Conference Speakers Focus on Undercover Investigations, Meatless Mondays and College Activism

The Animal Agriculture Alliance today released a report which chronicles observations from the 32nd annual 2013 Animal Rights National Conference presented by The Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM). The conference, held on June 27-30th in Alexandria, VA, was themed “Get Informed. Get Inspired. Get Active.” About 1,500 people, many from foreign countries including; Brazil, Canada, India and Europe, attended the four-day conference, that was co-sponsored by fifteen different organizations and was chaired by Alex Hershaft of FARM.

The Conference, which began with a candle lighting ceremony meant to commemorate animals being harmed and the activists who are not in attendance, focused heavily on farm animals and the campaigns designed and employed by activists to reduce meat consumption nationwide.

“It is so important that we be present at events like this in order to get a first-hand account of what activist groups are planning,” said Animal Agriculture Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith. “If we can glean what demographics the activist groups are targeting, we can work harder to counter their misleading campaigns against animal agriculture.”

Notable speakers from the conference include Paul Shaprio (Humane Society of the United States), Nathan Runkle (Mercy for Animals) and Bruce Friedrich (Farm Sanctuary), among others.

The report, which includes summaries from over twenty-five conference plenary and “breakout sessions,” also summarizes key quotes from notable speakers and details upcoming campaigns and efforts.

Many groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals and Farm Sanctuary spoke passionately about promoting veganism using every available channel, using social media to fundraise for the movement, and targeting college students with campaigns about “factory farming” and Meatless Mondays.

“It is clear from this detailed report that animal rights activists are very interested in directing campaigns towards populations they describe as vulnerable—these populations include young children and college students,” said Johnson Smith. “The industry must be aware of this and continue to be vigilant in helping share agriculture’s story—the truth—with these demographics.”

The Animal Rights Conference Report, which compiles personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members on the Alliance website.

Media wishing to obtain a copy of the full report, or for all other inquiries, please contact Emily Meredith, Communications Director, at emeredith@animalagalliance.org.

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