling, and are well on our way.
Primary during our first year or two is growing our membership. The best way to do this, aside from our online and community presence, is to invite friends to attend our events. Plans include
- Special Events
- Collaboration with other rescue groups
- Work Party at Farm Animal Sanctuary
- Become a 501(c)3 – nonprofit
- Purchase a popup canopy for outreach
- Increase Speakers Bureau
- Develop our own outreach literature
- Host social gatherings at vegan restaurants
- Attend vegan potlucks