AR2013: A Conference to Remember

With activists coming from across the country and around the world, this year’s Animal Rights National Conference turned out to be the largest and most successful yet!

More than a thousand people attended the conference; which was held just outside of Washington, DC at the Alexandria Hilton Mark Center. Over 100 speakers, from 60 organizations participated in plenary sessions and lead workshops. Speakers included Gary Francione, Jonathan Balcombe, Nick Cooney, Will Tuttle, Melanie Joy, Nathan Runkle, Paul Shapiro, Doll Stanley, Will Potter and Brenda Shoss. This year’s program consisted of 80 sessions on problems, organizing, strategy, and controversial issues.

Saturday night’s Awards Banquet (a sold out event), included a delicious vegan dinner featuring Match Meats and So Delicious, jokes from vegan comedian Myq Kaplan, a fundraiser auction and awards presented to leaders of the movement.

Seba Johnson received the Vegan Athlete of the Year Award, while Holly Sternberg from Compassion for Animals and Unny Nambudiripad from Compassionate Action for Animals received the Grassroots Activist Award. Thomas Ponce founder of Lobby For Animals was honored with the Young Activist Award and Erica Meier from Compassion Over Killing was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.

The conference concluded with a Celebration of Animal Rights party on Sunday evening and started off the following week with 50 animal rights lobbyists visiting Capitol Hill to represent several animal rights bills.

Thank you so much to our generous sponsors, who include Alley Cat Allies, In Defense of Animals, International Primate Protection League, Mercy For Animals, and Tofurky, who help make the conference possible. And a big thank you to over 90 cruelty-free exhibitors who filled the Exhibit Hall, as well as our amazing management team and dozens of dedicated work scholars.

Stay tuned for an official wrap-up report, and be sure to check out some of the images from the conference on our Facebook page. Thank you for a wonderful conference; we look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference in Los Angeles on July 10-13.

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