By Hannah Thompson-Weeman
Every summer, the Animal Agriculture Alliance sends representatives to major animal rights conferences. We believe it’s important to have eyes and ears in the room as activists discuss what strategies and tactics they intend to employ as they work toward their goal of ending animal agriculture. While we share the full conference reports with our members, I usually take the opportunity to share some of the most outlandish and concerning statements made in this blog to help spread the word about the threat of animal rights activism and why everyone in animal agriculture needs to remain vigilant.
Like all events, the activist conferences have looked quite different this summer. Extreme activist group Direct Action Everywhere moved its Animal Liberation Conference (which typically includes a large-scale protest and “mass open rescue” – meaning theft – of livestock or poultry) virtual and rebranded it as the Animal Liberation Online Assembly, which started in April and continues with sessions held sporadically. The Animal Rights National Conference was moved to virtual and ultimately canceled, with activist group Animal Place stepping up to host a Farmed Animal Conference E-Summit in its place. HSUS has also moved its Taking Action for Animals online and moved it to this fall.
While the venue and delivery might be different, the content is the same as speakers at these conferences have continued to focus on ways activists can achieve their aim to have a vegan world. Without further ado, I present the latest round of statements illustrating just what we are all up against and why it is critical to take activism seriously.
• "We're going to have to get on every platform that's out there, spread the word, bring more people to our movement. We are going to have trivia challenges, get hashtags trending on Twitter, and we are going to build coalitions with other social justice groups, and we are going to attend virtual meetings to get inspired." – Almira Tanner, DXE
• “Let's stop raping these animals into existence. None of the animals on these factory farms are making love.” – Jane Velez-Mitchell, JaneUnchained news network
• "So many children are devasted by the whole 4-H and FFA program that is clearly meant to desensitize them to farmed animals" – Kim Sturla, Animal Place, who also stated “I hope we are seeing the nail in the coffin for these institutions.”
• “I used to believe, I don’t anymore, that farmed animal welfare acts protect animals, but they don’t. They just protect the money-making corporations and the really nasty people that work in that industry.” – Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, Boulder
• “A movement like ours is the beginning of the end of animal agriculture.” – Miyoko Schinner, Miyokos Vegan Creamery
• “When animal liberation has finally been achieved, we are going to look back and one of the unsung heroes of what created this new kind, compassionate world is going to be the share button on Facebook.” – John Oberg, vegan social media influencer, on why “the biggest impact you can have as an animal rights activist is through social media”
• “You’re not going to change society necessarily by holding an event once a year.” – Anita Krajnc, The Save Movement, on the need for frequent direct actions (protests, vigils and disruptions)
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