Wayne Pacelle’s Talk is on Vimeo!

HSUS President and CEO Discusses the Human/Animal Bond at Calvin College
In case you missed Wayne Pacelle’s talk at Calvin College during Wake Up Weekend 2012, you can stream it above or send the Vimeo link to friends and family. Also, feel free to check out and share all the media coverage of Wayne’s visit, including his radio interviews with WGVU and WMUK, a critical appraisal of HSUS in the Kalamazoo Gazette and a reply to it from Pacelle, and these write-ups in The Rapidian, The Grand Rapids Press, and Exploits of a Vegan Wannabe. Thanks so much again to Wayne Pacelle, HSUS Michigan State Director Jill Fritz, The Humane Society of the United States, and Calvin Center For Christian Scholarship for this terrific opportunity!

WuW 2012 Vegan Chili Champs!

Three Extraordinary Chilis Take Top Honors
With a lucky thirteen chilis in the running this year, Wake Up Weekend Vegan Chili Cookoff judges Bryant Terry, Emily Richett, Brett Colley, and Lisa Van Arragon had their work cut out for them. Three chilis in particular got their special attention (and yours!). And the winners are…

Smokehouse Vegan Chili Cleans Up!
Holy Smokehouse! This chili raked in the accolades, with first place finishes in the Best Overall and Chef’s Choice categories, and a second place finish for People’s Choice. Laura Mulder walked away with better than half of this year’s terrific prize packages, including a Tofurky Lunchbox stuffed with VIP coupons for Tofurky pizzas and Go Max Go Candy Bars, a primo Field Roast swag bundle with a t-shirt and vouchers for their delectable vegan sausages, and an autographed copy of Bryant Terry’s The Inspired Vegan. Congratulations, Laura! Next year’s competitors can all be glad that you’ll be at the judge’s table in 2013!

Uncle Gus’s Chili and Ethiopian Spice Chili in the Spotlight!
When the beans were counted, Jill Martindale and B. Money’s “Uncle Gus’s Chili” emerged victorious as The People’s Choice, sending them home with his-n-hers Field Roast t-shirts and some dynamite product. As for this year’s cutting edge, Emily Helmus’ “Ethiopian Spice” was awarded the prize for Most Innovative, earning her a swank basket of goodies from Alternative Baking Company; the fame of this chili has spread so far and wide that there is a whole newspaper article devoted to it!

Michael Newsted Photography

Wake Up Weekend Through the Lens of a Photographic Genius
If you were paying attention this year, you may have noticed the presence of one Michael Robert Newsted–on stage, in the crowd, behind the scenes–anywhere a glimmer of the soul of Wake Up Weekend might shine forth from the fray. Just look at what he managed to set free from our events in this captivating Wake Up Weekend photo set on his blog. Michael was kind enough to donate his time and formidable talent to our cause. Let’s reward his generosity by supporting his artistic and musical endeavors. Thanks so much, Michael, for the investment of your insight into our events! If what we do as a community of Wake Up Weekenders is even half as beautiful and inspiring as you make it look, a revolution is afoot!

Wake Up Weekend on TV!

When Emily Richett is on the beat, people tune in. That’s why we couldn’t be more grateful to Emily and her Fox17 Morning News Team for generously devoting 15 minutes of their morning show to four different spots highlighting various aspects of Wake Up Weekend. Tune in to Emily’s video feed to watch Wake Up Weekenders making breakfast, talking up our terrific speakers and the KINSHIP Art Exhibition, eating tofu scramble with fresh chia pudding that we demoed in an earlier segment, and attempting in vain to summarize all of our many exciting events in one final round-up spot! Visit Emily’s Facebook Fan Page and tell her you love her. But don’t get too chatty, especially if you’re entering a chili; Emily’s a judge this year and flattery will get you nowhere. It all starts tonight at 7:30 pm with Wayne Pacelle! Let’s do this!

Wake Up Weekend is NOW!

An Annual Celebration of Compassionate Living in Grand Rapids, MI
Wake Up Weekend is an annual grass-roots celebration of animal-friendly advocacy, art, food, education, music, philosophy, and religion in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our mission is to demonstrate that compassionate living toward animals is an accessible, inspiring, inclusive, and holistic way for engaged human beings from all walks of life to live more intentionally for the good of all creatures–human beings, animals, and the environment.

Through free and open public lectures, workshops, exhibitions and community events that bring the creativity and vision of activists, artists, chefs, philosophers, and theologians into unexpected and often bracing juxtaposition, Wake Up Weekend seeks to solicit the many but often hidden ways in which the exploitation of animals–an urgent moral issue in its own right–sustains other entrenched forms of oppression that we all stand against: global hunger, diseases of affluence, the exploitation of women, racial injustice, and environmental degradation. But if our culture’s exploitation of animals has negative repercussions for virtually every square inch of the order of things, then the wake up call to more compassionate living toward animals is also an invitation to the work of making all things new.

We hope you’ll join us in this work! To increase the likelihood that you will, we strive to minimize barriers to entry. Our events are free, open to the public, and achieved through collaboration among a variety of individuals, institutions, organizations, and businesses that take a variety of perspectives on animal advocacy. Accordingly, Wake Up Weekend is less a single, unified event than it is a collaborative community of events in which different people with diverse outlooks and callings can exchange ideas, challenge one another, and rally together around a common interest. For this reason, not all advertised events necessarily reflect the views of all sponsors.

KINSHIP! Look What’s In Store!

A Statement from KINSHIP Exhibition Curator Brett Colley
This exhibition has been coordinated in partnership with Calvin College faculty Matt Halteman and Adam Wolpa, co-conveners of Wake Up Weekend – a series of awareness-raising events dedicated to advocacy on behalf of all living creatures.

Over the years, the artists assembled here have produced significant work concerned with the welfare of our planet and those we share it with. While many of the pieces included in Kinship do not speak overtly to issues of animal rights, all serve to illustrate how deeply we connect to our non-human relatives. That we so clearly admire their intellect and beauty, empathize with their pain and take solace in their company yet still imprison them, harvest their skin and bones, and plunder their habitats for our own development indicates psychosis on a societal scale, the unfortunate outcome of anthropocentric, industrialized “growth”.

I believe in a sea change – a slow, inexorable transformation in our understanding and behavior – and often feel adrift somewhere in the midst of it. As a nation we are increasingly interested in the origins and nutritional content of our food, as well as in granting rights and respect to those recognized as minorities. If popular magazine articles, morning news segments, a robust retail niche market and innumerable devoted blogs are any indication, we are equally (if not more) invested in our pets. Pets have assumed the role of extended family in an era when we are routinely cut off from one another due to careers, college, marital collapse, etc. Companion animals have become our lifelines, emotionally, spiritually, even materially.

The intent of this show – and of the continued work of many artists included – is to make an appeal in our human voices on behalf of ALL our non-human family, to express the anguish and suffering that we are often unable to hear. Of course these beautiful creatures can and do speak for themselves but not in language that we, with our limited experiences, commonly recognize. In addition, billions of our kin are locked away in darkened sheds and cramped cages, unable to be heard or seen at all.

For decades biologists and ethologists have observed the complex social behaviors of other species – the unique “name-calling” among dolphins, the mourning of elephants, the elaborate alarm systems of prairie dogs, the gallant mating rites of roosters, the cleverness of crows. Given the swell of evidence attesting to their sentience and the richness of their lives, it becomes increasingly difficult, in principle, to dismiss all that we know in the interest of our human taste preferences, alleged convenience, and base desire for cheap goods.

As our understanding of the nuanced languages and culture of other animals becomes broadly accepted – part of mainstream consciousness – I believe that the privileging of humankind over all nonhumans will be rendered yet another chapter in our sorrowful, bloodied history. We, the artists of Kinship, are eager to help write the pages that follow.

Brett Colley
Associate Professor of Art and Design
Grand Valley State University

Got Vegan Chili Game? OK, Then!

Vegan Chili Madness Unleashed: Sat. at 6:30 pm, 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids!
The sixth 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 world–people like, I don’t know…Bryant Terry?

If you want to enter a chili:
– 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 8-10 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 South Division, Grand Rapids, think 6:00-6:10 pm)

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 samples from our friends at local restaurants
– 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–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.

Bryant Terry’s New TV Show!

URBAN ORGANIC on Web TV. Having a New Book is So Five Minutes Ago!
In the unlikely event that you aren’t already beside yourself with excitement over Bryant Terry’s appearances at Wake Up Weekend next Friday and Saturday, now he’s a Web TV STAR as well as a bestselling author. Learn more about Urban Organic here, and burnish up that legendary GR vegan hospitality to welcome one of the movement’s most inspiring young leaders!

Vegan Eats in Grand Rapids!

25 More Reasons to Make the Trip to Wake Up Weekend 2012!
Those of us who live here know that Grand Rapids is herbivore heaven, what with the myriad plant-based choices offered at such GR staples as Bartertown Diner and Roc’s Cakes, Brick Road Pizza, The Heritage Restaurant, Jonny B’z, Little Africa, Marie Catrib’s, Pal’s Indian Cuisine, Rowster Coffee, Stella’s Lounge, and Thai Express. If you’re from out of town, however, we don’t want you to miss our favorite local restaurants–the places that have made herbivorousness too easy and too delicious to turn down. Also, you can troll for ideas on our two home-grown vegan websites, extraVEGANza! and Vegan Grand Rapids. If you’re lucky enough to live in GR, please leave a comment with your favorite veg-friendly restaurants and dishes so that our out-of-town guests will have some leads upon their arrival.