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.

3 New Sponsors and a VegFund Grant!

3 Excellent Companies and a Terrific Non-Profit Support WuW 2012!
What do Alternative Baking Company, Field Roast, Tofurky, and VegFund have in common? For one thing, they all work tirelessly to bring delicious, nutritious, compassionate cuisine to hungry people everywhere. And for another, they’ve all pledged to help us make Wake Up Weekend 2012 the best one to date! Thanks to VegFund, Wake Up Weekend participants can expect sumptuous samples of the most delicious vegan products currently available, as well as bite-sized vegan vittles from Bartertown Diner and Brick Road Pizza at the vegan chili cook-off. Thanks to Alternative Baking Company, Field Roast, and Tofurky, the opening reception for KINSHIP will be extra delectable, and winners of the chili cook-off can expect more enviable prize packages than ever! Thanks so much to these excellent organizations for their generous support!

2012 Official Schedule!

Our annual grassroots celebration of animal-friendly food, art, education, and advocacy brought to you by extraVEGANza!, Calvin College, Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, Humane Society of Grand Valley State University, Our Kitchen Table, Square Inch Community, Brick Road Pizza, and Students for Compassionate Living.

All events are free and open to the public (excluding the optional vegan buffet on Saturday morning ($12.00) and the Adoption Benefit Show on Saturday evening (suggested donation is $6.00). Donations to defray costs are cheerfully accepted. Questions? Write to

7:30 pmWayne Pacelle, President and CEO, Humane Society of the United States
“The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them”
Calvin College Chapel, 1835 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids
A reception and book signing follow the talk. Click here for more information on Wayne Pacelle, The Humane Society of the United States, and The Bond.

3:30 pmBryant Terry, 5th Annual Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecturer
“Out of the Factory, Into the Field: Cooking as Inspiration for Liberation”
Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids
A reception and book signing follow the lecture/cooking demo. Click here for further details on The Animals and the Kingdom of God Lecture Series, Bryant’s talk, and his hot-off-the-press new book, The Inspired Vegan, which will debut here at Wake Up Weekend.

6:00 pm–“Compassionate Comestibles” Vegan Potluck*
Commons Annex Lecture Hall, Calvin College
Hosted by CCCS “Eating as an Act of Justice” Workshop and Square Inch Community.
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 Ready Table, 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.

10:00 am–Panel Discussion:”Neighborhood Urban Growing”
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids
Lisa Oliver King (Our Kitchen Table), Jill Myer (Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council), and special guest Bryant Terry discuss how to make our urban neighborhoods greener, more nourishing, and more just places to eat and to live. Bryant will be signing copies of The Inspired Vegan and his other books, so if you have to miss his cooking demo on Friday, here’s a second chance to get the newest vegan cookbook on the planet straight from the source.

11:00 am–Inspired Vegan Brunch
Brick Road Pizza Company, 1017 Wealthy Street, Grand Rapids
A vegan buffet of Brick Road brunch favorites supplemented with some custom selections from Bryant Terry’s hot-off-the-press cookbook, The Inspired Vegan. All you can eat for $12.00 (kids half price!).

1:30 pm–Panel Discussion: “Spiritual Food: Eating and the Church”
106 Gallery and Studio, 106 South Division, Grand Rapids
Join Steve De Ruiter, Leonard J. Vander Zee, and Michelle Loyd-Paige for a community discussion on the prospects and pitfalls that intensified discussion of the theological and moral importance of greener diets might have for hospitality, fellowship, and community service in the church.

3:00 pmNathan Runkle, Founder and Executive Director, Mercy For Animals
“Inspiring Compassion: Putting our Ethics on the Table”
106 Gallery and Studio, 106 South Division, Grand Rapids
Learn from the best about 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. Click here to learn more about Nathan Runkle and Mercy For Animals.

6:00 pm–Opening Reception: KINSHIP-An Art Exhibition of and for Animals Like Us
Curated by GVSU Art and Design Professor Brett Colley, KINSHIP features the works of 15 concerned, compassionate artists, including Sue Coe, Jenny Pope, Adam Wolpa, Mike Guyette, Christina Mrozik, Shanna Shearer, Emily Gray Koehler, Kirsten Strom, Brett Colley, Ryan Hill, Tim Oliphant, Margaret Reed, Jenny Schneider, Richard Gibson and Linsey Tankersley.

6:30 pm–Sixth Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff
106 Gallery and Studio, 106 South Division, Grand Rapids
Want to go for the glory in the most competitive vegan chili cook-off in the land? Please send an e-mail to at your earliest convenience to register your signature chili for the chance to earn the ultimate bragging rights plus terrific prize packages from the good folks at Alternative Baking Company, Field Roast, and Tofurky. 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 6:00 pm.

8:30 pm–Adoption Benefit Show
Featuring Damned Dogs, Radiator Hospital, and Royl Space
106 Gallery and Studio, 106 South Division, Grand Rapids
Your $6.00 suggested donation gets you three amazing Michigan musical acts for one great cause: our goal is to raise $420 for Sasha Farm to continue our support of Moose, a rescued former veal calf whose room and board we sponsored last year.

Questions? Need more information? Drop a line to! See you at Wake Up Weekend 2011!

Guess Who’s Coming to WuW 2012?

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 Factory, Into the Field: 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!