Strategic Planning Session Monday, February 3rd at 7 pm

A few weeks ago, I invited everyone to a pre-AGM strategic planning session.

It’s now been scheduled for Monday, February 3rd at 7 pm. The address is on the facebook event. You can email satelliterobot@hotmail.com for the address if you’re not on facebook.

We’ll be talking about our goals as an organization, and what we do to achieve them.

Some examples:

Should we focus more on outreach to non-vegans, or on supporting the existing vegan community?

Should we hold more events? Fewer? Different kinds?

Should we focus more on outreach to businesses, getting more discounts, etc.?

Are people still keen on VegFest? Is it good as-is or does it need an overhaul?

How can we get more people interested in volunteering?

We’ll also be looking at the results of our survey (which is available in French or in English if you still haven’t filled it out).

At this point, we’re only expecting the people who said they were coming via the Doodle Poll we set up, so if you haven’t signed up there and do still want to come, please sign up.

Thanks for you interest in making your NCVA the best it can be!

 

Fabulous Falafel Salad

Neil and I have decided that this is our new favourite meal, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.

The first time, try it exactly as it’s written here. The combination of the crunchy lettuce, tomato, falafel, lemon-tahini dressing and baguette must be tasted to be believed. After that, start adding greens or swapping out whole wheat bread or whatever else you feel you’ve gotta do.

This makes two meal-sized salads….

Salad:

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber

Lemon-Tahini Dressing*:

1/2 cup tahini
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4  teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chick peas

*You may recognize this “lemon-tahini dressing” as essentially hummus. I didn’t call it that because, if I did, you might just use bought hummus instead of making it yourself, and bought hummus ruins everything.

Extras:

8 falafels, cooked according to instructions (I used PC falafels, which you can find in the “boxed meat” section of the grocery store)

8 slices white baguette (Ace are nice, especially the “bake yourself” ones). Put some Earth Balance on ’em if you’re feeling really decadent!

Directions:

1) Divide the veggies onto two large plates.
2) Put the dressing ingredients into a large jar and whiz with a hand blender for one minute.
3) Arrange 4 falafels and 4 bread slices around the veggies on each plate.
4) Scoop about a 3/4 cup of dressing onto each salad and serve.

Be Kind to Activists, Feed the Birds

A while back, an animal rights activist who I know only casually sent out a call for help on Facebook. She was working in the Territories and needed help re-homing a dog that had been abandoned, tied for weeks to a tree.

She’d done what she could for the dog, feeding him and trying to make him comfortable in her home. But her job posting there was ending soon, and she was already on thin ice with her employers because her pro-animal attitudes weren’t jiving too well with the locals.

I’ll save you the suspense and tell you that the story has a happy ending. The dog was taken in by a wonderful rescue in British Columbia. Before this excellent resolution, however, my heart broke – not only for the abandoned dog, but for the activist herself. I imagined what it would be like to be her: all alone among unsympathetic strangers and facing the very real possibility of having to leave this dog to his fate.

As I reflect now, it occurs to me that this is exactly the sort of situation in which all of us should make an extra effort to help.

Why? Why should we take a particular interest when an activist needs help saving an animal? Because, as a friend of mine puts it, you’ll be “feeding two birds with one scone”. Three birds, actually.

Bird#1: You’re helping the animal. Just one in the sea of desperate creatures you probably see in your facebook feed each day, but he or she is as deserving of a break as anyone.

Bird #2: You’re helping ease the pain of a fellow activist. As some of you may know first hand (and as I know from studying animal activists from a sociological perspective), being an animal activist in a world that treats them as chattel can be emotionally draining if not downright debilitating.

Bird #3: In addition to relieving the activist’s short-term pain, you are giving her hope. Hope that there are others out there that feel as she does. Hope that when she reaches out for help on behalf on her non-animal brethren, someone will heed the call. In other words, you help her remain an animal activist. And that helps the animal protection movement flourish.

So how did I come to the revelation, you ask. Well, the simple fact is that I’m playing the role of heartsick activist right now. We foster cats for the Ottawa Humane Society, and the fellow we had for four months just went into the adoption centre. From a comfy seat on our couch, our constant attention and the companionship of his foster sister, he has gone to a cage in a PetValu in Nepean.

And I feel pretty much like crap about it. So crappy, in fact, that I am unsure if I can emotionally handle fostering the next cat in need.

What’s helping me, however, is the fact that, when I asked my Facebook friends to share his profile, a lot of them did. They may think it was a small thing, but it meant a lot to me.

Anyway, if what I’ve said resonates at all with you and you agree that going the extra mile to help your fellow activists is a swell idea, then I have just the place for you to start!

Neil made an adoption profile for our darling Damon. Please share it: http://bit.ly/1eDo6G7

Help him, help me, and help the movement by giving an activist the hope she needs to stay in the game just a little bit longer.

Invitation to NCVA Strategic Planning Session

Before our Annual General Meeting (which is fast approaching – announcement coming soon), we want to hold a strategic planning session.

Basically, we want to talk about our goals as an organization, and what we do to achieve them.

Some examples:

Should we focus more on outreach to non-vegans, or on supporting the existing vegan community?

Should we hold more events? Fewer? Different kinds?

Should we focus more on outreach to businesses, getting more discounts, etc.?

Are people still keen on VegFest? Is it good as-is or does it need an overhaul?

How can we get more people interested in volunteering?

If you’d like to offer your opinion on the NCVA’s goals and activities, please fill out this survey, either in French or in English. Please fill it out before January 24th, 2014 – that way we can analyse the data before the strategic planning session.

The strategic planning session itself will be held on a weeknight between January 27th and February 7th. It will be somewhere central, but we can’t say for sure yet since it will depend on how many people want to come. If you wish to attend, fill out this Doodle Poll to let us know what nights you can and can’t make it. If you can’t make any of the proposed dates but are really keen to come, comment on this post and we’ll see about alternate dates.

Thanks for you interest in making your NCVA the best it can be!