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Our annual grassroots celebration of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacybrought to you by Calvin CollegeCalvin College Office for Multicultural Affairs, and Our Kitchen Table, with support from our friends at BartertownCVLT PIZZAextraVEGANza!, and Vegan Grand Rapids.

All events are free and open to the public (excluding the optional vegan brunch on Saturday morning). Donations to defray costs are cheerfully accepted. Questions? Write to wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

THURSDAY, APRIL 24 (Calvin College ChapelCalvin College)

7:30 pmBryant Terry, “Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed”

9:00 pm—Afro-Vegan Small Bites Reception + Book Signing (Copies of Afro-Vegan will be available for sale)

FRIDAY, APRIL 25 (Commons Annex Lecture HallCalvin College)

3:00 pm—Jill Fritz, Senior State Director, Michigan, Humane Society of the United States
“Keep Michigan Wolves Protected: What You Need To Know About the Michigan Wolf Hunt”

3:30 pm—Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, HSUS
“Forward Progress for Farm Animals: How and Why the Animal Movement is Winning”

5:30 pm—Compassionate Comestibles Vegan Potluck*

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? The Sweet LifeVegan Yum YumPost 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.

7:30 pm7th Annual Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture
Charles C. Camosy, Fordham University
“Should Pro-Lifers Be Vegetarians?”

9:00 pm—Reception and Book-Signing with Charles Camosy

SATURDAY, APRIL 26 (Bartertown/CVLT PIZZA and 106 Gallery and Studio)

11:00-1:00 pm—Brunch at Bartertown and CVLT PIZZA (6 Jefferson, Grand Rapids)

1:30 pm—Cooking Workshop with Sarah McMinn, The Sweet Life Online
“Green Comfort: Putting Plant Power to Work in Your Favorite Recipes” (106 S. Division)

3:00 pm—Steven McMullen, Calvin College
“Is Capitalism to Blame?: Animal Lives in the Marketplace” (106 S. Division)

5:00 pmVegan Chili Cook-off–Registration begins at 4:30 pm (106 S. Division)

Want to go for the glory in the most competitive vegan chili cook-off in the land? Please send an e-mail to wakeupweekend@gmail.com at your earliest convenience to register your signature chili for the chance to earn the ultimate bragging rights. 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 5:00 pm. Registration begins at 4:30.

8:00 pmClosing Reception for “Putting It All Together: A Wake Up Weekend Exhibit”

The compassion-minded curators behind such past Wake Up Weekend art events as “Named and Nameless” and “Kinship” (Brett Colley and Adam Wolpa) present their latest consciousness-raising effort, “Putting It All Together.” Rooted in anthropological curiosity, this exhibit will interrogate our strained, often absurd relationship to other animals through an array of cultural artifacts and oddities. Objects on view will range from the cute to the grotesque, extracted from our everyday experience with art, advertising, and design. Prepare to laugh and to cry, and above all to make connections between various, visual outputs of prevailing ideological apparatuses.

Questions? Need more information? Drop a line to wakeupweekend@gmail.com! See you at Wake Up Weekend 2014!


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Sarah McMinn of The Sweet Life Takes the Anxiety Out of Plant-based Cooking!

Ever think to yourself: “I’d love to eat a greener diet, but it seems like such a daunting transition that would mean giving up all my favorite culinary comforts!” As tempting as that thought may be, those of us weeping into bowls of steamed cauliflower have never met Sarah McMinn! This Calvin College alumna turned pastry chef turned vegan Überblogger has the cure for what ails you, whether that’s double-chocolate pistachio donuts, asparagus and sun-dried tomato quiche, portobello sliders with caramelized onions, or any of the mouthwatering raw desserts featured in her new ebook, In the Raw: Small Indulgences from The Sweet Life (chocolate dipped coconut macaroons, anyone?). McMinn’s focus in her workshop on Saturday, April 26 at 1:30 pm will be to demystify vegan food in the three categories of meat, dairy, and eggs, sharing insider info on her favorite substitutes, demoing an incredible chickpea salad, and offering samples of an amazing cashew cheese that can be transformed into things like her legendary Buffalo Cheddar Cheese with Coconut Bacon recipe. Whether you’re starting from scratch with green eating or an expert in vegan cuisine, Sarah’s got the chops to blow your culinary mind!


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Economist Steven McMullen says the answer is “Yes”! 

In recent years, our ability to produce animal-based food has increased dramatically, but this increased efficiency has come as a result of decreased quality of life and shorter life-spans for the animals.  Similarly, industrial breeding of animals for pet stores and experimentation often results in very poor living conditions for animals in the breeding facilities. Should this animal welfare problem be blamed on farmers?  Are consumers to blame?  Or should we blame the capitalist system in which people operate? McMullen argues that both farmers and consumers are limited in their ability to improve the lives of these animals because of the nature of the market economy in which animal lives are traded. Moreover, it is precisely the elements of the market economy that make it so successful that result in poor outcomes for animals in the system. According to McMullen, understanding the degree to which capitalism is the problem allows us to think clearly about what reforms are necessary really to improve the lives of animals. Join us on Saturday, April 26, at 3:00 pm for a sneak peek at this ground-breaking new research in economically-informed animal studies, soon to be a book in the Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series.



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HSUS’s Michigan Senior State Director Is On the Job For Our Lupine Friends!

Jill Fritz knows a little something about animal protection in northern exposures. Previously the state director in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Fritz now serves as Senior State Director for the Humane Society of the United States in Michigan, where she has played a key role in the passage of farm animal protection legislation, banning the confinement systems of battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates on factory farms. Among her latest challenges in the Mitten State is the highly-publicized battle to keep Michigan wolves protected from efforts to end a five-decade hunting ban on this species that has only just recently come off the endangered list. Join the pack on Friday, April 25, at 3:00 pm to find out more about how you can help!


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 Our Kitchen Table serves up food justice and a second helping of Bryant Terry!

When the big guns come to town, sometimes you’ve got to add that second show to satisfy the people. Our Kitchen Table and Calvin College have teamed up to do just that, offering an exclusive opportunity to grub with Bryant Terry and talk about the future of food justice in our fair city on Wednesday, April 23, at 6:00 pm. You’re welcome, Grand Rapids! This rare opportunity is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so pre-register today to secure your place at the table! Then come back out on Thursday night for second helpings of Bryant’s food and wisdom at the Calvin College Chapel. 



Colley and Wolpa on the Animal Artifact as Ideological Transmission Device

We’ve all seen wince-inducing racist and sexist artifacts that take our breath away and make us wonder how a civilized world could have ever suborned such ignorance and malice. From early-twentieth century Aunt Jemima salt shakers to Nazi-era money-hoarding “shylock” ashtrays to mid-century advertisements that portray women as kitchen and bedroom props, privileged human beings have long used mass-produced objects and images as a means of storing and transmitting ideological information about “othered” groups to consumer culture at large. These racist and sexist ideologies are often propagated and entrenched through the use of objects or images that seek to reduce the othered group in question to the status of animals, posturing black and brown people as bestial, Jewish people as rats or parasites, and women as meat. By portraying human beings as animal-like, these objects and images seek to make the groups in question easier to subjugate, exterminate, or consume.

Putting it all together

What is taken for granted here is that animals are fundamentally and unproblematically at our behest–we can put them to work for us, kill them at will, and use them for pleasure without the slightest compunction. Working at the intersection of racism, sexism, and speciesism, Brett Colley and Adam Wolpa have assembled a collection of artifacts that is designed to challenge this uninterrogated assumption. By foregrounding the all-too-often hidden humor, absurdity, and horror of our cultural and commercial inheritance of the view that animals are merely expendable, exploitable objects, the artists transport us in the present to a future in which our abject, presumptive, and tawdry objectifications of animals are on display in a new and troubling light (as each artifact label discloses) as “objects for the storage and transmission of a speciesist ideology.” Come and test yourself. What you do not see at first glance may be even more telling than what you do.



Get your research on so you’re prepared for that meet and greet on April 24!

In just 16 days, you’ll be hanging out with Bryant Terry. And since it’s always good hospitality to know a little something about your honored guests, it’s time to read up on the books that influenced Afro-Vegan so you can drop those casual references to the work of Robin D.G. Kelly and your knowledge about the unique treatments of millet in Super Natural Cooking. While you’re getting your very own copy of Afro-Vegan (AVAILABLE TODAY!!!) signed, for instance, instead of making small talk about the weather and looking like a big dummy, you can say something extra-sophisticated like “Your handwriting reminds me of a personal note I received from Edna Lewis that I use as a bookmark in my dog-eared copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which is only ever shelved when I’m engrossed in my annual The Bluest Eye read-a-thon, you know?” Smooooooth!