Parendi Birdie felt out of place surrounded by hundreds of activists at an animal rights awareness conference in Ohio in fall 2009. Birdie, a lifelong vegan, had never seen so many people who cared about animals the way she did. But although Birdie was passionate about animals, she had never been an activist for animal rights.
'It shook up my world,' Birdie said. 'Thousands of animals' lives had been saved because of the work of the people who were sitting around me. I decided I wanted to be one of those people.'
During the course of the conference, she became motivated to found an animal rights group at the University of Kansas in order to teach students and the broader KU community about the importance of eating ethically.
In Fall 2010, she founded animal rights activist and vegetarian support group, Compassion for All Animals. Now, seven core members of CAA work toward an increased awareness of a vegetarian lifestyle by passing out literature about being cruelty-free and coordinating speeches and potlucks at the Ecumenical Christian Ministries building.