JUNE 21, 2012 12:32 PM

Local media outlets greet Burritotown with a well-deserved hero's welcome!
The early reviews are in, and all indications point to massive success for Burritotown--Grand Rapids' brand-spankin' new vegan-diner-within-a-vegan-diner that, beginning on July 6, will be slinging tacos and burritos to hungry night-owls from 10pm to 3am (Wednesday to Sunday) after Bartertown closes its doors for the day. If you haven't tapped into the buzz yet, make sure to check out what The Rapidian, Rapid Growth Media, and Vegan Grand Rapids have to say about the hardest-core soft-opening our fair city has seen since Bartertown blew it up over a year ago.

Best ingredients money can't buy: real food, radical ideas, dynamite creativity.
The genius of Burritotown is that it takes everything we love about Bartertown--fresh, responsibly-sourced food, an empowering environment, and inspirational people-- and wraps it all up into an irresistible package that is available to everyone at a time of day when demand for food is high, but ready access to beautiful, sustainable, healthful options is virtually non-existent. Thanks to Burritotown, Grand Rapidians will soon enjoy regular opportunities to dine out late without killing ourselves in the process.

The big difference: being the change they want to see in Grand Rapids!
And the feel-good factor in supporting Burritotown is as much about social and spiritual sustenance as it is about physical sustenance. Do a little research on the people behind the food (Brandon Hill, Dallas McCulloch, and Ryan Cappelletti), and you'll discover individual and collective contributions to life in West Michigan that are transforming our region into the hub of progressive midwestern culture that we are grand rapidly becoming. We have one or more of them to thank, for instance, for documenting what it's like to live in the best beer state in the union, unleashing some of the world's most ferocious conscience-core, initiating a bomber craft-brewing co-op, founding a blistering punk scene, keeping the dubstep party on, growing one of the most radical farm-to-table enterprises in America, and--of course--revolutionizing vegan culture in West Michigan again, and again, and again, and yet again. Spread the good word, like 'em up on Facebook, and let's set this new jewel into the GR crown for keeps!

JANUARY 9, 2012 2:27 AM

Big Update at WakeUpWeekend.Com!
If you haven't checked out the new website yet, now's the time! You'll find an updated schedule with abstracts and dozens of links pertaining to lectures, workshops, and other events, as well as new posts on 3 terrific sponsorships and a grant and veg eats in Grand Rapids. Stay tuned for further updates on the KINSHIP Exhibition, the Sixth Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off, and the Adoption Benefit Show! Also, please consider liking us on Facebook and sharing our new website in your status to help us generate buzz and boost attendance. Thanks in advance for your help! We can't do it without you!

JANUARY 4, 2012 12:45 AM

Posters Hot Off the Press and a New Online Home!
With just over two weeks until blast-off, posters are going up and we've got a brand-new dedicated website up at wakeupweekend.com! By entering your email address and clicking the "Follow" button on the bottom of the sidebar at the right, you'll enroll for email updates that will keep you apprised of all new developments. Look for short abstracts of the above listed events (along with links to venue maps) later this week, as well as an invitation to sharpen up your vegan chili chops for this year's CHILI-TIME SHOWDOWN. In the meanwhile, please direct all ideas, feedback, kind offers to be a clean-up crew volunteer, and early-admissions chili intentions to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

DECEMBER 22, 2011 3:30 AM

Mark your calendars for January 19-21, 2012 in Grand Rapids, MI
The 2012 Wake Up Weekend Vegan Chili Cook-off is just a month away! And what better time to heighten the anticipation than to give you a taste of what's in store for the biggest Wake Up Weekend ever! What do I mean by big? Allow me to explain.

Wayne Pacelle, "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them"
Thursday, January 19, 7:30 pm, Calvin College Chapel
Wayne Pacelle, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, will kick things off with a public lecture on his new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them. Called The Barnyard Strategist by the New York Times, Pacelle's journey as the leader of the largest animal protection organization in the United States has taken him everywhere from animal rescue operations, to demonstrations on Capitol Hill, to the sets of The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show. Learn more about his motivation for writing the The Bond here, and then join us on the 19th to get your autographed copy at the reception and book-signing following his lecture.

Bryant Terry, 5th Annual Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture
"Out of the Factories and Into the Fields: Cooking as Inspiration for Liberation"
Friday, January 20, 3:30 pm, Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
Whether he's urban farming in his home city of Oakland, articulating a new politics of food activism, or dishing up greens with Martha Stewart, Bryant Terry is all about re-envisioning cooking as a powerful tool for exposing interconnected forms of human and animal oppression, and inspiring our liberation into more redemptive ways of eating and of being together around the table, around the neighborhood, and around the world. In this, his second Wake Up Weekend appearance, Bryant will bestow upon us the honor of pre-releasing his brand new book, The Inspired Vegan, due out for the rest of the world on January 24. Meet Bryant and get your signed copy hot off the press at a reception following the address that will also feature catered appetizers from the book.

Nathan Runkle, "Inspiring Compassion: Putting Our Ethics on the Table"
Saturday, January 21, 3:00 pm, 106 Gallery, 106 South Division, Grand Rapids
When I was 15, I was mostly chewing gum, lifting weights, and listening to hair metal. When Nathan Runkle was 15, he founded Mercy For Animals, thereby laying the groundwork for what has become, a decade later, the premiere boots-on-the-ground animal advocacy organization in America. When it comes to exposing the injustices that animals undergo in modern food systems, Mercy For Animals is in a league of its own. Heard about that Norco Ranch investigation that helped to seal a landslide victory for Proposition 2 in California? MFA. How about the investigation of Sparbo Farms that recently resulted in McDonald's and Target dropping their main egg suppliers? Also MFA. When he's not appearing on CNN, Nathan and his organization are behind the scenes investigating cruelty and mobilizing the resulting footage into award-winning documentary films such as Fowl Play and Farm to Fridge that are changing the way the next generation thinks about, buys, and eats food.

A Weekend With All the Fixins'
And of course, we'll set off all of the above with the usual array of Wake Up Weekend fineries: a vegan potluck on Friday night, a vegan brunch on Saturday morning, an amazing art exhibition (titled KINSHIP curated by Brett Colley and featuring work by Adam Wolpa) and the VEGAN CHILI COOK-OFF on Saturday evening, and benefit show on Saturday night! Stay tuned for the official poster and schedule detailing the whole nine yards COMING SOON! As ever, all of these terrific community events--with the exception of the Saturday brunch ($12)--are free and open to the public! See you at Wake Up Weekend 2012!

NOVEMBER 29, 2011 10:01 PM

Paul Shapiro on Showing Mercy to All Creation
On the chance that you missed Paul Shapiro's excellent lecture at Calvin College last week, here's a link to a video of the talk courtesy of the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship. Stay tuned for some amazing photos of what showed up at the Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck following the talk!

NOVEMBER 17, 2011 4:10 PM

A Feast For the Mind, Heart, and Stomach with a Great American Activist!
Paul Shapiro is on the vanguard of the American animal protection movement. When Paul talks about animals and food, people listen. From members of the food industry, to journalists and social critics who write about it, to animal advocates seeking to reform it, all parties to the discussion are playing close attention to Paul Shapiro.

Paul's talk, "Blessed Are the Meek: Showing Mercy to All Creation", will address the prominent role played by the standard American diet in exacerbating various moral and practical problems for human beings, animals, and the environment, and then go on to suggest that a commitment to more intentional eating practices can be a powerful tool for people of faith who wish to seek justice, love mercy, and tread a bit more lightly on the planet. Wherever one may stand on matters religious, all animal advocates have a vested interest in being able to understand and communicate with audiences of faith, so coming out to hear what Paul has to say is in everyone's best interest!

Please join us for a Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck immediately following the talk. This potluck is the perfect opportunity for those unfamiliar with the diversity, beauty, and deliciousness of plant-based cuisine to enjoy a very pleasant surprise! The hope is that anyone and everyone who loves a good old fashioned holiday feed will join the fun! If you cook, please consider showing off your talents by bringing a dish to share. Also, please bring your own table service to help us decrease our carbon footprint.

To learn more about the speaker, visit the websites for the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship or the Humane Society of the United States. For inspiration on what to bring to the potluck, visit ChooseVeg.com or VegKitchen.com. Hope to see you on Monday!

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011 1:16 PM

Put on your Comfy Shoes and Walk for Justice on October 9, 2011!
I had intended to get this post up a bit earlier in the game, but there is still time to join in the fun at this year's Grand Rapids Walk for Animals. Get inspired by learning about the history and the vision behind this long-standing Farm Sanctuary tradition, and then visit the Facebook pages of Grand Rapids Walk for Animals and VegWestMichigan for details on how to get involved. Even if you can't commit to fundraising as a registered walker, you can always make a pledge of support to any of the 50+ people in our community who have already signed up to carry the banner for Grand Rapids!

Hey Couch Potatoes! Need a Little Extra Motivation?
Would you be more enthusiastic about skipping Bones re-runs to get out for the walk if Bones herself told you git 'er done? Well, turns out you're in luck! Listen to Bones and join the team or make a pledge!

JUNE 16, 2011 11:55 PM

Just two days left to claim your Bartertown Kickstarter prize package!
With a successful kickstart in the bag, several packed-out private events under their belt, an impressive soft-opening behind them, and a series of free vegan cooking classes already underway, Bartertown Diner and Roc's Cakes is just days away from being open to the public. It's also just days away--two days, in fact--from closing out its kickstarter effort, which means that all those incredible incentives and prizes offered in return for your early support of the restaurant are going away too! Remember: $10,000 was the minimum amount that had to be raised for funding to take place, and while that minimum goal has been met, we are still free--for the next two days--to put our money where our mouths are and cash in on those limited-edition rewards. Feast your eyes on what your support can help to make possible in our fair city:

JUNE 16, 2011 1:57 PM

Support Local Fellowship and Global Justice By Eating Vegan Baked Goods!
I realize it's a lot to ask. To be sure, being the change you want to see in the world by eating lemon ginger lace cookies, orange cranberry scones, sweet potato chocolate chip muffins, coconut heaven cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and raw chocolate truffles (among other culinary hardships) demands significant self-sacrifice. Nonetheless, the good folks at Square Inch Community would have us kick our selfish interests to the curb and support them in a new initiative--The Ready Table--designed to help Square Inch members, their friends and family, and anyone else who is interested to learn various lost arts of living that enhance fellowship in our communities and help us to live more intentional, compassionate, sustainable, and just lives as individuals and families.

Cooking, Baking, Canning, Fermenting, Dehydrating, and Sewing with a Purpose
Local artist, blogger, and Ready Table coordinator Erika Jane describes the project as follows:

"When our church was transitioning from meeting in our pastor's home to meeting in a larger shared community space we had many discussions about what we wanted our church to be. One common hope was to keep the feeling of family and home even though the meeting space would no longer be an actual home. The solution we have come up with is to have monthly workshops where we make things together that are typically made with family at home. We are naming this project The Ready Table. There is significance to engaging intentionally in DIY practice within a contemporary convenience culture, where anything you could ever want is on roll-out at Walmart. Educating and instructing each other, we can work together towards more simple living, in hopes of bringing Shalom."

Place your order by Wednesday, June 22 for pick-up on Sunday, June 26!
The intent of the vegan bake sale is to raise awareness of The Ready Table initiative, as well as funds to put on its free community workshops, the first of which--a vegan baking class led by Erika Jane, Marie Dershem, and Susan Halteman--is scheduled for later this month. In addition, 25% of the bake sale proceeds will support the efforts of sixth-grade Square Incher Hannah Dershem and her friends to raise money for GirlUp!, a United Nations Foundation program that seeks to ameliorate the lives of adolescent girls living in underserved or high-risk communities around the world. Presuming you're ready to stuff your face for justice (or even just for the love of baked goods that rule!), fill out the following order form by June 22 (or click here if your browser doesn't like the embedded version). Happy eating!

JUNE 13, 2011 10:55 PM

This Weekend! Green Cuisine on the Silver Screen at the Star Theater!
Starting this Friday, June 17, the acclaimed documentary film Forks Over Knives will be in town for a short run at the Star Theater. Peruse show times, purchase your tickets in advance, and give that omnivorous friend or family member the gift of potentially life-saving insight into the plentiful benefits of plant-based eating. Curious about the pros and cons of the film's approach? Check out these reviews by Roger Ebert and the author of a blog called Let Them Eat Meat. We're all for hearing both sides of the story here. And lest we stand accused of ignoring the off-point ranting of overrated hacks who can't imagine life without cheeseburgers, here's Rex Reed's take on the film.

JUNE 10, 2011 11:35 PM

MAY 5, 2011 9:34 AM

Put your money where your mouth is so we can start eating!
If you're as excited as I am about the massive influx of vegan cuisine, creativity, education, and excitement that the opening of Bartertown Diner and Roc's Cakes will bring to the world, then please do your part to kickstart Bartertown. While giving to a good cause is its own reward, in this case you needn't even be an altruist, as there are some amazing returns on your investment: from limited edition postcards, t-shirts, and aprons, to the opportunity to name menu items, to custom catered in-home dinner parties and events, to your face painted into the mural, every pledge level entitles you to a piece of Bartertown history along with the bragging rights that come with being a Bartertown Backer.

Something for everyone!
If you're feeling especially generous, there's even a box to click to pledge your support with no strings attached so that our friends can reinvest the totality of your gift in the business. And even if you can't pledge any financial support at present, you can still be an important part of the team by pledging solidarity on their Facebook page and spreading the good word to your supportive friends and family! Don't miss this opportunity to help Grand Rapids take a GIANT LEAP toward our goal of becoming the vegan capital of the midwest! Stay tuned to extraVEGANza! for exclusive sneak-peeks of mural progress, menu development, and--of course--drool-inducing photos of Bartertown fare.

FEBRUARY 23, 2011 10:28 AM

All events are free and open to the public (excluding the optional vegan buffet at Brick Road Pizza on Saturday morning ($11.00) and the Adoption Benefit Show on Saturday evening ($6.00). Donations to defray costs are cheerfully accepted. Questions? Write to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

Our annual two-day celebration of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by Bartertown Diner and Roc's Cakes, Brick Road Pizza, Calvin College Students for Compassionate Living, ExtraVEGANza!, Farm Kind, Humane Society of GVSU, Not One Sparrow, VegWestMichigan, and VegFund.

7:30 pm--Carol J. Adams, "The Sexual Politics of Meat"
Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Calvin College
A vegan reception and book signing follows the lecture.

Some 20 years ago, "feminist-vegetarian critical theory" was born in the groundbreaking publication of Carol J. Adams's The Sexual Politics of Meat. Adams's thesis is that meat-eating is a central symbol of the patriarchy, and that we can't dismantle harmful systems of male domination until we recognize the link between how women are objectified and (visually) consumed and how animals are objectified and (literally) consumed. Adams's powerful multi-media presentation is the result of two decades of her continued work mapping the interdisciplinary terrain opened by this provocative thesis across the fields of theology, philosophy, visual culture, literary theory, psychology, eco-feminism, and social work in domestic violence education and prevention.

3:00 pm--Nathan Runkle, "Inspiring Compassion"
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College

Join the Founder and Executive Director of Mercy For Animals--one of the nation's most influential animal advocacy organizations--for a workshop on how our current food system affects the interests of our fellow non-human creatures, and how our food choices can become powerful tools for cultivating the virtues of compassion, mercy, and good stewardship.

5:00 pm--"Compassionate Comestibles" Vegan Potluck**
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College
Hosted by Students for Compassionate Living

At an event where omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans are coming together in fellowship, a vegan bill of fare insures that everyone can enjoy what's on the menu! What's your favorite vegan recipe? Bring a dish to share and find out where others come down on this appetizing question! Need a few ideas? Vegan Yum Yum, Post Punk Kitchen, and ChooseVeg never disappoint.

**Please help us to reduce our ecological footprint by bringing your own washable or recyclable dinnerware and perhaps an extra setting or two for our out-of-town guests and last-minute participants; a limited number of recyclables will be on hand for those without table service.

7:30 pm--Carol J. Adams, Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series***
Fourth Annual Address: "Anthropomorphism: The Christian Double Standard"
Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, Calvin College
A vegan reception and book signing follows the lecture.

Anthropomorphism, roughly speaking, is the ascription of human-like traits to non-human beings. How does anthropomorphism figure into human attitudes and actions toward God, animals, and even other human beings? What are the potential risks and rewards of anthropomorphizing others and what recourse do Christians have upon acknowledging these prospects for re-imagining and deepening their relationships with God, human beings, and other animals? Come follow Carol J. Adams on a trailblazing journey through these and other fascinating related questions in a brand new presentation commissioned especially for this event!

***The Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series is an independent event established by a friend of Calvin College and supported this year by additional help from Calvin College Gender Studies and The Office of Multicultural Affairs. Since the lecture is free and open to the public and likely to be of interest to Wake Up Weekend participants, the College has kindly permitted us to include Adams' lecture on our program.

10:00 am--Harold Brown, "Veganic Agriculture"
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids

Join Harold Brown, President of FarmKind and star of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, for a state-of-the-field discussion of recent developments in veganic agriculture--the practice of organic farming without the use of animals and their byproducts or the killing of free-living animals who reside on or around the farm.

11:30 am--Vegan Brunch
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids

A vegan buffet of Brick Road brunch favorites: all you can eat for $11.00 (kids half price!). Need I say more?

1:00 pm--Ben DeVries, "Why Creation Care Needs Creature Care"
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids

While many Christians are increasingly hospitable to the idea that environmental stewardship or "creation care" is an important aspect of Christian living, comparatively few have investigated the implications of that idea for their attitudes toward and practices concerning the non-human animal creatures with whom we share the Earth. Join Ben DeVries, founder of the web-based animal welfare organization Not One Sparrow: A Christian Voice for Animals, to learn more about why authentic "creation care" demands a serious commitment to "creature care".

5:00 pm--Fifth Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff
Bartertown Diner and Roc's Cakes, 6 Jefferson, Grand Rapids

In addition to the chili-time magic you've come to expect from you and your peers' relentless pursuit of the perfect vegan chili, this year's highly-anticipated cookoff will also feature eats and sweets compassionately crafted by our hosts--the good folks at Bartertown Diner and Roc's Cakes. This event is open to the public and the privilege of tasting chilis and sampling Bartertown's wares is completely free of charge. But if you want a shot at the bragging rights, there is an entry fee of $10 per chili payable at the event. As if you need any further incentive, first prize is $50 in Bartertown Bucks, a Guest Chef Internship at Bartertown, your chili on the menu, and a limited edition t-shirt. There will also be prizes for 2nd and 3rd place as well as for the coveted Chili-time People's Choice Award.

If you plan to enter a chili into competition, please send an e-mail to chilicookoff@bartertowngr.com at your earliest convenience. In a pinch, you slackers out there can still register a chili on the day of the event, but it will greatly help our planning to know your intentions in advance. Please plan to have your chili on site and ready to eat by 4:30 pm.

8:00 pm--Adoption Benefit Show
featuring Damned Dogs, Radiator Hospital, and Royl Space
(106), 106 South Division, Grand Rapids

Your $6.00 admission gets you three musical acts for one great cause: our goal is to raise $420 to cover a year's room and board at Sasha Farm for Moose, a former veal calf who will be relocating to the sanctuary later this month. Read all about it at our Adoption Benefit Show event page.

Questions? Need more information? Drop a line to wakeupweekend@gmail.com! See you at Wake Up Weekend 2011!

FEBRUARY 15, 2011 11:40 PM

Brick Road Fundraiser
Stuff Your Face for a Good Cause on Sunday, February 20!
Remember how much fun we had at Brick Road Pizza during last year's Wake Up Weekend festivities? Well, they're looking forward to having us back again this year, and to help us put on a good show, they're hosting a fundraiser for us this coming Sunday, February 20, 2011 from 11 am to 2 pm. Your $11.00 admission (kids half price!) gets you an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet as well as a euphoric altruism-induced buzz from the knowledge that 25% of the proceeds will go to help us pull off one of the most ambitious Wake Up Weekends ever, including two evening lectures by feminist vegan legend Carol J. Adams, workshops on animal rights activism (Nathan Runkle), veganic agriculture (Harold Brown), and religious animal welfare advocacy (Ben DeVries), and a vegan chili cook-off hosted by our new friends at Bartertown--Grand Rapids' brand spankin' new vegan diner and cakeshop. Wake Up Weekend kicks off on March 10 (stay tuned for further details and a full program), but please join us on Sunday to get the ball rolling!

JANUARY 3, 2011 10:42 AM

Vegan Frozen Pizza and Other Reasons to Revel in the Arrival of 2011!
If the advent of Tofurky Pepperoni Pizza isn't a reason to celebrate the new year, I don't know what is. But there are plenty of other reasons too. For instance, the weather should be a bit better than usual for this year's Wake Up Weekend, which we've moved to March 10-12 to accommodate the schedule of our headline speaker, Carol J. Adams. (Learn more by reading all about her recent presentations at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley, or check out this old extraVEGANza! write-up on her groundbreaking vegan feminism. We're hoping to have Harold Brown in town as well for a screening of Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home". Stay tuned for further details!

NOVEMBER 9, 2010 7:56 PM

Sunday! Get Your Place in Line to Benefit Sasha Farm!
From 11am to 3pm this Sunday, November 14, Brick Road Pizza Company will host an all-you-can-eat vegan Thanksgiving buffet to benefit Sasha Farm, Michigan's largest sanctuary for rescued farm animals. Admission is $12; kids 12 and under are free! For more information on the event or if you have any questions, simply click here to read all about it. Hope to see you on Sunday!

MARCH 25, 2010 10:49 AM

Picture 1
Join in the Fun and Support Our Friends at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Those of you Wake Up Weekenders who had the privilege of attending Nekeisha Alexis-Baker's presentation on Racism, Sexism, and Speciesism back in 2009 know very well that anything she puts her hand to is well worth attending. That's why I thought you might like to know about a free concert she's promoting on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN, featuring Seth Martin and the Menders, a band of good old fashioned folk agitators with members hailing from all over the globe (have banjo, will travel!). Elkhart is just a short drive due south, but if you can't spare the time on a weeknight, you can still check out the music, fan them up on Facebook, and spread the good word to friends and family in or around Elkhart. What's the animal connection, you ask? Seth's got a song in the new documentary film The War On Animals. Check out the trailers here, but a word of warning--they are not for the faint of heart.

FEBRUARY 7, 2010 10:35 PM

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words!
What do activists, artists, chili cook-offs, community organizers, eco-chefs, panel discussions, philosophers, potlucks, restauranteurs, town hall meetings, and a combined event total of over 600 participants have in common? Wake Up Weekend, that's what! Thanks for helping to make 2010 our most successful year to date! Have some ideas about what you'd like to see happen in 2011? Send them to wakeupweekend@gmail.com. In the meanwhile, see if you can locate your smiling face among the crowds!
The Many Faces of Food Activism
Animals and the Kingdom of God
Sold Out!
Live Cooking Demo
Bryant Cooks
Meeting Bryant
Capacity Crowd at Brick Road
Gendered Eating
Just Eating
Named and Nameless
Brett Colley
Kate Daughdrill
Adam Wolpa
Erika Jane
Full Gallery
Chili Judges
Chili Tins
And the Winners Are...
IYA Chili
Spicy #12
Chef's Choice
Chili Cookoff

JANUARY 16, 2010 12:06 PM

Chili Photo
In Just One Week, A New Champion Will Be Crowned!
If you plan to enter a chili into competition, please send an e-mail to wakeupweekend@gmail.com ASAP and tell us: (1) your name, (2) contact number, (3) e-mail, (4) recipe name and (5) recipe description (optional).You may register on-site at the event as well, but it would help us in our planning to have some idea of how many entries there will be. Last year's festivities drew a record-shattering 28 chili entries--Can we raise the bar to 30 this year? Not without YOUR help!

The Details
The showdown begins at 7 pm sharp on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the gallery at 106 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI. If you have a crockpot or some alternate means of keeping your chili warm throughout the competition, we encourage you to use it. Please arrive no later than 6:30 so that we can have your chili ready to serve promptly at 7:00 pm.

Can't Contribute a Chili?
That's okay! There are plenty of other ways to participate. We'll need people to bring soft drinks, chips and dips, and other finger foods to supplement the chilis, as well as extra bowls, plates, cups and utensils to share with those who forget to bring their own.If you can help in any of these ways, please drop a line to wakeupweekend@gmail.com

Get Smart: Sample 12 Chilis at a Time
Several attendees at last year's event had the wherewithal to think ahead about how to maximize their chili-tasting prospects. Their solution? Bring a muffin tin!
Muffin Tin

Looking for the Wake Up Weekend 2010 Official Schedule? Click here!

JANUARY 8, 2010 11:57 AM

*All events are free and open to the public (excluding the optional vegan soul food buffet after Bryant Terry's cooking demo; the buffet is just $10.00 per person at the door). Donations to defray costs are cheerfully accepted. Questions? Write to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

Our annual two-day celebration of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by Animals & Society Institute, Brick Road Pizza Company, Christian Vegetarian Association of West Michigan, DAAC, ExtraVEGANza!, G-Rad, Not One Sparrow, OrganicAthlete of Grand Rapids, Students for Compassionate Living, and VegWestMichigan.

2:30 pm--The Many Faces of Food Activism
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College

Stay on the cutting edge of the movement by learning from the people who are making it happen. From rights to welfare, from religion to art to politics, from veganic agriculture to urban gardening to Proposition 2, our panelists know the score. Join us for this workshop and you will too!

Harold Brown (Farm Kind, Hector, NY)
Brett Colley (Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI)
Ben DeVries (Not One Sparrow, Kenosha, WI)
Lisa Oliver-King (Our Kitchen Table, Grand Rapids, MI)
Paul Shapiro (Humane Society of the United States)

5:30 pm--"Compassionate Comestibles" Vegan Potluck*
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College
*Hosted by Students for Compassionate Living

At an event where omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans are coming together in fellowship, a vegan bill of fare insures that everyone can enjoy what's on the menu! What's your favorite vegan recipe? Bring a dish to share and find out where others come down on this appetizing question! Need a few ideas? Vegan Yum Yum and Post Punk Kitchen never disappoint.

***Please help us to reduce our ecological footprint by bringing your own washable or recyclable dinnerware*** and perhaps an extra setting or two for our out-of-town guests and last-minute participants; a limited number of recyclables will be on hand for those without table service.

7:30 pm--Third Annual Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture*
The Chapel Undercroft, Calvin College.

"Animal Sacrifices", Dr. John E. Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University.

*The Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series is an independent event established by a friend of Calvin College. Since the lecture is free and open to the public and likely to be of interest to Wake Up Weekend participants, the College has kindly allowed us to include Professor Hare's address on our schedule.

11:00 am--Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids

Why read about him in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, or Mother Jones Magazine, when you can hang with Bryant Terry in person right here in Grand Rapids, get some expert instruction on how to battle the social ills of structural racism and food insecurity by eating more sustainably and compassionately, and then stick around for an optional $10 all-you-can-eat buffet custom designed for the event by Bryant himself. Copies of Vegan Soul Kitchen will be available for purchase on site! Already have it? Bring it along and turn it into an autographed copy!

*Bryant's visit is generously sponsored by the Calvin College Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Activities Office, the departments of Art and Art History, Biology, and Philosophy, Students for Compassionate Living, and our friends at Brick Road Pizza Company.

2:30 pm--Lecture: "Justice for Animals: What May We Hope?"
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids

Dr. Andrew Chignell, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.

3:30 pm--Town Hall Meeting: Just Eating--Making a Difference in YOUR TOWN, USA
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids

Join our panel of activists, professors and friends for an open discussion on approaches to transforming local food systems in cities such as Grand Rapids, MI, Ithaca, NY, Washington, D.C., and others.

5:30 pm--Opening Reception: Named and Nameless
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids

An exhibition featuring the work of Sue Coe, Brett Colley, Kate Daughdrill, Erika Jane, and Adam Wolpa. This exhibition deals with the complicated relationship between human and non-human animals, exploring industrialized farming practices, domestic companionship, and entertainment through the lens of global and local consumption and visual culture. Named and Nameless addresses the construction of societal belief structures and values, and seeks to uncover paths to justice and peace within this manufactured environment.

5:30 pm--Open Studio: The Artist is the Human is the Animal*
Division Avenue Arts Collective, 115 S. Division, Grand Rapids.

An exhibition featuring the work of Rebecca Green, Justin Kellner, Molly Pettengill, and Cory Scneider. All proceeds from sales of artworks will benefit Farm Sanctuary.*

*Please note that the opening reception for this event is on January 15, 2010. Doors open at 6:00 pm with a screening of Earthlings following at 7:00 pm. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided by Brick Road Pizza Company.

7:00 pm--Vegan Chili Cook-Off
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids
You know the drill on this one: Best. Vegan. Chili. Ever. (Made by YOU, if you've got the guts to compete, anyway.) All the traditional categories will be back, along with a brand new CHEF'S CHOICE honor awarded by celebrity guest judge BRYANT TERRY!

*If you plan to enter a chili into competition, please send an e-mail to wakeupweekend@gmail.com ASAP to request a registration form. Last year's festivities drew a record-shattering 28 chili entries--CAN WE RAISE THE BAR TO 30 THIS YEAR? NOT WITHOUT YOUR HELP!

9:30 pm--Film Screening: Fowl Play--The Untold Story Behind Your Breakfast*
Division Avenue Arts Collective, 115 S. Division, Grand Rapids.

Since the exclusive premiere of the original version of Fowl Play at Wake Up Weekend 2008, the film has won multiple awards on the festival circuit. Come check out the critically acclaimed latest version.

Questions? Need more information? Drop a line to wakeupweekend@gmail.com! See you at Wake Up Weekend 2010!

DECEMBER 22, 2009 8:41 PM

Mark Your Calendars: January 22-23, 2010 in Grand Rapids, MI!
It's that time of year again, when wistful memories of 2007, 2008, and 2009 conjure great expectations of good times yet to come! Good times such as, for instance, taking pointers on how to get your Vegan Soul Kitchen up and running from eco-chef and bestselling cookbook author Bryant Terry, or getting the inside scoop on recent animal protection legislation from HSUS überActivist Paul Shapiro, or learning about veganic agriculture from abolitionist icon Harold Brown of Farm Kind. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You've come to expect speakers galore, vegan eats in abundance, artworks o'plenty, and--of course--the opportunity to compete for bragging rights in the battle royale of vegan chili cook-offs. We're going to bring it all, and then some, so set the dates aside and let's get ready to rumble! Stay tuned for the full schedule coming soon!

NOVEMBER 30, 2009 10:33 AM

TONIGHT! The Truth About Food (FOR FREE!) in a Neighborhood Near You!
Doors open at 6PM and the reel gets rolling at 6:30. There will be information tables to browse and a question-and-answer discussion after the show. This event is sponsored by Aquinas College's Students Striving for Sustainability, WMCO-OP, and Slow Food West Michigan. Why not make it an evening to remember by visiting Brick Road for some vegan pizza before the show, and The Meanwhile for a local pitcher and some post-film discussion?

SEPTEMBER 7, 2009 7:07 PM

Farm Sanctuary's Gene Baur Will Be There! How About YOU?
Friend of extraVEGANza! Annie Smolinski has done us a great service and organized the first ever Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals right here in Grand Rapids! As if the opportunity to raise funds for this important cause weren't motivation enough, Annie has gone the distance to secure both an in-person appearance from Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur (who will walk with us on the 1.5 mile tour of East Hills and Eastown) AND an optional all-you-can-eat vegan buffet at Brick Road Pizza after the event! You've seen Gene in Peaceable Kingdom, read about him in The New York Times, and watched him on Larry King Live--now it's time to join him on a late summer stroll through a couple of your favorite neighborhoods in our fair city, gorge on some vegan pizza, and show Gene that we Grand Rapidians are prepared to walk what we talk about animal compassion!

Mark Your Calendars and Register Now!
DATE: Sunday, September 20, 2009
TIME: Registration 12:30 pm, WALK at 1:00 pm
PLACE: Brick Road Pizza Parking Lot (Behind 1017 Wealthy SE)
HOW TO REGISTER OR DONATE: Go to Farm Sanctuary's Firstgiving Webpage and click on "register for an event" or "donate to a friend's page". Grand Rapids' registration site is on page three, and your $15.00 registration fee includes a t-shirt if you register before September 13!
AFTER THE WALK: Meet and greet Gene, who will talk to us about Farm Sanctuary's efforts on behalf of animals, and stay for an optional vegan buffet at which we'll school him in the art of eating vegan wings!
QUESTIONS: Contact Annie at grandrapidswalk@hotmail.com.

We've worked hard to earn our place in the animal advocacy big leagues! Now it's time to put on our game faces and git 'er done! See you on September 20!

JULY 6, 2009 5:13 PM

Mark Your Calendars for Saturday, July 11 at 11:30 am!
Interested in hearing a free lecture by Will Tuttle, peace activist and author of The World Peace Diet? Come to Brick Road Pizza at 11:30 am on Saturday morning to catch the lecture, and stay for an optional vegan buffet at 12:30 pm (the cost of the optional buffet is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12). See you on Saturday!

APRIL 28, 2009 7:08 PM

Eminent Theologian to Offer 2009 Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture
The second annual address of the Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series at Calvin College is this Friday, May 1, at 7:30 pm in the Meeter Center Lecture Hall at the Hekman Library. This year's speaker is Dr. Jay McDaniel, the Willis T. Holmes Distinguished Professor of Religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. An eminent figure in the timely and rapidly expanding field of creation care theology, Dr. McDaniel is the author of numerous books including Of God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life (John Knox) and Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism (Chalice).

Why Christians Need Animals...And God Does, Too!
Dr. McDaniel's address is titled "Why Christians Need Animals...And God Does, Too!", and he describes the project as follows: "I will suggest four ways that Christians are enriched by the presence of animals: as vessels of grace, subjects of respect, objects of amazement, and sites for the holy. I will then introduce a way of thinking about God -- the panentheistic perspective of process theology -- in which animals are understood as adding to the beauty of God's own life and subjects of God's care. The lecture concludes with a consideration of the idea that, given the extent of animal suffering, there is tragedy, even in God, and also with the suggestion that, if there is a continuing journey for humans after death, there must also be one for animals." Light refreshments and a book signing follow the address. The lecture is free and open to the public and a selection of Dr. McDaniel's books will be available for sale at 20% off the retail price.

Got Dinner Plans Beforehand?
If not, you should consider joining the Students for Compassionate Living for one of their legendary vegan potlucks at 5:00 pm in the DeVos Communications Center Forum just across the beltline from the main campus. The potluck theme is "Southern Soul", so fry up some garlic and greens, boil down the black-eyed peas, BBQ some seitan, and break out the biscuits and gravy. As always, please bring a dish to share and your own table service. Hope to see you there!

Comments (2)

APRIL 22, 2009 5:00 PM

Another Amazing Event Brought to You By Calvin College Student Activists
Mark your calendars for this Saturday, April 25, and join Calvin College Residence Life in celebrating the Mad Farmer Food Fest from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm in the outdoor ampitheater of the Knollcrest East Apartments (see SE corner of this map) for great food, an on-campus farmers' market, and a series of fantastic workshops on eating right.

Tickets are $5.00 for adults and just $2.00 for children, and the price of admission includes lunch catered by Brick Road Pizza and Marie Catrib's, a keynote lecture on "Practicing Resurrection through Food Choice" by Karen Lubbers of Lubbers Family Farm, and breakout sessions on a variety of topics of interest to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Calvin College Box Office or onsite at the event. Peruse the full schedule of activities here and plan to make a day of it! Where else in Grand Rapids can you eat vegan pizza, support local farmers, have your face painted, participate in a vegan bread-making workshop, and learn about the ethics of eating from the good folks at places like Mixed Greens and Mud Lake Farm, all for just $5.00?

Comments (2)

JANUARY 30, 2009 9:00 PM

Two of the aspects I appreciated the most about Wake Up Weekend was the community and the food. I was reminded how isolated and defensive I had become over the past year without constant community contact. The discussions after speakers and film showings as well as over the potluck and buffets helped recharge my brain for the coming year. Here are a few photos to remember the event. In fitting with tradition, I entirely forgot to take photos on Friday night, so here are some from Saturday's events:

vegan brunch
One of the plates from the vegan buffet at Brickroad Pizza Company Saturday morning.

Ben DeVries - Animal Advocacy and Religion
The first speaker of the afternoon - Ben DeVries from Not One Sparrow.

Michelle Loyd-Paige - Reflections of a Sista Vegan
Followed by Michelle Loyd-Paige's narrative entitled "Reflections of a Sista Vegan."

Nekeisha Alexis-Baker - Speciesism, Sexism, and Racism: The Intertwining Oppressions
As well as talk by Nekeisha Alexis-Baker's talk on speciesism, sexism, and racism.

table o' cornbreadso many good chilis
Cornbread baked by the Oven Mitt Bakery and some chilis mixed together from the Vegan Chili Cookoff!

Clearly we're still all recovering from the near-Thanksgiving-like food coma and still chewing on the thoughts presented by speakers, panel discussions, and films but we will resume more frequent posting shortly. Thanks to all sponsors, groups, individuals and attendees who made last weekend a success!

Comments (2)

JANUARY 22, 2009 7:12 PM

Better Safe Than Sorry: Please, No Peanut Ingredients in Potluck/Cook-Off Foods
Due to the nationwide salmonella outbreak that has been linked to peanuts, we are declaring Wake Up Weekend 2009 a peanut- and peanut-ingredient-free event. While it is disappointing to have to rule out so many delicious recipes in one fell swoop, I suspect we'll all be happier without the specter of a mass outbreak looming over our festivities. Apologies to Jimmy Carter, as well as to those of you who may have been planning a peanut-based contribution to our events. Luckily, the peanut-free options for tasty vegan vittles are practically limitless! Let's stay on the safe side and exploit some of those!

JANUARY 21, 2009 9:05 PM

It's Not Too Late! Register Your Chili Now!
The Wake Up Weekend 2009 competition is heating up, but with just nine registrants so far, we're still a full five chilis shy of the high bar of fourteen contestants set back in 2007. We'd love to SMASH that record this year, and we know you've got it in you.

The Details
The showdown begins at 7 pm sharp on Saturday, January 24th, 2009 at the gallery at 106 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI. If you have a crockpot or some alternate means of keeping your chili warm throughout the competition, we encourage you to use it. Please arrive no later than 6:40 so that we can have your chili ready to serve promptly at 7:00 pm.

Want in?
Please send your name, contact number, e-mail, recipe name* and recipe description** (optional) to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

*By "Recipe Name," we simply mean the banner under which your chili will march into battle, e.g., "Vic's Veg Volcano" or "Torrid Thai Surprise."

**Like a fine wine, a well-crafted vegan chili is a complex affair. Incarnate for us the essence of your masterpiece. Particularly creative, humorous, or otherwise noteworthy descriptions may be published on ExtraVEGANza! to motivate others to compete and to attend (descriptions will be published anonymously in order to preserve the fairness of the competition). Look for a new post early on Friday with a rundown of the highlights!

Can't Contribute a Chili?
That's okay! There are plenty of other less intensive ways to participate. We'll need people to bring soft drinks, chips and dips, and other finger foods to supplement the chilis, as well as extra bowls, plates, cups and utensils to share with those who forget to bring their own. REMEMBER: To keep the Wake Up Weekend free of charge and still feed the masses, we need to count on a little help from our friends. If you can help in any of these ways, please drop a line to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

JANUARY 12, 2009 6:52 PM

*All events are free and open to the public (excluding the all-you-can-eat Saturday brunch, which is just $10.00 per person at the door). Donations to defray costs are cheerfully accepted. Questions? Write to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

Our annual two-day celebration of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by Animals & Society Institute, Brick Road Pizza Company, ExtraVEGANza!, G-Rad, Not One Sparrow, Oven Mitt Bakery, and Students for Compassionate Living.

2:30 pm--Animal Advocacy: What, Why, Who, and How?
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College

Stay on the cutting edge of the movement by learning from the people who are making it happen. From rights to welfare, from religion to politics, from the laws of the heart to the laws of the land, from grassroots to goliath, our nationally recognized panelists know the score. Join us for this workshop and you will too!

Harold Brown (President, Farm Kind, Hector, NY)
Ben DeVries (Founder, Not One Sparrow, Kenosha, WI)
Adam Durand (Campaign Director, Animal Rights International, Rochester, NY)
Bee Friedlander (Managing Director, Animals and Society Institute, Ann Arbor, MI)
Nathan Runkle (Executive Director, Mercy for Animals, Columbus, OH and Chicago, IL)

5:30 pm--"Compassionate Comestibles" Vegan Potluck*
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College
*Hosted by Students for Compassionate Living

At an event where omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans are coming together in fellowship, a vegan bill of fare insures that everyone can enjoy what's on the menu! What's your favorite vegan recipe? Bring a dish to share and find out where others come down on this appetizing question! Need a few ideas? Vegan Yum Yum and Post Punk Kitchen never disappoint.

***Please help us to reduce waste and carbon emissions by bringing your own washable or recyclable dinnerware*** and perhaps an extra setting or two for our out-of-town guests and last-minute participants; a limited number of recyclables will be on hand for those without table service.

7:30 pm--Film Festival
Bytwerk Video Theater, DeVos Communications Center, Calvin College
Eating Mercifully
Fowl Play (A Film By Adam Durand)

Two great films by two great directors, one of whom--Adam Durand--will be on hand to introduce his work and take questions after the screening. Did you know that the idea for "Fowl Play" was hatched at Wake Up Weekend 2007 and that the original first-cut of the film was edited here in Grand Rapids for our sneak preview screening at Wake Up Weekend 2008? Now in 2009, the final version has been nominated for Best Documentary in a national film festival in Hollywood, but YOU get to see it first right here in Grand Rapids. Look for special mention of Wake Up Weekend in the credits!

11:00 am--Vegan Brunch at Brick Road Pizza
Tofu scramble, french toast sticks, vegan fried chikn, and all your favorite specialty pizzas and salads are on the menu at this $10.00 all-you-can-eat vegan juggernaut that Chef Ryan promises will be a day to remember! Whether you're a Wake-up-Weekender or just a hungry Grand Rapidian, come on out! Everyone is welcome!

1:30--Spotlight Session: Animal Advocacy and Religion
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids
"Not One Sparrow is Forgotten: A Simply Christian Animal Advocacy"
Ben DeVries (Founder, Not One Sparrow)

3:00 pm--Panel: Animal Exploitation and Questions of Race and Gender
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids

"Thinking and Eating at the Same Time: Reflections of a Sista Vegan"
Michelle Loyd-Paige (Dean for Multicultural Affairs, Calvin College)

"Speciesism, Sexism, and Racism: The Intertwining Oppressions"
Nekeisha Alexis-Baker (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary; Co-Founder, Jesus Radicals)

7:00 pm--Vegan Chili Cook-Off and Print Sale Benefit
(106), 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids
You know the drill on this one: Best. Vegan. Chili. Ever. (Made by YOU, if you've got the guts to compete, anyway.) Add vegan cornbread lovingly prepared by Oven Mitt Bakery, and a print sale that puts the artwork of Wake Up Weekend within everyone's reach, and you simply can't say no! Come on out and help us raise a few dollars for our participating animal charities, and we can show the world that compassion is recession-proof!

*If you plan to enter a chili into competition, please send an e-mail to wakeupweekend@gmail.com ASAP to request a registration form. Last year, we were a bit light on chili (and a bit heavy on chili-eaters), so let's anticipate another big turnout and get as many of you to put your culinary prowess on display as possible!

See you at Wake Up Weekend 2009!

Comments (1)

JANUARY 3, 2009 7:25 PM

Mark Your Calendars: January 23-24, 2009 in Grand Rapids, MI
It is something of a tradition here at extraVEGANza! to go into a brief period of hibernation over the holidays and then return with a "COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!" in the new year to promote our annual Wake Up Weekend festivities. Remember how much fun you had in 2007 and 2008? You attended workshops and lectures, you wore your extraVEGANza! pride on your sleeve, you prepared and ate award-winning vegan chili, and you purchased artwork by a variety of fantastic national and regional artists, all for the worthy cause of compassion for animals!

Lucky for you, Wake Up Weekend 2009 is right around the corner, featuring yet another full slate of A-list speakers and events to kick off a new year of animal-friendly living in Grand Rapids and beyond! As ever, we'll be bringing some of the movement's most exciting people to our fair city and rallying ya'll to fire up your vegan chili-making skills. We've got a few innovations in store as well, including a print sale that will make Wake Up Weekend artwork more affordable for everyone, a $10.00 all-you-can-eat vegan brunch buffet at Brick Road Pizza, and additional sessions on cutting-edge topics including Animal Advocacy and Religion, and Compassionate Eating and Race Awareness. Stay tuned for the official schedule TBA in just a few days!

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SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 4:00 PM

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder to Speak at Calvin, Wed 9/24
Gene Baur is undoubtedly one of the most influential animal advocates in the United States. Since co-founding the renowned Farm Sanctuary in 1986, Gene has been in the trenches fighting for the dignity of farm animals--whether that means going toe-to-toe with industry PR people on Larry King Live, testifying in local, state, and federal hearings on animal welfare laws, sharing the good news with the New York Times, or rubbing shoulders with vegan celebs to raise awareness and capital for the cause. Imagine our surprise, then, when this animal compassion juggernaut called to express his interest in opening the Michigan leg of his book tour right here in Grand Rapids!

Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food
On Wednesday evening, September 24th, 2008 at 7:30 pm in Science Building 010 at Calvin College, the Students for Compassionate Living will host Gene Baur for a public lecture followed by a book signing. Please consider coming out to give Gene that unmistakable extraVEGANza! welcome and to grab your own signed copy of his new book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. Don't miss this opportunity to meet and greet one of the great champions of our cause!

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 9:45 PM

G-Rad's Newest Vegan Arrives!
It was a bit of a rude awakening, but at 12:16 am on Thursday, September 4, 2008, E.W. came roaring onto the scene via unplanned c-section at Butterworth Hospital on the venerable Michigan Street in the great city of Grand Rapids!

Ecce Homo
If E.W. looks a bit perturbed here, that's because his restful ten-month tenure in the comfort of his heroic mother's well-appointed womb just came to a screeching halt. The garish surgical equipment and the scrub-bedecked behemoths can't be helping either.

A Perfect Gentleman
After a nice severing of the umbilical cord and a change of clothes, however, E.W. felt like a new man. We elected to put him in a kimono shirt with flaps covering up his hands shortly after he expressed his intent to have the word "OZZY" tattooed across his newborn knuckles.

Luckily, he came to his senses within a few days and is now free to perform such handy activities as sucking on his fingers, making unintentionally obscene gestures, batting stuffed toys, and raising his fist in solidarity with vegans around the globe!

Vegans of the World Unite

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AUGUST 19, 2008 9:05 AM

Shower Spread
One Last Hurrah Before E.W. Arrives
Our families have been very generous to us on the baby shower front. My sister Megan and her husband Jeff gave birth to their second child and bought their first house less than three months ago, but that didn't stop them from opening their beautiful new home to host one last party for E.W. before the big day. My Mom and sister planned the event together, and Megan cooked, baked, sauced, and frosted a table full of mouthwatering vegan eats.
Shower Flowers
Farmers' Market Flowers
Together, Megan and I have racked up a combined total of almost 14 years of graduate study in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. For both of us, ready access to fresh, beautiful, inexpensive flowers from the South Bend Farmers' Market has helped to sweeten the cup of sadness that is reading and dissertating on Heidegger in the Michiana area. Luckily, waxing eloquent on Heidegger's understanding of the relation between mythos and logos in Plato's philosophy is not my sister's only talent, as the following smorgasbord of animal-free comestibles clearly attests.
Melon Skewers
Succulent Summer Melon
Pesto Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato
Tofu Satay
Tofu Satay with a Trio of Dipping Sauces
Mushroom Tarts
Mushroom Microtarts
Shower Cupcakes
(Mini) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World!
Using Isa Chandra Moskowitz's foolproof recipe for global domination, Megan crafted 150 E.W.-sized cupcakes in delectable varieties such as Chocolate Mint, Coconut Heaven, and--Meg's specialty--Creme-filled Chocolate "Fauxstess" Cupcakes (just like the ones Mom reluctantly used to let us buy twice a year for fieldtrips to the Museum of Science and Industry, only smaller, cuter, and without the hydrogenated lard and excessive packaging; they tasted amazing, even unaccompanied by the coal mine exhibit, giant walk-through heart, and Jewel-brand "Red Pop" wrapped in tinfoil. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Meg, Jeff, Mom, and Dad for throwing the party, and to our friends and family who showered us with thoughtful gifts for E.W.! He is one lucky little hombre to have such a warm and generous community awaiting his arrival. Any day now!

JUNE 28, 2008 10:50 PM

Fetuses Love Those Vegan Eats!
Since Vegucator Jr. refuses to imbibe anything but the very finest vegan amniotic fluid, he insisted on having his Grand Rapids shower at Restaurant Bloom and his cake catered by The Oven Mitt Bakery.

Doting Grandparents to the Rescue!
Though we were reluctant to spoil him thus at so tender an age, his generous Grandparents decided that it couldn't hurt to indulge him, so long as enough friends and family were there to teach him object lessons in the values of hospitality, fellowship, and community. (Thanks Mom and Dad McCausland!)

Almond Gazpacho With Peeled Grapes and Chives
"E.W.", as we affectionately refer to him, began with a refreshing chilled soup studded with toasted almonds, peeled grapes, and chives and drizzled with a fruity, light-bodied olive oil.

Baked Tofu with Roasted Vegetables and Soy Caramel
Preferring to keep his entree a bit more traditional, he chose a delicate baked tofu with roasted carrots and petite summer squash.

Supine Sextuplets in Baby Blue
And then it was on to a flamboyant finish, with a designer cake and cupcakes skillfully executed in Lavender Lemon by his honorary Aunties Noodles and Curly, a.k.a., The Oven Mitt Bakery (drop them a line and maybe they'll craft a custom vegan fantasy for your special event).

Pastel Teddy Platoon
E.W. requested that we express his heartfelt gratitude for all the lovely gifts, which he plans to put to very good use beginning sometime on or around August 30th. He also asked that we end this post with a sentiment beautifully expressed on his new animal themed baby dish set hand thrown and custom painted by local ceramist and friend Betsy Ratzsch.

God Bless the Animals! Amen.

Comments (3)

JUNE 26, 2008 5:54 PM

That's a lot of Not Dogs!
Treehugger reports that a bunch of hungry vegans in Austin, TX are apparently blazing new trails in a movement previously thought to be reserved for omnivores. Should the G-RAP follow suit?

Comments (2)

JUNE 26, 2008 9:47 AM

Your Chance to REP VEG at a Local Pie Baking Contest
Some people say that the proof is in the pudding. However, the true gourmand knows that the proof is in the pie crust, and the TRUTH is in the VEGAN pie crust. Truthseekers, get out your rolling pins, for the day of reckoning is well nigh upon us:

Creston Neighborhood Pie Bake-Off!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Riverside Park - River Bend Shelter
Off of Monroe
Grand Rapids, MI

There is a $15.00 entry fee for bakers, and the lazy ones among us can just show up and sample the pies for $1.00 a taste. For information on how to enter, visit the promotional page on Facebook, or contact the organizers at 616-454-7900 or crestonvista@gmail.com. Proceeds go the AmeriCorps VISTA program of the Creston Neighborhood Association.

Operation Infiltration
Though this event is not officially a VEGAN Pie Bake-Off, that just makes it all the more important to get as many delectable vegan offerings on the table as possible. Curly's Deep Dish Country Apple and Karyn's Chocolate Silk with Soy Topping are pictured here to stoke your motivation. A coordinated effort from extraVEGANzers could make a real impression, as everyone would be wondering why the vegan pies were disappearing first! COMMENT NOW and share your favorite vegan pie recipe!

Comments (2)

JUNE 22, 2008 9:21 PM

Nurses and Clayre Take Veganism To the Altar
Until June 13, 2008, it had been quite some time since I had enjoyed the pleasure of eating a big, fat, frostingy piece of wedding cake at a friend's nuptial celebration. After all, it isn't every day that brides and grooms put compassionate eating front and center in planning their special day. But our good friends Nurses and Clayre did just that, weaving their commitment to intentional living into every aspect of the celebration, from the homily (offered by Clayre's uncle) to the wedding feast (expertly catered by Marie Catrib's) to a three-layer vegan cake lovingly crafted by the father of the bride! Congratulations and best wishes to Nurses and Clayre, and thanks for showing us that a good old-fashioned Christian wedding and a public testimony to the moral and spiritual significance of our daily consumer habits are 100% compatible. Now, eat your cake you beautiful people!

Comments (3)

JUNE 1, 2008 2:16 PM

Birthday at Bloom, Pizza Party, Craig's Cruisers
My birthday was almost two months ago, but the memories are still lucid enough to merit posting a few of the culinary highlights. The above cocktails we enjoyed on the outset of our birthday dinner at Restaurant Bloom greased the skids for a juggernaut of a three course meal that began with...

Crispy Fried Artichoke Hearts with Pickled Vegetables
They are every bit as delectable as they look, but if you'd like to try them, you'll have to make a special request since they are not a standard menu item. And while we're on the topic of eating outside the parameters of the work-a-day bill of fare, feast your eyes on the main course:

Poppyseed Encrusted Tofu with Kale, Chanterelles, and Barley
We enjoyed the tofu immensely (especially the unusual pairing with barley as the starch), but we all agreed that the standout of the evening was the sweet course, a thoroughly unpredictable yet delectable juxtaposition of...

Avocado Soup and Lemon Sorbet with Candied Citrus Rind and Pistachio
This dessert was sublime. I recommend talking Chef Miller into reprising it the next time you visit the restaurant. Suffice it to say that the Bloom birthday celebration ended on a very high note indeed. Of course, just one birthday celebration is hardly adequate, and since Aunt Curly's birthday is just a few days after mine, we had our third annual "April Birthdays" bash on the weekend, complete with...

A Pizza Party to End All Pizza Parties
As if there wasn't enough white flour in those crispy crusts, we served the pies with a side of coconut heaven cupcakes. We figured this ultra-light fare would settle well during a few laps around the indoor go-kart track at Craig's Cruisers. And we were right. As an added bonus, the combined total of game room tickets amassed by people in our party was sufficient to procure a prized set of neon fangs per person, as well as several dozen plastic dinosaurs.

MARCH 9, 2008 2:49 PM

VegMichigan Goes All Out on April 13th!
Those of you who attended this year's Wake Up Weekend! will remember enjoying fellowship with our friends from the East, VegMichigan. On April 13th, we'll have a chance to see them again, this time on their side of the state, at the Metro Detroit Great American Meatout in Ferndale, MI. With free food from local veg-friendly restaurants, product samples from veg companies, and a cavalcade of excellent speakers, this event is a "must attend" for Michigan vegans on a mission! Tickets may be purchased in advance here at a discounted rate of just $7.00 per person ($3.00 for students, children 5 and under are free). Interested in free admission to the Meatout plus a free subscription to VegNews Magazine? Consider joining VegMichigan; membership has its privileges! Interested in carpooling or joining a Grand Rapids caravan destined for the Meatout? Leave a comment below and we'll see what develops.

FEBRUARY 24, 2008 10:54 PM

Gridiron Gluttony Two Years Running
What do chik'n style seitan sandwiches, Philly cheeze steaks, potato salad, barbecued seitan skewers, nachos, sweet potato fries, Kettle chips, spinach artichoke dip, french onion dip, margarita cupcakes, boston cream cupcakes, and a BEHEMOTH chocolate raspberry-filled football cake have in common? They all graced the table several weeks ago for our second annual vegan Superbowl blowout. We were a bit concerned that we might not be able to top last year's showing, but suffice it to say that no one went away hungry.

Comments (3)

JANUARY 30, 2008 3:48 PM

Confronting Global Climate Change
Calvin College right here in Grand Rapids is one of over 1,700 universities and colleges participating in an exciting national initiative called Focus the Nation. Its purpose is to provide a day of focused discussion on global climate change and solutions for the future that can help "to move America beyond fatalism to a determination to face up to this civilizational challenge, the challenge of our generation." At Calvin, a series of events is planned during the first week of the spring semester culminating on January 31, 2008 with a teach-in, discussion with elected leaders, and a celebratory concert.

Food & the Future
Among the sessions planned for the teach-in (download the full schedule) is an offering on "Food & the Future" (9:00 am TODAY in the DeVos Forum) during which I will make a brief ten-minute presentation on Industrial Animal Agriculture and Global Warming. The purpose of this post, in addition to publicizing Calvin's contribution to this important nationwide initiative, is to provide attendees of the teach-in (and other interested parties) with links to online resources for further investigation of the general issues that I briefly consider in my presentation. Though ten minutes is not enough time to provide in-depth coverage of the serious environmental challenges posed by our reliance on industrial animal agriculture, my hope is that the following resources might inspire you to give these challenges the rigorous consideration they deserve.

Tuition-Free Online Education!
My general strategy for approaching this constellation of issues is articulated in a paper I recently gave in the Calvin College Christian Perspectives in Science Series titled Animal Welfare and Global Sustainability. In writing this paper, I found many of the following articles, papers, and reports illuminating. Check them out and decide for yourself!

1. "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler", New York Times, January 27, 2008.
2. A Factory Farm Near You, New York Times, July 31, 2007.
3. Meat Is Murder On the Environment, NewScientist, July 18, 2007.
4. Rearing Cattle Produces More Greenhouse Gasses Than Driving Cars, UN News Service, November 29, 2006.

1. Diet, Energy, and Global Warming, Gideon Eshel and Pamela Martin (University of Chicago), 2005.
2. Meat: Now, It's Not Personal, World Watch Magazine, 2004.
3. Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment, Pimentel and Pimentel, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003.

1. Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006.
2.Livestock Development: Implications for Rural Poverty, the Environment, and Global Food Security, The World Bank, 2001.
Managing the Livestock Revolution
3. Global Warming: Climate Change and Farm Animal Welfare (Executive Summary), Compassion in World Farming, 2007.
4. Global Warming: Climate Change and Farm Animal Welfare (Full Report), Compassion in World Farming, 2007.

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JANUARY 27, 2008 9:17 PM

A New Lecture Series at Calvin College is in the News!
Wake Up Weekend participants may have had the pleasure of attending Dr. Stephen H. Webb's inaugural address of Calvin's new Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series. Those who missed the lecture can read all about it in this article from yesterday's Grand Rapids Press. With an article on a recent vegan wedding reception at the Amway Grand earlier in the week, our hometown paper is doing their part to get the plight of farmed animals in the news. Take a minute to let them know that you appreciate their coverage of these stories and that you'd like to see more on related topics!

JANUARY 27, 2008 7:49 PM

Just like last year, the blog's been silent since the big event a couple weekends ago. This year was an even bigger success. Many thanks to all involved, from the speakers to the organizers. This only covers Saturday, unfortunately.

Dr. Kerrie Saunders spoke about "Diet as Disease Prevention".

A panel discussed reaching religious audiences with animal compassion. Afterwards, all were welcome to the open house at Spacecraft.

Splinters rounded us up for chili voting time at the 106.

Eight kinds of chili were enjoyed by all. And when there wasn't enough, there was vegan pizza from Papa John's.

Celebrity judges discussed the merits of chili...or perhaps their conversation had digressed by this point.

Lots of art was donated for the auction.

Splinters played the part of the auctioneer, inspiring all to bid on the art.

AUGUST 12, 2007 7:50 PM

Nominate Extraveganza! for Best Veg Blog 2007
The VegNews 2007 VeggieAwards are almost upon us, and you don't want to miss your chance to register support for your favorite vegetarian and vegan products, people, and places. Not only will your vote qualify you to win some fabulous prizes, but you can tout your G-Rad Pride by writing in ExtraVEGANza! as your favorite VEGAN BLOG. So whaddya say? Will you do your part to help catapult us to fame and fortune? If so, join our write-in campaign and let your vote be counted at the 2007 Veggie Awards online survey.

QUESTION 20 is the one on which you'll wave the ExtraVEGANza! banner. It shouldn't take more than five minutes of your time. Thanks in advance for your support!

AUGUST 9, 2007 10:50 PM

Highlights from Animal Rights 2007 on a computer near you.
One of these days, you'll get tired of watching R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet, low budget ads for mini-malls, clips of skateboarding bulldogs, and videos of idiots putting mentos into diet coke bottles and begin to crave a bit more substance from your steady diet of YouTube. Lucky for you, there's a host of great new clips boasting highlights from this year's Animal Rights 2007 Conference in Los Angeles a few weeks back. Those of you who have attended AR events here in Grand Rapids in the past couple of years will see some familiar faces in the crowd. For instance...

Harold Brown of Farm Sanctuary
If you've ever had the privilege of hearing Harold speak, you know that he can change your life with just a few heartfelt sentences. So imagine what he can do with a full ten minutes on the mic. Or just watch it here.

Howard Lyman
Attendees of the 2006 Vegetarian Awakening Conference here in Grand Rapids won't soon forget Howard's impassioned keynote address. The Mad Cowboy is at it again here at AR 2007 telling big agriculture: No More Bull! Check out his presentation here.

Erik Marcus of VEGAN.COM
Though Grand Rapids has not yet enjoyed the honor of Erik's presence, tentative plans are in the works to bring him to town for Wake Up Weekend 2008! Let's roll out the welcome mat a little early by boosting his book revenues (check out Meat Market and Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating) and tuning into his excellent podcast. Here's what he had to say in L.A.

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AUGUST 4, 2007 6:53 PM

Kill the Coping. Kill the Curb. Leave the Animals Alone.
My good friend Harold Brown knows I love skateboards. And vegan-themed skateboards? SHUT YOUR MOUTH! You know I'm down. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find this little number on my doorstep yesterday afternoon (Harold, you're too good to me!). So I got up this morning, rushed to Premier on Westin in GR, hooked up some Indies and some Autobahns, and broke off this SICK custom grip tape job to complement the Food Fight Vegan Grocery graphix.

If you're interested in picking up one of these badboys, you better act fast since they printed a VERY limited edition of only 50 decks. Looks good with my Kyle Field carrot-top cruiser too!

Comments (2)

JULY 26, 2007 1:00 PM


In a small city that offers ready access to sustainable farming, celebrity vegan chefs, animal compassion organizations, veg-friendly restaurants, and an engaged community of hardcore vegan foodies, it is easy to forget that in most places, a commitment to the vegan lifestyle requires a lot more patience, imagination, and moral courage than some of us lucky Grand Rapidians have had to muster. As a means of both exhibiting our gratitude for what we have here and encouraging others who are putting it all on the line for their convictions elsewhere, we hereby institute the ExtraVEGANza! Moral Courage Awards.

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural recipient of this award is our new friend Jenni Shortt of Tippitappi fame. Stay tuned for a more in depth story on Jenni’s inspiring journey into animal consciousness and her courageous leap of faith into full-time vegan activism through graphic design. In the meanwhile, read her blog or check out her t-shirts. Put some thought into which one is your favorite; when we post our more in-depth profile on Jenni and her work, there just might be an opportunity for you to snag that snappy tee with the help of a substantial subsidy from extraVEGANza!

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APRIL 15, 2007 1:27 PM

Alright, the post we have all been waiting for--Vegetarian Awakening 2007. As one who enjoys eating continuously throughout the day, this was perfect. It went something like this: breakfast, tasting #1, tasting #2, tasting #3, lunch, tasting #4, tasting #5, tasting #6, dinner, dessert. That was just day one. However, I suppose you would like to read the real run down. Here we go.

Cathi DiCocoa
After a breakfast of cornbread pancakes and tofu scramble, we went to the auditorium to see the first chef's demonstration. The chef was Cathi DiCocoa of Cafe DiCocoa in Maine. She had a very motherly way about her and peppered her demo with easy how-tos. She taught us how to make pistachio pesto, sweet potato pita, stuffed vine (grape) leaves, skordalia, hot olives, mouhamara and smoky baba ganouj. The picture features her with a smoked eggplant.

Tal RonnenShiso WrapShaved Fennel, Orange, and Quinoa TimbalePortobello Fillet with Israeli Couscous
The next demo was by Tal Ronnen. Tal Ronnen started the Veg Advantage program to help food-service operators integrate vegetarian options into daily operations (hmm...he could be helpful for all of these local colleges). He is a chef at the Madeleine Bistro in L.A., so check it out if you are in the area!. He showed us how to make the shaved fennel, orange and quinoa timbale (middle), cajun grilled portobello fillets (right) and shiso wraps (left).

Sualua Tupolo
After the Ronnen tasting, Chef Sualua (rhymes with Kahlua) Tupolo presented. He was a very gregarious man with many stories to tell. He showed us how to make wasabi tofu mayo, fish patties, lemon meringue pie and jack cheese. All of his stuff was very good! It was interesting to learn about how to make my own vegan cheese.

We were pretty full after the morning's breakfast and tastings; nevertheless, lunch was served. It was salad and soup with many extras.

Fran Costigan
What goes well after a lunch? Dessert, of course! Fran Costigan showed us the secrets of her vegan hazelnut L'Opera cake. It seemed like a lot of work, although I am sure her precision measuring did not seem to make it any easier.

Ian Brandt
Following Fran was Ian Brandt, perhaps the quietest chef of the bunch. He is the chef at Sage's Cafe in Salt Lake City, providing raw and cooked plant-based cuisine. What was the most helpful about this demonstration was the side-by-side comparison of the raw and cooked appetizer, entree and dessert. Everything was very tasty and our table agreed that the raw won out over the cooked.

Bryanna Clark Grogan
Peruvian Bryanna Clark Grogan was the next chef. She had veganized many of the Peruvian recipes from her family. I appreciated the colors and interesting plating techniques. She showed us how to make causa (tri-colored potato salad), tofu-quinoa chicharron (crispy fried tofu), trigo (wheat), anticuchos (kebabs), northwest-style mazamorra morada (purple corn pudding), and alfajores (pastries).

Dr. John McDougallT. Colin Campbell
Even though we were stuffed to the gills, a three-course dinner was planned. Afterwards, we waddled across the street to the Spectrum Theater for presentations by Dr. John McDougall (left) and T. Colin Campbell (right). Both presentations were excellent. McDougall talked about the health and environmental benefits to a vegan diet while Campbell talked about the research behind his book The China Study (which he wrote with his son) and the link between cancer and dairy.

Fruit CupsThe Plate of 19
When we walked out of the presentations, we were greeted with a smorgasbord of desserts and sparkling apple cider. Matt was so excited about his desserts that once he got through the line, he counted 19 of them on his plate (see mini entry below)! That's like me eating a dozen cupcakes!

Eric Tucker
The next morning started with breakfast and a panel discussion. Aftewards, Chef Eric Tucker was the first to demo. He is the chef of Millennium Restaurant that I went to while I was in SF. He showed us how to make the grilled belgian endive salad with pink grapefruit, pink peppercorns and garlic-tarragon ranch dressing, bruleed and truffled mushroom pate with dried fig mustard chutney and asian root vegetable-mushroom broth with pea greens. The pate was awesome!

Kevin Dunn
Ken Bergeron was supposed to be next, but he couldn't make it. Kevin Dunn took his place and showed us how to do a few things with tempeh. I wasn't a fan of tempeh at all until I tasted these recipes! I was amazed. We had seasoned baked tempeh, tempeh arizona and tempeh cakes with red pepper sauce and scallions.

Chad SarnoHemp CannoliEverything else
The next chef was Chad Sarno, who opened a raw vegan restaurant in Turkey. His food was all raw and was very interesting to learn about. He made consommé, alfredo (right, bottom), rawvioli (bottom, top), cannelloni (bottom, left), hemp cannoli (middle) and chocolate milkshake. All of it was good, but the best parts were the beetroot rawvioli, hemp cannoli and chocolate milkshake. Mmmmm.

Kevin Dunn did a short demonstration of cashew creme brulee and heaven and hell (flambéd fruit with lite vanilla Tofutti ice cream). We received our boxed lunches and went on our way. What an amazing experience! The food was great and it was good to see many people fired up about compassionate and healthy cooking.

APRIL 15, 2007 2:29 AM

cupcake spread

We certainly satisfied our sweet teeth tonight. Dulce de Leche, Triple Threat Chocolate (how's that for a name, people?) and Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes were a few amongst the many cupcakes that arrived tonight for Vegucator and Curly's birthday celebration. Pictures will be posted as soon as we recover from sugar shock. For the record, I did meet Moles' challenge of eating a dozen cupcakes. I'm finishing the twelfth as I type.

MARCH 18, 2007 7:18 PM

For those in the Northern Indiana/lower Michigan area:

At Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana on March 24, 2007, we will have a screening of the documentary Peaceable Kingdom followed by discussion led by Matt Halteman, professor of philosophy at Calvin College.

12:30 pm Vegan potluck

2:00 pm Peaceable Kingdom Screening
Wegman's Cruelty screening (short documentary about the egg industry)

4:00 pm Matt Halteman will discuss the radical implications of animals for our lives.

Brianne Donaldson, student at AMBS, will discuss her work and how it affects AMBS.

Come and bring friends! Everything is free.

MARCH 15, 2007 8:50 AM

One far:

One near:
"Thinking About Animals," Brock University, Canada, semi-near Toronto

MARCH 6, 2007 10:14 PM

Here are some talks that speak to the issue of animal compassion from a Christian perspective.

MP3: "Living Toward the Peaceable Kingdom"

MP3: "Animal Rights & Christian Responsibility"

Notes: "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation"
Notes: "Animal Rights and Christian Responsibility"

Word on the street is that animal agribusiness is really worried about rising opposition from religious groups. Someone should let them know about these talks and invite a response.

Comments (1)

JANUARY 22, 2007 11:58 PM

If you have been wondering why the blog has been silent for three days, it's probably because we're all still recovering from the amazing weekend of animals, awareness and advocacy. Here are a few highlights, though there are a few of the highlights missing due to the impending unwieldiness of the collage. Perhaps a part two will come at a later date...or another person who attended the event can post about it. (Incidentally, I forgot my camera at the first night's events, so I have no photos for that collage.)

wakeup weekend collage

1. One Satisfied Customer
Saturday kicked off with brunch at local restaurant Marie Catrib's. Although we were expecting roughly 24 people, I think the final numbers indicated more like 50. We ate in scattered regions of the restaurant, getting to know new faces over amazing vegan brunches. This photo features Matt, a student new to veganism (and Marie's stuffed french toast!). See how happy he was before he began eating? Well, he was just as happy (if not more so) once his plate was empty.

2. It's "Chli" Time
One of the ways Splinters helped set up NEST for the evenings festivities was by cutting out a sign for the Chili Contest.

3. Spreadsheet Time
Vegucator readied the spreadsheets for the chili cookoff and the art auction. With that look of intense concentration, military-style jacket, and urban surroundings (look at that brick!), you know that some serious work was getting done.

4. Registration Rooster
Nurses, along with some help from various others, crafted the registration rooster where people would register for chili and the art auction. Vegucator decorated r.r. with the cleverly crafted cantaloupe and brussell sprout auction paddles.

5. Some of the Art
This photo contains some of the art that was up for auction. All were overwhelmed by the amount, quality, and creativity that covered the wall for the evening. The amount of money raised was staggering!

6. Dish Drying Rack
I thought this deserved its own picture. George and I struggled with and conquered the orange crate, transforming it into the dish drying rack of our dreams. It was definitely high-five worthy when the feat was accomplished.

7. Chili Time!
As crowded as this photo appears, the rest of the NEST was even more crowded. There was an overwhelming turnout for the chili cookoff--both for the competition and tasting. No one was disappointed...or left hungry. The celebrity judges of the evening deemed the Michigan Chili by Erika Jane and Susan to be the winner, with Karen's Thai Chili as the people's choice and Gwen's black bean chili as the runner up. Erika and Susan must defend the title next year--with the udder as the prize!

Overall, it was an amazing weekend and we look forward to next year. Thanks to everyone who helped set up, tear down, donated art or food or time and just plain came to the event. It wouldn't have been as successful if it was not for all of you!

Comments (4)

JANUARY 19, 2007 12:59 AM

Checkbooks At The Ready! Let's Start the Bidding...
Well, not until Saturday night. But with the Wake Up Weekend Art Auction just one day away, we thought you might enjoy perusing a few sample images and a (semi) complete list of our esteemed contributors. (Please note that we have posted these images merely to give you a sense of the style of some of our artists' work; the images posted are NOT in all cases the specific works donated to the auction.)




So who else is in the game? CHECK THIS OUT:
Brandon Behning, Kevin Buist, Jeremy Chen, Juan Garcia, Erika Jane, Michelle Kleinhenz, Tim Maddux, Gail Philbin, and Emily Schreur. You'll also find a wide spectrum of stunning screen prints made by Calvin artists under the direction of Adam Wolpa: Joe Arens, Sarah Bakker, Peter Brant, Miranda Brower, Stephanie Dekorte, Eugene Dening, Taylor Greenfield, Pam Johnson, Lyndi Katje, Heather Luimes, Ruth Ribeiro, and Brad Smith.

Proceeds will benefit three incredible organizations working hard to improve the lives of farmed animals: FARM SANCTUARY, MERCY FOR ANIMALS, and COMPASSIONATE CONSUMERS. Check out their websites, REV UP THAT GENEROSITY, and come prepared to purchase GREAT ART for a GREAT CAUSE!

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JANUARY 17, 2007 2:16 AM

Now you can wear your ExtraVEGANza! pride on your sleeve.

Need another reason to rock the Wake Up Weekend!? How about the debut of a brand new line of SIZZLIN' HOT, limited edition ExtraVEGANza! Wear? These Brussels Sprouts Tees and Cantaloupe Totes were designed by Adam Wolpa and hand-printed with love by Wolpa and Halteman especially for this event! (Many thanks to Nurses for the much needed helping hand!) If those tees look pillow soft, it's probably because they're made of 100% sustainably-grown organic cotton. Supplies are limited, but we'll be selling what we have and taking orders for a second run at the Saturday evening events, so check the American Apparel size chart and tell us what you need!

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JANUARY 15, 2007 10:50 AM


A weekend of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by ExtraVEGANza!, G-RAD, Grand Rapids For Animals, Farms Without Harm, and Calvin Students For Compassionate Living.

3:00-5:00 pm--Animal Advocacy: Why, Who, and How?
Commons Annex Lecture Hall (Calvin College)
Presentations by Harold Brown (Farm Sanctuary), Adam Durand (Compassionate Consumers), Nicole Matthews (PETA), and Nathan Runkle (Mercy For Animals).

5:30-6:30 pm--"Compassionate Comestibles" Vegan Potluck
Commons Annex Lecture Hall (Calvin College)

7:30-10:00 pm--Film Festival & Discussion
Bytwerk Video Theater (Calvin College)
Wegman's Cruelty (Introduction and discussion by Adam Durand)
Peaceable Kingdom (Introduction and discussion by Harold Brown)

10:30 am--Brunch at Marie Catrib's of Grand Rapids
1001 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, 49506
Have brunch and meet our special guests!

6:00 pm--Vegan Chili Cook-Off and Open House
The Nest (613 Lyon NE, Grand Rapids, 49503)
Guest judges Harold Brown, Marie Catrib, Adam Durand, Nicole Matthews, and Nathan Runkle.

8:00 pm--Art Auction
The Nest (613 Lyon NE, Grand Rapids, 49503)
Proceeds will benefit Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, and Compassionate Consumers. Artists with work up for auction include Sue Coe, Peter Brant, Kevin Buist, Jeremy Chen, Juan Garcia, Erika Jane, and Reb Roberts. For a complete list of contributors, contact Adam Wolpa (wolpa@calvin.edu).

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JANUARY 10, 2007 2:02 AM



Tell all your friends! Invite the family! Help us put Grand Rapids on the map as the epicenter of compassionate culture in the midwest with an extravegant weekend of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by ExtraVEGANza!, G-RAD, Grand Rapids For Animals, Farms Without Harm, and Calvin Students For Compassionate Living. We'll be eating up a storm, learning a bit about the hidden costs of food, engaging in a little compassionate competition (vegan chili cook-off style!), auctioning some original artwork for charity (wait until you see the list!), and playing host to some of the most influential and inspiring animal advocates in the movement. We're even going to debut the new line of ExtraVEGANza! T-shirts (take your pick: brussels sprouts or cantaloupe?). Oh yes, it's BIG!

In cases where venues are not yet announced, details will follow when available. Stay tuned!
2:00-5:00 pm--Animal Advocacy: Why, Who, and How?
Interested in knowing how to make a difference for non-human animals? Learn from the pros and have all your questions answered! Speakers include:
Harold Brown (Farm Sanctuary)
Adam Durand (Compassionate Consumers)
Nicole Matthews (PETA)
Nathan Runkle (Mercy For Animals)

5:30-6:30 pm--"Compassionate Comestibles" Vegan Potluck
Like what you see on ExtraVEGANza!? Just imagine how it tastes! Bring a dish to share and cause mouths to water all over the World Wide Web.

7:30-10:00 pm--Film Festival & Discussion (Calvin College, Bytwerk Video Theater)
Two incredible documentary films about the hidden costs of factory farming, and an audience with some the good folks whose stories are featured in the films! Renown animal rights advocate Harold Brown will introduce and entertain questions about Peaceable Kingdom (A Tribe of Heart Documentary), and headline newsmaker Adam Durand will present his acclaimed film Wegman's Cruelty (A Compassionate ConsumersDocumentary) and discuss its contoversial aftermath.

10:30 am--Brunch at Marie Catrib's (Lake and Diamond)
Haven't tried the vegan brunch fare at Marie's yet? What are you waiting for?

6:00 pm--Vegan Chili Cook-Off and Open House (The Nest)
With Special Guest Judges Harold Brown, Marie Catrib, Adam Durand, Nicole Matthews, Nathan Runkle.

8:00 pm--Art Auction (The Nest)
Proceeds will benefit Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, and Compassionate Consumers. Artists with work up for auction include Peter Brant, Jeremy Chen, Erika Jane, Emily Schreur, and Adam Wolpa. We are especially pleased to announce the inclusion of an original print donated by internationally acclaimed artist and animal advocate SUE COE!

Do You Have A Work of Art To Contribute?
We are still gratefully receiving donations of artwork for the auction. Here's your official invitation: Artwork has always performed important social functions, but an increasing number of contemporary artists have turned more deliberately toward interventionist techniques, relational aesthetics, and works that facilitate activism on a variety of social justice issues. While the main theme of this event is compassion for animals, the modern industrial complex under which animals suffer is intimately connected to human crises such as environmental sustainability, unfair economic practices in the developing world, and public health. We are currently seeking artworks that celebrate animals in some way or that invite interpretation in any of the above directions. Please direct inquiries to ExtraVEGANza! curator and auctioneer Adam Wolpa (wolpa@calvin.edu).

Comments (2)

JANUARY 1, 2007 11:54 PM

Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgot?
Not when they have mad culinary skills. You'll be pleased to know that your old friends at extraVEGANza! sent 2006 to bed fat and happy, and welcomed 2007 with some jaw-dropping new recipes.
New Year's Eve

The evening began with a trio of mouthwatering dishes artfully prepared by Noodles and Splinters: (1) a cashew coconut curry of homegrown kale, onions, leeks, garlic, brussels sprouts, beets, potabella mushrooms, and tofu; (2) a cole slaw of purple and green cabbage, arugula, sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, vegannaise, and a splash of bragg; and (3) a beet-water infused quinoa crowned with a generous pat of Earth Balance.
Party Time!

The dessert course and subsequent merrymaking took place chez Moles-Vegucator and featured, among other amusements, Moles' chocolate mint cupcakes with a dark fudge ganache and Splinters' ginger martinis. (The cupcake recipe is from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes For Cupcakes That Rule. As co-host of The Post Punk Kitchen, Isa is whipping up more than just cupcakes; be sure to check out Vegan With A Vegeance to see what else is cooking.
New Year's Day

For brunch, we enjoyed cranberry scone, tea sandwiches on homebaked white bread (cucumber "cream cheese", and curried tofu), chocolate cherry drops, and olive bread. Yes, those tea sandwiches have been stripped of their crusts, but don't panic; they'll be reborn as garlic breadcrumbs in a pasta dish later this week (after a few days of feverish culinary ambition, it's a relief to drop the pretense and boil up a little pasta to be tossed with olive oil, breadcrumbs, parsley, and red pepper flakes).


But before getting back to business as usual, we treated ourselves to a delicious soup of beets, pearled barley, black soybeans and pumpernickel croutons. The grand finale kept Splinters and Vegucator hard at work all day long researching, developing, and finally executing a brand new original recipe: cashew cream tiramisu with coconut biscuits and an almond brandy filling.

We've been waiting impatiently for a convincing vegan tiramisu recipe for too long, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. To say the least, 2007 is off to a promising start! Best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy, compassionate New Year!

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