Interview with Dave Rolsky

Today’s Veg Fest interview is with Dave Rolsky, one of the founders of Compassionate Action for Animals and the Veg Fest Committee Chair. Dave gives us a glimpse into the event and let’s us get to know him a little better. Dave is an integral part of TC Veg Fest and I had a great time talking with him about his role in the event.

CAA: What is your role on the Veg Fest team?

I’m the Veg Fest Committee Chair. I’m responsible for the whole thing, which really means I try to get everyone else to do the work so I don’t have to. So far this has worked very well, which is a testament to all the great volunteers on the committee.

I also did a lot of the setup work for this website, as I’m the resident geek at Compassionate Action for for Animals. Finally, I’ll be speaking at the festival on the topic of how to get active for animals.

CAA: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

As I mentioned, I’m a geek, so I actually spend a fair amount of my free time programming, in addition to the programming that I do for my day job. I like playing video games way too much and I’m an avid reader.

I also enjoy hanging out with my lovely wife, eating delicious vegan food (especially desserts), and going to concerts, both classical and popular. Recently we saw the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra perform an amazing percussion concerto by James McMillan.

CAA: How did you get involved in planning the Veg Fest?

We’ve talked about doing a Veg Fest for several years now. I was involved in planning the Their Lives, Our Voices conferences in 2008, 2009, and 2010. This year, when discussing whether to do the conference again, I pushed for us to do a Veg Fest instead. So I guess I got involved by being the one to push for doing it in the first place.

CAA: What have you enjoyed the most so far?

This event has generated a lot of excitement from our volunteers and people in the community who we’ve talked about. It will be one of CAA’s biggest ever events in terms of attendance (if we do it right), so I’m really excited about it. I’ve also really enjoyed working with the volunteers on the committee. This is one of the best volunteer groups I’ve worked with. I don’t have to nag anyone to get their tasks done, which is great.

CAA: What are you most looking forward to at the Veg Fest?

As an attendee, it’s all about the food for me. I’m really excited that one of my favorite local chefs, Petrina from Asase Yaa, will be selling food. She used to have a restaurant years ago and the food was amazing. She also catered Their Lives, Our Voices one year to great acclaim.

As an organizer, I’m most looking forward to seeing lots of people learn about vegan food, animals, and factory farming.

As a speaker, I’m most looking forward to people actually coming to my presentation. Or maybe I’m most afraid that they won’t!

CAA: Who/what species is you favorite animal?

I’ll do what Amber did, and answer this twice. When it comes to companion animals, I’m definitely a cat person. I grew up with cats in the house, and one of my best friends for a long time was my cat Samantha. Unfortunately, I’m quite allergic to cats so I can’t have them living with me these days. I love to play with other people’s cats, as long as I wash my hands before I touch my face!

For farmed animals, I really love pigs. They’re such fun, friendly, social animals. They’re quite adorable.

Thanks Dave for taking the time to do this interview and don’t forget to mark your calendars for July 14th!