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FVA in Action - Qtr. 1, 2024

Updated: Apr 22

FVA in Action - Qtr. 1, 2024

Dear FVA members, friends, and readers, again we share with you our FVA meetup events! We now have over 4686 signed up as ‘interested’ in our group & activities. As you can see, we continue to have a variety of opportunities for you to become involved. WHERE ARE YOU? Please join our Meetup, please sign up for events that interest you, then PLEASE attend the events and help the animals! (If for some reason you find that you are unable to attend, please be kind enough to change your RSVP. This will help us to better know what attendance to expect at our events and plan appropriately.)

FVA in the Community /Tablings:

1/4, 2/1, 3/7 - Vegan Support Groups, Open Forums, held virtually via Zoom. Join great discussions with some regular attendees and new ones each time. No pressure to chat, but we always like everyone to introduce themselves. Join our hosts: Kimberly Gronemeyer, Psy.D., Myriam Parham, RD, CDCES & Cathy Unruh, Journalist, Author and Animal Advocate.

1/11 – FVA Treasurer Trevor Chin went shopping with the USF group Students Protecting the Environment and Animals through Knowledge (SPEAK) for the biannual shopping spree, paid for by FVA, to benefit the USF student pantry. SPEAK co-presidents, Ally Caine & Thomas Muthalakuzhy enjoyed selecting $254 worth of vegan grocery items for the pantry.

2/10 - FVA Tabling at HSTB Bark In The Park, organized by Trevor Chin

2/25 – Our 29th Annual Have A Heart for the Animals Awards Dinner Fundraiser held at Vine Vegan in Brandon. The event was filled to capacity. Delicious desserts were provided by Oopsy Daisy and many wonderful donations for our silent auction made it a successful fundraiser. Thanks also to our incredible speakers, Dani Hall, Melissa Zepeda & Bill Samuels, and our moderator Cathy Unruh, who made the panel very interesting and informative. Many thanks to Vine Vegan owner, Danielle Stevens and staff for a delightful meal and for helping to make our evening so special.

3/16 – Al Lopez Park Quarterly Cleanup – We had 8 helpers! Tom Bird, Dani, Brent & Connor Hall, Suzanne House, Diane Koon, Lawrence Levesque, & Laura Pennington. THANKS to all!! Al Lopez Park Year-Round Feral Cats feeding, trapping for medical care and/or sterilizations. Coordinated by Tom Bird, volunteers take turns once a week making sure the cats are fed. Thanks to Tom, Suzanne House, Ron Gray, Laura Pennington, Amy Anderson, Gustavo Delavilla and Kenny Echezabal for doing this 365 days a year total dedication!

Media & Other Activities:

1/15 – WMNF Sustainable Living Radio program again featured our own Dani Hall, Ecologist, Environmentalist & Author. As a local expert, she spoke on organic gardening and how to avoid using animal products to promote green eco living and protecting our planet and creatures.

1/29 – FVA members travelled to Tallahassee to Lobby for the Animals and the environment. ALDF & HSUS hosted a day of updating all on the Florida Legislature bills that were related to Animal issues. We visited our respective Florida Senators & Representatives to speak about the bills. The following took the time to travel there for this important activity; Ted Ellquist, Dani Hall, Myriam Parham, Laura Pennington, Jacinda Shapiro, Melissa Zepeda. Many other Florida activists including Bryan & Carla Wilson, were also in attendance.

FVA sends donations to local shelters - Sanctuary Monthly Donations:

Feb. - $200 donated to the Raptor Center of Tampa Bay

Mar. - $200 donated to the St. Francis Society Animal Rescue, to help with desperately needed kitten food.

FVA Demos for the Animals:

1/20 & 2/24 - “Go Vegan Demos” at St. Pete Saturday Morning Market, organized by Hussein Mourtada

2/28 – FVA members join PETA Demo at Whole Foods, St Pete, to protest the grand opening of a Whole Foods store because the chain still sells cruelly obtained Thai coconut milk. PETA Asia has now conducted three investigations into Thailand's coconut industry, and every time investigators found monkeys living in chains, being forced to pick coconuts, and unable to do anything that's natural and important to them.

3/3 – FVA members join In Defense of Animals (IDA) & Solutionary Species (SS) on World Wildlife Day at Lowry Zoo to protest the cruel confinement of elephants, the largest land mammals on Earth, who do not belong in a tiny zoo exhibit, bored and depressed for years. The goal was to inform the public about the deprived lives of Zoo Tampa's elephants, especially its lone male, Sdudla, whose sad plight is why this zoo was named the ninth Worst Zoo for Elephants in 2023. It is time for Zoo Tampa to live up to its mission to "rescue, rehabilitate, and care for animals" and its vision to "protect and preserve wildlife." None of the six elephants at Zoo Tampa were "rescued," and deserve better. Thanks to the FVA members who attended this protest; Anne Marie Cancio, Suzanne House, Hussein Mourtada, Myriam Parham, Jacinda Shapiro. Thanks to Shannon Blair and SS & IDA friends for organizing this event.

4/6 - FVA members and volunteers went to the two locations of the SPCA of Tampa Bay's Pet Walks to obtain signatures from pet lovers on a petition asking the Pinellas County Board of Commissioner's to rescind their decision to grandfather in 6 pet stores which can still sell dogs from puppy mills. Thanks to Kim Gronemeyer, Myriam Parham, Suzanne House, Laura Weiss, Elizabeth Olsen, and Anna Cooke for obtaining signatures.

Please check our FVA meet-up calendar to join us at events like these and more so we can get to know each other. Finally, PLEASE support vegan restaurants in your area. Most need your support to survive these difficult times. If you can’t dine in, order take out!!! We hope to see you soon!

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