The meat raffle is a time-honored Minnesota tradition, a delightful melange of light gambling and stocking the freezer for leaner times, all while supporting the local VFW or Squirt hockey team.
But here's a twist: What if all the meats in that meat raffle were actually meatless?
Local vegan shop and food truck, Herbivorous Butcher, is hosting a vegan meat raffle this weekend at Eastlake Craft Brewery inside the Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis), and all of the prizes are plant-based. Everything from the sausages to the ham roast is made with ingredients like vital wheat gluten, beans, squash and jackfruit.
This is the second vegan meat raffle hosted by the Herbivorous Butcher in support of Herbivorous Acres, a nonprofit farm that rescues farm animals. Herbivorous Acres is separate from the Herbivorous Butcher, though the two businesses share a co-founder, Aubry Walch.
Founded in 2016, Herbivorous Acres is presently leasing 11 acres of land in Scandia, Minn., but searching for a more permanent home. Ultimately, the farm hopes to welcome the public for events and expand operations to house more rescue animals. Current residents include four goats surrendered by a dairy, one rooster, five ducks, and two pigs — one, a piglet that fell off a slaughter truck in Iowa and the other, a "cantankerous" pot-bellied pig named Zeus.
"He's sometimes misunderstood," says Herbivorous Acres co-founder Marie DuCharme. "He's just opinionated."
The vegan meat raffle takes place Sunday, Dec. 15, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with drawings every half hour. Tickets are $1 each and last the length of the event; no need to re-enter after each drawing. Prizes include Herbivorous Butcher jerky, a grill pack and the grand prize of a Winter Feast: ham roast, maple mustard sausage, hickory bacon, English cheddar and Brie — all plant-based, of course.