My Voice T-Shirts

November 22, 2013 — Press Release

My Voice Partners With Beagle Freedom Project, Launching New Anti-Animal Testing Shirt

MY VOICE PARTNERS WITH BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT TO LAUNCH NEW ANTI ANIMAL TESTING SHIRT
The charitable t-shirt company focused on giving animals a voice has launched a new shirt tackling the issue of animal testing with proceeds going to Beagle Freedom Project.

November 22, 2013 (Minneapolis, MN) – My Voice is honored to partner with Beagle Freedom Project to help bring awareness about the tens of thousands of animals currently existing in testing laboratories. The new shirt, featuring a beagle, is intended to inform people that product testing is being done on thousands of dogs (and cats) each year. “Many people are unaware that products are tested on animals that we consider pets and are horrified when they learn this” says Kelli Rutherford, founder of My Voice. “The work Beagle Freedom Project does to save these animals once labs no longer have use for them is amazing. Most of these animals have never seen the sun or felt grass under their feet so to give them the chance to live a normal life is work we’re so happy to help support.”

To launch the shirt, My Voice is giving away three cruelty-free gift boxes containing brands such as Lush, Earnest Eats and Vega. Every Beagle shirt purchased from 11/22-11/27/13 is an entry to win one of the three gift boxes. No better time than now to stock up on holiday gifts for all the animal lovers out there! Winners will be announced on 11/29/13 on My Voice’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MyVoiceTshirts The shirts can be found here:

Men’s/Unisex - http://goo.gl/U4QGQM
Women's - http://goo.gl/ntnDjX

My Voice is a clothing company committed to helping animals live a better life. By using approachable humor and writing from the perspective of the animal our designs are able to break down barriers and create conversation around the issues faced by the animals and marine life we share our planet with. We are committed to volunteering our time and giving back a portion of our profits to donation-dependent rescues and sanctuaries that work tirelessly every day to give animals a better life. Please visit myvoicegives.com for more information or contact us at info@myvoicetshirts.com.
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October 07, 2013 — Sadie & Bella Say

A Behind the Scenes Look at Kindest Cut Spay/Neuter Mobile Unit

My Voice Blog - Kindest Cut Mobile Unit

Maybe you’ve seen one driving down the highway or possibly you’ve seen one parked in a local parking lot for the day. So what are we talking about? One of those low cost, mobile spay/neuter van that brings the operating room to you; and your dog, cat or rabbit of course. I was lucky enough to spend the day with the folks from Kindest Cut here in Minnesota to observe what really happens on these mobile surgical units. Over the course of the day I found a whole new respect not only for what they do but why they do it.

The van itself is a tight space and every square inch is used as effectively and efficiently as possible. There are always at least four people on the van which include a vet and three vet techs. Cages of varying sizes line both sides which are used to house the animals after intake while they wait for their turn to be prepped for surgery. It also serves as their recovery room after surgery is complete. The measures they take to ensure everything in the operating area at the back of the van stays completely sterile is impressive. The surgery time varies depending on the species and whether they are male or female, but it is quick and efficient which means their time under anesthesia is minimal. In addition to the general pain meds given for surgical patients, the veterinarians also use an additional type of pain management they call blocks, or local anesthesia, with helps with aftercare. That makes for an easier recovery and gets them back to the comfort of their own home with their family much faster. In addition to spaying or neutering your animal, for an extra fee they will also microchip and vaccinate them if needed and everyone gets a nail trim and a brand new name tag too!

            My Voice Blog- Kindest Cut MN  My Voice Blog- Kindest Cut MN  My Voice Blog- Kindest Cut MN
My Voice Blog- Kindest Cut MNBut I think what impressed me the most was the Kindest Cut staff. They truly love what they do, they obviously enjoy working with each other and most of all, they really love the animals that come on board. The staff is busy from start to finish but they always found time to give love and special attention to each of the animals while they’re there. They talked with such conviction about the issues surrounding homeless dogs and cats and their part in trying to help make a positive impact on pet overpopulation. It really was like watching a well-oiled machine with a touch of TLC thrown in the mix.

Of course I couldn’t close out the day without asking Dr. Kruck what she thought the animals she’s helped would say if they could speak our language. She thought they’d say “Thank you for helping me focus on my family, not on making babies and for allowing me to live a healthier, longer life.” Thank you Dr. Kruck and all of the Kindest Cut staff for helping us give our pets a better life.


So have you been wanting to get your pet spayed or neutered but time or money was a barrier? Well this might just be a perfect solution for you. Kindest cut serves locations throughout Minnesota and works by appointment only. Since their focus is offering low cost spay/neuter for people who would otherwise not be able to afford such a surgery, there are eligibility requirements. You can find all the details about Kindest Cut on their website including information about their owner and lead vet Dr. Meghann Kruck, their scheduled locations, services offered and scheduling appointments. And even more good news, Kindest Cut just opened a stationary spay/neuter clinic located at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, MN. Now it just got easier for all of us to do our part in helping to put an end to pet overpopulation! No excuses now, right?

August 27, 2013 — Sadie & Bella Say

Celebrating the life of Ahnung, a special dog that brought a community together

Ahnung was one of those dogs that you felt an instant connection with. She had such a gentle spirit and such soulful eyes that you couldn’t help but love her the minute you met her.Ahnung and Marilou

It was last fall when My Voice was exhibiting at a local event that I had the privilege of meeting Marilou. It only takes a moment to realize what a kind soul she is. It’s no wonder a dog like Ahnung was destined to cross her path and become part of her family. We began talking about Leech Lake Legacy, a non-profit she founded that helps dogs, cats and their humans on reservations in Northern Minnesota, which quickly led to her telling me about one of her three dogs, Ahnung. Ahnung was a “res dog” abandoned on Red Lake Reservation and saved by Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue when she and Marilou crossed paths. I think anyone who knows the two of them could see they were kindred spirits who were destined to find each other.

Ahnung became a therapy dog, giving comfort to the sick and teaching compassion to at-risk youth. She was big sister to Missy and her two brothers – Legacy and Mister.Ahnung and Legacy She was the light of Marilou’s life. Bottom line, this dog brought a community of people together by touching everyone she met. Sadly, Ahnung was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in 2011 but battled bravely and with dignity. She lived with good quality of life, wagging her tail and spreading her joy well beyond anyone’s expectations. She stayed here with us until she knew her work was done.

On Sunday, after a gathering to celebrate Ahnung’s life, it was time to let her take her final journey. The community of people Ahnung brought together were there as she closed her eyes. No words can express the gratitude I have for Marilou sharing that precious moment with all of us, just as she selflessly shared Ahnung with all of us for so many years.

Ahnung means “star” in Ojibwe, the native language on the Red Lake Reservation. No doubt that we have a new star in the sky watching over all of us now.

Ahnung

 

Stay tuned for a blog post about Leech Lake Legacy and the work they do after my weekend of volunteering with them.

July 30, 2013 — Featured Non-Profit

Second Chance Animal Rescue - Giving Dogs and Cats a Second Chance at Life

The statistics surrounding homeless animals aren’t new to many of us.  The issue of shelter overpopulation and the importance of adopting vs. buying is more widely talked about now than ever before.  Still, while the statistics vary slightly, each year approximately 5 million stray and unwanted animals are taken in by impound facilities and shelters across the country each year.  Sadly, about 3.5 million of these animals must be euthanized because good homes cannot be found for them.  In fact, shelter euthanasia is the leading cause of death for both dogs and cats in the United States.  Most people think there just are not enough homes for all the shelter animals but the reality is, not enough people are making the choice to adopt from a shelter or from a rescue group. Approximately 17 million Americans get a new pet each year, more than double the number of shelter animals but sadly only about 25% choose to adopt their new pet.  The rest choose to buy their pets from a pet store or other free sources like internet ads or friends.  And surprisingly, despite the increased awareness of these statistics about 35% of pet owners in the U.S. still choose not to spay or neuter their pets.  Many choose to intentionally breed them either for profit or for a fun experience, others believe their pet won’t “accidentally” mate.  Whatever the reason, pet overpopulation is a critical issue and our animal friends are paying the price for it.

Want to hear some good news?  The awareness and education about adopting and spaying & neutering is making a difference.  Over the last 40 years, the number of dogs and cats being euthanized in shelters has decreased from approximately 20 million to 3.5 million.  None of us will be happy until there is no need for animal shelters, rescue groups and impound facilities but until then, we are thankful for the network of shelters and rescue organizations that work hard every day to save and find homes for as many animals as possible.  One such rescue group is Second Chance Animal Rescue located in Minnesota.

Second Chance is a non-profit rescue organization that has a foster network giving safe and loving homes to animals until they find their forever homes.  They pull dogs and cats from impound facilities when their holding time is up, they receive animals seized from puppy/kitten mills, they take in dogs and cats that have been abandoned and they help families who are unable to continue caring for their animals due to hardship.  To date, they’ve saved 8,900 dogs and cats and the number of animals they foster at any given time varies between 70-90 depending on the number of active fosters they have. Rescue organizations like Second Chance are critical to making a big impact on reducing the number of animals killed in impound facilities that usually do not adopt out to the general public.  The more animals that organizations like Second Chance can adopt out, the more animals they can continue to rescue. The more foster homes they have in their network, the more animals they can save.

 

                                        

 

All of this can seem overwhelming but there are ways that each of us can help and make a difference. 

* Consider becoming a foster for Second Chance Animal Rescue or another reputable non-profit rescue group in your area.  The more foster homes there are, the more animals that can be pulled from impound facilities or other situations.

* Always adopt.  Check rescue groups like Second Chance in your city and check your local shelters.  Remember when you adopt, you save two lives, the one you rescue and the one you just made room for.  You can see Second Chance’s animals waiting for their forever home HERE

* Always spay or neuter your pet.  With 5 million homeless animals languishing in shelters every year, let’s make sure they find their way into a loving home before we bring more dogs and cats into the world.

* Donate.  These rescue organizations and many reputable shelters are non-profit groups that exist solely on donations and small adoption fees.  Their costs are higher than you think.  For example, the veterinarian expenses alone for Second Chance run approximately $90,000-$100,000 per year. Every donation helps, even the smallest of donations are greatly appreciated by these groups.

* Make sure you’re prepared for a long term commitment when you decide to add a pet to your family.  Too many animals in shelters and rescue groups come from owner surrenders. 

* Take any opportunity to educate others about the importance of adoption and spaying and neutering.

 

Are you interested in learning more about dog and cat breeder regulation legislation?  Learn more about the bill here in Minnesota or about any bills in your area by simply doing an internet search for Breeder Bill Legislation or Puppy Mill Legislation.

July 25, 2013 — Press Release

My Voice Announces Contest to Give Away Five Pair of Passes to the Blackfish Advance Screening in Minneapolis

 

MY VOICE GIVING AWAY 5 PAIR OF TICKETS TO BLACKFISH ADVANCED SCREENING

The charitable t-shirt company focused on giving animals a voice has partnered with Lagoon Cinema, screening Blackfish in Minneapolis, to encourage people to see this important film.

 

July 24, 2013 (Minneapolis, MN) – My Voice is thrilled to learn that the movie Blackfish is coming to their home city of Minneapolis.  The message of this film is so important to help educate people about the truth behind the captive marine mammal industry. They have partnered with the theater screening Blackfish in Minneapolis and are pleased to announce a contest to give away five pairs of passes for the advanced screening on August 1, 2013.

 

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the mulit-billion dollar sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

 

There are two ways to enter to win passes.  Anyone who purchases one of our ‘Captivity Blows’ t-shirts between now and end of day July 30, 2013 will automatically be entered to win www.myvoicetshirts.com/collections/clothing  or, you can visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/MyVoiceTshirts and post on their wall what you think a captive Orca whale would say if he could speak our language.  All those who post and/or purchase by end of day 7/30/13 will be eligible to win the passes.  Five names will be drawn randomly the morning of July 31st and winners will be announced on their Facebook page and via twitter.

 

Lagoon Cinema is located at 1320 Lagoon Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55408.  The screening will take place on August 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm.

 

 

My Voice is a clothing company committed to helping animals live a better life.  By using approachable humor and writing from the perspective of the animal our designs are able to break down barriers and create conversation around the issues faced by the animals and marine life we share our planet with.  We are committed to volunteering our time and giving back a portion of our profits to donation-dependent rescues and sanctuaries that work tirelessly every day to give animals a better life.  Please visit myvoicegives.com for more information or contact us at info@myvoicetshirts.com.

 

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June 25, 2013 — Vegan Recipes

Roasted Squash with Corriander Pesto

Source: Fuss Free Cooking  http://www.fussfreecooking.com/meatless-recipes/roast-squash-with-coriander-pesto/

Roasted Sqash with Corriander Pest

Serves 4

2 onion or butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Sea salt

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp lemon juice

150ml virgin olive oil

Extra coriander leaves

Extra toasted pine nuts

 

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Scrub the squash but do not peel. Cut each squash into 6 or 8 thick half-moon wedges, coat in olive oil and place “sitting up” on an oiled baking tray. Bake for 40 to 50min until tender and lightly scorched on the tips.

3. Pound the coriander, garlic, toasted pine nuts, sea salt, cumin seeds, cumin, lemon juice and a little of the olive oil in a mortar with a pestle, or in a food processor, until you have a mushy paste, then slowly pour in the remaining olive oil, stirring well.

4. To serve, drizzle the squash with the pesto and scatter with the extra coriander leaves and pine nuts.  To serve as a meal, toss in cooked pasta if you like.

June 25, 2013 — Vegan Recipes

Chickpea Fries

 Chickpea Fries

1      cup      farina
1      tsp       sea salt
1/4   tsp       black pepper
1      tsp       smoky paprika
                    pinch of cayenne pepper
2      Tbs      olive oil
                    vegetable oil for frying
                    

Procedure

  1.  Boil 2 cups of water, then add farina, salt, peppers, paprika and olive oil.  Whisk well constantly for about 1 minute.
  2. Remove and spread in a 9 x 13" pan or similar, smoothing surface.  Cool at room temperature for about half an hour, then press plastic wrap directly onto dough and refrigerate at least an hour, or up to 3 days.
  3. Heat oil for frying (we used our deep fryer) to 375°.  Cut fries into strips, then fry.  When golden brown, remove to paper towels to drain, sprinkling with more sea salt.
  4. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
June 25, 2013 — Vegan Recipes

Roasted Sweet Corn and Tomato Soup

Source: Our Best Bites http://www.ourbestbites.com/2012/08/roasted-sweet-corn-and-tomato-soup/ 

Roasted Sweet Corn and Tomato Soup 

Yield about 6 cups

3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 cobs)
10 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, any color, diced
8 ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
32 ounces veggie broth (modified from original recipe to keep it vegan)
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
optional: chopped herbs for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place corn, tomatoes, and garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Gently toss with hands and then arrange in an even, flat layer.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are crinkled and burst.

While vegetables are roasting, heat a stock pot to medium high heat on stove top.  Add remaining one teaspoon olive oil and diced onion.  Saute about 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add roasted bell peppers, veggie broth, smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder.  Add a light sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper (I add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of pepper at this point and then season to taste at the very end.)

When corn and tomatoes are done roasting, add them to the pot*, making sure to scrape off all of the bits on the pan.  (*If desired, reserve a couple spoonfuls of roasted corn for garnish.)  Bring soup to a low simmer and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to stand blender and puree until smooth.  Taste, and add additional salt and pepper (and chipotle chili powder if you want a little more heat) to taste.  Divide into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, a few corn kernels, and some chopped herbs if desired.





June 25, 2013 — Vegan Recipes

Wild Onion and Mushroom Polenta

Source: Foy Update http://foyupdate.blogspot.com/2010/04/wild-onion-and-mushroom-polenta-recipe.html

 Wild Onion and Mushroom Polenta

(Modified slightly from original recipe to keep it vegan)

2-3 cups of wild onions greens and white parts, cleaned and chopped.  Note: When unable to get wild onions, we use a blend of green onions and vidalia onions and it tasted great.
1 basket of mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread
1 cup dry polenta
3 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup Go Veggie vegan Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Field Roast vegan sausage, chopped (if you wish)


Step 1: Add the wild onions, Earth Balance and mushrooms to a sauce pan over medium heat. If you want to use sausage add that now as well. Allow the onions and mushrooms to cook uncovered. It will take a while for the onions to lose their water, but eventually things will start to brown. Depending on your heat, about 20 minutes of cooking should do it. Once the mushrooms start to brown mix more frequently to keep from burning until all the mushrooms are evenly brown. The onions will wilt quite a bit and brown a little, watch the onions they are the best indicator of carmelization. When the mushrooms have been evenly browned, move the mixture to a bowl off the heat.

Step 2: In the same pan you just caramelized the onions and mushrooms in, pour the three cups of broth, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the broth is boiling slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you pour. When all the polenta is into the pan, continue whisking until it starts to thicken (about one minute). Then add back in the mushrooms and onions as well as the grated Parmesan. Mix it all together. Then take it off the heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes.


June 25, 2013 — Vegan Recipes

Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

Source: Averie Cooks http://www.averiecooks.com/2010/07/mango-ginger-maple-tofu-5-goals-for.html 

Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

1/4 C Mango Chutney (if you don’t have this, use any kind of mango or orange preserves, i.e. jam/jelly, or use fresh fruit like nectarines/peaches/mangoes and dice/mash into 1/4 c worth) Note: To keep this vegan, make sure your chutney/jelly is pectin free.
1/4 C Maple or Agave
1 to 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (or Orange Juice)
1 Tsp Ground Ginger

Optional:
1 to 2 Tbsp EVOO
Pinch of Cayenne
Pinch of Chili Powder

Stir ingredients together to Combine

Slice the Tofu. Slice thinner if you prefer a more dense, well-cooked tofu.  

Allow to Marinade for 15 minutes to Overnight.

Place Tofu on a Non Stick and/or Sprayed Cookie Sheet

Bake at 450F for 15-18 Minutes.  Watch it based on your oven and desired “done” level.  Flip Over and Bake for another 3 to 8 Minutes, or to your desired level.  The second side will cook fast, watch it.   If you don’t like well-done tofu, then reduce the cooking time.

You can make this ahead of time and store in the Fridge in a Container for a few days.