AKG Lecture Series Turns Ten!


On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, We’ll Celebrate!

Join us for a full day of animal-friendly events planned in celebration of the tenth annivesary of the Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series at Calvin College. For more information on each of these events, please visit their Facebook event pages below, indicate your interest, and share with friends and family who might want to join us! Hope to see you on Tuesday, April 4!

Main Program

10:30 am-Prospects and Problems for Christian Veganism

2:00 pm-Intersectional Veganism(s)

3:45 pm-Animal Ethics and Christianity: A Panel Discussion

7:30 pm-Tenth Annual Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture




Judging the Cookoff


Three cooking demonstrations, four lectures, five vegan food sampling events, and a chili cook-off later, Wake Up Weekend 2014 is history! With a combined event attendance of approaching 700, the turnout was stellar for a beautiful weekend in April during which we know you had many other options! We are so grateful for your participation! HEARTFELT THANKS go out as well to OUR EXCELLENT SPEAKERS and to everyone who pitched in to make our events a big success! That’s YOU, Calvin College Office for Multicultural Affairs and Office of Community Engagement, Our Kitchen Table, Students for Compassionate Living, and Vegan Grand Rapids! And YOU TOO, Malamiah Juice Bar, Brick Road Pizza, Wednesday Evening Cookies, Bartertown Diner, Bloom Ferments, and Love’s Ice Cream.  Extra SPECIAL THANKS are due to Tofurky, Beanfields, Field Roast, The Christian Vegetarian AssociationMercy for Animals, and VegFund for their generous support of our vegan food sampling and chili cook-off events. What a weekend!

Wake Up Weekend Chimes Coverage

OKT Bryant Terry Event

OKT Bryant and Future Chef

OKT Bryant Signing Books

OKT Bryant with OKT Crew

Calvin Bryant Cooking Demo

Potluck Malamiah Juice SamplingPotluck Juicy Kiddos

Potluck Full House

Paul and Adam

Camosy Lecture

McMinn Demo


McMinn Lecture

Next Gen Veg Activists

Sampling Volunteers Prep Tofurky

Tofurky Presentation

Sampling Wednesday Evening Cookies


Prize Cupcakes from Marie Catrib's

Field Roast Samples

Kombucha samples


Chili Registration










Winner's Circle

Big Winners Tofurky

To the winners go the spoils! And here at Wake Up Weekend, everybody wins: human beings, animals, and the planet! Stay tuned for updates on next year’s exciting line up, which will WAKE US UP to the many and often hidden intersections between and among animal rights, disability, and the other! MANY THANKS AGAIN & SEE YOU SOON!


Egan and Cupcakes

First 24 people to register a vegan chili receive a Marie Catrib’s vegan cupcake!

In addition to being the Manager behind the vegan baking wizardry at the much beloved Marie Catrib’s of Grand Rapids, Egan Ferrar is a very generous person. When I asked her to join the prestigious circle of Wake Up Weekend 2014 Vegan Chili Cook-off judges, her first response was to offer to “bake the registrants a special treat to thank them for their participation. If I’m going to judge their hard work,” she continued, “they should get a chance to judge mine.” Quantities are limited, so if you’re planning to enter a chili, now is the time to claim your cupcake. Tell us your name, your preferred contact information, a competition name for your chili and a list of key words for its flavor profile (optional) and we’ll lock down your cupcake! Maybe a close-up of these jumbo juggernauts of cupcakey goodness will motivate you to send that email right now: wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

Cupcakes close up


Vegan Chili Madness Unleashed: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 5:00 pm!
The seventh annual Wake Up Weekend Vegan Chili Cook-off is right around the corner. So bring it. Your best, most creative, most beautiful vegan chili. We’ve removed all barriers to entry. No fees! No cost to attend! A chance to put your best chili chops on some of the most discriminating palates in the area. But whether you’re coming as a competitor or a taster, *please bring your own dinnerware/muffin tin (see below), utensils, cup, and non-alchoholic beverage (if you’re thirsty)*. We want this event to have the smallest possible carbon footprint, and bringing your own washables or compostables can help us with that. Also, please consider doing your forgetful neighbor a good turn and bring a couple extra plates or utensils to share!

If you want to enter a chili into competition:

-Give us a heads-up (if you can–we get that sometimes the mood strikes late) at wakeupweekend@gmail.com.

-Bring enough vegan chili to serve 10-12 hungry adults. We recommend a crock pot or some other contraption that will enable you to KEEP IT HOT!

-Come a little early to register, set up your chili, and prepare your samples for the judges (106 S. Division, Grand Rapids, think 4:30 pm

-Prepare to win fabulous prizes of delicious products and glitzy swag from Tofurky,  Beanfields Chips, Field Roast, and Mercy For Animals, assuming–of course–that you’ve got what it takes to dethrone last year’s triple-crown Champion Laura Mulder (who has eschewed our invitation to the judges panel to battle it out with all comers again this year)!

Not taking the vegan chili challenge? That’s okay. We need you anyway!
– Taste the vegan chili entries
– Place your vote for the People’s Choice Award
– Try some killer vegan food from local restaurants including Bartertown, Brick Road Pizza, and Wednesday Evening Cookies, and enjoy some amazing samples of the best vegan convenience foods out there from Tofurky, Beanfields Chips, and Field Roast.
– Bring a muffin tin to make your tasting duties A SNAP!
– No muffin tin? Just bring a fork and spoon (or maybe one of those messed-up sporks) – we’ll provide taster bowls.
– Bring your own beverage*–some for you, some to share: water, almond milk, juice, kombucha, coconut water–you know, something to drink.
* Please note: This event is all-ages and 106 is an alcohol-free zone. Please make sure your beverage of choice is venue suitable. Thanks!

Sorry muffins. These tins are full up.



Wanna know where Paul Shapiro Gets His Protein? Wonder no longer!

He may take second in a gun show with Oakland Raiders Defensive Lineman (and vegan!) David Carter (Paul’s the one on the right in the photo at the upper left), but suffering from a protein deficiency he is not. Check out this exclusive interview with Vegan Grand Rapids to learn more about what fuels this Überactivist’s daily efforts to go for the gold (spoiler alert: lentil soup directly from the can).


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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!