With the onset of summer comes conference season for animal activists, not to mention VegFest season. Though there really are too many to name, here are a few highlights that we’re particularly excited about. Feel free to include in the comments section below some additional ones that you’re planning to attend:
Vegetarian Summerfest — The annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society, Summerfest has a bit of a crunchy, camp-like feel, with attendees staying in cabins in a wildlife preserve in rural Pennsylvania. With a strong focus on food, last year’s topics (this year’s aren’t posted) included: Sensible Eating & Lifestyle Measures for Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer, Why This Dietician Doesn’t Use Dairy Products, and Macro Magic: The Healing Power of Food. This year’s conference takes place July 5-9.
Taking Action for Animals — Organized by HSUS, this conference, which is happening on July 15-18 in Washington D.C., has a strong bent on learning about animal issues and legislative change for animals. Presentations will include Advancing Protections for Puppy Mill Dogs, The Global Campaign Against Factory Farming, and Reaching People of Faith.
Animal Rights 2011 National Conference — Organized by FARM, this long-running conference will be held this year in Los Angeles from July 21-25, and Mariann and I will be speaking there! With a strong emphasis on grassroots change, presentations include Nature of Social Change, Individual Activism, and Applying Direct Action.
Farm Sanctuary’s Country Hoe Down — Held at Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen, NY location, the Hoe Down is always a hoot, gathering together a few hundred activists and animal-lovers, many of whom camp out on Farm Sanctuary’s picturesque grounds. Though they haven’t announced this year’s speakers yet, past years have included Captain Paul Watson, and artist-activist Sue Coe. This year it will be on August 6 & 7, and more information will soon be available on Farm Sanctuary’s website.
Vida Vegan Blogger’s Conference — I am speaking at this inaugural event happening on August 26-28 in Portland, OR, and I couldn’t be more excited. Focusing on activism through the blogosphere, this event includes talks on activism, podcasting, opinionated blogging, and so much more.
As for upcoming VegFests that we’re looking forward to (partly because we’re speaking at them!), they include the upcoming Mad City Vegan Fest in Madison, Wisconsin happening this weekend (Sunday, June 19), next week’s Maine Vegetarian Festival in Portland, Maine (June 25), and, though it’s a bit down the road, the Bethlehem Veg Fest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (September 10). Since we’re in the shameless-plug paragraph, we are also speaking at the Lewis & Clark Animal Law Conference happening in Portland, OR on October 14-16. If you’re in any of these areas, please join us!
Conferences and VegFests provide a delicious opportunity for changemakers to get together as a community, pick up a few new activist tools, and get up to speed on animal issues and campaigns.